Police to be Given far-Reaching Powers against Cyber Crime
THE HAGUE, Friday - Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten sent a proposed bill to the Lower House Thursday giving the police powers to gain access to computers of suspected cyber-criminals at home and abroad.
Under the bill, the police can “carry out investigations remotely into computers of criminals.” They can take over data or make it inaccessible. At the same time, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) can eavesdrop or observe communication via the computer. A judge will however have to check these actions beforehand, Opstelten writes.
Opstelten says the police can also break into servers that are used for cyber attacks if these are abroad. Police can break in if they do not know for sure where the server is. If the location is known, then they must work with the foreign authorities involved.
Dutch companies and government bodies recently faced DdoS attacks, involving Internet banking and DigiD among other things. “The existing legislation is outdated,” said Opstelten Thursday.
The police can also eavesdrop Skype conversations of suspects. In future, the police can put software on a computer that unlocks the data.
Suspects of trading in child porn or of terrorist activities will under the proposed bill be required to cooperate on opening locked files on their computers. Refusal to comply with a ‘decrypting order’ will carry a prison sentence of three years.