When rebels raided an ISIS safe house in northern Syria, they secured dozens of passports stolen from Westerners, Al Aan TV reports.
Among the many real passports was also this forged Dutch passport signed by the mayor of ‘Enshede’. Since there is no place called Enshede (but Enschede exists), border controls should have no problems stopping the holders of other copies.
Using the sch-sound to separate the good guys from the bad has long been practice in the Netherlands and Flanders, especially since foreigners don’t seem to be able to pronounce it correctly. The Flemish are said to have used the war cry ‘schild ende vriend‘ (shield and friend) during the Battle of the Golden Spurs to differentiate themselves from the French, and fishermen returning to the main land after the Nazi attack on 10 May 1940 were told to use the password Scheveningen to tell them apart from German agents.
I am guessing the forger wrote the name Enschede the way he heard it.
(Link: RTL Nieuws, Photo: Al Aan TV / RTL Nieuws)
Tags: dumb criminals, Dutch language, forgeries, forgers, ISIS, Islamic State, linguistics, passports, spelling, Urk
Back in 2011 we told you about a woman who refused to be fingerprinted to get a new Dutch passport. Although she finally got one, she definitely made her point of not wanting to let the government store her fingerprints in a database that could be used for other purposes.
The European high court has declared that using fingerprints in a passport is fine, but storing them in a centralised or decentralised database is illegal, as it does not serve the purpose of the passport. Furthermore, there is ‘no legal basis’ for storing the fingerprints, as they could be used for other purposes. Pursuant to Article 4b of the Dutch passport law, the government stores passport fingerprints in a central database, which the Ministry of Justice eventually intended to use to track down criminals, using them for other purposes.
I can imagine why the woman did not want to give away her privacy for free and the EU court agrees with her completely. There are a lot of cases pending and for now Big Brother is on the losing side.
(Links: webwereld.nl – vingerafdrukken, webwereld.nl-opslag)
Tags: fingerprints, passports
As of late, many journalists have turned finding out how badly privacy is protected by government institutions into a kind of sport.
Reinier Vermeer, a journalist from Webwereld, rang up the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) to find out about the data they had on him, and a few days later he got a letter from them with all the details of his neighbours.
The letter contained the complete names, dates of birth and social insurance numbers of his next-door neighbours, all of which is enough to ask for an online ID code, for doing taxes and even request a new passport using your own picture. It’s like Christmas for identity thieves and it goes against everything the Data Protection Law stands for.
And if said journalist was a real baddie, he could run around for a long time posing as his neighbour and commit all kinds of atrocities. The police in the journalist’s area are currently trying out a system where if you lose your passport, you don’t need to file a report with the police anymore, you just show up at some municipal office and file for a new passport. And unless his neighbour recently ordered a new biometric passport, there is no way of checking whether the journalist is who he says he is. And imagine the neighbour’s fun of trying to prove he is who he is.
So you’re a a hardcore baddie (think terrorist), you have a proper though technically illegal European passport, and the Dutch authorities would probably investigate the neighbour’s claim of having had his identity stolen for months before you’d get caught for anything, all because some stupid employee at the Employee Insurance Agency is too stupid/lazy/unmotivated to follow the rules or even learn them.
See also: Man harassed by police for 13 years after identity theft
Tags: biometrics, civil rights, identity theft, passports, police, terrorism
Eight months ago the city of The Hague refused to provide Louise van Luijk with a passport, even though as a Dutch citizen she has the right to one. Last Monday (Webwereld) or Tuesday (De Stentor) Van Luijk was heard by an appeals court which expects to have a ruling ready on March 23.
As part of new European rules for biometric passports, Van Luijk would have to provide the state with her fingerprints, which she refuses to do. For that reason the city has refused to issue her a passport. Van Luijk claims this is a human rights issue, as all kinds of official activities in the Netherlands require being able to identify yourself.
The Dutch government wants to store fingerprints from passports in a central database—not required by the new European law—, and Van Luijk fears that the French company managing this database could sell her private data to other parties. The fear may be unfounded, but the Dutch government does not have a good track record when it comes to securing the private data of its citizens.
According to De Groene Amsterdammer, passports are required if you want to register with the Chamber of Commerce, file a report with the police, register a newborn with the municipality, vote, buy a house, and so on. Van Luijk’s personal experience is different: when her child was born, the city accepted a copy of her birth certificate as proof of her existence. People in the Netherlands are obliged to identify themselves to the authorities when asked.
Tags: biometrics, civil rights, fingerprints, passports, privacy