Cyber Security in the 21st century – Is there a balance between security, privacy and surveillance?


After more than a decade of relative quiet, terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have reheated cyber-war debates. Politicians, intelligence officials and law enforcement agencies call for weakening security systems to aid surveillance and forensic analysis to fight terrorism.

New strategies call for banning default encryption and building backdoors into cryptographic protocols to allow government access in "exceptional" circumstances. All of these strategies extend the power of intelligence and law enforcement agencies at the expense of personal privacy.

Is it technically and operationally feasible to meet law enforcement's call for exceptional access without causing large-scale vulnerabilities? Law enforcement's desire to execute lawful surveillance orders is not an issue as long as they meet requirements of human rights and the rule of law. How can we find balance between security, privacy, and surveillance with regard to cyber?

This session will focus on security threats in cyberspace that are becoming more important for national security. Cyberspace will be a vortex of conflict during the 21st century. The security issue is larger than NATO alone can manage, despite its effort to find answers and rules with its Tallinn manual of instruction to combat cyber threats. The CISG will discuss the role of expanded surveillance activity in the cyberspace from intelligence agencies, the media, governments, and global networks and explore answers on winning the cyber war in global networks.


Zulfikar Abbany (Journalist and Editor, Deutsche Welle), Dr. Stefan Heumann (Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung), Ulrich Kelber (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Member of the German Bundestag), Wolfgang Kopf (Senior Vice President Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom AG), Matthew Smith (Institute of Computer Science, Chair for Usable Security and Privacy)