Germany proposes locked-down national internet after recent NSA scandal

By on October 25, 2013, 6:00 PM
google, facebook, nsa, germany, deutsche telekom, edward snowden, national internet, locked-down, balkanisation, torsten gerpott, e-mail made in germany

This morning information on the NSA phone tapping of 35 different world leaders dropped courtesy of whistleblower Edward Snowden, and now Deutsche Telekom is proposing to create a national internet to shield German users from prying eyes.

Deutsche Telekom, which is 32% owned by the German government, wants to create a locked-down national internet to protect itself from further NSA privacy attacks. It is also pushing for other German communications and internet companies to back the proposal, according to reports from Reuters.

As many have suggested, this is much easier said than done, technically speaking it will be very difficult to create this kind of national protection without blocking the country off from services such as Google and Facebook.

The main problem here is that this kind of censorship goes completely against what the internet is, and as Reuters mentions, it could very well lead to a "Balkanisation of the internet" if other nations decide to lock-down the web in this way as well. Currently, this kind of control is only really seen in nations like China and Iran where the governments impose strict filters over what is available online. "It is internationally without precedent that the internet traffic of a developed country bypasses the servers of another country," professor of business and telecoms at the University of Duisburg-Essen Torsten Gerpott told Reuters.

It is hard to say at this point how serious the suggestion for a locked-down German internet actually is, but it wouldn't be the first time the state-backed Deutsche Telekom made a move in this direction. Back in August, the company launched "E-mail made in Germany," a service that provides encrypted email that is sent through local German servers only.

(Image via AP/Rick Bowmer, Shutterstock)




User Comments: 16

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2 people like this | psycros psycros said:

This is the inevitable direction for the internet and international relations alike. The Internet didn't bring us closer together: it made it much easier to become split into "virtual tribes". Electronic surveillance has brought us to very brink of Orwell's nightmare. The world is going to be an extremely paranoid and dangerous place a decade from now as governments and pan-national corporations become more intertwined than ever. I fully expect a movement of "unpluggers" who reject the national security state to have arisen by then. If it doesn't then we're going to lose what little freedom we still enjoy.

1 person liked this | pmkrefeld said:

Most stupid Headline I seen in Weeks.

Telecom is not Germany and it is not controlled by the government.

And even here (in Germany) there was only a short annotation on that topic which no one took serious.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So then, is this reaction knee jerk hysteria, or a gold plated found excuse for censorship, isolation, and control of the local web?

How many of you think Deutsch-Telecom will still be snooping on your online activities, "for your own good"?

Let me see a show of hands..........

Guest said:

Encryption and Open Source software is the way forward, not closing off information and communication.

distantreality said:

Oh please this will not stop anyone from spying on them and the USA after world war 2 won't stop spying on germany no matter what scheme any of them in europe comes up with

misor misor said:

"take the red pill or the blue pill, the choice is yours"- from the matrix.

as if Germany does not spy on its own citizens and on foreign objects.

it's just the u.s.a. is caught with its pants down for now. in Britain, remember who spy who and for what reasons.

Renrew Renrew said:

I find this whole world outrage at a scandal that is manufactured for the low information voter, to be the first act in the theatre of the absurd.

If 35 countries are upset and had no knowledge of being spied on, they need to fire their leaders immediately because they must have been living in a bubble for the last 53 years.

Angela Merkel was very familiar with the spying apparatus of East Germany and I venture to say most other countries, since she held the position of asst. Propaganda manager in that now defunct Communist government. Her feigned outrage along with the Mexicans, French et al, is but to appease their voters, and has little traction in the diplomatic world .Locking down their national internet would be political suicide.

In the meantime, our whistle blower extraordinaire has yet to release his whole repertoire of NSA goodies. When he does, you might see some further Oscar worthy acting, from as yet, unknown players.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Oh please this will not stop anyone from spying on them and the USA after world war 2 won't stop spying on germany no matter what scheme any of them in europe comes up with

This is not just about Germany. They are potentially setting a worldwide precedent for countries to tell the NSA that what they are doing is not OK. Something that has been a long time coming.

Moving the world away from a US controlled internet is the issue here. People can continue to try and spy etc as they have been doing for years but strongarming manufacturers into putting in backdoors, abusing DNS root server control and access, all of these kinds of tactics are in the harsh light of day now and voters the world over are asking their own governments "Why have you allowed this? Why are innocent people's data being collected and potentially exploited?"

Of course this wouldn't be a problem if the NSA or the US Government was trustworthy, but they are not. They are as corrupt and abusing of power as any other country in the world. Commit some of the worst war crimes in the world. Kill thousands of civilians annually. Deprivation of liberty without charge, violating UN conventions. Assassinations. Supplying weapons and funding to terrorist organisations. Basically rank hypocrisy of the highest order.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This is not just about Germany. They are potentially setting a worldwide precedent for countries to tell the NSA that what they are doing is not OK. Something that has been a long time coming.
Not really. All the heavy hitters on the planet have sophisticated secret police and espionage protocols in place. Are you self righteous enough to think it's in our best interest not to spy, or possibly "spy back" at a country like China? 'Cause if you do dude, you're living in a vacuum.

Guest said:

Well said SHIV, US of A is not trustworthy at all, most hippocratic country of all times. Most arrogant whose males and military think they are...

distantreality said:

Moving the world away from a US controlled internet is the issue here. People can continue to try and spy etc as they have been doing for years but strongarming manufacturers into putting in backdoors, abusing DNS root server control and access, all of these kinds of tactics are in the harsh light of day now and voters the world over are asking their own governments "Why have you allowed this? Why are innocent people's data being collected and potentially exploited?"

I think it is all so funny seeing as the internet was started in the first place as a response to the Soviet Union ie: ARPANET which was branched out slowly connecting other networks over time to eventually to what we have today. So if these countries really thought the USA wasn't spying why did they use it in the first place??? seriously get a clue

1 person liked this | Guest said:

It is very arrogant not distant reality. Internet is used by world because it was promoted as commercial vehicle by US corporations with hidden agendas and now so called funny people asking why it is used by people. First you sell cola and then asking why people drink it. Does not it show how their minds are corrupted?

distantreality said:

It is very arrogant not distant reality. Internet is used by world because it was promoted as commercial vehicle by US corporations with hidden agendas and now so called funny people asking why it is used by people. First you sell cola and then asking why people drink it. Does not it show how their minds are corrupted?

So are you saying these countries should of had better spies?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It is very arrogant not distant reality. Internet is used by world because it was promoted as commercial vehicle by US corporations with hidden agendas and now so called funny people asking why it is used by people. First you sell cola and then asking why people drink it. Does not it show how their minds are corrupted?
I can't believe you think that line of BS was important enough to post in bold. But what's even more incomprehensible, is the forum's software allows "guests" to do it.

I think I'll start a thread, in "Site feedback and suggestions", to see if we can curtail that functionality.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I think it is all so funny seeing as the internet was started in the first place as a response to the Soviet Union ie: ARPANET which was branched out slowly connecting other networks over time to eventually to what we have today. So if these countries really thought the USA wasn't spying why did they use it in the first place??? seriously get a clue

Everyone knew they could. Now we know they do and what they do. Their "friends" are not happy about the level of spying. That is all that is happening and hopefully this moves the internet to a state of more neutral ownership.

How about you "get a clue"?

distantreality said:

Everyone knew they could. Now we know they do and what they do. Their "friends" are not happy about the level of spying. That is all that is happening and hopefully this moves the internet to a state of more neutral ownership.

Most people knew they do already even the ones that are in shock about it...and if you didn't you haven't lived on this planet very long at all!!

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