Moving Beyond Cyber Wars: A Transatlantic Dialogue

In January 2018, as the German government was trying to cobble together a coalition, and the U.S. government found itself in a shut down, ten Americans and ten Germans committed to the transatlantic relationship considered how they could make their way to Munich, Germany, to find common ground on cybersecurity policy. The U.S. government opened for business just in time for the U.S. delegation to board their planes and trains, and a pause in the coalition negotiating room allowed Bundestag participation. In the context of three meetings in Munich, Berlin, and Washington, DC, the working group of American and German policymakers from the diplomatic, military, homeland security, legislative, academic, and tech communities met to talk about proposals to address threats posed by cyberwar and digital propaganda.

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Current events underscored the urgency of finding a common approach: the foreign espionage and intrusion into the “secure” network of the German Federal Foreign Office; the assessment of the U.S. intelligence and congressional oversight committees that the Russians had indeed targeted eighteen state election systems and gained access to the restricted portions of election infrastructure in several; and that their digital propaganda campaign in the lead up to the 2016 elections was intentional, and Putin-directed. At the same time, drafts of legislation regulating practices in the cyber sphere in both countries had the possibility to drastically impact the citizens, the corporations, the privacy, and the security of the other nation.

Recognizing that both countries are affected by the digital propaganda affecting the democratic process during elections, and that a strong cyber defense is critical for both nations, AICGS’ Transatlantic Cybersecurity Partnership with the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (HSS) aimed to find agreement in both areas through proposals to: improve information-sharing between the two countries on key cyber threats; increase understanding between the private sector and government entities on best practices for ensuring cybersecurity; and to move the legislative and policy conversation in both countries to ensure standards and infrastructure are in place to protect national and international security. In addition, the national and international legal grey zone for many aspects of cybersecurity made agreement between policymakers of both countries on cybersecurity norms critical.

This volume is a collection of those conversations of the working group members conducted across roughly a half year of meetings on both sides of the Atlantic. While much of the agreement achieved is not able to be published due to the degree of its classification, we invite you to listen in to the conversations we can reflect in these pages, which dance around the edges of a long and deep partnership between both countries. Forewords by Germany’s Karsten Geier, a diplomat who has played a crucial role in upholding international law in the cyber sphere for years, and the United States’ Kent Logsdon, who has tirelessly advocated for a strong transatlantic relationship, reflect the importance of the bilateral relationship in strengthening cyber norms.

Complementing Mr. Geier’s cyber norms contribution, scholar Matthias Schulze came up with a new heuristic that could be used by both countries to rate cyber activities according to whether they are offensive or defensive, and thus when international law could justify a response to an attack or intrusion. Department of Homeland Security’s Scott Tousley writes about the important ways to protect critical IT infrastructure, and the importance of cooperation with Germany on securing and operating the Internet of systems.

Further outcomes on information-sharing and cooperation on cyber defense are described by AICGS’ Senior Cyber Fellow Dr. Sarah Lohmann, who initiated this partnership and this publication. The legislative debate on both sides of the Atlantic is described in more detail by Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung’s Andrea Rotter, as is the way forward on digital propaganda by HSS’ Maximilian Rückert.

Dr. Andreas Nick, a CDU member of the Bundestag, and his legislative assistant Inger-Luise Heilmann, describe the legislative debate around digital propaganda in Germany, and what remains to be done. Germany’s Interior Ministry’s Gregor Kutzschbach addresses the role of the state in responding to digital propaganda, while Bret Schafer of GMF’s Alliance for Securing Democracy adds the U.S. perspective on how civil society is a key factor in keeping digital propaganda actors accountable.

We are grateful to HSS’ Chairwoman Prof. Ursula Männle, for her engagement in this program and for traveling to Washington to support it; to Prof. Dr. Reinhard Meier-Walser, who directs HSS’ Academy for Politics and Current Affairs, for his partnership in this joint endeavor; to MdB Dr. Reinhard Brandl, for his passionate engagement in every workshop and his support of the transatlantic relationship; to Elizabeth Caruth, for her expert handling of workshop logistics; and to Jessica Hart, for editing this volume. Our thanks also go to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, and the U.S. Consulates in Munich and Frankfurt for supporting this Transatlantic Cybersecurity Partnership every step of the way.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.
Andrea Rotter

Andrea Rotter

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung

Andrea Rotter is a researcher at the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (HSS) in Munich, where she focuses on German security and defense policy as well as transatlantic security cooperation. She is currently working on a PhD project on differences in transatlantic counterterrorism strategies. Before joining HSS, Ms. Rotter worked as a research assistant for the research division “The Americas” of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP) in Berlin. Prior to that she was an academic assistant and lecturer in the department of International Politics and Transatlantic Relations at the University of Regensburg. Ms. Rotter holds an MA in European-American Relations from the University of Regensburg and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Cultural and Business Studies from the University of Passau and the University of Stirling, United Kingdom.

Andrea Rotter was an AICGS/GMF Fellow with the American-German Situation Room in Washington, DC, in May and June 2018.

Andreas Nick

German Bundestag

Andreas Nick has been a CDU member of the German Bundestag since 2013. He serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and is rapporteur for the Council of Europe, the United Nations, issues of global order and cybersecurity, as well as regional rapporteur for Turkey, Hungary, and South America. In addition, he is a substitute member of the Finance Committee and the Digital Agenda Committee. Dr. Nick was elected to the Bundestag following a professional career in banking. His final positions were as head of M&A at Sal. Oppenheim Jr. and Cie. and as professor of corporate finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Dr. Nick holds a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in business administration from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, as well as a Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Bret Schafer

Alliance for Securing Democracy

Bret Schafer is a social media analyst and communications officer at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. He has a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California, and a BS in Communications with a major in radio/television/film from Northwestern University. As an expert in computational propaganda, he has appeared in the New York Times, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has regularly been a guest on NPR and BBC radio. Prior to joining ASD, Bret spent more than ten years in the film industry, including stints as a development assistant at the Cartoon Network, a development producer at Citizen Skull Productions, and a freelance writer at Warner Brothers. He has also worked in Budapest as a radio host, and in Berlin as a semi-professional baseball player in Germany’s Bundesliga. He is the former editor-in-chief of Public Diplomacy Magazine, and his work has been published in the Chronicle of Social Change, LAist.com, and the Cipher Brief, among others. His regional interests are Russia and Central/Eastern Europe, and he previously interned in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

Gregor Kutzschbach

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building, and Community

Gregor Kutzschbach is Head of the Division M5, IT and statistics in the field of migration and asylum, at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building, and Community. Dr. Kutzschbach has worked at the Ministry since 2002, working in the fields of data protection, cybersecurity, IT systems of the Federal Police, cyber capacities of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, the domestic intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany, and IT and statistics in the field of migration and asylum. He was previously an attorney at Andersen Legal in Berlin and a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Law at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He earned a Doctorate in Law from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Inger-Luise Heilmann

German Bundestag

Inger-Luise Heilmann is a parliamentary advisor to Dr. Andreas Nick, member of the German Bundestag. Her field of work includes the preparation of the deputy’s work in the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee on Digitalization as well as the Subcommittee on United Nations, International Organizations and Globalization. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations with a Specialization on Security from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Jackson Janes

President Emeritus of AICGS

Jackson Janes is the President Emeritus of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, where he has been affiliated since 1989.

Dr. Janes has been engaged in German-American affairs in numerous capacities over many years. He has studied and taught in German universities in Freiburg, Giessen and Tübingen. He was the Director of the German-American Institute in Tübingen (1977-1980) and then directed the European office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Bonn (1980-1985). Before joining AICGS, he served as Director of Program Development at the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (1986-1988). He was also Chair of the German Speaking Areas in Europe Program at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC, from 1999-2000 and President of the International Association for the Study of German Politics from 2005-2010.

Dr. Janes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Atlantic Council of the United States. He serves on the advisory boards of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, Beirat der Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (ZfAS), the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association, and the American Bundestag Intern Network (ABIN) in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Board of the German American Fulbright Commission and serves on the Selection Committee for the Bundeskanzler Fellowships for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington DC.

Dr. Janes has lectured throughout Europe and the United States and has published extensively on issues dealing with Germany, German-American relations, and transatlantic affairs. In addition to regular commentary given to European and American news radio, he has appeared on CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, PBS, CBC, and is a frequent commentator on German television. Dr. Janes is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Education.

In 2005, Dr. Janes was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany’s highest civilian award.

Education:
Ph.D., International Relations, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California
M.A., Divinity School, University of Chicago
B.A., Sociology, Colgate University

Expertise:
Transatlantic relations, German-American relations, domestic German politics, German-EU relations, transatlantic affairs.

Karsten Geier

Federal Foreign Office

Karsten Geier is the head of the German diplomatic mission in Mazar-e-Sharif. During the Transatlantic Cybersecurity Partnership, he was head of the Cyber Policy Coordination Staff in Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. A career Foreign Service officer, Mr. Geier has held a variety of posts both at home and abroad. He has served in South-Eastern Europe, Brussels at Germany’s Representation to the European Union, and Washington, DC, including as exchange officer in the U.S. Department of State. His most recent assignment abroad led him to New York, where he helped set up the European Union Delegation and subsequently worked at Germany’s Mission to the United Nations. Mr. Geier was Germany’s member of the 2014/2015 UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security and chaired the 2016/2017 Group. A frequent public speaker and author of articles on international cyber affairs, Mr. Geier has also taught modules or given presentations at Germany’s Federal Academy for Security Policy, the Foreign Service Academy, the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces’ Leadership College), the European Security and Defense College, the George C. Marshall Center, and other educational institutions.

Kent Logsdon

U.S. Department of State

Kent Logsdon was the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin until July 2018 and served as the Deputy Chief of Mission there beginning in August 2015. Prior to coming to Berlin, Mr. Logsdon was the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources in Washington, DC. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the State Department. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Logsdon’s previous positions include Director of the Operations Center, Director of the Office of Russian Affairs, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has also served as Political Counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine; and held a variety of positions in Bangkok, Thailand; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Islamabad, Pakistan. His first tour in the State Department career was at the former U.S. Consulate General in Stuttgart, Germany. Before beginning his professional career, Mr. Logsdon had the opportunity to work as a summer intern in Leverkusen and was an exchange student in Buxtehude. He speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Thai, and German and holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from the University of Notre Dame.

Matthias Schulze

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Matthias Schulze is a cybersecurity expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP), where he is the co-coordinator of the cyber research cluster. He currently focuses on cyber conflict, government hacking, encryption, and vulnerability disclosure. He holds a Master’s Degree in political science, sociology, and philosophy and defended is Ph.D. thesis “From Cyber-Utopia to Cyber-War. Normative Change in Cyberspace” in August 2017.

Maximilian Rückert

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung

Maximilian Rückert is the director of the digitalization, politics, and media department at the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (HSS). He is also a lecturer in the New History Department at the University of Würzburg, where he has been a researcher since 2015. From 2012 to 2015 he received a doctoral scholarship from the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung.

Reinhard Meier-Walser

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung

Reinhard Meier-Walser has led the academy for Politics and Current Affairs at the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Munich since 1995. Prof. Dr. Meier-Walser serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Politische Studien and teaches International Politics at the University of Regensburg. In addition to the theory of international politics, his research and teaching focuses on issues of international, transatlantic, and European security policy. Prof. Dr. Meier-Walser is the author of over 200 publications, including monographs, edited works, and essays in anthologies and professional journals; as well as contributions to newspapers such as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, International Herald Tribune, and the Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

Sarah Lohmann

Sarah Lohmann

AICGS Senior Cyber Fellow

Dr. Sarah Lohmann is AICGS' Senior Cyber Fellow based in Germany. She coordinates the Institute's cyber projects, including the Transatlantic Cyber Partnership--which brings together U.S. and German policymakers from government, the military, the tech sector, and academia--to cooperate on cyber policy. Dr. Lohmann is an expert in the field of international relations, human rights, and security policy. With over a decade of experience in government and in the classroom, she offers a unique perspective as a well-traveled practitioner and policymaker who also delights in academia.

Dr. Lohmann has served as a university instructor at the Universität der Bundeswehr since 2010. She achieved her doctorate in political science in 2013, when she became a senior researcher for the political science department. Prior to her tenure at the Universität der Bundeswehr, she was a press spokesman for the U.S. Department of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, as well as for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (MEPI). Before her government service, she was a journalist, and has traveled in over 30 countries worldwide. She has published one book and over a thousand articles in international press outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times in Germany. She is a public speaker in international forums on issues of human rights, cyber security, and transatlantic relations.

Scott W. Tousley

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Scott Tousley is the Deputy Director of the Cybersecurity Division, a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology organization. He helps lead over 40 personnel and holds around $90 million annual research portfolio focused on many aspects of cybersecurity, supporting DHS Components, other government agencies and organizations, and national critical infrastructure sectors. Key areas of this RDT&E portfolio address Cyber Forensics, Insider Threat and Anonymous Networks and Currencies; Cyber-Physical systems and the “Internet of Things”; Mobile Systems cybersecurity; Software Security and Assurance; Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience; Identity and Privacy; Cybersecurity Education and Training; and many other areas. Working with NIST/Sokwoo Rhee, Scott is helping to lead the GCTC Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge. He served twenty years as an Army officer in the Corps of Engineers, many of these years in interagency technology programs, including the InitialWatch/Warning Unit Chief of the FBI/National Infrastructure Protection Center, part of the Clinton administration’s early engagement with national cybersecurity challenges. His experience also includes managing the operations security team for a large Internet Service Provider, principal with a technology start-up company in the private sector, and program manager for MITRE support to the DHS National Cybersecurity Division. He holds graduate degrees in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M, and national security strategy from the Army Command & Staff College. Mr. Tousley has served ten years with DHS, principally with S&T but also with the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and several other parts of DHS.