Emergency data laws announced

Emergency data laws announced

In April the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), in the case Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and Others, unexpectedly declared that the Data Retention Directive was invalid.

The purpose of the directive was to harmonise Member States’ provisions on the retention of certain personal data by the telecoms industry such as land line providers and mobile phone companies. The 'metadata' collected would typically include information about the time that texts and e-mails were sent, and where they were sent from, but not the actual content of the information itself.

We wrote extensively about the repercussions of this decision at that time: A week is a long time in the world of data protection and Data Retention: What Next?

Since then, the government and industry have been in regulatory limbo—until now.

This morning David Cameron and Nick Clegg announced that they are bringing forward emergency legislation—the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (explanatory notes here)—to allow the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to 'maintain existing capabilities'.

It is certainly unusual for a bill to be pushed through Parliament so quickly. Many MPs, who got wind of this development last night, rushed to Twitter to express their concerns (which may explain the spelling mistakes):

That said, the Sun's Political Editor, Tom Newton Dunn, thinks civil libertarians shouldn't be too concerned, saying on Twitter that those 'in angst over data laws should

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