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.

On October 27 at a subway station in the Berlin hipster neighborhood of Neukölln, a group of young men walked aggressively past a young woman slowly making her way down the stairs to the platform. One of the men walked up behind her and violently kicked the unsuspecting woman in the back causing her to …Read More

Thomas Friedman has the talent to write about complicated subjects in a way that normal people can wrap their heads around. He does this by choosing an overarching theme and then spices up the explanation with various metaphors, analogies, and anecdotes galore. Whether it be about the Middle East or climate change, Friedman comes up …Read More

America and the rest of the world are still struggling to understand what led to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election of 2016. It is almost dangerous—and at the very least, surprising—that the influence of Russian cyberattacks and disinformation are not a major subject within current discussions. They were reason enough for German chancellor …Read More

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

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