Counterterrorism, Data Privacy, and the Transatlantic Alliance: A Conversation with Ambassador Nathan Sales
- Amb. Nathan A. Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State
- Karen Donfried, President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The United States and its Western partners have recognized the need for increased information sharing and tougher border controls, particularly as foreign terrorist fighters leave Iraq and Syria and return to their home or other countries. One of the most effective means of preventing terrorist travel is the collection and screening of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data — the basic information provided to airlines when one books a flight. The United States and other countries have used PNR data to identify terrorists for decades. UN Security Council Resolution 2396, adopted in December 2017, requires all UN member states to develop PNR systems and to share this data with one another. The EU also directed all member states to develop PNR capability by May 2018.
What are the benefits and implications of information sharing agreements for national and international security? How can Western Europe drive the widespread adoption of CT tools such as PNR? How can democratic governments strike a balance between an effective counterterrorism strategy and the protection of individual civil liberties and privacy? These questions and more will be the focus for this conversation featuring Ambassador Nathan Sales, coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State. GMF President Karen Donfried will moderate the discussion, which will be open for audience participation.
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