On Thursday, the German government disclosed that it would not be renewing their communications contract with the U.S.-based telecom giant Verizon when it expires in 2015, citing concerns over the company’s potential obligation to follow U.S. spying orders.
Verizon had secured this lucrative deal to supply the German government with a network infrastructure for inter-ministerial communication back in 2010 when the company was pushing to expand its overseas business. Almost 8 percent of Verizon’s total revenue comes from international contracts like the one about to be terminated in Germany.
Germany’s Interior Minister explained the decision in a statement saying, “The ties revealed between foreign intelligence agencies and firms in the wake of the US National Security Agency affair show that the German government needs a very high level of security for its critical networks.”
This latest move might be the largest blow a U.S.-based company has faced since Edward Snowden began leaking details of NSA spying that took place beyond the American border, including the wiretapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private phone calls.
Once the contract is up, Germany’s own Deutsche Telekom will be taking over the services Verizon provided. By going with a German company, the government can ensure that no international policies will compromise the security of German government communications.