Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD have gone beyond the scope of their mandate in their surveillance of lawyers and journalists, Volkskrant weekly reported on Wednesday.
According to the Dutch monitoring body, CTIVD, between October 2015 and March 2016 the Dutch Secret services violated due process to gain information.
The AIVD allegedly violated lawyer-client privilege, eavesdropping on three conversations by what is called “incidental surveillance.”
That means that the security agency did not plan to eavesdrop on a particular conversation, but stumbled against it whilst eavesdropping on a particular source.
According to Dutch law, violating lawyer-client privilege requires an explicit license by a special commission and should be justified on the grounds of defending national security. Neither of the two applied in this case. Moreover, the agency placed a lawyer under surveillance without investigating whether or not he or she was acting as a legal counsel while he was being hacked.
The Military intelligence service (MIVD) also violated attorney-client privilege, in a case that was not justified by a threat to national security.
There are also indications both agencies may have placed journalists under surveillance, thereby compromising their sources. Apparently, this was also a case of “incidental surveillance,” in which a source was tapped while communicating with a journalist.