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German Telecoms See Marketing Opportunity in NSA Fears

German Telecoms See Marketing Opportunity in NSA Fears

Today in international tech news: German telecoms tap into email surveillance fears; France is ticked about new NSA surveillance revelations; a U.S. judge says that Yahoo must use Microsoft Bing in Taiwan and Hong Kong; a Chinese media outlet's Twitter account is hacked; and, having had a go at Apple, Chinese media could be turning its attention to Samsung.

By David Vranicar
10/22/13 9:50 AM PT

German telecommunications companies are marketing email services as being National Security Agency-proof, a potentially fruitful ploy in a country where a past marred by sinister data collection has left people yearning for privacy.

Deutsche Telekom recently announced plans for a national internal network. The plan calls for emails to be housed entirely on domestic servers that are -- as far as people can tell -- immune to NSA snooping.

In August, a handful of companies, including Deutsche Telekom, GMX and web.de, launched a marketing campaign called "Email Made in Germany."

[Source: The Guardian]

France Ticked About NSA Surveillance

France's government expressed anger Monday over revelations that the U.S. carried out extensive eavesdropping in France.

France summoned the U.S. ambassador, Charles Rivkin, after an article in Le Monde -- the top newspaper there -- reported that the NSA scoured 70 million digital communications inside France during the month from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013. That revelation came from documents leaked by Edward Snowden; the article was written by Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first broke the NSA story.

French President Francois Hollande reportedly had a phone chat with President Obama on Monday.

France, however, was tempered in its response. There was little fiery rhetoric -- unlike in Brazil, where the president lambasted U.S. surveillance -- as officials simply said that such surveillance was "totally unacceptable." The French Interior Minister said in a radio address that the news was "shocking" and would "require explanation."

[Source: The New York Times]

Judge: Yahoo Must Use Bing in Taiwan, Hong Kong

A U.S. District judge ruled Monday that Yahoo must use Microsoft's Bing search technology in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In 2010, Yahoo and Microsoft inked a 10-year deal called "Search Alliance." As part of the partnership, Yahoo was supposed to start using Bing in Taiwan and Hong Kong this month. It asked a judge to delay the launch until 2014, however, because, according to court filings, Yahoo wanted to see if Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's successor was as committed to the deal as Ballmer, who announced in August that he would be stepping down.

That wait-and-see approach was deemed a breach of the contract.

[Source: TechCrunch]

Chinese Media Twitter Account Hacked

CCTV News, China's state-run broadcaster, said one of its Twitter accounts was hacked after a tweet claimed that the country's president had called for a probe into corruption allegations.

The tweets went out in English, which surely limited their impact in China -- to say nothing of the fact that Twitter is blocked there anyway.

[Source: GreatFire.org via Reuters]

China Targets Samsung

Having already taken a bite out of Apple, Chinese media set its sights on Samsung, at least for a night.

State-run CCTV aired a 30-minute broadcast claiming that Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models have serious flaws that cause the devices to lose power and require the batteries to be removed and reinserted before being turned back on. This, the special said, could cause irreparable damage -- and even if it is reparable, those fixes cost between US$130 and $330.

Apple was forced to issue an apology to consumers in China earlier this year after state-run media there blitzed the company with similar "this company is garbage" reporting. That said, it is far too early to say that the Samsung report is anything but a one-off special.

[Source: Tech In Asia]


David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.


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