Things that caught our eye

Privacy community to Dutch government: Please develop a vision on privacy (with us)

2 Apr, 2015   | by:

A broad coalition of privacy advocates has sent an open letter to the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice today, asking to suspend any activity on bills that: ‘lead to tracking of citizens without any specific and concrete suspicion against them,’ until the government has developed a ‘vision’ about privacy protection of citizens in the Dutch information society. This vision should then be the subject of a public debate facilitated by the Dutch Government, so that the Dutch people may have the fundamental discussion about privacy and technological development it never had. Preferably the debate would be held not only in Parliament, but also outside of Parliament.

The current bills of which they would like to see legislative action suspended until the public debate has taken place are:

  • The bill on Data Retention (a revised bill of the Act that was recently struck down)
  • The bill that would allow automatic numberplate recognition more extensively
  • The bill that would extend the ‘massive and unspecified internet tapping’ to be accessed by the Dutch Secret Service
  • The bill that would allow the police to hack, in the Act on Computercriminality III.
  • The proposed revision of the postal secret laid down in article 13 of the Dutch Constitution, and
  • The bills on source protection in free gathering of news.

This open letter is signed by a large group of privacy researchers, interest groups and groups such as Amnesty International (Netherlands), Bits of Freedom (the Dutch equivalent of the EFF), Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers, Dutch Association of Journalists, Privacy First Foundation and many others. There is also a website where individuals may sign the letter.

Some of the aforementioned groups were also a party to the recent interim proceedings in which the Dutch Data Retention Act was struck down, (for more on that see our earlier post, with a translation of the ruling attached).

We will update this post with the response of the Government.

Read the open letter in Dutch here.


Things that caught our eye

Dutch Data Retention Act is Gone

11 Mar, 2015   | by:

Today the District Court of The Hague ruled the Dutch Data Retention Act inoperable in summary proceedings. You can find the Dutch judgment here. And for those not reading Dutch, we have made a quick unofficial (!) English translation of the judgment, which you can download here.

For many EU Member States it was clear that since the EU Court of Justice on 8 April 2014 had ruled the Data Retention Directive invalid, with retroactive effect, the national implementation laws would also be invalid. The Dutch government opted for a different strategy. It retained (pun intended) the law as is, while thinking about amending the law in the future.

This was deemed an unacceptable course of action by Privacy First, The Dutch Lawyers Committee on Human Rights, The Dutch Association of Journalists and three companies that are providers of telecommunication services and public telecommunication networks. They sued the Dutch State, and today they won.  More…


The Data Retention Directive: Invalid. Now What?!

8 Apr, 2014   | by:

Today the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the Data Retention Directive to be invalid, based on the fact that ‘the EU legislature has exceeded the limited imposed by compliance with the principle of proportionality’. How did the CJEU come to this decision, what are the governmental responses and what does this mean for harmonisation? More…