Freiheit vs. Sicherheit: Überwachungsdebatte in den USA


Der US-Senat hat Anfang Juni ein Gesetz angenommen, das die Handlungsspielräume
der US-Geheimdienste zukünftig einschränken soll. 67 von 100 Senatoren
stimmten für den sogenannten USA Freedom Act. Einige Wochen zuvor hatte
bereits das Repräsentantenhaus das neue Gesetz mit einer breiten Mehrheit (338
zu 88 Stimmen) beschlossen.

Kurz nach der Entscheidung im Senat setzte Präsident Obama den Freedom Act mit seiner Unterschrift in Kraft. Anders als in Europa oft wahrgenommen, wird die Debatte um die Geheimdienstreformen in den USA sehr intensiv und über die Grenzen von Washington, DC hinaus geführt.

Den kompletten Hintergrundbericht finden Sie hier.

US-Geheimdienste: Ist eine Kontrolle möglich?

Anderthalb Jahre nach den Enthüllungen von Edward Snowden hat die US-Regierung einen Bericht veröffentlicht, der neue Richtlinien zur Datenspeicherung der US-Nachrichtendienste beinhaltet. USA_PostDie Meldung erregte in der deutschen Öffentlichkeit kaum Aufsehen. Das ist bedauerlich, denn anders als auf dieser Seite des Atlantiks wahrgenommen, schlugen die Enthüllungen von Edward Snowden auch in Amerika hohe Wellen.

Im aktuellen Hintergrundbericht analysieren Iris Froeba und Markus Kaiser, wie die Debatte über Überwachung den US-Kongress spaltet und welche Chancen parlamentarische Initiativen haben.

Den Bericht können Sie hier abrufen.



Transatlantic data protection – the long road to compromise

IMG_1644 (Kopie)The issue over the massive collection of data of foreign nationals’ private phone conversation (German Chancellor prominently among them) was met with outrage across Europe – to the great surprise of many in the US, who, quite matter-of-factly, expect no less of a nation’s intelligence agencies: the surveillance of potential threats abroad. Continue reading

Upcoming event: “Moving beyond polemics: The real value of the transatlantic relationship”

Van_Rompuy,_Obama,_Barroso_Nov_2011Wednesday, 19 February 2014
10.30-14.30 h

The transatlantic relationship had a mixed year in 2013. On the one hand, the EU and US started negotiations for a comprehensive trade deal last July. Another transatlantic highlight was the interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. While it is too early to say whether Geneva was a breakthrough, it would not have come about without tight transatlantic foreign policy cooperation. At the same time, however, revelations of the NSA’s data collection program have created the perception of strained relations between the EU and the US. How then should we assess the status of the transatlantic relationship? Will EU-US unity persist on Iran or will questions about Teheran’s commitment to the deal and the next steps create divisions? Will calls for an anti-spying regime and the possibility of further leaks concerning the NSA program complicate the transatlantic partnership and how can this be avoided?


Panel 1: “Can the West trust Iran? The interim deal and prospect for a final one”

Panel 2: “I spy with my little eye: Strengthening transatlantic data protection”

Please find the invitation here. Kindly register here.

Photo by White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Misunderstood? US political insiders in Brussels on NSA, TTIP and the great partisan divide

John Mearsheimer wrote that  IMG_0842 (Kopie) „great powers must be forever vigilant and never subordinate survival to any other goal.” These might have been the words of Kevin Gundersen, former policy advisor to the Romney Presidential Campaign and Staff Director of the House Subcomittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, when he rationalized the effects the revelations over the NSA’s activities have had in the US and Europe. Whereas there is great concern over the collection of metadata of US citizens domestically, with Senator Sensenbrenner, the man behind the Patriot Act which empowered the NSA after 9/11, questioning its purpose, the sentiments change drastically with regards to foreign citizens or heads of states. “US citizens are not outraged that the NSA collected data abroad. On the contrary, if they didn’t, the intelligence community would be perceived of not doing their job,” goes Gundersen’s argument. With allegedly over 50,000 pages of documents up his sleeve, Snowden is the big wild card and much depends on his next moves. Continue reading

Upcoming Event: “Navigating troubled Waters – the current state of the transatlantic relationship”

Wednesday, 4 December 2013, 12.00 – 14.00Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Ave de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

“It’s better to talk with each other than about each other” has been a longstanding motto of the work of the Transatlantic Dialogue Program of the FNF. The last twelve months in particular have shown how vital open communication channels are: the NSA’s widespread espionage was met with outrage by the European public and even threatens to bring the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to a halt. The failure of the US Congress to pass legislation appropriating funds for the following fiscal year which resulted in the 17-day government shut down as well as the domestic discussions surrounding the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – mockingly referred to as “Obama Care” – in Europe was met with incomprehension. Considering the issues that currently strain the transatlantic relationship – can we still speak of common values and priorities?

Four insiders of the US political scene will discuss and explain factors underlying current domestic US politics and how these issues will influence the future of the transatlantic relationship.

Please register by 3 December.


Foto Source: flickr.com_flx.fshr