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December 15, 2005

Reaction to passing of EU data retention law

Xeni Jardin: The European Parliament just passed a widely criticized proposal on data retention. Here's an excerpt from a critique today by Jake Appelbaum:
I'm really sad to say that Europe has failed itself. Today the EU accepted a terrible directive. If you read the PDF link here you can see what a disaster they've created.

For those that want a quick summary: Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the retention of data processed in connection with the provision of public electronic communication services and amending Directive 2002/58/EC.

The directive argues that changes in business models and service offerings create new logging practices. Namely, pre-paid cell phone companies don't need to log as much information as a company that sends you a bill later. VoIP providers don't even have a location, they might have an IP address if the user isn't very savvy. All of this as well as other communication advances allow for criminals to speak freely.

They specifically discuss the value of "traffic data" and "location data" and how it's very useful for "prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime, such as terrorism and organized crime." So now they've created a way to solve that problem. They wish to log all of this data. Not the contents mind you, they're not recording every phone call. They're going to be logging who you dialed and when. They'll be logging names and addresses. They won't log the data in the body of your email, they'll log all of the communication headers.

This is a great deal of data.

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Posted by dymaxion at December 15, 2005 02:52 PM



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