Feeds

Germany dumps Verizon for Deutsche Telekom over NSA spying

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.