Dutch Pass ‘Tapping’ Law, Expand the Powers of Intelligence Agencies

“Traditionally, Senate concerns itself with the quality of legislation, compliance with the constitution and international agreements, and the question whether citizens’ rights are upheld. The dragnet surveillance bill fails on all counts.”

Bits of Freedom


AIVD Headquarters — Zoetermeer

On Wednesday (July 12 2017), the Dutch Senate passed the bill for the new Intelligence and Security Services Act. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

The two Dutch Intelligence Agencies are: the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD).

In the Netherlands, there is no institutional separation between domestic security and foreign intelligence as the two secret services combine both tasks.

Joint SIGINT Cyber Unit — JSCU

The Netherlands has no separate signals intelligence agency, but in 2014, the Joint SIGINT Cyber Unit (JSCU) was created as a joint venture of AIVD and MIVD.


Oversight is provided by two bodies: The Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services (Dutch: Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten, CIVD) and the Oversight Committee (Dutch: Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten, CTIVD).

The CTIVD only investigates the case brought to its attention, for instance when they surface in the media.

RELATED POST: An Introduction to Dutch Intelligence Agencies

RELATED POST: Dutch Intelligence Services operated with the CIA behind the Iron Curtain

RELATED POST: Russian Hackers — Evgeniy Bogachev aka “Umbro” aka “Lucky12345”

In a recent post, I told you that:

“The current [eavesdropping] Dutch law restricts bulk or untargeted collection to wireless communications only, so cable access is only allowed for targeted and individualized interception.

RELATED POST: Dutch Secret Services Wiretapped Lawyers and Journalists

A new law — already approved by the 2nd Chamber [Lower House] — should be approved by the Senate in the near future.

This new [eavesdropping] law will expand the powers of the Dutch Intelligence Agencies.”

A new legal framework 

On Wednesday (July 12 2017), a majority of senators voted in favor of the Bill and the Dutch secret services have been afforded “dragnet surveillance” powers. (Targeted surveillance was already within the powers of the secret services.)

“The Senate’s approval was the last hurdle for the “tapping law,” which was moulded into its current form after years of debate and criticism from both the country’s constitutional courts and online privacy advocates.

The law was passed with broad support. The government argued that the powers are needed to counter threats to national security in the modern era, and their use can be tested by an oversight panel.” [Reuters]

The new law allows for untargeted surveillance, for the systematic and large-scale interception and analysis of citizens’ online communications.

The minister of internal affairs, Mr. Plasterk, announced during the debate in the Senate that the law will go into effect on 1 January 2018.

Online rights group “Bits of Freedom”

The “Bits of Freedom” organization and other NGOs are exploring the possibilities of fighting the law in court.

Online rights group Bits of Freedom warned the Netherlands’ military and civil intelligence agencies will now have the opportunity to tap large quantities of internet data traffic, without needing to give clear reasons and with limited oversight.

These groups also object to a three-year term for storage of data that agencies deem relevant, and the possibility for them to exchange information they cull with foreign counterparts.

RELATED POST: UK: Bulk Spying Powers Backed by Independent Reviewer

RELATED POST: French Constitutional Council: Wireless Communication Intercepts Are Illegal


General Intelligence and Security Service — Wikipedia

AIVD – Homepage

Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service — Wikipedia

Eichelsheim nieuwe directeur MIVD — MIVD

A perspective on the new Dutch intelligence law — Electrospaces

Dutch pass ‘tapping’ law, intelligence agencies may gather data en masse — Reuters

Dutch Pass ‘Tapping’ Law, Expand the Powers of Intelligence Agencies

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