Eva Galperin comments:
This week, EFF is taking part in the 32nd Annual Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, where we urged the Privacy Authorities to call for the repeal of the European Union’s 2006 Data Retention Directive, which requires Internet service providers operating in Europe to retain telecom and Internet traffic data about all of their customers’ communications for a period of at least six months and up to two years, for possible use by law enforcement.
The Data Retention Directive is highly controversial, if not wildly unpopular throughout the European Union. The directive was strongly opposed by European privacy activists. For several years, mass protests have been held in cities across Europe under the banner of “Freedom Not Fear.” As each country in the EU has implemented the Data Retention Directive in their own law, they have faced challenges in state courts. In 2007, the German Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat) filed a class-action lawsuit representing 35,000 people challenging the German law. The court found the law was unconstitutional and ordered the immediate deletion of all the data stored since the law went into effect in 2008 and the suspension of data collection until a revised national law is proposed. In 2009, the Romanian Constitutional Court ruled that the Romanian implementation of the EU directive fundamentally violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to respect for private life and correspondence. The Swedish government has so far refused to implement the Data Retention Directive at all, leading to a lawsuit from the European Commission.
Read more on EFF.