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Pirates on data retention judgement: Fight for citizen’s right to use the Internet anonymously

Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today modified its case law on indiscriminate communications data retention and authorised the use of retained internet connection data for the prosecution of file sharing. Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament and long-time opponent of blanket data retention Patrick Breyer comments:

‘First the Court permitted blanket internet connection data retention to prosecute child sexual abuse imagery and other serious offences. From today on our retained online behaviour can be disclosed for the prosecution of file sharing and other petty offences. That is why we must do everything we can to prevent indiscriminate data retention in the first place. The EU is already working behind the scenes to make internet data retention mandatory again. We Pirates will fight for citizen’s right to use the Internet anonymously!

IP data retention is like every citizen having a visible licence plate hung around their neck and having it recorded at every corner. No one would put up with such a total recording of their daily lives. IP data retention places every internet user under general suspicion and make the internet usage of the entire population, which reflects our most intimate preferences and weaknesses, traceable. Such total recording jeopardises crime prevention through anonymous counselling and pastoral care, victim support through anonymous self-help forums and also the free press, which relies on anonymous informers. 99.99% of this data is completely useless, as it concerns citizens who are never even suspected of committing a crime.’

Patrick Breyer

Background: EPP chairman Manfred Weber called for EU IP data retention legislation on Saturday. Meanwhile, the so-called #EUGoingDark working group is preparing such legislation on behalf of the EU Commission and EU government.

Information on data retention