BERLIN: Private data stolen from hundreds of German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have been released online, the government said Friday, reports AFP.
The information, which comprised home addresses, mobile phone numbers, letters, invoices and copies of identity documents, was published via Twitter in December but inexplicably only came to light this week.It was not immediately clear whether the officials were targeted by hackers or were the victims of an internal leak.
“Personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the internet,” government spokeswoman Martina Fietz told reporters, confirming that Merkel was one of them.
“The government is taking this incident very seriously.”
Among those affected were members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, and the European Parliament, as well as those from regional and local assemblies, she said.
Deputies from all parties represented in the Bundestag were affected, as well as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
But Fietz said a preliminary investigation indicated that “no sensitive information or data” from Merkel’s office had been leaked.Berlin’s political establishment reacted with alarm.
“Whoever is behind this wants to damage faith in our democracy and its institutions,” Justice Minister Katarina Barley said in a statement.
Beyond politicians, the leak also exposed the private data of celebrities and journalists.
The daily Bild and public broadcaster RBB first reported the leak.
Bild said it was not clear when the data theft began but said it continued until the end of October.