Azara Blog: EU interior ministers want more powers

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Date published: 2005/10/12

The BBC says:

EU interior ministers have agreed that phone records must be kept for at least 12 months, and e-mail data for at least six, to help the fight against terror.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, they mandated UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke to negotiate with the European Parliament to get its agreement.

The parliament has argued that such a law would violate civil liberties.

Mr Clarke said governments would pass a law without MEPs' involvement unless there was a deal by December.
Officials say no record will be kept of the content of phone calls or e-mails, only the sender, recipient, time, place and length of any communication.

The legislation would apply to unanswered as well as answered calls.

The UK already requires telecoms companies to allow it to tap anything the government wants. So keeping records really only helps post-incident analysis. And needless to say, the government will soon abuse the process and track phone calls and emails of those people they suddenly discover to be troublesome who they would like to immediately discredit (such as 82-year olds who heckle at Labour Party conferences). And how much will this all cost? The ministers don't care, it's not their money.

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