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Germany declines to renew Verizon government contract over spying

updated 08:10 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2014

NSA snooping of officials turns German government away from American company

Verizon is going to be out a high profile government client, thanks to the spying actions of the United States. Today, Germany indicated that it would not be renewing its contract with the wireless carrier based on concerns that Verizon had potentially abetted spying from the National Security Agency (NSA). Germany's contract with Verizon is set to expire in 2015.

"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," Germany's Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told Time.

The German government is said to been reconsidering its contract with the United States carrier in part because of the information that surfaced from Edward Snowden's leak of classified documents. Details regarding the extent of electronic eavesdropping by the US intelligence agencies and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters didn't sit well with the country.

Further incidents, such as the NSA spying on Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and other offcials, have caused the government to readdress what it needs in services. The German government looks to provide "an infrastructure with an increased level of security" according to the Bundesministerium des Innern website.

Companies that may have to report data back to the US intelligence agencies won't meet the high demands for "safety-critical communication infrastructure of the federal government." Johannes Dimroth, another spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told BusinessWeek that the German government will require assurances that data isn't being shared. Providers signing new contracts need to confirm that they aren't required by law to share information with foreign governments.

Verizon has held a contract for internal communications between lawmakers since 2010.

by MacNN Staff



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