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Over a thousand Dutch municipal websites are hosted in the United States

Over a thousand Dutch municipal websites are hosted in the United States

Dutch municipalities have a total of about a thousand websites, which are hosted in the United States (USA). This is evident from the data in the hands of the domestic administration. Data processing for US companies is under the microscope after NOS announced that many companies are using US email services.

NOS's research of 20,000 companies on Friday made it clear that Dutch governments, 'major companies', schools and, to a lesser extent, health institutions outsource their postal services to US companies in large numbers. The research clarified that more than half of the municipalities have switched to Microsoft servers.

But in addition to e-mail services, the Dutch government also makes large purchases of hosting services in the United States. The Digital Insights platform recently mapped how many websites municipalities have and what part of them are hosted outside the EU. These statistics, in the hands of domestic administrations, make it clear that 10% of the approximately ten thousand municipal websites are hosted by US suppliers. Most of them do so at tech giant Amazon. About 75% are held in the Netherlands and about 14% in the EU.

Risks

Data sharing with US suppliers poses risks, according to a report on Friday Critical report From the think tank Clingendael on behalf of the AIVD. US law makes it possible to view data no matter where it is kept, Clinkendale warns. This poses national security risks, especially to governments.

In response to NOS research, Secretary of State Alexandra Van Haflen pointed out that companies and governments should think carefully about the risks before storing their data on a US company's hard drive. Van Haflen urges companies to be “very cautious” about what you're doing and avoid what's called 'the cloud' abroad. For example, personal data or state secrets should not be included there. The Secretary of State also says he is committed to European alternatives to US cloud services.

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