The head of the BSI has a difficult time in the cyber security community. Now Arne Schönbohm is also getting political trouble, which could cost him his office.
According to media reports, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants to recall Arne Schönbohm, President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior did not want to comment on the reports when asked. From ministerial circles it was said that the presentation of the BSI management report, which was originally planned for Thursday, is to be postponed.
Schönbohm has been criticized for possible contacts with Russian secret service circles via the controversial “Cyber Security Council Germany” association. A spokesman said the Ministry of the Interior is investigating the facts and examining them closely: “All options are being examined and how the current situation should be dealt with.”
Because of the provisions of civil service law, the head of the agency cannot simply be dismissed. the picture reports that after the dismissal, a new position will be sought for Schönbohm as soon as possible and a successor will be sought for the BSI. The BSI did not respond to a request from the dpa.
Russia-based company Cyber Security Council member
The association “Cyber Security Council Germany” is criticized, among other things, because of the membership of the Berlin cybersecurity company Protelion. The company operated under the name Infotecs GmbH until the end of March. This is a subsidiary of the Russian cybersecurity company OAOInfotecs Information from the research network Policy Network Analytics was founded by a former employee of the Russian intelligence service KGB.
According to dpa information, there has long been displeasure in the Ministry of the Interior about Schönbohm’s role in and his dealings with the Cyber Security Council. The recent allegations and Schönbohm’s visit to the club’s anniversary have apparently made the camel’s last straw, reports that Handelsblatt and picture citing government circles. Schönbohm’s connection was previously on the show by Jan Böhmermann ZDF Magazine Royale been discussed.
The digital policy spokeswoman for the Left Group in the German Bundestag, Anke Domscheit-Berg, stated on Twitter on Saturday, she had requested that the digital committee deal with the issue next Wednesday. What Jan Böhmermann made public about connections between Russian intelligence services, “a dubious cyber security association, its members and the BSI” is incomprehensible.
Schönbohm co-founder of the Cyber Security Council
Schönbohm is one of the co-founders of the “Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland eV”, which has been criticized, among other things, because it acted like a supposed state institution on certain occasions. In 2019, club president Hans-Wilhelm Dünn also had an opposite the ARD magazine contrasts and the weekly magazine The time Contacts to Russian secret service agencies admitted.
According to dpa information, Schönbohm had been suggested several times to distance himself from the “Cyber Security Council Germany eV”. At the beginning of September, however, the head of the authorities appeared at the club to publicly congratulate it on its tenth anniversary.