Dutch journalists spied on Olympics
By The Holland Times Fri. 15 June 2012
A number of Dutch journalists received payments from the Dutch Intelligence and Safety Service (Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst, AIVD) to spy during the 2008 Olympic Games in China, reports de Telegraaf.
A group of seven editors and journalists involved in covering the event were allegedly recruited to photograph and report on Chinese officials meeting with Dutch business figures. The journalists were offered payment for this service, with only one reportedly refusing.
Head of the AIVD, Rob Bertholee, refused to comment on any specifics, but did mention that it is within the purview of his organisation to carry out such operations.
'We do not make any statements in public about specific operations. In general it can be said that we investigate threats to national security," he told de Telegraaf, adding that, "Under the law on intelligence and security, the authority may in the performance of his duties apply to any person who is supposed to provide the necessary information."
The Dutch Association of Journalists (De Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten , NVJ) general secretary, Thomas Bruning, has expressed shock at the news, which he feels may serve to undermine the independence of journalism in general. “This is really bad,” he told Radio Netherlands Worldwide “We’re shocked not just because information was given, but also because this involved pay.”