The German Government has reportedly tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts, following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the US National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) mass surveillance activities.
Allegedly, as of April 2014, any technology companies that are suspected of dealing with foreign security and intelligence agencies, like the NSA, will be disqualified from the procurement process and banned from taking on certain public contracts in Germany.
German Interior Ministry spokesman, Johannes Dimroth, reportedly stated that foreign technology companies will be required to declare that they are not contractually or legally obliged to pass on confidential information to foreign security and intelligence agencies. It follows that any company that cannot make such a declaration will be excluded from taking on public contracts in Germany.
This move by the German Government is not surprising. Germany was said to be considering starting criminal proceedings into the NSA’s alleged surveillance of German citizens but has recently dropped its investigations due to a lack of evidence.
Clearly the approach that the German Government is said to be taking could have a negative impact on the business of many technology companies, especially those from the US. It will be interesting to see whether any other countries will implement similar rules.