Dutch Police Want the Power to Destroy Your Computer

A proposal from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security would grant police powers to break into computers anywhere in the world, install spyware, search hard drives and destroy data.

According to the current wording of the proposal (Dutch, PDF), it’s unclear whether Dutch authorities would even be required to send a legal assistance request to police in the country where a foreign computer is located before remotely seizing control of it, as long as they have a warrant from a Dutch court.

If a computer’s location is obscured by means of anonymizing services like Tor, Dutch police would have no obligation at all to attempt to coordinate with authorities in other countries.

Dutch digital rights group Bits of Freedom is sounding the alarm on the proposal, which was unveiled by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security on Oct. 15.  The group is urging Internet users around the world to contact their relevant government agencies and ask them to make their opposition clear to the Dutch government.

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