Interior Min. changes his tune: orders govt. sites to use secure connections

Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs decided to obligate government websites to use secure HTTPS connections after all, he said in Parliament on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.

Plasterk faced a number of parliamentary questions on this matter after research showed that many of the government websites do not used the HTTPS standard, which encrypts the data traffic between the user and the website. This means that it is easy for third parties to intercept information.

In a previous response to parliamentary questions, Plasterk said that he found the security on government websites sufficient. He pointed out that it was agreed that all government sites will use a secure connection when personal or other sensitive data is processed by the end of this year.

Experts pointed out however, that it is always better to use HTTPS connections, even when no personal information is transmitted. It makes it nearly impossible for third parties to intercept data traffic or sabotage the connection. The Minister therefore changed his mind.

The Minister will obligate all government sites to use secure HTTPS connections after the implementation of the Law Generic Digital Infrastructure, which is still in consultation. If the law is adopted, the Ministry of Home Affairs can add a general administrative measure that makes using secure connections on government sites mandatory. 

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs told NU.nl that they expect the law to be sent to parliament in the second half of this year. 

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