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Draconian secret services bill to House of Representatives

Today, the Dutch cabinet submitted its long-awaited proposal for a new Intelligence and Security Services Act (Wiv) to the House of Representatives. This bill poses an acute threat to the privacy of every Dutch citizen.

The main threat to the right to privacy in the bill consists of the introduction of a massive internet interception (dragnet power). However, the government's supposed need for this has so far not been demonstrated. For this reason alone, Privacy First considers the bill unlawful. 

In addition, the bill provides, among other things, for broad hacking powers and associated decryption obligations (the latter even under penalty of imprisonment), direct access to government and corporate databases, international exchange of unvalued bulk-data and endless linking, data mining and profiling into massive amounts of data of mostly innocent citizens. Moreover, this excessive expansion of powers is not accompanied by associated safeguards, such as privacy by design. Therefore, despite the strengthened oversight of services (previously recommended by Privacy First), Privacy First cannot but conclude that the current bill is, at its core, downright totalitarian. In a world that will increasingly be characterised by Big Data and the Internet of Things, this bill will therefore lend itself particularly well to future abuses of power.

Privacy First hereby reiterates its previous warning that this bill should still be thoroughly curtailed or rejected. Failing this, Privacy First reserves the right to have the bill, once in force, reviewed by the courts and declared unlawful.

Also listen to the response from Privacy First this morning at BNR Nieuwsradio. Further comments from Privacy First on the bill will follow soon during the parliamentary debate.