Big Brother Awards Netherlands 2002 dutch

Big Brother Awards International

-- watching the watchmen worldwide

Winners for the first Dutch Big Brother Awards 2002

February 15, 2002

Government agencies and private companies are increasingly violating the privacy of people everywhere. Enormous amounts of personal data are being collected, stored and processed - often illegally - in the pursuit of more efficient marketing, greater social control, and more powerful mechanisms for monitoring of the citizen.

Every year Privacy International and a growing number of affiliate human rights groups present the Big Brother Awards to government agencies, private companies and individuals who have excelled in the violation of our privacy. The juries worldwide consist of lawyers, academics, consultants, journalists, civil right activists.

The first Dutch Big Brother Awards were held in Amsterdam on February 15, 2002. The jury announces the winners in four categories: government, companies, persons and proposals. In every category one winner has been awarded with an 'Orwell'. The Dutch Big Brother Awards are organised by Bits of Freedom, a privacy and civil liberties organisation based in Amsterdam.


  • The National Institute of Public Health and Environment for storing identifiable blood samples of 1,4 million children without parent consent (winner)
  • The Royal wedding between Willem-Alexander and Maxima for security screening of 50.000 people of which 18.000 were entered into a database
  • The Public Prosecution Service for wiretapping phone calls between lawyers and their clients


  • The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) for the development of the Automatic Aggression Detection video processing software which was demonstrated by TNO using video footage of the uprising against Milosevic in Belgrade (winner)
  • Spamming company abfab for spamming email and collecting email addresses from webpages and newsgroups
  • Peer-to-peer technology company Kazaa for delivering spyware to the users of their software


  • The State Secretary of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Monique de Vries for breaking open an EU compromise on data retention for telecommunication companies (winner)
  • The Minister for Urban Policy and Integration of Ethnic minorities Roger van Boxtel for promotion of compulsory identification and the use biometric technology
  • Member of Parliament Joop Wijn for promoting a national database of fingerprints for all inhabitants of the Netherlands


  • The Commission Mevis for proposing far-reaching demands on banks, insurance companies and telecommunication companies to track, store and disclose customer data to law enforcement (winner)
  • The Intelligence and Security Services Act for giving unprecedented interception possibilities to the National Security Service
  • The Government compulsory key escrow plans for Trusted Third Parties, which undermine the security and confidentially of electronic communications

Maurice Wessling
Tel +31 20 4686451

Big Brother Awards Nederland 2002
© 2002,
Last modified: February 16th 2002