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Computerworld, 10 April 2015: 'Retention requirement not important enough for appeal'

The retention requirement is crucial for fighting crime, the government says. So appeal to challenge the decommissioning? No, not that.

Retention law is final kaltgestellt, now that the summary judgment of the trial judge is 'res judicata', as it is called in jargon. Indeed, the State is surprisingly not going to appeal, the plaintiffs' lawyer confirmed. The deadline for doing so has now passed.

To that extent surprising, given the Justice Department's continued emphasis on the importance of the retention obligation and the dramatic consequences for investigative agencies now that the law has been shot down. Surely you would then expect the crime fighters also fight on in court to reinstate that crucial retention obligation.

But the Justice Department is taking its loss and letting a first-instance judge shoot down an entire law. On the other hand, not very surprising, because anyone who knows the file a little knows that the State got off lightly. Indeed, the court was remarkably lenient on the retention obligation. So there is a good chance that a higher court would object to the data retention obligation more rather than less. Even the State's lawyers realise this.

New bill also controversial
Justice now hopes for a quick passage of the new bill, which contains some changes from the now invalid version. For instance, permission from the examining magistrate will be required for claims of telecoms data, the retrieval period goes back to 6 months for lighter offences, and isps will have to keep the data within the EU.

But whether this proposal can be rushed through parliament is uncertain. Privacy regulator CBP has already rebuffed the new proposal: it still contradicts the EU Court's historic ruling from a year ago.

ANPR also illegal
We now await the advice of the Council of State. It concluded earlier that this judgment has far-reaching consequences for the Netherlands: not only the retention obligation is illegal, but also the scanning and storage of license plates of all cars, the controversial Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). The House of Representatives seems less critical, with a broad majority in favour of the new retention obligation.

And should the proposal be adopted as it stands, opponents will once again go to court, campaign group Privacy First promises in advance."

Source:, 10 April 2015.