Netherlands eyes UK-style forced decryption bill

Dutch want a tougher version of Australia's 2001 Cybercrime Act.

Image credit: Free open source encryption tool, TrueCrypt.

The Netherlands Government will introduce a bill in 2013 to impose much heavier penalties on suspects who refuse to decrypt data in a criminal investigation.

The bill would close a gap in police powers in the Netherlands, where network operators can be ordered to decrypt network data in an investigation, but suspects cannot.

The Ministry of Security and Justice has positioned the bill as a necessary tool to fight “cunning criminals” and child pornography networks; however it will also have a wider application in terrorist cases or any criminal investigation where there is an “urgent interest”.

“Only the Public Prosecutor can give the order, subject to written authorisation from the examining judge, where there is an urgent interest with a view to the investigation. An example is where victims are in danger or kept in degrading circumstances, and it is urgent that the criminal behaviour is immediately stopped. Often this involves minors,” the ministry said in a statement last week.

Security and justice minister Ivo Opstelten had commissioned Tillburg University’s Centre for Law, Technology and Security to determine whether a decryption order would conflict with the principles in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights that suspects cannot be forced to cooperate in their own prosecution.

“The researcher found that, under certain strict conditions, this is not incompatible with a decryption order. The minister seconds that and has defined very strict safeguards when exercising and applying the power in question,” the Ministry said.

Opstelten has not outlined what penalties he has in mind for non-compliance, but wants it to be “significantly heavier” than the current three month sentence for resisting a public servant.

The Ministry also pointed to similar laws in France and the UK (RIPA), which impose up to five year maximum prison terms for refusing to decrypt data. In the UK, any case can attract a two-year sentence while non-compliance in child abuse and terror related matters can lead to a five-year sentence.

In Australia, refusing to comply with a decryption order is punishable by 6 months imprisonment, according to the EFA.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place