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Freedom in the digital world

Cyber policy, data protection and civil society: digitisation raises new questions about rights and self-determination.

© dpa/Sven Hoppe - Cyberpolitics

Data protection: To protect intellectual property

The issue of protecting data and ideas has become more urgent with digitalization. Germany attaches great importance to the topic; as early as 1978 it appointed a federal commissioner for data protection. On the international stage it also advocates strengthening data protection.

Cyberpolitics: For a digital agenda

The world is getting ever smaller thanks to digitalization. This is also changing economic and social-policy processes and raising completely new issues as regards laws, security and determining the use of private information. Germany has taken it upon itself to help proactively shape this development. The federal government’s cyber foreign policy consciously seeks to embed the “digital agenda” in european and international policy developments.

Clearly identifying the opportunities and risks 

Constanze Kurz champions a public sphere that takes a critical view of digitalization. “We have completely changed our communication behaviour patterns within an incredibly short space of time,” comments the author and spokesperson of the “Chaos Computer Club“.


Constanze Kurz © picture-alliance/Eventpress Stauffenberg

Freedom on the internet: For free internet access

For journalists and bloggers, and for the inhabitants of countries where freedom of information is restricted, the internet and social media have become indispensable tools. Countless groups and individuals in germany are busy combatting censorship and surveillance.

“One challenge is to prevent a digital split, i.e., a split between the internet-haves and the have-nots.” Gesche joost, the german federal government’s internet ambassador


Gesche Joost ©dpa/Jan Haas

Civil society: For ­voluntary commitment

Germany has a strong civil society. Almost every third person does voluntary work, be it in a political party, a sports club, or a centre supporting children or young people. This participation
is key to maintaining social cohesion.


The following internet portals provide useful additional information on the topic:

Specifically on the subject of cyber security we recommend the following Websites: