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Dutch police wants to hack their citizens' devices

8 May, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Niederlande: Polizei will die Geräte ihrer Bürger hacken

The police should be allowed to hack into mobile phones and computers, even when these are located abroad. This is proposed in a draft law by the Dutch government on 2 May 2013.

While this appears to be a powerful asset for law enforcement, in reality it creates unnecessary vulnerabilities for citizens. Also, the proposal ignores several alternative solutions. The police already has the necessary means to fight cybercrime, but fails to apply them, due to limited resources and knowledge. Cybercrime must be addressed by expanding the resources of the police. Therefore the solution lies in expanding these resources rather than expanding the powers of the police.

The controversial proposal doesn’t only allow the hacking of mobile phones and computers, it extends to spying on users and the deletion of data. It would also include devices which are located abroad. Furthermore, the police would also gain the power to order the handing over of passwords and decryption keys. Failing to comply with the order would be punishable.

Combating cybercrime is important, but through this proposal we’re rushed into legislation which is unnecessary and raises serious safety risks for citizens.

Dutch hacking proposal puts citizens at risk (2.05.2013)

Opstelten strengthens the approach on cybercrime (only in Dutch, 1.05.2013)

(Contribution by Simone Halink - EDRi member Bits of Freedom - Netherlands)



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