Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile, has some interesting plans for the Internet. At a conference on Monday, the company announced that they will launch a secure service for smaller companies who can’t afford the high cost of security. For a low monthly service fee, small companies will gain access to a secure server meant for local Internet traffic. All security will be handled by Deutsche Telekom, leaving little variation for cost to those who subscribe to the service.
This comes after the US admitted to “keeping tabs” on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Deutsche Telekom, a German company, has urged other German communications companies to assist in blocking foreign intelligence services access to local Internet traffic. Deutsche Telekom’s information suggests only 13% of German companies have not been affected by a cyber attack, and about 33% of a sampling of 200 companies with 1,000 or more employees get several attacks weekly.
By offering the service, Deutsche Telekom is essentially taking matters into their own hands, and seems to have the blessing of the European Union. EU telecoms commissioner Neelie Kroes told the conference it was wiser to stop the spying by increasing security measures, not pursuing legal action after the fact. “If you want to stop a burglar breaking through your front door, you don't need a good lawyer, you need a good lock” she quipped. While salient advice, it doesn’t have everyone convinced.
Deutsche Telekom board member Reinhard Clemens told the conference “Hackers will have no chance” when prompted to discuss the new server. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said “We ain’t seen nothing yet. The offense is light years ahead of the defense and that is likely to remain so.” With crafty hackers making headway in different directions every day, and Internet traffic growing increasingly mobile, it will be interesting to see if Deutsche Telekom is onto something, or just spinning their wheels.