All cops granted access to telecommunication data in NL

By EDRi · April 23, 2003

Early in April, the Dutch Lower House silently approved of a change of the
Telecommunication Law that lowers access barriers to personal data
substantially. All 40.000 policemen will have the right to demand the name
and address data of all telephony and internet subscribers. There is no
need for the user to be a suspect, requests can be made in the general
context of investigating serious crime.

Currently, access to the central database with the data of telephony
subscribers is limited to the 500 public prosecutors (and the secret
service). Internet providers in the Netherlands are not yet obliged to
store the Name Address data of their users in this central database, but
might become very eager to do so in the future, when faced with countless
requests from police officers with little or no knowledge of internet.

The proposal also lowers the access barriers on traffic data. Public
prosecutors no longer need judicial approval for demands to hand over
traffic data or orders to analyse traffic data to produce the proper
identity of a user.

Currently, there is no general legal obligation in the Netherlands to
retain traffic data. There is only 1 specific measure obliging telephone
companies to retain the location data of mobile telephony users for 3
months. New obligations however, can be introduced any time, without
parliamentary approval.