Recently the Dutch government held a public consultation over the Internet for far-reaching amendments in the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedures relating to cybercrime.

The proposed bill covers issues such as:

  • investigation into an automated work (geautomatiseerd werk) in major crime investigations will be made possible, including rendering data inaccessible and wiretapping communication. Due to the frequent use of encrypted communication, it is suggested that police and judicial authorities may need to tap a device rather than a connection.
  • suspects of terrorist activities and child pornography may also be required to decrypt files on their devices when ordered by the public prosecutor to do so.
  • the handling of stolen computer data (heling van computergegevens) will become a criminal offence in which the suspect knew or could have presumed that the information was obtained by criminal means. According to the Minister’s explanatory statement, whistleblowers, journalists, and those aiding them, would obtain immunity from prosecution for such handling if publication of such information is necessary in the public interest.

The consultation closed on 1 July 2013. It is unclear when the Dutch government will present the final proposal to parliament, which can make further amendments to it.

The consultation document can be found on