Dutch government loses privacy referendum

This 30 December 2017 video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Fuck Dutch mass surveillance: let’s have a referendum!

Forcing the Netherlands to publicly debate privacy and the intelligence agencies

Dutch intelligence agencies will soon be allowed to analyse bulk data of civilians on a massive scale, by intercepting internet traffic and through real-time access to all kinds of databases. They will also start hacking third parties.

My friends and I want to stop this. We started an action to enforce a referendum on the law. Surprisingly, it worked! How do we get most out of this opportunity?

In this talk I will discuss what the new spying law means for the Netherlands, how we campaigned to get 400k+ signatures, and the future course of the debate and campaign for the referendum (which is due in March).

Finally, I would like to do a call to action, nationally and internationally. The main concerns about the law are: the allowance of untargeted interception on a potentially massive scale. (Which the AIVD [Dutch secret service] is framing as not being mass surveillance, you judge for yourself.)

This sparked an outcry from human rights activists, journalists, doctors, and others. Also, the hacking of third parties is very uncool and has not yet been the subject of a strong public debate. Both edges of the political spectrum are supporting the initiative, which shows how the erosion of privacy affects us all.

Thus, our campaign tries to reach out to everyone. Now that the privacy debate is mainstream and #woke again, Team-Intelligence-Agencies is showing their teeth. But we’re biting back, even though we realize that we are five kids (and back-up) fighting something way bigger than ourselves. This means that we really need your support! You can help on so many levels that I won’t write them down, so I guess you should come see this talk.

The people who started this won the referendum against the anti-privacy law. But will the government respect the electorate’s verdict?

In Amsterdam, the votes have now been counted in the 21 March referendum on the Dutch government’s ‘Big Brother’ law. 64,2% voted No, 30,9% Yes to this privacy threatening law which gives sweeping powers to secret police for Internet spying on citizens.

Amsterdam was the final local authority where votes were counted. That means that in the Netherlands as a whole, more people voted against than for the law.

According to daily De Volkskrant today, this rejection by the electorate means trouble for the Dutch four party coalition government which has just a one seat majority in parliament. According to polls, most voters of D66, a ‘liberal’ party in a coalition with three right-wing parties, have voted No. That No vote is consistent with the official view of D66 on privacy before they joined the four party coalition. Wanting referendums was always a main point for D66. Now, however, they have flip-flopped to the government’s plan to abolish referendums. That brought big losses for D66 in the local elections, also on 21 March. Local party leaders blamed the flip-flopping by the national leaders for the local losses.

The Volkskrant writes that if the government now would still go ahead with the Big Brother law against the electorate’s wishes, that might be too much for D66 leaders, fearing still more losses.

4 thoughts on “Dutch government loses privacy referendum

  1. Pingback: Irish women’s rights referendum victory | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Big Brother pseudoscience for Dutch corporations’ workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British Brexit opponents interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Dutch ‘intelligence’ illegally spying on citizens | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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