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German Armed Forces leak shows the importance of secure communication

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In the past few days, it has become known that a conversation between senior officers of the German Armed Forces was leaked to Russian sources. The video conferencing solution WebEx was used. The incident once again highlights the explosive nature and importance of digital sovereignty and secure communication.

According to current information, it was possible for third parties to dial into the video conference of the German Armed Forces without being noticed and thus make a recording. It is particularly sensitive that the options for supplying Ukraine with the Taurus cruise missile were also discussed - and therefore highly sensitive and top secret information was exchanged. The conference is said to have been held via the WebEx application, with participants also allegedly joining in by telephone. This has already been commented on by the Ministry of Defense:

"There are indications that an insufficiently secure means of communication was used in view of the content that was obviously discussed. This is one of the subjects of further investigations."

This incident not only highlights the dangers of careless handling of confidential communication, but also raises critical questions about digital sovereignty in state institutions. In particular, the use of WebEx, a product from a US company, requires close scrutiny. As a closed-source platform, it is not possible for third parties to understand what is running in the engine room of this application and what data is being stored and where.

Government institutions should therefore consciously opt for independent and verifiable means of communication where they retain full control in their own hands. Regardless of whether this involves video conferences, emails or messengers.

Open source solutions such as OpenTalk offer transparency and digital sovereignty instead of a data black box, as is common in international companies. OpenTalk enables secure video conferencing, allowing companies and institutions to retain control over their communication infrastructure and protect themselves from potential risks.

Further information

Further information on digital sovereignty and national security can be found in the presentation "Digital Sovereignty and National Security: Only with Open Source?" by OpenTalk CEO Peer Heinlein. The presentation was recorded at this year's Univention Summit.


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