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    PEACE SECURITY & THROUGH FORESIGHT Netherlands Defence Intelligence and Security Service Protecting that which we hold dear 2019 Annual Report


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    PEACE SECURITY & THROUGH FORESIGHT Netherlands Defence Intelligence and Security Service Protecting that which we hold dear 2019 Annual Report


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 3 CONTENTS FOREWORD BY DIRECTOR OF DISS 4 1 | THREATS: HERE AND NOW 7 2 | CAPABILITIES AND SCOPE 11 2.1 Legal and political scope 11 2.2 Personnel and resources 12 2.3 Cooperation 13 2.4 Intelligence process 15 3 | RESULTS: WORK IN 2019 17 3.1 Russian Federation 17 3.2 China 19 3.3 Afghanistan 20 3.4 Africa 21 3.5 Middle East 21 3.6 Venezuela 23 3.7 Counter-proliferation 24 3.8 Counter-intelligence: radicalisation and extremism 25 3.9 Industrial security 27 3.10 Security screening 27 4 | THE FUTURE: PRIORITIES AND OUTLOOK 29 4.1 Priorities in 2020 29 4.2 Outlook 30 5 | ACCOUNTABILITY: STATISTICS 31


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    4 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT FOREWORD BY DIRECTOR OF DISS The work done by the Netherlands Defence Intelligence and Security only potentially disrupt our vital infrastructure but is one of the greatest Service (DISS) is essential, every single day, since it protects the security of threats facing the Netherlands and its allies. Not only have threats to our our military personnel and our country. I am incredibly proud of our values and interests become more complex, but it is also becoming people: the professionals with their military heart and their dedication to increasingly difficult to identify those who take aim at these values and their exceptional and responsible work, which they often cannot even interests. If, as a country, we fail to keep sight of the threats arising in the disclose at home. ‘grey zone’, and if we fail to ensure that both our government and our society are better equipped to deflect them, then we are putting our In this annual report we describe the work that we carry out as an freedom and prosperity at risk. intelligence and security service. The report is an opportunity to clarify the tasks that our service shoulders. As director of DISS, I would like to Second, DISS must ensure that it remains capable of monitoring these highlight two points in particular. threats in its capacity as an intelligence and security service. First, the enormous range of increasingly complex threats that exist in the With the adoption of the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017 (Wiv hazy space between war and peace – the ‘grey zone’ – is a factor that is 2017), both DISS and the General Intelligence and Security Service (GISS) requiring steadily more attention. Even as these threats become more and now have even more instruments with which to identify threats. And more concrete, in many cases they remain invisible. Undeniably, the these instruments are crucial, given the significant challenges faced by nature of international relations and the manifestations of conflict and intelligence services as a result of the widespread use of modern war are changing. Increasingly, inter-state conflicts and competition for capabilities and new information technologies. At the same time, global or regional leadership play out not only in the military domain but deploying them on a day-to-day basis while remaining within the limits of across all domains. the law has proven complex. To an extent, this is because the Wiv 2017 is ambiguous on some points. An independent committee will therefore Like other countries, the Netherlands is confronted on a significant scale begin an evaluation of the legislation this year. In my view, our common with undesirable and covert influencing, digital espionage and sabotage, objective continues to be a legal framework whose guarantees are as and an intensifying intertwinement of national security and the economy. effective as possible with regard to both the privacy of our individual In fact, digital espionage, carried out by state actors such as the Russian citizens and the service’s ability to competently carry out the tasks Federation and China and targeting governments and businesses, cannot intended to protect these same citizens.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 5 Whatever the outcome of the evaluation, our service’s highest priority this DISS mission statement year is to implement the Wiv 2017. A main precondition for doing so is the We are DISS, the military eyes and ears of the Netherlands, whose modernisation of our IT infrastructure and information management, task it is to protect that which we value. We detect and uncover that areas in which investments have been made in the past year and will which others seek to keep hidden. We operate around the world in continue to be made in the future. cooperation with our partners and allies. In this way our armed forces can do all that is necessary, both today and in the future. In our The main pillar of reliability, integrity and decisiveness continues to be our rapidly changing world, our intelligence makes a world of difference. DISS staff members, who are well aware of the exceptional responsibility We know who our opponents are. We predict threats, identify they carry and deeply committed to staying ahead in a landscape of opportunities and safeguard our military secrets and expertise. rapidly evolving threats. Our intelligence helps our politicians and military decision-makers I am proud of our organisation, and fully confident that in the coming year choose the best possible path. Our assessments are arrived at our people will continue their efforts in support of the security of the independently. We enhance the security and resilience of the armed forces of the Netherlands. Freedom is not a given. Netherlands. Major General Jan R. Swillens Our people are our strength. Our team reflects the best aspects of all Director, Netherlands Defence Intelligence and Security Service of our diverse backgrounds and experience. We are professional, flexible and persevering. Working in the shadows, we perform our difficult tasks both in the Netherlands and abroad, and in the physical and digital domains. We are aware of our exceptional position and act responsibly. We are ordinary people with a military heart and a special task. The DISS mission statement was compiled in September 2019 by DISS personnel, who consist of 40% military personnel and 60% civilians.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 7 1 THREATS: HERE AND NOW In 2019 the Dutch armed forces were once again faced with complex and social polarisation and fragmentation in the political landscapes of a large multifaceted threats. Some of these threats arose from shifts in the global number of countries play into its hand. balance of power, and others from assertive actions by state and non-state actors deploying new technologies that have had substantial A key aspect of the Russian hybrid strategy is the deployment of military impact. These capabilities and their deployment are often invisible and and other capabilities, such as its intelligence and security services. This difficult to signal at an early stage, while identifying perpetrators also could include cyber units, including those linked to the Russian military presents challenges. With regard to the traditional arenas, the Russian intelligence service (GRU), militias such as the ‘little green men’ deployed Federation and China have made considerable efforts to expand and during the Russian annexation of Crimea, and proxies such as update their military capabilities in a bid to achieve more rapid effects non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private military companies, over greater distances. Their modern air defence systems and anti-ship for example the now familiar Wagner company. The deployment of these missiles – which they also sell to other countries – enable actors to entities to the east of Europe, in Ukraine, in southeastern Syria and in threaten and seal off large areas. Besides traditional operations, conflicts southern Libya helps the Russian Federation to achieve its geopolitical increasingly play out in the grey area between war and peace and on a aims while avoiding formal involvement. range of front lines. Cyber attacks can inflict significant political, military and economic damage. The potential digital disruption of vital Influence campaigns are also a central element of the Chinese modus infrastructure and essential operations is among the greatest cyber operandi, and are geared to creating strategic conditions favourable to threats to the Netherlands, its allies and the operational readiness of the China’s broader security and defence policies. China has a growing arsenal armed forces. Cyber has become a fully-fledged domain of military of capabilities with which to realise this, ranging from advanced cyber operations. capabilities for espionage and misinformation campaigns that could, for example, target elections in Taiwan or influence the global perception of Besides engaging in undesired foreign political interference and the resistance movement in Hong Kong, to military and paramilitary units influencing media and public opinion through disinformation and fake that could be deployed in service of its territorial claims in the South China news, states also conduct economic espionage in the cyber domain and Sea. elsewhere. Such activity is often an element of a hybrid conflict. In terms of hybrid activity impacting European security, the Russian Federation is the major player and has the capability to effect an integrated deployment in Europe of every element in its arsenal. Influence campaigns are central to the Russian modus operandi. In a global trend, the Russian Federation uses targeted information operations to exploit topics intended to sow dissent among various target countries and in alliances. In this respect,


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 9 The deployment of economic resources and the fostering of strategic and technological dependency are elements of a power politics that operates just under the threshold of warfare. For instance, China can manipulate trade, investment and tourism to exert economic pressure intended to undermine alliances and to impose its influence on international forums, not only in its own region but also in South America, Africa and Europe, including the Netherlands. Through the takeover of and investment in vital infrastructure and businesses engaging in the development of high-level technologies, states can create undesirable dependencies that entail risks to the Dutch economy and national security. Such a situation poses a threat to the continuity of our vital processes and opens the way for leaks of knowledge as well as classified and sensitive information. The defence industry is equally at risk of economic and traditional espionage. This is particularly the case as the Defence organisation becomes increasingly reliant on open-market partnerships. Strengthening the resilience of the Defence organisation and these commercial partners will require increasing capacity and attention. New technologies and capabilities pose an even greater threat when they fall into the hands of hostile groups and individuals. One example of this is the exploitation of social media by jihadist groups, who use it to encourage 'lone wolf' attacks. The deployment of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) by opponents in mission areas has also become a commonplace threat. In facing the task of addressing these complex, comprehensive and often invisible threats, DISS is reliant on the people and resources at its disposal and is bound by administrative and legal frameworks. The results of its efforts are described in this report.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 11 2 CAPABILITIES AND SCOPE 2.1 Legal and political scope Legal scope DISS requires various powers in order to gather intelligence and counter-intelligence on the militarily relevant intentions, capabilities and activities of specific countries, groups and regions. The Wiv 2017 provides a legal framework for exercising such powers and sets out conditions for their lawful application, including the requirement to process data in a highly targeted manner and guarantee the protection of personal data. DISS complies with all these conditions. Correct application of the law is also vital to ensure the confidence of politicians and society in DISS’s work. In addition, the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten – CTIVD) provides continuous independent oversight, while the Review Board for the Use of Powers (Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden – TIB) assesses in advance whether the exercising of a number of specific special powers is within the law. In 2019 the implementation of the Wiv 2017 was assigned the highest priority, with new personnel appointed and existing personnel freed up for this purpose. While important steps have been taken, the risk of unlawful action continues to exist, as concluded by the CTIVD in its third progress report. The modernisation of DISS’s IT infrastructure and data management systems is a vital factor in the further implementation of the Wiv 2017, and steps have been taken to this end. The implementation of the Wiv 2017 will again be assigned the highest priority in 2020, with attention devoted to duty of care, quality of data processing and responsible data reduction. While DISS will continue to carry out its operational duties throughout this process, seeking a balance between these tasks remains a challenge.


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    12 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT Regulatory tasks 2.2 Personnel and resources Review Board for the Use of Powers Working at DISS is no ordinary job. DISS personnel are sent to mission The Review Board for the Use of Powers (Toetsingscommissie Inzet areas, must initiate investigations, are digitally savvy, operate covertly, Bevoegdheden – TIB) assesses whether a number of special powers for work irregular hours or expose themselves to risks not faced elsewhere, which the minister has granted permission are exercised within the law, and are unable to disclose information about their work to family and its decisions in such matters are binding. members due to its secretive nature. Personnel are DISS’s most valuable assets. DISS invests in the retention of its existing personnel, among other Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services things by offering them loyalty premiums and improving their working The Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services environment. In 2019 DISS launched a reorganisation of its primary (Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten – CTIVD) is an structure in order to boost its effectiveness and agility. independent body that assesses whether DISS and GISS operate within the law. The CTIVD also handles complaints concerning the actions of DISS DISS grew in 2019. More effort is required to recruit some categories of and GISS and reports of suspected criminal actions committed by the military personnel and specialists such as IT and cyber experts than others, services. and this is an area of concern across the entire Defence organisation. But an expanding workforce also requires larger accommodation. In 2019 Administration renovations were carried out to provide extra space, and additional rooms The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence is responsible for will become available when work is completed in 2020. A shared location directing DISS, while the Minister of Defence holds ministerial for GISS and DISS (to be known as the AMF) is scheduled to be completed accountability for DISS. The Netherlands Joint Intelligence Committee at the Frederikkazerne barracks in The Hague in the long term. The (Commissie Veiligheids- en Inlichtingendiensten Nederland – CVIN) is officially intention of the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the responsible for carrying out the ground work for decisions pertaining to Minister of Defence to build shared accommodation for GISS and DISS security and intelligence policy. Decisions are subsequently taken by the was confirmed in the Letter to Parliament of 1 July 2019 (Parliamentary Security and Intelligence Council (Raad Veiligheid en Inlichtingen - RVI), a Paper 30 977, No. 155). According to the current schedule, construction of Cabinet subcommittee, and final decisions by the Cabinet. the AMF will be completed in 2028 and occupation will begin in 2029. Until then, the existing accommodations will be upgraded in compliance Accountability with prevailing standards. The Minister of Defence is accountable before Parliament regarding DISS’s activities. If information can be shared with the public, the minister gives account before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence; if it must remain secret, the minister gives account before the Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services (Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten – CIVD) The director of DISS attends the CIVD meetings as the minister’s advisor.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 13 Information technology 2.3 Cooperation Just as people are vital to DISS, so are its resources. DISS is developing into a data-driven organisation, since data is indispensable for its DISS constantly seeks opportunities to engage in new, or strengthen activities. In 2019 DISS faced the task of bringing its IT and information existing, cooperative partnerships with government organisations and provision systems up to par. The Ministry of Defence will invest in DISS’s knowledge centres at the national and international levels, both inside IT requirements in the coming years. A multi-year, step-by-step and outside the Defence organisation. programme has been developed to reduce the IT backlog and create platforms in a robust information domain. Besides the Defence Intelligence and Security Network, crucial national partners include GISS and the National Coordinator for Security and DISS’s current priority is to increase its IT workforce and to create a data Counterterrorism (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid management system in compliance with the law, which will contribute – NCTV). towards the overall improvement of its business processes. In 2019 a small number of additional personnel were taken on for this purpose. The Defence organisation Technical and operational facilities are also undergoing improvement to The various Defence departments represented in the Defence Intelligence enable IT systems to operate independently or with partners across the and Security Network work together to ensure the continued efficiency globe to collect, process and disseminate data around the clock. and security of the Defence organisation. DISS and the Defence Cyber Command (DCC) provide mutual support in the deployment of military personnel in the digital domain. DISS also supports the branches of the armed forces and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Command (JISTARC) is a key operational and tactical partner in the Defence network. DISS also provides input intended to boost information- driven operations by the armed forces, and works closely with the Defence Intelligence and Security Academy and the Dutch Defence Academy in the areas of intelligence courses and innovation.1 In order to conduct information-driven operations, DISS must be capable of acquiring all relevant information at any required level and processing and disseminating it in a timely manner to ensure it is present in the right place at the right time in order to achieve the desired effects.1 1 Netherlands Defence Doctrine, February 2019, page 91


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    14 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT GISS DISS cooperates closely with GISS in a number of joint teams such as the Counter Proliferation Unit, the Caribbean Region Team, the Security Screening Unit and the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU). The joint initiatives of the two services include frequent, constructive consultations pertaining to the intelligence process and technical support domain, which are held at all levels of their organisations, both on the work floor and between their directorates. NCTV The NCTV is responsible for policy, measures and coordination in the areas of counter-terrorism, cyber security, crisis management and threats posed by state actors. To this end DISS provides information and intelligence products to the NCTV and participates in NCTV consultative forums and working groups. Cooperation between DISS and the NCTV includes strategy relating to attack capabilities; the risk and crisis management agenda; the counter-terrorism alert system; civil aviation security; surveillance and protection; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons; the Counter-Terrorism (CT) Infobox; the Cyber Security Assessment for the Netherlands; the Terrorist Threat Assessment for the Netherlands; misinformation; unmanned aerial systems (UASs); economic security; integrated terrorism strategy; national counter-terrorism strategy; national security strategy; the Netherlands cyber security agenda; undesirable foreign interference in the form of radicalisation; threats posed by state actors; and vital infrastructure.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 15 International cooperation 2.4 Intelligence process DISS cooperates with foreign intelligence and security services. By exchanging information the services strengthen their own intelligence The Integrated Intelligence and Security Directive lays down specific positions, and by organising joint training and sharing information on agreements concerning the focus areas and depth of investigations developments in the field they boost the quality of their intelligence conducted by DISS. The Directive is established for a period of four years products. Cooperation can also help resolve challenging issues arising by the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations from technological innovations. DISS consults with other services to and the Minister of Defence following consultation with the Minister of discuss the impact on their procedures and organisations of artificial Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Security and Justice, and is reviewed intelligence, information-driven operations, cyber, social media and annually to establish whether any amendments are called for. associated security aspects, and to learn from their experiences in a Investigation orders are contained in the Directive and constitute the basis process of mutual enrichment and reinforcement. for DISS’s annual plan and intelligence cycle. The terms under which DISS is permitted to exchange information or engage in other forms of cooperation with foreign services are laid down Intelligence cycle in the Wiv 2017. Since 2018 these terms have been detailed in partner The intelligence cycle comprises the process and methods used to assessments, which list the five criteria governing cooperation between compile threat analyses and intelligence and counter-intelligence services: democratic embedment, respect for human rights, products for requisitioners and consists of four phases. professionalism and reliability, legal powers and instruments, and data protection. The risks associated with cooperation are identified for each criterion in order to prevent potential risk to Dutch civilians and DISS. No Requirements/ cooperation is entered into without a partner assessment. International Direction cooperation also occurs with alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Dissemination Collection Processing


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 17 3 RESULTS: WORK IN 2019 3.1 Russian Federation Every crisis involving the Russian Federation entails a nuclear dimension. Tactical nuclear weapons play a fundamentally different role in the The European security landscape has changed fundamentally over the Russian mindset than in Western countries. In the perception of the past decade, with a substantial increase in threats posed to Dutch, Russian leadership, these weapons are an essential instrument in applying European and allied interests by Russian espionage, cyber and hybrid political and military pressure. Consequently, in regional crises and operations and, no less so, military capabilities. The Kremlin’s ultimate military conflicts their threatened deployment could be considered a aim is to inflict disruptive change on the European security architecture, means of forcing an opponent to enter into political negotiations. thus weakening or negating the role of NATO. This aim is in line with the Russian world view in which each great power is entitled to maintain an The Russian Federation is also modernising its strategic nuclear forces. On exclusive buffer zone consisting of peripheral countries. A concerning 27 December 2019, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu reported that development is the Kremlin’s increasingly frequent representations of the first Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) had entered service in relations between itself and the West as ideological stand-offs in which the Russian Strategic Missile Forces. An HGV is capable of manoeuvring opposing value systems are at odds with each other. after entering the atmosphere. However, doubts exist concerning the current deployability of this weapons system and the technical capabilities Also alarming is the increasing military threat that is arising as Russian ascribed to it by the Russians. Even so its existence is indicative of the military power grows strongly. Regionally, primarily but not exclusively in Russian Federation’s threat perception as well as the absolute importance the Baltic Sea region, the Russian Federation has at least initial that it attaches to strategic deterrence. conventional and tactical nuclear dominance. It is capable of initiating a military operation with limited geographical objectives, virtually without A military conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation appears prior warning, against NATO and, in principle, bringing such an operation improbable in the short term. The Kremlin realises that NATO ultimately to a successful conclusion. The Russian Federation has an extremely rapid has more power, but also that the US plays a crucial role in it. In the decision-making chain, very rapidly deployable units, offensive Kremlin’s view the US, its military capability and its guarantees to Europe long-distance precision-guided dual capable weapons systems for both with regard to security constitute the cornerstones of the alliance. The conventional and nuclear payloads, and the ability to seal off operational Russian Federation would therefore only initiate a military operation areas (A2AD environments) for protracted periods. In these areas it has against NATO if it perceived a direct threat to its vital security interests and the strategic initiative in the military domain, and thus also in the political if it did not expect NATO to respond in what the Kremlin considered to be domain, since it has greater capabilities and a wider variety of deployment a unified fashion. options.


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    18 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT As a demonstration of allied solidarity, and in light of the increasing threat Russian Federation: espionage and cyber espionage posed by the Russian Federation, NATO stationed a defensive The Russian offensive cyber arsenal includes capabilities for digital multinational battle group known as enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in espionage and sabotage as well as for information operations that can be the three Baltic states and Poland in 2017. The Netherlands has rolled out globally, in some cases after a short preparation cycle. The contributed to the eFP since 2017 in the form of an infantry company Russian intelligence requirement is largely geopolitical and military-based, stationed in Lithuania. Set to last until at least the end of 2021, this is the and in the digital domain the Russian Federation is an advanced adversary largest deployment of Dutch armed forces personnel on foreign soil. of countries everywhere in the world. The Russian Federation uses information and cyber sabotage operations as instruments in hybrid Russian interference is not limited to its immediate peripheries. For a conflicts. In 2019 a DISS intelligence investigation signalled a range of number of years there has been increasing Russian involvement in cyber espionage and sabotage activities as well as information operations conflicts and conflict resolution outside of its traditional focus areas. This targeting the Netherlands, other Western countries and allied interests. activity is mainly directed towards supporting regimes, but also parties DISS continues its investigation of espionage and cyber espionage activity and movements that support the Russian agenda either directly or in 2020. indirectly. DISS considers a potential digital disruption of vital infrastructure and Russian Federation: military technology essential sectors and business as among the greatest cyber threats facing In 2019 DISS investigated the development and production of weapons the Netherlands and its allies. systems, Russian scientific research into relevant military technologies, and the proliferation of weapons systems in areas in which Dutch military personnel are currently deployed or could potentially be deployed in the future. For some time the Russian focus has been on developing and updating high-level weapons systems for deployment on land and at sea, in the air and in space, and in the cyber domain. In particular, major advances have been achieved in the areas of ballistic and cruise missiles, hypersonic weapons, air defence systems, anti-satellite weapons and electronic warfare. These weapons systems are being developed with the specific aim of disrupting the Western modus operandi and thus mitigating the perceived threat posed by the West. Advanced Russian weapons systems are not only in development for domestic use but also for export to other countries and existing and potential conflict zones. If deployed in these areas, Dutch units could potentially encounter these systems.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 19 3.2 China These offensive programmes target not only suppliers of the Dutch Defence organisation and Dutch ministries, but also vital sectors, as well China’s influence will increase in every domain, not only in Asia but as personal data and the data of other organisations in the Netherlands around the world. Chinese trade, investment and tourism and the such as telecommunications companies, universities, research institutes, associated roll-out of investments in connection with the digital silk route medical and biotechnology facilities, high-tech industry, start-up are illustrative examples of this. The lines between Chinese economic and companies, the trade sector and defence contractors. The Chinese geo-economic interests and its political, geopolitical and military aims are intelligence services also engage in traditional espionage activities with hazy. The same is true for its multi-year programmes such as Made in the intention of gathering military intelligence in the Netherlands. DISS China 2025, which, besides their open and evident economic objectives, investigated several threats in 2019, and the importance of such also include a less clear but still significant emphasis on the military- investigations is set to intensify in 2020 with an eye to the growing technological ambitions of the Chinese armed forces. importance of economic security. Growing Chinese influence around the globe could have repercussions for Economic security Dutch and Western interests in the long term. China is increasingly Through its intelligence investigations DISS contributes to a better promoting its political system as an alternative to the liberal Western understanding of the intentions, capabilities and activities of states such democratic model, and thus an attractive concept for authoritarian as China and the Russian Federation, including their deployment of regimes. It relies primarily on diplomatic and economic instruments to economic and other capabilities. DISS also contributes to economic shape its foreign policy, but as its military capabilities increase so also security through its activities pertaining to the monitoring of exports, does regional uncertainty regarding its intentions and activities. While industrial security, counter-espionage and cyber activity as well as through China poses no direct military threat to the Netherlands in the short to promoting awareness. In 2019 a pilot project was rolled out to generate medium term, the Netherlands could experience negative repercussions investigative capability with regard to investment and takeovers. as a result of a shift in the balance of power at regional and global levels due to China’s growing influence on the world stage. DISS monitors these The Dutch government places great importance on economic security and developments and reports on them to the Defence organisation and other protection against cyber sabotage and espionage. With closer attention Dutch ministries. being paid to economic security, and in the growing awareness that in modern warfare states are increasingly deploying additional means China: espionage and cyber espionage besides military capabilities in order to achieve politico-strategic In the Chinese system, economic, political, military, cyber, security and objectives, the intelligence requirement in this area is expected to intelligence activities are closely intertwined. This strategy is part of increase. China’s commitment to acquiring and developing innovative technologies, which it does covertly in part through the deployment of offensive cyber programmes and economic and other espionage activity. Chinese cyber actors deploy a wide range of malware in a bid to achieve their objectives.


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    20 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 3.3 Afghanistan DISS provides intelligence products in aid of the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. The RSM assists in the build-up of a professional Afghan security apparatus, including the armed forces and police. Dutch special forces personnel also contributed to the training and deployment of the special police unit ATF 888, which takes orders from the Afghan interior ministry. The political intelligence analyses that DISS carried out in 2019 covered issues such as the peace talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. Little progress has been achieved so far. The Taliban made no serious concessions in 2019, instead clinging to their demand that an agreement be forged with the US before it would commit to a ceasefire or direct talks with the Afghan government. The year was dominated by the presidential elections held on 28 September 2019. With only 5% of the population casting their votes, turnout was extremely low. In 2020 DISS will continue to monitor political developments and their effect on the security situation in Afghanistan. DISS issued a number of threat analyses pertaining to the security situation in northern Afghanistan in 2019. These also discussed the influence of the Taliban in the region and Taliban attacks on the Afghan Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Other intelligence products issued pertained to the security situation in the city of Kabul and the surrounding region, and to the intentions, capabilities and activities of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) in this region.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 21 3.4 Africa 3.5 Middle East As the large-scale Dutch military contribution to the United Nations In light of the Netherlands’ participation in the fight against ISIS, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) primary areas of attention for DISS in the Middle East in 2019 were Syria came to an end in May 2019, DISS changed its country investigation policy and Iraq. The Netherlands also contributed to Operation Inherent Resolve regarding Mali, shifting the emphasis to strategic intelligence and (OIR) by providing training for Iraqi and Kurdish troops. In support of expanding the geographic scope of investigations to include the entire defence operations and associated decision-making pertaining to Sahel region. Dutch military personnel present in the Sahel region in deployment, DISS provided intelligence products to Dutch and connection with capacity building and training missions were provided international customers. with threat assessments and information on relevant developments. Syria and Iraq The security situation in this region deteriorated further in 2019. Complex In light of the Syrian regime’s ground operations against the armed violent attacks by jihadist groups with ties to both al-Qaeda and Islamic opposition in northwestern Syria and, in the autumn of 2019, the Turkish State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) increased in number. Jihadist groups also ground operation in northeastern Syria, DISS focussed mainly on these expanded their area of operations in 2019, particularly in the border two regions in 2019. Regional and international interference in these areas region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Apart from jihadist violence, of operations had a major impact, and the shifting power balance that the security situation in the Sahel region is also under pressure due to resulted from the Turkish operation cast serious doubt on Syrian-Kurdish persistent ethnic tensions between population groups there. In the first autonomy. half of 2019, ethnic tensions in central Mali sparked violence that cost the lives of hundreds of civilians. Moreover, the deterioration of the security While the Coalition dealt a major blow to ISIS in Syria, the group continues situation has worsened the already desperate humanitarian situation and to have significant capabilities and to fuel radicalisation. ISIS continued its further strained the limited resources of national administrations in the asymmetric attacks in Syria in 2019, mainly in the area east of the Sahel. Euphrates. Its presence in northwestern Syria is small, but the presence of the now deceased ISIS leader al-Baghdadi in this area probably helped In accordance with its early warning task, in 2019 DISS reported on feed the perception of this opposition-held area as a terrorist stronghold. developments in a range of countries in Africa as well as in Yemen and the Balkan region of Eastern Europe. Developments in Iraq in 2019 were mainly dominated by the resignation of Prime Minister al-Mahdi and its repercussions for regional political and security developments. Despite being a key demand of demonstrators in Early warning Iraq, the prime minister’s resignation did not lead to a political The timely observation and signalling of national or regional breakthrough. No new government was formed and the promised early developments posing a potential threat to national security elections failed to take place, while demonstrators remained dissatisfied despite the announcement of reforms. ISIS remained capable of mounting attacks in Iraq and continues to pose a threat to security in the country.


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    22 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT Iran DISS monitored Iran’s involvement in Iraq and Syria in 2019 in connection with mission support provided for OIR. Iran continued its military support As part of mission support DISS also analyses technological to the Syrian regime throughout the year, with a focus on combating ISIS developments pertaining to improvised weapons systems including (an objective that is in line with Iran’s national security policy) and keeping improvised explosive devices (IEDs), homemade explosives (HMEs) the Assad regime in power. Tehran also continued its military support to and commercially available radio-controlled aircraft and helicopters ‘strategic Shia ally’ Hezbollah. Iran’s involvement in Iraq also continued (unmanned aerial systems – UASs). The role of weapons systems such undiminished in 2019. Its intention in Iraq was to maintain and expand its as these is increasing, in part because they are cheap and readily influence in the country, since stability in Iraq is in the interests of Iranian available. Together with other sections of the Defence organisation, national security. DISS investigates the deployment of these new technological applications both in mission areas and in the Netherlands in order to From mid-2019 onwards, DISS provided support for political facilitate the timely development of countermeasures. It is also decision-making regarding Dutch participation in a mission in the Persian important to establish how these systems can be promptly detected Gulf. Among other things, this support included analyses pertaining to the and neutralised. brief period of escalation in the region. This limited escalation peaked in the wake of shooting near Kirkuk on 27 December 2019, during which a US contractor was killed, and encompassed noteworthy incidents such as the US air strike that killed a military leader from Iran, Qasim Soleimani, and another from Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as Iran’s launch of ballistic missiles towards two Iraqi bases at which personnel from the US and the anti-ISIS Coalition were stationed. In 2020 DISS continues to provide support for the Dutch maritime mission in the Gulf region in the form of up-to-date threat reporting.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 23 3.6 Venezuela The situation in Venezuela deteriorated further in 2019. Current estimates indicate that more than four million people have left Venezuela, out of a population of 31 million. The economy is in dire straits, with basic necessities such as food, medicine, electricity and drinking water increasingly becoming luxuries that are available only to the small, elite group who dominate political power. With the Maduro regime in a constant state of confrontation with the opposition, Venezuela’s political crisis will persist, a situation that contributes to political instability in the country. Consequently, the support of the armed forces is vital for the regime. Large swathes of Venezuela have deteriorated into lawless regions in which independent armed groups engage in illicit activities for their own enrichment. Venezuelan state bodies have eroded further in the meantime. Venezuela is expected to remain a source of instability in 2020, further endangering the security situation in the region as a whole. In light of the repercussions for neighbouring countries, including the Kingdom of the Netherlands, DISS and GISS will continue to monitor developments closely.


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    24 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 3.7 Counter-proliferation North Korea In 2019 US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) pose a major threat to set forth talks on North Korea’s denuclearisation, but without success. The international peace and security. The Netherlands has signed international most recent official talks between the two countries, in September 2019, treaties aimed at countering the proliferation of such weapons, and in were aborted, after which North Korea resumed its traditional threatening 2019 the joint DISS and GISS Counter Proliferation Unit (CPU) conducted rhetoric. In 2019 North Korea conducted approximately 10 test launches of investigations of countries suspected of developing or possessing WMDs various new types of ballistic missiles. and their delivery systems or otherwise acting in violation of these treaties. Syria In 2019 the CPU also investigated the deployment of chemical weapons by Iran the Syrian regime, including its use of sarin to target opposition groups. In In recent times, Iran has focussed on a gradual withdrawal from the Joint 2020, DISS and GISS will continue efforts to identify the threat posed by Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). With Iran-US tensions rising, Iran Syrian WMDs, to map their deployment and to investigate them. has ignored the technical restrictions imposed by the JCPOA, but has said it will continue to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Russian Federation Agency (IAEA) and allow inspections to take place. In 2019 the CPU followed developments surrounding the amendment of Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) lists, which included a proposal by a It will carry on actively developing ballistic missiles as part of its consortium consisting of Canada, the US and the Netherlands, and by the comprehensive ballistic missile programme, a major spearhead of which is Russian Federation itself, to incorporate Novichok in the lists covered by to improve the accuracy and destructive capabilities of its existing ballistic chemical weapon treaties. The CPU will continue to closely follow Russian missiles. Iran conducted a similar number of test launches in 2019 as it did developments in 2020. in 2018. DISS and GISS also investigate Iran’s development of WMDs. Acquisition of information and goods by countries of concern; export control Countries such as the Russian Federation, China, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and North Korea continually seek to acquire information and goods in the Netherlands and other Western countries that they can apply in their own arms programmes. DISS and GISS investigate the methods these countries use in their attempts to acquire knowledge and goods. Since these methods frequently involve cross-border activities, intensive national and international cooperation is of vital importance.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 25 3.8 Counter-intelligence: radicalisation and extremism Defence organisation, nor did its investigations yield any indications of right-wing extremist networks operating within the armed forces. DISS provides counter-intelligence (CI) that is used to identify and neutralise threats facing Dutch Defence personnel. DISS investigates signs CI support in mission areas of radicalisation and extremism among Defence personnel in any form in In 2019 DISS provided CI support to Dutch units operating in mission which they may appear. Actual personal behaviour is always the basis for areas. DISS experts instructed units being deployed to mission areas on investigation. DISS also investigates societal developments, such as the potential and actual CI threats in these regions in order to boost their polarisation and anti-democratic sentiment, and their influence on the ability to deflect hostile intelligence-gathering activities and increase Defence organisation in order to ensure maximum operational readiness operational security. CI support also contributes to mitigating threats of the armed forces. against Dutch military personnel in mission areas. Radicalisation Personal behaviour inspired by Salafist religious beliefs can pose a threat DISS has adopted three criteria to estimate threats posed by state to the Defence organisation and national security. In 2019 DISS conducted actors, non-state actors and individuals as accurately as possible: investigations into violent jihadism and Salafism, focussing on identifying suspected radicalisation among Defence personnel and jihadist-terrorist Intentions – Capabilities – Activities threats to the Ministry of Defence. It investigated several cases of suspected radicalisation within the armed forces and intensified its investigation of Salafism. None of the investigations revealed any concrete threats to the armed forces. Extremism DISS investigates signs of right-wing extremism and its influence on Defence personnel. Right-wing extremism within the Defence organisation has the potential to jeopardise the internal security of the armed forces. Discrimination against military personnel may spark unrest among the ranks and affect hierarchy and cooperation. It therefore remains vital that DISS promptly identifies individuals or groups within the Defence organisation that embrace extremist ideologies or actively or passively support extremist parties and organisations. In 2019 DISS investigated two cases of suspected right-wing extremism, but uncovered no threats against the armed forces. DISS received no indications of any polarising discourse on Islam occurring within the


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 27 3.9 Industrial security 3.10 Security screening Companies charged with carrying out classified or vital defence contracts The joint DISS and GISS Security Screening Unit conducts security must comply with the General Security Requirements for Defence investigations of individuals holding or applying for positions of trust at Contracts (Algemene Beveiligingseisen voor Defensieopdrachten – ABDO). DISS’s the Ministry of Defence. The nature of such positions is based on the Industrial Security Office monitors whether these ABDO-certified potential risk that such individuals could pose to national security, and companies adhere to these requirements and advises them accordingly. determines the rigorousness of security investigations (security Classified contracts for the Ministry of Defence are carried out exclusively authorisation level A, B or C). Security screenings at the A security by ABDO-certified companies. authorisation level are the most comprehensive and apply to the most sensitive positions of trust. Security screenings for positions at the C In 2019 the Industrial Security Office’s main task was to supervise and security authorisation level are the least intensive. In 2019 a total of advise Defence contractors on the transition towards compliance with the 63,386 security investigations were conducted, 16,883 of which were 2017 ABDO security requirements. Defence contractors were repeatedly carried out by DISS. found to be taking risks in situations that necessitated on-the-spot measures including the suspension of work, orders and processes. Security screenings are conducted on the principle that 90% of requested investigations must be completed within the statutory period of eight In late 2019 an amended version of the ABDO directive, ABDO 2019, was weeks. The creation of a joint Security Screening Unit in October 2018 introduced in response to the current threat picture, the rising number of placed an enormous strain on the unit in 2019, resulting in backlogs in the incident reports and developments anticipated in the defence industry. first half of 2019. Measures were taken to clear these backlogs, including The expansion of the Industrial Security Office enabled improved the temporary expansion of the unit's capacity. identification of digital and traditional espionage, influencing and sabotage activities and an increased focus on economic security and international cooperation.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 29 4 THE FUTURE: PRIORITIES AND OUTLOOK 4.1 Priorities in 2020 The implementation of the Wiv 2017 will continue to be a matter of the In 2020 DISS and GISS will set forth joint investigations of countries highest priority in 2020. This will require capacity, but steps will also need suspected of possessing or developing weapons of mass destruction and to be taken to bring technology up to date and improve information the means of delivery for such weapons, in cases in which this is management. prohibited by treaties. Other focus areas in 2020 will include developments in foreign military technology and the proliferation of DISS’s second priority in 2020 is to ensure responsible growth and bring advanced military technology and weapons systems in existing and about prescribed changes to the service. Additional attention will potential crisis areas. In the area of counter-intelligence, investigation into therefore be directed to recruitment, selection and retention of personnel. various forms of radicalisation and extremism among Defence personnel In the coming year the initial effects of the inflow of new personnel will will continue in 2020. become noticeable. Career development, sound infrastructure and good working conditions require special attention, in part because they Attention will also be paid to traditional and cyber espionage, influence contribute towards the retention and well-being of personnel. and sabotage. Economic security will be another area of increased focus in the coming year. States with strong geopolitical ambitions seek DISS will continue to fulfill requirements in 2020, with a focus on the information they can use to modernise their armed forces, bolster their following areas. economies and influence political decision-making. Takeovers and investments are other manners in which states endeavour to acquire DISS will continue to conduct investigations in support of missions in information or create strategic dependencies. Consequently, in the coming Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East and to support Dutch military year DISS will continue to investigate espionage and cyber activity through personnel deployed in enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission until at which foreign powers could possibly target the defence industry. Besides least 2021. As part of its early warning task, DISS will continue to report on supervising and monitoring the security measures of defence contractors, developments in Africa, Yemen and Eastern Europe (Balkan region) in the in 2020 and subsequent years the focus will be on businesses that are coming year. The Russian Federation and China exert a major influence on involved in the purchase and replacement cycles of defence materiel such the global security climate, and DISS will therefore continue to monitor all as the F-35 fighter jet, submarines, M-frigates and air defence and potential manifestations of threats emerging from these two countries. command frigates. To protect the resilience of the Defence organisation, Political and socio-economic developments in the regions surrounding the the Security Screening Unit will continue its efforts to conclude security overseas areas of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will also continue to be screenings within the statutory period. monitored.


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    30 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 4.2 Outlook For the long-term continuation of its work to fulfil its legal obligations in the promotion of national security, DISS has formulated a number of principles for its further development. Human capital is central to these principles. Since our staff are our most valuable resource, we provide excellent training opportunities, career development support and employment terms. Doing so enables us to recruit the brightest, best and most creative people, building up a diverse workforce representing a wide range of specialist expertise. Our personnel work in an organisation that increasingly runs on data. Teamwork is a given. Each day, intelligence teams work on gathering and processing data streams using the applicable tooling. We automatically distribute their products to the channels that require them. DISS is a forward-looking organisation in a complex and ever-changing environment. We are capable of recognising contexts for strategic decision-making and taking timely countermeasures in response to potential threats both in the Netherlands and in the international arena. While we are capable of operating independently, whenever possible we cooperate at the national and international levels. Our organisation is agile and capable of responding to constantly evolving circumstances. We take an active approach to forging connections with and building trust among our stakeholders. We are visible when possible, demonstrating what we do and why. In every respect, we adhere to the terms of the Wiv 2017. DISS information management structures are up to date, orderly and transparent.


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 31 5 ACCOUNTABILITY: STATISTICS Industrial Security Office statistics Facility security clearances Agencies DISS maintained contact with foreign national and designated Number of companies in portfolio: security authorities (NSAs/DSAs) to request and finalise facility • 703 Dutch companies security clearances (FSCs). A foreign country may request an FSC for a • 161 foreign companies Dutch company hoping to serve as a defence contractor for that country. Authorisations Number of ABDO authorisations issued: • 327 in response to requests by the Ministry of Defence 53 requested by foreign countries • 62 in response to requests by foreign defence organisations 62 issued to foreign countries • 78 in response to requests issued by the Ministry of Defence to 75 requested by the Netherlands foreign companies Number of ABDO authorisations withheld: 46 78 issued to the Netherlands Audits Number of companies audited: 10 Requests for visits Number of audits completed: 18 The ABDO directive stipulates that besides Defence personnel, companies must also submit requests for visits to the Industrial Incident reports Security Agency for employees travelling for Defence-related reasons. Incident reports: 115 This makes it possible to establish a fuller picture of Defence-related travel and traveller behaviour and trends in this area. Processed requests pertaining to non-Dutch nationals seeking positions of trust in ABDO-certified companies: Number of processed requests: 33 Industry Defence (visits to industry sites) (visits to Dutch or foreign Defence organisations) 355 outgoing 3287 outgoing 189 incoming 837 incoming


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    32 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT Security Screening Unit/DISS Security authorisation Positive rulings Negative rulings Total rulings Level A investigations 2,358 7 2,365 Level B investigations 9,929 16 9,945 Level C investigations 4,568 4 4,572 Objections and appeals Submitted Finalised Unfounded Founded Inadmissible Revoked Withheld Various individuals objected to, requested 2019 in 2019 in 2019 reviews of, or submitted appeals against decisions to withhold or revoke certificates of no objection. The table below shows the numbers Objections 8 3 1 - 1 1 - of objections, review requests and appeals pertaining to decisions to withhold or revoke certificates of no objection. Reviews 1 2 1 1 - - - Appeals 1 2 - 2 - - - Provisional certificates - - - - - - - Total 10 7 2 3 1 1 -


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 33 Society and media Complaints and criminal actions DISS answers questions put to it by citizens and the media as quickly and Complaints concerning actions (alleged or otherwise) by DISS can be fully as possible but without disclosing classified information. In 2019 over submitted to the DISS complaints coordinator. Complainants who are 2,000 reports and questions were submitted directly to DISS by citizens unhappy with the way their complaint has been dealt with can turn to the and 100 by the media. A large number of these questions concerned 5G, CTIVD. In 2019 DISS received 15 complaints, most of which related to the the Wiv, military security and espionage. duration of security investigations. This led to concrete improvements such as the creation of a direct telephone number to call the Security An area of tension exists between public reporting and the work Screening Unit with queries regarding duration. One complaint was performed by intelligence and security services. The fact that DISS is not submitted to the CTIVD for settlement, resulting in improvements to the permitted to reveal its current level of knowledge, sources and procedures manner in which security investigations are handled. DISS and the CTIVD restricts the degree to which it can reveal information. For example, DISS complaints department regularly engage in constructive consultations. never reveals information concerning individual lawsuits still in progress, confidential personnel data or details that could violate an individual’s No reports of criminal actions were submitted in 2019. privacy. In all other cases, DISS considers whether responding to a question from the general public or the media could: • result in the disclosure of its procedures or current level of knowledge; • contravene the statutory regulations governing source protection; • jeopardise military operations. Complaints 2019 Submitted Finalised Unfounded Founded Inadmissible Revoked No ruling/complaint in 2019 in 2019 not processed Complaints 15 12 1 1 - 5 5


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    PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT 35 Access requests Anyone may submit a request to inspect information recorded by DISS. Only information that is no longer relevant for DISS’s work may be made available, providing it does not reveal any sources or procedures used by DISS. Objections to refusals to disclose information can be submitted to an independent committee, Number of requests and reviews and appeals to the courts. Objections Fulfilled** Finalised Reviews Pending Appeals Denied Access requests submitted in 2019 Data on the applicant 25 23 8 15 4 - - - Data on deceased family members 39 35 - 35 17 - - - Data on administrative matters 8 45 17 28 4 4 1 - Total 72 103* 25 78 25 4 1 - * Some of these requests were submitted prior to 2019 ** One or more documents were provided to the applicant


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    36 PEACE & SECURITY THROUGH FORESIGHT Notification Threat analyses pertaining to individuals In accordance with Article 59 of the Wiv 2017, DISS is obliged to DISS compiles threat assessments whenever it identifies concrete and/or investigate whether individuals can be notified of certain special powers conceivable threat information. It also assesses the potential effects in the having been exercised against them, five years after such powers were event a threat is carried out and whether the party posing the threat has exercised. These powers include: the intentions and capabilities to carry it out. DISS compiled no threat • opening letters or other postal items; assessments pertaining to individuals in 2019. • targeted interception of communications, including the tapping of telephone and internet traffic and the installation of microphones; DISS also produces threat analyses. These are comprehensive analyses of • entering homes without the occupants’ permission. threats perceived by targets such as politicians and diplomats to be concrete or conceivable. DISS produced no threat analyses in 2019. Two such notifications were issued in 2019. Lawful interception statistics In 2019 DISS conducted lawful interceptions on 879 occasions, including telephone tapping and the installation of microphones. Eavesdropping on individual targets (persons or organisations) occurs in various ways and on various devices, each of which is included separately in the statistics. Reporting of exceptional incidents Each year DISS receives reports of exceptional incidents, most of which originate from the Defence organisation, partner organisations and private citizens. In 2019 DISS received 1,869 widely diverse reports from within the Netherlands and from mission areas. Some reported incidents involve possible threats to the security of the armed forces, and may include observations of unusual attention paid to military barracks or to Defence personnel or their families and friends. When necessary, DISS informs third parties of such threats so that appropriate action can be taken. The Security Authority and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee are among DISS’s key partners within the Defence organisation, while external partners include the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid – NCTV), the National Police and GISS.


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    This is a public edition of the 2019 annual report of the Netherlands Defence Intelligence and Security Service. Publication date: April 2020 Layout : Crossmedia | MediaCenter Ministry of Defense | The Hague Photos : MediaCenter Ministry of Defense | The Hague


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