Operators have a duty: Faeser calls for more protection for critical infrastructure

operator’s duty
Faeser demands more protection for critical infrastructure

Interior Minister Faeser speaks of a “changed threat situation” with regard to the critical infrastructure. She calls on the operators of the facilities to make more efforts to protect the facilities. The war against Ukraine is also a turning point for internal security.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has called on operators of critical infrastructure facilities to do more for security. You would have to “invest massively” in order to build up structures several times and to have more backup systems if the main systems should fail, the SPD politician told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” (FAS). “The operators must arm themselves comprehensively against dangers such as natural disasters, terrorism, sabotage, but also human error,” the minister warned in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ).

The destruction of the Baltic Sea pipelines and the attacks on Deutsche Bahn clearly showed “that we have a changed threat situation. We have to prepare for all conceivable scenarios and continue to ramp up protective measures,” said Faeser. That’s why the police will be much more present at sea, she told the FAS.

Critical infrastructure includes facilities from the energy, transport, water, food, state and administration, health, information technology and telecommunications sectors. Faeser confirmed that she wants to present key points for a new Kritis umbrella law this year. It is intended to stipulate how operators can protect themselves better and when they must report an incident. At the same time, Faeser admitted that it would not be possible to “fully protect 34,000 kilometers of railway lines and millions of cable kilometers with cameras, sensors or even police officers”.

City day calls for more clarification

“The protection of our critical infrastructure has the highest priority,” said Faeser of the SZ. “The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine also marks a turning point in internal security. We are preparing for this.”

The Green politician Konstantin von Notz, who is also chairman of the parliamentary control committee, criticized that a lot had been missed in recent years. Central security policy risks have not been recognized as such for years. That’s taking revenge now, he told the FAS. The CDU politician Roderich Kiesewetter, deputy on the committee, called on the population to better arm themselves against power failures. Not everyone is aware of “the seriousness of the situation”. The government must therefore say to the citizens: “Buy radios with batteries, make sure you have water supplies.”

The German Association of Cities also called for the population to be better informed about the possible consequences of energy shortages or sabotage. “A blackout is a realistic scenario,” said managing director Helmut Dedy of the SZ. “People have so far been inexperienced with crises and disasters. That’s why continuous, transparent and easily accessible information about possible risks is important.” A functioning emergency supply of water and heat is only possible for a maximum of 72 hours, according to Dedy. Municipal civil protection cannot handle blackouts lasting several days alone. Government agencies would then have to work together across all levels.

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