Let me also be clear about what we will not do. Our pursuit of cybersecurity will not – I repeat, will not include – monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic. We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans. Indeed, I remain firmly committed to net neutrality so we can keep the Internet as it should be — open and free.
As you may know, the German government is continuously trying to “secure” the internet, not against cyberwar, but child pornography, terrorism and so on: by forcing providers to store privacy-related information and hand it over to the police; by suspending sites that allegedly contain child porn using a secret “black list”; by planning to invade private computers with trojan programs; by making it illegal to search for terrorism-related information like bomb construction manuals on the internet. It seems we don’t cherish freedom very much here.
And we also don’t cherish the academic approach. While the review team that President Obama put in place talked with lots of people and has apparently read a wealth of papers, our government just ignored the expert’s reviews, and continues to act against the advice of academic, civil right and commercial groups.
Obama also said:
To ensure that policies keep faith with our fundamental values, this office will also include an official with a portfolio specifically dedicated to safeguarding the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.
Here in Germany, the only person in the government that is still concerned about privacy is Peter Schaar, Commissioner for Data Protection. I’m waiting for the day the office gets cut.