In a recent development in the land of beer and sausage comes a striking blow to those who would like to store your personal communications information for a period of six months. You know. Just in case law enforcement might need it for something.
Germany’s highest court on Tuesday overturned a law allowing authorities to retain data on telephone calls and e-mail traffic to help fight terrorism and crime. The Federal Constitution Court ruled that major changes needed to be made to a 2008 law ordering data on calls made from mobile or fixed-line telephones and e-mail traffic to be kept for six months for possible access by law enforcement agencies.
The judges said the data storage was not secure enough and that it was not sufficiently clear what it would be used for. A record number of almost 35,000 people, including current Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, had originally brought the case to the court. The law stems from a European Union directive.
The court said all data stored to date must be deleted immediately. It said the law went far beyond the requirements of the EU directive. The storage of data could “cause a diffusely threatening feeling of being under observation that can diminish an unprejudiced perception of one’s basic rights in many areas,” said the president of the court, Hans-Jürgen Papier.
Absolutely shocked? I was.
This is the European Union after all. Peace, love, socialism, and all of that.
If you take the time to read the article you’ll see that the fight isn’t over yet. The Germans would be ok with a law that had better defined parameters when it comes to the storage, use, and access of the data.
I suppose if you whack people with a stick long enough they might just get pissed off.