Digital rights groups blast Dutch computer plan

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Digital rights groups have called on the Dutch justice minister to retract a proposal that would give the country's police the right to break into computers, including foreign citizens' computers, to combat cyber-crime.

Minister Ivo Opstelten says investigators have the right to install Internet taps with court permission, citing the need to fight online pedophiles. That sometimes requires breaking into computers.

But a coalition of rights groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Netherlands' Bits of Freedom say other countries will likely follow suit and then attempt to enforce their own laws abroad.

The coalition said "these local laws would not solely address cyber-crime, but also issues deemed illegal in other countries, such as blasphemy and political criticism."

The Dutch parliament debates the proposal this week.

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