back to article European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive

A European Union directive that required ISPs to retain data for two years has been deemed "invalid", Brussels' highest court ruled today. The measure "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Written in the UK and finally in the dustbin of history.

It's older than that. The, AFAIK, first mention of data retention were a series of propositions in Sweden in the late 90's, when the Swedish Police argued that ISP's should be forced to retain all traffic indefinitely, so the police could go on fishing expeditions in the data. The original bugbear the police wanted to slay were people who slandered celebrities on-line, a big problem in those days (according to the tabloids). Sweden, however, instead outlawed the mentioning of any person's name on the internet without that person's written consent (yes, really). The police didn't give up, and subsequent iterations of the proposition motivated the dire need for police to be able to search everyone's internet activities with, in order, piracy, pedophilia and hate speech.

The proposition started getting traction after 9/11, with terrorism as the new bugbear, and got bumped from being a national concern to the EU level after the Madrid bombing.

The rest is history (and really, really, bad legislation).

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FAIL

This is totally adverse to the Mad May and GCHQ policy ...

which is to locate and store every bit of information.

And another reason for May to resent the EU.

Did you hear that the GCHQ has recorded the serial numbers and associated information for every storage system presently in use?

Why do they do all these things? Just because they can?

They seem to forget they are spending UK tax dollars - or forcing ISPs to increase charges.

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Anonymous Coward

About time!

This ruling literally brought a tear to my eye. I've gone from Eurosceptic, to Pro-EU. It's about time we saw some common sense and justice prevailing, instead of throwing away our rights the moment someone says the "T" word ("terrorist").

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: About time!

It's only a court opinion - the unelected EU commissioners aren't bound to obey it and won't be punished if they do.

Don't forget the EU elections are coming up in a month - there's been all sorts of attention-grabbing stuff to ensure the masses don't elect people who'll cut the EU to size from within.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: About time!

Errm, it's not an opinion. It's a judgement.

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Anonymous Coward

From the linked press release

"Given that the Court has not limited the temporal effect of its judgment, the declaration of invalidity takes effect from the date on which the directive entered into force."

Good news. :)

It also tells us who are behind this:

"The High Court (Ireland) and the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court, Austria) are asking the Court of Justice to examine the validity of the directive, in particular in the light of two fundamental rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, namely the fundamental right to respect for private life and the fundamental right to the protection of personal data.

The High Court must resolve a dispute between the Irish company Digital Rights Ireland and the Irish authorities regarding the legality of national measures concerning the retention of data relating to electronic communications. The Verfassungsgerichtshof has before it several constitutional actions brought by the Kärntner Landesregierung (Government of the Province of Carinthia) and by

Mr Seitlinger, Mr Tschohl and 11 128 other applicants. Those actions seek the annulment of the national provision which transposes the directive into Austrian law."

We all should be very thankful to Mr Seitlinger, Mr Tschohl, and those 11,128 other applicants, in my opinion.

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Anonymous Coward

Full judgement available here:

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=150642&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=405349

It is notable btw, that the full directive has been declared invalid, rather than individual parts of it. I have a feeling that takes some pretty incompetent lawmakers to write such a poor law. :-P

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Another Cause for Human Rights Activist Attention because of the Vile Theft it Allows‽

With elections in the offing, would you vote for the nasty Nazi party thinking the following is a fine option to sneak into the gravy train arsenal under the radar and without greater public awareness.

UK Bank Accounts Can Be Raided After Budget

HM Revenue & Customs will be able to directly access taxpayers’ bank accounts in order to recover unpaid tax, under measures announced in this month’s Budget speech.

The little noticed move gives HMRC similar powers to raid bank accounts and recover tax and tax credit debts in excess of £1,000.

In the Budget Red Book, the measure is described as follows:

“The government will modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax or tax credit debts, have the financial means to pay, and have been contacted multiple times by HMRC to pay.”

At the moment, if HMRC want to seize your property or cash, they have to take you to court, win and then get a court order. Now, after a couple of warning letters and a phone call, they can do it in conjunction with your bank, with a touch of a button.

Crucially, there’s no safeguard built into this system. There should be a transparent and fair process and an appeals process.

Now, if HMRC officials decide you owe them cash, they can just take it directly from your bank account. If you haven't managed to reach agreement with them, then you'll just wake up one morning, check your bank account, and find your cash is gone. No insolvency proceedings, asset freezes, debt collection agencies or court proceedings. Just the government taking out whatever it believes it is owed.

The significant HMRC legislation change was buried deep in the Budget document and comes amid preparations by international monetary and financial authorities and the Bank of England for bail-ins.

The UK government can now confiscate UK citizens money directly from bank accounts while it decides if you have broken the law or not. This is a significant power grab and this and the real risk of bail-ins are another reason to own physical gold outside the banking system, in jurisdictions that respect private property. ...... http://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/UK_Budget_Allows_Bank_Accounts_To_Be_Raided

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