Last week, the Dutch Minister of Safety and Justice asked the Parliament of the Netherlands1 to pass a law allowing police to obtain warrants to do the following:

  • Install malware on targets’ private computers
  • Conduct remote searches on local and foreign computers to collect evidence
  • Delete data on remote computers in order to disable the accessibility of “illegal files.”

Requesting assistance from the country where the targetted computer(s) were located would be "preferred" but possibly not required. These proposals are alarming, could have extremely problematic consequences, and may violate European human rights law. As if that wasn't troubling enough, lurking in this letter was a request for something more extreme:

  • If the location of a particular computer cannot be determined, the Dutch police would be able to break in without ever contacting foreign authorities.