Disaster control: FDP calls for cyber aid for a more resilient network


Based on the model of the Technical Relief Organization (THW), a cyber aid organization is to be set up in this country in order to maintain or quickly restore connections via mobile communications and stationary landlines in emergencies. The FDP parliamentary group speaks out in favor of this in a ten-point position paper, such as that Spiegel reports. The Liberals want to draw conclusions from the recent flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The group is therefore based on the USA. After the collapse of the local mobile communications infrastructure during hurricanes, civil groups were created there in order to “create decentralized capacities for the faster rebuilding of connectivity after disasters”. Such teams could also help in this country to secure cell phone masts, to set up emergency aids or to reconnect separate lines.

The intended cyber aid organization should not be confused with the similar term “active cyber defense” with which the federal government and security authorities want to make digital counter-attacks rhetorically palatable to citizens. The FDP is fundamentally critical of such heavily controversial hackbacks.

With the list of demands, which the parliamentary group board is said to have already decided, the Liberals are also promoting the integration of cell broadcasting into the local warning system for disaster control. Especially in the case of severe weather warnings via the weather services and the media, it has so far been problematic for the population to assess the specific risk. The push procedure has the advantage of sending warning messages directly and continuously in the immediate run-up to a storm to all mobile phones in Germany or to a specific region.

The parliamentary group also demands that existing warning systems such as the so far little-used NINA app of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) be made better known, expanded and further relevant technologies developed. “In the event of a crisis, uniform, transparent and unambiguous communication of information via analog and digital media must be guaranteed by the responsible authorities”, quotes the magazine from the document. “Warning sirens that exist at the municipal level must be preserved and maintenance carried out on time.”

The BBK is to act in parallel with a central office in the event of particularly serious accidents as well as major cross-border disasters. There is still no “continuous nationwide picture of the available forces and resources at the federal and state levels”.

According to the report, the FDP does not want to centralize disaster control, but rather to restructure the relationship and responsibilities. In certain transnational crisis situations, however, a coordinating role for the federal government could be useful. Corresponding reforms should best be defined in the Federalism Commission.

When it comes to climate protection, the Liberals are betting on expanding CO2 emissions trading, it is said. The state should set a guaranteed limit for greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, “but leave it to the economy to achieve this goal without further burdensome regulations”. Scientists emphasize that climate change contributes to weather phenomena such as heavy rain. They are calling for a stronger focus on the Paris climate protection goals and a restructuring of the infrastructure. Part of the FDP catalog is also the call for faster help for affected people and regions.


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