During the Bitcoin Wednesday conference on 1 November 2017, Doutje Lettinga, Amnesty International’s Senior Human Rights Officer for counter-terrorism and surveillance, journalist Peter Koop, and Nina Boelsums and Luca van der Kamp, two of the five students who took initiative to fight the Sleepwet, expressed their views on the new Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act.
After their presentations, a debate session was held, which was co-ordinated by Frans Kempen, session chair for the conference and leader of IBM’s Blockchain Practice for the Banking and Insurance industry in The Netherlands and Belgium. During the debate, Peter spoke in favor of the Sleepwet law, whereas Doutje and the two others spoke against it. Amnesty International supports the five university students that called for a public referendum to be held on 21 March 2018. Doutje, who has served as the legal representative of two of the five students, argued that the referendum could prompt public debate on important topics such as national security, human rights, the rule of law, and oversight of government surveillance.