Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 18:24 UTC, submitted by Jane Doe
Privacy, Security, Encryption "Last week, the Dutch Minister of Safety and Justice asked the Parliament of the Netherlands to pass a law allowing police to obtain warrants to do the following: install malware on targets’ private computers, conduct remote searches on local and foreign computers to collect evidence, and delete data on remote computers in order to disable the accessibility of 'illegal files'. Requesting assistance from the country where the targetted computer(s) were located would be 'preferred' but possibly not required. These proposals are alarming, could have extremely problematic consequences, and may violate European human rights law." You get true net neutrality with one hand, but this idiocy with another. This reminds me a lot of how some of our busy intersections are designed; by people who bike to city hall all their lives and have no clue what it's like to drive a car across their pretty but extremely confusing and hence dangerous intersections.
Permalink for comment 539842
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Good idea?
by pgeorgi on Wed 24th Oct 2012 08:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good idea?"
Member since:

Yes indeed, trust is the keyword here. If I would live in another country I would not be able to see a positive side to this.

Just read the other day (from an US perspective) how in Iran the Ayatollah (portrayed as "the bad guy") reused the snooping infrastructure of the Shah ("the reasonable guy") after taking over power.

Also, the Netherlands had a "religion" field in their citizens register, which became an issue when the Nazis went in. (for the Nazis, that harmless item became useful infrastructure)

It's nice to be able to trust your current government, but it's not a bad idea to think about the consequences when things change. (In case of the religion field, it's hard to think of _that_ before it happened, but AFAIK many European countries stopped keeping track like that after WW2 due to what happened)

Both Ayatollah and the Nazis could have built up the desired infrastructure by themselves after their power grab, but each would have taken time. Time that could prove crucial when attempting to set things straight early.

Giving police (or anybody) up-to-date equipment to easily enter machines can be very uncomfortable for a democratic opposition of an undesirable future government.
And since there's so much future ahead of us, I'm afraid things are just bound to happen. Not everywhere, but the "let us (but only us, and secretly) snoop on computers" movement is uncomfortably global.

Considering things like child pornography, we have had some issues where an apprehended suspect had this on an encrypted drive. In that case it might be very useful for law enforcement to be able to get the encryption's key in advance some way or other.

And plant some data on the way, since the images on the suspect's system are uncomfortably close, but not quite illegal yet ("but he's definitely one of 'those'")?

Or to push the statistics, so everyone can see that this newly granted power was really, really necessary? (Wouldn't even have to be organizational. One "well-meaning" staff at the right place is enough for real damage)

In the end, I'd prefer the police to hunt those who physically hurt children, not necessarily those who keep the pictures (those, too - but IMHO it's secondary).
Otherwise we'll live in a world were family members still rape their kids (people close to the children make up >80% of the abusers), but simply don't produce graphic evidence anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 5