ECB sticks with Verizon in wake of U.S.-German spying clash

Central bank upholds framework for provision of internet-related services, business continuity

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank (ECB) has no plans to end its business relations with U.S. telecoms firm Verizon Communications Inc, ECB President Mario Draghi said in response to a query from a member of the European parliament on Thursday.

The German government said in June it had canceled a contract with Verizon as part of an overhaul of its internal communications, prompted by revelations last year of U.S. government spying.

In the letter to Fabio De Masi, Draghi wrote that the ECB "takes the threat of economic espionage very seriously".

He said the ECB has two arrangements with Verizon: a framework agreement on the provision of certain internet-related services, and a contract related to the provision of certain business continuity services.

Verizon does not provide any telephone-related services to the ECB, he said. "Following a re-assessment of these arrangements and in view of its interactions with the provider, the ECB sees no need to terminate these arrangements," Draghi said in the letter.

The letter comes two weeks after the ECB said its website had been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen, but insisted no market-sensitive data had been affected.

To read the full letter, click on: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/20140807_reply_to_mep_de_masien.pdf

(Reporting by Eva Taylor; Editing by David Holmes)

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