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

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

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @04:39PM (#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 TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @04:42PM (#41709711)

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

    (wish I was kidding.)

  • 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 skegg ( 666571 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @06:20PM (#41710657)

    I do think that the baddies should be found and taken care of, but not at ALL costs

    Note how the authorities never use the sledgehammer approach to stamping out crime (and potential crime) committed by politicians and police. It's only the citizenry that are subject to such heavy-handed approaches.

    When it comes to politicians and police they tread softly, and with surgical precision. (If at all.)

  • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @06:29PM (#41710755) Homepage

    Actually, it is. Think of it as being like the captain of a ship -> it doesn't matter who owns the title / deed to the vessel, it's still "the captain's ship." Responsibility starts and ends with him.

    But by all means, change that. See what happens.

  • by skegg ( 666571 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @06:50PM (#41710925)

    Psst, its called a search warrant.

    What are you .. 10 years old?

    It starts-off requiring a search warrant. Soon after, the laws are relaxed to grant police the power to perform these actions without a warrant. Of course a transparent, independent party will be tasked with reviewing these actions every year and presenting a report.

    A couple of years later, that "transparent", "independent" party will find police used those powers excessively. This party will be ignored.

    Eventually, police having access to these powers will be viewed as routine and instrumental to them performing their duties.

    Now they ask for more powers. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?