ANP, 11 March 2015: 'Surf and call behaviour citizens no longer saved'
"Telecom companies and internet service providers no longer need to store data on internet and phone usage. The law requiring the mass collection and storage of data on internet and telephone use of citizens in the Netherlands has been set aside. The court in The Hague decided that on Wednesday.
In the ruling, the judge said he was aware that disabling this law "could have far-reaching consequences for the detection and prosecution of criminal offences". The controversial law does not provide for independent review of access to retained private data. The public prosecutor's office that is supposed to do this is not independent, the court concluded.
Among others, the Dutch Association of Journalists, the Dutch Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers and privacy advocate Privacy First demanded in summary proceedings that the law be set aside. The European Court of Justice ruled last year that storing communication data of anyone -without concrete suspicion- is a severe invasion of privacy and is not allowed.
"The court has put an end to the mandatory retention of communications data of everyone, including non-suspect citizens," responds one of their lawyers Fulco Blokhuis. , "The interest of privacy rightly outweighs this. The judge's verdict is in line with opinions of the Dutch Data Protection Authority and the Council of State."
"This ruling is no surprise. The Dutch law was contrary to European law," notes lawyer Otto Volgenant. "This is a victory for journalists and lawyers who must be able to rely on the confidentiality of their communications. And above all, this is a victory for the privacy of all citizens."
Source: ANP, 11 March 2015.