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Germany cyber agency head fired after reports of his close ties to Russia

Arne Schoenbohm, president of Germany’s BSI, national cyber defence body poses for a picture in front of the BSI’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany, January 4, 2019, after personal data and documents of German politicians and public figures have been published online. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The Ministry of the Interior of Germany has released the Chief of the Federal Office for Information Security Arne Schönbohm with immediate effect and is initiating disciplinary proceedings against him, Spiegel reports.

He is accused of continuing to maintain close ties to a cyber security association he co-founded and previously also headed and its current president, Hans-Wilhelm Dünn. Dünn has a problematic relationship with Russia. Among other things, he was in the country at the invitation of the State Duma as an “election observer” at the Russian presidential elections. And he signed a cooperation agreement for his club with a Russian counterpart in 2019, which was led by a former senior Russian intelligence official.

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