Man, three women arrested in nude photo blackmail scam

One man and three women have been arrested for blackmailing at least 10 young women by threatening to place nude photographs of them online, Zeeland police said on Friday. The victims, aged between 18 and 25, come from all over the country and there may be more, the broadcaster said. The investigation began after a young woman from Vlissingen went to the police, saying she was being blackmailed into handing over cash to stop nude photos being placed on the internet. That led police to identify a 23-year-old man in The Hague. He may also face rape charges after attacking one of his victims when she brought him the money. His telephone and laptop led to three other women aged 18 to 26 who may be involved in the blackmailing. Their role in the case is still being investigated. Police spokesman Aris van Herwijnen said the suspect had made contact with the victims via a fake profile on a dating site. Once he had a nude photo he would make contact with the woman via another social media channel, using another fake profile, and start the blackmail process.  More >

Avicii tops search list

Swedish dj Avicii, who died in April, was the most popular search term on this year, followed by singer Glennis Grace, who took part in the America's Got Talent tv show, and troubled reality soap star Barbie. Actress turned British duchess Meghan Markle also made the top 10, as did Jos Brech, who is accused of murdering an 11-year-old boy 20 years ago. Top of the search engine's questions was 'what is dividend tax?', followed by 'what is the dragnet law?' - the nickname for new legislation giving the security services much greater powers to tap phones and the internet. The football World Cup was the top event, followed by the Tour de France cycle race and the Pinkpop concert. Surprisingly, Amsterdam football club Ajax did not make the top five most searched football clubs. PSV topped that list followed by FC Twente and Liverpool.  More >

Volunteers help police delve dark web

A team of 14 volunteer IT experts have been given training and special authority to help with police investigations into crime perpetrated on the dark web, RTL Nieuws reported on Wednesday About 57% of all activities on the dark web is criminal, police say, and is usually to do with the trade in drugs, weapons and child pornography. Police told RTL they have a network of over 200 volunteers with the appropriate expertise that they can call on. Some are IT consultants, but the group also include a retired physicist and a former oncologist.   More >

Dutch privacy watchdog fines Uber

The Dutch data protection agency (DPA) has fined taxi company Uber €600,000 for failing to report a data leak which took place in 2016. Uber was hacked in 2016 and the email addresses, names and phone numbers of 57 million users came into the hands of hackers. In the Netherlands, 174,000 clients and drivers were affected. Uber paid the hackers €100,000 to keep quiet about the hack and did not go public with the news, which only emerged a year later. By law the company should have informed the DPA within 72 hours. The taxi company reached an out of court settlement in the US equivalent to some €130m and was also fined €434,000 in Britain.   More >

Dutch production bags International Emmy

The American International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has awarded an International Emmy to a Dutch public television production at Monday night’s gala in New York. In Etgar Keret – Een waargebeurd verhaal (Etgar Keret – A true story), which was entered in the Arts Programme category, director Stephane Kaas explores what makes Israeli author Etgar such a compelling storyteller. Kaas was given the award by Madam Secretary actor Erich Bergen. ‘It came as such a surprise that I was in a bit of a daze for the rest of the evening,’ Kaas told Another Dutch nomination, an EO entry for best documentary, lost out to the BBC’s Goodbye Aleppo.  Gert-Jan de Vries, whose daughter Puck is severely disabled, recorded the ups and downs of his family for the last 20 years. It is not the first time a Dutch television production wins an Emmy. Youth film Alles Mag (Anything goes) was given the prestigious prize in 2015.   More >