Data Retention: Parliament Rapporteur doubts legal foundation

By EDRi · January 26, 2005

The European Parliament’s rapporteur on the retention of traffic data
resulting from all kinds of electronic communications, Alexander Alvaro
(Liberal, Germany) has asked the Parliament’s legal service to look into
the legal foundation for this report. His doubts are founded on the fact
that the report contains obligations addressed to civil parties, which is
a strong indication that it ought to be in co-decision. As Mr. Alvaro told
EDRI-gram, he proposes to split the draft into two separate reports. The
first part would contain the law-enforcement side of data retention and
remain in the consultation procedure. The other part, dealing with the
industry’s obligations, would have to be in the co-decision procedure. Mr.
Alvaro also considers going to the European Court of Justice to get a
ruling on this.

One of the problems the Parliament is facing is that it is confronted with
permanently changing positions on the side of the Council. The parliament
is given a strict deadline for their non-binding advice, while the Council
itself hasn’t decided yet on the nature of the data to be stored or even
on the duration of the storage.

Mr. Alvaro will present his working document, which is quite critical of
the Council’s proposal, on 31 January 2005. A first draft of his report
will be presented to the EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home
Affairs (LIBE) mid-March 2005. The vote in Plenary should then take place
in May – unless Alvaro’s proposal to split the draft is accepted. In that
case the agenda would inevitably be delayed.

Latest public extended version of the draft framework decision (20.12.2004)

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(Contribution by Andreas Dietl, EDRI EU Affairs Director)