US wants access to retained traffic data

By EDRi · April 12, 2006

Unites States has indicated in a recent meeting with the EU Council that it
will be interested in accessing the traffic data collected by the European
countries according with the recent Directive on Data Retention. Also the US
officials expressed concerns over the draft Framework Decision on Data

During the EU-US informal High Level meeting on Freedom, Security and
Justice on 2-3 March 2006, in Vienna, the US officials mentioned in the
context of fighting terrorist use of Internet that they were “considering
approaching each Member State to ensure that the data collected on the basis
of the recently adopted Directive on data retention be accessible to them.”
The Presidency and the Commission replied that these data were accessible
like any other data on the basis of the existing MLA agreements (bilateral
as well as EU/US agreement). The Commission would convene an expert meeting
on this subject.

During the same meeting the US officials lobbied against the provisions in
article 15 of the proposal for a framework decision on the protection of
personal data processed in the third pillar. ” US side expressed serious
concerns about the negative impact that the draft Framework Decision on data
protection would have on its bilateral relations with Member States if it
was to be adopted in its present form (see in particular Article 15 of the
draft). The Presidency indicated that agreements already concluded would not
be affected by the new legislation. In addition, Member States were divided
on the need for such a provision.” Article 15 refers to Transfer to
competent authorities in third countries or to international bodies.

The Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal
data processed in the framework of police and judicial co-operation in
criminal matters was initiated in October 2005 when a draft version was sent
to the Council. Opinions on the draft have been received from the European
Data Protection Supervisor, Conference of European Data Protection
Authorities and European member countries. A new version of the Decision,
still under discussion within the Multidisciplinary group on organised crime
(MDG) – Mixed Committee, was published by Statewatch at the end of March

The conclusions of the G6 of interior ministers of the EU call for a rapid
adoption of the framework decision on the sharing of information under the
availability principle in police and judicial cooperation in criminal
matters, i.e. without waiting for the third pillar data protection framework
decision. This would constitute a serious unbalance with regard to the
processing of personal information under the third pillar. Tony Bunyan,
Statewatch editor, commented ” in other words state agencies should be
allowed to exchange information and “intelligence” without any data
protection rights for the individual being in place.”

EU Council: Report of the EU-US informal High Level meeting on
Freedom, Security and Justice on 2-3 March 2006 in Vienna (27.03.2006)

Data Protection, EU doc no 6450/1/06, REV 1 (23.03.2006)

EDRI-gram : Draft directive data protection in EU police co-operation

Conclusions of the Meeting of the Interior Ministers of France, Germany,
Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, Heiligendamm (23.03.2006)