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EU Sues Sweden, Demands ISP Data Retention 315

Posted by samzenpus
from the save-it-or-else dept.
Death Metal writes "The EU passed the Data Retention Directive years ago, a law that demands ISPs and search engines hold onto data long enough to help the cops (but not long enough to cause privacy problems). But Sweden never passed it into national law, and the European Commission has now sued the country to make sure a bill appears."
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EU Sues Sweden, Demands ISP Data Retention

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  • Re:How very... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by VShael (62735) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:20AM (#28120417) Journal

    And yet, for some reason, the one pan-european political party [libertas.eu] which is against this sort of supranationality, isn't getting much traction with the voters.

  • First time? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by olddotter (638430) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:24AM (#28120437) Homepage
    Is this the first time the EU has sued a member state for not passing a law? If so this will be an interesting case.
  • Re:Why sue now? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ckret (321556) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:32AM (#28120495) Homepage
    This law itself, in it's current form, nullifies the newly passed IPRED law.
    The law says that stored information can only be requested by the police or prosecutors if a serious crime has been committed (or the suspicion of a serious crime).
    Hence a third party like RIAA cannot request information to file a suit according to the IPRED law.
    Another law in Sweden, currently active, says that all identity information MUST immediately be DESTROYED when it is no longer required for completion of business transactions.

    That's some fine politics there, Lou!
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:34AM (#28120509)

    Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?

    That's a really good question. I'm guessing there's something for this in those 10000+ pages of international treaties that form the EU.

    What's interesting though, that this is the only law they react so harshly to. They usually warn a couple of times, prod gently, give deadlines, give more deadlines, and not take it to court without warning. Of course those are laws not directly related to their emerging police state [wikipedia.org].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:45AM (#28120567)

    The interesting thing is that Sweden was one of the 4 countries that proposed the law (together with Ireland, France and the UK). It really drove its adoption hard, even though the first drafts of the text proposed by these countries were completely unworkable.

    It took almost two years before the final text was drafted. The current version is much more readable and understandable than the first version. In the end a couple of unlikely countries took the lead in drafting the text. Even though some of these countries weren't very positive on the idea of having a data retention law, the civil servants sat down to create something that was what their political masters wanted and was technically realizable in practice.

    Things that were for instance excluded were the requirements to log on a per packet basis the source and destination or to identify for http which adresses were visited.

    How do I know? I was there and took part in the negotiations in the EU Council Working Group from day one to day last.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:47AM (#28120575)

    Terrorists are now pro-freedom?

    Dammit, I've been BSed by our governments!

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:12AM (#28120743)
    Unless we start missing some of our friends and some of us get problems feeding our families because our views do not fit into accepted political/economical/security dogma nothing will happen and that is good so.

    I am afraid however this time around (if it really comes to that) it may be much more difficult to fight for freedoms than it used to be - modern technology makes it easy not only to organize protests but also to suppress them efficiently. The main problem with the new measures/technology is that hardly anybody understands consequences and issues became so complex that this complexity becomes another bump on the road to freedom. This complexity issue becomes especially visible on pan EU level where laws get written nobody understand but fortunately for authors nobody cares - at the end however these laws are translated into national law. I wonder only why our overlords make it so difficult for themselves - after all nobody seems to care anyway - Brussels is so far away...

    I must say I do not miss the old regime of my ol' country but the atmosphere of civic activity and interest in common good is something that I have never seen since fall of communism in eastern part of our continent. Maybe it is a sign of progress or maybe it is a sign of our dumbness and naivety. I hope for the former but I fear the later is true.

    This may change if the financial crisis starts really to bite on the continent too.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Schmorgluck (1293264) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:13AM (#28120747)

    Because if just about everyone starts using encryption, the people handling serious matters (like terrorism or child-porn) will have their task rendered nigh-impossible. Right now they focus on encrypted data, but if everything goes encrypted, they will never be able to decrypt everything.

    That's another reason why too much enforcement against online copyright infringement is moronic, as it is an incentive for people whose actions, while illicit, are very benign, to encrypt their data. And that's one of the reasons why such a system as the recent French three-strikes law haven't been implemented (yet?) in the USA, despite intense lobbying from the MAFIAA: the NSA opposes it.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:21AM (#28120801)

    Are you sure they did get a few warnings?

    Hungary got warnings about banning gene-modified crops. Fortunately, we were not the only ones to do so, and for good reason.

    See here [auswaertiges-amt.de] for some details. Also, I was told the corn in question was modified to protect itself from a bug not found in Central Europe, yet they still wanted to force it on us.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by H.G.Blob (1550325) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:22AM (#28120807)

    Could you please see this law in perspective for a moment:
    1) This law requires the ISP to hold identification data for only 6 months - most ISPs keep it longer than that.
    2) The only way to have access to this data is to have a court order.
    3) I've never heard Slashdot complain about telcos that save call records for the exact same purpose because in the end we just want our privacy and not make it impossible for police to do their jobs.

    My $.02

  • Re:Haha (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:30AM (#28120843)

    Even more funny is that the former minister of justice in Sweden was one of the people pushing through this legislation in the EU to begin with. Maybe we caught the EU by surprise by not implementing the law ourselves?

    Another point is that the current ruling party might have been waiting until after the now ongoing EU election as to not give more fuel to the pirate party and the debate about privacy and all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:30AM (#28120847)

    That's the whole point of the EU; concentration of power. How to a few people control many? By creating a power hierarchy with themselves at the top.

    Centralized government == power to the state. Decentralized government == power to the people. This was the goal of the US Constitution; power to the states and limited scope of federal government. Decentralization lends itself to freedom and democracy. The EU is not necessarily bad, but it's scope should be very limited and certainly not have anything to do with internet regulation.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:04AM (#28121067)

    If Sweden loses, fines would be imposed.

    What would be interesting is if Sweden would refuse on grounds that it is unconstitutional. Even if the ruling coalition wanted to, two separate parliaments and a referendum has to approve a change to the constitution. I think that lagradet objected to the radio surveillance agency law (FRA-lagen) on those grounds.

    Someone who has some questions to answer is Thomas Bodstrom of the previous Labour govt, who pushed for this quite aggressively and actually managed to get the ball rolling despite no popular support.

    Anyway, I'm out of there, watching the debacle from the outside. Wait, I'm in the UK. Oh noes! I will have to move countries again!

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:23AM (#28121175)

    Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?

    That's a really good question. I'm guessing there's something for this in those 10000+ pages of international treaties that form the EU.

    What's interesting though, that this is the only law they react so harshly to. They usually warn a couple of times, prod gently, give deadlines, give more deadlines, and not take it to court without warning. Of course those are laws not directly related to their emerging police state [wikipedia.org].

    Sweden has recently passed the IPRED law where a copywrite holder can request from the court for the ISP to hand over IP information about their customers if they are suspected of illigal file sharing. So basically Copyright holders are the police now. Or something like that.

    so what happened.

    http://www.thelocal.se/19478/20090515/

    Several ISP's decided not to store their information about their customers because they did not want to hand over their customers information to 3rd parties.

    So now Sweden is going to create a new law where they force ISP's to save the user's data (see article above).

    So why is EU putting pressing the issue by sueing. Its because these copywrite lobbiests are trying to save their business model by getting involved in politics and changing laws everywhere.

    EU elections are on june 7th. Im voting for the pirate party. Not because I necessarily want them to win but I would like them to get some seats in the parlement so they can question some of these issues that are invading on everyones privacy.

    I could go on forever. And the funny thing is. Nobody is in favor of these laws. So why are they getting passed. I thought these were democratic nations.

  • Re:Why sue now? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:32AM (#28121239) Homepage

    Ah, but you've missed the point. Currently, after the IPRED law the ISPs are deleting logs. After the Data Retention directive, they will be forced to preserve logs. The Data Retention directive only give police permission to get data from it. But IPRED requires them to hand over the logs they do have to the MAFIAA, all of them. Unless the Data Retention directive explicitly forbids that other laws give other permissions to the data in question, the MAFIAA got it just the way they want it. And that would be very, very unusual to put in law - just like one crime can violate separate laws, multiple laws can give permissions to different groups. And if you say "It'll never be abused that way" I got a bridge to sell you...

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:55AM (#28121353)

    I've been telling that to people since 2001. I'm a statistician. Actually, I went through the hassle to actually figure out the chance to be killed one way or another. Terrorist attacks are very close to lightning striking and some forms of freak accidents that land you a well deserved Darwin Award.

    In a nutshell, if you're afraid of terrorists, never ever board a plane or even dare to use a car. Statistically, you're already dead when you enter a car (if you consider terrorist attacks a likely form of death).

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lamare (1349411) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:13AM (#28121439) Homepage

    Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?

    An interesting question, about which the lawyer F. de Vries, former University lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Groningen, gave an interesting speech back in 2004, which you can find in Dutch at: http://www.rug.nl/Rechten/faculteit/overFaculteit/lezingVries [www.rug.nl]

    He basically says that there is no reason Sweden should obey, since Europe actually has no authority over Swedish National affairs. It just appers th EU has "authority", but it created that on itself. And since no-one defines its own powers, how is it that Sweden is supposed to obey the European Court of Justice?

    YET, I must add, since the Lisbon treaty will change all this. However, this is a translation of a part of what this expert had to say:

    "All this gives to think. Obviously we have to do with a very particular moment. That becomes clear also from what I just before mentioned as the `approval' of the [European] Constitution by the European Parliament. It was celebrated there as an important step in the direction of a new Europe. But, I ask myself, why did the European Parliament acutally approve that constitution? What actually remains for the citizens of the Member States if their representation in Europe has already agreed with the design? Rather little, one would think at first sight.

    Here too legal reality is another. It should be clear that the European Parliament in this process has in fact no role to play. It has no principal authority. Still, I understand the parliament, however. It acts, as it happens, on the basis of the present treaties as a representative of all European citizens. And you have to do something.

    I believe that here we run up against a returning problem with the unification of Europe. In all enthousiasm with which we try to shape the European construction work, we incite numerous constitutional problems. We call a new treaty out of ease "a Consitution" and proceed to the order of the day. But there are more examples. The treaty of Maastricht created the `European citizen'. Nationals of the Member States are citizens at two levels: in their own country and in Europe. This `double citizenship' one of course also finds back in the designs of the constitution. But is this double citizenship so logical? Where does your representative as European a citizen actually reside? In The Hague or in Brussels? I will return to the consequences of, what I would want to call, this `representation surplus' soon after.

    It strikes me, generally spoken, that Europe generally is pretty good at calling this type of problems, but is silent concerning the solutions there of. This problem is moreover more seriously and especially also older as you probably think. It has really started in 1964, when the European Court of Justice ruled in the case Costa/Enel. In a attempt to [sidestep] the possible detrimental consequences of the way in which the Italian legal system regulated the relation between the national and international law, the Court of Justice reached a remarkable legal conception. The court created, on its own authorisation, a legal order which, to say it in modern terms, would above all acknowledge its own dynamics. On the basis of which Member States would no longer be free to withdraw themselves from that legal order.

    This incorrect and in my eyes above all unauthorized judgement, subsequently went to live a life entirely on its own. It has led to, especially in the Netherlands, to the misconception that the European law from itself has primacy above the national Dutch law, also outside of the regulations in articles 93 and 94 of the [Dutch] constitution. Even the Supreme Court seems to put herself at this point of view in her recent pronouncement of last November 2nd (judgement obligatory resting times). This conception seems however completely incorrect to me. What we might further think of Europe, our t

  • by castrox (630511) <.es.lezrev. .ta. .nafets.> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:56AM (#28121671)

    IAAS (I Am A Swede)

    This directive will soon be passed. The reason this has taken so long is because it's an initiative taken by the previous party in lower (Social Democrats) and the current part(y|ies) (AKA The Alliance, moderates) in power doesn't like the leftists and the head of the judicial branch has been wining over this directive ever since day one. Nonetheless she is obligated to enforce the directive and says so herself. Even though she proclaims herself to be a integrity watchdog she's just as bad as the leftists.

    Battle lost on that front.

    The Pirate Party will however make it to the EU parliament this year and we can hope for some real change on these integrity issues.

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gnieboer (1272482) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:24AM (#28121961)

    That's the trouble with statistics... they are always looking backwards.

    Let's say all world leaders follow statistics... terrorism is like lightning strikes, waste of money, let them rot in obscurity.

    Terrorist X finally gets hold of nuclear material now that no one cares about him, builds bomb off internet instructions. Boom (x10 booms let's say)... Jerusalem, London, New York, DC, Moscow, LA, Chicago, Paris, Mumbai, and Berlin.

    Now suddenly the statistics start looking a bit different.

    And not chased them won't change the targets... anyone that supports Israel is a target, according to their own statements.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:57AM (#28122305) Journal

    Indeed, and the UK have already made it illegal to refuse to unencrypt data. And if you've forgotten/lost your key, tough luck.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ByteGuerrilla (918383) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @11:44AM (#28124529)

    And then Muhammad later went to war with the Jewish tribes with which he had previously formed political bonds, because they had violated the agreement, and with Christians because they refused to respect his religious choice.

    I'm no Muslim, in fact I'm an atheist and think the whole business of organised religion has been proven by history to be dangerous beyond compare, but I don't think it's fair to say that the Muslims in these countries are betraying the word of Muhammad just because those were his initial stances.

    But by the same token I think it's important that Muslims recognise Muhammad's openness. He fought with the Jews and Christians that were around him and ridiculing/betraying him; not with Judaism and Christianity as a whole. I think the Imams have a lot to answer for, and so do our own leaders. No one is innocent here except those who are being fooled by those who would deny them knowledge, and thus dream themselves their masters.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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