The Dutch intelligence service surveillance satellites in the Frisian town of Burum will need to be moved somewhere outside of the Netherlands, according to sources in The Hague.
Translation by Traci White
NOS reports that the satellite dishes, which are used by the Dutch intelligence services AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service) and MIVD (Military Intelligence and Security Service), will have to be relocated elsewhere due to pans to develop a 5G communications network in the Netherlands.
The next generation telecommunications system relies on a 3.5 GHz frequency band, which is the same frequency which the Dutch intelligence services use to intercept internet traffic and telephone conversations. Following a study by TNO, the conclusion has been drawn that moving the satellites to another country is the best option. It remains unclear when they would move, where they would move – although they will need to remain within Europe for coverage – and how much the operation would cost.
It was reported earlier this week that Secretary of State Mona Keizer would announce what the future of the satellites would be in the coming days. The cabinet has been wrestling with the issues for some time, and the Dutch parliament is calling for 5G to be rolled out as quickly as possible. The faster internet connection is commonly used by self-driving cars, robots and smart devices in homes, and the MPs want to ensure that the Netherlands is not lagging behind technologically.
Implementation of 5G interferes with the international surveillance network from the Dutch secret services in the Frisian town of Burum. The 4.5 GHz frequency band cannot be shared without causing problems. Onno Eichelsheim, the director of the MIVD, told NRC Handelsblad over the weekend that he the intelligence services were concerned about the impact of a potential move and discussed the influence of the powerful telecommunications lobby in the country.