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Video: Public Interest Litigation Project

Lotte Houwing of the Public Interest Litigation Project

The Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP), an initiative by the Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM), actively opposes the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act, which became law in 2017. PILP’s Lotte Houwing appeared at Bitcoin Wednesday conference on 7 February 2018 to talk about her organization’s response to the Act and to fighting mass surveillance through “strategic litigation.”

Also known as Sleepwet (which means “dragnet” in Dutch), the Act grants the government broad authority to access private information in The Netherlands. A national referendum on Sleepwet is scheduled for a vote on 21 March, 2018. Lotte asserted that the Sleepwet is not completely detrimental in effect, and with a few changes, it could help to protect citizen’s from various threats, including terrorist attacks. She said,

In the case of this particular law, the Senate passed it despite all the criticism. Well, this criticism was one way to try to make some small changes while the law was still in the political process. Now…continuing to criticize is not going to make any difference. And when this all happened, a few organizations started to come together to discuss “what now”? They decided to litigate and approached PILP, which is how we came onto the scene.

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Lotte Houwing of the Public Interest Litigation Project