Tweakers, Nov 23, 2012: 'Organisations call for respect for fundamental digital rights'
"A number of organisations, academics and activists led by civil rights movement Bits of Freedom are calling on the cabinet to consider fundamental rights when making cybersecurity policies. Transparency is also important, the organisations say.
Digital security policies must also respect fundamental rights, according to the document, which contains principles and measures for digital security. Besides Bits of Freedom, other civil rights organisations such as Privacy First and Vrijschrift have backed the piece, as well as the Dutch industry association of hosting providers, the HCC and the Humanistisch Verbond. A large number of academics and fellow Xs4all founder Rop Gonggrijp also support the piece.
According to the signatories, cybersecurity measures "soon touch upon fundamental rights". "For example, an internet killswitch restricts freedom of communication," they write, "and mass surveillance of internet traffic seriously violates privacy. This is unacceptable." In addition, they call for attention to personal data. "Cybersecurity is also about an important issue: protecting the most valuable and intimate information of citizens and companies."
Moreover, far-reaching measures do not lead to guaranteed safety, the signatories claim. "Security is by definition the outcome of a cost-benefit trade-off," they read. According to them, certain digital risks must be accepted because the cost of preventing them "is too high, both in euros and in the impairment of our individual freedom".
The signatories further advocate that the cybersecurity centre of the Dutch government and the Personal Data Protection Board can act more vigorously. They also say that the government should therefore invest in cybersecurity knowledge and manpower and companies should share more information about digital incidents."