New technology to block spying on Swiss ministers: president

October 27, 2013
President Ueli Maurer gives a press conference on October 15, 2013 in Bern

Switzerland will soon roll out a new technology to better shield communications within the government from prying eyes, President Ueli Maurer said in an interview published Sunday.

"We will introduce a new in the coming days or weeks, (which) will improve security in the ," Maurer told the Schweiz am Sonntag weekly.

Refusing to provide more details on what the consisted of and how it would work, Maurer said the decision to deploy it was made before the latest reports of US spying on world leaders.

Those reports, including allegations that Washington has been tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, made clear "what are capable of today, and that apparently anyone who is interesting must expect eavesdropping," he said.

In a separate interview in the SonntagsZeitung weekly, Maurer warned that the scandal risked "undermining confidence between states".

"We don't know if we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg or if other governments are acting in the same ruthless manner," he said.

Maurer said that Swiss ministers have always been cautious about their communications and mobile phones are banned from all government meetings.

For sensitive calls, "I do it on a landline, which is considered less risky," he told Schweiz am Sonntag, adding that ministers try as far as possible to discuss sensitive issues in person and not over the phone.

Maurer said he rarely uses his , and only for personal calls.

The Swiss president said there was so far was no evidence of US spying on him or other members of the government, and acknowledged they were likely far less interesting to spy on than Merkel.

But he added, "I wouldn't rule anything out today."

Explore further: Germany wants 'trust restored' after US spy report

Related Stories

Germany wants 'trust restored' after US spy report

July 1, 2013

The German government wants "trust restored" with the United States following reports that American intelligence agencies bugged European Union offices, and has invited the U.S. ambassador in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry ...

Merkel urges global data protection deal

July 21, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come out strongly in favour of an international agreement to protect electronic data, following revelations by fugitive former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden about US surveillance ...

'NSA eavesdropped on 35 world leaders'

October 24, 2013

US spies eavesdropped on the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after White House, Pentagon and State Department officials gave them the numbers, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Brazil 'wants to question tech giants'

October 25, 2013

Shocked by evidence of eavesdropping on government communications, Brazilian police intend to ask US permission to question the heads of tech giants, Globo television reported Friday.

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.