16:55 GMT +320 August 2019
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    Amsterdam Favors Strong Encryption, Privacy Over Data Surveillance

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    The Dutch government endorses the importance of strong encryption for internet safety, in support of the protection of the privacy of citizens, for confidential communications of Government and businesses, and for the Dutch economy, according to the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Netherlands' government opposes legislation forcing firms to share encrypted data with security agencies, favoring protection of citizens' privacy, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice told Sputnik.

    "The Dutch government endorses the importance of strong encryption for the internet safety, in support of the protection of the privacy of citizens, for confidential communications of Government and businesses, and for the Dutch economy," the ministry's spokesman Edmond Messchaert said.

    On January 4, the ministry issued a statement opposing increased date surveillance powers, affirming that such a move would endanger systems, making companies and individuals vulnerable to "criminals, terrorists and foreign intelligence services."

    While Amsterdam recognizes the need for rightful data access, removing data protection is not an appropriate way to achieve such ends, Messchaert said, adding that administrations, businesses and citizens stand to benefit from maximum data security.

    Amsterdam's position, assumed after a security review following the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, run contrary to policies favored by the British government.

    Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May is set to soon propose the "snoopers' charter" Investigatory Powers Bill to parliament. If approved, the bill will give Britain's spies sweeping powers while forcing internet companies to keep records on all users. The bill has been criticized by technology companies, as well as the Information Commissioner's Office watchdog, for threatening to breach personal security.


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    encryption, privacy, Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, Edmond Messchaert, Netherlands
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