NRC Next: Cybercrime law III

Ministry of Justice wants to hack back

NRC Next: Cybercrime law III

The Dutch House of Representatives debates a new ‘hack back’ law: a law that would give Dutch police the ability to hack the computers of hackers. This would allow for improved collection of evidence, while at the same time making it harder for cyber criminals to remain anonymous.

Backdoor

Several members of the House of Representatives criticized the law, according to Dutch newspaper NRC Next. The police would employ weaknesses and exploits in current software, potentially leaving these backdoors open for hackers. Kees Verhoeven, Member of Dutch political party D66, believes this goes too far: “This law would be an incentive for law enforcement to not disclose exploits and weaknesses.”

Ronald Prins, CEO at Fox-IT, explained to NRC Next why the police needs this kind of legislation: “Criminals benefit from law enforcement’s weak online position.” This makes it easy for criminals to remain anonymous and makes it difficult for police to track them down. The notion that the Dutch Ministry of Justice would help allow the internet to remain insecure by using unknown exploits, makes no sense, according to Prins. “Most software contains many weaknesses. With a little bit of effort, computer experts will be able to find these weaknesses anyway.”

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