Europe to force ISPs and telcos to retain data for one year

Wednesday, 21 August 2002, 12:28 AM EST

European Union proposals on data retention would compel telecom firms to keep customer email logs, details of internet usage and phone call records for at least a year.

That's the gist of proposals leaked via civil liberties group Statewatch, which says the plans increase law enforcement powers without adequate civil liberties safeguards.

In the name of tackling "terrorism" the EU's Justice and Home Affairs Minister decided last September that law enforcement agencies needed to have access to all traffic data (phone-calls, mobile calls, emails, faxes and internet usage) for the purpose of criminal investigations in general. The data would not include the contents of messages - only the timing, source and destination of communications.

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