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Germany Scores First: Ends Verizon Contract Over NSA Concerns 206

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the localize-spying dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes with word that, after revelations that Verizon assisted the NSA in its massive surveillance program, Germany is cutting ties with Verizon as their infrastructure provider. From the article: The Interior Ministry says it will let its current contract for Internet services with the New York-based company expire in 2015. The announcement comes after reports this week that Verizon and British company Colt provide Internet services to the German parliament and other official entities. ... Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said Thursday that Germany wants to ensure it has full control over highly sensitive government communications networks.
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Germany Scores First: Ends Verizon Contract Over NSA Concerns

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  • by killfixx (148785) * on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:31PM (#47328289) Journal

    New York and New Jersey.

    Verizon has been fucking them for years...hard!

    Never thought I'd feel bad for people from Jersey...

    • ...never forgiven them for blighting us with that abortion they called a "reality show".

      As for TFA, I'm kind of surprised that Germany's Interior Ministry hadn't been with Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile all this time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:40PM (#47328355)

    Nobody wants anything communications-related from the U.S.A. anymore.

    • by gatkinso (15975) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:48PM (#47328433)

      What kind of fools would trust their internal government communications to a foreign company in the first place?

      • I was shocked to read that. I could see some small, poor country just not having the resources to run a decent network and outsourcing it to a big private company. But Germany? Come on.

        • by Sique (173459)
          The government network contract was up for bidding, and Verizon won. It's as easy as that. And now, the German government found out that Verizon didn't disclose some very important information in the contract negotiations.
      • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:22PM (#47328713)

        Germany probably thought that the US were their allies . . .

        . . . fools, indeed! The US doesn't have any allies any more; just enemies. Or, at least they treat everyone as enemies.

        Hell, even the citizens of the US are treated as enemies by their own government . . .

      • Well, if you've already trusted your national defence, university education, ideological belief system, and popular cultural to the homeland of said foreign company, entrusting your national telecoms infrastructure is a relatively small step.

    • There's an illusion that the USA is unique in this. It isn't, it's just that there aren't any other whistleblowers.

      If you contract with Deutsche Telecom, you'll be subjected to German intelligence interception certainly.

      Realistically---you'll be subjected to German, British, Chinese, French, Russian, American and Israeli intelligence interception to some degree or another.
      • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:10PM (#47328627)
        The USA is unique in the resources it can devote, and therefore the scale at which it can operate. Which is to say, it is unique.
      • So let them listen. That's what encryption is for.

        • And if they already have a dozen ways to break encryption?

          What then?

          • I'm sure the NSA does, and many other countries too - but even for them, it's non-trivial. They may be able to subvert encryption on targeted suspects by compromising the endpoints or using false certificates, but they can't monitor entire populations that way.

            • How delusional are you?

              They already are.

              • Only because so much is either sent in cleartext or stored in centralized and monitorable locations (eg, facebook).

                If all traffic of any importance were encrypted, and only the recipient had the key, the NSA would be unable to monitor everything without detection. They could use endpoint hacks or active MITM on targetted individuals, but doing so en mass would be quickly noticed.

        • by ed.han (444783)
          Or, how about not requiring encryption in the first place? All introducing a countermeasure does is flag you as a possible person of interest. Far better to nip it in the bud where possible.
          • Then the obvious solution is to make sure everyone uses encryption for even the most trivial things. Enable it by default.

    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      huh? Germany ends contract with US company like Russia wants to make their own chips instead of buying from US. You mean like uh you know as like um the stuff NSA did is ruining US business in other countries? Golly, that's an astonishing concept.
  • Yes. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mojo-raisin (223411)

    Snowden is truly a hero.

    This rocks.

  • by kolbe (320366) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:48PM (#47328443) Homepage

    For their corporate lobbyists to actually get some movement on Capital Hill and attempt to undo this.

    • by easyTree (1042254) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:03PM (#47328563)

      in the title.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The move to white boxes and to a countries own domestic code mix has begun.
      The educational move away from junk US encryption and their tame academics standards has begun.
      The gov move away from junk US encryption and their tame standards setting bureaucrats has begun.
      The divestment from named US brands has begun - brands that might be connected to vast US pension funds that factored in ongoing vast international sales.
      A slight change in the way some US software brands are seen by the consumers is already
  • Zimmerman telegram? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:58PM (#47328507) Homepage

    The announcement comes after reports this week that Verizon and British company Colt provide Internet services to the German parliament and other official entities.

    Germany should've learned their lesson, when a telegram sent to their Ambassador in Mexico [wikipedia.org] was intercepted by the British — and shared with the US-government.

    Had we not obtained that piece of intelligence, the history of the world could've been quite different...

    • The announcement comes after reports this week that Verizon and British company Colt provide Internet services to the German parliament and other official entities.

      Germany should've learned their lesson, when a telegram sent to their Ambassador in Mexico [wikipedia.org] was intercepted by the British — and shared with the US-government.

      Had we not obtained that piece of intelligence, the history of the world could've been quite different...

      Yeah and if MI6 had grown a spine and called bullshit on the CIA case for WMD's in Iraq maybe that country would not now be on the cusp of becoming an Islamist Caliphate and 179 British soldiers would not have died what is increasingly looking like pointless deaths. At least the Germans had the good sense to see that the CIA 'evidence' for Iraqi WMDs was a steaming pile of horse manure and the strategic foresight to realize that intervention in Iraq would highly probably become the kind of FUBAR it currentl

      • by Dasher42 (514179) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:24PM (#47330081)

        Yeah and if MI6 had grown a spine and called bullshit on the CIA case for WMD's in Iraq maybe that country would not now be on the cusp of becoming an Islamist Caliphate and 179 British soldiers would not have died what is increasingly looking like pointless deaths. At least the Germans had the good sense to see that the CIA 'evidence' for Iraqi WMDs was a steaming pile of horse manure and the strategic foresight to realize that intervention in Iraq would highly probably become the kind of FUBAR it currently is. Could it be that Germany (and France for that matter) learned some lessons from WWI, WWII and the cold war proxy conflicts that Britain might be well advised to take to heart?

        Ummm - they did. In the time between Colin Powell's UN address and the State of the Union address by President Bush, I was able to read links on foreign media where MI6 was warning the CIA and the CIA was passing the warning upward. That's "the facts fixed around the policy" for you: only a tiny minority of the USA's population knew as Bush spoke that he was deliberately using hoaxed information as a pretext for an unjustified war.

        Similarly, "full" transcripts of Hans Blix's testimony to the UN about the findings of weapons inspectors in Iraq were carried on CNN and the BBC - but the BBC's was the one actually full. The rest of the world got to see the entire thing; most of the US public had omitted from its media all the most convincing evidence that WMDs in Iraq were a fiction, and no cause for war.

        Don't let someone cover their ass at Langley or in DC. The falsification of evidence started from the top.

        • by mi (197448)

          Don't let someone cover their ass at Langley or in DC. The falsification of evidence started from the top.

          http://www.wired.com/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/

      • by mi (197448)

        Yeah and if MI6 had grown a spine and called bullshit on the CIA case for WMD's in Iraq

        Except:

        1. Everybody agreed, Iraq had WMDs — not just the war-mongering Bushitler and his blood-thirsty neocons, but the wise respectable statesmen and women of the previous Administration [snopes.com]
        2. They were all correct — Saddam Hussein really did have WMDs [wired.com], although not as much as we feared or as Iraqi generals hoped for [renewamerica.com]
    • Not really. German subs had already started unrestricted attacks on US shipping. The Zimmerman telegram was not necessary to get the US into WWI.

      • by mi (197448)

        German subs had already started unrestricted attacks on US shipping. The Zimmerman telegram was not necessary to get the US into WWI.

        The American public opinion remained split — plenty of people thought, it was the victims' own fault, that they chose to, despite Germany's fair warnings, to travel to UK or ship goods over there.

        The telegram — and other, less famous, bits of intelligence obtained the same way — provided very important insights to the British and our own governments.

        • The telegram was contributory, but the submarine attacks would have drawn the US into WWI by themselves.

          https://history.state.gov/mile... [state.gov]

          • by mi (197448)

            Not at all clear. Just as many have blamed America itself for the 9/11, plenty of people thought, those, who died from the German submarines, had only themselves to blame. Public opinion was rather split — the large Irish population, for example, was heavily anti-British. It is not obvious, we would've sent actual troops to Europe — or as many, had it not been for the intercept... We didn't have much of a standing army back then — the call-up consisted of President asking the State militia

    • The map on that page is quite interesting, the red line shows how far north Mexico used to reach.
      If those borders still stood The USA wouldn't have much of an illegal immigrant problem but Mexico sure would.

       

  • VZ stock hardly changed today.
  • World Cup (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustinKSU (517405) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:04PM (#47328567)
    For a second I thought Slashdot was starting to get into sports reporting.
  • Mr. President! We must not allow...a mineshaft gap!

    That's basically what this whole "We'll control it all ourselves. Mineminemineminemine!" idiocy is.

  • by boorack (1345877) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:25PM (#47328731)

    Will be somewhat off-topic but still (somewhat) related.

    De-americanization has officially began when Russia signed gas deal with China bypassing dollar. This process started long ago but with this deal it's now official. Things seem to speed up since then. Germany Verizon thing is just another domino piece falling. Regardless of what Americans think of it, I see it as a good thing. Aside from taking (most of the) world of american hegemony, ending of US imperial project can benefit Americans themselves - granted that their (incompetent and incredibly corrupt) government manages to transition from imperial power to ordinary (but better managed) country in orderly way (that is, without inciting WW3).

    Message to fellow Americans: you're still one of the most progressive folks in the world (yet NOT the most ones), it's just your fucked up government that sucks, causes mayhem (Ukraine being the last manifestation of this) and blocks your potential. It's time to abandon your imperial/global hegemony policies - you can prosper pretty damn well in a multipolar world (much better than most of the rest). It all depends on you. BUT there are few things to do. You need to bring your fucked-up out-of-control government back in control, forget about american exceptionalism and learn to live in (competitive) multipolar world (ie. do not solve all problem using military or inciting civil wars).

    • by thrich81 (1357561)

      As much as I would like for the US to withdraw to its borders and let the other democracies defend their own borders in a big, bad world -- the last time we had a multipolar world we got World Wars I and II out of it. A big reason we got WW II is that the US did withdraw to its own borders after WW I and the multipolar world outside proceeded to screw it up on three continents at once.

      • by dave420 (699308)
        Abject nonsense. If you saw what the victors of WWI did to the Germans you'd be surprised it took them as long as it did to get royally upset and cling to anyone who claimed to be able to fix it. It was utterly disgusting. The sheer amount of violence and suffering inflicted upon the normal German people was horrific. Starvation, violence, oppression, freezing cold in winter, you name it. You've been blinded by nationalism - don't believe the hype.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      > De-americanization has officially began when Russia signed gas deal with China bypassing dollar.

      Relatively local trade of that sort has often avoided conversion into a third currency. Nothing new.

      The idea that Russia or Chinese currency would make significant inroads against the dollar is preposterous. The ruble is so untrusted that commerce within Russia often is done in dollars as Russia is the largest holder of US banknotes in the world.. China - well let me know when their currency flows are not re

      • Russians have gas/oil and need money.
        EU has the money and wants gas/oil.
        They exchange them.
        Putin has the power to upset everybody a great deal, to the point where he might not survive such a disruption. EU doesn't have the power to upset it's people by pushing Putin into such a situation- they still have democracy... Either way, they are not going to change their economic situation for long.

      • by Arker (91948)
        "As far as the Ukraine goes that's strictly a EU thing."

        Ahem.

        Google Victoria Nuland.
      • The ruble is so untrusted that commerce within Russia often is done in dollars as Russia is the largest holder of US banknotes in the world.

        It's not the nineties anymore.

        China - well let me know when their currency flows are not restricted, and they adopt some sort of internationally accepted accounting standard.

        I am letting you know thus. [bloomberg.com]

    • by durin (72931)

      You're making too much damn sense to be on slashdot. Are you a troll?

  • by mrspoonsi (2955715) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @05:32PM (#47328765)
    If it can be shown that the company is working against the countries interests (company treason?), such as in this case, ban them from all sales in that country. That really would get the attention deserved.
  • We the people (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @06:41PM (#47329231)

    Please correct me if i'm wrong.

    This story has close to none coverage in Germany.

    It's been dug up by a blogger (1) and reblogged by netzpolitik.org (2), who then started to ask questions.

    There are some articles gathering up by now, but the big media seems to shush things.
    The leading tv-stations (ARD & ZDF) that are publicly funded have no real content regarding this story.
    This being said: ZDF does list a story in which the government looks as if it has addressed this problem entirely by itself. Some reuters-bot-written junk. (3)

    But this was not the case, the government clearly had no intention to reveal it's ties to Verizon. If it wasn't for the blogger, they wouldn't have had to.
    Now they're trying to downplay the story and to make the provided services look like a fallback routine or - even better - like an unused source.

    The Fed. Ministry of Interior posted yesterday that it had contacted Verizon in 2010,
    telling them they would slowly withdraw from the contract, since the Verizon services were being replaced gradually by a new infrastructure for the Government. (4) ...they forgot to tell us when this would happen, but now it seems like they are ready for the big transition m(

    After the internet died last summer, this is a bad joke.

    Anyhow:
    also yesterday the big coalition has managed to finalize their decision regarding a hearing of E. Snowden.
    They hold a majority within the exclusivly formed task force regarding the NSA affair.
    They have decided mutually that a hearing can not take place on German soil - given the 'fact' that an extradition treaty with the US is in effect. (5)

    1: Daniel Luecking http://medienkonsument.de/
    2: https://netzpolitik.org/2014/arbeitserleichterung-fuer-die-nsa-deutscher-bundestag-bezieht-internet-von-us-anbieter-verizon/
    3: http://www.heute.de/bund-baut-kommunikationsnetz-neu-ohne-us-partner-verizon-33792814.html
    4: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/Kurzmeldungen/DE/2014/06/bund-wechselt-netzbetreiber.html
    5: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/nsa-affaere-grosse-koalition-verhindert-befragung-von-snowden-a-977742.html

  • Is it the same Germany whose BND secret service collaborated with NSA to spy on internet backbone links?
    • by HiThere (15173)

      It's one thing to help the US to spy on someone else, it's another thing to allow the US to spy on them. No surprise. No ethics, either, but that's no surprise.

      • How strange it is, that once the politicians find themselves on the receiving end of all the surveillance tactics they enthusiastically support for regular citizens, they are up in arms and immediately start issuing bans and prohibitions! "We are shocked -- SHOCKED -- that these consequences of widespread mass surveillance would one day prove to have undesired side-effects! Who could have predicted this outcome???"
  • So, first other countries start dropping the dollar as the international reserve currency. Now they’re going to stop buying our products and services. Our economy is going to hell in a handbasket.

  • problem with the short sighted spying and lets spend crazy money on the military misses that economic might is certainly more important. You cannot pay for stupid expensive spying and military programs or twist the arms of other countries if you are not economically strong. Not only is the spying program Constitutionally wrong it is weakening the US in real and lasting ways.
  • First, what kind of numbnut country outsources their state communications services? Come on man.

    Then who are they going to get as a replacement? Some other company that has no doubt already been suborned by a secret agency?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      I dont think West Germany was given much option. With the quality and quantity of KGB, GRU, East German and other spies in play all aspects of West German telco networks would have been vital to the NSA and GCHQ.
      Later the tame German staff who grew up with/advanced into the post 1960's telco upgrades just kept selecting staff that where happy to serve under/with the GCHQ and NSA.
      German domestic and foreign intelligence just kept telling every elected gov that its was very secret and very vital.
      A few dec
  • Have I missed something here? Are the German authorities really sending sensitive information over the internet unencrypted? It's just not that hard to set up VPNs
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The German weak networks selected by trusted German gov crypto staff allow the USA/UK and friends in but keep other nations out :)
      The German gov staff hope this will allow Germany to be trusted by the US and UK and get more export grade US mil equipment.
  • by Tool Man (9826)

    This sort of thing is starting to hurt, right in the pocket book where it counts. That is exactly the right response to companies stabbing their consumers in the back.

  • The NSA has not only undermined our trust in the government (well... that's assuming there was any to begin with), but it's also wreaking huge devastation on our economy. How many US-based companies have lost huge amounts of foreign business due to these revelations?

    It's NOT Snowden's fault for revealing these actions. It's the US Government's fault for having their fingers in every conceivable cookie jar in the world, and forcing US-based companies to assist them with it (willingly, unwillingly, and even

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