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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sounds about right.

  • Rampant Corruption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2014 @09:43AM (#47522095)

    Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason. -- Mark Twain

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Dutch have about a dozen parties big enough to win seats, and a fair amount of political change between them. And as they don't use a district system, there are no safe seats. This didn't happen because of American-level political entrenchment.

      There's still a sizable majority across parties in favor of such wiretapping, for pretty simple reasons: There is broad and active support for terrorism in the Dutch muslim community, in particular in favor of ISIS. In some towns, 1-2 in 10.000 people have already

      • There's still a sizable majority across parties in favor of such wiretapping, for pretty simple reasons:

        Because they're freedom-hating scumbags who would rather sacrifice people's fundamental liberties for safety. No free, principled country would do such a thing, but hey, you have to have safety above all, right? And the government is made up of perfect little angels who could never abuse their powers or make a mistake, so they'll definitely use all this information wisely.

  • Just wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @09:44AM (#47522103) Homepage

    I love how pretty much every country has come to the same conclusion: We can bypass our own laws if we have someone else do it for us.

    They've all decided, well, we can't spy on our own people, but if the Americans do it for us it's all good.

    Essentially reciprocity means that any laws which are intended to protect you will be bypassed as people get other actors to do it for them.

    So, it's illegal for the Dutch to spy on their own people, probably illegal when the US spies on the Dutch, but since they've already for the information, why not?

    Pathetic. Free societies aren't maintained by using loopholes to get around laws intended to control how your citizens get spied on.

    What horsehit.

    When governments are getting the take from the blanket surveillance the Americans (and really, the rest of the world), they have very little incentive to actually stop the surveillance in the first place.

    Some days it seems like the US has more or less subverted the privacy and rights of everyone on the planet, and every other government is deciding the information sharing is too valuable to recognize they're just lying to us and doing it anyway.

    At this point, I don't believe any elected official, or member of any of these state security entities deserves any privacy rights at all. Because they've all decided we don't.

    The dystopian future is alive and well, and getting worse every day.

    • by sribe (304414)

      They've all decided, well, we can't spy on our own people, but if the Americans do it for us it's all good.

      Well, after all, even the Americans have decided that ;-)

    • Bright side (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2014 @09:56AM (#47522177)

      I love how pretty much every country has come to the same conclusion: We can bypass our own laws if we have someone else do it for us.

      Well, if the US government charges a hefty fee for this - say a percentage of a country's GDP - we could be an exporter of Big Brother services.

      Just think, based on the economic principle of Comparative Advantage, we, the US of A, can spy on the rest of the World (think how much money the Chinese would pay us to watch their citizens!) while they pay us percentages of their GDPs.

      Think about it, we could sit on our asses in leisure while they all bust their asses growing our food, making our clothes, etc ... and if they step out of line, well, we KNOW where they live!

    • Nonsense, you tin-foil-hat-wearer. Hey, didn't you know they just released a trailer for the Fifty Shade of Grey movie!!! Here, have some more bread and circuses!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If they remember their own history about how their own census records in the Netherlands was used against Dutch citizens during the German occupation of WWII, then the Dutch should be very concerned about the retention of data on their families by any government, including their own. Nothing gathered is ever completely safe and it can all be used against them.

      The mere existance of such records can be an invitation to disaster, no matter how seemingly innocent they appear. The Dutch no doubt proudly included

      • Absolutely right.

        I would only add that, in addition to worrying about an evil foreign power getting hold of such records, we should also worry about evil local groups who might be in government some time in the future.

        Which is why, in my opinion, these records should be subject to strict time limitations and expire sooner rather than later -- if we decide we need them at all for, you know, only slightly evil purposes.

    • I love how pretty much every country has come to the same conclusion: We can bypass our own laws if we have someone else do it for us.

      There's nothing surprising in this. Most countries hire consultants and advisors from the same international legal/accounting firms, who themselves have been trained in the same schools of thought, and often the same universities. The international ascendancy is mostly a mono-culture.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's a SIGINT network without borders. Welcome to the globalisation of national security.

    • I'm not sure why you are surprised -- wasn't the main reason for these intra-agency deals mainly to circumvent the restrictions to spying on ones own citizens?

      That said, we in the Netherlands have an absolutely terrible record -- no pun intended -- of evesdropping and phonetapping and so on.

    • Re:Just wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cardpuncher (713057) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @11:26AM (#47522737)

      In 2004, the Court of Appeal in England ruled that it was OK to admit evidence obtained under torture into English trials, provided that the torture had been carried out elsewhere. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary at the time said:

      "We unreservedly condemn the use of torture and have worked hard with our international partners to eradicate this practice. However, it would be irresponsible not to take appropriate account of any information which could help protect national security and public safety"

      The Appeal Court ruling was finally overturned by the House of Lords the following year.

      However, given the enthusiasm of the original judges and the Home Secretary of the time and the ever increasing use of the "because terrorism" excuse, I'm not sure that there would be similar hope of justice prevailing in the future. It's not just privacy on the line.

    • by mspohr (589790)

      It took a few years longer but it does appear that we have finally reached the dystopia of George Orwell's 1984 with omnipresent surveillance, government manipulation, thought crimes, Newspeak, constant war (on terror), and an elite class in control.

    • The US has been accused of using Great Britain as a spy agency and having that information sent back to the US and most likely in a reciprocal arrangement. This may predate the current terror issues. What we are seeing is a military that can not fight against a non army type of violent aggression. Therefore intelligence becomes vital as a method of victory over terrorists. This is one of those issues without a good solution. Yes, the level of spying on people by government is dangerous
      • If we attach penalties for violation of the UN bill of rights governments would be forced to hold a much higher standard of behavior.

        I suggest you take a quick look at the UN Veto Powers. Then ask yourself: "how likely are ANY of these countries to want real penalties attached to the UN Bill of Rights?"

        If your answer to the question above was "why, all five of them would give the UN Bill of Rights some teeth in a heartbeat, if only someone would suggest it to them", then go right ahead and do so.

        Then r

      • Yes, the level of spying on people by government is dangerous. But failing to do that spying may be even more dangerous.

        Free and principled countries would rather risk it than sacrifice fundamental freedoms for safety. Furthermore, you admit the government is dangerous, but the government is also far more of a threat than any terrorist.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      And yet we all want the benefits that come from spying. Even the first arms limitation treaties where based on the ability to spy to verify that they were being followed.

  • And this is why no government really battles the NSA spoofing their citizens!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now the citizens can demand that the law be changed. It'll be very difficult for the political class to say no: the law as interpreted by that court is effectively an end-run around constitutional protections.

    • They can be open about it because the citizens no longer have any recourse against them. Voting? Don't make me { laugh | cry }.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Voting? Don't make me { laugh | cry }.

        "There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order."

        So, what box are we up to now again?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Honestly, here in America we're still stumbling around incompetently, the soap box step. We're literally still talking about whether all this government abuse is a good idea or not, and virtually nobody ever votes against it.

          Every time I run into one of those ammo boxers, I wanna throttle 'em. Dude, can you at least show up at an election, first? No wait, at least put forth a candidate to run against it, first, and then we'll worry about whether or not you could get 1% of voters to participate in the ele

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Every time I run into one of those ammo boxers, I wanna throttle 'em. Dude, can you at least show up at an election, first? No wait, at least put forth a candidate to run against it, first, and then we'll worry about whether or not you could get 1% of voters to participate in the election, instead of resignedly filling in the circle next to the R or D.

            That's the reason I like the box analogy. It's a timeless reminder of what to do and what not to do.

            Soap: Rant on the internet. Write your representative.

            • If they can still find 12 people who think that your non-crime might still be worthy of punishment, maybe you're wrong!

              Popularity is irrelevant.

  • If we pay you to spy on our citizens, because we're not allowed to do it ourselves, then will you pay us to spy on your citizens because you cannot do that yourself?

    It's good for the global economy because money changes hands. (Nevermind that no actual goods or benefits to society are procduced.)

    Everyone is happy. (Nevermind citizens in the global police state.)
  • Why do we bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @09:59AM (#47522189) Journal

    Look, just install the telescreens in our homes already. Drop the charade, we all know where it's going. You know we're not going to do anything about it. Let's just cut to the chase and get it over with.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      Look, just install the telescreens in our homes already.

      Be patient. We're still in the voluntary phase of that, right now. If enough people say no to the unauditable smartphones and smart TVs, we can eventually get to compulsory installation, but for right now, what's the hurry? People are doing it without even being told to.

      • This, but eventually we'll need to convince people that if you don't have a smartphone, ipad, smart TV or other such device, you MUST be a terrorist. I mean, why else would one live "off-grid"?

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I'm not saying that Kinect did this already, but I'm going to heavily imply it with the first clause of this sentence.

  • And just what is our Dutch government giving back to the NSA? I'm pretty sure it's not fresh Dutch cabbages. The Dragnet is apparently global. How long until someone gets arrested just for blogging negatively about a politician? A banker? A NSA employee? This is an old, old cycle and marks the start of the end of an empire. Rome, Arabia and many others show this trend. Humans can and will conspire against each other in an ever growing bid for power until the masses once again have to overthrow the few. Only
  • About time we start calling it the ISA.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @10:22AM (#47522331) Homepage Journal

    Though we'll face some risks from our own governments, it's a relief to know at the Dutch government would have no problem with me selling kiddie porn (as long as it was made in America) to Dutch citizens. "No crime happened here, within our jurisdiction," they'd say.

    In fact, the Dutch government should tolerate our new businesses even more than this NSA thing, since the victims (whereever their rights were violated) won't even be Dutch citizens. No Netherlander will have any reason to say their government let them down.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      "No crime happened here, within our jurisdiction," they'd say.

      Which would seem to invalidate pretty much any extradition treaty, wouldn't it?

      If you can commit what would be a crime in another country, and there's no law against it, you can't be extradited.

      Clearly, nobody could be extradited from the US to the Netherlands for this, so why should anybody ever be extradited to the US for anything? If the stuff America does is outside of everyone else's law, then obviously, anything you do from outside the US

  • by TomRC (231027) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @11:02AM (#47522573)

    So, it's legal for Americans to spy on the Dutch? Who knew!
    Next it'll be found perfectly OK for the Dutch government to take kickbacks from American criminals that rob Dutch citizens.
    Hurrah for the newly authorized power of crime laundering!

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      So, it's legal for Americans to spy on the Dutch? Who knew!

      If it's legal for the US to spy on Dutch citizens, then isn't it also legal for the Dutch citizens to spy on and hack into Americans?

      Because, clearly, if it's legal for the US to do the same to external entities, the reverse must be true, right?

      • Dutch citizens? I doubt it. BUT, Dutch government is probably ignored by the US government.
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          Ignored is likely right.

          I didn't see anything that made spying on either side legal, only that the dutch could acquire the information gathered from it legally. It's likely illegal in both places to do the spying but the government would ignore it as long as they had a benefit to gain.

          There is a difference between something being legal and something not being prosecuted and ignored instead.

  • NSA to spy. Of course, I doubt that Germany KNEW that we were listening in on their gov officials, to which they absolutely should be mad. But, I suspect that NSA is still allowed to spy all over Europe. I would not be surprised though, if we have a few new treaties.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      " I doubt that Germany KNEW that we were listening in on their gov officials"
      The US has anti spying agreements with the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The German government knows that and the US does not have one with Germany.
      Are they really that dumb?

  • Is Mark Rutte, i.e. the potential 'requestor'.
    Looking up his address now.
    Will post here.

  • This may be more a metaphor than an analogy.

    The Dutch and American governments are doing something analogous to money laundering.

    Only it's data, not money, that goes from bad to good, by taking a different path.

    And it's governments, not individuals or companies, that are doing it.

    And government decides it's not a violation, when government does it.

    The metaphor is "data laundering". Or "illegal surveillance data laundering".

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