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.

In today’s interconnected world, we can no longer keep our policy areas separate; what affects security policy also impacts an economy’s prosperity, and the decisions made can have ramifications on individual privacy. Cybersecurity and net neutrality form the link across these issues. What concerns many dedicated transatlanticists and stakeholders from the private sector and the …Read More

This year’s Symposium is framed around the idea of “A New Transatlantic Generation.” We know that German-American relations have long been shaped by the personal connections that were established after World War II and held firm throughout the Cold War. Since reunification, however, there has been a rapid drawdown of the American troop presence in …Read More

U.S. companies with European business will most likely mark 6 October 2015 as a dark day on their calendars. The highest EU court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, declared a fifteen-year-old longstanding EU decision authorizing a EU/US Safe Harbor “invalid.” The judgment is not appealable. This is a serious issue for the …Read More

As do many other countries, Germany struggles to find the right balance between privacy and cybersecurity. It is a balancing act on many fronts. The German government has suggested a mandatory (bulk) data retention law (Vorratsdatenspeicherung) that will require companies to store traffic data for certain time periods in case this information is needed for …Read More

When the news broke a few days ago that the U.S. Senate had finally approved the USA Freedom Act, German commenters received it with satisfaction. However, there are various differences between the USA Freedom Act and data retention laws in Europe, in particular the recent German bill on bulk traffic (i.e., metadata) data collection (Vorratsdatenspeicherung). …Read More

On November 5, 2015, AICGS convened its fourth annual symposium at Deutsche Bank in New York, which centered on the millennial generation’s role in the evolution of the German-American relationship. The participants focused in particular on the challenges facing international organizations and the young generation’s perception of those institutions. The first panel explored why the …Read More

AICGS President Jack Janes joined a panel of experts to discuss NSA surveillance in Germany and Europe  in a program titled “Paradies für US-Spione: Wie halfen Regierung und BND?” Find out more about the program here.

In political rhetoric, trust is a powerful trope.[1] Various speeches, policy papers, and internal notes use the term trust and emphasize its crucial meaning for bilateral partnerships. The benefits of mutual trust, resulting in not only bureaucratic facilitation, but also personal relations, seem apparent and were an undeniable part of building a relationship between the …Read More

On December 11, 2014, AICGS and the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS) hosted a roundtable discussion led by Dr. Tim Stuchtey, BIGS Executive Director, on “Civil Security and the Private Security Industry in Germany.” In recent years, questions of civil security have become increasingly prominent on the economic and political agenda of Germany. …Read More

While the Snowden disclosures pose a serious menace to the contemporary transatlantic relationship at large, as well as to concrete security threats, it is not simply a recent problem. During the event “Trust but Verify: Are U.S.-German (Intelligence) Relations at Stake,” DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow Eva Jobs explained the powerful trope of “trust” in German-American intelligence …Read More

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