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Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst

AIVD — short for Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security Service) — is the civil intelligence and security agency of the Netherlands, tasked with domestic, foreign and signals intelligence and protecting national security. The name AIVD was introduced in 2002 after its predecessor – Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD) (Domestic Security Service) – had taken over the tasks of the Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (IDB) (Foreign Intelligence Service).

Although the history of intelligence services in the Netherlands dates back to before World War I (1913), the AIVD lists 29 May 1945 as its official birthday, as that is the day on which — at the end of World War II — the Temporary Military Authority established the
— Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau), a year later renamed
Centrale Veiligheidsdienst. In 1949, the agency was renamed
and finally in 2002
, the name that is still used today.

The AIVD resides under the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations [1]. It has approx. 2000 employees (2019) and an annual budget of EUR 249 million (2018). The military counterpart of the AIVD is the MIVD – the Military Intelligence and Security Service.

Over the years, the AIVD has gathered an impressive collection of spy and crypto-related equipment, some of which are on display throughout the AIVD headquarters in Zoetermeer (Netherlands). Unfortunately, these items can not be viewed by the general public. A small selection of these items is on public display though, in the AIVD's online museum.

 Visit the AIVD Museum

AIVD museum items on this website
Some of the objects in the AIVD Museum – or similar ones – are also available on this website:

Dead Letter Box (Dutch: dode brievenbus)
Concealment Devices, Stashes and Dead Drops (Dutch: trapcontainer) Concealed wind-up observation camera Miniature wire and tape recorders Travel kit with concealment area for passport and OTP (Dutch: reisnecessaires) Enigma cipher machine Swiss Tessina camera hidden inside a cigarette pack Hidden microphones
Transmitter with burst encoder (Dutch: snelzender) Ecolex-II unbreakable cipher machine Telefunken spy radio set FS-5000, used by the clandestine stay-behind organisation O&I
Subject to the governing laws (Wiv - Art.8:2), the taks of the AIVD have been defined as follows, each named after the corresponding label in the forementioned law:

  1. Domestic Intelligence
  2. Background checks
  3. Security
  4. Foreign Intelligence
  5. Risk and threat analysis
For the collection of intelligence, the AIVD uses the following methods, each of which is bound by the Intelligence and Security Law (Wiv – Wet op de inclichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten):

  • Observations and surveillance
  • Covert operations
  • Computer hacking
  • Telephone or internet tapping
  • Untargeted communications interception and analysis
  • Traffic analysis (metadata)
In the past, the AIVD had 9 units and 2 business units, but following a reorganisation in 2014, it now has a Central Staff and three Directorates, effective from 1 January 2015:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Operations
  3. Investigations
1. Intelligence
This directorate is responsible for processing and analysing the information gathered by the Operations Directorate, and producing reports from it. The directorate has several desks, each of which covers a specific theme or geographic area.

2. Operations
This directorate is responsible for all operational activities and for the actual gathering of information from a variety of sources, for further processing by the Intelligence Directorate. It has the following divisions:

3. Investigations
This directorate is responsible for the internal business operations, but also for carrying out security investigations into the background of people in trusted and security jobs. The directorate comprises the following divisions:

  • Background checks (business unit)
  • ICT
  • Services
NBV – Nationaal Bureau Verbindingsbeveiliging – is the Netherlands National Communications Security Agency (NLNCSA). It is responsible for the communi­cations security of the Dutch Goverment and advising potential users on communications and ICT security.

The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for the AIVD. Oversight is provided by three bodies:

TIB   Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden
Preemtive review board for the use of special powers by intelligence services, appointed by the Second Chamber of the States General.
CTIVD   Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Retrospective oversight committe, also appointed by the Second Chamber of the States General.
CIVD   Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services, consisting of the leaders of all political parties represented in the Second Chamber of the States General. 1
  1. Until 2009, the Socialist Party (SP) was not (and did not want to be) part of the CIVD.

The predecessor of all Dutch intelligence services was GS-III – section III of the General Staff of the Army – which was established in 1913, just before the outbreak of World War I (WWI). During the interbellum – from 1919 to the outbreak of World War II (WWII) in 1940 – it was a combined civil and military intelligence service, operating under the name CI – Centrale Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service). Nevertheless, in liturature, the
is often still identified as

The work of the
was terminated by the outbreak of WWII, at which time the Dutch Government-in-Exile in London established the CID – Centrale Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service), which was renamed BI – Bureau Inlichtingen (Intelligence Bureau) – in 1942. For the remainder of the war, the
worked closely together with the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, now: MI6). The diagram below shows the complex history of the Dutch intelligence services, in which the civil intelligence services are shown in yellow, whilst their military counterparts are shown in blue.

After World War II, the
was transformed into the short-lived BNV — Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau) — which became the CVD – Centrale Veiligheidsdienst (Central Security Service) in 1946. At the same time, a separate foreign intelligence service was established, which became known as Buitenlandse Inlichtingendienst, or
, whilst the armed forces (Navy, Army, and Air Force) each established its own service, known as

was renamed BVD – Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (Domestic Security Service) in 1949, and would keep that name for the next 53 years. In 1988, the three military intelligence services were merged into the MID – Militare Inlichtingen­dienst (Military Intelligence Service), and in 1994, after internal turmoil, the tasks of the foreign intelligence service
), were taken over by the
. As a result, the
became responsible for domestic and foreign intelligence.

In 2002, after passing the new Intelligence and Security Bill (Wiv), 1 the
was renamed AIVD – Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security Service), whilst it military counterpart
was renamed MIVD – Militaire Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (Military Intelligence and Security Service). Although AIVD and MIVD have different responsibilities, they work together in a number of fields. In 2015 it was decided to move them to a new – common – premises by 2022, but in July 2019 it was announced that this has been postponed to 2029 [2].

  1. Wiv = Wet op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten. (Intelligence and Security Law).

  1. Wikipedia, General Intelligence and Security Service
    Retrieved August 2019.  Dutch version

  2. NOS, AIVD en MIVD verhuizen zeven jaar later dan gepland
    Website:, 1 July 2019.

  3. AIVD, Tijdlijn van de AIVD
    Retrieved August 2019.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 24 August 2019. Last changed: Sunday, 25 August 2019 - 12:36 CET.
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