We understand that in grave circumstances an organization retains the right to scrutinize its employees’ email communication. In this case, however, the decision seems to be a disproportionate response to a suspected leak regarding alleged plagiarism committed by interim-dean Dymph van den Boom. Even if such leakage did indeed take place, it is debatable how an employee disclosing possible plagiarism of a higher-ranking colleague can be accused of severe wrong-doing. Given that the Executive Board was explicitly informed of the strong suspicion of plagiarism and decided to discard this information, behaviour of such employee appears legitimate and deserves to be protected. It would be the act of a whistle-blower bringing under public scrutiny dubious conduct and remedying the institution’s omissive behaviour.

This sequence of events leaves little doubt that the Executive Board’s decision to implement covert surveillance on its employees encroaches at least upon academic freedom and integrity. Moreover, it sends a damaging signal to its employees that their email accounts are an unsafe means of communication, resulting in a culture of fear.

On this basis we urge the Erasmus Executive Board to:

  1. Immediately stop the forensic investigation
  2. Give full disclosure of the investigative steps taken and email accounts that have been compromised by investigation
  3. Refrain from using any of the information obtained by the investigation
  4. Apologize to the employees whose email accounts were investigated
  5. Adopt appropriate measures to protect whistle-blowers
  6. Provide proper safeguards to their employees in the extreme case the Executive Board considers adopting measures of covert surveillance
  7. Revise the current EUR Regulations Governing Use of Internet and IT Facilities in order to ensure they are fully compatible with the GDPR, with human rights and with core academic values, particularly academic freedom and integrity.

Signing the statement is possible here.

The statement was signed (on Wednesday morning) by:

1. Prof. Dr. Olav Velthuis, University of Amsterdam
2. Prof. Dr. Giselinde Kuipers, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
3. Prof. Dr. Alessandra Arcuri, Erasmus University Rotterdam
4. Prof. dr. René van Swaaningen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
5. Dr. Francesco Battaglia, Radboud University
6. Dr. Claire Weeda, Leiden University
7. Dr. Florin Coman-Kund, Erasmus University Rotterdam
8. Prof. Dr. Paola Gori-Giorgi, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
9. Prof. Dr. Filip Vermeylen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
10. Dr. Alex van Venrooij, University of Amsterdam
11. Dr. Marta Szymanowska, Erasmus University Rotterdam
12. Dr. Thomas Poell, University of Amsterdam
13. Prof. Dr. Jeroen de Kloet, University of Amsterdam
14. Dr. Christoph Rausch, Maastricht University
15. Dr. Hilla Dayan, Amsterdam University College
16. Dr. Michiel Köhne, Wageningen University
17. Prof. Dr. Sarah Bracke, University of Amsterdam
18. Prof. Dr. Koen van Eijck, Erasmus University Rotterdam
19. Dr. PW Zuidhof, University of Amsterdam
20. Prof. Dr. Remco Breuker, Leiden University
21. Prof. Dr. Susanne Janssen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
22. Dr. Rick Dolphijn, Utrecht University
23. Prof. Dr. Stijn Reijnders, Erasmus University Rotterdam
24. Floris Boudens, student Utrecht University
25. Dr. Erik Hitters, Erasmus University Rotterdam
26. Prof. Dr. Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam
27. Dr. Marc Verboord, Erasmus University Rotterdam
28. Dr. Delia Dumitrica, Erasmus University Rotterdam
29. Dr. Tonny Krijnen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
30. Dr. Jiska Engelbert, Erasmus University Rotterdam
31. Dr. Mijke Slot, Erasmus University Rotterdam
32. Dr. A.C. Uribe-Sandoval, Erasmus University Rotterdam
33. Dr. Julia Kneer, Erasmus University Rotterdam
34. Dr. Mélodine Sommier, Erasmus University Rotterdam
35. Dr. Karin van Wingerde, Erasmus University Rotterdam
36. Dr Etienne F. Augé, Erasmus University Rotterdam
37. Dr. Marijn van der Sluis, Erasmus University Rotterdam
38. Dr. Carlo Ierna, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Radboud University
39. Dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam
40. Marijn van der Sluis, Erasmus University Rotterdam
41. Dr. Carlo Ierna, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Radboud University
42. Derk Kooi, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
43. Willem Schinkel, Erasmus University Rotterdam
44. Dr. Sudha Rajagopalan, University of Amsterdam
45. Prof. Dr. Alex van Stipriaan Luïscius, Erasmus University Rotterdam
46. Dr. Aleid Fokkema, Erasmus University Rotterdam
47. Dr. Vidhi Chaudhri, Erasmus University Rotterdam
48. Dr. Andra Leurdijk, Forallmedia
49. Dr Bernadette Kester, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
50. Yosha Wijngaarden, Erasmus University Rotterdam
51. Juri Grossi, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
52. Dr. Julian Schaap, Erasmus University Rotterdam
53. Alexander Pleijter, Leiden University
54. Daniel Trottier, Erasmus University Rotterdam
55. Manuel Reyes, Democratische Academie Groningen, RUG
56. Dr. Gwen van Eijk, Erasmus University Rotterdam
57. Isabel Awad, Erasmus University Rotterdam
58. Dr. Marguerite Van den Berg, University of Amsterdam
59. Rene Hulst, University of Amsterdam
60. Dr. Paul Rutten, Research Centre Creating 010, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
61. Dr. Janna Besamusca, University of Amsterdam
62. Dr. Jan Teurlings, Universiteit van Amsterdam
63. Dr. Débora Antunes, Erasmus University Rotterdam
64. Dr. Yannis Tzaninis, University of Amsterdam
65. Dr. Adam Dixon, Maastricht University
66. Dr. Thijs van Dooremalen, Leiden University
67. Herman van de Werfhorst, University of Amsterdam
68. Prof.dr. Yolande Jansen, University of Amsterdam and Free University Amsterdam
69. Dr. Pieter Huistra, Universiteit Utrecht
70. Marina Tulin, University of Amsterdam
71. Dr Ilias Alami, Maastricht University
72. Dr. Paul Mepschen, University College Utrecht
73. Tim Platenkamp, UVA
74. Miriam Heemskerk MSc, EUR Holding
75. Dr. Willemien Sanders, Universiteit Utrecht
76. Prof Dr Maureen Sie, Tilburg University
77. Prof.dr. Liedeke Plate, Radboud Universiteit
78. Dr. Karen Vintges, University of Amsterdam
79. Dr. Robbert-Jan Adriaansen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
80. Prof.dr. Guus Smeets, Erasmus universiteit Rotterdam
81. Guus Smeets, Erasmus University Rotterdam
82. Dr Patrick Brown, University of Amsterdam
83. Dr Kathrine van den Bogert, Radboud University Nijmegen
84. Dr. Bram Lancee, University of Amsterdam
85. Dr. Sjoerd van Tuinen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
86. Evelien Meeuwisse, Eraamus University Rotterdam
87. Dr. Rosa Vieira de Almeida, Leiden University
88. Ivo van Stokkum, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
89. Katie Barry, Erasmus University Rotterdam
90. Dr. Abraham Geil, University of Amsterdam
91. Prof. Dr. Jeroen Jansz, Erasmus University Rotterdam
92. Iris Breetvelt, Kohnstamm Instituut UvA BV
93. Dr. Stavros Kousoulas, TU Delft
94. Dr Sabine Go, VU Amsterdam
95. Willem Frijhoff, Erasmus University
96. Dr Vivienne Matthies-Boon, University of Amsterdam
97. Dr. Marijtje Jongsma, Radboud University Nijmegen
98. Prof.dr. Joost Raessens, Universiteit Utrecht
99. Sonia de Jager, Erasmus Universiteit
100. Gerard Wiegers, University of Amsterdam
101. Dr. Murat Aydemir, Universiteit van Amsterdam
102. Floris Mosselman, University of Amsterdam
103. Dr. Agnieszka Anna Wolodzko, Leiden University
104. Mark Deuze , University of Amsterdam
105. Koen Vermeylen, University of Amsterdam
106. Prof. Dr. Robin Celikates, FU Berlin/UvA
107. Gabriel Peralta Alvarez, Vrije Universiteit
108. Peter Nikken, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam/hogeschool Windesheim
109. Bram Büscher, Wageningen University
110. Jaap Maat, Universiteit van Amsterdam
111. Gijs van Donselaar, University of Amsterdam
112. Arnout van Ree, Leiden University
113. Sara Giarrusso , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
114. prof. annelies moors, uva
115. Prof.dr. Maria Grever, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
116. Pieter Van den Heede, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
117. Nicole van Os, Universiteit Leiden
118. Dr Vasiliki Tsagkroni, Leiden University
119. Dr. Tinca Polderman, Vrije Universiteit
120. Zoltan Dujisin, Erasmus University Rotterdam
121. Rik-Jan Brinkman, University of Amsterdam
122. Dr. Teresa de la Hera, Erasmus University Rotterdam
123. Ida Sabelis , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
124. Prof. Dr. Matthias Bickelhaupt, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
125. Prof. Dr. Célia Fonseca Guerra , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
126. Birgit Meyer, Universiteit Utrecht
127. Prof. Em. Jojada Verrips, Universiteit van Amsterdam
128. Dr. Michaël Berghman, Erasmus University Rotterdam
129. Prof.dr. Jos de Mul, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
130. Arnoud Lagendijk, Radboud University
131. Paula van der Houwen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
132. Phie van Rompu, Universiteit van Amsterdam
133. Prof. dr. Marc van Oostendorp, Radboud Universiteit
134. Pauwke Berkers, Erasmus University Rotterdam
135. Prof. dr. Marc van Oostendorp, Radboud Universiteit
136. Prof. Dr. Sybille Lammes, Leiden University
137. Dr.Paul Dekker, Universiteit van Amsterdam
138. Judith Naeff, Leiden University
139. Dr. Laurike in ‘t Veld, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
140. Charlotte Albers, Universiteit van Amsterdam
141. prof. dr. Paul Th. van de Laar, Erasmus University Rotterdam
142. Dr. Karin Astrid Siegmann, Erasmus University Rotterdam
143. Prof. Dr. Bas van den Putte, University of Amsterdam
144. Simona Vezzoli, University of Amsterdam
145. Marc Schuilenburg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
146. Suzanne de Leeuw, University of Amsterdam
147. Dr. Yves Bollen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
148. Roel Lutkenhaus, Erasmus University Rotterdam
149. Dr. Joost de Bloois, Universiteit van Amsterdam
150. Dr. Petra van den Bekerom, Leiden University
151. Dr. Silke Heumann, Erasmus University Rotterdam
152. Dr. Marco Scalvini, Erasmus University Rotterdam
153. Prof. Dr. Henk Schmidt, Erasmus University Rotterdam
154. Dr. Amanda Brandellero, Erasmus University Rotterdam
155. Marieke Buil, Vrije universiteit Amsterdam
156. Dr. Thijs Lijster, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
157. Prof. Dr. Jan van Dijk, Universiteit Twente
158. Dr. Jason Pridmore, Erasmus University Rotterdam
159. Dr Hebe Verrest, University of Amsterdam
160. Lisa Kuitert, Universiteit van Amsterdam
161. Dr. Stephanie Hobbis, Wageningen University
162. dr. Mieke Lopes Cardozo, Universiteit van Amsterdam
163. Dr. Virginie Mamadouh, Universiteit van Amsterdam
164. Prof. dr. Irene van Staveren, Erasmus University Rotterdam
165. Leen Hintjens, ISS
166. Mirjam Koehorst, Universiteit Twente
167. Joost Hulshof, VU
168. Prof. Dr. Jochen Peter, University of Amsterdam
169. dr cody hochstenbach, universiteit van amsterdam
170. Dr. Frans Camphuijsen, Universiteit van Amsterdam
171. Hieke Huistra, Universiteit Utrecht
172. Em. Prof. dr. Siep Stuurman, Utrecht University
173. Dr. AnneLoes van Staa, Erasmus University ESHPM/ Hogeschool Rotterdam
174. Lise Zurne, Erasmus University
175. Dr. Suzanne Janssen, Universiteit Twente
176. Chunglin Kwa, University of Amsterdam
177. Prof. dr Susan Legêne, Vrije Universiteit
178. Dr. Margriet van Heesch, Universiteit van Amsterdam
179. Dr. Linda van de Kamp, University of Amsterdam
180. Stephan Verhulst, Universiteit Utrecht
181. Dr. Daniel R. Curtis, Erasmus University Rotterdam
182. Dr Chris Vos, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
183. Dr. Marten Jan Bok, Universiteit van Amsterdam
184. Afra Foli, University of Amsterdam
185. Laura Vonk, Universiteit van Amsterdam
186. Dr. Maarten Wolsink, Universiteit van Amserdam
187. Bram Ieven, Leiden University
188. Lonneke van der Velden, University of Amsterdam
189. Maarten Zwaal, student Universiteit Utrecht
190. Jeroen Bruggeman, Universiteit van Amsterdam
191. Prof. Dr. Ingrid Robeyns, Universiteit Utrecht
192. Tina van der Vlies, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
193. Prof. dr. Rivke Jaffe, Universiteit van Amsterdam
194. Jacco van Sterkenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam
195. Dr. Lorenzo Pellegrini, Erasmus University Rotterdam
196. Em. Prof. Dr. Peter Neijens, Universiteit van Amsterdam
197. Milena Veenis, Universiteit van Amsterdam
198. Dr. Moritz Föllmer, Universiteit van Amsterdam
199. Dr. Barak Kalir, University of Amsterdam
200. Madelon Simons, Universiteit van Amsterdam
201. Dr.ir. Andrej Radman, TU Delft
202. Prof. dr. Karin Pfeffer, University of Twente
203. Dr. Elmer Veldkamp, Universiteit Leiden
204. Martin Rosema, Universiteit Twente
205. Prof. dr. Karin Pfeffer, University of Twente
206. Toni Pape, Universiteit van Amsterdam
207. Karin Christof, University of Amsterdam
208. Dr. Vanessa Vroon, Universiteit van Amsterdam
209. Petra Brouwer, Universiteit van Amsterdam