The German government has announced that they will be switching away from Verizon for internet services as an ISP for the German government. They noted that the reasons for this decision had to do with increased demands on the network and the prevalence of the NSA in Verizon’s business. Based on the translation that was available, it appears as though the German government is merely using this as an opportunity to switch internet services to a company that is German. Sure, the likelihood that their networks will get snooped on by the NSA will probably go down, or at least become more difficult.
However, usually, such moves are usually just being used by the companies not involved to gain an upper hand on their competition, which is in this case Verizon. While the German government hasn’t quite made it clear who they intend to replace Verizon with, it is quite clear that the NSA’s snooping and relationship with Verizon has made doing business in Germany difficult for Verizon. This will likely not be the end of such moves by European governments and I suspect there will be more companies that will lobby their governments to switch to local ISPs or technology companies in order to ‘better protect’ themselves. While simultaneously taking an opportunity of bad PR on the part of American companies to snatch away their business.
According to an AP report, Verizon was unable to keep the contract (which they’ve held since 2010) due to the fact that they weren’t able to meet some core requirements of the German government put on the company, likely as a result of the NSA’s snooping revealed by Edward Snowden and publications like Der Spiegel. As a result of not meeting the German government’s demands on these requirements, Verizon is losing the contract in 2015 to another company, likely one based in Europe or even Germany.