Concerns over European legislation on data retention

By Derek Sooman on January 14, 2006, 11:59 AM
Technical and legal experts are claiming that laws soon to be made active in the UK which concern data retention are seriously flawed. The legislation, which is European in origin, makes it a requirement for telecommunications companies and ISPs to save information about customers' phone calls and electronic communications for up to two years.

The directive has been criticised for not putting the question of who pays the cost of retaining data into law, instead relying on informal negotiations between individual ISPs, telcos and the Home Office.

"No mention is made of costs. The directive says 'Article 10 Costs. Deleted'," said Internet expert Clive Feather, speaking at the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) Annual Parliamentary Advisory Forum in Westminster.

These views are shared by the Police, who are expected to foot some of the bill. The directive is also shaky on a number of other grounds, even in defining exactly what an Internet service provider is.




User Comments: 10

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asphix said:
Hrmmm, save information as in the time a call was placed and to whom it was placed? Or do they actually tap in on the conversation and record it?I'm hoping its the first of those two. Either way, that is quite the overlook... not addressing who would foot the bill for something like that. I would assume the government would do so since they would be the ones most likely to use it.
MonkeyMan said:
I believe it will be both methods asphix. This sounds similar to what the bush adminstration is doing, with regards to the patriot act. It seems as though the same legislation and laws are going to be implemented in the UK. Worldwide security, is the drive that is going to push this legislation to every country in the world. First it was the US, now the UK, and the only question is, which country is next?
Cy6erpuke said:
Privacy will be the issue if you guys are correct. I know a lot more is being tapped than what we know, but not openly. With a law like this, it actually robs you of your right to privacy. This needs more work.
exscind said:
Well if the legislation refers both phone calls and ISPs as the same, then I believe the respective companies will only track who made what call and how long was the call; for ISP, the login time. I assume this is to further help the police to fight crime and prove innocence/guilty in courts as facts of evidence. Ideally, this is something that all parties involved should share the burden of cost, but it is hard to fault the ISPs or phone companies if they do not comply or complain about this. The cost will no doubt be enormous no matter how many times one slices up the pie.
fury said:
To legislations such as this one, I only have this to say (to borrow a favorite quote of mine): Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.-Franklin
asphix said:
Great quote fury.Things like this have been a concern for a long time though, so its nothing new. I'm not defending it.. but I'm not terribly surprised either. The book 1984 and the whole big brother concept pretty much says it all.Its a fine line. I dont believe there is any definitive answer. You need a certain measure of security, but you also need a certain measure of liberty. Theres no point of security with the complete loss of liberty, but just the same theres no point of liberty at the complete loss of security. Oh man, my head hurts!In the end I guess i'd rather be free and close to dead than safe and controlled. Still, neither is desireable over a comfortable position somewhere in the middle.
nathanskywalker said:
[b]Originally posted by fury:[/b][quote]To legislations such as this one, I only have this to say (to borrow a favorite quote of mine): Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.-Franklin[/quote]mabye so, but haven't we done that quite a bit in America? though i completely agree with you!
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I've read that the content won't be recorded, only sender and receiver information.But the whole thing can be circumvented by using webmail, avoiding using ISP's mail servers.Of course you could also encrypt the messages, with PGP for example.
Eko said:
So what if you encrypt all of your mails ? Don't you think that the NSA can get all your info? Let's be serious, with their machines, they can decrypt anything. I'm 100 % sure.Privacy will disappear. 1984 becomes a reality.The way to hell is paved with good intentions.
mentaljedi said:
[b]Originally posted by Eko:[/b][quote]So what if you encrypt all of your mails ? Don't you think that the NSA can get all your info? Let's be serious, with their machines, they can decrypt anything. I'm 100 % sure.Privacy will disappear. 1984 becomes a reality.The way to hell is paved with good intentions.[/quote]Technology is a double-edged sword my friend. And that applies to most other things things too.
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