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4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Amsterdam to monitor privacy and freedom

20 December 2008 – The municipality is going to develop indicators to monitor the loss of privacy and personal freedom caused by measures to increase security. The monitor was proposed by Ivar Manuel (D66).

According to Manuel, personal freedom is increasingly being curtailed by measures that aim to increase security. “These measures are being fed by a fear of robbery, a fear of terrorism, a fear of Moroccans. There is an enormous pressure to deal with these issues, not least from our liberal sister party VVD”.

Measures that have been taken include camera surveillance, stop-and-search, harassment of suspects, administrative arrests, the ban on smoking hash in public, the closure of coffee shops selling soft drugs and the ban on magic mushrooms.

In a debate, Mayor Job Cohen acknowledged that these measures may affect citizens’ personal freedom. Manuel proposed to introduce indicators to monitor the impact on personal freedom and privacy, in addition to the indicators that are being used to monitor security.

Cohen welcomed the suggestion. In the past, Manuel has criticised the mayor for introducing repressive measures at the expense of personal freedom.

Next Monday, Manuel will meet with Meindert Fennema of the University of Amsterdam to discuss ways to measure freedom and privacy. The issue has also been discussed with the Accounting Office. The idea is to introduce both objective and subjective measures.

Manuel says that measuring the impact of measures on freedom and privacy may lead to the conclusion that some of these measures should be reversed.

Photo: Netream


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