Germany plans to limit NSA’s access to European communications
August 15, 2013 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The government of Germany plans to implement a series of measures designed to limit America’s access to the communications of European citizens and institutions, according to senior German cabinet officials. The move is part of a broader German response to news in July that the United States spies on the communications of Germany and other European Union countries with the same intensity it spies on China or Iraq. The information was leaked by American defector Edward Snowden, a former computer expert for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), who is now living in Russia. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economics and Technology, Philipp Rösler, said Germany will take action to limit NSA’s ability to spy on European Union communications traffic. The first step in the process will be to build “a strong European information technology industry which can offer alternatives” to American-owned firms that collaborate with the NSA, said Rösler. Further steps will include augmenting the security of European cloud computing processes and structures, and strengthening contacts between established information technology companies and start-up enterprises. At the same time, Germany will enter negotiations with the European Commission (the European Union’s executive arm) aimed at strengthening European data protection legislation and legally forcing the US to stop its indiscriminate surveillance of European communications networks. He added that a preliminary outline of the program will be unveiled during a government-sponsored information technology conference in Hamburg at the end of the year. Rösler concluded his statement by saying that, in the future, American companies who fail to conform to European privacy standards will be excluded from European Union contracts. Last week, Deutsche Telecom, one of Germany’s’ largest telecommunications providers, said that all email traffic carried on its network would stay on German-owned servers. Earlier this month, Germany announced the termination of a longstanding surveillance cooperation agreement with Britain and the US, in response to Snowden’s revelations.