Telecoms firm Tele2 slams Dutch government’s new internet tap plans
The Dutch cabinet’s plans to give the security service far greater powers to tap phones and internet services are impossible to implement and too far reaching, according to telecoms company Tele2.
Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk put his plans out to consultation earlier this month and Tele2 is the first of the big Dutch telcos to respond. The new rules will give the AIVD and MIVD access to all fixed link and internet traffic in what critics say is a Big Brother charter.
‘By giving themselves almost unlimited access to communications and databases, the security services are creating a climate which makes settling in the Netherlands impossible from a financial, privacy and security standpoint,’ Tele2 says.
Swedish owned Tele2 said it expected the changes in legislation to lead both companies and private individuals to locate their data outside Dutch borders to avoid having to comply.
The new rules also have serious implications for privacy, the company says. ‘No part of Dutch society will not be covered by the security service’s bulk interception options,’ the company said. ‘The law gives the impression that collecting bulk data is the primary purpose.’
British privacy watchdog Privacy International has already described the proposals as among the most far-reaching in the world and says they will provide a poor example for companies without strong democratic traditions.
‘We would strongly urge the Dutch government not to expand surveillance beyond what is necessary and reasonable in a democratic society,’ the organisation said.