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Home » Europe » Germany Wants A German Internet To Keep The NSA Out | Zero Hedge

Germany Wants A German Internet To Keep The NSA Out | Zero Hedge


Germany Wants A German Internet To Keep The NSA Out | Zero Hedge. (source)

As the ‘diplomatic’ debacle continues to rage between the US and Europe (most loudly France and Germany) over the Obama administration’s ongoing eavesdropping on its allies’ cell phones, Reuters reports that (state-backed) Deutsche Telekom is calling for German comms companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services. “It is internationally without precedent that the internet traffic of a developed country bypasses the servers of another country,” notes one academic, warning that if more countries wall themselves off, it could lead to a troubling “Balkanisation” of the Internet, crippling the openness and efficiency that have made the web a source of economic growth. Despite Obama’s denials, the situation is not fading away, and Germany and France continue to demand a “no spying” agreement.

Via Reuters,

As a diplomatic row rages between the United States and Europe over spying accusations, state-backed Deutsche Telekom wants German communications companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services.

More fundamentally, the initiative runs counter to how the Internet works today – global traffic is passed from network to network under free or paid-for agreements with no thought for national borders.

If more countries wall themselves off, it could lead to a troubling “Balkanisation” of the Internet, crippling the openness and efficiency that have made the web a source of economic growth, said Dan Kaminsky, a U.S. security researcher.

Controls over internet traffic are more commonly seen in countries such as China and Iran where governments seek to limit the content their people can access by erecting firewalls and blocking Facebook and Twitter.

“It is internationally without precedent that the internet traffic of a developed country bypasses the servers of another country,” said Torsten Gerpott, a professor of business and telecoms at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

“The push of Deutsche Telekom is laudable, but it’s also a public relations move.”

Government snooping is a sensitive subject in Germany, which has among the strictest privacy laws in the world, since it dredges up memories of eavesdropping by the Stasi secret police in the former East Germany, where Merkel grew up.

The issue dominated discussions at a European summit on Thursday, prompting Merkel to demand that the U.S. strike a “no-spying” agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, angered by reports that the U.S. spied on her and other Brazilians, is pushing legislation that would force Google, Facebook and other internet companies to store locally gathered or user-generated data inside the country.

 


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