Lawyers, journalists take Dutch state to court over internet privacy

Protection concept: computer keyboard with Closed PadlockDutch lawyers, journalists, privacy organisations and publishers are taking legal action against the state to stop telecom firms storing phone and email information via what is described by critics as a ‘snoopers charter’.

The Dutch government requires telecom firms to keep the information for up to 12 months but the Dutch criminal law association and other groups say this conflicts with EU legislation.

A number of telecoms firms are also considering joining the legal campaign website said.

In April, the European Court of Justice said the European guidelines on data retention go further than required and conflict with European law.

The directive is ‘invalid’ because it ‘interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data’, the court said.

In the Netherlands, telecom firms have to keep information about phone conversations for 12 months about about internet traffic – such as email and IP addresses – for six months.

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