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Germany dismisses its cybersecurity director over rumours of potential ties to Russia

After media reports suggested that the country’s cybersecurity director may have interacted with Russian security circles through a company he co-founded, Germany’s interior ministry sacked him on Tuesday and opened an inquiry into his behaviour.


After a satirical TV programme exposed his connections to a cybersecurity consultant that included as a member a German subsidiary of a Russian company formed by a former KGB operative, Arne Schoenbohm has come under fire recently.


Before being named head of BSI, the federal information security agency, in 2016 by former Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a conservative, Schoenbohm had co-founded the Cyber Security Council Germany to advise businesses and authorities on cybersecurity problems.


The allegations, according to a spokesperson for the interior ministry, which is now led by the Social Democrats, ‘permanently damaged the necessary public confidence in the neutrality and impartiality of his conduct in his office as president of Germany’s most important cybersecurity authority,’ which was the reason Schoenbohm was fired.


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