German government ends contract with Verizon over spying fear

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Berlin, Germany (4E) – The German government is not renewing its contract with Verizon to provide network infrastructure and Internet services for its departments.

The German ministry of the interior said Thursday the contract will be allowed to run out until its expiration in 2015 as leaks by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the second biggest U..S. telecommunications firm’s sharing of its Internet backbone to the British intelligence agency GCHQ for the conduct of mass surveillance.

“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,” BBC quoted German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate as saying.

“Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign intelligence agencies and firms in the wake of the U.S. National Security Agency affair, show that the German government needs a very high level of security for its critical networks,” Plate said.

The cancellation of the Verizon contract comes amid Germany’s investigation of the alleged NSA tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Documents leaked by Snowden included a list of world leaders subject to surveillance by the NSA.

Federal prosecutor Harald Range announced the investigation on June 4.

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