UK Escalates Intent of EU Directive
The OUTLAW summary of the purpose of the Statutory Instrument (which was scooted through Parliament with no effective scrutiny) omits a fundamental point. There is a distinction between the limitations on purpose of the original EU Directive which specified "Serious" crime and the wider liberties now granted to the Authorities in the UK.
The related paragraph should perhaps be rewritten.
"The new law implements most of the EU's Data Retention Directive. That directive was passed to ensure that valuable data is available across Europe as a tool to prevent, investigate, detect, and prosecute SERIOUS criminal offences and in particular SERIOUS organised crime." The British Statutory Instrument does not provide for any limitation on the usage of such data.
The EU Parliament may well have failed to argue to protect fundamental rights or privacy, but the Directive was not the catch-all power which is now available to investigating UK authorities under the provisions of the The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000). That gives the Police authority to get such information without warrant. Informal arrangements already exist with a number of Telephone Service Providers where such data can be electronically accessed by the authorities without having to trouble the Telecoms staff. There are no effective safeguards.
The shift towards population monitoring in EU thinking is worrying enough. That the British Government has chosen to extend the intended range of the EU Directive illustrates their contempt for any residue of rights or of personal liberty.
If you want to know more, try looking around the Statewatch DOT org site.