Latest EU Country With Legal Challenge To Blanket Data Retention: The Netherlands

from the gathering-pace dept

Last week we wrote about how a ruling by Europe’s highest court, the EUCJ, that blanket data retention was “invalid,” had received a further boost from an analysis by the European Parliament’s legal services. That, in its turn, made it more likely that more overbroad data retention laws in EU nations would be challenged, as has already happened in the UK and Sweden. Here’s one such move in the Netherlands, as reported by Computerworld in Australia:

After evaluating that ruling [of the EUCJ] the Dutch government decided in November largely to maintain the national data retention law on the grounds that it “is indispensable for the investigation and prosecution of serious criminal offenses.” Only a few adjustments to the law were deemed necessary, mainly tightening who has access to the data and under which circumstances.

By maintaining the law, the government also ignored the advice given by the Council of State, a constitutional advisory body that concluded that the Dutch data retention law should be withdrawn because it violates fundamental privacy laws.

The fact that the Dutch government decided to maintain its data retention law despite advice from experts to the contrary, coupled with the latest report from the European Parliament, means that the legal challenge — from the civil rights organization Privacy First, the Dutch Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Dutch Association of Journalists, the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists, ISP BIT and the telecom companies VOYS and SpeakUp — might stand a chance of being successful. While it would be premature to celebrate, the fact that this is even a possibility is a useful reminder of how the surveillance landscape in Europe has shifted over the last year thanks to the EUCJ ruling.

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Comments on “Latest EU Country With Legal Challenge To Blanket Data Retention: The Netherlands”

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That One Guy (profile) says:


“is indispensable for the investigation and prosecution of serious criminal offenses.”

Really? Well, if it’s so very valuable, then obviously they must have used it in a number of high-profile cases to date, why don’t they list the ones that have made it through the system(so as to avoid the ‘We can’t release that data as it’s involved in a current investigation/trial’ issue), and let the public see just how ‘indispensable’ it has been? In particular, show how blanket data retention does what targeted, narrow investigation could not do.

Anonymous Coward says:


Something they shouldnt have had the ability to do in the first place…….the real world equivalent being everyone and their property being searched perpetually and continously WITHOUT A WARRANT

Right now, after everything various governments have done and in showing us how they think……..i no longer even trust THAT system….hell, with the mentality they continously show us, i cant trust that any one “up there” can promiss that wont always end up corrupted……there are just to many people in there not doing it for the right reasons

Anonymous Coward says:

the worrying thing is that individual countries can and do completely ignore what has been deemed as against human rights and against EU law. the UK is a prime example of this, especially with Cameron and May doing whatever they can dream up to allow them to carry on with and actually increase the surveillance of ordinary citizens. even at the moment Cameron is in the US having talks with Obama and trying to agree on action to take against terrorists. the thing is they and everyone else knows that this blanket surveillance will not work because if terrorists were so easily caught, they wouldn’t be a problem to begin with. the reason for the surveillance is so the governments of every nation know what the ordinary people are doing! they dont want anyone to find out what the thieving, lying fuckers in government are up to and they dont want the citizens to be able to arrange amongst them any demonstrations or marches against new proposals on the cards!

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