The head of Germany’s national cybersecurity agency has been fired following reports of possible links to Russian intelligence.
The head of the BSI agency, Arne Schoenbohm, has been sacked by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, according to the German news agency dpa.
A decade ago, Mr. Schoenbohm, 53, co-founded a cybersecurity group that brings together experts from public agencies and the private sector.
German media reported that one of its members was a company founded by a predecessor. Russian intelligence officers, and Mr. Schoenbohm may have had contact with those involved in Kremlin security.
The association rejected the absurd connection.
The German government said more than a week ago that it was conducting a full investigation into the reports.
The company said the decision to replace him was also in the interest of the agency’s 1,500 employees and their ability to work without regard for personnel issues, dpa reported.
people are increasingly worried Germany Because of Berlin’s support for Ukraine, the country’s critical infrastructure could be targeted by Russia.
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Mr. Schoenbohm has been Head of BSI since February 2016.
The ministry said the allegations would be thoroughly investigated and assessed, while Mr Schoenbohm would be presumed innocent.
Mr Schoenbohm was quoted by German news weekly Der Spiegel as saying he had asked for disciplinary proceedings to be launched on Monday to clarify the matter as there was no “feedback” on the allegations.
He said he did not yet know “what the ministry reviewed and what the specific allegations against me were like”.