Dutch National Security Reform Under Review
In May 2018, the new Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017 (Wet op de Inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten, Wiv) will enter into force. It replaces the previous 2002 Act and incorporates many reforms to the information gathering powers of the two intelligence and security services as well as to the accountability and oversight mechanisms. Due to the technologyneutral approach, both the civil and the military intelligence services are now authorized to, for example, intercept communications in bulk, hack third parties, decrypt files, store DNA or use any other future innovative technology. Also, the national security legislation extends the possibilities for the indiscriminate collection of data, and for the processing, storage and analysis thereof. The process leading to the law includes substantial criticism from the various stakeholders involved. Upon publication of this report, an official consultative referendum is being organized on the new act. The aim of this policy brief is to provide an international audience with a comprehensive overview of the most relevant aspects of the act and its context. In addition, there is considerable focus on the checks and balances as well as the bottlenecks of the Dutch intelligence gathering reform. The selection of topics is based on the core issues addressed during the parliamentary debate and on the authors’ insights.