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Dutch News
No PRISM for Dutch security bodies, but yes to information swaps 6/23/2013

The Dutch security services AIVD and MIVD do not make direct use of the US internet spy system PRISM or similar programmes, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told reporters after Friday’s cabinet meeting. However, the Netherlands does exchange information with foreign security services and this information may well have been collected by PRISM, Plasterk is quoted as saying by Nos television.‘In the Netherlands you can’t just look at people’s emails and phone details without good reason and without permission,’ Plasterk said. Internet and telephone traffic can only be monitored with official say so and where national security is concerned, according to a joint justice, defence and home affairs ministry statement issued on Friday.
Plasterk said the Netherlands only exchanges information with countries which have clear rules on collecting and storing information and abide by those rules. Plasterk has commissioned an evaluation of the Dutch regulations. When the PRISM scandal broke earlier this month, the Telegraaf reported that the AIVD has also received information on email and social media traffic.
If the AIVD lists an American address as suspicious, it is supplied all the information within five minutes, a source told the paper. The source worked for the department which monitored potential Dutch Muslim extremists, the paper said.‘There are a couple of those secret programmes like Prism active in the Netherlands,’ the source is quoted as saying. According to Dutch internet privacy lobby group Bits of Freedom, the Netherlands is also working on a monitoring system to keep an eye on citizens en masse. Taps Last year, website nu.nl reported that justice minister Ivo Opstelten believes the police should be given greater powers to hack into private computers in their efforts to combat cyber crime. Opstelten also confirmed eavesdropping software that can be installed from a distance on the computers of suspects has been used in criminal investigations in the Netherlands. The Netherlands sanctions more phone taps per head of population than any other country in the world.

Teacher accused of sexual abuse at Amsterdam Jewish school

A former teacher at the Cheider orthodox Jewish school in Amsterdam has been accused of sexually abusing pupils by a number of parents, the Telegraaf reports on Friday. The teacher, in his 20s and named as Ephraim S, moved to Tel Aviv after he was sacked for ‘inappropriate behaviour’. The Netherlands has now officially asked Israel for its help in the case, the Telegraaf says. According to one report, S had sexual contact with a 16-year-old pupil. Other pupils came forward with similar stories after S was dismissed, the paper said. Private tuition S now gives tuition to children in Israel, sources told the paper. The public prosecution department has apparently confirmed the school made a formal complaint against him. S has refused to comment on the claims. The Cheider school in Amsterdam caters for children aged two to 18 and has some 200 pupils. Children have to obey a strict dress code and there are separate lessons for girls and boys.

House prices continue to fall

House prices are continuing to fall, recording a drop of 8.2% in May compared with a year ago, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS. The drop is slightly higher than the 7.6% decline recorded in April. House prices are now back at the same level they were at the end of 2002, the CBS said. Prices have gone down 20.5% compared with August 2008, when the market reached a peak. Figures from the land registry office Kadaster show almost 38,000 homes changed hands in the first five months of this year. This is down over 10% on a year ago. Despite the continuing decline in property prices, both Rabobank and ING have indicated recently that the housing market may be stabilising.

Most of the 50 million kilos of meat recalled in April was eaten

Just 4.5 million kilos of possibly-contaminated meat has been found back after the massive recall launched earlier this year, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma told MPs on Friday. Some 50 tonnes of meat, which may have been contaminated with horsemeat, was sold by Dutch processor Selten to up over 1,400 shops, butchers and supermarkets between January 2011 and February 2013. The Dutch food safety body NVWA recalled the meat in April at the height of the horsemeat scandal. The NVWA said at the time, the origins of the meat were uncertain and safety could not be guaranteed.

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