Thursday, January 03, 2008

Germany - traffic data retention

Opponents of telecommunications data retention appeal to constitutional court

Opponents of mass retention of internet and telephone connection data have today submitted an appeal against the law, which enters into force on 1st January, to the Federal Constitutional Court, according to Karlsruhe based Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (Working Group on Data Retention). In addition, critics are also calling for an immediate injunction to stop data collection due to its "obvious unconstitutionality". Power of attorney to pursue the appeal has apparently been obtained for around 30,000 citizens. This would make it the largest appeal in the history of the Federal Republic.

The law on monitoring of telecommunications and retention of data was signed off by German president Horst Köhler last Wednesday and is to enter into force on 1st January. To help investigations relating to terrorist suspects, telephone and internet connection data for all citizens is in future to be retained for six months. New rules on telephone surveillance are also being introduced. The Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung considers the measures to be "a serious encroachment on the fundamental values of the constitutional state." Every citizen will be treated indiscriminately as a potential criminal.

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