Feeds

Deutsche Telekom launches 'NSA-busting' encrypted email service

Small print: It only works between German email providers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
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
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.