The Dutch Temporary Cyber Act

Discussion Prompt: The Dutch Temporary Cyber Act: Necessary measure or disproportionate expansion of power?

The Dutch intelligence and security agencies claim to lack the ability for an appropriate use of capabilities to perform the needed research to gain sufficient insight in intentions, capacity and next steps of foreign actors with an offensive cyber agenda against the Netherlands or Dutch interests. Main problems that are named are a lack of speed, argued to lie in the oversight system, and the “as targeted as possible” criterion in cable interception. A new proposal for a Temporary Act should address this problem as an urgent measure during a new reform of the main intelligence Act. Experts have different views on the legislative process as well as the content of the Act. Opinions differ whether the proposed measures are necessary, proportionate, adequate/efficient, and whether they would hold in the views of the European Courts.

As part of the consideration of the bill in the Dutch Parliament, several experts gave their views in a hearing. Interestingly, the different perspectives led to very diverse positions. About:intel asked them to write a contribution.