The Netherlands is the midst of a "cyber war" with Russia, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on television program WNL op Zondag. According to the Minister, a foiled cyber attack by the Russian secret service on chemical weapons watchdog OPCW shows that the nature of war has changed.
Russian trolls are trying to influence Dutch discussions on social media with fake accounts, De Groene Amsterdammer reports based on its own research. These trolls show support for anti-Islam party PVV and spread pro-Russian information when it comes to the MH17 disaster, according to the weekly newspaper.
In order to prevent undesirable influence on Dutch democracy, the government wants to limit foreign donations to Dutch political parties, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday.
With the municipal elections and a referendum on the new Big Data law for the Dutch intelligence services coming up in March next year, the Dutch government has taken an official stance against fake news and foreign meddling and is taking more steps to battle these attempts to influence public opinion in the Netherlands.
In 2009 and 2010 intelligence service AIVD investigated PVV leader Geert Wilders' contacts in Israel, the Volkskrant reports based on its own research. The AIVD was concerned about Wilders' loyalty and that he was possibly being influenced by Israel, according to the newspaper.