Opinion: Weird animal

POSTED: 08/19/11 12:16 PM

The Freedom Party is a weird animal. First of all it has only one member – Geert Wilders. What Wilders wants, happens, at least, within the party.
Wilders considers himself a freedom fighter, who wants to rid the Netherlands of the Muslim-menace. Fine, we know all this. But now the bleached-blond politician has taken a step that has irked many journalists.
The Freedom Party is collecting private data about journalists who wish to attend party-press conferences. Among the information the Freedom Party is hunting down is the BSN (Citizen Service Number), a unique number every Dutch citizen has.
The party claims that it collects this information at the request of the National coordinator for Fighting terrorism and the Royal and Diplomatic Security service. These agencies are charged with Wilders’ security.
Hmm, according to a spokesman for the national police in the Netherlands, the party only asks this information for “closed press conferences.” It is legal, the spokesman said, dismissing privacy concerns.
Well, here is the thing. Which journalist wants to see his private information end up in a database controlled by the likes of Geert Wilders? Anybody?
There is a simple way to solve this unpalatable issue. Remember this one? What if there was a war and nobody went there? That’s the solution. Don’t go to those press conferences.

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