Leaders from Germanys Social Democratic Party urged Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to act after a massive data hack exposed sensitive information on hundreds of politicians, journalists, comedians and activists, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germans must be informed about “which authority knew what, when, and what the reactions were,” the SPD Secretary-General Lars Klingbeil told local newspapers Sunday.
The SPD criticisms extended to Germanys Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), but are politically notable because the SPD is part of the coalition government made up of Seehofers Christian Social Union and their ally the Christian Democratic Union.
“This should be a priority for Horst Seehofer, its about protecting our democracy,” Klingbeil said.
Thomas Oppermann, vice president of the Bundestag and a fellow SPD member, backed the SPD secretary-general.
The Federal Office for Information Security “must be the central cyberdefense center in Germany and Interior Minister Seehofer must realize that this is one of the most important tasks in internal security and will remain in the coming years,” Oppermann told Bild am Sonntag.
Seehofer, in response, pledged to ensure full transparency on the hack, telling the Süddeutsche Zeitung that “the public will learn everything I know.”
Hackers used a Twitter account to leak private emails, Facebook messages, cell phone numbers and photographs over a four-week period starting in early December.
Data exposed included information about members of the national parliament, state parliaments and the European Parliament, as well as local officials.
Reports emerged over the weekend that the Federal Office for Information Security, the countrys national cybersecurity agency, had known about part of the hack as early as December, but did not inform officials or the public.
“At the beginning of December 2018, it was not foreseeable that there were more cases. A correlation of the individual cases mentioned above could only be determined after the fact by analyzing the entirety of the currently published data sets,” the cybersecurity agency wrote in a statement.
This story has been updated.
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