Reformatorisch Dagblad, 19 March 2013: 'Politicians concerned about drone deployment'
"The Lower House is concerned about the increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles in the Netherlands. Police are increasingly deploying so-called drones against criminal activities.
Police regularly deploy civilian drones in pursuit of getaway cars or detection of cannabis plantations. Drones are remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles that have both armed, military applications and unarmed, civilian applications.
Figures from the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Interior and Security and Justice show that police have flown a drone on at least 132 different days since 2009, the AD reported yesterday.
D66 has submitted questions on the deployment of drones to Minister Opstelten (Security and Justice). They are sometimes deployed for very plausible reasons, but it is stealthily increasing. We do not know where, when or how many , said MP Schouw. It is also not known who exactly decides on deployment and whether, and if so how, the data are stored.
Schouw acknowledges that citizens who only plant pansies have little to fear. Yet, according to him, that is not the point. Would you be OK with Opstelten reading all your text messages? Or had access to your patient data?
The PvdA also wants clarity on the use of drones. MP Marcouch simultaneously points out that helicopters also fly over high-risk areas and that police cars, recognisable and unrecognisable, go on surveillance. The SP has long wanted clarity. MP Gesthuizen thinks a debate with Opstelten is in order.
The use of drones is a violation of privacy, thinks conflict expert Léon Wecke (81) of Radboud University Nijmegen. We are already stalked by cameras everywhere. And now also by drones, while we are unaware of it. Perhaps they are being used for corporate espionage.
Wecke, once a leading figure in the peace movement and still active for a multicultural Palestinian state, believes there is insufficient clarity and regulation for the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles. There should be one government agency to regulate everything.
Wecke further believes that police should only deploy drones if it is virtually certain in advance that the deployment will be effective. Certainly not for permanent surveillance.
Foundation Privacy First speaks of illegal operations because the flights are not publicised and people do not notice the silent planes with cameras."
Source: Reformatorisch Dagblad 19 March 2013, p. 3.