Feeds

Germany dumps Verizon for Deutsche Telekom over NSA spying

Nein, danke, we need 'a very high level of security'

The Power of One Infographic

The German government has said it will cancel its contract with US telecoms provider Verizon, citing spying fears.

"The pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly-developed viruses or Trojans are rising," the country's Interior Ministry told Reuters on Thursday. "Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign intelligence agencies and firms in the wake of the US National Security Agency (NSA) affair show that the German government needs a very high level of security for its critical networks."

The move comes following reports that US intelligence agencies have been monitoring German communications networks, even to the point of tapping the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In May, Germany said it didn't think it had enough evidence to pursue legal action over the Merkel affair, but that didn't stop German pols from condemning US activities based on reports in the magazine Der Spiegel, which cited documents leaked by Edward Snowden among its sources.

Merkel herself has lent her support to the idea of the European Union building new telecoms networks that would be more difficult for the US to spy on, something she has discussed with French President François Hollande.

Germans aren't alone in their outrage. Upon hearing about the Merkel affair, US senator John McCain (R-AZ) called for the resignation of then-NSA chief General Keith Alexander. That was largely for show, though; Alexander retired from military service in March, to be replaced by Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers.

German carrier Deutsche Telekom will reportedly pick up where Verizon leaves off after getting the boot, and Reuters notes that DT already has a contract with the German government for carrying its most sensitive phone calls and data.

In a statement, Verizon protested the German government's decision and said that there was nothing to fear from US spy agencies.

"Verizon Germany is a German company and we comply with German law," Verizon spokesman Detlef Eppig said. "The US government cannot compel us to produce our customers' data stored in data centres outside the US, and if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in a court." ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.