Dutch lawyers seek to overturn data retention

'Get your hands off our data'

The Netherlands is the latest EU country to see pushback against excessive state surveillance of the Internet, with that country's criminal lawyers' association leading a court action against the state over its data retention laws.

The association (the NVSA) has joined forces with the Dutch Association of Journalists, Privacy First, NDP New Media, local ISP Bit, and Publiekstijdschriften. In light of the EU Court of Justice decision in April, which in April ruled that Europe's two-year data retention directive was invalid, the plaintiffs want the Netherlands' data retention regime repealed.

At the time, the EU Court of Justice ruled that the data retention regime represented a “wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”, and went beyond was was “strictly necessary”.

The current regime imposes a 12-month retention requirement for telephone calls, and a six-month retention requirement for Internet traffic such as e-mails and user IP addresses.

According to Nu.nl, the Dutch government believes amendments made to the regime in November bring them into line with current EU laws (Google Translate version here).

The Dutch fightback comes as New York's Freedom House warns that Internet freedoms are being eroded around the world. ®

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