European Parliament votes on mandatory data retention


Data retention laws affect us all and are of concern to anyone who understands the importance of a right to privacy in maintaining fundamental freedoms. UK-based NGO Statewatch has been closely following developments at EU level as the Council of Minsters and European Parliament respond to the Commission's proposal for a common approach by all twenty-five member states. They have now produced an annotated guide to the issues and documentation which can be found at this website This month the Parliament will vote on the proposal, which would mean the logging of everyone's communications (phone, fax, mobiles including location, e-mails and internet usage) and give access to this information to law enforcement agencies for the foreseeable future. The UK, in its role as EU Presidency is pressuring the parliament to rush through the measure by the end of November under what is known as “the 1st reading procedure”, a means of avoiding lengthier debate which has generally (though this is not the first exception) been reserved for non-controversial measures