Some 20 confidential docs found in Economy Min.'s private email
A total of 20 confidential documents were found in Economic Minister Henk Kamp's private email account, which he used for work puroposes for a long time, the Minister wrote to parliament on Thursday following an investigation by the national auditing service ADR. One of those documents contained a state secret with the highest classification of "Zeer Geheim", or Very Secret in English, NU.nl reports.
The top secret document was a "note on yet to start employment negotiations with an independent administrative body", Kamp wrote to the the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Kamp's private email account made headliines earlier this year when it became apparent that it may have been targeted by hackers. The Minister already reported a hack in 2014, but it was only discovered and released to the public by Nieuwsuur earlier this year. According to the investigation it seems to be a targeted hack.
Between January 27, 2009 and May 12th, 2016 some 23 thousand emails passed through Kamp's private account. About half of these were work related. The confidential documents were made available to intelligence service AIVD, to check whether they contain information that could affect other EU member states. According to the AIVD, there is information that affect other member states, but no further investigation is necessary. The Supreme Court also studied the ADR report and decided that no criminal investigation is necessary.
Initially Kamp stated that he would continue to use his private email for work purposes, but late acknowledged that he was wrong and promised to only use his work email for official business. Other cabinet members als used their private emails for business purposes to varying degrees, but they did not form part of the ADR investigation, Kamp said, according to the newspaper.
Kamp added that all Ministries will pay extra attention to inforing their employees about information security, and will emphasize that confidential information should only be discussed through their work accounts. Using a private account to send work emails is still allowed, but only if it happenes "cautiously and awarely".
D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven is very critical about the government's "naivete" in this matter. "While the Chinese and Russian security services spy more than ever, the Dutch ministers use their private email accounts to send work emails." he said to NU.nl. He wants an investigation into whether other Ministers also do this. "The response from Minister Kamp does not answer all the questions asked." he said. "The D66 wants to know if state secrets were leaked and that the government is stopping this naive way of working."