Experts warn that new internet tap law gives security service too much power


A group of 29 terrorism and privacy experts have written to parliament calling for change to the planned new law to give more powers to the Dutch secret service, broadcaster NOS said on Tuesday.

The law gives the AIVD and MIVD much wider powers to tap phone and internet traffic and does not contain sufficient checks and balances, the experts say.

In particular, they are concerned that the law will allow the security services to exploit technologies which have not yet been developed without further debate.

‘Think about DNA analysis,’ said University of Amsterdam professor Nico van Eijk. ‘Perhaps people with certain genes are more prone to become terrorists. Or what about implanting listening devices in people’s bodies?’

The critics say the security services should be required to destroy information held about people who are not suspected of crimes as soon as possible. The law allows them to store such files for three years.

They also say the supervisory set-up – three separate bodies – is unwieldy and not transparent.

Ministers say the new rules are needed to combat terrorism. Currently the secret service is allowed to tap individual internet connections but the law will give them powers to tap entire networks and hack private individuals in the hunt for information.

MPs are due to debate the new legislation later on Tuesday.

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