Dutch parliament approves changes to data mining law

A majority in the Tweede Kamer is satisfied with the changes the government wants to make to the new law for the intelligence and security services. In addition to coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, opposition parties GroenLinks, PvdA and SGP also agree with the changes, was revealed in a parliamentary debate on the law on Tuesday, NOS reports.

This new law, officially called the Intelligence and Security Law, gives intelligence services AIVD and MIVD the capability to collect, store and analyze phone and internet data on a large scale. 

On March 21st a small majority of Dutch voters voted against the law in an advisory referendum, prompting the government to make some changes to the law. These changes include that the Dutch services can only share data with foreign countries with the same democratic standards as the Netherlands. And the services must reassess whether collected data can still be stored every year. Privacy organization Bits of Freedom called these changes "mainly cosmetic".

"We can not ignore the no-vote, but we also want to do justice to the yes-vote", responsible Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday. She believes that the changes to the law do justice to the results of the referendum, and denied that they are purely cosmetic. According to her, these are "substantial changes that also mean something in practice."

The law will be implemented on May 1st as planned. Because the government's changes only involve "policy rules" and "guarantees for implementation practice", the Tweede Kamer and Eerste Kamer, don't have to vote on the law again, according to NOS.