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back to article Justice minister tries to further delay snoop silo laws in Germany

Germany might further delay its implementation of the Data Retention Directive despite facing potential financial penalties of more than €300,000 for each day it fails to transpose it into national law, according to media reports. The Cabinet plans to revisit the topic at a 22 January meeting in an attempt to avoid fines, and is …

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If this was the USA, they'd simply 'defund' the EU till it collapsed.

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Mushroom

Go Germany!

Pass the popcorn, watch the fireworks.

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Is it just me?

Or is there a certain irony, 70 years on, that the German state seems to be more protective of its citizens freedoms than either the UK or the USA?

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M7S
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Re: Is it just me?

It just shows that they learn from their mistakes, for which we should give them full credit. I wish HMG (and others) would learn not only from our mistakes but those of other nations. Unfortunately at the time of writing, neither seems a likely prospect. It appears, and I hope I am skirting carefully enough around Godwin, that we are putting in place the means where such mistakes would be easier to execute, should anyone so wish in the future.

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Re: Is it just me?

Germany has lernt its lesson the hard way, which is why its constitution is very much about citizens rights and freedoms. There are a lot of very funny laws over here, and a lot of people outside Germany get the impression that the laws are draconian. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and finding out what the Stasi did, it makes Germans even more sensitive to abuses of power and retaining personally identifiable information.

I had a friend who did an exchange year in the USA and he was alarmed that in the "land of the free", so many of the freedoms he took for granted were illegal. America was much more restrictive, unless he wanted a gun, then he had some freedom...

The draconian side of the laws here are more aimed at businesses not abusing their customers, which is also a reason why a lot of Americans rile against the EU and Germany in particular. They seem to think that giving a company freedom to abuse the citizens of a country means that they have understood capitalism and that the EU striving for citizens rights against being abused by big business is a sign that we are all socialists and are against capitalism.

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Re: Is it just me?

Ah, but they HAVE learned from their mistakes, and those of previous encumbents, and are now cheerfully arse-raping us whilst the majority of sheeple are mesmerised by the mind-deadening celebrity shiny-shiny shows and manipulated 'News' (propagenda), whilst removing our rights to protest (IPNA).

WAKEY WAKEY!

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Anonymous Coward

did I get it right?

that the German state delays the implementation of an EU law that helps German state spy on its citizens? I thought they would and do spy on their folk, regardless?

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Re: did I get it right?

No, you don't have it right. The German government did enact the EU directive in national law but the law was struck down by the Constitutional Court. The previous government failed to draft a new law that would comply with the constitution, basically because the Justice Minister had enough backbone to face down the Interior Ministry who would have liked nothing more than being able to spy on German citizens. The Interior Minister has since been demoted to the Minister of Agriculture.

The new coalition has agreed to implement the Directive but not on a timetable and in the expectation that the EUCJ will require the Directive be amended. The EU Commission is required to enforce EU law by bringing countries to court that do not enforce EU law within specified timeframes.

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Slx
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I have to say well done to Digital Rights Ireland too! They've been tirelessly arguing against this stuff for years and are really keeping the legal and political pressure on.

Great to see some citizen power in action and I think more of us need to be helping campaigns like that!

The Germans had a particularly awful experience of Big Brother style surveillance society both under the horrendous Nazi regime and later under the East German state which used a wide range of tools to keep tabs on its citizens.

Many German politicians, including Angela Merkel, grew up under East German oppression. So, there acutely aware of what can happen when this stuff gets out of hand.

I hope this combination of traditional Irish civic activism and German sensitivities about being spied upon by their own government cause a major rethink.

Too many kneejerk reactions by people who really don't know anything about the internet (aging legislators) is what has gotten us to this mess!

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Anonymous Coward

Upvoted but caveat

I wouldn't be so quick to congratulate Merkel as she only gave out once she found she was personally targetted and basically doesn't appear to give a toss about the rest of Germany's citizens. Can't say I've heard much about her doing anything about it since either.

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It's only one minister.

The coalition partner and the minister of the interior have already been frothing at the mouth about it and demanded full implementation by the time the EU court has decided on a verdict.

Our former minister of the interior famously declared that the right so security trumps all human rights. Of course to the mutton farmer nothing is more important than the safety of his flock.

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Invalid laws?

Has the Advocate General really stated that there is an invalid law on the statute books, and if so can an EU Citizen be compelled to obey it?

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Re: Invalid laws?

No, but not therefore yes.

The Advocate General says that the Directive conflicts with the Human Rights Charter and should be amended. However, he also said there was no fundamental conflict and that sufficient time should be given to change the Directive rather than withdraw it immediately because the aims of the Directive are not fundamentally in conflict with the Human Rights Charter. The Directive is implemented in national law separately by each member state so each member state will need to enact any revised Directive in national law within the usual timeframe (2 to 3 years after European Council and Parliament have ratified the Directive).

We can expect more horse-trading en route to any revised legislation. On the one hand we have the snoopers who think that more surveillance means more security and on the other the defenders of civil liberty and privacy. But we've now also got around 10 years of data for cost/benefit analyses such as that done in Denmark which seems to come down against long-term blanket surveillance because it is expensive and has, so far, provided little evidence to support its basic premise.

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Re: Invalid laws?

There seems to be quite a lot of embarrassment at EC level about this Directive, because really it was not within the remit of the EU to make this law (it has nothing to do with free trade and little to do with the security of the EU itself). It was a classic example of "we must do something!" which has, with passing time, been realised to be a complete mess. However, there is a solid rump of people in power who will not give up htis new source of information lightly (just as in every legislature) and Germany will have to made to play ball because it just points up that the Directive is plain wrong and that its supporters are power-grabbing shit-bags.* I still hope the Germans find a way out of it, but I'm not holding my breath.

*That's a technical term.

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