Tech

Federal budget: Significantly more money for the police and secret services

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The Bundestag decided on Friday the federal budget for 2021, which comprises a volume of 498.6 billion euros with new borrowing of almost 180 billion euros. The package provides for a strong increase in the budget of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), which will amount to around 18.46 billion euros in the coming year with an increase of 3.4 billion compared to 2020.

The new BMI budget provides around 2000 new posts for the area of ​​internal security. “We are thus concluding the program of an additional 7,500 positions for the security authorities, which was agreed in the coalition agreement”, Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer is pleased about the record level. For the security area, the budget for 2021 envisages a volume of almost 7.5 billion euros. Compared to the current budget, this is over a billion euros more.

The additional funds come primarily from the coalition’s corona stimulus package. Black-Red raised the approved funds again compared to the government draft for the budget. “This gives us the unique opportunity to modernize the equipment and accommodation of our security authorities and to improve the IT equipment,” explained Seehofer. For the CSU politician, this includes “many smaller individual measures, but also mega-projects” such as the modernization of the federal police’s helicopter fleet.

The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) gets next year for the first time over a billion euros. In the year the NSA whistleblower was revealed in 2013, the “subsidy” for the foreign intelligence service was around half that of a good 500 million euros. However, it is subordinate to the Federal Chancellery, so these expenses are not are recorded in the BMI budget.

At a good 832 million euros lands the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The authority that reports to the interior department also had it seven years ago only half as much budget available. 400 new posts are planned there, among other things to fight clan crime more intensely.

The Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (Zitis) also receives almost twice as much money as in 2019. Its budget increases again, this time from just under 37 to 66 million euros. The mysterious ‘hacker authority’ headed by an ex-BND man describes itself as a “research and development authority for technical solutions with a cyber connection”. For example, it creates tools “that are indispensable for the security authorities to perform their duties.”

According to one internal focus paper on the budget from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which Netzpolitik.org has published, Zitis is supposed to take care of big data analyzes and evaluate seized storage media such as hard drives and USB sticks as well as devices such as computers, smartphones and servers. In addition, there is help with telecommunications monitoring with a new focus on 5G and the evaluation of existing data, where the central office is already armed for the “necessary adjustments” through the planned extended information requirements for telemedia services such as WhatsApp & Co.

With the development of state Trojans for the source TKÜ and secret online searches, the Zitis should stay on the ball in the coming year. She wants to set up a joint “IT monitoring” development center here with the BKA. One goal is to bypass the end-to-end encryption of messenger services.

In addition, Zitis continues to work on the construction and operation of a high-performance computer for decryption. It should also help to generate “fictional depictions of child pornography” that investigators may use in the future under the law against cybergrooming. The state hackers will also be looking at digital sovereignty. In this field, they should develop “technical cyber skills” centrally. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the position also deals according to the plan “with methods for the detection and analysis of criminal network content” such as hate speech.