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.
The Dutch government is postponing the implementation of the new data mining law for the intelligence and security services. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will send a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday to inform them that it will not be possible to appoint a supervisory committee before the law was set to take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
There are indications that Dutch technology was used in weapons of mass destruction or missile programs of Iran, Pakistan and Syria, departing Ministers Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade, Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Klaas Dijkhoff of Defense wrote to the Tweede Kamer, ANP reports.
Dutch soldiers picked up a BUK missile in Georgia early this year and brought it back to the Netherlands to use as evidence in the criminal investigation into the MH17 disaster, sources told RTL Nieuws. Employees of military intelligence service MIVD flew to Georgia on February 21st, and returned with the missile a day later. It was delivered to the Gilze-Rijen military airbase.
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.
A petition for a referendum on a new law that gives the Dutch intelligence services massive data mining capabilities, collected over 300 thousand signatures - the number necessary for an advisory referendum to be arranged. The Electoral Council must still check the validity of the signatures. Should they all prove valid, the referendum will be arranged during the municipal elections in March next year, NU.nl reports.
Last year there were five investigations within the Dutch Armed Forces into possible radicalization of employees, ANP reports based on documents received from Defense at the news wire's request. Three of the investigations concluded that the involved employees were not radicalized. The other two are still ongoing.
The Netherlands is an interesting "supermarket" for countries that want to make weapons of mass destruction, director Onno Eichelsheim of military intelligence service MIVD said in an interview with ANP. According to him, the Dutch intelligence services annually block a "significant number of attempts" of "countries of concerns" trying to acquire knowledge or materials for such weapons from the Netherlands.
The Netherlands' intelligence services and Defense are not adequately prepared to map and face digital threats from abroad, Brigadier General Wilfred Rietdijk said to the Volkskrant. He specifically warns against fake news, naming Russia in particular. According to Rietdijk, the Netherlands must establish a new, specialized organization for identifying these threats and preparing for an "information war".
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.
Twelve organizations teamed up to file a lawsuit to stop the implementation of a new data mining law in the Netherlands. The new law was adopted by the Dutch Senate on Tuesday and gives the intelligence services more capabilities to spy on internet traffic on a large scale.
A majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, voted for implementing a new data mining law that will give the Dutch intelligence services the authority to intercept data on a large scale. The new law was drawn up by Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk and will take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
Dutch military intelligence service MIVD for years worked with an official, knowing that there were corruption complaints against him, AD reports based on statements from those involved.
According to the newspaper, the statements were made under oath, in front of a judge, by colleagues of the official and employees of Defense's Integrity Office. The official in question, Jacques H., is appearing in court on Tuesday as one of six police and Defense employees suspected of involvement in a major bribery scandal involving the services' fleets and vehicle supplier PON.
A new consortium of six Dutch cyber security companies promised to not be taken over by foreign parties in order to best protect the cyber-side of important Dutch infrastructure. They feel that Dutch national interests and state secrets are best protected by Dutch companies. With this strategy the cyber security companies are taking advantage of controversy that arose when Fox IT was bought by a British investor in 2015, Financieele Dagblad reports.
The Netherlands' military intelligence agency MIVD is launching investigations into Defense personnel's foreign romantic partners to determine whether they pose a security risk, The Telegraaf reports.
The investigations will be conducted on partners in countries with which the the Netherlands has no official intelligence relationship. In practice this includes a large part of the world.
Russia denies hacking into other countries' IT systems. On Monday the Dutch military intelligence agency reported that Russia tried to hack into the computers of Dutch weapons manufacturers. But according to the Kremlin, this is not true, RTL Nieuws reports.
Russia's efforts to destabilize the Netherlands, Europe and NATO are so serious that military intelligence agency MIVD considers it the second largest security risk to the Netherlands and the Western world in general. Terrorism stands in first place, MIVD General Major Onno Eichelsheim said at the presentation of the agency's annual report on Monday, NU.nl reports.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks talked about security, the judiciary and income disparities on Tuesday during the negotiations on forming a new Dutch government. On Wednesday they will continue to discuss security. Experts in the field of security and defense were invited to the morning negotiation session, Het Parool reports.
"We talked about security. That is an important issue. We need to develop new ideas", D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said after Tuesday's negotiations. VVD negotiator Halbe Zijlstra added that income disparities were also on the table.
Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD violated multiple rules in the period between October 2015 and March 2016 when eavesdropping on conversations with lawyers and journalists, according to the body that oversees the services CTIVD, the Volkskrant reports.
The AIVD illegally eavesdropped on three conversations between a target and his or her lawyer, according to the CTIVD. This involved "indirect tapping" - the AIVD was listening in on conversations of a suspected terrorist and in doing so als listened to conversations the suspect had with a lawyer.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is debating a new data mining law that will give the Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD the power to intercept data streams on large scales. The expectation is that the law will be voted in, as a majority in parliament already revealed support for the law, AD reports.
The challenge of keeping the Netherlands digitally safe is increasingly growing, according to Onno Eichelsheim, director of Dutch military intelligence service MIVD. The MIVD is therefore urgently looking for the next generation of cyber specialists to keep hackers out, he said to newspaper Trouw on Tuesday.
According to Eichelsheim, the specialists he is looking for is hard to come by, as they first need more training. "In order to understand new threats, I for example need people who can build algorithms to filter large amounts of internet data", he said to the newspaper.
The Ministry of Defense is launching its Defense Cyber Commando (DCC) team next year, the Ministry announced on Wednesday. The unit consists about 80 officers who will focus on protecting the Netherlands' own digital networks, but can also carry out offensive attacks, ANP reports.
These offensive attacks could include switching off computers and weapon systems, or altimeters for aircraft, according to the news wire.
The Dutch military intelligence service MIVD shared information that could be used in so-called "targeted killings" by other countries. While the service complied to the rules in this, the rules are insufficient to remove the risks of the MIVD inadvertently contributing to the unlawful use of force, the CTIVD concludes in a report published on Monday
Dutch business man Ibrahim A. is considering appealing against a Hague court ruling that awarded him 1.2 million euros in compensation for damages incurred while working as a spy for military intelligence service MIVD in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. According to him, the compensation is not enough, he said to newspaper AD.