Transatlantic Cyber Forum

Cyber security and defense policies increasingly gain importance and momentum worldwide. Issues, such as the regulation of state surveillance, encryption policy and vulnerability exploitation, implications of emerging technologies, cooperation and coordination in the information security realm as well as offensive cyber operations, have implications for the domestic and international spheres alike. Those are global challenges which cannot adequately be addressed from a singular nation-state perspective. It is therefore prudent to learn from each other and develop smart and pragmatic solutions together. The United States as the global technology leader and Germany as a central stakeholder of the European Union with a distinct security and privacy culture and mindset play a major role in providing answers to those challenges.

To further research in the area of international cyber security policies and provide concrete policy recommendations, the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV) established The Transatlantic Cyber Forum (TCF) in January 2017. TCF was founded with the financial support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It is currently funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

TCF is an intersectoral network and currently consists of more than 150 experts from civil society, academia, industry, and government agencies working in various areas of transatlantic and international cyber security policy.

The following was previously the focus (in chronological order):
- Use of surveillance software by law enforcement agencies
- Government disclosure decision processes
- Securing elections
- Technological innovation for intelligence surveillance control
- Securing machine learning applications
- Protection of the machine learning supply chain
- Government's role in securing Open-Source Software
- Cybersecurity support deployment
- Responsible active cyber defense operations

The work was conducted by working groups with 30-50 experts each through online and face-to-face workshops in Berlin and Washington D.C., and through online collaboration.


Working Group: Active Cyber Defense

The 2021 expert working group led by Dr. Sven Herpig focused on "active cyber defense". This covered the definition of the term, the technical foundation of the various associated instruments, and connected the technical perspective to the policy level, as well as embeds it into strategies such as “persistent engagement”. The working group continues in January 2023 and currently consists of:​

Dave Aitel Founder of Immunity
Charles-Pierre Astolfi  
Manuel Atug HiSolutions
Caroline Baylon AXA
Ralf Benzmüller G DATA SecurityLabs
Sneha Dawda Royal United Services Institute
Lars Fischer University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven
Stefanie Frey Deutor Cyber Security Solutions
Kenneth Geers NATO Cyber Centre
Max Heinemeyer Darktrace
Wyatt Hoffman Center for Security and Emerging Technology
Frederike Kaltheuner New Possible
Karsten König Secfault Security
Lucie Krahulcova Digital Rights Watch
Andreas Kuehn Observer Research Foundation America
Joanna Kulesza University of Lodz
Thomas Lawson AXA
Jim Lewis Center for Strategic and International Studies
Nemanja Malisevic Microsoft
Louise Marie Hurel London School of Economics and Political Science (PhD Researcher)
Igor Mikolic-Torreira Center for Security and Emerging Technology
Greg Nojeim Center for Democracy and Technology
Lukasz Olejnik Independent Researcher
Alexandra Paulus Chemnitz University of Technology (PhD Researcher)
Pavlina Pavlova Cyber Peace Institute
Jörg Pohle Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Johanna Polle Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (PhD Researcher)
Thomas Reinhold Technical University of Darmstadt (PhD Researcher)
Volker Roth FU Berlin
Christine Runnegar Internet Society
Janine Schmoldt University of Erfurt (PhD Researcher)
Emma Schroeder Atlantic Council
Matthias Schulze German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Ari Schwartz Cybersecurity Coalition
Aleksandra Sowa Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI), FG PET
Nathalie Van Raemdonck Vrije University Brussels (PhD Researcher)
Eric Veith OFFIS
Eric Wenger Cisco Systems



      The following publications have been supported by the Transatlantic Cyber Forum:

      In addition to the publications, the TCF project team at SNV provides the expert network with short updates (called "policy debates") which identify and discuss German cyber security policy developments.

      The TCF project team regularly engages in events and presentations including the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, the European Parliament and the German Bundestag and is cited in national and international media including leading German media outlets as well as for example the New York Times and the Washington Post.