Even as the European Union attempts to tighten privacy laws, law-enforcement interests have won a battle in Germany: a new law forces communications service providers there to once again make data about their customers’ communications available to police.
On Friday morning, the German parliament approved a law requiring ISPs and mobile and fixed telecommunications operators to retain communications metadata for up to ten weeks.
The country has had an on-again, off-again affair with telecommunications data retention, first introducing a law requiring it in 2008 to comply with a European Union directive.
The German Federal Constitutional Court overturned that law in March 2010 after finding it conflicted with Germany’s privacy laws, prompting the European Commission to take the country to court in May 2012 to enforce the directive.
In April 2014, it was the turn of the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the EU, to overturn the directive itself on the grounds that it, too, interfered with fundamental privacy rights.
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