Nous publions ici un article du blog Electrospaces sur la nouvelle législation néerlandaise du renseignement, auquel Zone d'Intérêt à contribué. Cet article est le deuxième d'une série sur les législations européennes en matière de renseignement, après un premier volet consacré aux lois françaises.
Since the Snowden-revelations, several countries adopted new laws governing their intelligence agencies, but instead of restricting the collection capabilities, they rather expand them. Previously we examined the new laws that have recently been implemented in France. This time we will take a look at the Netherlands, where a new law for its two secret services is now being discussed by the parliament.
The situation in the Netherlands is different in at least two major aspects from many other countries. First, there is no institutional separation between domestic security and foreign intelligence as the two secret services combine both tasks. Second, the current law restricts bulk or untargeted collection to wireless communications only, so cable access is only allowed for targeted and individualized interception.
The two Dutch secret services, which were both created during a major reorganisation in 2002, are:
- General Intelligence and Security Service (Dutch: Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, or AIVD), which falls under the Interior Ministry and is mainly responsible for domestic security issues, but also has a small branch that gathers intelligence information from and about foreign countries. In 2015, AIVD had over 1300 employees and a budget of 213 million euros.
- Military Intelligence and Security Service (Dutch: Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, or MIVD), which falls under the Defence Ministry and is mainly responsible for military intelligence related to military operations and peacekeeping missions overseas. They also have to provide security for the armed forces. In 2015, MIVD had over 800 employees and a budget of approximately 85 million euros.
The Netherlands has no separate signals intelligence agency, but in 2014, the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) was created as a joint venture of AIVD and MIVD. The JSCU integrates the collection of signals intelligence and cyber defense operations on behalf of both agencies. The unit is located in the AIVD headquarters building in Zoetermeer and has a workforce of some 350 people. The head of JSCU is also the point-of-contact for foreign signals intelligence agencies, like NSA and GCHQ. The JSCU operates two listening stations: a relatively large satellite intercept station near the northern village of Burum, and a very capable High Frequency radio listening post in Eibergen near the German border.
The fact that the Dutch secret services combine both domestic security and foreign intelligence tasks, also means that there’s just one legal framework for both and that authorisations are not only required for domestic operations, but also for foreign ones. Therefore, the Dutch services don’t have to separate foreign and domestic communications, which proved to be such a painful job for NSA and the German BND.
During an interview with Dutch television in January 2015, Edward Snowden said that "the US intelligence services don't value the Dutch for their capabilities, they value them for their accesses, they value them for their geography, they value them for the fact that they have cables and satellites... a sort of vantage point that enables them to spy on their neighbours and others in the region in a unique way."
This doesn't show much familiarity with the issue, as the Dutch services have no "cables" yet and "satellites" are mainly intercepted for their foreign traffic. In reality, what makes Dutch intelligence interesting for NSA isn't spying on their neighbours, but their spying overseas: data they collect during military missions in Afghanistan and Mali, during navy missions around the Horn of Africa, by the quiet Dutch submarines and radio traffic from the Middle East intercepted at the Eibergen listening post.