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EU Sues Sweden, Demands ISP Data Retention 315

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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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anonieuweling ( 536832 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:07AM (#28120359)
    Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?
    Data retention is just a Big Brother tool.
    You don't catch terrorists with this, nor pedophiles.
    And yes, I emailed Osama. Now what? They don't log the contents of an email.
    And if I gpg/pgp the email, what then?
  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:17AM (#28120399) Journal

    Now lobbyists only have to bribe a handful of central political bastards to affect the whole of Europe.

  • How very... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:17AM (#28120401)

    democratic of them. Who would have thought a collection of nations creating a supranational government wouldn't infringe on the individual countries' rights?

  • by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:35AM (#28120511) Homepage Journal

    ...the three strikes law!
    Equality was the name of EU, wasn't it?
    Sweden should show the middle finger to EU.
    Its a pity it doesn't have any Rush Limbaughs there, one would be enough to shout hoarse about swedish nationality and violation of the same.
    If i were the PM, i would take EU's action under advisement and in Brussels directly question the French about 3-strikes law which violates EU laws...

  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:41AM (#28120537)

    Now lobbyists only have to bribe a handful of central political bastards to affect the whole of Europe.

    You apparently didn't follow the data retention directive farce at all. This was not brought about by "central political bastards", and the lobbyists were the various national governments. That directive was a wet dream of law enforcement agencies from all over Europe, and pushed through by the various national governments in the name of thinking of the terrorists and the children.

    The rapporteur (Alexander Alvaro) of the directive in the European Parliament (EP) tried to tone it down, only to be backstabbed by the national governments (forming the EU Council of Ministers) that managed to pressure the large political groups in the EP behind his back to ignore his report and voting recommendations.

    Alexander Alvaro was so disgusted with the whole circus that after the vote he had his name removed as rapporteur for the directive.

  • Re:How very... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:41AM (#28120539)

    Maybe because they're just shit? In Italy they've sided with recycled fascists [], recycled thieves [], deluded pensioners [], and some sort of autonomists []

    I will never in a million years vote for them.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:51AM (#28120607)

    Nope, governments are just here to create solutions. Not to check whether they are possible.

    There's this old parable from good ol' soviet times. A mouse is being chased by a cat and runs up to the wise owl that everyone considered the wisest and most informed animals of the woods (let's ignore for a moment that owls eat mice, ok?). So the mouse desperately pleaded "Wise owl, the cat is chasing me and I have to escape, please tell me what to do!" The owl pondered long and hard and told the mouse "Spread your wings and fly away".

    "But owl, I have no wings!" the mouse complained.
    "Sorry", said the owl, "I can only offer you general solutions. And the solution works for me."

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

    by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:59AM (#28120661)

    Maybe you'll discover that you simply cannot win in any democratic system...?

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:07AM (#28120719) Journal

    You seem to be under the impression that law enforcement agents are infallible and not susceptible to your average human's woes.

    Of course we need law enforcement. Please point out to me who said we didn't. The problem lies in the mechanics that are supposed to make sure that nobody the police is supposed to 'catch' manages to actually become a member of the police.

    In my opinion, management, be it of a corporation, a state or law enforcement, is more often than not corrupt. Such laws give these people more power over the people making law enforcement just another tool for the criminals to use.

    THIS is the real danger of a police state. They are using our best weapon against us. THIS is what we must be sure to never allow.

    The RIAA is a good example of how this whole thing is going wrong. Remember, all our laws are built upon a set of morals. We say it is wrong to kill. Therefore, manslaughter, murder and the like are covered by our laws. Yet quite a few 'modern' societies think its okay to have a death penalty.

    In RIAA's case they argue that copying their products and making them available for free is theft. Many people might agree with that sentiment at first glance. Without wanting to get into semantics, the real problem her elies in the fact that an estimated 20% or more of our nations' populations participate in breaking this law.

    The question now is thus: Morals are what we feel is right or wrong to do unto each other in our society. 20% or more of us feel its their right to download entertainment content. At what point will moral conform to public opinion? Is something wrong when 100% of the people do it? Is it wrong when 50% do it? 49%? When?

    The whole system is fucked up. The system is being abused. That's just a hard fact. We are not against the system, we are against the abuse.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BESTouff ( 531293 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:16AM (#28120765)
    Because if you have to take active protection measures against your government, that means it (the gov) went too far in the security-against-liberty battle. And this is presumably what they (the terrorists) want.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:17AM (#28120769) Homepage

    Since the EU is very "democratic" (meaning the -mostly appointed- ministers of foreign affairs of the EU countries make the real decisions*), Sweden has a choice : pass the law, or leave the EU (meaning switching away from the euro, no more free trade, ...)

    In the EU, you only have to convince 12 non-elected commisioners to create a dictatorship. Individual member countries have long lost control over both their own law and their territorial sovereignty. They cannot legally say no to the EU.

    Many Europeans (imho rightly) fear what's going to happen with this body. It's already created a segregated society in the locations where it's located : Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxenburg and Frankfurt. There is zero contact between the fonctionnaires and the local population, which is logical in a way, since they're an unelected body.

    * yes they're appointed -indirectly- by an elected body, I know. Still it's not the same as a real democracy.

  • Re:How very... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:28AM (#28120833)

    One can try to piss in the ocean everyday as much as they like to try to turn it yellow, but even a lifetime's worth of work will likely do nothing.

  • Re:How very... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:56AM (#28121009)

    Maybe you'll discover that you simply cannot win in any democratic system...?

    Not only that, but the majority will always have that illusion. Absolutely brilliant.

    Meanwhile, the two biggest parties will have free reign, as long as they piss the voters off equally.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I cant believe its n ( 1103137 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:00AM (#28121039) Journal
    Not to worry, the Swedish government parties simply do not want to lose more votes in the EU-parliament elections that take place on the 7:th of june.

    For this reason there is no 99-page government proposal for the implementation of the Data Retention Directive, but for some reason you can already download the proposal [] through the highly dependable Wikileaks network:

    Both the directive and the government proposal states that the reasons for the comming law are terrorists and organized crime (human trafficing and narcotics). Although the law is intended to fight serious crime, the government states that it does not see any reason to limit what organizations can request information from the required logs.

    ... and invited to share their views on this law proposal are (naturally)... IFPI

    Yes, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has been invited to share their views on a law against terrorists and drug smugglers. Their opinion? Well, a 6 month retention plan might be too short, but generally they appreciate the proposal.

    Does anyone wonder why the Pirate Party are winning more and more votes?
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:35AM (#28121253)

    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!

    Make a trip to Ireland and thank everyone you meet for voting down the Lisbon Treaty. Right now, they're the only ones stopping the bureaucratic machine.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ReinoutS ( 1919 ) <.reinout. .at.> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:57AM (#28121361) Homepage
    Hate to break it to you, but the bureaucratic machine will be there with or without the Lisbon Treaty. Given the choice, I would vote for the treaty. Not because it's perfect, but because it is better than what we have now. This is a completely separate issue, by the way, from the data retention directive, which I vehemently oppose.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:36AM (#28121567)

    You'd vote for the Lisbon Treaty? Really?

    Have you actually read it? Do you know what it does?

    I haven't, because it's 250 pages of legalese and amendments to previous treaties. If we are going to have a constitution for the EU, I'd prefer something like the American constitution. Short, simple, entirely self-contained. And still "complex" enough for endless arguments between gun-grabbers and gun-nuts over whether the 2nd Amendment refers to the right of the people to keep and bear arms not being infringed, or...I don't even know what the gun-grabbers think it means.

    Anyway, that's beside the point. The Lisbon Treaty is a monolithic, impenetrable chunk of text. Everything that's bad about laws. I would seriously prefer not to add to that problem.

  • by meburke ( 736645 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:43AM (#28121601)

    This was a big area of debate before the EU formed: Just how much of autonomy and national identity must a country give up to be a member of the EU? What happens when an EU member (say, France, for instance), or a small coalition of countries, have a major influence on the EU Parliament and try to impose their values in conflict with the national traditional values? What happens if Turkey tries to impose it's values concerning drug use on the Netherlands? Why should France's or GB's values on privacy (or lack thereof) be imposed on Sweden?

    In the United States of America, the individual States are supposed to be "sovereign" and all rights not specifically granted to the Federal Government are the province of the individual States. Over the years "creeping Federalism" has undermined the individuality, power and authority of the individual States. This has also been happening in in the EU. Sweden is technically a "Constitutional Monarchy". Did Swedes know that by joining the EU they gave away their Constitution?

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:06AM (#28121765)
    Why the fuck is this modded insightful?

    By the same argument: most crime is organised behind locked doors, therefore all non-criminal citizens should leave their doors unlocked and open so as not to hinder the police in their endeavours.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:06AM (#28121785)

    "Terrorists are now pro-freedom?
    Dammit, I've been BSed by our governments!.."

    Doesn't it ever occur to Americans that Terrorists ARE interested in freedom? THEIR freedom!

    The only reason people are trying to kill Americans is that they think America has been oppressing them for generations. You can argue about whether this is a true belief or not, but that is what is going on in their heads. No one except Bush and Cheney actually believes that, for some reason, goat farmers living on a hillside in Pakistan are so involved in political theory that they hate the theoretical concept of a capitalist two-party 'democracy' and are willing to travel half-way round the world to attack it.

    What they see is a foreign country (used to be Britain, now America) coming into their country and supporting local tyrants in order to ensure the flow of oil, or to suppress any left wing politics and 'workers rights'. Eventually, they get pissed off. If the US troops, or the local warlord the US supports, kill enough locals, their family survivors are going to be REALLY pissed off.

    There is a simple answer to stopping all 'terrorism', but it involves stopping having foreign-based armies, negotiating for access to raw materials, and accepting that sometimes other countries don't want to sell you things. So that isn't going to happen any day soon......

  • by jsoderba ( 105512 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:17AM (#28121891)

    Yes Minister is a British show. What does that have to do with France?

  • by jsoderba ( 105512 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:26AM (#28121991)
    The United States is such a thing. The Federal government routinely issues mandatory directives to the states, and any disputes are decided by the federal government alone.
  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:23AM (#28122615) Journal

    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.

    See, if the EU was smart, they would first use the power of the purse to ensure that the individual countries are completely dependent upon Brussels for funding. Then when the individual countries refuse to do what you want [] you just threaten to cut off their funding.

    And what do you know? Eventually you've managed to completely destroy the sovereignty of your member states without firing a single bullet.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted&slashdot,org> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:29AM (#28122689)

    You forgot that in this conflicts, both sides are heavily infected with religion (a disease that gets you, when you try to make life ok, when it isn't), and are even more manipulated by churches. In that state, you can make every bullshit make sense. The only cure is giving them the stability and education that they need.
    That's why my only donations ever, go to good schools of such countries. (Those that don't teach their religion's equivalent of creationism.)

    I see "terrorists" and "neocons" as people that desperately need help, and are misunderstood as evildoers by those, who still cling to outdated concepts like guilt. (Everyone does what he does, because he thinks this is morally the right and a good thing, and/or because he is forced to do it. You can always track back the "guilty" for generations and whole centuries. It's all just causality. Blaming somebody helps nobody. It just makes things worse.)

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jsalbre ( 663115 ) <> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:48AM (#28122915) Homepage Journal
    While your comment meets the current "fashion" for anti-Americanism and anti-Bushism, what you say is false.

    They hate Americans, and all westerners because they've been told for generations that we are "infidels", non-believers, and it is therefore their duty by Allah to cleanse the Earth of these non-belivers. This is despite the Qur'an specifically recognizing Christians and Jews (People of the Book) and, believe it or not, even atheists. Mohammed himself also stated, "He who wrongs a Jew or a Christian will have myself as his accuser on the day of judgment." Alos, Qur'an 109:6( []) says "Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion."

    Oh, and Bush/Cheney aren't in office anymore, the Country has moved on, maybe you should too.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.