German parliament drops US telco Verizon over security concerns

Snowden fallout continues as comms contracts handed to Deutsche Telekom

Tags: GermanyPrivacyUSAVerizon Wireless
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German parliament drops US telco Verizon over security concerns Snowden papers revealed a secret eavesdropping campaign against Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  June 29, 2014

German lawmakers have agreed to terminate a contract with US telecoms provider Verizon Communications, following last year's revelations of US surveillance programmes, Reuters reported.

Germany's lower house, the Bundestag, announced on Friday that Verizon's contract, which was due to run until the end of the year, would be ended "as soon as possible". The announcement came just a day after the Interior Ministry said it would not renew its contract with Verizon.

Last year, former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked thousands of documents to world media outlets, including German daily Der Spiegel, revealing details of surveillance programmes. One document concerned an eavesdropping operation on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Verizon on Thursday said Verizon Germany is a German company that has always abided by the country's laws. It added that the US government had made no requests for personal data in 2013.

Deutsche Telekom, which is already contracted to provide the services for the government's most sensitive communications, will assume Verizon's role.

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