The EU body representing the fifteen member governments has blessed plans which will allow police to demand ISPs and telcos retain transmission records for seven years. Currently ISPs and telcos retain the records for several weeks only for billing purposes.
A meeting of the Telecommunications Council of the Council of the EU, which represents the member states, unanimously agreed to approve the directive.
The plans, drafted by the UK police, were first revealed in October in the The Observer newspaper, and call for a new data warehouse to store the information.
The proposal would not involve recording all phone conversations or email traffic, as has been suggested, but would nevertheless oblige ISPs and telcos to record far more data than they already want to keep.
The move is opposed by the European Commission and the EU's Data Protection Working Party, reports Statewatch. ®