Bill Totten's Weblog

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mandatory Data Retention (undated)

Law enforcement agencies throughout the world are pushing for invasive laws that force ISPs and telecom providers to log information about how users communicate and use the Internet. This obligation to log users' Internet use is usually paired with provisions that allow the government to obtain those records, ultimately expanding the governments' ability to surveil its citizens, damaging privacy, and chilling freedom of expression.

The EU Data Retention Directive

The EU Data Retention Directive, adopted {1} by the European Parliament in 2006, is the leading example of mandatory data retention framework. The highly controversial {2} Directive compels all ISPs and telecommunications service providers operating in Europe to retain a subscriber's incoming and outgoing phone numbers, IP addresses, location data, and other key telecom and Internet traffic data for a period of at least six months, to as long as two years of all European citizens, including those not suspected or convicted of any crime.

Since its passage, the Data Retention Directive has faced intense criticism {3} and now has an uncertain future in the EU. In general, each member state of the European Union is required to implement the provisions of a Directive into their own national laws. But the flawed Data Retention Directive has proven to be too broken and controversial for a number of countries; the constitutional courts of Germany {4} and Romania {5} ruled that their national data retention law is in violation of their constitutions; the Irish Court {6} has allowed the data retention law to be challenged in the European Court of Justice; and Austria {7}, Belgium {8}, Greece {9}, Luxembourg {10}, and Sweden {11} have not yet transposed the Directive into national law. In addition, the European Commission has decided to take a few countries (Sweden, Austria) to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement the directive. Meanwhile, in the countries where data retention has been implemented, European privacy officials discovered damning evidence of excessive tracking, illegal over-collection, and a lack of evidence to support data retention as a means of helping law enforcement {12}.

The indiscriminate collection of traffic data carries great potential for abuse and should be rejected as a serious infringement upon citizens' rights and freedoms. The example of the EU's experiment in mandatory data retention proves that pervasive surveillance will not be tolerated in countries where freedom is valued. With EDRI {13}, AK Vorrat {14}, and other civil society advocates, EFF will continue to fight {15} for the repeal of the EU Directive, and will oppose blanket mandatory data retention proposals throughout the world.


















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Bill Totten


  • We enter the world of facistic control as the United States loses its world respect and voluntary compliance with whatever it wants and needs. The dollar as the world's one reserve currency is in unextendable life support systems, the U.S. having stolen secretly 13 trillion dollars from it's own citizens tax funds to pay world banks that set up the world fiscal crisis.

    No-one in the European Unionyet believes it as they have been slavishly following the U.S. leader.

    Mandatory Data Retention will be another facist tool, and criminally illegal by Habeous Corpus Laws or, International Human Rights Laws...being shredded by the U.S. and NATO as fast as they are able to do. Suzanne

    By Blogger suzannedk, at 4:45 AM, December 19, 2010  

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