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Dutch Minister of Interior Ronald Plasterk misled parliament by blaming NSA

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On Thursday, reported that the Dutch Minister of Interior, Ronald Plasterk was asked by his political counterparts to explain why he supplied them with misleading information concerning the Dutch intelligence agencies illegal data collection practices. Dutch political party, Democrats 66 even went as far as filing a motion of no-confidence against Plasterk.

Plasterk told parliament members back in October that he believed that the American intelligence services, NSA, was responsible for the interception of 1.8 million illegal mobile phone taps and text messages. In November, leaked government documents surfaced stating that it was actually Dutch intelligence agencies that collected the data for NSA.

Democrats 66 party leader, Alexander Pechtold submitted the motion of no-confidence, which angered other coalition members. The motion was killed by a majority rule vote, allowing Plasterk to retain his position within the Second Rutte cabinet. This could be seen as the cabinet trying to save-face, by allowing a weak minister to keep his position, they are attempting to make it look as if the cabinet is a strong unit. The First Rutte cabinet dissolved right after reaching its second year, in power.

Dutch Minister of Justice, Ivo Opstelten wants to increase maximum sentences to 5-years, for cyber-criminals. Opstelten is incorporating new European law(s), into Dutch law(s).

Phone tapping and the interception of data, is deemed illegal under the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights. Article 8, of the ECHR, "provides a right to respect for one's "private and family life, his home and his correspondence", subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". This article has also been used to protect the Civil Rights of the LGBT community.



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