Josephine Bosma on Tue, 16 Dec 1997 01:14:38 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> pressrelease XS4ALL

(This is a rough translation, my appologies for spellingmistakes
and vocabulary misreadings....many legal terms  JB)

XS4ALL has filed complaint against Justice Department

Today XS4ALL has informed the Head Public Prosecutor Vrakking in
Amsterdam of the requisitioning of the Examining Judge and Public
Prosecutor which ordered XS4ALL on October 31st to tap the internet
traffic of one of its clients.

The Justice Dept had based its requisition on article 125i of
the Dutch lawbook (WvSr). November 13th XS4ALL refused to give in
to the requisitioning because in her opinion there is not enough legal
basis for it. Not obeying such an order can be punished.

>From all reactions XS4ALL has received since its refusal, she is
strengthened in her opinion the Justice Dept went too far
with its requisitioning. On basis of the mentioned article no
tap can be requested. XS4ALL thinks that an attempt of the Justice
Dept to have her engaged in an illegal activity can not happen
unsanctioned. XS4ALL is aiming at a speed test trial so a criminal
judge can utter his thoughts about the requisitioning and the
acts of the officials involved.

XS4ALL therefore has filed charges on basis of articles 365 and
140 of the Dutch lawbook (WvSr). Article 365 implies 'compulsion
by official', where an official abuses his authority and forces
somebody to do something. In this case the officials involved
knew the requisition had no legal basis and they abused their power
by demanding this requisitioning anyway. Furthermore, publications
show that many other internetproviders were approached with this
same requisition and that long negotiations took place beforehand.
Because of this fact, there is enough reason to suspect the officials
involved of participating in an organisation that is aimed at
committing crimes, for which article 140 is adressed. (article 140
is often abused by the Justice Dept to arrest people without real
reason, like during the EU-top last summer, and also a few years ago
when some possible radio 100 suspects were arrested. JB)

XS4ALL feels principally obliged to protect the privacy of her
clients. Besides this XS4ALL has a commercial interest, as she
cannot risk that clients bring civil action against her for
illegal activities. This might happen in the case of such an
intervention, which is not based upon the law. Finally it is
important from a social point of view that the procedure of
criminal investigations has enough legal basis. Cooperating
with this requisition could create an undesirable precedent
that is of great influence on the privacy of all Internet users
in the Netherlands.

XS4ALL has no opinion about the nature of the investigations
or the suspected crimes. Neither will XS4ALL give any
information about the content of the investigation, the region
in which it is happening, or the identity of the officials
involved, as it is not her intention to corrupt the investigation.

More information about this case, including press releases
and articles (mostly if not only in dutch JB):

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