Security.nl, 5 May 2015: 'Privacy First denounces media campaign by OM for data retention obligation'
"Privacy organisation Privacy First has extracted to the public prosecutor's media campaign attempting to demonstrate the necessity of the telecom data retention obligation. Last Friday, the prosecution informed the newspaper Volkskrant that without the retention obligation, it would become difficult and possibly even impossible to solve certain cases.
"In doing so, the OM gives the general public the impression that it can no longer use telecom data now that the Telecom Data Retention Act has been abolished," said Bas Filippini, chairman of Privacy First. "In our view, this media campaign tells a misleading message, which in our opinion does not belong to an institution like the OM."
Indeed, according to Filippini, the Public Prosecutor's Office has the power to track all the telecom usage of persons who are reasonably suspected of a criminal offence, map their networks and tap their (private) communications. "That it does so to its heart's content is evidenced by the fact that the Netherlands is still the country with the highest number of taps in the world and a request for a tap is nothing but a routine activity within the police and judiciary," he reveals.
Filippini notes that for the OM's "convenience" the Dutch rule of law has to give way and the legal principle that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise is reversed. The Privacy First director therefore expects even more "spinning" in the communications merry-go-round in the coming months to get a new mandatory retention law through. "We see a tendency in the government not to abide by court rulings when they deal with privacy issues," he said.
Should there be a new retention obligation, Filippini views the court case against it with confidence. "After all, such a law is disproportionate, there are plenty of alternatives available and it is reversing the principle of law purely for "convenience" of the prosecution. The very OM that should stand for our rule of law!""