In most of the developed nations, the rights of the citizens are given extreme importance, as defined by the constitution and the laws. However, the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security apparently gave these rights little thought when it recently proposed unprecedented powers for the police.
In a proposal dated October 15th, the ministry has proposed that the police should be given permission to hack into the user’s computers. Naturally, this is being proposed on the usual pretext of national security.
The proposal also includes other preposterous suggestions such as allowing the police to break into user’s computers through illicit tactics and installing spyware into them. Moreover, if the proposal is ever enacted, it would also empower the police personnel to search for data in a user’s computer and even destroy any data which it may deem problematic.
The implications for such powers would be extra-ordinary. This would let the police meddle with virtually any computer and do whatever they like with it. They can, for instance, destroy the personal data of the user, simply by giving the sweeping excuse that it was hazardous.
Digital rights groups have raised their concerns over the proposal. According to one such group, “Bits of Freedom”, if hacking and use of spyware became legal for police, this may lead to a lack of will on the part of digital security companies to patch different vulnerabilities, intentionally left open to be exploited by the authorities.