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Advisors criticise minister on plan to let police hack computers

Thursday 06 December 2012

Plans by justice minister Ivo Opstelten to give the police greater powers to hack into private computers and install spyware have been criticised by some of his own advisors.

In October it emerged Opstelten believes the police should be given greater powers to hack into private computers in their efforts to combat cyber crime.

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.

However, Nijmegen university professor Bart Jacobs, who is a member of Opstelten's Cyber Security Council, says the approach will fail because it will alienate supportive hackers.

'Preventing child porn is used as an argument to introduce the most absurd measures... as happened 10 years ago with terrorism.' Jacobs said in an interview with the NRC.


'The minister will pressure the much-needed alliance with the hacking community by following hackers with principles. The cyber security policy threatens to flop. The minister is acting like a bull in a china shop.'

Another council member, Delft professor Michel van Eeten, has also warned the planned use of spyware by police will increase the chance of mistakes and manipulation. 'Judges will have to believe evidence, because it will be impossible to establish if it has been manipulated,' he said.

MPs are due to debate Opstelten's plans later on Thursday.

Earlier stories
Police should have more powers to hack into computers: minister

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments


By jason buttle | 6 December 2012 6:45 PM

Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten apparently sits at the right hand of Big Brother! If this Stalinistic proposal gains support, then NL is headed down the same tyrannical, dictatorial path as the USA, preceded by the USSR and others.

By Drawer 22 | 6 December 2012 7:53 PM

If Inspector Clouseau hack my computer I think when I go for a shower the lights come on, when I tern to lights on the water runs.

By Terence Hale | 6 December 2012 8:30 PM

Opstelten could be the next one on the list for anonymous, if he messes with what little privacy we have left, he might just have regrets later.

I'm all for keeping cyber crime at bay, but we don't need anymore tapping, enough already!

Orwell was wrong, it's already becoming much worse so far, how about some liberty for a change??

We've all seen his naive attempt to disrupt the weed business costing how much to Maastricht? Perhaps he should move on. (Pitcairn Islands?)

By The visitor | 6 December 2012 9:27 PM

Why is it that politics has become more and more unrealistic? Like there is something wrong with collecting and considering the best available evidence before making politically correct (legal) decisions. How about some zero-tolerance of failure by govt policies - and of making matters worse?

By Max Harmreduction | 6 December 2012 9:33 PM

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