German government set to abolish data retention

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The German government wishes to amend the German data retention regulation in order to conform to European and German constitutional privacy rights. It wants businesses to store data only after a court order.

It also states that any unauthorized storage of telecommunications data must be prohibited. Limited data retention is only permitted under strict conditions, such as when fighting a crime “severe threat to national security.” German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann hailed the decision on Twitter saying it was “a good day for civil rights.”

Buschmann proposes that data be stored only “if there is a suspicion that serious crimes have been committed” in order to strengthen civil rights. Telecommunications providers should secure these “as soon as there is a concrete reason to do so based on a court order,” “so that the police and public prosecutor’s office can then evaluate them” – but not in advance and not in general, so not without any criminal investigation.

The proposal would, thus, only affect certain individuals and should “only be possible in the case of suspicion of the existence of serious crimes”. Buschmann argued that his proposal was more in line with the rule of law and would, thus, “be a gain for freedom and security at the same time”.

The sources for this piece include an article in Tutanota.

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