Telegraph, 19 February 2015: 'Telecom data retention requirement stakes conflict; battle between privacy and security'
"The government is forcing providers to massively violate the fundamental rights of their customers. Minister Opstelten (Security and Justice) seems to be pursuing a deliberate strategy to keep this going for as long as possible, flouting European rules. So claim seven organisations that have united in an attempt to render the Dutch Telecommunications Data Retention Act inoperative. They asked the court for a ruling in summary proceedings yesterday.
According to the Dutch Association of Criminal Law Lawyers, the Dutch Association of Journalists, the Privacy First Foundation and four other organisations, the retention obligation is a huge invasion of citizens' privacy, especially if they are not suspected of a criminal offence. People do not want to be spied on , said lawyers Otto Volgenant and Fulco Blokhuis.
The law forces providers to keep data on phone traffic for a year, and on internet traffic for six months. Since 16 February, 5,700 people have already reported to their providers asking them to stop storing their data. These cannot comply now because they risk a €450,000 fine from the Telecom Agency for each violation.
Lawyers and journalists are also severely hampered in their work by the law, as they do not feel free to call or email clients or contacts.
Retaining only suspects' data is not a real alternative, the State said. That would leave first offenders off the record. [The country's lawyers] dispute that the retention obligation violates European rules. The court will rule on 11 March."
Source: Telegraph 19 February 2015, p. 14.