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PRISM: Germany and France want EU-only internet to avoid US spies

17 Feb 2014

Germany and France will discuss the possibility of setting up a pan-European internet network in order to avoid US government spying.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel announced in her weekly podcast that she intended to raise the idea in a meeting with French president François Hollande on Wednesday, it has been widely reported.

The network would ensure any emails and other forms of communication sent over the internet would not need to travel via providers in the US.

“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,” she said, as reported by The Independent. “Rather one could build up a communications network inside Europe.”

French officials were said to have welcomed the chance to discuss the proposal. The European Union (EU) last week also called for internet control to be taken further out of US hands, by increasing the amount of global stakeholders involved in its running.

The idea has already been mooted before within Germany, with internet service provider Deutsche Telekom revealing it was considering its own internal system so users in Germany would not have to send data outside the nation.

The willingness of European leaders to discuss such high-level responses to the PRISM spying revelations of 2013 underlines the damage that has been done to international trust.

Not only did the US engage in mass surveillance of millions of messages gathered online, but it was also revealed to have tapped the phones of world leaders, including Merkel.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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