Dutch ponder giving police the right to hack

May 2, 2013

The Dutch government has unveiled the draft of a law that would give police investigating online crimes the right to hack into computers in the Netherlands or abroad and install spyware or destroy files.

Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said Thursday that such actions would carried out only after the approval of a judge. The bill would also make it a crime for a suspect to refuse to decipher during a police investigation.

Spokesman Wiebe Alkema said the bill will undergo and be put to parliament by the end of the year.

Simone Halink of the digital rights group Bits of Freedom says the law would set a bad precedent, giving a "green light" to oppressive governments to hack into civilian computers.

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