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[Fwd: FC: Dutch constitution, encryption, and email privacy]
- To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Fwd: FC: Dutch constitution, encryption, and email privacy]
- From: Josef Dietl <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 14:24:11 +0200
- Comment: This message comes from the debate mailing list.
- Organization: W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
- Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
hat jemand Zeit und Lust, mit diesem Niederlaender Kontakt aufzunehmen
und auf diesem Weg unsere Meinung zur Kryptographie auszubauen?
Josef Dietl firstname.lastname@example.org
W3C/INRIA +33 (0) 4 93 65 79 72
BP 93 +33 (0) 4 93 65 78 22 (Fax)
F-06902 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: FC: Dutch constitution, encryption, and email privacy
- From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 10:07:25 -0700 (PDT)
- Reply-To: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
>Faxes and unencrypted email will not be protected, as those are like
>postcards. Also information about the communications, like the fact
>that email has been sent, should not be protected according to the
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 15:19:02 +0200
From: Alex Le Heux <email@example.com>
Subject: Email privacy in Dutch constitution
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
In the Dutch constitution it says that (snail) mail is personal and
private. It is illegal to open mail. Except of course with the usual
warrants. And there used to be a special division of the PTT (the
Dutch phone/mail company) that had the right to open mail that
couldn't be delivered or had other problems. These people had to take
all kinds of oaths. On the whole it wasn't easy to (legally) read
someone else's mail.
There is currently a proposal to change the constitution(1) so that
email is specifically included in this.
I'll attempt a translation of the article here (the original can be
found at http://www.pi.net/computer/multim/21-8-97/mm21-8-97a.html).
- --- BEGIN ---
Privacy of encrypted email
Email will be part of the 'privacy of letters' (== briefgeheim) as is
written down in the constitution, if the proposal passes through
parliament, and the new parliament in 1998.
The government says this needs to be done as the old law is obsolete.
Also, since the Dutch PTT has been privatised there is no minesterial
control anymore. The two most important parts are:
1. The right to communicate privately is inalienable, except in cases
described by law, by those who are appointed by law.
2. The law describes rules to protect private communications.
The law seems strange when seen from a multimedia perspective.
Video/images will, in principle not be protected by it, as it is
neither written text or spoken word. If the video/images are meant
for a limited group of people, for example when communicating through
lip-reading (?), it will be protected.
Faxes and unencrypted email will not be protected, as those are like
postcards. Also information about the communications, like the fact
that email has been sent, should not be protected according to the
The point is that persons can communicate in private, and that this
is clear. The sender will have to use encryption to indicate that
secrecy is wanted, otherwise the communications will not be protected
(by this law). Telephone conversations will also be private, except
in the case of someone being withing earshot of it.
Changes in the constitution have to be approved by to consecutive
parliaments. So it will take at least a year before this proposal
will have the force of law.
- --- END ---
Hmm... Looking back at this translation, I don't think it's very
good. But it'll have to do for now. I'll post any other relevant
information I find.
I wonder if this will be the first constitution in the world that'll
mention encryption specifically...
(1) To change the constitution in The Netherlands, the parliament has
to vote on it, then there have to be new elections, and then the new
parliament has to vote on it as well. This is to (try to) ensure that
governments do not change the constitution on a whim.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
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