The Austrian government has postponed the law for data retention

By EDRi · July 4, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and
Technology has confirmed that due to the flood of responses to the law
proposal there is no way to have data retention ready before the
deadline set by the directive.

The ministry received a total of 90 statements from various organisations.
Most of them voiced severe concerns about the suggested implementation of
data retention. The supporters were various bodies of the entertainment
industry, demanding longer retention periods and a lower threshold. They
demanded extending access to retained data for violations of copyright, by a
law that is being implemented to help fight terrorism.

The ministry needs to process all those statements in a diligent way and
it will do so, even if the EU issues a caution against the Republic of
Austria. Furthermore there have been talks with the Ministry of Justice
to embed data retention in the criminal law concerning the degree of penalty
and periods. The criminal law has already exemptions for lawyers,
physicians, journalists and other groups of society handling highly
sensitive personal data. The retention period of six months both for
telephone and Internet traffic data was not questioned. More results of
these talks will be due in autumn after the summer break.

The background to this turnaround is that a general aversion against data
retention has been growing in Austria, and the resistance is pretty
broad. Hardly anybody turns up in Austrian public to express support for
this measure. The Austrian Chambers of Commerce and Labour both oppose
data retention. Those bodies, called “social partnership”, are the
pillars of real political life representing small and middle businesses
(Conservatives) and Labour. Even the federal Chancellor’s office
expressed concerns about a possible violation of Austria’s constitution.
Various academic institutions stepped in as well. All quoted bodies are
more or less closely related to one of the two big political parties.
The discussion here started very late, as it took print and TV media
journalists quite a long time to understand what data retention of
network traffic data could mean for their jobs in general. During the month
of June the topic was covered by all Austrian media – late, but better than

AT: Data Retention gets delayed until autumn (only in German, 28.06.2007)

Quintessenz doqubase about data retention

The Truth about the Costs for Data Retention (only in German, 29.06.2007)

Data Retention Delayed (only in German, 28.06.2007)

Data Retention in Austria arrives later (only in German, 28.06.2007)

(Contribution by EDRI-member – Austria)