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Government Hacking: Proposed Law in the Netherlands

In 2012 I wrote a blog on CircleID called State hacking: Do’s and don’ts, pros and cons. In this post I give some thoughts to the concept of a government “hacking back” at criminals. The reason for this was an announcement by the Dutch government that it contemplated law along these lines. The proposed law is now here: the Act Computer Criminality III.

Although the idea originally was to hack into untraceable servers that could (most like would) be based abroad, now it appears that the Dutch government has used its imagination some more. Hacking devices, the obligation to cooperate in an investigation against oneself by providing passwords, tapping devices and e.g. Skype, it’s all in the concept. Not surprisingly there is a lot of commotion from privacy advocates and organisations.

Anyway, I’ve had my say in the mentioned blog post and reiterate that this is a very, very sensitive topic, that could cross boundaries that we as society may not want to cross. Let me provide you with some links, so you can study it yourself. Unfortunately everything is in Dutch. Below you find links to the law texts, including explanations/intentions and a link to a blog post by PHD student Jan Jaap Oerlemans of the University of Leiden who provides some excellent observations.

Here’s the official government publication on the law with links to the actual texts.

Here’s the link to Jan Jaap Oerleman’s blog.

By Wout de Natris, Consultant internet governance

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