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Date: 2000-06-26

NL: ECHELON-Hearings im Parlament

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Die Anstrengungen von Bits of Freedom und Jansen & Janssen -
beide Gruppen sind Mitglieder der Global Internet Liberty Campaign
in Holland - haben sich ausgezahlt. Im September werden Hearings
zu ECHELON im holländischen Parlament abgehalten - EU-weite
Nachahmung wird empfohlen.

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Maurice Wessling Bits of Freedom

There is an interesting development in the Netherlands regarding
Echelon. In the last two years members of parliament have asked the
ministry of Internal Affairs en Justice about Echelon on a regular
basis. In all cases the questions were answered in the most
uninformative manner possible.

The ministers diminished all reports on Echelon as 'only open-source'
and found further investigation useless as the existence of the
interception could not be 'detected'. Last week Bits of Freedom and
buro Jansen & Janssen (both GILC members) wrote article in the
Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad about the need for an
investigation by the Dutch parliament.

We argued that it was useless for members of parliament to ask any
more questions to ministers about Echelon if then are not answered
in a serious way. An investigation is the only way to go now. Much
to our surprise, only 4 days later, the Dutch Green party managed to
get a proposal through the parliament committee on Justice to hold a
hearing on Echelon. It is scheduled for September.

It is a very small step and not yet an investigation. But for a country
that is so loyal to the US and the UK in its foreign policy, it is a step
that did not seem possible in the past. The discussion in the
European parliament is having quite some impact in the feelings
among Dutch parliamentarians on Echelon. As the European Justice
ministers just met to discuss 'counter-measures against economic
espionage through interception', this might be the moment for other
GILC members in Europe to press for hearings or investigations in
their national assemblies.
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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-06-26
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