recommended reading

US and Germany Face Off on Soccer and Spying

Germany's Per Mertesacker, back, and United States' Clint Dempsey go for a header during the World Cup.

Germany's Per Mertesacker, back, and United States' Clint Dempsey go for a header during the World Cup. // Petr David Josek/AP

Hours before kickoff at the much-anticipated U.S. vs. Germany World Cup game, the two countries held what was planned as a friendly match to hash out cyber matters.

The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting in Berlin wrapped up around 5 p.m. German time (11 a.m. EDT), according to the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. State officials said they will release a joint statement on the event later today. 

The talks were expected to cover the protection of key industry sectors, cybercrime and Internet governance.

The latter has become as contentious as soccer in some corners. Europeans allege the United States could abuse its position as the steward of the Web's address directory to advance economic and intelligence agendas.

A Commerce Department agency currently administers changes to the Internet directory and contracts out some duties to the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an international nonprofit.  

Earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed the idea of carving out a separate European Internet to shelter her citizens from U.S. surveillance. In 2013, documents leaked by ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden indicated the United States had been monitoring Merkel's cellphone calls. She denounced spying among friends as unacceptable.

Amid the uproar, the U.S. government has announced plans to cede control of Internet-naming responsibilities -- such as approving the suffix .futbol – to "the global multistakeholder community."

But as of Wednesday, Europe continues to attack ICANN as unfit for Internet governance, AFP reports. France reportedly failed to halt the assigning of new names, which it wants restricted to protect regional products such as Champagne. Now, the country intends to start discussions with other European nations on control over the Internet. Earlier this week, ICANN leaders said France has not exhausted all options to raise concerns and should do so.

State cyber coordinator Christopher Painter on Thursday led the U.S. delegation. Delegates included representatives from Commerce, the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense, as well as from the National Security Council. 

The meeting is expected to be followed tomorrow with a live-streamed U.S.-German cyber dialogue, in which White House counselor John Podesta and other federal representatives will discuss big data, privacy and economic innovation, among other issues.

The open dialogue is scheduled to be hosted by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Other anticipated speakers include Federal Trade Commission chief Julie Brill, former U.S. Foreign Service senior official Jim Lewis, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and former Commerce counsel Cameron Kerry, now a researcher at the Brookings Institution. 

The two countries held their first bilateral engagement June 14 in Washington.

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion

Florida’s Concealed Carry Permit Holders Names Exposed

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.