Germany considering own Internet in light of Chancellor Merkel phone tapping

Germany is considering creating their own walled off Internet in the wake of revelations that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was probably monitored continuously over the last eleven years by the NSA.

State-backed Deutsche Telekom is currently urging other German communications firms to "cooperate to shield local Internet traffic from foreign intelligence services" such as the National Security Agency (NSA), Reuters reported on Friday.

In September it was revealed that the U.S. agency could monitor almost any smartphone on the planet, Der Spiegel reported back then the phone tapping, which was speculated to have surfaced after American filmmaker and Der Spiegal author Laura Poitras obtained the information through whistleblower Snowden, was not a mass surveillance tactic and claimed only certain individuals of interest were targeted. 

In a telephone call with the German Chancellor, U.S. President Barack Obama initially denied the claims before later admitting that it did happen (but didn't know about it) and that he personally put a stop to it after finding out, but Merkel was reportedly livid over the allegations during the call. 

Germany is considered to be one of the most privacy-conscious countries in the world, and such revelations only serves to fan the flames for the need of greater European legislation on privacy laws, which are currently being beefed up by Germany and France and hope to be passed in 2015 by the member states.

Of course, the flip side is that if a walled Internet does indeed happen, popular sites such as Google and Facebook would no longer be reachable as they are hosted in the U.S., the move would probably prove unpopular with German citizens, like those in countries like Iran and China, where much of the worldwide web is censored, or simply unavailable due to their restrictive Internet.

Source & Image: ITProPortal

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The whole concept of "making your own internet" is asinine. The idea precludes the whole concept that this "private internet" must still exist in a physical environment. If you cannot guarantee physical security then it can still be hacked and traced from within the host nation. It would be much easier to anonomize traffic in the current configuration of the internet, where everything is funneled together. Making a segregated network is just doing part of the work for the people wanting to spy on you. With such a thing, they'd know exactly how to get to a network with *nothing* but the traffic they want to monitor.

Its official: the Americans are the new Germans and the Germans are the new Americans.

Its irrelevant what Obama knew or not. He is responsible. And one way or the other Americas standing as trustworthy democratic partner is sinking.

Edited by Borix, Oct 28 2013, 3:37pm :

How would you know if it stopped them? This is one of the world;s leading spy agency, I don't think there is much success to be had.. and it's not like you will know if they do breach it.

NinjaGinger said,
If someone produced a piece of software that stops the NSA or anyone else for that matter, They have a winner.

the NSA (or anyone else for that matter) could simply reverse engineer the program and exploit every bug they find.

Of course this does nothing to prevent the German version of the NSA from spying on the German people. Oh wait, no, only the US has spies. No other country would ever dare to spy on internet traffic.

draklin said,
Of course this does nothing to prevent the German version of the NSA from spying on the German people. Oh wait, no, only the US has spies. No other country would ever dare to spy on internet traffic.

Well the main problem, so to speak, is that no other country has the scope that the NSA has.

If you look up submarine cables you'll see that a ton ton ton of web traffic passes right through the US even if it's final destination isn't here. The NSA can easily tap into these since its on US soil.

The other problem is that US regularly goes on tv and blasts China and other countries for spying on their citizens. And always claims that since we live in a "free" country that doesn't happen here. And now it's been proved that it does and its much larger than other countries.

Of course. I don't think there is anyone that is saying that the NSA hasn't gone too far with its activities. I just find it funny that all of the countries are so quick to point to what the NSA is doing. I think it is to try and cast the attention away from what they are doing as well. Similar to what the US did with China as you pointed out.

Oh, Angela... You're so funny when you're angry

What? You're going to call it the Schnitzelnet? My side is getting sore Angela! Please stop making me laugh!

Hahaha, fair enough if they want to create such a thing, but you're relying on american and chinese designed/manufacturered networking and routing equipment, so you're still giving full access to either the USA or china and thus achieving nothing unless germany made all their own equipment...

They just need to create their own root servers that sync with the main ones to mostly fix the problem. it will remove Americas ability to snap up all traffic. and even if they buy Chinese hardware, the large volume data traffic of spying is easily detectable.

I think they more want the German stuff kept in Germany. If you write a mail in Germany to someone else in Germany that it is not routed over US ground

To be honest, what's wrong with a national Intranet, so long as you have the choice to connect to the Internet? It makes sense for government and state services anyway.

Nothing's wrong with it, but how do you isolate it from the wider internet? For the idea to be successful in its design it would need to be completely isolated from the outside world. That would become very hard when you have millions of people accessing the inside and outside net, each device is an open door which can let the NSA (or others) in

No doubt. You'd have thought they'd have done this years ago. I mean, you KNOW they're spying on us just as much, so they know how that stuff works.

Steven Parker said,
To be honest, what's wrong with a national Intranet, so long as you have the choice to connect to the Internet? It makes sense for government and state services anyway.

if the reason to do this is to stop the NSA hacking your gear, then it needs 100% isolation. There is no middle ground if the above aim is to be secured. So the problem here is how would this work in the real world and not in the land of nice ideas and fluffy dreams.

Congratulations US, you officialy destroyed the free and open internet.

If countries are going to create their own internets because they are scared that the US spies on them, which I understand completely (that they are scared, I mean), yeah, that's just not good...

Studio384 said,
Congratulations US, you officialy destroyed the free and open internet.

If countries are going to create their own internets because they are scared that the US spies on them, which I understand completely (that they are scared, I mean), yeah, that's just not good...

Most of the Internet traffic flows through the east coast of the US. And according to Snowden's leak, the US government taps right into those routers.

What I foresee is world countries willing to create alternatives so their traffic won't rely so much on US routes.

Studio384 said,
Congratulations US, you officialy destroyed the free and open internet.

If countries are going to create their own internets because they are scared that the US spies on them, which I understand completely (that they are scared, I mean), yeah, that's just not good...

Article where this is "officially" declared? Or simply you saying so?

Obama didn't deny the allegations. He just said the US was not tapping Merkel's phone at the moment, leaving the question if in the past they did unanswered.

The Wall Street Journal first said that Obama had denied these allegations, a day after reported that he had not denied the allegations. Latest version from them is that Merkel was indeed being monitored and when he found out he put a stop to it.

Odom said,
The Wall Street Journal first said that Obama had denied these allegations, a day after reported that he had not denied the allegations. Latest version from them is that Merkel was indeed being monitored and when he found out he put a stop to it.

Thanks for the updates

(Slightly unrelated.)
Local intranet nationalized?
Might not be such a bad idea, might lets smaller companies get a foothold in a dominated market

In a telephone call with the German Chancellor, U.S. President Barack Obama denied the claims, but Merkel is reportedly livid over the allegations.

Seems like we're heading for another cold war

Edited by Aheer.R.S., Oct 28 2013, 9:32am :