Machine translations by Deepl

Support the referendum against the new Sleep Act now!

No doubt it will not have escaped your notice: the Senate recently approved the new Intelligence and Security Services Act. As a result of this law, mass surveillance in the Netherlands will soon become a reality. This marks a historic break with the past. Some of the most totalitarian powers in the new law in a row:

  • The secret services (AIVD and MIVD) will be allowed to intercept the internet en masse. The new power is therefore rightly called a digital dragnet.

  • The data collected through this power will be stored for years and will also be exchanged with foreign secret services on a massive and un-evaluated basis.

  • Anything connected to the internet will be able to be hacked by the secret services, even if it involves equipment belonging to innocent citizens.

  • Companies and individuals may be required to decrypt encrypted data under penalty of detention.

  • Upon request, any database in government and industry will be open to direct, full access by the secret services.

  • All this will lack independent and effective (judicial) oversight.

In recent years, this has been reason for Privacy First (and countless other organisations) to systematically sound the critical alarm in the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, all criticism there turned out to fall on deaf ears: even after Privacy First et al. filed a draft summons against the law to the Senate, critical parliamentary debate was almost non-existent. So Privacy First, together with several other organisations, has since then been preparing a mega lawsuit against this 'Sleep Act' to have all its totalitarian components put out of action once and for all.

However, on the initiative of five or so Amsterdam students, a shortcut is conceivable to get the law amended: a referendum! This allows the Dutch population to speak out against this law, and thus in favour of a free society without mass surveillance. Privacy First naturally supports the initiative for this referendum (although from day 1) wholeheartedly. However, a total of 300,000 signatures are needed by 16 October for the referendum to actually take place. Do you support this referendum? Then sign via and ask others to do the same! Helping out is also possible, all help is badly needed. Go to and do your bit yourself!

Privacy First thanks you in advance for your support. Together we can keep the Netherlands a free and safe country!

Update 15 October 2017: the initiative for the referendum on the Sleep Act has attracted more than 400,000 signatures retrieved! See, for example, the coverage at NOS and NRC. On November 1. the Electoral Council announces whether the required number of signatures has indeed been achieved and thus the referendum will actually take place.