EU Council Data Retention 2nd December 2005

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Statewatch have the text of a draft DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the retention of data processed in connection with the provision of public electronic communication services and amending Directive 2002/58/EC (.pdf) which seems to have been agreed at the meeting in Brussels of the European Union Justice and Home Affairs ministers, chaired by the UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke.

According to Statewatch:


Press reports suggest that the European Commission will accept these changes to its draft Directive. To work though the European Parliament has to adopt exactly the same amendments at its plenary session 12-15 December - the deadline for amendments is 7 December

Remember to remind your Member of the European Parliament and your Member of the UK Parliament that voting against Data Retention will not hinder any investigation into terrorist or serious organised crime. The highly publicised case of the terrorist suspect who fled to Rome from London after the July 21st incidents, and who was tracked via the mobile phones he used, made no use whatsoever of any retained data, only current and near real time data.

The vague list of categories of innocent people's data which is planned to be retained for at least between 6 months and two years (or three years like the Irish Government is still pressing for) is extremely intrusive because of the fantasy that criminals will never lie about their names and addresses and because of Cell ID Location Based Data.

Given the usual policy laundering and "gold plating" of EU Directives, this Directive would provide the excuse to attack the current freedom in the United Kingdom for innocent consumers to purchase and use an unregistered pre-paid mobile telephone and/or SIM card. It will do nothing to stop criminals continuing to use "untracebale" mobile phones, and it ignores the reality of the increasing use of "alwats on" internet connections.

The EU politicians should consult with the public, not just with representatives of vested interests like the telecomms industry, to see if such an infringement of current rights and freedoms and the increase in bureacratic red tape is at all acceptable.. We believe that the electorate will reject politicians who advocate such snooping on innocent people, which would have so little effect on criminals.

Hopefully the new Open Rights Group will continue to liase with other European groups like those who supported the Data Retention Is No Solution petition to defend our freedoms against this disproportionate, bureaucratic and expensive policy..

Article 4

Categories of data to be retained

1. Member States shall ensure that the following categories of data are retained under this Directive:

a) Data necessary to trace and identify the source of a communication:

(1) Concerning Fixed Network Telephony and Mobile Telephony
(a) The calling telephone number;
(b) Name and address of the subscriber or registered user;

(2) […]

(3) Concerning Internet Access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony:
(a) The User ID(s) allocated.
(b) The User ID and telephone number allocated to any communication entering
the public telephone network.
(c) Name and address of the subscriber or registered user to whom an Internet
Protocol (IP) address, […] User ID or telephone number was allocated at the
time of the communication.

b) Data necessary to identify the destination of a communication:.

(1) Concerning Fixed Network Telephony and Mobile Telephony
(a) The number(s) dialled (the called telephone number or numbers), and in cases
involving supplementary services such as call forwarding or call transfer, the
number or numbers to which the call is routed.
(b) Name(s) and address(es) of the subscriber(s) or registered user(s).

The name and address of a subscriber is very often not that of the person actually using the telephone.

In Europe there are hundreds of millions of pre-paid mobile phones which are sold for the convenience of not having to register and be pestered by marketing spam and junk mail and to limit possible financial losses to the customer which a phone contact could easily expose them to through deliberate or accidental misuse.

What about non-EU mobile phones with International Roaming Agreements ?

Will terrorists or criminals simply evade all this expensive Data Retention by using North African , Middle Eastern or Asian or other non-EU mobile phones ?

If Charles Clarke and the other European Union politicians are trying to defy the market logic, then they need to explain the full implications to their own elctorates, instead of trying to sneak through such a fundamental change which will affect millions of consumers behind closed doors.

(2) […]

(3) Concerning […] Internet e-mail and Internet telephony:
(a) The […] User ID or telephone number of the intended recipient(s) of an Internet
telephony call.
(b) Name(s) and address(es) of the subscriber(s) or registered user(s) and User ID of the intended recipient of the communication.

Note that there is no plan to retain the source name and address of internet or mobile phone spammers and junk emailers

c) Data necessary to identify the date, time and duration of a communication.

(1) Concerning Fixed Network Telephony and Mobile Telephony:
(a) The date and time of the start and end of the communication.

(2) Concerning Internet Access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony:
(a) The date and time of the log-in and log-off of the Internet Access service
based on a certain time zone, together with the IP address, whether dynamic
or static, allocated by the Internet Access Service provider to a
communication, and the User ID of the subscriber or registered user.
(b) The date and time of the log-in and log-off of the Internet e-mail service or
Internet telephony service based on a certain time zone.

An increasing proportion of Internet Access is of the "always on variety" - what is the point of retaining log on / log off IP address details which might only occur when there is a network problem, and which are likley to be automatically re-dialed / re-authenticated by a piece of network router hardware, without the actual presence or knowledge of a human being ?

d) Data necessary to identify the type of communication:

(1) Concerning Fixed Network Telephony and Mobile Telephony
(a) The telephone service used [….]
(2) Concerning Internet e-mail and Internet telephony
(a) The Internet service used.

e) Data necessary to identify users’ communication equipment or what purports to be their equipment.

(1) Concerning Fixed Network Telephony
(a) The calling and called telephone numbers.
(2) Concerning Mobile Telephony
(a) The calling and called telephone numbers.
(b) The International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of the calling party.
(c) The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the calling party.
(d) The International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of the called party.
(e) The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the called party.
(f) In case of pre-paid anonymous services, the date and time of the initial
activation of the service and the location label (Cell ID) from which the
activation was made.

One wonders if any of the EU politicians or civil servants have actually ever bought a pre-paid mobile phone themselves.

All that the "the date and time of the initial activation of the service and the location label (Cell ID) from which the activation was made." is likely to reveal is the location of the mobile phone shop where the new phone was originally bought and tested.

(3) Concerning Internet Access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony: (a) The calling telephone number for dial-up access; (b) The digital subscriber line (DSL) or other end point [...] of the originator of the communication. (c) […]

f). Data necessary to identify the location of mobile equipment.

(1) The location label (Cell ID) at the start […] of the communication.
(2) Data identifying the geographic location of cells by reference to their location labels (Cell ID) during the period for which communications data is retained.
2. No data revealing the content of the communication can be retained pursuant to this Directive.

The EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers still seem to be pressing for the retention of uncompleted calls, despite not having presented any convincing case for doing so. Are they really attempting to legislate against subliminal or covert channels of communication ?

Where are the estimates of how much this EU wide Communications Data Retention and Access policy is likely to cost ? So what if the telecomms companies are subsidised with Government money to implement such Data Retention schemes ? The public will endsup paying another stealth tax for no obvious benefit.
.

3 Comments

Yes, In the UK we have the freedom to purchase an unregistered pay-as-you go phone, and thereby remain anonymous - well almost. The police can of course analyse the links made between calls to and from any mobile or fixed phone, and make certain deductions. In Spain, and no doubt other countries in the EU, you need to present your ID card before you can buy a 'phone. This might happen in Britain, but I doubt it, even if we ever do get ID cards, which I also doubt.

It probably won't happen because our thick legislators will eventually realise that such a tactic would be a complete waste of time. People can and do by phones for others as presents, or sell them on at car boot sales. Unless you had a registration system similar to that operated for cars by the parasites at the DVLA, but for mobile phones, there would be no control whatsoever.

I hope I haven't spoken too soon! Can you imagine a PLA - Phone Licensing Authority!

@ A Tench - the prospect of a UK Mobile Phone License i.e. a tax gathering and / or spam advertising database, no doubt subcontracted out to the tender mercies of the incorruptible Third World "battery farm" Call Centres used by the likes of Capita plc etc. is a horrible idea.

This is exactly the sort of "gold plating" of EU directives which the NuLabour Government is entirely capable of.

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MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers