Belgium: Privacy Commission criticises new terror suspect database.


A database that forms part of a package of measures agreed two weeks ago allows too many services access with no clear limits, according to the Privacy Commission, while Jan Jambon announces a plan to tackle terrorism

General principle positive

The Privacy Commission has criticised a new database of terrorist suspects and extremists, part of a package of measures agreed by the government two weeks ago. The federal home affairs and justice ministers had asked the commission for advice.

According to the commission, too many services are to be allowed access to the database, with no clear indication of the limits to be applied to each service on what information it is able to consult or add to. The database also overlaps significantly with other existing systems, and no official has been designated as responsible for its overall upkeep, who would be consulted by the commission in the case of disputes.

The commission also criticised the fact that the database is being introduced as an amendment to the law on the police service, which it describes as “very strange”, since the database will be open to not only the police but also the risk analysis office, the state security service, military intelligence, the prosecutors’ offices, the penal establishment, customs, the service for foreigners and the agency charged with tackling money laundering.

The commission concludes by giving a positive advice on the general principle of the database. Bart Tommelein, secretary of state for privacy matters, will review the legislative proposal to see where it can be corrected.

Meanwhile, home affairs minister Jan Jambon (pictured) has announced he has a “global plan” for tackling terrorism, following his promise in the early days of the post-Paris crisis to “clean up Molenbeek”.

The plan, details of which will be announced during January, includes better co-ordination and support of local workers, an increase in police presence on the streets and more resources for investigations into the financial streams that support terrorists. Jambon was speaking as a ninth suspect was arrested in Brussels in connection with the Paris attacks.

Photo © Wiktor Dabkowski/dpa/Corbis




  1. Expect more set-up attacks like in Paris in order to impose more terror and more policing
    We are going back to Gestapo and Stasi type era

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