‘Defense collected data in secret and on a large scale in the Netherlands’

Since the corona outbreak, the Dutch armed forces have secretly collected information about Dutch society on a large scale and has been spelled out and disseminated it in reports. Thats what NRC argues after investigation. The newspaper reports Sunday evening that soldiers have spent months immersing themselves in the behaviour of, among others, Virus Madness and the civil organisation Yellow Vesjes. They also kept an eye on the medium named alternative named Jensen.nl and mapped distribution points of the paper edition The Other Newspaper and the fires in 5G transmission masts.

The newspaper writes that large amounts of data on a wide variety of subjects ended up in a computer system built by the Defense to automatically predict a corona wave or social unrest. This is reflected in a reconstruction of the Land Information Maneuvre Centre (LIMC). Defense founded this in mid-March to gain insight into the coronacrisis and the dissemination of disinformation.

According to NRC, it is controversial that a military force on its own territory investigates its own population โ€œalso because Defence on Dutch territory is not allowed much. She may, for example, assist the police, a ministry or intelligence service if they ask for it. Military then act according to the rules and under the supervision of that authority. In this case, the LIMC acts on its own initiative,โ€ writes the newspaper.

Terror statue

Defense responds in the newspaper and says that the military of the LIMC do not look at individuals because they are not allowed to do so, that they only use open sources and their analyses are for internal use only. NRC states that their research shows something different: that from the start, the centre shares the analyses with, for example, terrorist coordinator NCTV and the National Police. The NRC writes: โ€œIn addition to open sources, LIMC uses semi-closed sources, behavioural analyses and information from military liaisons in hospitals and nursing homes, for example. Confidential sources are also mentioned in documents, such as the police internal registration system and a technical briefing at a ministry,โ€ said NRC.

D66-MP Salima Belhaj wants a Chamber debate on the case and says to NRC: โ€œDefence should not take on duties of police or AIVD.โ€