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Merkel proposes European data network to prevent NSA spying

Posted by malcolm on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 12:29

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has revealed that she wants to construct a European data network in order to combat NSA surveillance of European politicians and citizens.

In her weekly Podcast, the Chancellor said that she planned to raise the issue in a meeting with French President François Holland.

Above all we’ll talk about European providers that offer security to our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather one could build up a communications network inside Europe.

The proposals have been prompted by the Snowden revelations on the extent of surveillance by American and UK security agencies. In particular, the Chancellor is said to have been angered by reports that her own phone had been bugged by the NSA. A recent report in Der Spiegel also claimed that the NSA tapped 60 million German phone calls on a single day in 2013.

But the plans have been met with scepticism by members of the technical community. Speaking to the BBC, AAISP director Adrian Kennard argued against political interference in routing decisions, calling instead for greater use of encryption.

Routing is a lot better when you are not bolting on loads of policy stuff. It is bad enough when routing policy is purely technical or commercially based, but if you get political in there as well it will be even worse.

At the end of the day you basically have to assume the internet could be snooped on and make use of encryption to ensure that the interconnected links cannot be snooped on whenever possible.

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