FC: Europe set to nix Bush request, not require ISP data retention

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Nov 13 2001 - 08:42:16 PST

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    Politech message from Sunday:
    "E.U. weighs ordering ISPs to retain traffic, with Bush's support"
    Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 08:11:27 -0500
    To: declanat_private
    From: Marc Rotenberg <rotenbergat_private>
    Subject: FYI - NYT on Data Retention, NGO letter
    November 13, 2001
    European Union Set to Vote on Data Law
    BRUSSELS, Nov. 12 - European Union lawmakers are expected to ignore
    a request by the Bush administration to revise a data-protection law
    they are drafting to allow the authorities greater access to
    information about telephone calls and Internet messages.
    Last month, President Bush sent a list of 47 measures he wanted
    Europe to take to assist in the war on terrorism. His requests came
    in response to an offer of help from the acting president of the
    European Union, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium, and
    Romano Prodi, the president of the European Commission, the union's
    executive branch, during a visit to the White House soon after the
    Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    President Bush asked the union to revise a draft directive on data
    protection for telecommunications, to be voted on in the European
    Parliament on Tuesday, "to permit the retention of critical data for
    a reasonable period," he said in a letter written by James J.
    Foster, the deputy chief of the United States mission to the union.
    The existing wording of the directive said that information about
    times and durations of phone calls and the transmission of e-mail
    messages should not be retained by telecommunications companies and
    Internet service providers any longer than necessary for billing
    Marjory Van den Broeke, a spokeswoman for the European Parliament,
    said today that President Bush's request for the revision "was not
    mentioned once" during a short debate this evening before the vote
    on Tuesday afternoon. She declined to comment further on the
    She said the European Parliament was expected to move in the
    opposite direction and strengthen the privacy codes about data
    retention. The lawmakers have adopted amendments that would limit
    the circumstances under which data could be kept beyond the required
    time needed for billing purposes.
    The draft of the directive written by the European Commission says
    that retention of data beyond the billing time should be
    "appropriate." The Parliament members are expected to add that
    longer data retention should be allowed only where it is
    "proportionate and limited in time," Ms. Van den Broeke said.
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