Czech Court Says No To Data Retention Rules

from the good-for-them dept

There's been a big push around the globe, mainly by law enforcement but also with a helping hand from the entertainment industry, to force internet service providers to "retain data" for extensive periods of time, for various investigations. I've always been intrigued by the inherent conflict between data retention and privacy -- especially in Europe where they seem to be pushing quite strong for both conflicting concepts at the same time. Apparently, the two have come into legal conflict once again in a courtroom -- this time in the Czech Republic... and privacy has won out yet again.

In a ruling in the Czech Constitutional Court, the country's data retention rules have been ruled illegal, saying that it's a clear privacy violation. As the article notes, other countries, including Germany, Romania, Cyprus and Hungary have all run into similar problems trying to implement the European Data Retention Directive, and Sweden, Greece, Ireland and Austria have refused to implement the rules, because they don't see how it can be done and not violate privacy rules. Perhaps, at some point, the folks who wrote the original directive will realize that it can't be squared with Europe's privacy rules.

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  1. identicon
    Erik, 5 Apr 2011 @ 11:51pm


    The swedish government is actually hell-bent on implementing the data retention directive, and would have done so on the 16th of march, but for a small group of the parlament using a constitution-protection mechanism to table it for one year.

    Sweden is, alas, no longer the good example it once was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Christopher (profile), 6 Apr 2011 @ 1:18am

    Re: Sweden

    Sweden has been getting stupider on numerous things lately. With their anti-male 'rape' laws that basically take a woman's word as rote truth and other things, you would have to be insane to stay in Sweden unless you absolutely had to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    -, 6 Apr 2011 @ 2:38am

    Too bad my country just went through it silently, no public debate, little questioning afterward....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    zub, 6 Apr 2011 @ 5:40am


    I'm quite surprised to see a reasonable ruling from the Czech Republic. After all - a quick glace at the logo of Czech Ministry of Culture quickly shows the state of affairs there: (Insulting assumption of "copyright" a "culture" going hand in hand.)

    (For extra context: I actually have Czech citizenship.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Lesath (profile), 6 Apr 2011 @ 7:26am

    The obvious solution is to do away with the privacy rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Pixelation, 6 Apr 2011 @ 7:40am

    Next, the Czech leadership should ask the **AA's for lots of cash, after that they should keep things the way they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Daragh O Brien, 6 Apr 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Data Retention and Ireland

    eh.. I believe you may be misinformed about Ireland's 'opposition' to the Data Retention Directive. the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 was enacted on Jan 26th and transposes the EU Directive into Irish law.

    There is a challenge to the Directive being taken by Digital Rights Ireland ( in the European Court of Justice. The Irish government's objection was purely a procedural one - that the Directive hadn't been brought through the right procedural channel in the European Commission (and the enactment of the legislation in Ireland makes that objection moot).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Peter S. Chamberlain (profile), 9 Apr 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re: Privacy, "My country"???

    You say "MY [your] country" just went through this, but nothing here reveals what country that is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Peter S. Chamberlain (profile), 9 Apr 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: "do away with privacy"???!!!

    I hope you're kidding!
    Some of the biggest players in both the technical and political arenas have said things like "You have no privacy. Get over it.," and, at the same time, candidly admitted that "the laws are written by [their] lobbyists." It is long past time that the conservatives and the liberals, both of whom profess to support privacy rights as essential to liberty, which it is, quit partisan bickering and glory-hogging, get together, knock some of our "the people be damned" politicians of both parties' heads together, and pass some tough personal privacy laws broad enough to cover existing and new and emerging technology, etc., with real civil and criminal teeth in them. But don't bet on it because the money's on the other side.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Wilson, 4 Jul 2011 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Sweden

    It only means that the lawmakers elected into the parliament are incompetent and stupid. They simply lack common sense. That's all there is to it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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