The German Government Doesn't Trust Verizon to Protect Its Data From the NSA

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 26 2014 6:45 PM

The German Government Doesn't Trust Verizon to Protect Its Data From the NSA

Verizon will lose its Internet provider contract with German government agencies.

Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Germany doesn't like the look in Verizon's eyes.

Verizon is an Internet service provider for multiple German government divisions, though not German intelligence agencies. Still, the government is ending its contract with the Internet provider because of concerns that Verizon is giving the NSA access to German data.


Germany's concern is understandable given revelations from Edward Snowden last year that the United States had surveilled Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German citizens. German Interior Ministry spokesperson Tobias Plate told the Associated Press, “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.”

Verizon's “Verizon Germany” division denies this, though, and maintains that it does not comply with NSA data requests or those from any other U.S. intelligence agency. The company points to a Verizon blog post that explains that the U.S. government doesn't have access to data that is stored on servers outside the United States. Detlef Eppig the managing director of Verizon Germany told the AP in a statement, “Verizon Germany is a German company, and we comply with German law.”

Furthermore, the Washington Post points out that Der Spiegel published a report just last week about close ties and cooperation between the NSA and German intelligence agencies, so maybe Verizon isn't really the problem here. From the German government's perspective, though, it probably can't hurt to play it safe.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.