Our information principles for cooperation with law enforcement authorities

This is how Telekom informs 

The protection of the secrecy of telecommunications and personal data are fundamental civil rights guaranteed by the constitution or legislation in many countries. This imposes a legal obligation on telecommunications companies. In concrete terms, this means keeping communications and personal data secret, preventing unauthorised access to customer data and protecting traffic data and communications content.

Telecommunications companies are also legally obliged to provide technical support to security authorities in their investigations or in averting dangers (e.g., to life or limb). On the one hand, this involves surveillance measures that allow authorities to follow or record telecommunications connections. On the other hand, it is about information about customers and their use of telecommunication means, for example about connection owner or traffic data. In doing so, the state interferes with the liberties of individuals for the protection of the general public. Violations of the legal provisions described here are punishable in most countries. 

Our information principles for cooperation with law enforcement authorities

In order to meet this great responsibility, we act according to the following principles. These apply to all employees in the Group who are entrusted with these tasks:

  • Maintaining the secrecy of telecommunications and protecting personal data is a top priority for Deutsche Telekom. Ensuring that our customers have no doubts about the confidentiality of their communications is an essential part of our business policy.
  • We support government agencies within the framework of the legal requirements, insofar as there is a legal obligation to intervene in fundamental rights and the legal requirements are fulfilled. 
  • We create the greatest possible public transparency with regard to surveillance and disclosure measures.
  • We advocate an appropriate balancing of national security interests and the civil liberties of our customers. And we stand up for legal certainty in the application of corresponding laws - both for government agencies and for obligated telecommunications companies.

For us, this means in practice

Insofar as the fundamental rights of our customers are affected, there is no cooperation by Deutsche Telekom without a hard legal obligation. If the legal regulation or requirement of an authority is unclear, there is no cooperation, but clarification of the factual and legal question, if necessary with the help of a court. 

The group of employees entrusted with these tasks is deliberately kept small according to the so-called "need-to-know principle". These employees are regularly trained in order to achieve the greatest possible legal certainty for our employees and our company. Even without a legal requirement, they are contractually bound to special confidentiality. In order to avoid abuses and work errors, the processing of monitoring requests is carried out according to the so-called "dual control principle". Each access is documented separately.

Special technical precautions are also taken due to internal requirements. For example, the IT technology required for processing must be secured using the latest security technology and checked separately, for example when transmitting the content to government agencies. Physical access to the critical infrastructure is severely restricted and reserved for Telekom employees only. Logical access to the relevant IT systems is limited to a minimum and only permitted to employees, taking into account the "need-to-know principle".

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Transparency Report

DT publishes how the company is obliged to cooperate with government agencies. Please follow the link to the menu, which you can use to select the required subsidiary directly.