nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
Germany licks lips, eyes new data gulp with revised retention law

Silver badge

Report contains several factual errors

Once a fierce opponent of data retention

That's not true: Germany agreed with other member states on the directive that led to mass snooping (it was a pioneer of the technique back in the 1970s) only to have the law struck down as unconstitutional. Much to the disgust of the government at the time. There was no majority in the previous government for a revision and the Commission had initiated action for failing to implement the legislation until the ECJ ruled. The lack of urgency about drafting a replacement reflected current jurisprudence that the constitution trumps EU law.

There is no doubt that the current draft will be sent to the constitutional court even if the current opposition officially does not have enough votes to enforce this. It might squeak through because only metadata is being collected. There is even talk of putting the law up for automatic review given the lack of evidence that any of the mass surveillance has prevented any attacks and is very expensive.

8
1
Silver badge

Re: Report contains several factual errors

I doubt very much that data retention has helped stop terrorist attacks, etc, in spite of all that Gov around the world claim as the justification.

However, I can see some use for normal policing of being able to access recent data (maybe several weeks as the Germans appear to be proposing). For example if someone goes missing in suspicious circumstance to find the last place their mobile was seen at, etc, or if someone is accused of committing a crime in a given location/time window.

The real issue most folk have about data retention is (a) the time-scale and what long term hoarding that means for digging dirt on those who fall out of favour, and (b) access by world+dog in government on the slightest pretence, and (c) feature-creep when it becomes useful for something else that is profitable, etc.

So personally I don't have a problem of short-term retention of several weeks and all access being by a properly justified court order.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Report contains several factual errors

> So personally I don't have a problem of short-term retention of several weeks

And personally I do have a problem with anything that presumes that I or any of my fellow citizens may be a criminal and treats us as such "just in case".

Half a second of data/metadata retention is already too much, insofar as it is an indiscriminate intromission into the private affairs of the entire population.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Report contains several factual errors

You seem to have ignored the part that it will be the service operators who hold the data, not the police. so they have to make a request, with justification I hope, as they currently do for phone billing records.

Also it might not be a case of you being a criminal, you might also be the victim and said short-term metadata might be of help.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Report contains several factual errors

> You seem to have ignored the part that it will be the service operators who hold the data

I have not. And btw, before the data retention directive was invalidated, I used to operate a service that was subject to it. My service did publicly and prominently state from day zero that it did not comply with the directive, willingly, and that the only retention carried out was the minimum necessary for the correct and efficient performance of the service but users had the ability to exercise their rights under relevant national privacy laws applying to the service, including the right of removal. Either I flew under the radar or prosecutors never saw a threat from the challenge, or they did not think enforcement action was advisable or likely to succeed. The implication of the latter would be that prosecutors themselves did not find said directive useful enough to justify defending it.

So yes, I am well aware of the mechanics of the proposal and, just like last time, my position is that I refuse to spy (never mind snitch) on my fellow citizens.

> Also it might not be a case of you being a criminal, you might also be the victim and said short-term metadata might be of help.

I recognise that living, and particularly living in relative freedom, entails a number of risks which I am more than willing to accept. How about you?

1
0
Silver badge

And where. or more over when are these "Exempt" Persons... Actually exempt? And how long will that 'lil Loophole remain open for is my next question. Do this to everyone... Or no one! Is my take on it!!

1
1

"Special people"

No doubt that will include politicians.

(Although the NSA might have other thoughts about that...!)

5
0
Silver badge

I love loopholes

Who will be the first citizen with nothing to hide terrorist to register as pastor of the North East Westphalian Independent Jedi Free Church?

0
2
Silver badge

Race to the bottom?

Seems that all countries are now in a race to the bottom of the feeder for slurping. While security is the issue, there's not much that's been found out (at least as far as what the agencies have released as justification). I've noticed here in the States that suspected terrorists are usually caught by posting on Facebook.

Maybe these agencies need to trim their budgets (like that will ever happen) and become focused on what gets them the information instead of massive slurps which appear to be a waste of resources.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Race to the bottom?

What happened to the NSA/BND debate in Germany?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The world has changed...

...and it's more important than ever to monitor electronic communication for national security. Storing data for a few months may actually be too short of time but at least it's a start.

0
10

Re: The world has changed...

You forgot your irony tags there.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: The world has changed...

If it's stored... it's not being used. How about "process" the NEEDED data instead of just slurping and holding for future reference. There's a difference you know. Storing it does nothing except allow them to say "oh yeah... we knew about them".

1
0
Anonymous Coward

The acceptable threshold is less than zero milliseconds

The Merkel regime retries to rush this through "before the summer break" and without adequate public discourse. There is no doubt that the proposal is as unconstitutional as the ones before, some say it is even worse – and they will not get away with it. Dozens of public protests have already been organized. The German people will not allow for these useless measures to be forced upon them that erode the very core of our constitutional rigths.

https://freiheitstattangst.de/

3
0

Riddle me this...

"“Special” people, such as pastoral counsellors, lawyers, medical doctors, pharmacists, journalists and anonymous counselling services are also exempt from the proposed law."

Ah. So to know if a call is exempt, first you have to trap the call and check the metadata to see what number it came from. And, one supposes, what number it's going _to_. So is, as a result, no number actually exempt from interception and analysis, only from data retention? And is it a free pass if one end is exempt? What if the other end is currently the subject of an investigation? And of course, you have to check that the numbers either end aren't spoofed... so a little more analysis is essential, right?

Sigh. Lucifer lurks indeed in the - um, tries to think of a 'details' synonym with an l - little bits (blush).

3
0
Silver badge

3 months retention

Is about what ISPs will use for billing purposes anyway.

It's MUCH less than the 104 weeks (2 years) that the UK has been trying to force on ISPs and Germany doesn't have RIPA, so any state access needs a judge-signed warrant.

1
1

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing