Once Again Privacy Laws And Anti-Piracy Data Retention Laws Conflict

from the ain't-that-always-the-way? dept

We’ve noticed in the past that there are two massively conflicting ideas pushed by politicians: privacy laws that require companies to dump data they collect on users and data-retention laws that require companies to hold onto data for law enforcement or anti-piracy efforts. That seems to be showing up in Sweden now, where the recent IPRED law required ISPs to turn over data on those accused of file sharing. However, that simply led many Swedish ISPs to stop keeping log files. So, of course, some Swedish politicians put forth a data retention amendment, requiring ISPs to keep logs, which sounds great until lots of folks recognized this would clearly violate privacy laws already in place (via Michael Scott). You get the feeling we’re going to see a lot more of these sorts of conflicts in the near future.

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Comments on “Once Again Privacy Laws And Anti-Piracy Data Retention Laws Conflict”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Let me see if I have this right.

There is a new law on the books in Sweden known as IPRED, under which law info that is in the hands of ISPs can be subject to a subpeona in matters pertaining to illegal file sharing. Some ISPs apparently have decided to avoid the matter by not keeping any data (though I am not sure that technically this can be accomplished on-the-fly).

In response a bill has been introduced to amend the IPRED law to mandate that data be retained for six (6) months. That bill to amend the current law, currently in draft form, limits disclosure of such retained information only for criminal investigation purposes. Thus, the bill as currently written would preclude the availability of such information in furtherance of civil suits for illegal file sharing.

Is there anybody out there in internet-land who seriously believes that this oversight will not be cured in the next draft of the amendment?

Quite frankly, this article strikes me as putting the cart before the horse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Is your site having some glitches? I provided a comment, the site indicated it went through and would be shortly posted, and this was about 1-2 hours ago.

To reiterate, my comment was not directed to techdirt. I was directed to those who post “rant-type” comments that I believe demonstrate a lack of familiarity with the interplay between two bedrock priciples of constitutional law, i.e., “freedom of speech” per the 1st Amendment and “right to a trial by an impartial jury” per the 6th Amendment. These two principles oftentimes clash, and reconcilitation between them is not necessarily an easy matter.

What we essentially have here is a judge who has listened to oral agrument on a motion, asked question to help understand the pertinent issues, and has taken the matter under advisement to consider the issues before ruling on the motion. I expect the judge will come down on the side of the 1st Amendment, but even so I believe it is disconcerting that so many seem to villify the judge for proceeding cautiously. Without a copy of the pleadings, the motion papers, and the oral agrument transcript commenting so negatively as some commenters seem inclined to do demonstrates, in my opinion, a profound misunderstanding of how our system of laws and the judicial process work.

Techdirt openly advocates economics as a basic course of study in school. I agree, and also believe that civics should be added as well.

bikey (profile) says:


This conflict has been a done deal for a long time. The European Court of Justice confirmed the 2006 Data Retention Directive that requires data retention last year, in seemingly (the devil is in the details) direct conflict with its own 1995 Data Protection Directive. All 27 EU member states should theoretically implement the Data Retention Directive this year, if they haven’t already done so. Privacy rights, friends, are a thing of the past, even in Europe, where they started. To call this Swedish law ‘IPRED’ (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) is a bit of a misnomer though. This term was used to describe a 2004 EC Directive in which the 27 member states agreed to harmonize enforcement, but fell short of the heavily lobbied provisions that such measures include criminal sanctions. RIAA and MPAA lobbies are still lobbying heavily (in an unregulated EU lobbying environment) for prison terms though, so whether the secretive Commission and the unfortunately powerless Parliament will go for it this time remains to be seen.

David Canton (user link) says:

This tension has indeed been growing. Governments pass privacy laws to limit the use/retention of personal info – which is a good thing. But then governnment somehow sees themselves as different – i.e. that their “need” for the info is more important. Also from the troubling thoughts that “if you have nothing to hide…”, and “trust us, we are the government”.

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