New law to help fight computer crime

The Computer Crime Act III (wet Computercriminaliteit III) will take effect on 1 March 2019. It gives the courts and the police new powers to step up the fight against computer crime. Fast and effective interventions will make the Netherlands safer. Due to the rapid advance of technology, there is a need for different tools to tackle online crime. The new Act provides those tools, so that the Public Prosecution Service and the investigative services can take action.

The Act enables courts and the police to access computers covertly and remotely to investigate serious crimes like child pornography, drug trafficking and targeted shootings.  This power extends to personal computers, mobile phones and servers. In addition, the Act gives investigating officers the power to apply various investigative tactics, such as making certain data inaccessible, copying files and tapping communication channels. This will make it more difficult for criminals to use the internet to avoid detection.

Other provisions allow investigating officers to use 'decoy teens' in order to facilitate the identification and prosecution of 'groomers' who approach minors online for sexual purposes.

Furthermore, the purchase of stolen data has been made punishable as a separate offence. This will allow for prosecution in cases where it cannot be proven that an individual found to have stolen data has purchased them from another party.
Finally, it will soon be possible to prosecute malicious online sellers who repeatedly offer goods or services which are never delivered. The Public Prosecution Service has developed new sentencing guidelines for such online scams.