NU.nl, 23 July 2014: 'Netherlands may continue to share data with NSA'
“The Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD may continue to exchange data with the US NSA.
This was decided by the court in The Hague after a lawsuit filed by several citizens and organisations against the state.
In the ruling, the court acknowledges that there is a possibility that Dutch services receive data collected in violation of Dutch rules in the exchange. (...) The court notes that both 'metadata' and content of communications are exchanged with the NSA. When data is received from foreign intelligence services, the Dutch services usually do not know how it was collected. "Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that that data was collected by the foreign services in violation of international treaty obligations incumbent on the Netherlands, such as those under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to respect the private life of the individual," the court said. (...)
"What is most striking is that the court is leaving open an avenue for large-scale collection of citizens' data through foreign intelligence services," said Bart Nooitgedagt, president of the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers and one of the plaintiffs in the case.
According to him, it is "a bridge too far" for the court to allow the collection of data on a large scale, and only offer legal protection to citizens when it is used in individual cases.
In practice, according to Nooitgedagt, this will mean that intelligence agencies will invoke their duty of confidentiality and thus never disclose when they use data received from abroad.
This could have far-reaching consequences, according to the lawyer, including on journalists represented in the coalition. "By this reasoning, sources may no longer communicate with journalists. The same applies to communication between lawyers and clients," he believes.
(...) The lawsuit, which was renamed 'Citizens against Plasterk' by the plaintiffs, was brought by a coalition including the Dutch Association of Journalists, the Dutch Association of Defence Counsel and the Privacy First foundation. Journalist Brenno de Winter, who writes for NU.nl among others, was also involved in the case.
The coalition is appealing the verdict. This brings the case to the Court of Appeal."