Azara Blog: EU governments congratulate themselves for formalising snooping

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Date published: 2005/12/02

The BBC says:

European Union ministers have agreed a deal compelling mobile phone companies to retain call and internet records for use in anti-terror investigations.

Records will kept for up to two years under the new rules, which need to be approved by the European Parliament.

Police would have access to information about calls, text messages and internet data, but not exact call content.

Justice and interior ministers agreed governments can decide how long to hold data, from six months to two years.

The talks in Brussels had stretched into a second day.

The European Parliament had called for information to be disposed of after a year, while EU member states pushed for two.

This formalises what most governments probably do in any case (and everybody believes the Americans snoop on everything), but as with most such laws this is more likely to result in abuse of civil liberties than solving crime. And governments being governments are passing the (substantive) cost of implementing this onto the phone and internet companies. What better than to have someone else pay for your snooping.

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