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According to media reports, Faeser wants to depose BSI President Schönbohm

According to a report by "ZDF Magazin Royale" about the President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Arne Schönbohm, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is planning to replace the head of the agency.

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According to media reports, Faeser wants to depose BSI President Schönbohm

According to a report by "ZDF Magazin Royale" about the President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Arne Schönbohm, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is planning to replace the head of the agency. "It is being examined how a quick change of president can be achieved," the "Bild" newspaper quoted the Federal Ministry of the Interior as saying. The "Handelsblatt" and the "Spiegel" also reported on a planned replacement of Schönbohm, citing government circles.

After that, a new use will be sought for Schönbohm as soon as possible and a successor for the BSI will be sought, reports “Bild”, also citing government circles. The reason for the dismissal were reports about possible contacts of Schönbohm in Russian secret service circles via the Cyber ​​Security Council Germany e.V.

According to the program moderated by Jan Böhmermann, Schönbohm is said to maintain contact with the association, which is said to have contacts with the Russian secret service. The "Handelsblatt" reported from government circles that there was "great annoyance" about the BSI President. The allegations were taken "very seriously" and "all options were examined" as to how Schönbohm could be recalled. A joint appearance by Faeser with Schönbohm to present the BSI management report 2022 next Thursday has been cancelled.

Domestic politicians of the traffic light coalition called for an explanation. The chairman of the secret service control committee in the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz (Greens), told the Handelsblatt: "The allegations in the room must be investigated very resolutely, regardless of Schönbohm's personal details."

SPD domestic politician Sebastian Fiedler told the Handelsblatt: "There has already been a major loss of confidence in the BSI." There is currently hardly any other topic for corporate managers for cyber security. Fiedler demanded an explanation from Schönbohm as to why, after originally distancing himself from the club, he was now even “publicly advertising the dubious club president”.

The connection between Schönbohm was discussed by Jan Böhmermann in the program "ZDF Magazin Royale". A spokesman said the Interior Ministry was investigating and examining the matter 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 "Bild" reported that after the dismissal, a new use would be sought for Schönbohm as soon as possible.

The association "Cyber ​​Security Council Germany" is criticized, among other things, for the membership of the Berlin cyber security company Protelion. The company operated under the name Infotecs GmbH until the end of March. This is a subsidiary of the Russian cybersecurity company O.A.O.Infotecs, which, according to 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 now apparently brought the last straw.

The digital policy spokeswoman for the Left Group in the German Bundestag, Anke Domscheit-Berg, said on Twitter on Saturday that she had requested that the digital committee deal with the topic 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 is one of the co-founders of the "Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V.", which has been criticized, among other things, because it acted like a supposed state institution on certain occasions. In 2019, the association's president, Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, admitted to contacts with Russian intelligence agencies to the ARD magazine "Kontraste" and the weekly magazine "Die Zeit".

According to dpa information, Schönbohm had been suggested several times to distance himself from the "Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V.". At the beginning of September, however, the head of the authorities appeared at the club to publicly congratulate it on its tenth anniversary.

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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