Hundred twenty-fifth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: January 2008)

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Intelligence profile: The Netherlands


The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579. During the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.


Official name : Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (Nederland)
Kingdom of the Netherlands (Netherlands)
Popular name : Holland
Capital : Amsterdam
Administrative divisions :  
12 provinces (provincies) : Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland (Fryslan), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland
2 dependent areas : Aruba, Netherlands Antilles.

Military, security & intelligence agencies

Military branches

Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force, Royal Military Police, Defense Interservice Command (DICO)

General intelligence

Politieke Inlichtingendienst 1 + 2 (PID) 1914-1942
Dienst der Oost-Aziatsche Zaken (DOAZ) 1935-1946
Politieke Inlichtingendienst Nederlands West-Indië (PID WI) 1939-1943
Centrale Inlichtingendienst (CI) 1940-1942
Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsgroep (IVG) 1945-1962
Fiscale inlichtingen- en opsporingsdienst (FIOD) 1945-1999
Centrale Veiligheidsdienst (CVD) 1946-1949
Economische controledienst (ECD) 1946-1999
Commissie van Coördinatie der Diensten 1949-1956
Buitenlandse Inlichtingendienst (BID) 1949-1972
Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD) 1949-2002
Vaste Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten 1952-
Centrale Veiligheidsdienst Nederlands Nieuw Guinea (CVD NNG) 1960-1962
Veiligheidsdienst Nederlandse Antillen (VNA) 1963-
Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (IDB) 1972-1994
Informatiecentrale Bijzondere Zaken (ICBZ) 1973-1981
Ministriële Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten (MICIV) 1976-2002
Fiscale inlichtingen- en opsporingsdienst / Economische controledienst (FIOD-ECD) 1999-
Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD) 2002-
Commissie van Toezicht betreffende de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten (CTIVD) 2002-

Military intelligence

Marine- en Leger Inlichtingendienst (MLID) / NEFIS 1941-1948  
GS III 1912-1940  
GS 7A Inlichtingen 1913-1942  
Kamer 14 1913-1942  
GS IV 1914-1919  
Bureau 1 Inlichtingendienst 1934-1942  
Politie Buitendienst (PBD) MG Sectie 3 1940-1946  
Bureau Documentatie (B-Doc) 1941-1945  
Bureau Zuivering 1941-1945  
NEI-Section 1942-1943  
Bureau Inlichtingen (BI) 1942-1946  
Bureau Inlichtingen voor Nederlandsch-Indië (BI voor NI) 1943-1945  
Committee of Strategic Services 1943-1945  
Bureau Bijzondere Opdrachten (BBO) 1944-1946  
Bureau Inlichtingendienst (BID) 1944-1946 *)
Staf BNS, Afdeling BS, Sectie 2, Bureau 6 (Security) 1944-1946  
Intelligence Department NRCCS 1944-1949  
Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (BNV) 1945-1946  
Marine Inlichtingendienst (MLID) 1946-1988  
School Militaire Inlichtingendienst (SMID) 1946-2005  
Centrale Militaire Inlichtingendienst (CMI) 1948-1949  
Militaire Inlichtingendienst (MARID) 1949-1988  
Marine Inlichtingendienst (MID) 1949-1988  
Luchtmacht Inlichtingendienst (LUID) 1951-1988  
Landmacht Inlichtingendienst (LAMID) 1972-1988  
Contra Inlichtingen Dienst (CID) 1972-1988  
Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (MIVD) 1988-  
Defensie Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsinstituut (DIVI) 2005-  

Military code / Crypto services

Codedienst 1920-
Codedienst Washington 1942-1945
Codedienst der Nederlandsch-Indische Regering 1946-1949
Crypto Analystischen- en Luisterdienst 1946-1948
Nationaal Bureau Voor Verbindingsbeveiliging (NBV) 1960-
Marine Codedienst / Sectie Codedienst ?
Centraal Cryptografisch Bureau (CCB) 1943-
Nationale Verbindingsbeveiligingsraad (NVBR) 1960-

*) Also known as: Afdeling C, Sectie A Inlichtingen Nederland, Afdeling Inlichtingen BNS, Sectie II, Sectie Intelligence, Intelligence Section, Military Intelligence (G2), Afdeling Inlichtingen (G2), Staf BNS, Sectie G2, Bureau Veiligheid

Centrale Inlichtingendienst (CI)
Central Intelligence Agency

It was just after the 1st world war and the world was changing. The German emperor was dismissed, Lenin gained control over Russia and the Dutch government was afraid that something similar was about to happen in The Netherlands. This resulted in the formation of the CI in 1919. The agency reported directly to the minister of Internal Affairs.

Politie Buitendienst (PBD)

The German invasion in May 1940 was the end of the CI. The agency burned its archives and its officials moved to London where the extraordinary branch of the police was formed in 1940. The main task of this office was to check the reliability of the people who joined the Dutch resistance in the UK.

Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (BNV)
Bureau of National Security

After WWII the PBD merged into the BNV. This agency was formed to destroy the last German intelligence and security services in The Netherlands.

Centrale Veiligheidsdienst (CVD)
Central Security Service

Formed in 1946 as successor to the BNV, the company's main responsibility was to inform the Dutch government about the domestic and international communist affairs. Comunismn was the new enemy.

Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD)
National Security Service

Disagreement about the function of the CVD lead to its fall in 1949. The newly formed BVD reported to the minister of Internal Affairs, just like the CI back in 1919. Until the mid 1960's the BVD's main task was to monitor cummunist activities. Later on other threats like terrorism were added.

Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD)
General Intelligence and Security Serice

The AIVD is believed to be one of the most effective secret services of Europe. Formed in 2002 as successor to the BVD. Unlike the BVD, the AIVD focuses mostly on domestic threats to the national security, but also on international affairs that may possible threat the national security. The AIVD has seven directorates.

Its main tasks include monitoring specific groups, such as leftist activists, Islamic groups and right-wing extremists, collecting and processing intelligence foreign and domestic intelligence services. 1)

Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (MIVD)
Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service

The MIVD is the Dutch military secret service formerly known as the Militaire Inlichtingendienst (MID).

The forerunner of all intelligence services in the Netherlands was the GS III, which was created shortly before World War I. It was the first of a long list of military intelligence services that existed before 1987. In 1987 the various intelligence services of the navy, air force and army merged into the MID. After yet another reorganization took place and more services were added and the name changed to MIVD.

MIVD's tasks include collecting information about military forces in other countries; collecting information about areas where Dutch troops would be stationed for peace keeping missions; investigating internal affairs; counter- espionage. The Dutch minister of defence is politically responsible for the MIVD.

Oversight is provided by the Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services. 2)

Commissie van Toezicht betreffende de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten (CTIVD)
Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services

By the Act on the Intelligence and Security Services of 7 February 2002 the Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services was introduced as a new review body. The reason for this act were judgments by the Administrative Law Division of the Council of State, in which (part of) the old act on the intelligence and security services was found to be inconsistent with the articles 8 and 13 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). The formation of the Review Committee is also based on these articles.

Intelligence and security services have the right to infringe on human rights in order to fullfill their duties. For such an infringement to be considered legitimate, it has to meet strict requirements. These requirements are found in the ECHR and ECHR case law based on it. This concerns among other things the possibilities those involved have to complain about the conduct of the services and the supervision of the services. The ECHR has ruled in this context that the review body does not necessarily have to be a judiciary body.

The Review Committee’s task is to assess the legitimacy of the actions of the Dutch intelligence and security services. This supervision sees to the civil intelligence and security service (the AIVD) and the military intelligence and security service (MIVD), as well as (parts of) a number of organizations in so far as these are active in the area of intelligence. 3)

Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst / Economische ControleDienst (FIOD-ECD)
Fiscal Information and Investigation Service / Economic Investigation Service

If the Tax and Customs Administration suspects fraud, the matter is referred to the FIOD-ECD who may decide to start a criminal investigation. The final outcome of the investigation is set out in an official report which often results in a prosecution of the suspect. The agency also performs supervisory activities in the area of economic planning, financial integrity and goods movements. This involves matters such as bankruptcy fraud, anti-laundering legislation and the Health Care Charges Act. 4)

Sources / Recommended reading:

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Intelligence profile : The Netherlands | Logs
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