Deutsche Telekom to foreign secret services: 'Eyes off our internet!'

Deutsche Telekom to foreign secret services: 'Eyes off our internet!'

Summary: Germany's incumbent telco is spearheading an effort to keep local internet traffic inside the country.

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TOPICS: Security, Telcos, EU
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In response to recent reports suggesting that foreign secret service organisations may be monitoring internet traffic in Germany, the country's incumbent telco has announced that it wants to take steps to keep domestic internet traffic within Germany's borders.

"We find it deeply frustrating that after four months we are still unaware of the extent to which foreign secret services actually monitor German internet and telephone traffic," a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson said, ostensibly referring to revelations about the NSA and PRISM.

Although the telco has not announced how it plans to shield domestic internet traffic from foreign secret services, it cited its recently-introduced 'Made in Germany' email service (which automatically encrypts customer emails with SSL, and keeps domestic email exclusively on German servers) as a start.

To keep domestic internet traffic insulated from outside eyes, Deutsche Telekom would have to forge agreements with other ISPs in the country, like Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland. Beyond that, whether the plan is even technically feasible remains unclear.

However, Deutsche Telekom has larger plans, and says that its goal to spearhead a Schengen-wide internet shield. If something like this were implemented, "secret services of countries outside this area would then find it much more difficult to access this data traffic," the Detusche Telekom spokesperson said.

Although there has been substantial media attention in the country surrounding PRISM — with some of it suggesting that the Angela Merkel-led CDU party may have been somehow involved — the issue did not particularly impact the recent national election, which saw the CDU come away with almost an absolute majority of the votes.

Even so, Deutsche Telekom is betting that consumers will vote differently with their pocketbooks. "Our industry's business model — and particularly new fields such as cloud services — depend on consumers' trust in the digital world. This trust has been dealt a huge blow," according to the telco.

Topics: Security, Telcos, EU

Michael Filtz

About Michael Filtz

From the day he brought home a modem and dialed in to a local BBS in 1991, Michael has been obsessed with technology and how it enables collaboration. He has a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, and has worked in and around the technology start-up scenes in San Francisco and Berlin.

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6 comments
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  • My Offer

    I've been making this offer in various threads.

    To the unseen American elite: 'show us the money ... or we cut you off'.

    You can have the 'freedom' to monitor my every computer action ... if you provide value for money.

    I'm expecting a 10-fold reduction in IT costs with the 'Cloud'.
    An din my content cost ... music, video, ... such like.
    Take it or leave it.

    I'm also intending to isolate myself from America: so you can bear the brunt of the terrorist backlash.

    Take it or leave it.
    jacksonjohn
    • Elite

      Rarely is it the "elite" that suffers. Keep that in mind.
      MajorlyCool
  • Great Firewalls of Everwhere

    Barring another Great Firewall of [insert nation here] I think it unlikely that any modern society will be able to prevent snooping on its own nationals when they connect to a site elsewhere.

    I fear that the cure -- 100 percent snooping by one's own government to stop snooping by other governments -- will eventually be worse than the disease; any tool once deployed WILL be used eventually to the detriment of dissenting opinion and speech, and access to opposing viewpoints from abroad.
    ka5s@...
  • Anyone ever consider that...

    Mr. Snowdon was actually working for governments everywhere. Consider this. The Internet was largely this big open thing that governments longed to lock down but couldn't. Even the mighty Chinese "Great Firewall" could be pierced if wanted bad enough. That had to make bureaucrats everywhere very unhappy. So...

    Let't start a panic saying some "big bad wolf" was spying on everything you are doing out there. Truth is, they always were, whether it was the NSA, CIA, MI6, German Intelligence, Chavez's friends, whoever. That's their job. But out of sight, out of mind. Now it wasn't and the rant (especially in the digerati) was priceless so...

    For the sake of country, homeland, and CHILDREN we need to create our OWN (emphasis on that) little sealed off world on the Internet. Now supposedly cat videos, Miley Cyrus, and cheap Amazon shipments will get by just fine. But everything else, well no one can see what is going on. Except...

    You know these "Internets of are going to be super-easy for the government that wants them (including the U.S. government, who probably started this) to "insure the security and integrity of the homeland" on. So if Miley's twerking is offensive in Indonesia, off it goes. And of course, anything subversive cannot happen.

    So, Mr. Snowden, you are not ha hero. My friend, you are a tool. And see what you are starting...
    jwspicer
  • Won't happen

    I get your logic but, A spy agency doesn't even have to spy if they can convince you that if you speak ill they will be listening. Then they pocket all of the money and do absolutely nothing if they provide no evidence that they are actually doing anything.

    However, I would rather have an environment where public scrutiny and discussion is stirred up than an utterly uninformed public clueless to the capabilities of these organizations.

    Due to these facts I do believe that Snowden will go down in history as a true hero.
    The dark forces have felt in the past that no matter which way things go they will still have the upper hand. In essence they knew that they could never lose.

    With that said there is a new power in town and as the awareness of the vast masses of humanity become more informed such actions as firewalling countries from each other will not work. No one will accept such police state tactics. We are moving towards a united world. There are only 8 countries left now under the control of the cabal, and with the U.S. being one of them with it's failing economy, it will soon find itself unable to bully the world into submission through the power of the world currency and it's military might.

    In the end the last 8 holdouts will fall, the cabal will be evicted, and the countries of the world will get along far better than has ever been thought possible.
    Astringent
  • To quote a famous movie

    (in a German accent)
    Good luck!
    John L. Ries