Berlin Despite criticism from the coalition partners, the Federal Minister of the Interior insists Nancy Faser (SPD) to expand the powers of the security authorities in the fight against cybercrime.
“We will create new powers for the security authorities to avert danger,” Faeser told the Handelsblatt. It is also about measures that go beyond the mere investigation of a cyber attack. “We must be able to influence IT infrastructures that are used for an attack,” emphasized the minister. “In this way, the security authorities can prevent, stop or at least mitigate serious cyber attacks.”
Domestic politicians from the Greens and the FDP expressed disapproval of the minister’s plans. However, Faeser pointed out that with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the threat posed by Russian cyber attacks had “gained another dimension”. The federal and state governments would therefore have to “confront cyber threats in a coordinated manner and continuously develop their skills”.
In this context, the minister underlined her intention to expand the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) into a central office in the federal-state relationship by amending the Basic Law. A comparable structure already exists at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which work closely with the respective state authorities.
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Of the FDPDomestic politician Stephan Thomae warned: “More and more powers of intervention for the security authorities do not necessarily lead to more security, but grind on civil rights.” Finally, the SPD, FDP and Greens had “clearly agreed on a paradigm shift in security policy” in their coalition agreement.
Greens for “hardening our IT infrastructure”
The Greens chairman in the interior committee, Marcel Emmerich, also emphasized that the coalition agreement was “crystal clear” on these issues. He told the dpa news agency: “More monitoring doesn’t solve any problems, but mostly occupies the courts.” Emmerich demanded: “We should focus much more on measures that ultimately create more security, such as hardening our IT infrastructure – and to better equip the security authorities in terms of personnel and technology.”
According to a study by the industry association of the German information and telecommunications industry, Bitkomcompany is formed in Germany annual damage of around 203 billion euros due to theft of IT equipment and data as well as espionage and sabotage. A year ago, the value was still 223 billion euros. However, the damage is almost twice as high as in 2018 and 2019.
Almost every company is affected by cyber attacks. According to their own statements, 84 percent of the companies surveyed have already been the victim of an attack, and a further nine percent assume that they will be attacked in the future. The companies recorded a sharp increase in attacks Russia and China.
43 percent of the affected companies have identified an attacker from China at least once, compared to 30 percent a year ago. 36 percent located the origin of the attack in Russia, in 2021 it was 23 percent.
BitkomPresident Achim Berg said that with the Russian war against Ukraine and hybrid warfare, including in the digital sphere, at the latest, the threat posed by cyber attacks to the economy has become the focus of companies and politicians.