eco on the Reorganisation of the Leadership Level at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)

On Friday, 22 March 2024, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser placed the Heads of Departments Andreas Könen (Head of the Cyber and Information Security Department) and Pia Karger (Head of the Digital Society Department) into temporary retirement. Both departments are of particular importance to eco – Association of the Internet Industry.

Klaus Landefeld, Vice Chair of eco Association, explains:

“For constructive collaboration with associations and civil society, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) would be well advised to take the personnel change as an opportunity for a swift and effective implementation of the coalition agreement.

“Friederike Dahns, the future Head of the CI Department, should now advance the key issues that are most important to us: these topics include a more independent German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), effective vulnerability management aimed at closing security vulnerabilities, the transposition of the European Cyber Resilience Act, and the long-awaited update of the IT Security Act. The recently stalled transposition of the European NIS2 Cybersecurity Directive must finally proceed through the legislative process if Germany does not want to breach its obligations. The insufficient European AI Regulation also urgently needs to be corrected or clarified: any AI-based biometric recognition in public spaces must be ruled out in Germany.”

Landefeld further emphasises that demands which are the responsibility of other ministries, such as the right to encryption, also need firm backing in the BMI. “Upon taking office two years ago, the German federal government made it unequivocally clear that ensuring digital civil rights and IT security is a governmental obligation. Now is the right time to put an end to the BMI’s repeated glances in the direction of data retention, chat control, hackback or other measures explicitly excluded by the coalition agreement.”

eco – Association of the Internet Industry wishes the new Heads of Departments, Friederike Dahns and Martin von Simson, all the best for their new tasks and looks forward to constructive collaboration.

eco Board Member Klaus Landefeld on the German Coalition Agreement: “A surveillance overview bill must not just be lip service”