Denmark Repeals Data Retention Law's Logging Rules, Will Begin Discussions On What Should Replace Them
from the moving-in-the-right-direction dept
A couple of months ago, we wrote about an important decision handed down by the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ) that declared the EU's Data Retention Directive "invalid." As we noted then, it was not entirely clear what national governments would do about the legislation they had passed in order to implement that Directive. From the deafening silence that has followed, we can presume that most of them are still thinking hard, but the Danish government has announced it is repealing the law's excessive logging rules at least (Google Translate of original Danish press release from Ministry of Justice):
The Ministry of Justice considers overall that there is no basis for believing that the Danish logging rules would be contrary to the Charter [of Fundamental Rights]. But the ministry has doubts whether the rules on session logging is appropriate to achieve their purpose. Justice Karen Hækkerup repeal therefore now rules on session logging.
As that indicates, the Ministry of Justice does not consider that its own particular framing would fall foul of the EUCJ's ruling, but it does admit that it had doubts about whether the data retention logging rules were appropriate, and so is repealing them. Interestingly, that may not be the whole story here. According to the Danish Politiken newspaper, the real reason the government is choosing to strike down the rules is that it lacked the votes in parliament to stop that happening anyway. Here's what a spokesperson for the opposition Left party is reported as saying (Google Translate of original in Danish):
I am pleased that the Minister of Justice has recognized that the majority behind the unnecessary session logging has crumbled. We have announced that we do not want the session logging myth persists because there is no correlation between the degree of intervention, and how effective it is as an investigative agent.
It's great to see politicians beginning to recognize that simply "collecting it all" is neither proportionate nor effective. Here's what will happen now:
The Minister of Justice will in the next parliamentary session to submit a bill to revise the total logging rules that could form the basis for policy discussions with the political parties about logging rules future design.
Let's hope that the policy discussions will reflect what we have learned about the dangers of extreme surveillance in the last year -- and that other EU countries follow Denmark's example by repealing their laws and instituting broad-based consultations on what, if anything, should replace them.