Dutch coalition calls for public debate on privacy protection

A coalition of 32 organizations, companies and individuals calls the Minister of Security and Justice, to develop a vision on privacy protection in the information society, the facilitation of a broad public debate and asks him to postpone the treatment of legislation that might lead to spying on citizens without cause, warrants or even suspicion.

Hold your horses
Technological developments enable measures that were inoperable until recently. The result is that resources are proposed that do not comply with constitutional principles. There has never been a broad fundamental debate about the consequences or implications of such laws. In the relation between government and citizens, more often the government introduces measures that lead to surveillance of citizens by collecting and processing large amounts of data about them. The implementation of these measures then leaves much to be desired. The proportionality and subsidiarity of these measures are not sufficiently critically tested. The monitoring of such measures is often not independent and sufficiently precise regulated. Moreover the group of people whose data is collected is often too large. The latter was confirmed by a recent decision of the court to suspend the retention by communication providers of customer data.

Until the time such a fundamental debate has taken place, bills that touch this issue should not be treated. This relates at least to the following proposed bills: the proposals on the retention of telecommunications data, the proposal to establish who drives where (ANPR), mass surveillance for intelligence (extension Wiv), the`€˜hack back’powers in the Cybercrime Act, the review of article 13 of the Constitution on secrecy of communication and proposals on the protection of sources of the press.

The coalition consists of Bits of Freedom, Amnesty Netherlands, Dutch Association of Journalists, Open State Foundation, Dutch Association of Criminal Justice lawyers, Hivos, Association of Investigative Journalists, Free Press Unlimited, Prakken d’Oliveira, BIT, Digital Infrastructure Netherlands (DINL), Voys, Waag Society, Publeaks, Kennisland, Privacy Barometer, Internet Society Netherlands (ISOC), Privacy First, Bureau Brandeis, SETUP, Nico van Eijk, Beate Roessler, Bart Jacobs, Egbert Dommering, Mireille Hildebrandt, Erik Huizer, Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Karin Spaink, Ot van Daalen, Otto Volgenant, Bart de Koning, Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius

The original signatories are listed below. The list is still growing.
Anyone who shares these concerns can sign this call at

On 17 April 2015, Open State Foundation organizes the unconference GCCS-Unplugged where challenges for an open and free internet are tackled.