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Sweden obliged by EU to implement data retention directive

15 July, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EU zwingt Schweden, die Richtlinie zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung umzuset...

The European Commission has decided to take the Swedish Government to the European court of Justice for failing to implement the data retention directive in a reasonable time frame.

The Swedish Data Retention Directive implementation was supported by former Social Democratic justice minister Thomas Bodström, but now it is not on the top favourite list for the current Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask. She estimated for the newspaper Svenska Dagladet that a draft bill would be ready in the next couple of months. The draft will ask for a 6-month period of traffic data retention for ISPs and telecom operators.

Privacy on the Internet is a hot topic in Sweden, after the recent court decision in The PirateBay case. Currently, several ISPs such as Bahnhof are deleting their traffic data on a regular basis, in order not to have problems with the local implementation of the IPRED directive. The implementation of the data retention directive might change that, although these data should be accessible only for "serious crimes" that might not include copyright infringement.

In an article for the newspaper Svenska Dagladet, Camilla Lindberg, a member of the Swedish Parliament for the Liberal Party, and Erik Josefsson, a candidate for the European Parliament for the Left Party, claimed that Sweden would show real European leadership if it checked whether the data retention directive was consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. Both conclude that the "directive is a bad and expensive tool when it comes to protecting citizen freedoms and rights." Lindberg and Josefsson also argued that the directive breached the European Convention on Human Rights, and that the European Court of Justice would agree on this point, if it discussed the case on privacy grounds.

But Sweden is not the only country delayed in the implementation of an unpopular data retention directive with Austria, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland lagging behind the official deadline. But Ireland has just published its draft data retention implementation law, while the Dutch Senate has been very critical to the local implementation, as far as the discussions on 6 and 7 July reveal.

Sweden challenges EU data retention directive (27.05.2009)

EU sues Sweden, demands law requiring ISPs to retain data (27.05.2009)

Sweden sued over EU data directive inaction (26.05.2009)

EDRi-gram: Irish Data Retention Bill published (15.07.2009)



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