One Year Ago — Dutch Expand the Powers of Intelligence Agencies, Pass “Tapping Law”

“Traditionally, Senate concerns itself with the quality of legislation, compliance with the constitution and international agreements, and the question whether citizens’ rights are upheld. The dragnet surveillance bill fails on all counts.”

Bits of Freedom

“Look at what Facebook, Google, Twitter and Tinder know about you, and consider whether you’re worried about the right things. This law is for the safety of the Netherlands and for the Dutch people… I am voting in favour.”

Rob Bertholee  — Head of National Intelligence Agency

aivd_zoetermeer

AIVD Headquarters — Zoetermeer

July 12 2017 — On Wednesday, the Dutch Senate passed the bill for the new Intelligence and Security Services Act. The previous law restricted bulk or untargeted collection to wireless communications only, so cable access was only allowed for targeted and individualized interception. Keep in mind that this law applies to both foreign and domestic operations. UPDATE — On March 21 2018, Dutch voters had to decide whether spy agencies should have the power to install bulk taps on Internet traffic. They voted by a majority of 49.5% to 46.5% against the new legislation. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: An Introduction to Dutch Intelligence Agencies

RELATED POST: Dutch Intelligence Services operated with the CIA behind the Iron Curtain

RELATED POST: Russian Hackers — Evgeniy Bogachev aka “Umbro” aka “Lucky12345”

RELATED POST: Dutch Intel Agency Witnessed 2016 DNC Attack by Russian Hackers — Q&A with Dutch Intel Expert Dr Peter Koop [UPDATE]

RELATED POST: Netherlands Referendum — Dutch Vote ‘NO’ on Spy Agency Tapping Powers

The two Dutch Intelligence Agencies are: the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD).

In the Netherlands, there is no institutional separation between domestic security and foreign intelligence as the two secret services combine both tasks.

Joint SIGINT Cyber Unit (JSCU) — The Netherlands has no separate signals intelligence agency, but in 2014, the Joint SIGINT Cyber Unit (JSCU) was created as a joint venture of AIVD and MIVD.

Oversight — Oversight is provided by two bodies: The Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services (Dutch: Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten, CIVD) and the Oversight Committee (Dutch: Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten, CTIVD).

The CTIVD only investigates the case brought to its attention, for instance when they surface in the media.

In a recent post, I told you that the current [eavesdropping] Dutch law restricts bulk or untargeted collection to wireless communications only, so cable access is only allowed for targeted and individualized interception.

RELATED POST: Dutch Secret Services Wiretapped Lawyers and Journalists

A new law — already approved by the 2nd Chamber [Lower House] — should be approved by the Senate in the near future. This new [eavesdropping] law will expand the powers of the Dutch Intelligence Agencies.

A new legal framework — On Wednesday (July 12 2017), a majority of senators voted in favor of the Bill and the Dutch secret services have been afforded “dragnet surveillance” powers. (Targeted surveillance was already within the powers of the secret services.)

“The Senate’s approval was the last hurdle for the “tapping law,” which was moulded into its current form after years of debate and criticism from both the country’s constitutional courts and online privacy advocates.

The law was passed with broad support. The government argued that the powers are needed to counter threats to national security in the modern era, and their use can be tested by an oversight panel.” [Reuters]

The new law allows for untargeted surveillance, for the systematic and large-scale interception and analysis of citizens’ online communications.

The minister of internal affairs, Mr. Plasterk, announced during the debate in the Senate that the law will go into effect on 1 January 2018.

Online rights group “Bits of Freedom”

The “Bits of Freedom” organization and other NGOs are exploring the possibilities of fighting the law in court.

Online rights group Bits of Freedom warned the Netherlands’ military and civil intelligence agencies will now have the opportunity to tap large quantities of internet data traffic, without needing to give clear reasons and with limited oversight.

These groups also object to a three-year term for storage of data that agencies deem relevant, and the possibility for them to exchange information they cull with foreign counterparts.

RELATED POST: UK: Bulk Spying Powers Backed by Independent Reviewer

RELATED POST: French Constitutional Council: Wireless Communication Intercepts Are Illegal

Referendum (March 2018)

On March 21 2018, Dutch voters had to decide whether spy agencies should have the power to install bulk taps on Internet traffic. They voted by a majority of 49.5% to 46.5% against the new legislation.

Critics and privacy experts have described the new legislation as a ‘Big Brother charter’. Digital rights group Bits of Freedom, which had advised a “NO” vote, argued the law was not all bad but would lead to privacy violations and should be reconsidered.

The referendum was non-binding, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised debate on the eve of the vote his government would take the outcome seriously. Of course, a victory of the ‘YES’ vote was expected.

After the vote, Prime minister Mark Rutte said that the government would abide by the referendum rules.

30% of the electorate must take part for the vote to have any legal weight. Turnout in Wednesday’s vote was 51.6%.

‘The advisory referendum law requires us to look again at the legislation and that is what we will do,’ Rutte said

Dutch agencies provide crucial intel about Russia’s interference in US-elections

“Hackers from the Dutch intelligence service AIVD have provided the FBI with crucial information about Russian interference with the American elections.

For years, AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear.

That’s what de Volkskrant and Nieuwsuur have uncovered in their investigation.”

REFERENCES

General Intelligence and Security Service — Wikipedia

AIVD – Homepage

Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service — Wikipedia

Eichelsheim nieuwe directeur MIVD — MIVD

A perspective on the new Dutch intelligence law — Electrospaces

Dutch pass ‘tapping’ law, intelligence agencies may gather data en masse — Reuters

Dutch vote in referendum on spy agency tapping powers — Reuters

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Dutch Pass ‘Tapping’ Law, Expand the Powers of Intelligence Agencies

One Year Ago — Dutch Expand the Powers of Intelligence Agencies, Pass “Tapping Law”

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