The police should be given greater powers to hack into private computers in their efforts to combat cyber crime, according to a concept briefing for parliament…
… by justice minister Ivo Opstelten.
No need to worry that Inspector Barnaby will be typing away in his office, two-fingered, tongue poking out of the side of his mouth in concentration, trying to find his way through your folders.
It’s clearly Van Der Valk who’ll have that thankless task instead.
Well, at first. Because we all know how ideas like these spread, don’t we?
In the briefing, obtained by website nu.nl, Opstelten writes that computer-based crime is increasing and ‘the expertise, capacity and experience within the criminal justice system has not improved accordingly’.
In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find out where digital information is being stored because of the rise of cloud computing, mobile phones and tablets, he said.
Opstelten wants to give police the right to hack into computers to install software which can be used, for example, to unscramble information. He also says it should be possible for the police to break into computers to wipe information or make it inaccessible.
Lots of things are possible. Not all of them are legal, even when carried out by the police.
Oh, well, maybe the US will have better luck deporting Van Der Valk for computer hacking than they did for McKinnon…
The report suggests that this would apply to computers that are overseas and that typically Dutch coppers would not be authorised to access.
There is a suggestion that the powers would be used only in extreme cases, of course, and in a quote that is rather garbled in translation Opstelten seems to be saying that the idea is borne of necessity, as opposed to nosiness.
Yes, yes. Of course they would. That’s always how it starts, isn’t it?
And don’t think we wouldn’t allow this over here – just look at what we ARE allowing, even though our chief lawmaker admits he’s got no idea whether it’s legal or not:
*whistles ‘Eye Level’*