Verizon loses German contracts to Deutsche-Telcom

US Telco Verizon, which has spent a fortune lobbying US politicians, must be thoroughly miffed that it has been let down by them.

The Germans have told Verizon to sling its hook and it will not get any more lucrative government contracts in that country because of its close connection to the US government.

Reports based on disclosures by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden alleged Washington had conducted mass surveillance in Germany and had even eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Berlin insisted on a “no-spy” deal, but these collapsed after the United States said that since it ruled the world now everyone had to do what they say.

Germany launched an overhaul of its internal communications and secure government networks. Booting out US companies as a security risk seems to have been the result.

Germany’s Interior Ministry said the pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly developed viruses or Trojans are rising.

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

Verizon has been providing network infrastructure for the German government’s Berlin-Bonn network, used for communication between ministries, since 2010, the statement said. The contract is set to expire in 2015.

Instead Deutsche Telekom would replace services provided by Verizon. Deutsche Telekom is already responsible for the most sensitive communications between ministries or between the government and German intelligence agencies.

Verizon is the second-biggest US telephone company, but the outfit moaned that Verizon Germany was a German company and we comply with German law.

It said that Verizon did not receive any demands from Washington in 2013 for data stored in other countries and the US government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in data centres outside the country. If it did, Verizon Germany would challenge that attempt in a court.

Earliers this month the Guardian revealed that the FBI and NSA are collecting all call information from Verizon users in the US. It was forcing Verizon to comply using the Patriot Act.