Czech Parliament - close in implementing data retention directive
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Czech Parliament is close to approving the data retention implementation as an Act amending the Electronic Communications Act (127/2005 Coll.). Due to the early introduction of the data retention obligation in the text of the 2005 Act, the current amending draft law implementing the data retention directive is more specific.
EDRi-member IuRe intended to take the opportunity to amend the Act in order to respect privacy. IuRe prepared a set of amendments aiming to shorten the retention period to 6 months (currently one year), to include data that are subject to retention into the text of the Act (currently the data are specified only in a Minister regulation, so it can be modified without parliamentary debates) and to prevent intelligence services from accessing the retained data. Risk of misusing the databases for other purposes than those specified in the directive is obvious: the intentions to allow the use of operational and localization data by the intelligence services leaked to the press in November 2007 and it was acknowledged recently by the Government.
IuRe's proposals to abolish reimbursements of data retention costs to telecoms and ISP providers and the proposal to clearly entitle only the Police to use the data were adopted by the Committee for Security of the Chamber of Deputies.
Unfortunately, the proposal of the Committee for Security of the Chamber of Deputies and other amendments proposed by individual MPs were not assumed by the plenum at the third reading.
Following the current legislative procedure, the draft Amending Act is now pending in the Senate, but there is no real chance to change its text.
The Czech Republic has thus implemented the data retention directive and obliges providers to store data for one year costing tax payers around 6.5 million euro per year. The draft Amending Act leaves a backdoor for intelligence services to use the databases. Also, the present form leaves to the Minister of Transportation the decision on the scope of the retained data.
EDRi-gram: Dispute over data retention costs in Czech Republic (15.02.2006)
(Contribution by Helena Svatosova, EDRi-member Iuridicum Remedium - Czech Republic)