The Washington Post

German government to drop Verizon over NSA spying fears

(Don Ryan, Associated Press)
(Don Ryan /Associated Press)

Reports of U.S. spying on German citizens -- including German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- caused outrage in the European nation last year after a wave of revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. It even led to German parliamentary hearings on the issue, which started this spring.

And now the German government is ending its contract with Verizon over fears the telecom provider could be letting U.S. intelligence agencies snoop on sensitive communications, the Associated Press reports.

"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," German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told AP. Verizon has provided Internet service to a number of German government departments but not intelligence to agencies according to Plate.

Germany's current contract with Verizon will expire in 2015, he said.

"Verizon Germany is a German company, and we comply with German law," said Verizon Germany managing director Detlef Eppig in a statement, which also referred questions to a post on the company's policy blog that it says outlines "the inability of the US Government to access customer data stored outside the US."

While various officials, including Merkel, have expressed concern about U.S. spying, a report from German magazine Der Spiegel last week suggested a close relationship between the NSA and German intelligence agencies.


Have more to say about this topic? We take your questions every week in our weekly livechat, Switchback, Fridays at 11 a.m. ET. The comment box is open, so submit your questions now.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat
Next Story
Hayley Tsukayama · June 26, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.