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German court strikes down data retention law

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Mar 2010 15:31 User comments (3)

German court strikes down data retention law The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany has overturned a controversial law that retained communication data between citizens for anti-terrorism purposes. The court called the law a "grave intrusion" of citizen's privacy in its decision. The ruling is a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, which was displeased with it.
The Court said that the law needed to be revised, and that it did not correctly balance privacy rights for German citizens with measures to protect them from harm. Under the law, communication data by e-mail or phone was retained for possible use by law enforcement agencies, but the content of the communication wasn't itself retained.

Nearly 35,000 Germans had appealed to the court to overturn the law that stemmed from a Europe-wide data retention plan formed under the UK's EU Presidency term. Just the previous year, London had been the target of several terrorist attacks.

"The disputed instructions neither provided a sufficient level of data security, nor sufficiently limited the possible uses of the data," the court said, adding that "such retention represents an especially grave intrusion."

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, the country's top security figure, expressed disappointment at the court's decision. "It would be inappropriate to criticize a ruling by the constitutional court, but I have to say that it does not instill happiness," he told reporters.

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3 user comments

13.3.2010 19:10

Here in the U.K. local councils are using powers given to them to prevent terrorism, to fine dog owners for allowing fowling, smokers for littering and drivers for illegal parking.

Give a politician power and he/she will abuse it

23.3.2010 19:20

We elect them to betray us - and they never fail to live down to our expectations.

320.3.2010 8:21

The Prevention of Terrorism act in the uk has been used as a blanket excuse to infringe on our rights by the police and security services since it was introduced in the 70's.
As a 17 year old at the time ,mine and my friends bags were searched and gone through as we were leaving the UK for a camping holiday in france and when we came back. They found nothing. (not by customs ,by police)
At least we didnt get shot in the head 7 times for being 'foriegn looking'
Who has lost the plot here?
We must all be considered to be terrorists constantly to be under such scrutiny.
Labour and the Conservatives should tell it as it is and renamed both of their parties to the New Fascists.
There is Nothing Democratic about our government and we should all beware what has been planned for our future...
I think Hitler would be proud....

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