Magazine article Information Management

Germany Passes Data Retention Law

Magazine article Information Management

Germany Passes Data Retention Law

Article excerpt

In November, Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, passed the German Data Retention Law. It incorporates the principles of the EU Data Retention Directive--mainly, the mandatory retention of all telecoms traffic data for law enforcement purposes.

Beginning this year, all communications providers in Germany will be required to store all connection data records for six months. This includes:

* Phone calls: the date, time, length, and numbers of all calls--landline, mobile, or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)

* Internet access: the IP address, date, time, and length of connection, as well as the line used

* E-mail: addresses involved and headers of each message

The content of the communications will not be stored. However, the data that is stored can be used by authorities--police and secret services--in criminal investigations or online crimes. The goal, according to the government, is to fight terrorism in hopes of preventing potential attacks against European cities, like the London or Madrid bombings.

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According to a statement on the website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, "Law enforcement activities must be adapted to the dynamics of technological developments and the boundlessness of technology and networks. …

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