Merkel proposes European data network to bypass USA

17 Feb 2014

Angela Merkel photo via Wikimedia Commons

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed the creation of a European communications network in a bid to improve data security, bypassing the need to go through the US.

Speaking in her weekly podcast to the German people, Merkel said the time had come for a serious discussion about the future of data security and would bring up the issue with French President Francois Hollande.

Merkel herself was the subject of extensive monitoring, as documents released by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden reportedly show that the American National Security Agency (NSA) had been given approval from US President Barack Obama to monitor the chancellor’s phone, which significantly dented European/US relations.

According to the documents, Merkel’s phone had been tapped since 2002 but upon this information being released and once described as causing “grave damage” should it ever be made public, Obama stated her phone had not been monitored for a number of years.

In her statement (German transcript), Merkel said, “Above all, we’ll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic