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The German government intends to dismiss the nation’s cybersecurity director Arne Schönbohm for allegedly being associated with the Russian spy service.
According to a German media report, Nancy Faeser, the German Interior Minister, wants to remove Schönbohm from the head of the federal agency in charge of cybersecurity because of his alleged links with the Russian secret service operatives.
However, other government sources claim that Faeser is using the media to replace Schönbohm as the head of the federal agency and succeed him in the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).
German cybersecurity chief controversy
Schönbohm and Faeser were supposed to appear in the SI Situation Report 2022. However, Schönbohm’s connection to the Russian spy service hindered the meeting. The Interior Ministry told the German tabloid Bild how the change in the presidency would affect the daily bureaucratic work. The Interior Ministry told the German tabloid Bild how the difference in the presidency would affect the Ministry. “It is being examined how a rapid change of president can be achieved,” Faeser said.
As per the report, German officials prefer to assign Schönbohm to a new position rather than fire him immediately due to the restrictions in the civil service statute. However, the question remains open for Schönbohm and his connections to Russian agents via the German Cyber Security Council.
The chairman of the oversight committee for the intelligence services in the Bundestag said that the “charges must be firmly probed” and the outcome should come as soon as possible because the controversies can take a toll on other members and employees in the council, disrupting the day-to-day administration.
Germany is a democratic country, employing ministries to handle different council tasks. The cybersecurity ministry is joined by a threat detection business called Protelio (formerly GmbH), situated in Berlin, one of the council’s members.
The Interior Ministry has reportedly requested Schönbohm to distance himself from the council for the time being. However, his latest visit to the council to celebrate the group’s anniversary has further agitated the Ministry to take strict actions against him.