German interior minister cybers the Constitution

According to a new concept, federal authorities are to be given hacking powers, with the Ukraine war cited as the reason

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in Bonn is the German government’s top authority for digital information security issues in the state, economy and society. Details are set out in a BSI law that was last amended by the Bundestag a year ago. With around 800 new posts and so-called „honeypots“ and „sinkholes,“ it is now allowed to lure cyber attackers and send them back manipulated information. Now more competencies are to follow and the Constitution is to be amended for this purpose, according to a concept presented today by the Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (Social Democratic Party), who formally supervises the agency.

Accordingly, the BSI is to be given powers to prevent threats. This would allow it to „act on IT infrastructures that are being used for an attack.“ Servers from which attackers operate could then be shut down in a targeted manner. However, Faeser believes that this would not be an „aggressive counterattack“. But the German hacker authority ZITiS will also to be strengthened according to the concept and receive its own law. „German interior minister cybers the Constitution“ weiterlesen

Germany: Many „silent SMS“ at federal and state level

Inquiries in parliaments and under the Freedom of Information Act show the amount of secret text messages to find out the whereabouts of telephones and their owners. Police use the method in real time for arrests, while secret services create longer-term movement profiles with it.

„Silent SMS“ are text messages whose reception is not indicated by the mobile phone. However, they generate a communication process that is logged by the telephone providers. With a court order, security authorities query this data record. Police and secret services are interested in the radio cells in which the phones are located. In this way, they obtain the location and a movement profile of the persons concerned.

For some years now, biannual inquiries to the German government have documented that the figures for „silent SMS“ at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Police are at a similar level. The highest value for both authorities together was in the first half of 2016 at around 138,000, the lowest in the first half of 2019 at around 26,000. Subsequently, the figures have more than doubled again, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced last week. „Germany: Many „silent SMS“ at federal and state level“ weiterlesen