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In following sentence:

"...involves the natural conflict between citizens’ expectations and government policy for data protection and preserving privacy vis-à-vis the need to share information across boundaries and borders (e.g., government to industry, government to government, industry to industry) with the intent to enhance security."

"both citizens and government want privacy but there is a need to share" or "citizens want privacy but government needs to share information"?

  • 2
    Seems your first impression is correct: both and government are on the same side and they want data protection and privacy, however, and their expectations and policies are in conflict with the need to share. – Arsen Y.M. Nov 10 '14 at 22:25
  • - missed citizens after both in my previous comment and put an extra and after however – Arsen Y.M. Nov 10 '14 at 23:35
  • To properly answer this, you need to clarify whether the government also wants privacy, or it is only a matter of the citizens wanting privacy, but the government needs to share information. – kayleeFrye_onDeck Nov 11 '14 at 22:35
  • Whatever, it's clear that the author was not striving for clarity. – Hot Licks Oct 11 '15 at 20:31
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For context, here is a lengthier version of the quotation, from Alexander Klimburg, ed., National Cyber Security Framework Manual (NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, 2012), pp. 39–40:

1.5.4. Data Protection vs. Information Sharing

Another barrier to realising the full economic benefits of the internet economy involves the natural conflict between citizens' expectations and government policy for data protection and preserving privacy vis-à-vis the need to share information across boundaries and borders (e.g., government to industry, government to government, industry to industry) with the intent to enhance security. Enterprises of all kinds rely on the willingness of consumers and business partners to entrust them with private information. These constituents, in turn, expect that this information will stay both private and secure. Citizens expect protection from intrusions by both private and governmental actors.

As the subhead indicates, the central conflict under discussion is the one between data protection on the one hand and information sharing on the other. Unfortunately the language of the first sentence goes from murky to well-nigh impenetrable at approximately the word vis-à-vis (which here seems to carry the meaning "in relation to" or "with regard to"). Structurally, the difficulty in parsing the sentence involves determining how much of the verbiage in the following extended series of phrases applies to "citizens' expectations" (one side of the "natural conflict") and how much applies only to "government policy" (the other side):

for data protection and preserving privacy vis-à-vis the need to share information across boundaries and borders (e.g., government to industry, government to government, industry to industry) with the intent to enhance security.

The simplest reading (and the one that I think the author intends) assigns the entirety of the "for data protection..." language to "government policy," so that "citizens' expectations" remains unexplained for the rest of the sentence. If my reading is correct, we have to wait until the "Enterprises of all kinds rely on the willingness of consumers..." sentence for the author to return to considering nongovernmental interests of any kind; and we have to wait until the "Citizens expect protection..." sentence for the author to pick up the specific thread that was left dangling at "citizens' expectations" three sentences earlier.

Now let's try to put the blather about "government policy" into coherent form, by translating

government policy for data protection and preserving privacy vis-à-vis the need to share information across boundaries and borders (e.g., government to industry, government to government, industry to industry) with the intent to enhance security.

into something like this (my wording):

government policy that tries to respect the idea of protecting data and preserving privacy (on the one hand) and yet attempts to streamline the process of sharing data with other governments and investigative bodies in order to combat security breaches and other forms of cybercrime (on the other).

In the wording "government policy for data protection and preserving privacy vis-à-vis the need to share information across boundaries and borders," it is very tempting to understand vis-à-vis as meaning something like "within the subordinate status that these considerations possess in comparison to." What makes the explication of "government policy" awkward for the NATO author to express is the fact that promoting governmental security and anti-crime activity may entail invading the personal security (that is, privacy) of citizens and private businesses.

It is significant that the author characterizes the split between "citizens' expectations" and "government policy" as a "natural conflict," not as an "area requiring a balancing of interests." Evidently, when push comes to shove, governments aren't interested in working out a binding compromise between private security and public security; they are interested in pursuing their security goals with as little interference and friction from the private sector as possible.

So, in answer to your question—

"both citizens and government want privacy but there is a need to share" or "citizens want privacy but government needs to share information"?

—I think that the National Cyber Security Framework Manual is saying this (my wording):

Both citizens and governments want security, but citizens want it in the form of personal privacy, while governments want it, in part, in the form of easy access to information (including citizens' private information) that may help them combat perceived security threats.

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