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Left Party of Germany

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EU discusses Data Retention Directive with a new look

“Following the judgment of the European Court of Justice of 21 December 2016, the European Union is working on a new version of the Data Retention Directive. It may be possible, via a back door, to force telecommunications providers to store connection and location data without suspicion of a serious crime,” cautions Andrej Hunko, European policy spokesman for The Left Party parliamentary group in the Bundestag.

On 21 December 2016, the European Court of Justice ruled that data may only be collected for the prosecution of serious crimes and restricted to specific geographic areas. The Council Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection is discussing the adoption of preventive data retention for specific regions. The police agency Europol has also analysed the technical possibilities of a new system for preventive data retention.

Andrej Hunko continued:

"The ‘targeted’ storage of data prohibited by the court is now called ‘restrictive’ data storage. In fact, these are the same old plans with a new look. Threat analyses of expected crimes could serve as the basis for new preventive data retention measures. The terrorist threat, which is being used to justify ongoing controls of Schengen borders, for example, is being cited too often. Telecommunications service providers could also be forced to store data on the basis of such claims in the future.

According to the Federal Government, a retention warrant could comprise entire EU member states or even larger regions within the EU. Furthermore, such retention warrants would be ‘renewable’. This distorts the essence of the ECJ’s judgement, which actually sought to limit the measure.

An EU regulation on the storage of telecommunications data is being enforced by hook or by crook while the privacy of telecommunications is being circumvented. Any preventive storage of data represents a disproportionate infringement of civil rights."

Download the (German) answer to the Minor Interpellation: “Hintertüren zur Einführung der Vorratsdatenspeicherung in Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union“: https://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/dokumente/1168-hintertueren-zur-einfuehrung-der-vorratsdatenspeicherung-in-mitgliedstaaten-der-europaeischen-union