Germany might go off the global Internet in response to the United States National Security Agency's recently uncovered surveillance activities.
Instead, German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, whose motto is "Life Is for Sharing," has proposed a national routing scheme that would see all data packets, including emails, transmitted only within the country's borders.
In particular, data packets would no longer go through discredited nodes in the U.S. and the UK.
The proposal was reportedly presented at Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Business on Oct. 1. Implementation would require support from foreign carriers such as Vodafone and Telefonica, which are apparently studying the proposal.
In light of technical and legal hurdles to the idea, DT has reportedly suggested that Germany pass a law making the national routing scheme mandatory.
DT's proposal is an outgrowth of an encrypted email service, ‘Email Made in Germany’, launched in August by the company's T-Online division with two other major German email providers: GMX and Web.de.
Iran proposed a similar move back in 2011, and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff is pushing legislation to force Internet companies such as Google and Facebook to store local data within Brazil's borders. Rousseff also wants to construct submarine cables that do not route through the U.S.; build Internet exchange points in Brazil; and create an encrypted email service through the country's postal service.
Experts point out that DT can set up a local Internet in Germany, however, such a venture would also require government funding and the network would require maintenance and possibly monitoring in the form of deep packet inspection, just to ensure network efficiency.