Dutch detectives sometimes hack foreign computers

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The Dutch authorities sometimes illegally hack foreign computers during their investigations of cybercriminals.

"Even though it is illegal to hack into foreign computers without permission of the local authorities, there sometimes is simply no way to avoid it," Lodewijk van Zwieten of the Cybercrime and Interception Department of the national police told national daily de Volkskrant in an interview.

Mr Van Zwieten says regulation sometimes fall short of what is required in the hunt for paedophiles who are active on the internet.

“While we have to ask foreign authorities for permission to conduct an investigation, a cybercriminal jumps to the other end of the globe with a simple push of a button.”

Dutch police authorities hacked foreign computers during their investigation of the main suspect in a major Amsterdam child abuse case and in a major investigation into a group of hackers.

In the article in de Volkskrant, National police director Wilbert Paulissen argues for “more specific, legal frameworks for online investigations.”

He said international investigation services are facing the same problem. Everybody should take a fresh look at the issue, Mr Van Zwieten said.

(gsh/tt)

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