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European Commission proposes ordering Internet providers to store 6 months of data

Those enlightened Europeans! It's wonderful to learn that their approach 
toward protecting privacy -- basically, trust the bureaucrats -- is 
working out so much better than the U.S. model. Perhaps we should adopt 
it as well.

We know this plan must be good for Europeans because the Brussels 
bureaucrat responsible for ensuring "freedom" gave it an enthusiastic 
thumbs-up. What more could you want?

More on data retention:



From: Hendrik Rood <Hendrik.Rood@Stratix.nl>
Date: September 22, 2005 9:24:53 AM EDT
To: dave@farber.net
Subject: European Commission: data retention voice: 1 year and
Internet 6 months

Prof. Farber,

The European Commission yesterday has put forward it's proposal on
traffic data retention.

With kind regards,

Hendrik Rood


Commission proposes rules on communication data retention which are
both effective for law enforcement and respectful of rights and
business interests


Reference:  IP/05/1167    Date:  21/09/2005


Brussels, 21 September 2005

Commission proposes rules on communication data retention which are
both effective for law enforcement and respectful of rights and
business interests

The European Commission has adopted today a proposal for a Directive
on the retention of communications traffic data. The proposal
provides for an EU-wide harmonisation of the obligations on providers
of publicly available electronic communications, or a public
telecommunications network, to retain data related to mobile and
fixed telephony for a period of one year, and internet communication
data, for six month. The proposed Directive would not be applicable
to the actual content of the communications. It also includes a
provision ensuring that the service or network providers will be
reimbursed for the demonstrated additional costs they will have. For
its adoption, the proposal requires the approval both of the European
Parliament and the Council. The Council is currently discussing an
alternative text, a Framework Decision which would allow for data
retention of up to 3 years and could be adopted by the Council alone.

"This proposal is a very balanced and constructive one, which takes
account of the fundamental rights to security, to a private life and
protection of personal data, as well as different interests, in
particular those of law enforcement authorities and communication
providers", said Vice President of the Commission Franco Frattini,
responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security. As EU citizens expect
the three EU institutions to work jointly on this sensitive but
important issue and to form a united front in the fight against
terrorism and organised crime, he added: "I am dedicated to working
on a co-decision basis with the European Parliament and the Member
States in the Council, and in particular its UK Presidency, to try to
reach an agreement on this issue before the end of this year- counter
terrorism effectively requires that we have no time to loose."

The proposal was developed in full agreement with Commissioner
Viviane Reding, responsible for Information Society and Media: "I am
satisfied that the proposal adopted today is in line with the
Commission's new Lisbon strategy for which the Information and
Communication industry is a key factor for Europe's competitiveness.
The Commission proposal now puts data retention rules on a sound
legal basis, ensures the full co-decision of the European Parliament
and limits the data retention periods to the extent absolutely
necessary. In contrast to the text at present discussed in the
Council, the Commission proposal in particular requires that all
additional costs for the industry, which are proven to have been
caused by data retention obligations under the new Directive, will
have to be reimbursed."

As the investigations following the tragic events of Madrid in March
2004 and London in July 2005 clearly demonstrated, communications
traffic data are essential for law enforcement agencies when
investigating serious crime and terrorism because such data can
disclose associations between persons and events by time and location.

The retention of communications traffic data has therefore been
identified by a number of different Council meetings as one of the
most important instruments for preventing and combating (organised)
crime and terrorism, most recently by the European Council of 16/17
June and, following the London attacks of 7 July, the extraordinary
Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of 13 July.

Fundamental rights aspects have been carefully weighed in the
preparation of the proposal, and solid data protection rules will be
applicable, given that the general and specific data protection
provisions established under Directives 95/46/EC and 2002/58/EC will
apply. The processing of such data will be under the full supervisory
powers of the data protection authorities established in all Member
States. The Directive is also fully in line with the European policy
on consumer protection.

The proposal has taken into account to a significant extent the
ongoing works on an initiative from Member States for a Framework
Decision on the same topic, which has been in discussion within the
Council since April 2004. However, the Commission proposal is founded
on a different legal basis (EC Treaty instead of EU Treaty), which
means that the European Parliament will be fully involved in the
decision making process.

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Sep 23, 2005 in category privacy

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