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article imageGerman journalists advised to steer clear of Google and Yahoo

By Anne Sewell     Nov 2, 2013 in Internet
The German Federation of Journalists has recommended to its members that they avoid using Google and Yahoo for searches and email services, to prevent snooping by US and British intelligence.
Citing "scandalous" reports of interception by the NSA and GCHQ of both web companies' traffic, the union, which represents around 38,000 journalists, said in a statement:
"The German Federation of Journalists recommends journalists to avoid until further notice the use of search engines and e-mail services from Google and Yahoo for their research and digital communication."
Michael Konken, head of the union, said that there are safe alternatives both for Internet searches and for accessing and sending email.
He said: "The searches made by journalists are just as confidential as the contact details of their sources and the contents of their communication with them."
According to a report in the Washington Post on Wednesday, the NSA in conjunction with GCHQ has tapped directly into the communication links used by Google and Yahoo, in order to move large amounts of email and other information between the overseas data centers.
While Google's chief legal officer said that the company was "outraged" at the apparent interception of data from its networks, the company declined to comment on the latest move by the German union.
International outrage has occurred from revelations by Edward Snowden on the huge scale of NSA surveillance worldwide, which now includes tapping the phones of world leaders.
Just last week, the German government reported that it had evidence of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone being monitored by US intelligence.
Deutsche Telekom said earlier this month that it wants German companies to cooperate in an endeavor to shield local Internet traffic from foreign intelligence services, including the NSA and GCHQ, although it seems that this could be an uphill battle to do. The company, together with its partner United Internet, has launched an initiative dubbed "E-mail made in Germany" in order to protect clients' email traffic.
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