How much do the Dutch value data protection?
The Dutch will vote on Wednesday on a law that entered into force at the start of the year which allows the intelligence services to store and analyse citizens' communications data for up to three years. If 30 percent of the electorate votes against this the legislation will have to be renegotiated. Dutch commentators are glad to see the law being subjected to critical debate.
On the path to total surveillance
Columnist Maxim Februari warns in NRC Handelsblad against the establishment of a surveillance state:
“The fundamental problem is that in the fight against terrorism and crime those in power are coming up with solutions that above all make life more insecure. In their bid to make individuals and society fully transparent they are claiming the right to be even more opaque themselves. And to make more and more things forbidden for individuals and society they are allowing themselves more and more freedoms. Soon there will be no more terrorists, but Erdoğan, Putin and Trump will be listening in on our phone conversations.”
De Volkskrant is delighted that the law is being so widely discussed:
“This is about the basic question of what is more important: national security or the protection of Internet users' data. Few question the idea that the secret service law needs to be updated. ... Internet traffic can still be comprehensively monitored under the new law. However logical that may be, there is no reason to make light of the potential consequences. ... This referendum has sparked a social debate that will help increase our vigilance.”