Feeds

Deutsche Telekom launches 'NSA-busting' encrypted email service

Small print: It only works between German email providers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Deutsche Telekom and United Internet have launched a super-secure German email service that they claim defeats the data-sniffing shenanigans of the likes of the NSA.

The partners announced that they were starting an initiative for "secure email communication across Germany".

"Germans are deeply unsettled by the latest reports on the potential interception of communication data," René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, said in a statement.

"Our initiative is designed to counteract this concern and make email communication throughout Germany more secure in general. Protection of the private sphere is a valuable commodity."

The head of United Internet, Ralph Dommermuth, added that the initiative, dubbed "Email made in Germany", would be open to other providers, as long as they "commit to the standards set out".

"Alongside email encryption and the designation of secure e-mail addresses, a third key element relates to data processing and archiving, which is carried out in Germany. This ensures that Germany's stringent data privacy laws are complied with," he said.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports (in English) that email traffic sent via the new system will “be encrypted while in transit between the sender and receiver”. Access to third parties “is to be granted only in compliance with German law”.

The new service appears to be a reaction to the revelations from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the US National Security Agency has been peeking at email, text and call data from around the world.

While encrypted email may sound like a great idea, it may not work with email sent outside of Germany and the EU. Indeed, Deutsche Welle's report confirms that the encryption will only apply to emails sent between German email providers T-Online, GMX and Web.de.

Emails sent to addresses on servers outside of the country will therefore be outside Germany's purview, and will not necessarily be automatically encrypted. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.