Confirming earlier official documents published by the Dutch government, the new Dutch Defence minister Hans Hillen re-stated that the Dutch armed forces will indeed be spending part of its budget for 2011 on Cyber Warfare related activities. This confirmation can be found in the online transcript of the debate.
The relevant paragraph containing said confirmation reads:
<…>”And then there are the technological advances. Right now we’re faced with Wikileaks. You can judge this all you like, and they do so gratuitously in America, but at the same time this acts as a severe warning about leaks in information flows. If WikiLeaks can do it, others can too. Apparently our connections are vulnerable too. This should be a warning for us to be more careful. Cyber Warfare will be a far greater point on our agenda tomorrow or the day after that. “
<….> “I have one more topic that goes to Personnel, but also to decisionmaking. Its about the furnishing of Defence and involves Cyber. I don’t want to spend too much time on this, because I still have some decisions to make, but Cyber will receive some serious attention. It will be discussed with positive light in the upcoming policy letter.”
I don’t suppose that this would be the time to point out to Minister Hillen the finer points about Wikileaks, in that Wikileaks itself was not the perpetrator of the leak but the receiving party. Instead it was 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst PFC Bradley Manning who leaked classified information (to which he had access without breaking in) to Wikileaks. Since this is a matter of internal security and vetting of your personnel, something I hope the Dutch Defence department already does as a matter of standard, I fail to see how this relates to Cyber spending but I digress. Any progress is progress and The Netherlands can surely need it.