• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German politicians to get encrypted phones

The Local · 21 Nov 2013, 09:04

Published: 21 Nov 2013 09:04 GMT+01:00

The interior ministry of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Social Democratic Party (SPD) counterparts have, Bild newspaper said, decided on “urgent” guidelines for ministers' and top ranking officials' mobile phones.

The parties are currently in coalition negotiations over forming Germany's next government. 

Under the new government politicians will only make calls on encrypted phones, meaning mobiles which are not protected will become the exception instead of the norm. It means iPhones will no longer be allowed for official correspondence.

“Our conversations and communication structure have to be safer,” the government report said, following news at the end of October that Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was being tapped by US intelligence agencies, and that both the UK and US embassies in Berlin allegedly had listing posts on the roof of their buildings. 

CLICK HERE for seven questions Germany should ask the NSA

Finer details were drawn up by the Bonn federal office for information security (BSI). It has said that discussing official matters over the phone should only be done so on one that is BSI-approved.

The software is not iPhone-compatible, so Apple products will start disappearing from the German parliament.

German media reported that eavesdropping on Merkel's phone may have started in 2002, when she was Germany's main opposition leader and three years before she became chancellor.

The National Security Agency (NSA) stopped spying on Merkel after the White House learned of the snooping in an internal mid-year review, the Wall Street Journal reported last month in the first public acknowledgement that there was US eavesdropping.

Story continues below…

German spy chiefs also travelled to Washington in the aftermath of the scandal to try and get answers from American security officials about the extent of the phone tapping.

READ MORE: US attacks 'outrageous' media probe into its 'secret wars'

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany's first Isis war crimes trial starts in Frankfurt
Photo: DPA

A German jihadist suspect went on trial Tuesday for war crimes in Syria after allegedly posing for photographs holding the severed heads of two victims of the conflict.

Pegida leader found guilty of inciting hatred
Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA

Lutz Bachmann, the head of the anti-Islamic group Pegida, was found guilty by a Dresden court on Tuesday of inciting hatred.

Police: 'house of horrors' pair tortured, killed 2 women
Investigators search the crime scene. Photo: DPA

A German couple lured women to their village home with personal contact ads, then trapped, tortured and killed at least two of them, authorities said Tuesday.

Police catch 3-year-old joyriding in mother’s car
"You looking at me?" Photo: PublicDomainPictures

When police in western Germany stopped a car which was swerving across the road on Monday, they couldn't believe their eyes at the sight of the driver.

20 years of remembering the Holocaust on German streets
Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

20 years ago today, on May 3rd 1996, the first Stolpersteine - brass plaques laid in the street to remember Holocaust victims - were laid in Berlin. They have now spread all across Europe.

The Local List
5 reasons to drop everything and go to Stuttgart right now
A glorious evening on the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

The capital of Baden-Württemberg isn't just home to some of Germany's best-loved auto brands – it's a city with a rich history and buzzing life of its own to discover.

German daily blasts Erdogan in bilingual edition
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

Die tageszeitung published a German-Turkish edition on Tuesday, World Press Freedom Day, that denounced media censorship under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European silence about it.

Hundreds of hosts ignore Berlin’s Airbnb ban
Photo: DPA

People who rent out whole apartments online are threatened with huge fines under a new rule in the German capital. But that isn’t stopping many landlords from continuing to cash in.

Trial begins of woman who left newborn in airport toilet
File photos: DPA

A 23-year-old woman is to face trial in Bavaria on Tuesday on suspicion of having left her live newborn baby in a toilet at Munich airport.

Blasting AfD won't win back voters, warns Merkel
File photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned senior members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party not to attack Germany's rising populist party too aggressively, Bild reported on Tuesday.

Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Culture
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
International
6 ways Mexico and Germany are secretly the best of friends
Munich
Drunk man falls onto tracks, 3 trains pass before anyone notices
Culture
The 7 most German things that happened at the 'German Grammys'
National
Could Germany ban diesel cars from city centres?
Travel
Eight things you never knew about the German Autobahn
Society
Police force naked driver to trek to brothel on foot
National
Bavarian town finally strips Hitler of honorary citizenship
Society
Brandenburg faces wrath of Flying Spaghetti Monster
International
German retiree 'fed to dog' by Russian wife in Mallorca
National
Ordinary Germans toast love online in face of Brussels bombings
National
Germany calls for "strength in unity" after Brussels bombings
7,805
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd