Friday, 4 December 2009

Data Retention dangers loom

Following the official entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, we have to prepare ourselves for the rollout of the Stockholm Programme. This will give legal powers for further surveillance at national, international and EU level.

The European Digital Rights EDRi have called for the European Union to repeal the 2006 directive on the data retention of electronic communications. In the event that the directive is not repealed, they demand that it is amended to introduce an opt-out right allowing Member States to decide whether or not to require the retention of communications data. Perhaps Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg could be asked to slip this into their manifestos? Legal complaints against this directive are pending in several EU states. Meryem Marzouki of EDRi clearly sums it up the dangers inherent in the Data Retention directive which is encapsulated in the UK's Intercept Modernisation Programme (IMP).

"With the growing use of massive national databases, and the current plans towards their interoperability at EU-level and full access for police purposes, the data retention directive paves the way to further extensions of purposes, where data once collected strictly for the requirements of a given service delivery become used for citizens surveillance and social control, when not for intelligence purposes. This is not acceptable in a democratic society, and should be ended now."

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