Light Reading

Verizon Responds to German Spying Concerns

Mitch Wagner
6/26/2014
50%
50%

Verizon, which reportedly lost a contract for German services over allegations of US government spying, responded to those concerns Thursday. "Verizon Germany is a German company and we comply with German law," Detlef Eppig, managing director of Verizon Germany, said in a terse response.

Germany said this week that it is canceling its contract with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), following Edward Snowden's NSA spying allegations. Germany severed the Verizon contract as part of an overhaul of the government's communications infrastructure. Germany says it's giving the work to Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). (See Verizon's German Deal Could Be Just the First to Fall.)

Eppig said in his response emailed to reporters:

That blog post, "Thoughts on Foreign Data Storage and the Patriot Act," is dated Jan. 27 and says Verizon received no demands for data stored in other countries last year. It goes on to say: "Our view on the matter is simple: the U.S. government cannot compel us to produce our customers' data stored in data centers outside the U.S., and if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in court."

Even though Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act "allows a court to issue an order requiring a company operating in the U.S. to produce certain business records, it does not give the U.S. government the power to act outside the U.S.," the blog states. "More importantly, Section 215 does not grant the U.S. government access to customer data stored in the cloud; it only applies to business records of the cloud provider itself. So the U.S. government cannot use Section 215 to compel a company to produce customer data stored in data centers outside the U.S." (emphasis in original).

Search warrants and subpoenas can't be enforced outside the US, and Section 702 of the USA Patriot Act doesn't let the US government compel a US company to produce customer data stored in a data center outside the US, because the US company doesn't have "possession, custody or control of that data," the blog said. "For all these reasons, we do not believe the U.S. government may lawfully demand that Verizon turn over customer data stored in data centers outside the U.S., and if it were to do so, we would oppose the request in court."

The US government can use the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process to request help from local, in-country law enforcement agencies, Verizon says.

The company seems to be trying to say it's not cooperating with US attempts to spy on Germany -- without actually saying so. It does not explicitly say it hasn't given the US access to German data. And the company did not respond to our other questions:

  • Has Verizon lost this contract? What is its value?
  • How long has Verizon been serving the German government?
  • What does Verizon's involvement entail? What services does it provide?
  • Have any other governments or organizations expressed concern? Are any other contracts at risk?

If you have any inside information on what's going on here, leave a comment below or email me directly at wagner@lightreading.com.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(23)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/7/2014 | 10:43:43 AM
Re: Verification
Thanks Joe for a detailed insight. I can now see why Estonia is so important in European cloudspace. Lets see how it turns out!
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/6/2014 | 7:17:17 AM
Re: Verification
@nasimson:

My rationale for mentioning Estonia is that twofold:

1) This is not just a "random" European country.  From what I understand, the Tallinn University of Technology is offering great programs (taught in English, at that) that are growing.

2) The President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, chairs the European Commission's Cloud Partnership -- an organization of European countries focused on standardizing and jointly purchasing cloud solutions.  Ilves has also seized the opportunity of the NSA PRISM scandal to rally his European compatriots to stick together and team up for Eurocentric solutions that cut the US cloud out.

I think it may be an exciting time to pursue a cloud technology leadership role in Europe -- particularly in Estonia.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/6/2014 | 2:10:51 AM
Re: Verification
>   I think we will see a growing cloud market not just in Germany,
> but in European countries that formerly have not been particualrly
> significant players in the cloud sector.  Estonia, in particular, is one
> I would keep an eye on.

@ Joe: I can see that cloud services would grow in Europe in this context. However, why do you mention Estonia in particular? All that I know is that is a tiny little country in East Europe.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 11:41:19 PM
Re: Verification
> "Yeah, but we expect the spies to not get caught."

SNAP!


Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 11:36:21 PM
Re: Verification
@Michelle: It's all Marketing 101 (well, maybe not 101, but still, pretty simple).  Yes, people may "secretly" know the dark truth about you, but if you keep the focus on your rivals, say it first, say it loudly, say it often, then you control the messaging, and thus the perception.

Yeah, those secret things people think they know about you MIGHT be true, but the bad stuff about your rivals is DEFINITELY TRUE and REALLY BAD.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/30/2014 | 5:58:44 PM
Re: Verification
I don't think they're unclear on pulic servitude. I think they just have an air of elitism that makes them think they can have their cake & eat it too. Why not, especially since most people are not involved in their local & state government.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/30/2014 | 2:09:22 PM
Re: Verification
Yeah, but we expect the spies to not get caught. 

We've seen with Dianne Feinstein how government officials expect to have privacy rights not shared by the common citizenry. They're unclear on the concept of "public servants."
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/30/2014 | 2:07:20 PM
Re: Verification
nasimon - The business is going to Deutsche Telekom, a local company. Local to Germany, that is. 
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 10:17:52 AM
Re: Verification
@Joe I have seen European cloud computing customers move data away from US based data centers in an attempt to avoid US spying activities. This is an interesting trend considering the level of snooping done round the worls. Do other countries' governments really believe citizens are totally unaware of thier activies? 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/29/2014 | 10:37:08 PM
Re: Verification
> What do you think will happen next?

 


I think what will happen next is exactly what the German government says will happen next.  They'll move their business to local companies while trying to keep Germans from paying too much attention to the recent revelations in Spiegel about their own intelligence practices.

Ever since these leaks happened, the EU countries have been united in trying to use the news to their advantage to build and mobilize their own cloud industries (never mind, in some cases, their own parts in these surveillance activities).  I think we will see a growing cloud market not just in Germany, but in European countries that formerly have not been particualrly significant players in the cloud sector.  Estonia, in particular, is one I would keep an eye on.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (5) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones