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Netherlands votes to splash cash on encryption projects

€500k for Open/Libre/Polar-SSL

By Richard Chirgwin, 9 Dec 2015

The Netherlands' Lower House has thrown its weight behind a plan to improve key open source security solutions, and has voted €500,000 towards a range of projects.

Swimming against the European tide somewhat, the house said it wants to strengthen data encryption, rather than weakening it.

Originally, D66 MP Kees Verhoeven had asked for funding towards the OpenSSL project, but what was voted through splashes the cash more widely around the SSL community to include LibreSSL and PolarSSL.

According to Dutch infosec site Security.nl, Verhoeven said (Google translation): “Encryption allows private communication ... and enables journalists, researchers, lawyers and others ... to protect their sources, customers or partners.”

It's now down to the Ministry of Economic Affairs to consult with industry experts and decide how to distribute the funds. That portfolio's minister, Henk Kamp, had opposed the motion.

The money will certainly be welcomed by the mostly volunteer people who maintain the various SSL libraries. The challenges they face have been made painfully obvious ever since the Heartbleed and Poodle bugs emerged.

Of course, if reports of security bods' daily income these days are accurate, half a million will buy between 50 days and about 6 months of their time. ®

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