International workshop in Budapest challenges data retention

BUDAPEST, Hungary, Sep 25 (Central European University)

70 international experts and e-activists met in Budapest on Friday
September 19 to discuss EU-wide policies on data retention and to develop
strategies for defending and enhancing privacy. Hosted by the Center for
Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at the Central European
University in Budapest, the workshop “Data retention on the Internet:
Challenges for small, alternative and citizen-based internet service
providers (ISPs)” brought together scholars, lawyers, policy experts,
digital rights advocates and a large number of grassroots/activist ISPs.
EDRI was represented through its board member Meryem Marzouki and Digital
Rights Ireland, Electronic Frontier Finland, Iuridicum Remedium, Netzwerk
Neue Medien and Greennet.

According to European Union (EU) Directive 2006/24/EC, all
telecommunication operators and ISPs in the EU have to retain the email
and telephone connection data of their customers and users for up to two
years. Data about every citizen’s communication is stored without a
specific reason. According to workshop participant TJ McIntyre from
Digital Rights Ireland, this allows the creation of a “comprehensive
digital dossier about every individual.”

Workshop participants exchanged information about the implementation of
the Directive in different EU member states and explored options of
challenging data retention on three different levels: legal complaints
and court cases, technological by-passes, and public campaigns. On the
legal side, the workshop brought together organizations that are
challenging data retention laws in five different countries and allowed
them to exchange experiences and increase future collaborations. In the
technical realm, different options of minimizing the risks of data
retention, or circumventing it altogether, were introduced. The workshop
also contributed to the preparation for an international day of action
against data retention – entitled “Freedom not Fear” – on 11
October. Many of the groups and organizations that were represented at
the workshop agreed to organize a protest action or a public event on
that day.

The workshop was the first to bring together members of non-commercial
ISPs from different countries with members of international campaigns
and NGOs to discuss together the new policy environment and this
sector’s particular concerns. The EU directive forces these ISPs to
compromise on their most fundamental objective – protecting their users’
privacy from state and corporate data gathering. Grassroots ISPs
continued to meet on the weekend following the workshop and developed
strategies on how to maximise privacy protection despite data retention
obligations.

The workshop was organized by Arne Hintz (CMCS), Oliver Leistert
(University of Paderborn), and Maxigas (Zold Pok/Green Spider), in
collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
and EDRI. It was supported financially by the Dutch Internet provider
XS4ALL, the Open Society Institute (OSI), and APC.

Center for Media and Communication Studies
http://cmcs.ceu.hu

Association for Progressive Communications
http://www.apc.org

Zold Pok (Green Spider)
http://www.zpok.hu

EU directive paints alternative ISPs black (3.08.2008)
http://www.apc.org/en/news/security/europe/eu-directive-paints-alternati...

EDRi-gram – Telecom data retention
http://www.edri.org/issues/privacy/dataretention

(Contribution by Arne Hintz – Center for Media and Communication Studies)

(FIN/2008)

Contacto para la prensa

Mallory Knodel

Tel: +1 514 573 6340
mallory@apc.org
Montreal, Canada

Comunicados de prensa: Suscribirse

Registrarse en APC.org