Thursday, September 14, 2006

Digital Rights Ireland challenges EU mass surveillance

TJ McIntyre and Simon McGarrDigital Rights Ireland has launched a legal challenge to the EU data retention directive, which forces phone companies and Internet Service Providers to store records of their customers' Internet use for years after they should be deleted under data protection law. If successful, the challenge would overturn the directive throughout the EU.

DRI chairman TJ McIntyre commented:

These mass surveillance laws are a direct, deliberate attack on our right to have a private life, without undue interference by the government. That right is underpinned in the laws of European countries and is also explicitly stated in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Article specifies that public authorities may only interfere with this right in narrowly defined circumstances.

The information will be collected and stored on everyone, regardless of whether you are a criminal, a policeman, a journalist, a judge, or an ordinary citizen. Once collected, this information is wide open to misappropriation and misuse. No evidence has been produced to suggest that data retention laws will do anything to stop terrorism or organized crime.

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