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Bitkom criticizes planned back doors in communication networks

  • Berg: "Weakened networks always offer gateways for cyber criminals.

Today the Federal Cabinet intends to pass a bill to amend the constitution protection law to combat legal terrorism and extremism. The digital association Bitkom warns against weakening the security of telecommunications networks in the course of the planned changes. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior's draft, telecommunications providers will in future be obliged to actively support security authorities in uploading malicious programs into the terminals of suspected targets via their networks. "Terrorism and extremism must be consistently fought and pursued at all levels," says Bitkom President Achim Berg. "Extended surveillance powers must not, however, lead to a weakening of the overall security of the networks.

In detail, the draft law provides that interventions in the information technology systems of targets of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution should be carried out via the providers of telecommunications services. The communication data of the target persons are then to be monitored and recorded without encryption. The prerequisite for this is that malicious software is smuggled into the corresponding systems via the networks of the service providers. According to the law, telecommunications providers would also have to grant access to their facilities. "Weakened networks always offer gateways for cyber criminals," says Berg. "And so it must be assumed that the hoped-for successes in searches will be at a high price with additional targets for cyber criminals and foreign services. From Bitkom's point of view, it also remains completely unclear how companies should deal with possible claims for damages and liability issues if they have to intervene in IT systems on the instructions of the authorities.

Bitkom pleads for a better coordination of the latest legislative initiatives on IT security - especially in view of the planned IT Security Act 2.0 and the upcoming amendment of the Telecommunications Act.