Deutsche Telekom, WEB.DE and GMX launch "E-mail made in Germany" initiative

Aug 09, 2013

  • Automatic encryption of data over all transmission paths
  • Secure data storage in Germany as a reputable location
  • Designation of secure e-mail addresses

Deutsche Telekom and United Internet have launched an initiative within the industry for secure e-mail communication across Germany. The partners' "E-mail made in Germany" program utilizes an additional security standard that for the very first time enables GMX, T-Online and WEB.DE users to automatically encrypt data over all transmission paths and offers peace of mind that data are handled in compliance with German data privacy laws. Data are encrypted directly by the provider, which means customers need no specific technical know-how and incur no extra costs. All data are stored in secure data centers located in Germany. In addition, a special designation allows users to see before dispatching their e-mail which of the recipients selected also use secure e-mail addresses and thus comply with the initiative's security standards.

From today, e-mail communication between data centers at GMX, T-Online and WEB.DE is being sent in encrypted form. Transmission from the handset to the e-mail server is already encrypted for all customers who use an e-mail application from one of the partners or who have activated SSL encryption in their e-mail program (e.g., Outlook). For security reasons, from the beginning of 2014 the initiative partners will only transport SSL-encrypted e-mails to ensure that data traffic over all of their transmission paths is secure.

"Germans are deeply unsettled by the latest reports on the potential interception of communication data. Our initiative is designed to counteract this concern and make e-mail communication throughout Germany more secure in general. Protection of the private sphere is a valuable commodity," said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG.

"Together, we have a strong customer basis, which means the initiative offers secure communication for two-thirds of all e-mail users in Germany. 'E-mail made in Germany' is open to other providers who commit to the standards set out by our initiative. Alongside e-mail encryption and the designation of secure e-mail addresses, a third key element relates to data processing and archiving, which is carried out in Germany. This ensures that Germany's stringent data privacy laws are complied with," said Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet AG.

In addition to offering technical peace of mind, "E-mail made in Germany" will help give an idea of where communication over encrypted transmission paths takes place. From now on, in the GMX, T-Online.de and WEB.DE e-mail applications secure addresses that comply with the "E-mail made in Germany" standards will therefore be marked with a security seal. For more information on the industry initiative, please visit https://www.e-mail-made-in-germany.de.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 144 million mobile customers, 32 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of June 30, 2013). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in some 50 countries and has over 231,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenue of EUR 58.2 billion in the 2012 financial year – over half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2012).

In the summer of 1995, Deutsche Telekom launched the first e-mail service for the German mass market under the T-Online brand. As one of the biggest providers in Germany, T-Online has always stood – and continues to stand – for secure, credible e-mail communication. T-Online e-mail is one of central pillars of the Telekom cloud and features an extensive digital portfolio including contacts list, calendar, greetings cards, and the Sync-Plus synchronization function, a convenient tool that can used across all devices.

About United Internet
With 12.37 million contracts with paying customers and 31.69 million free accounts funded by advertising, United Internet AG is the European leader in Internet provision. The core of United Internet is its high-performance "Internet factory", employing 6,500 people, more than 1,800 of them in product management, development and data centers. As well as the enormous sales power provided by its established brands 1&1, GMX, WED.DE, united-domains, Fasthosts, InterNetX, Sedo and affilinet, United Internet represents outstanding operational excellence for 44 million customer accounts.

With over 10 years of Internet communications expertise under its belt, free e-mail pioneer GMX (Global Message Exchange) is today one of the most successful communications services on the German-speaking Internet. GMX offers consumers and professional users alike a portfolio of high-performance, innovative e-mail and messaging solutions for their digital communications. GMX is integrated into the wide range of portals from GMX Germany, GMX Austria, and GMX Switzerland, which feature local content, products and services, making it the digital base for some 15.3 million Internet users across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

WEB.DE is one of the leading German Internet portals. Every month, 14.33 million people (AGOF internet facts 2013-05) use WEB.DE e-mail or cloud services, as well as the content pages and WEB.DE search engine. A growing number of these access the sites using mobile Internet. WEB.DE's convenient cloud storage offers a secure place to save personal documents, photos, music and videos.

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