ECJ says: EU-mandated mass surveillance “entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population”

Europe’s highest court has given a judgement in the challenge taken by Irish human rights advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) to the EU’s regime of Data Retention and mass surveillance. Digital Rights Ireland welcomes European Court of Justice decision on Data Retention...
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European Court ruling condemns mass surveillance

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice today gave an important opinion in our favour in a case brought by Digital Rights Ireland to challenge European mass surveillance law. The challenge – which we started in 2006 – is to the Data Retention Directive....
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Data retention threatens journalists also

Henry McDonald in today’s Guardian has an alarming story about Garda surveillance of crime journalists, including routine monitoring of their mobile phone calls and messages: Journalists in Ireland have raised concerns about the country’s draconian gagging orders on...
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Garda who abused phone records to spy on ex will not be prosecuted, will keep job

Recent media reports have confirmed that a Garda detective sergeant will not face criminal prosecution and will keep her job despite abusing the data retention system to spy on an ex-boyfriend. In November 2010 the annual report of the judge who oversees the data retention system...
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Judge’s report reveals allegations that Garda used phone records to spy on her ex

Mark Tighe has an important story in today’s Sunday Times about apparent abuse by a garda of the data retention system. Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall, but I’ve taken the liberty of scanning the hardcopy and placing it here as it raises a number of...
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In defence of online anonymity

In a week when whistleblowing by an anonymous blogger was crucial to exposing problems in the Irish Red Cross it becomes all the more important to stand up for the right to online anonymity. The following is an attempt to make the case for the social value of anonymous speech. A...
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Leaked report on Data Retention Directive shows fundamental flaws

Under Article 14 of the Data Retention Directive the Commission must produce a public evaluation of the application of the Directive before 15 September 2010. A draft version of that document has now been leaked (along with the Irish Government’s submission) and makes for...
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Why German data retention decision means Irish Bill should be scrapped

Karlin Lillington writes in today’s Irish Times about the German decision striking down data retention law as a breach of privacy and what it means for the Data Retention Bill currently before the Oireachtas. Here’s an excerpt: ANALYSIS: Data retention proposals about...
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Press Release on German Data Retention Decision

The civil rights organisation which brought the successful challenge to data retention before the German Constitutional Court has now issued a press release on that decision. Here’s the full text: Press release by the German Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat) 2...
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German Constitutional Court strikes down data retention law

Great news from Germany, where the Federal Constitutional Court has found data retention law to be incompatible with the right to privacy under the German Constitution. More thoughts on the decision and the implications for our own case at a later stage, but for the meantime...
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