Feeds

German privacy activists cry foul over data retention law

Data logging? Nein danke

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Privacy activists have filed a constitutional complaint against Germany's data retention laws.

The objection against the German Telecomms Data Retention Act was filed in federal court on Monday by German privacy group Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (Working Group on Data Retention). The group said 30,000 people have signed the objection against laws that mean German telecoms carriers are obliged to keep details of internet usage and phone call records for up to two years. The 150-page complaint calls on the court to suspend the law on the grounds of "apparent unconstitutionality".

Alongside its legal moves, Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung has published guidelines and recommendations designed to "safeguard individuals" against the obligatory logging of all telecommunications traffic. Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung argues that the data retention law treats all citizens as potential terrorists or delinquents. "The pervasive logging of communication patterns without reasonable suspicion resembled a serious encroachment upon the basic values of constitutional legality," it said.

Organisations and individuals that rely on confidentiality to do their work - lawyers, journalists and even crisis lines - are deprived of free and open communication because of the data logging, the group claims.

Governments across Europe brought in the measures, which backers argue are necessary in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Critics argue blanket data retention is disproportionate.

Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung's objections are explained in greater depth here (in German). The group's stance is backed by 47 German non-governmental organisations. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.