Clear government statement needed on alleged US and UK eavesdropping on Dutch telephones

25 February 2015

Clear government statement needed on alleged US and UK eavesdropping on Dutch telephones

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak wants clarification from the government regarding British and American security services’ hacking of Dutch SIM cards, which enables them to steal the cards’ encryption codes and eavesdrop on phone calls. Now that the US and UK intelligence services have got their hands on the encryption codes of major telephone service providers KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile, they can eavesdrop on people – including Members of Parliament - without any interference from the companies involved.

In response to questioning on the matter, Members of Parliament received the following reply from the government:

‘On the basis of these encryption codes the mobile connection between telephone and provider is encrypted in order to be able to guarantee the confidentiality of conversations and of data traffic. Parties having access to these encryption codes are able, without any interference from the providers, to pick up, decrypt and thus follow mobile signals. The SIM card manufacturer has now confirmed that attempts at hacking’ (translator’s note: literally, ‘digital burglary’) have been made. These would have occurred some years ago. At the moment it cannot be ruled out that as a result (encryption) keys were also stolen.’

To date Minister of the Interior Ronald Plasterk has, however, been hiding his head in the sand. ‘It’s becoming increasingly obvious that our allies are eavesdropping on us,’ says Van Raak. ‘Members of Parliament are even asking themselves whether they should exchange their SIM card for a new one to prevent the British and Americans from listening in. The question is how long the minister will continue to deny the existence of this problem.’

You are here