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    Dutch Vote Against Expansion of Security Services' Powers – Electoral Council

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Most Dutch citizens voted against the implementation of a new law expanding the powers of the nation's security services to gather information with the use of phone or internet tapping in an advisory referendum which was held last week, the Dutch Electoral Council said Thursday.

    "The majority of persons casting their vote in the advisory referendum on the Intelligence and Security Services Act (hereinafter: the Act) has voted against its passing: 49.44% voted against (3.317.496 voters), 46.53% voted in favour (3.122.628 voters) and 4.03% cast a blank vote (270.288 voters). These numbers concern the 6.710.412 valid votes," the council said, commenting on results.

    According to the council’s data, voter turnout was around 51.5 percent; a turnout of at least 30 percent was needed.

    The council also noted that the referendum’s results were not binding, meaning that the Dutch government could either review the law or keep it unchanged.

    On March 21, the Dutch voted on the so-called Intelligence and Security Law — also referred by its opponents as the Big Data Law — which is set provide intelligence services AIVD and MIVD with the opportunity to tap telephone and internet traffic, as well as perform hacks on a large scale.

    The Intelligence and Security Services Act has already been passed by both houses of the Dutch parliament, but the referendum was announced after over 400,000 people signed a petition.

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