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.

While Washington fumbled the NSA clash with Germany, Berlin too has had a hand in stoking the heated debate over U.S. surveillance programs. Public denunciations and empty promises of retaliation undermine the vital intelligence coordination to counter real threats to both our countries. We may eventually strike a better balance between security and privacy, but …Read More

“The possible size of the [surveillance] programs has shocked people.” AICGS President Dr. Jackson Janes sits down with Dr. Günter Krings, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, to talk about promoting further transatlantic dialogue on data privacy issues.

On August 21, 2014, the AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program hosted Dr. Günter Krings, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior, for a roundtable discussion. Moderated by Dr. Jackson Janes, President of AICGS, the discussion focused on the clashes between Berlin and Washington over surveillance issues. The line of privacy is …Read More

The Germans are once again angry with Washington. News stories about an alleged mole in Germany’s intelligence services, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), providing state secrets to Americans has outraged the entire government in Berlin and poured more oil on to public fires as well—already burning over the revelations by Edward Snowden about U.S. surveillance in Germany. …Read More

There has been a heated transatlantic debate on cyber issues since Edward Snowden’s release of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents last year that described various surveillance activities, including the collection of information from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. These revelations have strained the relationship between the two countries and have sparked an emotional debate. …Read More

Download Full Analysis Abstract: Turning twenty-five this year, the internet revolution is the largest experiment in ungoverned space in history. Yet, as it continues to transform our world, this explosion in connectivity still raises significant questions about and vulnerabilities in how we have organized ourselves and work through shared challenges. For example, if the power …Read More

Chancellor Merkel was right in saying that when it comes to the digital world we are in “Neuland.” Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen agree. The opening sentence to their book, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (Knopf, 2013), is “The Internet is among the few things humans have built that …Read More

During his visit to Washington, DC, this past week, Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the relevance of the transatlantic relationship to a new generation–a relationship which is “in no way as self-evident” to the current generation as it was for his. Appeals to common values sound empty to younger audiences, who question whether that …Read More

AICGS held a transatlantic cyber dialogue on March 12, 2014 to address the core challenges that have grown out of the debate on data privacy and security this past year. The meeting included experts from government, business, and civil society from both Germany and the United States.

Following President Obama’s exclusive interview with ZDF on Friday, Senior Editor of Der Tagesspiegel Malte Lehming noted that the German media largely characterized the president’s remarks as “too vague, too little, [and with] no change in course.” While criticizing the obvious and awkward charm offensive, Lehming argues that the president should have emphasized the changing …Read More

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