On 4 December 2013 the EDRi member Dutch digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom launched a website petitioning the Dutch government to take numerous concrete measures to end mass surveillance. It officially presented the policy package to the Minister of Interior Affairs the day before.
On the campaign website, bespied-ons-niet.nl (translated as: ‘don’t spy on us’), a wide-ranging package of policy measures is set out. These range from diplomatic measures, to stopping plans to provide the Dutch secret services with the authority to intercept internet traffic on a broad scale. In addition, the organisation asks the government to invest heavily in defensive technologies, such as encryption and anonimisation technologies, making sure that these tools can be used by a broad public. On a European level, the Dutch government should advocate for measures such as termination of all data sharing agreements with the United States and suspension of negotiations over TAFTA.
The campaign was launched hot on the heels of the publication of a governmental report on the Dutch Secret Service Act (the Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten). In the so-called Dessens-report, it is concluded that the Act should be amended so as to give Dutch secret services the power to mass intercept internet traffic. It is simply incomprehensible that the Dutch government even considers such expansion after months of publications evidencing global mass surveillance based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The campaign site
Bits of Freedom’s reaction to the Dessens-report (2.12.2013)
(Contribution by Ot van Daalen – Bits of Freedom)