EU Data Retention Directive causes uproar / News / The Foreigner

EU Data Retention Directive causes uproar. Labour Party (Ap) turns a blind eye, whilst others up in arms. The directive – with its origins in the Patriot Act, introduced by George W Bush’s administration in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terrorism – obliges telephone companies and Internet providers to store communication-related data traffic from between six and 24 months. Police claim that the information collected will help them combat not only terrorism, but organised crime too. However, there is little evidence so far to suggest that the data will be useful.

eu, data, retention, directive, resistance, protests, political, parties, knut, storberget, helga, pedersen, georg, apenes, eea



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EU Data Retention Directive causes uproar

Published on Monday, 9th November, 2009 at 00:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th November 2009 at 17:52.

Labour Party (Ap) turns a blind eye, whilst others up in arms.

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Photo: Michal Maros/Wikimedia Commons


Multiple fears

The directive – with its origins in the Patriot Act, introduced by George W Bush’s administration in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terrorism – obliges telephone companies and Internet providers to store communication-related data traffic from between six and 24 months.

Police claim that the information collected will help them combat not only terrorism, but organised crime too. However, there is little evidence so far to suggest that the data will be useful.

Bergens Tidende (BT) encourages the government to use their veto right under the EEA agreement to say no to the directive.

The paper goes on to write that the directive alters fundamental principles of constitutional law, and if the government doesn’t deal with the issue, it will be the first serious consequence of terrorism for Norway.

Resistance

However, the directive has many Norwegians up in arms – including high-ranking politicians – as they fear that it will infringe both people’s privacy and freedom of speech.

“Privacy protection is about preserving the human right to have a private sphere. To protect this right means stopping someone being able to snoop and misuse the information about things that are nothing to do with them,” writes Jenny Klinge, the Centre Party’s (Sp) political spokesperson for justice, in her commentary in Stavanger Aftenblad.

Her fears are shared by the Socialist Left (SV), Progress (FrP), and Liberal (V) Parties, who have already said they are against the directive.

A action group – called Stopp Datalagringsdirektivet (Stopp DLS) – was also formed last week, consisting of politicians from the Conservatives (H), FrP, and far left (Rødt), together with both supporters and opponents of the EU.

But according to Dagens Næringsliv (DN), the most heroic battle against the directive has been fought by Georg Apenes – head of the Norwegian Data Inspectorate – who has characterised the directive as totalitarian fanaticism.

“When the state insists on storing large amounts of detailed information on all its citizens, we are well on the way to living in a surveillance society,” they write in an editorial from last week.

Different tactics

Meanwhile, the Labour Party’s (Ap) Minister of Justice – Knut Storberget – supports the directive.

“Storberget believes it is unproblematic that each one of us will lose freedom of communication, as he claims it will shield us from serious crime,” BT writes.

He also believes that it will mean little change from present practices, as data is already stored on an occasional basis in the authorities’ fight against crime.

But BT claims Storberget and the party’s deputy leader Helga Pedersen have changed their justification for it to being one of combating paedophilia. This was commented upon by Dagbladet’s Jan Omdahl.

Pedersen herself says that she believes that saving just one child makes the implementation of the directive worth it.

Marie Simonsen, Dagbladet’s political editor, criticises Pedersen’s use of scaremongering tactics, however.

“If we are to believe Pedersen, all the world’s shady enterprises will bring the traffic to the only shady place on the data map.”

Simonsen was also concerned about the authorities’ possible misuse of power.

“The concept of who our enemy is was at least different before. It’s now changed again, and who knows what it will be tomorrow and who will define it. We have little possibility of controlling how the information is used, or abused. We have to just trust that the police, PST, and other authorities behave properly. Until they don’t.”



Published on Monday, 9th November, 2009 at 00:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th November 2009 at 17:52.

This post has the following tags: eu, data, retention, directive, resistance, protests, political, parties, knut, storberget, helga, pedersen, georg, apenes, eea.





  
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