After another cable leak from Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had tapped the phones of thirty-five world leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private mobile phone, Deutsche Telekom is calling for a German-only internet.
Though the company is urging the country to restrict internet usage to within the country’s own limits and filter out non-local traffic, other companies have already spoken out against it. Not only would that require rival companies to share access to their networks, but the internet has become so globalized that it would be an incredibly difficult feat to achieve.
Sites like Google, Facebook and YouTube would be unusable. Because of this, citizens are unlikely to support the measure.
Some experts are praising the company for the suggestion, seeing their heart as being in the right place. Many others have pointed out that it seems like a blatant marketing move.
More moderate solutions are more likely to grow. For example, it is right now possible to pass email through an encryption program provided by Deutsche Telekom. Titled Emails Made In Germany, the optional service provides some protection against spying for the average user. Allowing other optional services would be a much more understandable alternative to creating an entirely different network for Germans only.
Either way, it shows that the fight between the US government and other nations is only growing. The revelation that the NSA had tapped and monitored the personal phones of world leaders came as a surprise to many, given how many of the numbers had been previously unknown to intelligence agencies.
Despite the spying, memos admit that no pertinent information was every attained, and the project had little to no success or purpose. It is hard to say whether that makes things better, or worse.
What is the latest from the White House on the issue? Press Secretary Jay Carney commented in a daily briefing:
“The revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries, and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels. These are very important relations both economically and for our security, and we will work to maintain the closest possible ties.”
In the meantime, it is unlikely that Deutsche Telekom will rally enough support for their initiative. But expect to see many more services popping up all over the world in response.