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Bloggers from all over the world at the Federal Foreign Office

04.08.2014 - Article

Freedom and security online – a cross-border, cross-cutting topic. This week, as part of the international Visitors Programme, 15 bloggers and online activists from all over the world are learning more about Germany’s international engagement and the debates taking place within the country.

Young bloggers from all over the world in the Federal Foreign Office
Young bloggers from all over the world in the Federal Foreign Office© AA
Internet policy, international cyber policy, e‑democracy and open government – these are all the subject of heated debate in Germany, just as they are in international forums. Reason enough to invite 15 bloggers and online activists from all around the world to Germany: over the course of a week-long themed trip they are learning about our country’s international engagement in this field, as well as about the debates taking place within the Country.They come from a wide variety of countries such as Armenia, Bangladesh, China and Tunisia. They are bloggers, online activists, online editors or university lecturers specialised in internet law and data protection. In their countries, their activities on Web 2.0 sites are subjected to entirely different rules to those in force in Germany, and the networks are set up in very different ways. Nevertheless, they are all confronted with the same key issues of freedom online and the security of personal data.

Freedom and security online – a cross-border, cross-cutting topic

Seminar documents on international cyber policy
Seminar documents on international cyber policy© AA

In Berlin, this became clear on the very first day of the trip dedicated to the theme of internet policy – the 15 participants met representatives of the International Cyber Policy Coordination Staff, the Policy Planning Staff and the Website Editorial Office on Monday (4 August).

The internet as a challenge for diplomacy

In an introduction to Germany’s international cyber policy, the key question was how to balance openness, freedom and security online – a cross-cutting topic in the international sphere.

Caught between the demands of the internet and democracy

Snapshot of the discussion
Snapshot of the discussion© AA

The question of regulating the internet as well as the issue of its practical use were the subject of the lively discussion which ensued. The participants not only asked the speakers questions, but also shared their own experiences and described the situation in their respective countries.

The seminar runs until 9 August. The main focus is on exchange with political decision-makers, human rights defenders, online activists and journalists.

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