Digital Civil Rights in Europe

Article published in EDRi-gram 6.7

European Digital Rights (EDRi) has joined other 42 civil liberties NGOs and professional associations in signing the amicus curiae brief initiated by German NGO Working Group on Data Retention (Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung).

The action is destined to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in relation to the action started on 6 July 2006 – Ireland vs. Council of the European Union, European Parliament (Case C-301/06). The brief is asking ECJ to annul the EU directive on data retention pointing out that apart from the formal grounds put forward by Ireland, the directive is, most of all, illegal on material grounds.

According to the document, data retention violates the right to respect for private life and correspondence, freedom of expression and the right of providers to the protection of their property. “While it threatens to inflict great damage on society, its potential benefit appears, overall, to be little. Data retention can support the protection of individual rights only in few and generally less important cases. A permanent, negative effect on crime levels is not to be expected.”

With data retention in place, “citizens constantly need to fear that their communications data may at some point lead to false incrimination or governmental or private abuse of the data. Because of this, traffic data retention endangers open communication in the whole of society.”

Amicus Curiae Brief (8.04.2008)

List of Signatories of the Amicus Curiae Brief (8.04.2008)

European NGOs ask Court to annul data retention directive (8.04.2008)

EDRi-gram: German constitutional challenge on Data Retention (12.03.2008)

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