Dutch police now automatically intercept internet traffic when setting up a telephone tap, online magazine Computerworld reports on Thursday.
The news was buried in the justice ministry’s annual report which was published in May and has only now been made public, the website states.
In the report, the ministry says officials placed more than 25,181 taps last year, down around 1,000 on 2013. However, the ministry says in a report footnote that it no longer gives separate figures for internet taps because they are now ‘technically and procedurally standard’.
In 2013, investigators placed 17,800 taps on IP addresses.
Privacy group Bits of Freedom (BoF) said the change breaks government pledges to improve transparency.
In addition, tapping internet connections is much more privacy-sensitive than a phone, spokesman Rejo Zenger told the website.
The Netherlands is said to carry out more phone taps than any other country in the world. Last year, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk refused to reveal how many taps are placed by the Dutch security services AIVD and MIVD.
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