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Video: Bits of Freedom

Hans de Zwart Executive Director of Bits of Freedom

The national referendum on the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act or the Sleepwet, is scheduled for 21 March, 2018. The outcome might pursuade the government to make changes or continue with the current version of the legislation, which allows secret services to carry out mass surveillance in The Netherlands.

During Bitcoin Wednesday on 7 February 2018, Hans de Zwart, Executive Director of The Netherlands’ leading digital civil rights organization, Bits of Freedom, gave a presentation about why the citizens of The Netherlands need to vote against the Sleepwet in the referendum.

In his talk he proposes the following five key amendments to the Sleepwet:

• Innocent citizens shall not be checked.
• Unevaluated data of a citizen shall not be exchanged internationally.
• No real-time data collection.
• The Secret Services shall not keep information to themselves about security issues in devices or software that hackers could exploit to acquire a private data.
• A governing committee shall be formed to check the compliance of Secret Services and their activities pertaining to Sleepwet.

The same issue was covered from different perspectives on the same evening, by counter-terrorism expert Teun van Dongen, Lotte Houwing from the Public Interest Litigation Project, and Amnesty International’s Nine De Vries.  The four of them also engaged in a public discussion.

A previous debate on the Sleepwet was also held during Bitcoin Wednesday on 1 November 2017.


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Hans de Zwart Executive Director of Bits of Freedom