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Police should have more powers to hack into computers: minister

Tuesday 16 October 2012

The police should be given greater powers to hack into private computers in their efforts to combat cyber crime, according to a concept briefing for parliament by justice minister Ivo Opstelten.

In the briefing, obtained by website nu.nl, Opstelten writes that computer-based crime is increasing and 'the expertise, capacity and experience within the criminal justice system has not improved accordingly'.

In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find out where digital information is being stored because of the rise of cloud computing, mobile phones and tablets, he said.

Opstelten wants to give police the right to hack into computers to install software which can be used, for example, to unscramble information. He also says it should be possible for the police to break into computers to wipe information or make it inaccessible.

This is already the case in child pornography investigations, nu.nl says.


Last year, Opstelten confirmed eavesdropping software that can be installed from a distance on the computers of suspects has been used in criminal investigations in the Netherlands.

Eavesdropping is only allowed when very serious crimes have been committed where suspects are in temporary custody, the public prosecution department said at the time.

The Netherlands sanctions more phone taps per head of population than any other country in the world.

More on this

Is this the way forward to combat cyber crime? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

More phone taps per head of population. Just let that sink in. And now our computers are to be targeted. Why is the EU attacking Google's privacy policy when there is precious little privacy in the Netherlands. Where is this much-vaunted freedom we hear so much about?

By groverpm | 16 October 2012 7:57 AM

Most phone taps?
Privacy is just an illusion in NL. Personal freedom used to valued. No more. Pity.

By Puck | 16 October 2012 8:14 AM

Security is more important than privacy. Pls do as much tapping or hacking so long as we are safe from crimes.

By auto | 16 October 2012 9:25 AM

Police should have more powers to hack into computers: minister. I disagree, they do it now. If they are court they only call the police?

By Terence Hale | 16 October 2012 11:01 AM

Giving the government, judiciary and police cart-blanch to eavesdrop on it's citizen is dangerous considering how prone the Dutch government is to abusing privacy laws and violating the rights of its people.

By Quince | 16 October 2012 11:07 AM

I for one have no problem with the police easdroping. If it helps keep us safe I say "go for it!" Security is more important than privacy.

By dee | 16 October 2012 2:26 PM

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” - Benjamin Franklin

By Brian Scott | 16 October 2012 5:19 PM

'If people continue to believe what the media tell them, then they'll gladly give up their right to privacy, it's called scaremongering that kicked off with 911..

Apparently some folks like to be told what to do & when to do it, along the lines of sheep, baa!:)

By The visitor | 16 October 2012 6:37 PM

Just remember, a computer can only be 'hacked into' if it's online… otherwise anything at all can be stored on it!

By radio junkie | 16 October 2012 6:48 PM

Brian Scott: Funny that you would quote an American like good old Ben Franklin when the USA seems to have the least amount of privacy on the Internet, emails, phones, etc. Guessing you haven't heard of the 'Patriot Act' which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001.

By Justin | 16 October 2012 7:25 PM

Cops need to be able to access computers of alleged pedophiles.They are too lenint with sexual offenders in this country.

By Lincolnnn Loggsss | 17 October 2012 1:04 AM

Fighting terrorism is not a 'little temporary' security.

By ufo | 17 October 2012 8:54 AM

I'm guessing from some of the comments above there must be a few americans amoungst the writers dribbling about the goverment spying on them...I'm sure you are stopping just short of misqouting your second amendment...
I couldn't care less if the goverment look into my computer or tap my phone!! I suspect they would be fairly bored if they did..... I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE. If you dont trust the goverment...vote better next time.
Failing that... return to the country you came from.....

By steve | 17 October 2012 11:15 AM

@Dee: safe from whom... I am safe, I don't need any fucking government for that.

By Souvereign | 17 October 2012 11:25 AM

@Steve: I don't think many Americans are too concerned about their government spying on them if they are not involved in illegal online, or terrorist activities. However,it does seem some EU residents or expats feel their privacy is sometimes violated when a country's law enforcement attempts to protect all its citizens living there from cyber crimes. More people would be returned to their country of origin if the Dutch police actually eavesdropped on all suspicious online activities. That doesn't seem to be the Dutch authorities intention to eavesdrop on everyone living in the NL.

By expat | 17 October 2012 2:58 PM

Again a very entertaining action from my best buddy, "justice" minister Ivo Opzouten. What a wonderful idea to let Police hack everyone's computer at any given time. Who decides when and who is a suspect of what? Those of you sheeple out there who still think that "they have nothing to hide" and don't mind their computer being hacked and checked upon their most intimate details in the name of fake safety promises,beware. YOU might not consider yourself a suspect, others might have a different opinion and even classify you as dangerous to "the system". Wake up and smell the coffee! I certainly have something to hide and that is MY privacy!

By Dr. Frankenstein | 17 October 2012 3:13 PM

@justin: B. Franklyn's writings were meant as a universal statement about Freedom. Don't take it so personally.

By Quince | 17 October 2012 5:14 PM

@radio junkie: nope, everything you ever downloaded or looked at on the net is stored on servers.. If you don't go online, then what?!!

By The visitor | 17 October 2012 9:56 PM

@steve... I'm an American and I agree with you. I could care less if someone listens in on my phone conversations. I recommend they do it in the evening to put themselves to sleep.

But really...the 'return to the country you came from' statement? Who sounds like the stereotypical American redneck now? What's next, 'they took 'r' jobs' or references to Hitler? Geesch...

By DH | 18 October 2012 10:03 AM

Often...the ability to access personal information by the government or an agency of so called authority, whoever and for whatever reason, will likely find a way to abuse it. Information is power! The CIA, NSA and The FBI do whatever the fuck they want!

By G | 20 October 2012 7:21 PM

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