Germany just announced a decision not to renew its contract with Verizon, eight months after accusing the National Security Agency of using the phone service to spy on German chancellor Angela Merkel in October 2013, and then German ministers in February 2014.
In a translated German statement, Berlin said “both the demands on the network infrastructure as well as the threat of the networks … rise by sophisticated malicious programs.”
According to arstechnica.com, “Germany has had much stricter privacy and data protection laws than the United States.”
German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told Time Magazine that given the reports about NSA’s close relationship with Verizon, a continued partnership between Germany and Verizon can not continue.
“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,” Plate said.
Germany’s contract with Verizon will expire in 2015, Plate confirmed.
Time reports that Germany was already reconsidering its contracts with Verizon before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents confirming “electronic eavesdropping by the U.S. intelligence agency and Britain’s GCHQ.”