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General Intelligence and Security Service
Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst

Headquarters of the General Intelligence and Security Service
Agency overview
Formed30 May 2002; 21 years ago (2002-05-30)
  • Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD)
HeadquartersEuropaweg 4, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
Motto"Live fish swim against the current, only the dead ones float with it"
Employeesapprx. 2,000
Annual budget€ 249,167,000
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • Erik Akerboom, Director-General
  • Marja Horstman, Deputy Director-General
Parent departmentMinistry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
WebsiteGeneral Intelligence and Security Service (in English)

The General Intelligence and Security Service (Dutch: Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, AIVD; Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɑlɣəmeːnə ˈʔɪnlɪxtɪŋə(n) ɛn ˈvɛiləxɦɛitsdinst]) is the intelligence and security agency of the Netherlands, tasked with domestic, foreign and signals intelligence and protecting national security as well as assisting the Five Eyes in investigating foreign citizens.[1] The military counterpart is the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD), which operates under the Ministry of Defence.


The history of Dutch intelligence can trace itself back to 1914 with the creation of the Generale Staf III (GS III) during the outbreak of World War I.[2] The year following the end of the war, GS III was replaced by the Centrale Inlichtingendienst (CI) in 1919.[3] After Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands, the Dutch government-in-exile deemed the CI to be inadequate for their war efforts and so created the Bureau Inlichtingen (BI) in 1942.

After the war, in 1945, Netherlands replaced the Bureau of National Security (Bureau voor Nationale Veiligheid) and in 1947, was later known as the Domestic Security Service (Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst) (BVD) which would be the predecessor of the AIVD. For the gathering of intelligence abroad, the Foreign Intelligence Service — Buitenlandse Inlichtingendienst (BID), renamed to Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (IDB) in 1972 — had existed since 1946. This service was located in Villa Maarheeze in Wassenaar, just north of The Hague. IDB was dissolved in 1994 after heavy internal turmoil. The foreign intelligence task was eventually handed over to the BVD, which in doing so turned into a combined intelligence and security service. For this reason, it was rebranded Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD) on 29 May 2002.


The AIVD focuses mostly on domestic non-military threats to Dutch national security, whereas the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) focuses on international threats, specifically military and government-sponsored threats such as espionage. The AIVD is charged with collecting intelligence and assisting in combating domestic and foreign threats to national security.

List of directors-general

Tenure Name
2011–2018 Rob Bertholee[4]
2018–2020 Drs. H.W.M. (Dick) Schoof[5][6][7]
2020–present Erik Akerboom

Oversight and accountability

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

The AIVD publishes an annual report which includes its budget. The published version contains redactions where information is deemed sensitive.

The AIVD can be forced by the courts to publish any records held on a private citizen, but it may keep secret information that is relevant to current cases. No information that is less than five years old will be provided under any circumstance to private citizens about their records.


Its main activities include:

Methods and authorities

Its methods and authorities include:

The latter is technically the same as sourcing intelligence from a foreign intelligence service; this method has not been confirmed.

The AIVD operates in tight concert with the Regional Intelligence Service (Regionale Inlichtingen Dienst, RID), to which members of the police are appointed in every police district. It also co-operates with over one hundred intelligence services.


The service has been criticized for:

During the Cold War the BVD had a reputation for interviewing potential employers of persons they deemed suspicious for any reason, thereby worrying corporations about the employment of these persons. Reasons for being suspect included leftist ideals, membership of the Communist Party, or a spotty military record (such as being a conscientious objector with regard to conscription), although no evidence of the latter has ever been produced.[10]

Cozy Bear

On January 25, 2018, de Volkskrant and TV program Nieuwsuur reported that in 2014, the AIVD successfully infiltrated the computers of Cozy Bear and observed the hacking of the head office of the Democratic National Committee and subsequently the White House, as well as being the first to alert the National Security Agency (NSA) about the cyber-intrusion.[11]

In popular culture

In the Lair of the Cozy Bear (allegedly a translation of the Dutch novel In het hol van de Cozy Bear) relates the story of the infiltration of Cozy Bear told from the perspective of an American liaison officer attached to the AIVD.


  1. ^ Kelion, Leo (27 January 2014). "NSA-GCHQ Snowden leaks: A glossary of the key terms". BBC. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Intelligence and Espionage (The Netherlands) | International Encyclopedia of the First World War (WW1)".
  3. ^ "Rapporten Centrale Inlichtingendienst 1919-1940". October 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "Curriculum Vitae of Lieutenant-General Rob Bertholee as published by the Dutch Ministry of Defence". 2019-04-27.
  5. ^ "The AIVD: Who we are - About AIVD - AIVD". 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  6. ^ Justitie, Ministerie van Veiligheid en (2018-07-12). "Dick Schoof becomes Director General of the General Intelligence and Security Service". Archived from the original on 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  7. ^ "Dick Schoof directeur-generaal AIVD - Nieuwsbericht - Algemene Bestuursdienst". (in Dutch). Dutch Senior Civil Service. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  8. ^ "Agnes Kant over toetreding tot 'Commissie Stiekem". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  9. ^ John Pike (2005-08-09). "CIA asked us to let nuclear spy go, Ruud Lubbers claims". Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  10. ^ "Voorgoed ongeschikt". Geschiedenis 24. 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  11. ^ Rosenthal, Eelco Bosch van (January 25, 2018). "Dutch intelligence first to alert U.S. about Russian hack of Democratic Party". (in Dutch). Retrieved September 29, 2023.