Dutch police tap 2,254 telephone calls a day

27th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

An investigation is to be launched into the staggering amount of telephone taps used in the Netherlands.

An investigation is to be launched into the staggering amount of telephone taps used in
The Justice Minister, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, has promised parliament to look into why so many telephone conversations are recorded. In the first half of 2009, police tapped 13,223 phones. An average of 2,254 telephone conversations were monitored every day.
France, whose population is three times that of the Netherlands, tapped approximately the same number of phones in 2008. The Dutch authorities are ten times more likely to tap phones than the authorities in the United States.
Tapping costs

The Dutch parliament asked the minister how much the taps cost. Translation costs alone are enormous. The Green Left opposition party  wants to know if people are informed afterwards that their phones were tapped, which is a legal requirement. The party does not believe that this is the case.
Parliament is also demanding to know the exact breakdown of who is carrying out the taps--a split between police, intelligence services and military intelligence.
The politicians want the investigation to examine whether using wire taps is effective overall and are looking for a cost comparison with other investigative techniques.
Crime prevention

The justice minister told parliament that the taps are currently used to confirm that crimes have taken place as well as being used to prevent crimes happening.
In addition, parliament asked the minister to make comparisons with neighbouring countries Belgium and Germany where phone taps are used much less. The minister was reluctant to do this saying it would not be a fair comparison as these two countries have different legal systems.


Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

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