- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
German firms poach email business after NSA snoop scandal
MUNICH - German email companies are trying to turn a profit off America’s NSA spying scandal by stealing away business from the likes of American rivals Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
Email users in Germany concerned about the privacy of their messages are turning to German email providers that have taken advantage of the opportunity to tout themselves as being more secure than their U.S. competitors.
While this marketing strategy is unlikely to lure many email users from across the Atlantic, it is increasingly popular with Germans who had been using sites like Gmail and Hotmail before revelations surfaced that the National Security Agency may be reading their emails with the blessing of these companies.
“The moment that the data is in the U.S., it will definitely be used by the NSA, and subsequently by other government agencies including the CIA, FBI and the DEA,” Thilo Weichert, head of the Independent Center for Data Protection, told a German news agency. “If I use Google Mail, it’s pretty certain that my data will be saved on American servers, and can then be accessed by the NSA.”
T-Online, the largest Internet service provider in Germany, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, the same company that owns U.S. provider T-Mobile, told Der Spiegel that there has been a “stronger interest” in its email service since the NSA scandal broke.
Seeing an opportunity to attract new customers, Deutsche Telekom launched a new service known as “Email Made in Germany” earlier this month. It encrypts emails and keeps them on local servers, a more secure process than transferring emails through international servers.
Freenet has enjoyed an 80 percent increase in membership over the last three weeks, Der Spiegel reported, largely because the email provider is known for strong anonymity protection.
During the same period, 1&1, a German Web hosting company, has seen more than 100,000 new users sign up for its email services, including GMS and web.de.
This comes after Lavabit, an American email service that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is believed to have used, was shut down, leaving 300,000 users looking for another secure email provider.
It is believed that Ladar Levison, the owner of Lavabit, shut down the site rather than comply with NSA requests regarding Mr. Snowden.
“I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States,” Mr. Levison warned.
German politicians have also been considering how to protect themselves from U.S. surveillance programs. A member of the business-friendly Free Democrats recently hosted a “crypto party” for fellow politicians, where they learned how to encrypt their emails.
“It’s the same as locking your car,” said Jimmy Schulz, the party’s host. “Data have to be protected from trespassers, no matter whether they are members of the intelligence service or criminals.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Brewer signs 1 of 4 pro-gun bills passed Wednesday
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.