Prime Minister Rutte sent an average of around 1340 messages per month via old Nokia – IT Pro – News

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sent an average of around 1340 messages per month via his Nokia 301 phone between November 1 and the beginning of May. This is evident from metadata that the government itself has revealed.

This concerns a total of 7433 messages that were sent from the Nokia 301 from the Netherlands in the period from November 1 to the beginning of May, when the phone broke down. From abroad there is no distinction on the invoices between received and sent messages and there are still a total of 1257 messages, writes Rutte† If roughly half of these are sent messages, this is an average of about 1340 messages per month. That is an average of more than 40 per day.

At the beginning of May, Rutte switched to an iPhone of an undisclosed type to send messages. This concerns 177 messages in two months. The prime minister notes that iMessage messages, messages between iPhones themselves, do not appear on the invoice.

However, information about the Prime Minister’s messaging has ended up at Apple. After all, for its iMessage service, Apple looks up whether a phone number also has iMessage. For that, the Messages app forwards every phone number to Apple. Apple keeps that metadata for 30 days, wrote The Intercept some years ago.

Of all those messages, 133 have been archived in the departmental document management system. Another 1,612 messages are addressed to civil servants and can therefore still be stored in that system, Rutte says. So the rest of the messages seem to be gone.

Rutte had the House of Representatives promised more than a month ago come up with this information. He then wrote that he wanted to deliver the information within a week, so that has now taken more than a month. He did this after he first refused, despite the fact that GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver, independent MP Pieter Omtzigt and PVV leader Geert Wilders pointed out to him that he had to provide this information because Article 68 of the Constitutionwhich prescribes that cabinet members must provide all requested information if this does not conflict with the interest of the state.

Rutte used a Nokia 301 for calling and texting for years. He deleted received and sent text messages, in his own words because otherwise his phone would become too slow. The Nokia 301 came standard with an archiving feature that allows was not necessarily necessary to delete messages to keep the phone fast. Rutte himself decided which text messages should be saved. According to many MPs, this is unacceptable, because it allows him to keep unwelcome matters out of the archive at his own discretion, which would make the control function of the House of Representatives more difficult.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the debate about his texting traffic

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