The ongoing debate about data privacy, surveillance, encryption and other issues in this digital age has exposed major cultural and legal differences between the United States and Germany. The interplay between German society’s demand for privacy and the state’s implementation of legal structures ensuring its protection stands in contrast to the prioritization of national security concerns in the United States. While preserving individual liberties and freedoms are at the core of each democracy, the United States and Germany differ when it comes to handling the balance between liberty and national security in the cyber age.

The Romans were shouting “Hannibal at the gates” when the famous general from Carthage tried to conquer their city with elephants in 218 BC. Today’s cyber-warriors and cyber-criminals are already behind the gates, using subtler means to invade the computers of individuals, companies, and even governments. And we may not even know the attackers. Many …Read More

Stating the obvious, namely defining the forthcoming U.S. election as historic, trailblazing, and of global relevance, still seems to understate the interest America’s allies have taken in the heated presidential campaign so far. Generally speaking this is by far neither a new phenomenon nor surprising as such. However, this election with its display of polarized …Read More

As reported, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) launched its self-certification system of the Privacy Shield (PS) on 1 August. The NTIA’s website provides a host of information for U.S. and European businesses. Participating organizations are deemed to provide “adequate” privacy protection, a requirement for the transfer of personal data outside of the European …Read More

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield—the successor to the invalidated Safe Harbor program for transatlantic transfers of EU personal data—was finally approved on July 12, 2016. U.S. organizations will be able to certify compliance with the Privacy Shield principles starting on August 1, 2016, and then be able to receive personal data from EU or EEA-based organizations …Read More

A weekly round-up of news and happenings in German-American relations. Business and Economics Progressing in the diesel scandal, Volkswagen is proceeding with the conversion of their diesel-powered vehicles. (FAZ) Yields in the Eurozone corporate bond market have hit new lows as the European Central Bank enters as a giant buyer. The ECB is forecasted to …Read More

Die Federal Trade Commission (FTC) und die Federal Communications Commission (FCC) haben am  10.05.16 zwei getrennte Untersuchungsverfahren gegen  bestimmte TK-Anbieter und Hersteller von Smartphones etc. eingeleitet. Die US-Behörden wollen wissen, wie diese Unternehmen Updates zur Datensicherheit vornehmen, wie die Kunden die Updates umsetzen und wie die Unternehmen eventuelle Verwundbarkeiten in den Geräten adressieren.  Das wirft …Read More

The world of cybersecurity is a complicated maze of technology, politics, and policy, a constant competition among those who would harness all of them for good and/or ill. It is also a world in which the search for command and control runs faster than the capacity of governments to keep up. Fred Kaplan’s Dark Territory: …Read More

“The very notion of a grand scheme of things is a nightmarish obscenity.” – Thomas Ligotti, author of Songs of a Dead Dreamer In the years since the Great Recession began, political elites in Germany have pondered a critical question: how can Germany retain its economic growth in a world of increasing industrial competition and …Read More

European Commission may need to revise the draft proposal to meet the concerns expressed by the Article 29 Working Party. On 29 February 2016, the European Commission published a draft adequacy decision to establish the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the replacement for the invalidated Safe Harbor program that previously allowed transfers of personal data between the European …Read More

There was a resounding call for action by regulators and industry and the legal documents are now out in public. The European Commission and the U.S. government both hope that the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield will fully address the European Court of Justice’s criticisms in the landmark “Schrems” ruling last year.  On February 29, the …Read More

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