Dispute over data retention costs in Czech Republic

By EDRi · February 15, 2006

The Czech authorities are currently in a debate with telecommunication
companies over the exact amounts they will have to pay to reimburse the
costs related to the new data retention legislation that came into force at
the middle of the last year. The Czech republic already adopted data
retention legislation in the middle of 2005, in anticipation of new EU
legislation. It stipulates a maximum period of data retention for 12 months.
An ordinance of the Czech telecommunication authority (CTÚ) established, in
the middle of December 2005, the minimum retention period of 3-6 months for
different types of data. The special CTÚ ordinance stipulates the price of
each “service” of transmitting data from the operators to the Czech police
and the other security agencies.

According to a report on the popular TV station Nova, the Czech police owed
around 300 million Czech Crowns (approx. 10 million Euro) to the operators
for their services related to tapping and transmitting telecommunication
data for the for the last 6 months of 2005. In addition to that sum Pravo
Daily reported that the counterintelligence service (BIS) owed the operators
18 million Czech Crowns (approx. 0.6 million Euro) for tapping the
conversation during the same period. Spokesmen of the Czech police and BIS
refused to present the exact amounts currently under discussion with the
operators. “It is not only about payments for services but also
reimbursements of necessary investments are discussed,” said Jan Subert,
spokesman of BIS. “BIS will probably pay some millions in the next few years
for investments and the payments for services will not exceed hundreds of
millions,” predicted Subert. According to Jakub Hrabovský, spokesman of
telephony operator Vodafone negotiations will be concluded by the end of

More information about this dispute (Czech only)

Czech Telecommunication Office

(Contribution by Filip Pospísil, EDRi-member Iuridicum Remedium – Czech