First it is said that this series of articles is based upon new documents. it would be interesting to know which kind of documents. Do they come from Snowden or from a part of his archive that is probably now in the hands of many more people than we can imagine ? Or is there another source in the UK ?
Secondly it builds upon something that we already know. The program the 'mastering the internet' and the role of gchq was already researched and written about a year ago.
this is one of the best articles if you want an overview and be sure that you take your time to read it because it is all legal according to British law and the new British laws on intelligence will even broaden these capabilities.
Now it seems that Cable and Wireless is one of the companies that was working closely with the gchq to give it all the possible means to filter and intercept as much information as was possible. We are talking about pentabytes of information.
Now Vodafone looks like to have inherited the program when it bought Cable and Wireless and it is not clear if they are fully informed about the topsecret programs. In such big companies such arrangements can also be made between people without the full knowledge of the hierarchy who sometimes just doesn't want to know.
and as this is probably the case everything you read in the article is a logical consequence of this. It is the same process when US firms work together with the NSA or other telecom companies with their respective intelligence companies
the fear to miss something and the absolute trust that is put into technology to give you that (false) assurance is sometimes much bigger than common sense and good intelligence strategies