NSA Fallout: Germany Ends Contract With Verizon

Consumer Electronics Association president and Chief Executive Officer Gary Shapiro, left, greets Verizon Communications Inc., chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg, right, and president and Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam during the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas on on Jan. 6, 2011.

The German government has decided not to renew a contract with Verizon out of fear the telecom giant might be cooperating with the NSA and allowing the spy agency to snoop on private communication.
Verizon provides Internet services to several German government departments but its contract ends in 2015. German officials announced on Thursday that they will not renew the contract, in part because of the revelations in the tens of thousands of documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

"There are indications that Verizon is legally required to provide certain things to the NSA, and that's one of the reasons the cooperation with Verizon won't continue," said German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate.
Telecommunication providers wanting to do business with the German government from now on will have to sign a contract to confirm that they're not legally required to share information with foreign countries, according to Businessweek.
Early documents leaked by Snowden revealed that Verizon has provided the NSA with data on U.S. customers every three months. But Verizon denied that this affects its German subsidiary.
"Verizon Germany is a German company and we comply with German law,” the company said in a statement. "We have outlined our position on the inability of the U.S. government to access customer data stored outside the U.S. in our policy blog."
The company stated earlier this year in a post that "the U.S. government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in data centers outside the U.S., and if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in court."
But perhaps German officials are concerned about a recent case in which a U.S. judge ordered Microsoft to hand in data stored on a European server to the U.S. government. Microsoft is challenging the ruling and Verizon has filed an amicus brief in court in support of the software company.
Last year, news stories revealed that the NSA had spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone and Germany has been a vocal and consistent critic of the NSA's broad powers.
After the revelation that her cellphone had been tapped, Merkel called President Barack Obama in person to demand an explanation, saying the two countries' diplomatic relations were "severely shaken."
Earlier this month, Germany's attorney general opened an investigation into the incident.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

No comments:


© 2012 Học Để ThiBlog tài liệu