Data Retention: Mass Surveillance Challenged Across Europe

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Paris, 12 March 2015 — On 8 April 2014, the European Union Court of Justice invalidated the 2006 Directive on Data Retention. Through this decision, all the European legislations on data retention were seriously undermined, as the EUCJ considered that the generalised retention of data on non-suspicious individuals, furthermore for an extended period of time, is a form of mass surveillance incompatible with fundamental rights.

After Ireland, Austria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2014, the Nederlands and Bulgaria have now in the same week seen their legislation on data retention invalidated by a Court order1From the Constitutional Court in Bulgaria.

It is on the basis of this same EUCJ decision that FFDN, FDN and La Quadrature du Net have brought legal action before the French Council of State against an application decree of the 2014-2019 Military Planning Act (Loi de Programmation Militaire), based on an argument which applies and extends to an entire section of the French legal basis for Internet surveillance.

The announcement of the invalidation of the Dutch and Bulgarian legislations must urge the French government to start working again on the limits to personal data retention, and will certainly influence the study of our plea before the French Council of State.

“These decisions in the Netherlands and in Bulgaria show the relevence of our own legal challenge here in France. The French government can no longer ignore the Digital Rights ruling at a time when, one after the other, many EU member states are forced to revise their national data retention legislation to respect the fundamental rights of their citizens.” said Félix Tréguer, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.


1 From the Constitutional Court in Bulgaria

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