German government blocks contracts for firms involved in the NSA scandal

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It has emerged that it isn’t just the Chinese government that is wary of American companies following the NSA revelations – the German government has also made similar moves to block companies linked to the NSA from German government IT contracts.

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(Pic from here)

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the German coalition government has amended certain laws to ensure that companies suspected from dealing with foreign secret services are not given contracts. In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news over the last year… that means pretty much every household name.

Once amended, companies that receive contracts from the state will have to sign a contract that states they won’t pass any data relating to German citizens on to external agencies. This will mainly apply to American companies that are expected to give access to the data they collect.

This move could be a big deal for US tech companies. For example, the US-based IT company Computer Sciences Corporation was in the past awarded with over 100 contracts in Germany. If this trend continues, the NSA revelations could seriously damage American companies as governments around the world look elsewhere.

You have to wonder if Microsoft, already slipping in the consumer space compared to what it was a few years ago, as one probably the biggest supplier of business and corporate IT in the world, is getting a bit worried.

Nicholas Fearn