Dutch Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk is being taken to court by a group of individuals and organizations in connection with his handling of the NSA phone and internet taps.
The group, which includes the Dutch journalists association, privacy advocates, lawyers and web provider XS4ALL founder Rop Gonggrijp, is demanding that the Dutch state stops using data acquired through means that fall outside Dutch law.
“By using NSA data, illegal data is being whitewashed by Plasterk and his security services. This case is designed to stop this,” the group’s lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm told the press on Wednesday.
The NSA collected information about 1.8 million Dutch phone calls in one month last year as part of its Boundless Informant surveillance programme, media revealed in October.
The case will be heard on November 27 in The Hague.
In the meantime, Plasterk told parliament on Wednesday he is sending the head of the security service AIVD to Germany to discuss the NSA phone and internet tapping case. The minister said that he wants the Dutch and German governments to work together in making it clear to the Americans that the practice must be abandoned.
US mass surveillance of European Union citizens is genuine concern – European MP
British Member of European Parliament of Labour Party, Claude Moraes, a member of the delegation, told reporters that “this mass surveillance of European Union citizens is genuine concern.” He also said he and his fellow delegates were unsatisfied with the responses from US officials on the issue.
“They’re giving us answers, but not the answers we want,” Mr. Moraes said.
Spain, which is, reportedly, one of the latest targets of the NSA snooping activities, has urged the United States to give details of any eavesdropping.
One the latest allegations published by El Mundo newspaper is that the NSA tracked 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a month.
Spain’s Minister for European Affairs, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, described such practices as “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Additionally, the NSA has tracked more than 46 phone calls in Italy. That’s according to the US website Cryptome.
That prompted Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta to question US Secretary of State John Kerry about the alleged snooping.
Despite all that, Italian intelligence agency failed to confirm the information.
Cryptome also revealed information that during the same month the NSA monitored 360 million phone calls in Germany, 70 million in France, and near two million in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Senator Diane Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been quoted as saying that she was “totally opposed” to the National Security Agency’s intelligence gathering on leaders of US allies.
Senator Feinstein pledged that her committee will undertake a major review into all intelligence collection programs.
Read further: US surveillance scandal to be taken to UN, but unlikely to wreck America’s alliances
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Voice of Russia, dutchnews.nl, AFP
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