Over 300,000 Sign Petition to Hold Referendum on Dutch ‘Tapping’ Law

Over 300,000 Sign Petition to Hold Referendum on Dutch ‘Tapping’ LawCC0 / PixabayEurope01:24 10.10.2017Get short URL


The legislation allowing the Dutch spy agencies to gather large data covertly from local citizens was passed earlier this year. Dutch activists who oppose the law are collecting signatures to hold the voting on the contentious bill that has sparked fears of expanding the security powers without the proper oversight.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Over 300,000 people signed a petition calling for a referendum on the so-called Dutch “tapping” law, which would extend the country’s security services’ surveillance powers, local media reported Monday.

On November 1, the Dutch electoral council will announce if the required number of signatures is collected to hold a referendum, the DutchNews media portal reported.

In case the signatures are considered valid, the vote is likely to take place in March 2019, according to the portal.

In July, the Dutch Senate passed the controversial legislation after years of debates and criticism from the public, politicians and activists. The law is due to come into effect in 2018. It will allow the Dutch intelligence agencies to monitor networks and collect information on private individuals on larger scale. The Dutch government has argued that this law is needed for security services to fight against terrorism and its use can be further tested by a supervision panel.

Meanwhile, Dutch online rights watchdogs have repeatedly expressed concerns that under the new law the Netherlands’ spy agencies might use tapping powers without proper oversight.