Nov 272010
 
 November 27, 2010  Non-U.S., Online, Surveillance

Terror warnings in Germany have triggered a new debate on the country’s data protection laws — and revealed yet another fracture in Chancellor Merkel’s government. The Justice Ministry and the Interior Ministry are at odds, and the fronts are hardening.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), has requested a new law allowing for the retention of telecommunications and Internet data for six months. The data, he insists, could provide valuable clues in terror investigations.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), Merkel’s junior coalition partner, has, however, categorically ruled out such legislation.

“For the FDP there will be no mass storage of data for months, without good reason,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the southern German daily Augsburger Allgemeine. Her proposal of a law allowing data retention in specific cases, she says, “is the FDP’s compromise proposal.”

Read more on Spiegel Online.

Wow — a government that doesn’t rush to use terrorist threats as an excuse to erode privacy or enhance mass surveillance. What a novel idea that would be in the U.S.

Hat-tip, @chrisjhorn.

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