Kofferübergabe zwischen zwei Männern zur Illustration des Arbeitsfelds „Geheim- und Sabotageschutz", Keyvisual Geheim- und Sabotageschutz

Personnel/physical security

Only a small group of people is allowed access to specific sensitive state information, because its disclosure might jeopardise vital interests or the security of the Federation or of any of its federal states. Hence, in Germany, certain facts, objects or intelligence are categorised as classified material to be kept secret. Depending on the level of secrecy, they are marked with one of the following classifications: STRENG GEHEIM (Top Secret), GEHEIM (Secret), VS – VERTRAULICH (Confidential) or VS - NUR FÜR DEN DIENSTGEBRAUCH (Restricted).

Persons to be granted access to material classified CONFIDENTIAL or higher have to be subjected to a security vetting procedure to determine whether they will use great care in dealing with this information and do not constitute a security risk. Security vetting requires the concerned person's consent.

The nature and extent of security vetting depend on the sensitivity of the intelligence to which the person subject to the security vetting procedure is intended to have access. The measures range from consulting the Bundeszentralregister (Federal Central Criminal Register) and other security agencies to security investigations.

The BfV carries out the relevant procedure on behalf of the authority wishing to employ the person subject to security vetting. If security vetting is required by a business enterprise dealing with classified material, the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) will task the BfV.

The following may be reasons not to employ a person in a security-sensitive post:

  • Doubts about the person's reliability (e.g. due to criminal offences or drug abuse).

  • Definite indications of a threat posed by approaches and recruitment attempts of foreign intelligence services (e.g. in case of excessive debts, because this is a suitable approach to prompt the person affected to disclose secrets for pay).

  • Doubts about the person's commitment to the free democratic basic order (e.g. in case of extremist activities).

The question whether an actual security risk arises from such a circumstance will have to be checked in each individual case, taking into account the affected person's prospective job.

As a result of the security vetting, the BfV will recommend whether the person who has undergone security vetting can be entrusted with tasks of a sensitive nature. The client who has tasked the BfV with carrying out the security vetting will make the final decision on the person's actual employment in a sensitive field.

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Emblem pro securitate

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Publications

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: Juli 2018
Further information Download
How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

DOI: März 2018
Further information Download
2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: Juli 2017
Further information Download
Our topics – Facts to know

Our topics – Facts to know

DOI: Januar 2017
Further information Download
Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

DOI: Januar 2017
Further information Download
Social media – Risks posed by social networks

Social media – Risks posed by social networks

DOI: März 2016
Further information Download