While the Netherlands is known for a lot of things: waterways, windmills, clogs and some sort of plant material, it’s not often that it makes a splash in the realm of internet security. However the Dutch government is keen to rectify that, with the potential implementation of a law that could see local police given the power to target computer systems in different countries.
Under the new bill, being proposed by Dutch justice minister Ivo Opstelten, police would be given the power to install spyware, read emails, delete files and essentially hack into the computers of those in other countries. The reasoning behind it is of course anti-terrorism and child-pornography efforts – just wait for the naked child terrorists, then we’re all doomed.
But what are the limiting factors for the police? Can they target foreign citizens, or only the Dutch that happen to be abroad at the time? If the former, I imagine governments in the affected country might have something to say about government sponsored hackers breaking into their country’s digital systems. Considering the way the US and China seem to be firing back and forth at each other on the digital battleground, Dutch internet warriors may want to steer clear of those countries for now.
Describing the new Dutch law as “rushed,” is Bits of Freedom rights group member, Simone Halink, who said (via BBC): “What you see is that the police have especially a shortage of knowledge and manpower – not of powers.”
The new bill will be put to parliament by the end of the year.
KitGuru Says: At which point I’m sure you’ll all join me in wearing my tin-foil clogs. They can’t get us if we do that.