21.000 signatures against data retention

By EDRi · August 10, 2005

Over 21.000 people have already signed the new EDRI and XS4ALL petition against mandatory data retention. The petition is now available in 13 languages, including Bulgarian, Polish, Czech and Hungarian and will remain open for signatures until October 2005.

Divided per country, the Netherlands keep their number 1 position, with over 7.300 signatures. But relatively, the amount of signatures from Finland (almost 4.500) is actually much higher, when compared to the number of inhabitants (5 million). Germany is taking a third position with almost 3.500 signatures, followed by Austria and Italy with almost a 1.000 signatures each. France, Belgium and Sweden all have contributed over 500 signatures. The petition is also supported by 45 organisations and companies.

To engage more supporters to contribute to the campaign against data retention, EDRI has opened a special WIKI, based on the technology used by the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Everybody is invited to contribute background information and localised banners. The WIKI also contains a link-back list, to allow people to indicate they have put a banner to the petition on their homepage. Everybody interested in joining the fight against data retention may also subscribe to the open EDRI mailinglist on data retention.

With the campaign, EDRI hopes to support the members of both the national parliaments and the European Parliament that systematic data retention is not the right way to protect our open society against crime and terrorism. Without any evidence for the necessity and benefits for law enforcement, the proposal undermines fundamental human rights values, such as the right to be held innocent until proven guilty. Given the very broad scope of the Commission proposal, which includes the prevention of criminal offences, the proposal inevitably allows for large-scale data-mining on the communication behaviour and GSM location data of innocent citizens. This concern is aggravated by the fact that both the ministers of Justice and Home Affairs and the Commission wish to create an open-ended list of data, to be updated continuously in back-doors procedures without any thorough democratic consultation. Now that web-surfing data and location data of GSMs in standby-mode are excluded from the initial Commission proposal, the European Parliament might be tempted to agree to the directive. In that case, law enforcement could easily add all their other long-standing wishes within a few months after adoption, without every having to meet the strict proportionality and subsidiarity criteria of human rights law. And those wish-lists are just too long and too widely distributed to be ignored.

EDRI campaign WIKI with hourly signature count per country

Subscribe to the open EDRI data retention mailinglist

EDRI and XS4ALL petition against data retention

Overview of law enforcement wish-lists