Data Retention in the EU and in Germany five years after the Directive – Arguments and strategies workshop.
Mandatory data retention’s potential to make blanket surveillance possible remains a hot policy concern across the EU. Blanket data retention compels Internet service providers and telecom companies to collect and store data about everyone’s communications, movements and Internet transactions, including people never suspected or convicted of any illegal activity whatsoever.
2011 is a crucial year in the battle against data retention and blanket surveillance. The European Commission is to present a proposal for revising the Data Retention Directive, which has been called the most intrusive surveillance measure ever adopted by the EU. The German government wants to negotiate a “compromise” on demands to reenact a national data retention law. Blanket communications data retention has triggered a great amount of criticism, research and public debate across Europe. A new privacy movement has risen in Germany. Several constitutional courts across Europe have declared national data retention laws unconstitutional. The Data Retention Directive will be referred to the European Court of
Justice later this year, and the European Commission has seen its Justice Commissioner openly state that she would never have suggested data retention in the first place. Effectiveness, legitimacy and the impact on human rights of blanket data retention have been among the key issues discussed in the past 12 months by the European Commission, national governments, industry representatives and NGOs. The debate has probably entered its most heated phase now that decisions concerning the future of data retention are imminent.
After an introduction to the international and national state of play, most of this workshop will be devoted to an open discussion with you of key arguments advanced by proponents and opponents of data retention, and of strategies to influence the debate. All three speakers are well acquainted with and involved in the debate surrounding data retention at the European and the national level.