Dutch ponder giving police power to hack computers abroad
Justice minister says approval of judge would be required
The Dutch government has unveiled the draft of a law that would give police investigating online crimes the right to hack into computers in the Netherlands or abroad and install spyware or destroy files.
Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said Thursday that such actions would be carried out only after the approval of a judge. The bill would also make it a crime for a suspect to refuse to decipher encrypted files during a police investigation.
Spokesman Wiebe Alkema said the bill will undergo revisions and be put to parliament by the end of the year.
Simone Halink of the digital rights group Bits of Freedom says the law would set a bad precedent, giving a "green light" to oppressive governments to hack into civilian computers.