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EU ISPs Start Storing Data For A Year

EU ISPs Start Storing Data For A Year

In the wake of the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, the European Union began drawing up plans to keep tabs on people. As of yesterday, those measures took effect, as ISPs now have to store data on all user e-mails and Internet phone calls for a year.

The content itself isn’t kept, but merely a record of the connection.

It’s a contentious move, joining another already in force throughout the EU that says phone records must be kept for a similar period, and it’s being fought not only by some ISPs, but also by some countries.

Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group told the BBC that the move was “stretching the law” and only passed because the EU said “it was a commercial matter and not a police matter."

"Because of that they got it through on a simple vote, rather than needing unanimity, which is required for policing matters."

"It was introduced in the wake of the London bombings when there was a sense of shock in Europe. It was used to push people in a particular direction."

Sweden is simply ignoring the directive, while it’s being challenged in courts in Germany. In Britain, the government is reimbursing ISPs for the extra cost of data collection and retention.

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