Security service tries to recruit students, hacks internet forums

The Dutch security service AIVD has been attempting to recruit students to act as informants, the AD reports on Monday.

The paper, which bases its claims on its own research, says the students are being recruited to inform officials about student protests at home and abroad.

Many of the students who have been approached feel they have been intimidated. All were initially approached by someone who introduced themselves as a home affairs ministry civil servant.


Meanwhile, the NRC reported at the weekend that the AIVD has been hacking into the servers used by internet forums to gather information about their users.

The paper bases its claims on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US security service NSA. Experts told the NRC the AIVD’s methods are breaking the law on how the service can operate.

The AIVD does have ‘special powers’ to use against people or organisations considered dangerous to the state, and this includes the right to hack into computers. But the law does not allow entire networks to be hacked so that information about large numbers of users can be gathered in one go, the experts say.

The home affairs ministry told the paper the AIVD’s action is within the law and forums are a legitimate target because they are an important platform for jihadists and other radical groups which are investigated.

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