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Is the US spying on your company? Are you Outsourced?

Is the US spying on your company? Are you Outsourced?

Yes says Angela Merkel and the German Government, who have just cancelled their contract with Verizon. The German interior ministry cancelled saying “the relationship between foreign intelligence agencies and companies” was linked to their decision. The local rival Deutsche Telekom will take over the services. Several other agencies are interconnected to the network are also likely to terminate their contract, a source said, the German Parliament being the next most likely.

The German decision follows that of the Brazil who dumped Microsoft for the government’s email services favouring a locally developed system and citing fears of American surveillance of emails by the National Security Agency. Microsoft’s General counsel Brad Smith said that the Snowden affair as it effects business “is getting worse, not better”. Later at the technology conference in San Francisco he stated “It is not blowing over”.

Cisco’s chief executive John Chambers, admitted “damage to China sales” and that there needed to be clearer international “rules of the road” on spying.”It is the wild wild west at times. We need to change” he said.

In Berlin’s case it transpires that Verizon was required by multiple court orders to, on an “ongoing daily” basis, supply detailed information concerning telephone calls across its network. CEO of Verizon Germany, Detlef Eppig issued a statement to counter the German government’s decision saying “Verizon Germany is a German company and we comply with German Law. We have made it clear our position that the US government is unable to access customer data stored outside the US”. A certain Mr Edward Snowden burst into hysterical laughter at this point.

Why am I potentially vulnerable? Well because most companies have outsourced networks and other technology services, sometimes many years ago. Outsourcing service contracts have failed to keep up with the latest NSA revelations, and corporate risk manager’s fears have all but been swept away by disbelieving boards. Will Mrs Merkel’s decision drive analysis of the component parts of corporate connectivity and thereby orchestrate wholesale change requirements for outsourced services? Or will Mr Eppig’s assurances be enough to quell suspicious minds?

Personally I would advise against holding your breath!

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