Call for referendum against new big data law gets 10,000 signatures

A group of Amsterdam students collected 10 thousand signatures for a referendum on a new data mining law, which the Dutch Senate adopted in July. That is the first milestone on organizing an advisory referendum on the new Intelligence and Security Services Act, RTL Z reports. 

The initiators feel the new law gives intelligence services AIVD and MIVD too many powers. For example, under the new law the services can intercept large amounts of internet traffic, including data from innocent citizens. This tapped data can also be stored for up to three years, even if it is not relevant to any ongoing investigation. 

Just like with the Ukraine referendum, the signatures for this referendum are collected on a website. The first milestone is 10 thousand signatures, which were now collected. These digital signatures must be printed out and delivered to the Electoral Council on paper. If they are approved, the initiators have six weeks to collect the 300 thousand signatures needed for a referendum to be organized.

Should they succeed, there will be a referendum during which citizens can vote for or against this new big data law. If the turnout is at least 30 percent, the outcome will be presented to the Prime Minister. These advisory referendums are not binding - the government can choose to ignore the outcome.