Dutch spies allowed to tap journalists' calls
30 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — National intelligence service AIVD can when necessary eavesdrop on journalists, Interior Minister Johan Remkes told the Dutch parliament on Tuesday.
30 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — National intelligence service AIVD can when necessary eavesdrop on journalists, Interior Minister Johan Remkes told the Dutch parliament on Tuesday.
Journalists may not break the law in the execution of their profession and are therefore not shielded from investigation by the AIVD and the prosecution service, the Minister said.
His comments came amid reports that Germany's foreign intelligence service spied on German journalists and recruited reporters as informants.
Remkes was responding to written questions from MPs about allegations the AIVD eavesdropped on two Dutch journalists who were suspected of obtaining classified information.
The journalists reported in newspaper 'De Telegraaf' that secret crime reports compiled by the BVD, the AIVD's predecessor, were circulating in the Amsterdam underworld.
Remkes emphasised that such monitoring had to be really necessary and only with the permission of the minister.
Acknowledging the press "because of its unique position in democratic society deserved far-reaching protection," Remkes said the country's jurisprudence allowed journalists to appeal to the right of privilege and the question of whether to launch an investigation into their work had to be considered very carefully.
In a joint response, the Society of Chief Editors and the Dutch journalists union NVJ wrote that this meant journalists had to pay a high price for warning society that State secrets were circulating among criminals.
Both groups said they hoped parliament could persuade the minister to change his mind.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news