Half of Dutch support new data mining law: report

Half of Dutch support the new data mining law for the Dutch intelligence agencies, according to a study by I&O Research, NU.nl reports. The new law gives intelligence agencies AIVD and MIVD more power to collect, store and analyze large amounts of internet traffic. 

The study shows that only 30 percent of Dutch are against the new Intelligence and Security Act, as it's officially called. Especially older people support the law - 61 percent of people over the age of 65 are for the act, while less than 20 percent are against it. Among young people, the opposite is true. Almost half of people between the ages of 18 to 24 are against the law, and 32 percent are for it. In total 20 percent or respondents haven't made up their mind yet.

A group of activists recently managed to collect the over 300 thousand signatures necessary to hold an advisory referendum on the data mining law. The Electoral Council still needs to verify the validity of the signatures. The government agreement presented on Tuesday stated that the new government wants to abolish advisory referendums. What effect this will have on this referendum, is not clear.

Over the past month, support for the data mining law has been waning. A month ago, 60 percent of Dutch were in favor of the law, according to I&O. This reduced support may have to do with the activists' campaign to get signatures for their referendum.

Respondents are now also better informed about the content of the act. 55 percent of respondents say that they're at least reasonably well informed about the law. Another 34 percent said they know about the referendum campaign, but know little to nothing about what it's about. In total, half of respondents said they intend to vote in the referendum.

The government agreement also stated that the new cabinet intends to evaluate this law. An independent committee will investigate within two years whether the law violates citizens' privacy too often, according to the newspaper. 


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