Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Your Rights Online

Dutch Ministry Proposes Powers For Police To Hack Computers, Install Spyware 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
hypnosec writes "The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security has proposed some rather over the line measures and wants to extend such powers to the police that would allow them to break into computers and mobile phones in any part of the world. According to the proposal (PDF in Dutch), dated October 15, the ministry has asked for powers that would allow police to not only break into computers, but also allow them to install spyware, search for data in those computers, and destroy data. As explained by digital rights group 'Bits of Freedom,' which obtained the copy of the proposal, if the Dutch police get such powers, the security of computer users would be lessened and there will be a 'perverse incentive to keep information security weak.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dutch Ministry Proposes Powers For Police To Hack Computers, Install Spyware

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds a lot like the idiotic stuff formulated in the preliminary list of internet security legislation [boingboing.net] that was posted two months ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      My Independent Government in Exile from Mars has just been granted authority by the nDimensional judiciary to ignore national sovereignty and any simple definition of sanity - to damage or destroy Dutch Police information assets, where ever they may exist in the outer 3rd of the galactic rim.

      The Quantum Pope already authorized my deputization of the WHOLE INTARWEBZ! So, your are all welcome to hop to it!

      p.s.: I've watched some of those Dutch police beat the crap out of unmanageable, drunken British tourist

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I've lived in Netherlands for couple of years and mostly I've been _amazed_ at how patient and rational their cops are. They do what cops should be doing, solving problems with minimum fuss and effort.

        Oh well, seems like _nobody_ can stand a drunken British lout..

        • Actually, you're dead right. The cops were mostly after no one getting hurt.

          And even customs security agents have been good folks - not robots or "roles".

  • Sounds like an incentive to make computer security stronger.

    But what do I know?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like an incentive to make computer security stronger.

      But what do I know?

      "the security of computer users would be lessened and there will be a perverse incentive to keep information security weak." isn't referring to the end users such as you and myself having an incentive to have weaker security. This implies that the government/police will dictate that software developers, ISP's, and possibly even hardware manufacturers be more lax with their security functions/features for the explicit purpose of the government/police hacking and or installing spyware in a citizens personal

      • by skegg (666571)

        I mean, the other nations are doing it so why cant?

        A series of countries in the Middle East has recently changed their government, so why can't we? In our case it's even easier ... we have regular elections.

        • by PReDiToR (687141)
          You mean vote the other party in who are lobbied by the same groups, but with different coloured ties?

          Doesn't work. You'd have to clean out the whole of Westminster/Washington of lobbyists before you could get some clean politicians installed.

          Never happen.
        • by menno_h (2670089)

          A series of countries in the Middle East has recently changed their government, so why can't we? In our case it's even easier ... we have regular elections.

          The Dutch elections were last month and although the current government is demissionary, it is very likely the new government will continue the old governments policy. Minister Opstelten belongs to the VVD [wikipedia.org], which, after last month's elections, is still the largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives.

    • It is an incentive to make computer security stronger. But if the police have the authority to install "copware" on your system, then your system will only be as secure as the "copware". Your systems will be less secure because there is an access channel that you did not put there, that you may not even be aware of, and that you have no control over.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      search for data in those computers, and destroy data.

      Give the police the power to destroy evidence. Yeah! That will always end well. I am sure that the power to destroy possibly exonerating evidence will never be misused.

  • When will this end ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sakari (194257) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:38PM (#41709673) Homepage

    I'm sick and tired of seeing these new laws proposed almost weekly! What the heck is going and who is pushing towards all these new law propositions for allowing breaking into users computers, reading their email, tracking all activity and attempts at controlling the internet.

    I wont allow these bastards who know nothing about how things even work to control this network of ours. They are trying take away our basic freedom all the time to communicate freely. They know that free speech is harmful for the powers that be. Enough already!

    I call all sysadmins and network administrators to start opposing these law enforcers! We have the power to make the change. We are the ones who install these rules into production, and we are the ones who can stop this madness. And those who continue oppressing us, know this: f*ck you! You will not win. Give up already and let's try to work together instead of assuming everyone is a damn terrorist.

    • Since these asshats are the enemy of the people, every time they propose one of these atrocities, those responsible need to be rounded up and sentenced to at a minimum, 1 year in a Dutch Oven. [wikipedia.org]

    • by skegg (666571)

      I'm sick and tired of seeing these new laws proposed almost weekly!

      Are you politically active in your jurisdiction? Have you run for local elections?

      Have you joined with like-minded neighbours and presented a united argument to your local representative, threatening to boot him out at the next election if he doesn't submit to the will of those he represents?

      *You* have the power and right to influence politics around you. Exercise those rights.

    • by Troed (102527)

      It will end as more and more people vote for their local Pirate Party (represented in over 60 countries) - the political solution when it comes to privacy and your rights online.

      http://www.pp-international.net/ [pp-international.net]

  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:38PM (#41709675)

    What happens if the police do actual damage to important infrastructure. Either civic or private?
    Or if police introduce a vulnerability that allows the above?

    Don't mess with active systems.

    • well I don't know how it works for the Dutch, but I know we solved that problem YEARS ago here. Its quite simple, they will have some manner of immunity so that even if they had no concievable reason to think they were in the right, there will still be no consequences.

      Oh...wait thats not true, they might get paid time off until the heat dies down.

    • by lajoyce (1074817)
      And this will certainly happen. The police already do things like open fire on someone holding a wallet because they perceived it as a weapon. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/north_bay&id=8678964 [go.com]
    • Wouldn't this also mean that the RIAA/MPAA would have to prove that the dutch cops didn't install those songs and movies on my machine?
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      Better yet... being as cops are just people with a typically over-heightened sense of self-importance and there are no personality tests or IQ requirements to get into the force, what if a cop comes across something they shouldn't that's many levels above them, sells it and compromises national security?

    • by alexo (9335)

      What happens if the police do actual damage to important infrastructure. Either civic or private?
      Or if police introduce a vulnerability that allows the above?

      The same things that usually happens when the police fucks up.
      They falsify a report, investigate themselves and continue as if nothing happened.

      Did you expect otherwise?

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:39PM (#41709681)

    This is what happens when 1) make mundane activities (like saying something cheeky online) illegal, and 2) insist that law enforcement do something about it.

    Law enforcement says " I need to do X to accomplish Y." Government and public supporters say "ok, just crack down on Y for us, ok?"

    Later, government says "cracking down on Y isn't enough! We have to make W P and Q illegal, and work to stop that too, to keep our citizens safe!" (Where "safe" is a ephemeral and impossible goal, like achieving lightspeed. Each increment toward the goal comes at exponentially higher costs, and you can never actually get there anyway.)

    Law enforcement says "we need all kinds of expanded powers for that!"

    Rinse, repeat, until people need licenses to speak, wear only government sanctioned clothing, are put on government regulated diets, and live with a swarm of automated security drones following them everywhere.

    "To infinity and beyond!" Takes on a sharply malign connotation here.

    The initial problems are less severe than the consequences of policing it. Rather than capitulate to further erosion of rights and libertis, we should just say no.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#41709691)
    What are they going to do? They'd be screwed, right? I've recently thought about building some kind of virtual honeypot fronting as my connection to the outside world, with nothing actually sensitive in it. If someone broke into it, it would be so much fun to play games with the attackers.
    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#41709711)

      wanna bet it will be called 'obstruction of justice'.

      (wish I was kidding.)

      • "Called" obstruction of justice? If the police get legalized powers to break into your system, doing that would be obstruction of justice. Like, a textbook case of it.
        • First, I don't live in the US. Second, I believe I'm entitled to have complete fictional, made up, bogus documents stored in the privacy of my computer. People write fiction all the time, right? And if some idiot breaks into my machine and believes the shit, how's that my fault, exactly?
          • by Dekker3D (989692)

            This isn't about the US... it's about the Netherlands, sadly. I didn't vote for the guy doing this or any of his cronies, I swear!

            It's a good thing those things don't seem to pass as easily here as they do in the US, but still... I worry that it might happen one day.

          • Well, I don't know how Dutch (or wherever else you might live, but this is the Dutch police) handle OoJ, but the content of your files is not the point. It's the fact that you'd be willfully preventing the police from having information that they are legally allowed to have. It's the equivalent of refusing to open a safe which they've obtained a warrant to search.
            • It's the fact that you'd be willfully preventing the police from having information that they are legally allowed to have.

              So if this law comes into power, any Dutch citizen having his or her personal files on a computer not connected to the Internet will be violating the law, because the police won't be able to hack it?

              • Not exactly. It'd be more like a ToS for the internet - "by being online you consent to law enforcement hacking your computer anytime they choose." It's like your car - police can't search the trunk without a warrant if you keep it closed, but if you're pulling out your groceries and an officer just "happens" to see the five kilos of coke in the open trunk, he doesn't need a warrant to seize them and arrest you.

                That's my interpretation, anyway. It'd probably take a court case to clarify in the end.

                • by ubrgeek (679399)
                  > if you're pulling out your groceries and an officer just "happens" to see the five kilos of coke in the open trunk

                  And that, my friends, is why I only buy Dr. Pepper.
          • by BitterOak (537666)

            First, I don't live in the US. Second, I believe I'm entitled to have complete fictional, made up, bogus documents stored in the privacy of my computer. People write fiction all the time, right? And if some idiot breaks into my machine and believes the shit, how's that my fault, exactly?

            Intent is a large component of US Law. Not sure about Dutch. If you have a fictional document on your computer which is part of a novel you've been writing, you would not be guilty of obstruction of justice because there is no intent. If you have a honeypot on your computer or fake data which is there primarily for the purpose of thwarting police investigations, then you would almost certainly be guilty of obstruction of justice.

            • The intent would be in this case to slow down any entity attacking my systems for a sufficient time to gather information (behavior, possible origin) about them and to pass the information to the police in order for them to investigate it as a possible case of computer abuse. I don't think that I would have the resources to actually identify the attacker. Anyway, if you notice someone breaking into your house at night, you'll call 911, won't you?
            • by wierd_w (1375923)

              Law of unintended consequences:

              How do you differentiate a honey pot from a virtual machine for a thin client? Technologically, they are exactly the same thing.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        If the day comes that I can be guilty of obstruction of justice by preventing Dutch police from breaking into my computer ... Then we have truly lost our freedoms and it is time to start using the proverbial fourth box quite liberally.

        And, really, if the police in my own jurisdiction would find my unwillingness to let them break into my computer, the same would be true.

        When the Dutch figure their cops should be able to break into, and tamper with, computers anywhere in the world, then the Dutch might discov

  • They would have to somehow get me to run the program on my computer first. Good luck with that.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      While getting backdoors into linux would be considerably difficult, it wouldn't be impossible.

      Say for instance, government agencies tell nVidia to include an exploit in their binary blob kernel space driver.

      How will you spot it, without the source?

      • Binary code analysis. The same way most exploits are found.

      • by donaldm (919619)

        While getting backdoors into linux would be considerably difficult, it wouldn't be impossible.

        You are right, however once an exploit is found the Linux community is usually quite quick in coming up with a fix even if it means a fresh install of the OS, although this is not something I would do unless I was fully compromised. I would think and hope that anyone in the Linux community would immediately alert the appropriate people even if it is the police in their own country.

        Say for instance, government agencies tell nVidia to include an exploit in their binary blob kernel space driver.

        While it is possible for a government to force certain vendors (eg. nVidia or even Microsoft) to put spy-ware in their products

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      They can come in the night and install it for you.

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      They would have to somehow get me to run the program on my computer first. Good luck with that.

      So you run NO software?
      I would be willing to bet it is MUCH easier than you might think it is.

  • Good idea (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Privacy is over rated unless you have something to hide.

  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:45PM (#41709735)

    How is this any different than allowing police to break into homes and install covert cameras? Do they already allow this?

    • by DM9290 (797337)

      How is this any different than allowing police to break into homes and install covert cameras? Do they already allow this?

      It's different because you can't install a million covert cameras without breaking into a million homes, and owning a million cameras. and then having enough personal to actually look at all the footage.
      installing spyware on a million computers/phones on the other hand is ACTUALLY DOABLE.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I'm pretty sure it would be fairly difficult for the Dutch police to break into my American home and install covert cameras. I'm also pretty sure it would be seriously frowned on, if after the broke into a home, installed covert cameras, that they set a bomb off.
  • by folderol (1965326) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#41709743) Homepage
    I can remember a time when the Netherlands was certainly the most laid-back, uncritical country in Europe - possible the world.
    • by Dekker3D (989692)

      Slippery slope after 9/11, I think. That's when we got RFID'd mandatory ID cards.

      • by chthon (580889)

        Welk Nederlands jeugdboek uit de jaren '80 maakte daar al eens melding van? Ik dacht dat het er een van Jan Terlouw was, maar ik vind het niet in zijn bibliografie (inhoud: Groen komt aan de macht en dit leidt tot een (idealistische) dictatuur).

        • by Dekker3D (989692)

          Sorry, van Nederlandse literatuur heb ik geen kaas gegeten. Also... I think it'll piss off the mods if we talk dutch on an english-oriented website, won't it?

  • comes bigger corruption. Who watches the watchers?

    Will be illegal to use safe, hack proofer operating systems? Will need to have commercial operating systems some kind of mandated government backdoor to have a chance to be used in Germany?

    And there is the problem that if you leave a door for government, even if you trust blindly on them (and in the next government and all the people involved in this), others could eventually use it

  • by Tei (520358) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:59PM (#41709893) Journal

    We have police to stop crimes, not to commit them. What this dude just did, was proposing the commit of a crime at big scale.

    • That's incredibly naive. Police do not stop crimes, they are there to fill out the paperwork after they are committed, and to collect revenue for the state.

  • by Teun (17872)
    A question heard is why?
    Because Dutch law already allows most of the proposed access under present regulations.
    Contrary to often referenced US law Dutch law is written in general terms, we regulate official/police access to 'the home' and that includes things like telephone or internet and a judge can allow such access right now.
  • by kwark (512736) on Friday October 19, 2012 @04:03PM (#41709929)

    This message was brought to you by People's Party for Freedom and Democracy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Party_for_Freedom_and_Democracy [wikipedia.org]

    Main force behind these kind of laws/proposals are always the parties that have Freedom (to limit others) in their name (we have a couple of them) or from a Christian background (we know that is good for you plebs).

    • by neminem (561346)

      Your observation is, in fact, a trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny [tvtropes.org]

    • by Dekker3D (989692)

      Oh gods yes... VVD is the worst of it all because they have power. VVD = People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. But the PVV (Party for Freedom) are the ones that Wilders is using to spew his nonsense. Actually.. they split off from the VVD, so it's all the same anyway. I'm just glad Wilders didn't get to be the prime minister through the VVD somehow, I guess..

      We've also got the CDA (Christian-Democratic Appeal, I guess?) that was in charge at the time the RFID-enabled mandatory ID cards were introduced..

  • Good thing a country like Iran doesn't want to do this!
  • ...and the guy that proposed this is a total nitwit (1).

    Nothing to be excited over, this is all grandstanding
    to mask (1).

  • FreedomBox [freedomboxfoundation.org] is the answer!

    And for a thought-provoking treatment of the issues, for sci-fi fans (or freedom fans, really), consider reading Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" [craphound.com], downloadable for free.
  • and how exactly is this not effectively an ACT OF WAR??

    I would think that if they are not very very careful %other_nation% might object very forcefully.

    Also if they are mucking around with the files on a computer what is to say that they are not going to PLANT evidence??

    • It's not an act of war. It's almost certainly a crime, though. Nation A doesn't get to write laws that say they can do whatever they want within Nation B's borders. They can certainly declare that THEY aren't going to prosecute their own employees for hacking Nation B's computers, but any of those employees setting foot within Nation B's jurisdiction shouldn't be surprised when they're prosecuted.

      Also if they are mucking around with the files on a computer what is to say that they are not going to PLANT

  • by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Friday October 19, 2012 @05:07PM (#41710503) Journal

    So, some Dutch bureaucrats want to give their cops the authority to commit acts of war? Who do they think they are, the USA?

    -jcr

    • by mrbester (200927)

      I think everyone is missing the point. This is the old "demand something unspeakable in order to 'back down' to what you really want" trick. The Snoopers Charter isn't doing too well in UK (a short hop away from the Netherlands) but it is being seen as a good idea so declare war on the world's computers and the true intent will be passed after an "embarrassing" u-turn / deprecatory climb down lets the protesters think they've won a small victory for liberty.

  • Serious, if a computer is
    a) So easily broken into
    b) Now infected with spyware

    How could evidence from it not be considered tainted?

  • So far on the list...
    Most of China
    Most of Eastern Europe
    Africa

    Soon... the Netherlands....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least we're not The Netherlands!

  • Have two computers one for using the internet and keeping basic software, also for downloading (laptop) And another that stays offline.. It is pretty laughable the Dutch are doing this, of course the question is if the "Big Media" have pushed for something this extreme?
  • When those charged with our safety and protection, ask for the right to commit crimes and atrocities against the very people whom they're deign to protect, it is fair to say the machine is broken. The appropriate answer to this request is "HELL NO!!! Are you smoking crack!!! You can't enforce the law by wiping your ass on it, and you can't protect liberty by gutting it. NO, HELL NO!!!!

  • .. any politician who is in support of increased intercept powers with lesser controls MUSt agree to have these applied to his or her own life for a period no shorter than a full year, and the results published.

    If that test year worked, maybe it's worth considering. If they are not prepared to do that, it means that there are problems with the law which means any OTHER citizen should not be exposed to it either.

    Please feel free to post improvements, but in a democratic state I think some more direct contro

  • Since hacking into others computers is against the law, then the people trying to over ride this law should be arrested for treason and arrested as spies. Installing anything in anyone else's computers without their express permission is a direct violation of a persons rights of privacy. These people trying to get these powers should be arrested right now...not later.....They have already violated the peoples rights to privacy by even coming public with this line of thought. Maybe Anonymous should hack into

<<<<< EVACUATION ROUTE <<<<<

Working...