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    Dutch Interior Ministry Says Border Cameras are Legal

    Jan 17, 2012
    The Guardian reported that the Dutch interior ministry says using cameras for screening people who enter the country by car do not violate EU laws on free movement or privacy. According to the article, cameras were installed on 15 major highways from Belgium and Germany and will be used as a tool to crack down on illegal immigrants and criminals.

    The Guardian reported that the Dutch interior ministry says using cameras for screening people who enter the country by car do not violate EU laws on free movement or privacy. According to the article, cameras were installed on 15 major highways from Belgium and Germany and will be used as a tool to crack down on illegal immigrants and criminals.

    Dutch Interior Minister Gerd Leers said in a written statement that the system "falls within the existing rules for border control and privacy."

    Leers continued, "The cameras will not constitute a permanent border. They only support the work of the Royal Military Police ... Since limitations [on travel] have been lifted in the European Schengen area, the surveillance system does not have the character of the former border."

    According to the article, the cameras will operate in a zone up to 20 kilometers from the border and will look at small samples of cars and trucks for a maximum of six hours a day or 90 hours a month. Officers will stop any vehicle with a plate number that raises a red flag.

    The Guardian reported that the new cameras, however, are attracting criticism. Some are saying that their installation is an attack on the Schengen passport-free travel agreement.

    Frank Richter, the head of the German police union, the GdP, told the German press agency the system puts "all travellers under general suspicion." Socialist politician Angelica Schwall-Duren said she has asked The Hague for clarification on how the number plate data will be stored.

    The article noted that the Dutch move comes after Denmark recently imposed and then lifted similar border checks.

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