Dutch 9/11 legislation not effective

4th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

None of the laws introduced in the Netherlands in response to the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States has been shown to have any additional value, says the head of the Dutch Data Protection Authority DPA, yet not a single one has since been repealed.

There is still no convincing evidence, Jacob Kohnstamm maintains, that storing telephone and internet data has actually contributed to the fight against terrorism.

The current coalition agreement of the Dutch government, he points out, states that counter-terrorism measures will be evaluated at some point. If a measure, at that point, cannot be shown to have had any tangible effect, the agreement stipulates, it will be lifted.

The obligation to carry an ID card, introduced after 9/11, is another instance of a law that has failed to achieve its goal, according to Mr Kohnstamm. In practice, he argues, it mostly allows the police to double fines. “If a junk is caught on the subway without a ticket and an ID card, he gets two fines. But that has nothing to do with the war against terrorism or crime.”

Likewise, airport security, which has significantly increased since 9/11, has little effect on safety, Mr Kohnstamm argues. “Taking off one’s shoes, handing in bottles—it’s a nuisance for the passengers and in fact only creates the illusion of security.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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