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Utility Box Exposed As Spy Cabinet In the Netherlands

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the all-an-elaborate-dream dept.

Hardware 179

First time accepted submitter thejezus writes "A spy cabinet has been exposed on a public road in The Hague, the Netherlands (Google translate here). The cabinet was disguised as telecom-cabinet and was detected by the maintenance crew of Ziggo (a triple-play provider) because it was not listed as a property of the company. Upon opening, it was revealed the cabinet contained a camera and UMTS equipment. Later that day, the cabinet disappeared. 1984 much?"

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I could be wrong but.... (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509925)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984? Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509975)

I for one can see a utility box from my house. It could very well be a camera in there.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510375)

I can see a cell tower. I'm pretty sure that . *(U()*U$Ejhhjjhkljhsdf ws is monito89984ryu5 but I'm not worr*()*43jknlkjdbzzzt.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509981)

^ This. The leap to "1984" is non-sequitur at best.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (5, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510293)

you think "1984" was to be interpreted literally? We have instead government tapping all internet and phone systems, data mining social media, warring against people who never attacked us in the name of "peace", able to legally "disappear" people who are considered threats without warrant nor oversight, a privileged powerful and wealthy few with government in their pockets engineering the media, social and economic systems for their benefit......we're there

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510607)

Except that by your definition, we were already there before 1984. In practice, as long the plebs has bread and games, we will never get there.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510657)

no, we did not have populace on "internet" in 1980s, nor did we have automated systems for listening to all comm for key words. we did not have a "forever war" in place.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510745)

no, we did not have populace on "internet" in 1980s, nor did we have automated systems for listening to all comm for key words. we did not have a "forever war" in place.

We didn't? Weird, I seem to recall wiretaps and miniature recording devices (i.e. "spy gear"; yes, the REAL stuff, not the James Bond fantasy tools) existing back then. Oh, and hey, wasn't there also this one forever-war-that-wasn't-really-a-war going on around that point? Something something Cold War, was it? And I could swear the police fucked up investigations, engaged in brutality (racially-motivated or not), and were abysmal at figuring out small crimes from time to time back then, too.

Or do you seriously believe the entire history of society and human development started with the commercialized internet? Things happened before the internet was created, you know. People in charge did stupid shit before everyone had a cell phone camera, too. All that, and society didn't crumble. Just because you've now got an easy-to-access echo chamber to discuss it ad nauseum with people who have obsessive mental issues doesn't make it worse.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510939)

we did not have 300+ million recording devices attached to every telephone. some aspects of the Cold War were like the Forever War (I'm referring to the sci-fi novel), though it morphed into something else.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511353)

Yes, but those mini spy cams were not directed at the population, they were used against the evil of then, the bad Russkies. Plus, our politicians had to play nice to keep reminding us that we're the good guys. We don't do oppressive things like keeping tabs on every person, hiring snitches from the population to spy on the people in their apartment block, shooting randomly at suspects because they "look funny" or make people disappear in some remote concentration camps without trial (or a kangaroo court trial at best).

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511321)

We have everything. Plebs being worried about so much (terrorism, economy, jobs, homes...) that they don't have time to worry about the loss of liberties. It's not 100% accurate, but the distraction by more pressing needs to forget about the "lesser" needs like freedom or privacy is there.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Insightful)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510691)

you think "1984" was to be interpreted literally? We have instead government tapping all internet and phone systems, data mining social media, warring against people who never attacked us in the name of "peace", able to legally "disappear" people who are considered threats without warrant nor oversight, a privileged powerful and wealthy few with government in their pockets engineering the media, social and economic systems for their benefit......we're there

Did you even read Nineteen Eighty-Four? Quick quiz: what was the spying technique that turned in most people in the book? Tapping of phones? Surveillance by Telescreen? Nope, it was good old low-tech "squealing by somebody you trust".

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510957)

you missed where the ubiquitous cameras were to keep the majority in line, for the squealing we also have analogous system in place.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (3, Insightful)

Roderic9 (2454194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510041)

It doesn't justify comparison with 1984, but it and its ilk do get us closer to it. A step on the way.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510079)

It doesn't justify comparison with 1984, but it and its ilk do get us closer to it. A step on the way.

The comparison to 1984 seems a bit over the top, but, some people would argue that you don't get an Orwellian society suddenly, over night, but one small step at a time, and it happens so slowly that you don't notice it until its too late.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Insightful)

Doctor Device (890418) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510397)

as the old saying goes...

Airstrip One wasn't built in a day.

I could be wrong but....prenumbers. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511243)

Someone should write some books to address this issue. Title them, 1980,1981,1982,1983...

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510197)

If there is a spy box on every parsel of property or every street where there really doesn't need to be yes it does.

But if this is a singular case out of a sea of nothingness, then it really is meaningless to anyone but the spies and the spied upon.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510389)

You mean to say the frog never knew it was being boiled? Amazing. It's a good thing we are smarter than frogs...

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510065)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984??

Novel
No, it would have to be in your living room. 1984-esque technology in a public place would consist of a video screen at which you hurl things and scream.

Year
Even in 1985, Dr. Emmett Brown, who was sufficiently advanced to build a time machine out of a DeLorean, had to hire some slacker kid to shoulder his ginormous video camera. If he didn't have the technology to build a self-supporting camera in 1985, it certainly wouldn't have been available in 1984.

So no on both counts.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (3, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511089)

That's only because the plutonium necessary to power the miniaturized camera required a lot of shielding.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510093)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984?

Of course it does, this is Slashdot, where "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" is considered a measured, reasonable, and modest response to practically everything. Slashdot users probably accounts for the 10-15% of the annual worldwide sales of tin foil.
 

Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

Not even close. "1984", like many other such terms, has become a cargo cult buzzword. It's a term of opprobrium now, whose original and full meaning has been lost.

You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510361)

You mean...

cargo cult .
 

Like the ones you used?

Re:You mean... (4, Insightful)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510511)

His usage was perfectly cromulent.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511207)

Slashdot users do not make up even that large of a tin foil sales.

From extensive research in hacking antennas we're smart enough to know that tin foil amplifies waves.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511367)

Exactly. It has to be a mesh at the right spacing.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510101)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984? Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

What is the minimum criteria for comparing society to a literary work -- Is there some percentage of the work that have to similar to justify the comparison?

I can certainly see how hidden government surveillance cabinets (if there's one, there's likely to be more than one, and who knows how many - maybe they are on every street corner?) could be compared to the ubiquitous surveillance decribed in 1984. We may be a long way from government surveillance in our homes, when we can't walk to the corner store without the government knowing about it, it seems that we're a lot closer than we used to. And now we don't even need a trusted Party official to keep track of us - thanks to facial recognition, the government can record and indefinitely store all of our public movements for later data mining.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510233)

Is there some percentage of the work that have to similar to justify the comparison?

Yes, that's exactly what's missing in this case.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (5, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510353)

Yes, there must be some similitude to justify the comparison, obviously.

In 1984 the surveillance wasn't hidden, it was overt. And this is actually important, because the main concept in the novel wasn't the surveillance, but the state of mind of the Party members*, which both enabled and was enabled by the conscience of full and complete surveillance, among other things.

People who compare this to Orwell's work either didn't read it or completely missed the point.

* The society in 1984 didn't actually have full surveillance; in fact, only 15% of society were spied on. Winston is just part of those 15%.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

isopropanol (1936936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510181)

Sound more like Fleming than Orwell, especially as it's in The Hague.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510193)

Obama received the Nobel peace price while expanding military operations in Afghanistan and ordering extrajudicial murders of American citizens abroad.

War is peace, right?

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510237)

So Norway is the true perpetrator pushing us to totalitarianism? I always knew that Nobel character was trouble.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (4, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510449)

Obama received the Nobel peace price while expanding military operations in Afghanistan and ordering extrajudicial murders of American citizens abroad.

War is peace, right?

Nope, he received the prize before any of that stuff happened. In fact he received it barely before anything happened that'd in any way justify the prize going to Obama.

The prize committee's thinking seems to be more a case of giving the award in recognition that Obama at the time hadn't made things worse and didn't seem to be hearing Jesus in his head telling him to go bomb people. In practice, a jar of mustard would have been in with a chance if it were replacing Bush.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (3, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510669)

From Wikipedia:

The chairman of the Committee was Thorbjørn Jagland, former Norwegian Labor Party prime minister and Secretary General of the Council of Europe since September 29, 2009. The panel met six or seven times in 2009, beginning several weeks after the February 1 nomination deadline. The winner was chosen unanimously on October 5 but was initially opposed by the Socialist Left, Conservative and Progress Party members until strongly persuaded by Jagland.

Jagland said "We have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year. And we are hoping this may contribute a little bit for what he is trying to do," noting that he hoped the award would assist Obama's foreign policy efforts. Involvement in which can now be proven as early as March 2009. Jagland said the committee was influenced by a speech Obama gave about Islam in Cairo in June 2009, the president's efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and climate change, and Obama's support for using established international bodies such as the United Nations to pursue foreign policy goals. The New York Times reported that Jagland shrugged off the question of whether "the committee feared being labeled naïve for accepting a young politician’s promises at face value", stating that "no one could deny that 'the international climate' had suddenly improved, and that Mr. Obama was the main reason...'We want to embrace the message that he stands for.'"

Obama said he was "surprised" and "deeply humbled" by the award. He stated that he does not feel he deserved the award, and that he did not feel worthy of the company the award would place him in. In remarks given at the White House Rose Garden on the day of the announcement, Obama stated, "I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."

The award, he said, "must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity — for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away; and for all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime their lives for the cause of peace." He did not take questions from reporters after giving his statement.

Obama announced early that he would donate the full 10 million Swedish kronor (about US$1.4 million) monetary award to charity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize [wikipedia.org]

Re:I could be wrong but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511291)

Let me summarize that. Encouraging the use of the U.N. to police the world. Now don't get me wrong, I hear the term U.N. I have a hard time believing that I'm hearing of some effective global police force to stop people from polluting lakes, saving children and kittens everywhere from totalitarian oppression, rape, and guns.

This means it boils down to good ol'e politics. Sounding good but meaning shit where the rubber meets the road.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1, Troll)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510245)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984? Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

What's your point, exactly? Are you suggesting we should wait until we're that fucked before we discuss the direction things are going??

Despite how bad things have gotten here, I'm still quite astounded that your worthless comment got modded up...

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510391)

Are you suggesting we should wait until we're that fucked before we discuss the direction things are going??

I'm suggesting we not compare everything to 1984, it's silly.

I'm still quite astounded that your worthless comment got modded up...

It must mean that people agree with me.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510535)

Obviously his comment is generating further conversation. Yeah - it gets modded up, despite the fact that I disagree with him. That's how things work. The comment isn't exactly "informative" IMHO, but the mod system only has so many choices.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1, Troll)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510291)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984? Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

I suppose you could also have resorted to the strawman argument that the 1984 comparison doesn't apply since it depicts a future society that's collectivist rather than the fascist reality being imposed upon us... :p

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510355)

Technically it's now a past society, not a future society.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1, Redundant)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510571)

It would be very easy to argue that we are moving toward collectivism. All the clueless little people get together, argue and fuss, hammering out new laws for every trivial bit of nothing, then scream at their representatives to 'DO SOMETHING'. As a result, little children are arrested for wearing or making depictions of pistols, rifles, or anything that could conceivably be considered dangerous.

Collectivism, that results in fascist-like laws. Imagine that.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

fiziko (97143) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510295)

Nope, particularly since we'd need to know exactly who put it there.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510371)

everyone carry a camera and microphone that can be remotely activated ("phone")

Re:I could be wrong but.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510475)

That time you called to say goodbye to your dying uncle... that time you sent a nude picture to your girlfriend... that time your daughter sent one to her boyfriend... the order you placed at Amazon.com... the three bottles of whiskey you put on your card... your rent check... your hot chat with that girl via text... the bill you paid for your vasectomy... the log-in times to Google, Facebook, Netflix, and other online services and how heavy your usage was.... your picture tagged by a friend on facebook... every word you type on /b/ unless you're proxied...every email you have sent or received from an IP remotely associated with you or sent unencrypted or associated with an email address remotely associated with you... your physical location within 100 meters... all unencrypted data on your phone... all data on your Google, Microsoft, and Amazon cloud drives...

These things are obtained at a moment's notice with (at most) a rubber stamp warrant.by any one of hundreds of federal, state, local, and international government agencies.

Are you sure we're not approaching 1984?

Re:I could be wrong but.... (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510489)

"A camera" is nothing, really. But, from what I read of the UK, there isn't "a camera" anywhere. Cameras are everywhere. If I'm to believe what I read of the UK, you are almost never out of range of a camera, unless on your own private property. And, that is questionable.

But, even with all those cameras, we still don't have 1984. Orwelle's vision starts to come true when police can confiscate any and all private video, add those to government video, and move forward and backward in time, to locate a suspect, and follow his actions.

The vision becomes clearer when all those videos can be added to databases, and saved indefinitely.

So, I agree with your basic premise - a camera doesn't mean much at all. The questions are, how many cameras, where are they located, and what happens to the data recorded?

In a nation where ever traffic light has a recorder, every speed limit sign has another, every business has one or more, and random cameras are set up wherever an agency feels the need, then 1984 isn't all that far off. Maybe the title of the book should have been 2024?

The US lags behind the UK in surveillance, but even so, the Boston Marathon bombing was solved very damned quickly, thanks to video cameras being everywhere. Businesses and private citizens contributed almost all of the video, I think, but there were cameras everywhere.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

arose (644256) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510587)

Because a utility box is completely different from a white van of course. A white van sits on the side of the road, whereas a utility box is a camera in your bedroom that blasts propaganda on a regular basis. Hence 1984.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510617)

No, Tim's just retarded

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510671)

Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984?

We have built the Internet, rife for easy spying and monitoring. We came to 1984 by changing to virtual space from meatspace.

yes we are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511119)

but retards like you never leave the house, so you would have no idea in your little tiny fictional world.

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511159)

Yeah, in 1984 the cameras in our houses were government installed. Today we pay for them and carry them around. I would not be surprised if the capability to operate the microphone and camera remotely was standard issue for CIA (to use on foreigners, but still).

Re:I could be wrong but.... (1, Troll)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511239)

Agreed we should save those comparisons to where they really fit. Like the whole of the U.K

Re:I could be wrong but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511261)

Not very close to the 1984 society, there isn't as much employment and the government is in the pay of _really_ evil people.

Weird (-1, Troll)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509931)

Who would be spying on the Netherlands? Someone after the secret to wooden shoes, perhaps?

Re:Weird (2)

infogulch (1838658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509949)

No, they want to figure out how the "coffee shops" were legislated.

Re:Weird (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43509995)

Who would be spying on the Netherlands? Someone after the secret to wooden shoes, perhaps?

This "Schilderswijk" where the cabinet was discovered is a notorious low-income suburb. It's more likely to be native intelligence spying on locals in fear of extremists.

Re:Weird (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510149)

This "Schilderswijk" where the cabinet was discovered is a notorious low-income suburb.

It's settled, then. Someone pinched the stuff and sold it to make a bit of money on the side. Has the spy agency tried scouring the local pawn shops?

Re:Weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510223)

Exactly - Now Please delete this article - We do not wish to aid the enemy.

Re:Weird (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510005)

Industrial espionage, probably.

Re: Weird (2)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510051)

I think they have the same trouble as here in Belgium. A lot of local islamic extremist are recruting young people on the street to fight in syria. I think it are those kind of people that are the targets of these kind of surveillance.

Housing of international warcriminals in the Hague (1)

marcovje (205102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510105)

Everyone knows that in the Scheveningen suburb of the The Hague, international warcriminals are housed!

pictures of inside (5, Informative)

xatr0z (633279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43509999)

Re:pictures of inside (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510115)

So I am looking at these pictures. It is hard to tell where some of the wires are leading, but from what I do see:

- This looks like a normal grocery store old style CCTV camera.
- The camera leads to a frequency converter box of some sort (50hz to 60hz?)
- Then it looks to be sending that to a chain of portable hard drive looking video recording devices

These MAY have had some sort of wireless capability (not that I can tell though), but in a box like that, with that equipment, you would have to be right next to the poll to connect.

Re:pictures of inside (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510135)

LOL. The VCR isn't plugged in.

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/imagelarge/1366532940.jpeg [tweakimg.net]

Re:pictures of inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510851)

LOL. The VCR isn't plugged in.

Which box is a Video Cassette Recorder? I'm not seeing it.

Re:pictures of inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511049)

someone trying to be funny that hasn't worked with this kit. there's are many things that use similar sockets.

Re:pictures of inside (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510141)

Analog composite video??? Somebody get whoever installed this thing into the last decade please.

Re:pictures of inside (1)

will_die (586523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511249)

Talk about a bad job of cabling. This is suppose a device that can be moved around, or you would need to reach in quickly remove some taping device and you have cables in the way of your operation.

My question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510071)

Where was the camera pointed exactly? What was it spying on?

Re:My question is... (4, Interesting)

marcovje (205102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510273)

A square. Dutch editions of the news speculate that it was there to monitor the coming and goings of militants. Might be related to recruiting of Jihadists for Syria too, at least that has been a big news item in these parts recently.

Lazy Intelligence? (2)

marcovje (205102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510081)

It is typical that it is found in the Hague. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch intelligence services, and apparently they are a bit lazy.

It's like Intelligence services in the US only operated in Washington DC.

People in Limburg and Friesland can rest assured. No chance that the intelligence services will ever make it that far.

Re:Lazy Intelligence? (4, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510143)

The Hague is the seat of the Dutch intelligence services...

More importantly, The Hague is the location of the International Court of Justice [wikipedia.org] , the judicial arm of the United Nations, as well as a number of other international courts [wikipedia.org] . Definitely a city of international importance.

Re:Lazy Intelligence? (4, Informative)

fondacio (835785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510453)

But pretty much irrelevant to this story. The neighbourhood in which they found the cabinet is far removed from where the international institutions are and from where the internationals live. As mentioned by previous posts, the Schilderswijk is a low income area with a large immigrant population. The purpose of the cabinet is most likely to help a police investigation into anything between organised crime or jihad recruitment, and on Dutch websites some have already pointed out that exposing this method effectively renders it useless in the future, but police have been doing it for at least ten years. This kind of surveillance was most likely done with the permission of a public prosecutor, unless it was the intelligence services in which case another law applies.

Police? (1)

emanuele_fanton (2529260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510085)

I think it is simply police surveillance. Nothing strange.

Just surveillanceO (1)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510119)

Just an investigation by the AIVD or MIVD. The part of town where it was found is being said to be used for recruitment by terrorists. Only thing I can hope for it wasn't a high target, because if it was, he/she/they now know they were under investigation. For the rest, just a big box with a cam and a modem to send shit back. Nothing special, but a really nice camera though!

Re:Just surveillanceO (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510255)

And the result now is that every utility box in the world will be seen as a suspect box.

Watch out for unusual holes in such boxes. The remedy would be to place a sticker over the holes.

Re:Just surveillanceO (1)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510341)

Well in this case the material used wasn't miniaturized, it used a good lens/camera. The effectiveness and quality of a lens stands in direct relation with it's size. So they have to use bigger objects. This one was an easy one, but I'm sure they can just park a car with the same setup in it. Or a trailer. Or a birdsnest, if the setup can (and it can easily) be miniaturized a bit more. So I'm sure this is just one method of hiding the cam. They have more. Despite the jokes, these guys aren't idiots.

Quis Custodiot Ipsos Custodes (4, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510125)

One of the most important tasks when discovering an electronic intruder or monitor is to trace if they try to clean up and remove their tracks. This is as true for electronic "spy boxes" as it is for unauthorized network taps, rootkitted servers, and hacked websites. It's too bad the discoverers didn't have the resources to set up a webcam to monitor the spy box, itself, to get data on the vehicle or faces of those removing the spy box.

Re:Quis Custodiot Ipsos Custodes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510811)

One of the most important tasks when discovering an electronic intruder or monitor is to trace if they try to clean up and remove their tracks. This is as true for electronic "spy boxes" as it is for unauthorized network taps, rootkitted servers, and hacked websites. It's too bad the discoverers didn't have the resources to set up a webcam to monitor the spy box, itself, to get data on the vehicle or faces of those removing the spy box.

You'd probably discover something incredibly mundane like local authorities conducting investigation of drug traffickers.

Occam's Razor folks.

triple-play provider? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510267)

What is a "triple-play provider"?

Re:triple-play provider? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510307)

television + internet + telephone

Re:triple-play provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510309)

TV+Telephone service+Internet service over the same cable

Re:triple-play provider? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510313)

What is a "triple-play provider"?

A company that can provide Phone, Internet and TV service.

Re:triple-play provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510345)

Internet, Landline phone and tleevisin.

Re:triple-play provider? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510849)

Tipically a provider of 3 services, e.g. internet, fixed phone and TV in bundles.
Quadruple play would include normally also mobile phone.

Re:triple-play provider? (0)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510869)

Phone TV and ethernet

Re:triple-play provider? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511111)

The triple play is the best service teir in the red light district and the telecom industry. OP was referring to the latter.

police observation, not espionage (4, Informative)

sciencewatcher (1699186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510311)

This looks much more like a police operation. A couple of years ago a small nondescript trailer was parked in Amsterdam to observe a meeting between two criminals. One of those started a shooting spree and the police officers inside the trailer were lucky not to be hit. They couldn't get out of the trailer from the inside quick enough to chase them. There probably is a notorious criminal living within sight there. The Ziggo employees were irresponsible in publicizing this. Ziggo is a cable company.

Re:police observation, not espionage (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510451)

Impossible! Everyone knows that Europe has exactly zero shootings due to their perfect gun control. This poster must be the NRA trolling ;-)

Re:police observation, not espionage (3, Informative)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510841)

To be honest, as one of the very few licensed gun owners here in the Netherlands.... we sometimes (rare though) have gun shots.But we don't have shootings like you guys. Only once in history a couple of years ago a schizophrenic but licensed gun-owner had a shooting in a mall here. But that is unique.

Re:police observation, not espionage (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510491)

> The Ziggo employees were irresponsible in publicizing this.

The Ziggo employees had no duty to the police.

Re:police observation, not espionage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43510897)

> The Ziggo employees were irresponsible in publicizing this.

The Ziggo employees had no duty to the police.

You realize we pay police to do what they do right, I mean they are us... we ask them to do that job. It's not like they're paid megabucks either, they live in the same communities you do.

In a civilized world you DO have the responsibility of reporting crime and assisting the police.
If you choose not to, well fine, there's no law against being a douche bag.
However, if you interfere with their work you'll find yourself on the wrong side of the law and public opinion. Good luck with that.

Re:police observation, not espionage (1)

tulcod (1056476) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511075)

If you choose not to, well fine, there's no law against being a douche bag.

Except there is. In the Netherlands, you are obliged to report serious crime with authorities.

Re:police observation, not espionage (1)

utkonos (2104836) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510667)

The police actually hide the surveillance cameras in your country?

Fascinating [washingtoncitypaper.com] .

Re:police observation, not espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511085)

I do not find your story credible without a link. Shooting sprees only happen in third world countries and the USA.

Re:police observation, not espionage (1)

SimpleFacts (2208490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43511183)

Yes, my thoughts exactly. It is pretty commonplace to use surveillance devices such as this in situations involving serious on-going criminal activity. In the US, we disguise them as transformer boxes, cell tower junction boxes, and a wide variety of other things that are commonly referred to as "pole-cams." This is remarkably effective in areas where the criminals use counter-surveillance and where in person surveillance is all but impossible.

Good cause (0)

Bram Stolk (24781) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510651)

It is for a good cause.
That neighbourhood is used by Jihad recruiters.
Every Jihadist they can stop is a big win.
I worry more about the cancer called 'religion' than I am about surveillance.

Wrong movie (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510683)

Maybe that cabinet dissapeared by itself, once discovered. Skynet anyone?

A single spy camera don't imply 1984, no single water drop can be blamed for the flood. The rest of the simptoms, of course, goes straight into Brave New World, circa 1984.

Reasonable surveillance? (2, Insightful)

TeslaBoy (1593823) | about a year and a half ago | (#43510883)

In ten days, a new King of the Netherlands is being crowned near this location. In this case, i think a little surveillance is reasonable. The Netherlands is not a surveillance-heavy country, but this may be just a case of good security practice. That is, watching out for a credible threat, not paranoia.

In a totalitarian dictatorship, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43511311)

people disappear. In a democratic nation, spy cabinets disappear.

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