Five UvA students collected over 300,000 signatures in favour of holding a national referendum on a proposed data mining law.
The law, called the ‘Sleepwet’ in Dutch, would provide governmental intelligence agencies far reaching information-mining powers. These would include authorisation to track the internet history and communication records of Dutch citizens, authorisation to override mobile and computer devices, power to create a secret DNA databank and share information with foreign agencies more easily.
On August 9th the students launched Sleepwet.nl and invited Dutch citizens to sign to demand a referendum on whether the law should pass. One of the students, Tijn de Vos (20), told Folia: ‘This is a big deal. If we store sensitive information about our citizens in a central database, think how much damage can occur when that database is hacked.’
Dutch Electoral Council
On October 1st, satirical TV host Arjen Lubach featured the referendum on his show: it quickly gained traction, and a week and a half later the petition had 300,000 signatures. The signatures are still pending validation from the Dutch Electoral Council.