Minister: no danger due to outdated police tap system

People or investigative investigations have never been endangered due to the outdated police tap system. This is what Minister Yesilgöz of Justice and Security writes in a letter to the House of Representatives.

Last week, NRC reported that the search is jeopardized due to malfunctions in the police‘s tap system. Failures in a system that processes license plate data would also pose risks, for example for people who are protected.

The minister and the police deny that safety was at stake. Also, according to them, there are no studies that have been damaged due to technical failures.

However, the current systems are outdated. The police therefore purchased new tape software from an Israeli defense company in 2019. Building such a system yourself was too complicated for the police.

Corona

Corona led to a delay in the introduction of the new system, which had been set aside for three years. A new tap system is a major operation, Yesilgöz writes.

According to the police and the minister, it takes a lot of time to ensure that the tap software meets all safety requirements, connects to providers’ systems and it is regulated that lawyers, for example, are not accidentally tapped.

The new system will be put into use step by step from the end of this year. It will take at least another year before it fully works. Until then, the old system will be used. The supplier does not pull the plug prematurely, says head of operations Willem Woelders of the National Unit.

According to the police and the minister, there has been a three times larger failure in the tap system in the past three months. The loss of data was thereby minor.

In most cases, information is simply stored, but you can‘t access it at that time, says Woelders. That is certainly inconvenient, but most of the investigation only uses that information later, so it doesn’t cause major problems.

License plate details

NRC also wrote that there was a failure in the system that processes license plate data. This was the case on Prinsjesdag and when Dutch suspects came into the picture for a possible kidnapping of the Belgian minister of justice.

This failure did not cause any problems for safety, emphasizes Minister Yesilgöz. According to her, measures could be taken on time.

The NRC also criticized the safety of the new system. Employees of the Israeli supplier are said to be permanently present at the police, at risk of espionage. According to Yesilgöz, the supplier has no access to sensitive locations and ICT systems and the police regularly test whether they are not secretly watching.