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State Dept: Germany Concerned About Disclosure of NSA Programs

9:19 AM, Jun 15, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Friday evening, the State Department released a joint statement from the June 10-11 "U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting." The meeting was held in Washington.

The statement notes that Germany is concerned about the recent disclosure of the NSA program. "Germany noted its concern in connection with the recent disclosures about U.S. Government surveillance programs. The U.S. referenced statements by the U.S. President and the Director of National Intelligence on this issue and emphasized that such programs are designed to protect the United States and other countries from terrorist and other threats, are consistent with U.S. law, and are subject to strict supervision and oversight by all three branches of the U.S. Government. Both sides recognized that this issue will be the subject of further dialogue," the statement reads. 

The statement also says:

The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting reinforced our long-standing alliance by highlighting our pre-existing collaboration on many key cyber issues over the course of the last decade and identifying additional areas for awareness and alignment. The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting embodied a “whole-of-government” approach, furthering our cooperation on a wide range of cyber issues and our collaborative engagement on both operational and strategic objectives.

Operational objectives include exchanging information on cyber issues of mutual concern and identifying greater cooperation measures on detecting and mitigating cyber incidents, combating cybercrime, developing practical confidence-building measures to reduce risk, and exploring new areas of bilateral cyber defense cooperation.

Strategic objectives include affirming common cyber approaches in Internet governance, Internet freedom, and international security; partnering with the private sector to protect critical infrastructure, including through prospective legislation and other frameworks; and pursuing coordination efforts on cyber capacity-building in third countries. The discussions specifically focused on continued and bolstered support for the multi-stakeholder model for Internet governance, particularly as the preparations for Internet Governance Forum 8 in Bali, Indonesia are underway; expanding the Freedom Online Coalition, particularly as Germany joins the coalition just before the next annual meeting in Tunis this month; and the application of norms and responsible state behavior in cyberspace, particularly next steps in light of successful UN Group of Governmental Experts consensus where key governmental experts affirmed the applicability of international law to state behavior in cyberspace.

And the list of participants included, "The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting was hosted by the U.S. Secretary of State’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Christopher Painter, and included representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of Treasury, and the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Herbert Salber, the Federal Foreign Office’s Commissioner for Security Policy led the German interagency delegation, which included representatives from the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Office for Information Security, the Federal Ministry of Defense, and the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology."

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