A post called “Are Telstra hackers?” published on Monday by a user on Australia’s Whirlpool forum has raised a lot of controversy. The Telstra customer claimed that the websites he accessed from his mobile phone appeared to have been traced by the company.
“When I accessed a web page on my server which was un-sourced (meaning the link was not embedded in a web page), an ip address which resolved in the USA accessed the same address seconds after my mobile had,” a user nicknamed threadmark wrote
“The IP is obviously tracking and profiling my phone for some reason so I used my wife’s phone which is also from Telstra to access the addresses and I was very surprised to see the same ip address in the USA tracking the usage and profiling the web activity,” he added.
While some users agreed with him, others argued that it didn’t necessarily mean that the Australian telecoms company, or anyone else, was monitoring their activity.
According to SC Magazine
, Telstra Group Manager of Media Relations, Craig Middleton, has revealed that the company reassures customers that the activity threadmark
has noticed is not actually part of a tracking mechanism. Instead, it’s a “normal network operation.”
However, the short response didn’t satisfy the many Telstra customers who believe that the company may be up to no good.
“That sounds like a snow job. I can't think of one valid reason why this would be ‘normal’, but can think of many reasons why this behaviour could be considered suspicious,” an unhappy customer wrote.
“Just give us some reasonable explanation why this is happening. If it's 'normal network operation', what is the actual justification? And what exactly is the purpose of this external server?”
Hopefully, Telstra will come forward with a much more detailed explanation, otherwise it doesn’t look like the forum thread is going to be closed any time soon.