The guest speaker at this breakfast forum is president of Cyber-Security Council Germany.

The revelations made by Edward Snowden made clear that the U.S. Government successfully did espionage German institutions and even tracked phone calls made from the private mobile phone of its Chancellor, Angela Merkel. This episode, which in Germany is known as the “NSA Scandal,” had tremendous impact on the German political discourse and its public audience. As a consequence the US government was seriously questioned in its trustworthiness.

On Wednesday, October 22, at 8:15 a.m., Deutsches Haus at New York University, and the American Council on Germany, will present a talk by Arne Schönbohm, President of Cyber-Security Council Germany, on the “Implications of the NSA Data Security Issue for Politics and Business.”

Mr. Schönbohm claims that this lack of trust might result in German enterprises looking for alternative partners outside of the U.S., especially in regard to issues where sensible data is involved. Consequently, they could even leave the US market and establish new collaborations elsewhere. Moreover, German enterprises will find new ways to keep their data (and thus their businesses) safe. This could result in enormous losses of income for U.S. industries that have strong ties and depend on their German partners. Furthermore, Germany could even profit from such a drift and establish new and stronger partnerships with non-American actors. Could this mean that Germany is going to grow its ties to China, a thriving wannabe economic, military and technological superpower, or even to Russia, in an unprecedented way? It looks like the former German “victim” could ultimately strike back.

But such a worst case scenario for U.S.-German relations can be avoided as long as both countries will be able to replace the trembling foundations of their partnership with a new of pattern of trust. As recent data from the World Bank shows us, Germany remains by far Europe´s biggest economy with a GDP of 3,65 Trillion U.S. $ in 2013. Moreover, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Germany ranks on fifth place for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the U.S. German investments account for over 10% of all FDI in the country, a highly significant figure if you take into account that the U.S. is the largest recipient of FDI in the world. Furthermore, as a report made by the Representative of German Industry and Trade suggests, more than 570.000 American workers in the U.S. are employed at German companies.

On the one hand, especially during these times of economic downturn in Europe, the German locomotive is destined to lead the Euro zone both politically and economically. On the other hand the United States and its businesses need Germany as a partner in order to continue their successful path out of the financial crisis. American and German leaders have to be aware of the far reaching consequences their actions might have for both our countries.

Arne Schönbohm studied International Management in Dortmund, London and Taipei. From 1995 to 2008 he worked for EADS, last as Vice President Commercial and Defence Solutions. Since December 2008 he is Chief Executive Officer of BSS BuCET Shared Services AG. Furthermore Arne Schönbohm is an expert on security and consultant for various political decision makers at federal as well as at state level. He is the president of the Cyber Security Council Germany, since December 2012 member of the Cyber Security Coordination Group and chairman of the cyber security group of the German chancellors’ federal party. Furthermore he is author of numerous publications and articles such as “Germany’s Security – Cyber Crime and Cyber War”, vol. 2 of the book series Germany’s Security.

Events at Deutsches Haus (located at 42 Washington Mews, New York, N.Y.) are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to: deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited; please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. For more information, call 212.988.8660.
 

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