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.
Thread beginning with comment 539738
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Good idea?
by error32 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 20:16 UTC
error32
Member since:
2008-12-10

I will probably get a lot of negative comments on this, but I would still like to point out the following.

I am a Dutch citizen and in my opinion this is not such a bad idea at all. The Dutch police force is very careful in using any kind of force because excessive force will result in public outrage.
Why not add this as a weapon in their arsenal to ensure the state safety? Given the safety in this country, and the trust we bestow on our police force I feel this might be useful.

Consider for instance, how recently several ISPs got a threat from somebody posing as being part of anonymous (or some other online children organisation, I don't really remember), say this had indeed been real. It would feel good to me to have some sort of digital riot police. Because yes, this is expensive for those companies.
Anyway, things like stuxnet should have been a wake-up call for the world already. I would be proud if my government would actually have to balls to come out and legalise (thus admit) to these kind of activities instead of keeping secrets from their citizens.

Yes, I know, we should not give up our digital freedom etc etc. However I would expect tech savvy users to be able to secure their systems...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good idea?
by pgeorgi on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 20:36 in reply to "Good idea?"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Why not add this as a weapon in their arsenal to ensure the state safety? Given the safety in this country, and the trust we bestow on our police force I feel this might be useful.

It's a matter of trust, indeed.

One big issue is that there's no remote chance of ensuring due process when it comes to "evidence" that's collected on a cracked box.

While malicious police officers can always lose a zip-lock bag with weed while conducting an appartment search, that's an isolated data point - bits are all alike, and terribly easy to copy. That makes for quite untraceable tampering of evidence.

And now we're exclusively in the realm of trust.

Consider a search using these powers for child pornography: After things are done, there's no useful evidence that this data was there _before_ the search was started (except if they also raid the appartment and find other evidence, such as hard copies - in which case: raid the appartment, find the hard copies, bust the bastard; no remote computer search required).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Good idea?
by error32 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 20:49 in reply to "RE: Good idea?"
error32 Member since:
2008-12-10

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.

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Good idea?
by Soulbender on Wed 24th Oct 2012 02:45 in reply to "Good idea?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I am a Dutch citizen and in my opinion this is not such a bad idea at all.


Yeah, awesome. How about China decides that it's perfectly legal and acceptable for the Chinese government to do the exact same thing and spy..i mean "collect evidence" on Dutch citizens on Dutch soil etc? Not such a good idea now, is it.

legalise (thus admit) to these kind of activities instead of keeping secrets from their citizens.


I have a better idea: don't do these things at all.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Good idea?
by error32 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 05:17 in reply to "RE: Good idea?"
error32 Member since:
2008-12-10

As a matter of fact, I have lived in the People's Republic of China for some time. I know the difference between oppressive and free countries first hand...
I know enough to say that I could accept it in the Netherlands and not somewhere else.

Reply Parent Score: 2