Dutch secret services to publish phone tap totals in their annual reports

The Dutch security services AIVD and MIVD will publish how many times they have tapped private individuals in their annual reports from now on, home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren told parliament on Tuesday.

Until now the figures have always been kept secret for reasons of national security but the minister says that as long as security and current operations are not compromised, transparency is crucial.

The decision follows a Supreme Court ruling in December which said that officials had not properly motivated the decision to keep phone tap totals from 2002 to 2013 secret.

The decision also comes just two months ahead of a referendum on giving the security services much wider powers to tap phones.

The Netherlands is reputedly one of the most internet and phone tapped countries in the world. In 2014, justice ministry officials placed more than 25,181 taps on phones and internet. The figures do not include taps placed by the security services.