Transatlantic debate on security and privacy

Alec Ross, innovator and former advisor to Hillary Clinton, was invited by the Vodafone Institute to join in a debate with Dirk Brengelmann, German Commissioner for Cyber Policy.

How do technologies transform society, politics and our lives? And what exactly are the differences in the peoples’ perception of digital privacy? Do Americans and Germans evaluate the tradeoff between national security and privacy protection differently? What has changed since the revelations of Edward Snowden? And to what extent has the debate on the practices of the NSA affected the relationship between the USA and Germany?

Alec Ross and Dirk Brengelmann opened the Vodafone Institute's latest lecture series "Digital Things"

Alec Ross at “Digital Things” on 17 June 2014 (Photo: Vodafone Institute)

These questions were addressed in a transatlantic debate between Alec Ross, renowned internet innovator, book author and former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Hillary Clinton during her term as Secretary of State and Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann, Commissioner for International Cyber Policy of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The event was part of the Vodafone Institute’s event series ‘Digital Things’, a platform for policy makers and opinion leaders. The event took place in the forefront of the first ‘Cyber Dialogue’ arranged by the German government involving government representatives from Germany and the USA.

Despite some obvious cultural differences with regard to privacy protection both experts agreed: National security will have to reform their surveillance practices, i.e. what data they collect, from whom and for how long.