Commenting on the cybersecurity agenda presented on 12 July by the German Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser, eco Board Member for IT Dr. Norbert Pohlmann explains:
“eco welcomes the fact that the German federal government is resolutely pushing ahead with increasing cybersecurity. eco sees the strengthening of the resilience of digital infrastructures and the strengthening of an independent role of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as important factors for more trust in the state as an actor in cybersecurity policy. The exchange of information between industry and administration urgently needs to be improved so that existing vulnerabilities can be closed as quickly as possible. Closer and targeted cooperation between all stakeholders such as the state, the user industry, the provider industry and research in the field of cybersecurity technologies will help to jointly master the mammoth task of cybersecurity for all.
At the same time, we would like to point out that parts of the presented agenda are currently still too vaguely formulated and must therefore be critically scrutinised. This concerns, for example, the regulations on vulnerability management, but also the planned expansion of the state’s powers to investigate technical matters, which could possibly include means that are problematic from our point of view, such as state Trojans or hackbacks. It must be clear that increasing IT security must not come at the expense of civil liberties online. Massive interventions in the confidentiality of electronic communication could undermine citizens’ trust in digital technologies and, at the same time, become a security risk online. The Internet industry, therefore, appeals to the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) to critically re-examine its plans from these points of view and hopes for a constructive dialogue in the implementation of the agenda.”