On December 23rd 2014, the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD) sent a letter (.pdf, in Dutch) to prime minister Mark Rutte to announce it will establish a knowledge network of a group of academics that agreed to be consulted by the CTIVD during investigations. Several of the members of this network have been asked to be available to provide feedback on the contents, coherence and relevance of (draft) oversight investigation plans, reports, and advice; their names will be disclosed following the outcomes of the security screenings. The remainder of this post consists of an unofficial translation of the CTIVD’s letter.
Subject: Knowledge network and feedback group concerning the CTIVD
Article 76 of the Dutch Intelligence & Security Act of 2002 (Wiv2002) provides the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD) the power to commission experts to perform certain tasks, if such is necessary for its proper functioning. The CTIVD hereby informs you about the way in which it uses this authority as of December 1st 2014. The CTIVD aims to carry out independent investigations into the lawfulness of the activities carried out by the AIVD and MIVD, to provide insight into properly balancing national security and privacy. To ensure robust and future-proof oversight, it is necessary to closely monitor the relevant technological, legal and societal developments. The CTIVD has established an knowledge network consisting of several experts to support that. The knowledge network must advise and inform the CTIVD on said developments. The experts participate on personal capacity. The knowledge network meets at least three times a year, for instance around the establishment of annual plans and evaluation, or on the occasion of relevant events. The CTIVD can thus use the input provided by the knowledge network for prioritizing, deciding, and focusing investigations. The knowledge network currently consists of seven experts, namely:
- Nico van Eijk (professor of information law, specialized in telecommunications law, University of Amsterdam)
- Bob de Graaff (professor of intelligence & security studies, Utrecht University, and professor of intelligence and security, Netherlands Defense Academy (NLDA))
- Constant Hijzen (teacher of national security, Leiden University)
- Mireille Hildebrandt (professor of IT and rule of law, Radboud University)
- Bart Jacobs (professor software security & correctness, Radboud University)
- Rick Lawson (professor of European law, and dean of faculty of law, Leiden University)
- Erwin Muller (professor of security & law, and vice-chair of the Dutch Safety Board, Leiden University)
The CTIVD asked several of the experts to also be available to advise, at an early stage, on the contents, coherence and relevance of (draft) oversight investigation plans, reports, and advices. The CTIVD will involve individual members to provide feedback, per investigation, depending on their field of expertise. By involving experts at an early stage of investigations, their input has a direct effect of the set up of investigations and oversight reports. This means that the experts may be exposed to state secrets. Although drafts of secret appendices to oversight reports will not be presented to the experts, and the experts will not be involved in case investigations or hearings of persons, the experts may access documents that have not (yet) been declassified by the relevant Minister. Security screenings at the A level [=highest level for non-officials] will be carried out in consultation with the AIVD. The names of the persons involved in providing feedback will be announced following the outcome of the screenings. Not until then, the experts will be involved in investigations.
The honorarium for the experts is in accordance with the Decision fees advisory boards and committees.
This is an excellent development.