Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector

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Why does ZITiS exist?

Our digital world contains both opportunities and risks. Many technologies, for example, improve data protection and data security and have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. But criminals and terrorists abuse precisely these technologies for their own purposes. In addition, the short development cycles in the software and hardware sectors require continuous and innovative further development of the technical capabilities of the security authorities. To meet this challenge, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Homeland has established the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS) as part of the cyber security strategy for Germany.

What does ZITiS do?

The tasks of ZITiS are based on the needs of the security authorities. They include development, consulting, and research in the areas of digital forensics, telecommunications surveillance, cryptanalysis, Big Data analysis, and technical issues related to crime, threat, and counterintelligence. However, ZITiS itself has no powers of intervention.

Why is ZITiS in Munich?

The decisive factor for us is the location in a high-tech region. "Isar Valley" is an unofficial but apt designation for Munich and the surrounding area as a top IT and technology location in Europe. This is mainly due to the high density of universities and research institutions as well as a strong industry and economy. Another advantage for our employees: Munich also regularly tops the rankings when it comes to quality of life - and this is not only due to the city's numerous beer gardens and parks and its proximity to the Alps, as well as numerous recreational opportunities, but also to excellent educational and transportation facilities and much more.

What does the ZITiS logo stand for?

The signet of the ZITiS logo consists of arrow-shaped six elements. These stand firmly together and point upwards. This represents the positive team spirit of our employees. Each element has its fixed place and the shapes of the elements fit together - like a team in which everyone performs their task. The distance between the elements again creates its own white shape. A kind of zigzag grid. This is how you look at tasks at ZITiS. Not straight ahead, but with creativity and in all directions.

Legal Basis

ZITiS was established by the Establishment Decree of April 6, 2017 (GMBl 2017, p. 274) as a federal agency with no legal capacity in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Homeland. It does not itself perform police or intelligence tasks and has no powers of intervention.

Errichtungserlass ZITiS (PDF, 131KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

Personnel und Budget

A total of 309 positions are planned for 2021. In the 2020 budget, 245 posts (target) and 53.597 million euros of material resources were foreseen.

Legal basis, supervision and control

The Establishment Decree is published in the Joint Ministerial Gazette of the Federal Ministries on 20.4.2017 (GMBl No.15, 2017, page 274, ISSN 0939-4729). ZITiS is neither a police nor an intelligence agency. Consequently, it has no such powers.
Like other government agencies, ZITiS operates on the basis of existing laws and regulations and is subject to control by various institutions.

Management Control

The Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Homeland exercises official and technical supervision over the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) monitors compliance with and implementation of applicable data protection regulations. In the course of their activities, they have the right to inspect files.

Reports on the activities of ZITiS take place before both the Budget Committee and the Committee on the Interior and Homeland. In addition, the Federal Court of Audit (Bundesrechnungshof, BRH) audits the budgetary and economic management of the federal government, including ZITiS. and informs Parliament and the BMI of the result of its examination. The budget of ZITiS is published annually in the Act on the Adoption of the Federal Budget for the respective fiscal year.

Parliamentary Control

Parliamentary control of ZITiS takes place through debates, current affairs, urgent questions, and minor and major questions in the German Bundestag. Control is also exercised through reporting before the Interior Committee, the Budget Committee and, if necessary, a committee of inquiry.

Judicial Control

The legality of the administration and the independence of the courts are among the pillars of the free democratic basic order (fdGO). ZITiS operates solely on the basis of applicable laws, administrative and service regulations and is subject to review by independent courts.

Public Control

Citizens can obtain information and submit petitions through direct or indirect submissions and inquiries, which are handled by the Petitions Committee of the Bundestag.

The claim of ZITiS is to be as transparent as possible. However, this transparency has its limits where the fulfillment of the safety authorities' mission is jeopardized. In these cases, the disclosure of methods, systems or products as well as specific information on the activities, methodology and concrete technical capabilities of the federal security authorities must be reliably prevented.