Beyond Safe Harbor: A Transatlantic Digital Dialogue
On January 28, 2016, the Brussels office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted Stefan Heumann, director of the European digital agenda program at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, and Jonathan Kallmer, senior vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, for a discussion around the new report “Transatlantic Digital Dialogue: Rebuilding Trust through Cooperative Reform.” The panel was moderated by Guillaume Xavier Bender, transatlantic fellow at GMF’s Brussels office.
The discussion held under the Chatham House rule, started with the presentation of the report, in which GMF and Stiftung Neue Verantwortung analyzed the constructive agenda for the modernization of privacy, and security policy to address the global debate over digital surveillance. During the debate, attention was also given to matters such as the impact of digital transformation on transatlantic relations, and the future of transatlantic cyber dialogue and its impact on other regions across the world.
The debate was followed by a lively question and answer session, in which a number of issues were addressed such as the different approaches Europe and the United States have on data protection and national security, the need for an updated legal framework for data protection to keep up with the global pace , the international nature of the internet, and the importance of an open and constructive dialogue between companies, civil society, and institutions in order to guarantee cyber security.
The discussants’ final remarks highlighted the presence of a transatlantic common ground, the common desire to rebuild trust, and democratic legitimacy in the transatlantic relationship in cyberspace.