Today reveals that also the Dutch intelligence services make use of PRISM, the controversial US intelligence program that was exposed by the newspaper The Guardian. Dutch digital rights organization Bits of Freedom demands the immediate halt of this practice and a thorough investigation into the use by the Dutch intelligence services of PRISM and comparable programs.
“We are shocked to learn that the Dutch intelligence services have access to the same digital dragnet that the US government has secretly deployed against millions of innocent civilians,” says Simone Halink, surveillance expert at Bits of Freedom. “We need to know exactly what is happening here and we want the Minister to put an end to this eavesdropping scandal as soon as possible.”
In the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, an anonymous source from within the Dutch intelligence services spoke up about the unlimited access that they have to the data of civilians and entrerprises. Although this access should be limited by internal procedures, it now appears that these services can pull information from the US program PRISM with merely one push of the button. Such unlimited and international access gives the Dutch intelligence services a whole range of extra interception possibilities in circumvention of the applicable law.
Last Friday, Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of Home Affairs, already stated that the massive monitoring of innocent civilians is unacceptable. According to the Minister, such massive interception is in flagrant violation of civil rights and is only allowed if done in a focussed manner and when adequate checks and balances are in place. Bits of Freedom therefore calls on the Minister to immediately end this massive eavesdropping practice and to issue an investigation into the unlimited and uncontrolled access to data by the Dutch intelligence services via PRISM and comparable programs in the Netherlands or elsewhere.
*This blog is a translation of a Dutch press release that was released on June 11th.*
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