DR-Action-Plan

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The coming weeks give an excellent window of opportunity to influence the revision of the data retention directive.

Please find a list of actions below which you are welcome to edit. We need to divide the workload, so please write where you can help.

Contents

Action Plan 2011

Participate in the civil society workshop on 8 June 2011

The Commission is organising this workshop in Brussels. For more information, contact EDRi or AK Vorrat.

Elaborate a joint recommendation to the EU

I have written a draft at https://pad.foebud.org/DRproposal, feel free to edit or comment there.

Contact national NGOs (e.g. journalists, lawyers, helplines)

Provide them with our shadow evaluation reports*, invite them to participate in the civil society workshop on 8 June 2011 and advocate abolishing blanket retention.

Our shadow evaluation reports:

Contact your national industry associations

Provide them with our shadow evaluation reports*, invite them to participate in the industry workshop on 17 June 2011 and advocate abolishing blanket retention.

Our shadow evaluation reports:

Contact your national data protection authorities

Provide them with our shadow evaluation reports*, invite them to participate in the DPA workshop on 22 June 2011 and advocate abolishing blanket retention.

Our shadow evaluation reports:

Contact your national government officials

Provide them with our shadow evaluation reports*, invite them to participate in the Member States workshop on 30 June 2011. I particularly recommend you to motivate Justice officials to attend rather than only Home affairs officials.

Our shadow evaluation reports:

Elaborate impact assessment requirements

Draft at Umbra#Impact_assessment_requirements, feel free to edit or comment there.

MEPs

The support of the S&D fraction in Parliament will be crucial to reach a majority.

It should be possible to get Schulz and his group to vote against DR, if a) there are good arguments to explain why he changed his mind and b) he smells a possible victory against EPP.

Other contacts in S&D who should be on our side and willing to help:

  • Claude Moraes (UK, LIBE coordinator)
  • Stavros Lambrinidis (Greece)
  • Birgit Sippel (Germany)
  • Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (Poland)
  • Matthias Groote (Germany), SPE-DE Internet expert, critical of data retention
  • Nessa Childers (Ireland) and her assistant Shane Griffin

Other MEPs that have shown an interest in data retention:

  • Mr Axel Voss, EPP-DE
  • Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, EPP-ES
  • Mr Séan Kelly, EPP-IE
  • Mr Jan Philipp Albrecht, Greens
  • Mr Alexander Alvaro, ALDE, DE
  • Ms Julie Girling, ALDE, UK
  • Mr Malcolm Harbour, ALDE, UK
  • Mr THEURER Michael, ALDE, DE
  • Ms Heidi Hautala, Greens

See also those MEPs that have tabled questions on data retention

Other ideas

  1. Meeting on Data Retention for other MEPs coordinated by Alvaro: Alexander Alvaro could organise a meeting in order to update other MEPs and try to influence their views. In the best case such meeting shoud be initiated by him but co-organised by MEPs from other groups.
  2. Hearing in LIBE Committee: If all coordinators agree, we can have a hearing even last minute.
  3. Written Declaration: Written Declaration requires a LOT of work while its impact tends to be limited. On the other hand, it does rise awareness of the problem. Written Declaration on data retention is something to be considered. Our feeling is that a project like this one can only be successful if we have a few really devoted MEPs and a lot of logistical support in Brussels (printing posters, leaflets, talking, meeting etc.)

Action plan 2010

Letters and Parliamentary Questions from Member States that haven't implemented

Letters to the Commission

We need letters to the Commission from MS that haven't implemented the directive (e.g. Austria, Germany, Greece, Romania, Sweden), saying that a 'pressing social need' for DR is lacking, i.e. that their law enforcement is functioning well without blanket retention. More inspiration for your letter can be found in our DR-FAQ.

  1. You should send such a letter "to" the responsible Commissioners (Malmström, Reding, Kroes);
  2. "CC" the 'College of Commissioners'. The Commission is a "college" - which means that all decisions are taken (and subsequently defended) by all Commissioners. As a result, all Commissioners fall all issues to some extent. Even the Fisheries Commissioner has a cabinet member responsible for Justice and Home Affairs;
  3. Mark the subject line of the letter very clearly states "Home Affairs: Data Retention Directive" - to make sure it gets to the right person in each cabinet;
  4. Follow up with however many/whichever Commissioners/cabinets that you have the time, capacity and linguistic capacity to contact. If in doubt, use English. Links to each Commissioner's website are available on this page: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/index_en.htm. Pick out the Commissioner of your country, follow the link to "my team" to find the right person responsible for Justice and Home Affairs (or 'Data protection', 'Citizens rights', etc).

Status:

Can you help?

Letters to Members of European Parliament

Parliamentary questions from MEPs of countries that haven't (fully) implemented the directive (e.g. Austria, Germany, Greece, Romania, Sweden) would be useful, asking questions like "If law enforcement in ... is working well without data retention, why does the Commission still want to force all Member States to adopt blanket retention legislation?" The more MEPs are asking questions, and the less they are the "usual suspects/critics", the more will the Commission accept that there is serious pressure to abolish compulsory data retention. We have been assured that if many MEPs asked questions this would be very effective.

A draft letter to MEPs is available in English, German and French.

Alternatively to asking questions, MEPs should consider writing letters directly to Commissioners Malmström, Reding and Kroes, asking them to "propose the repeal of the EU requirements regarding data retention in favour of a system of expedited preservation and targeted collection of traffic data". A letter is likely to be read carefully by the Commissioners themselves.

A draft letter that MEPs could send to the Commissioners is available in English and German.

Status:

Can you help?

Talk to the Commission

You or your European umbrella organisation should discuss the data retention directive directly with the Commission. Member states and industry are constantly doing so, and civil society needs to let its voice be heard much more than in the past. It may be possible for you to get a direct appointment with the Commissioners in charge (Malmström, Reding, Kroes). Alternatively, get an appointment with their Cabinet members in charge of data retention:

  • in Malmstroem’s Cabinet (home affairs): Søren Schønberg and Christian D'Cunha, Christian.D'
  • in Reding’s Cabinet (justice): Jan Ostoja-Ostaszewski / Telmo Baltazar, http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding/about/team/index_en.htm
  • in Kroes’ Cabinet (information society): Hervé Dupuy, http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/about/team/index_en.htm
  • in Dalli's Cabinet (consumer): Tamás Molnár, http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/press/consumer_protection/media_contacts.pdf,

Ask the Commission to completely end compulsory data retention by - at least - allowing Member States to opt out of the directive.

Status:

  • Patrick and Joe met Cabinets first.
  • Axel, Joe and others had a meeting in September.
  • Kasia is arranging a meeting in November.

Can you help?

Press coverage

We need to demonstrate that the anti-DR movement is not only big, but influential. We need a lot of press coverage and critical articles - especially in the countries that haven't implemented DR. Those articles should also appear in the media that are read by the constituencies of the single Commissioners: Sweden, Britain, Netherlands (Kroes for example is a liberal, The Dutch Financial Times or NRC Handelsblad suffices).

Status:

Can you help?

Write to your data protection commissioner

Write to your data protection commissioner and ask them to support, both in public and in the Article 29 Data Protection Group, our proposal to repeal the EU requirements regarding data retention in favour of a system of expedited preservation and targeted collection of traffic data as agreed in the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime. We need strong messages from Data protection institutions, denouncing blanket retention. The technical and unambitious review done by the Article 29 Working Group is being used politically to ignore critics.

Draft letter to your data protection authority: Dear ..., we are in the process of finding out what DPAs across Europe think about the Data Retention Directive in the context of its on-going evaluation by the Commission. Could you please let us know your opinion on this? Would you support the initiative of more than 100 organisations from 23 European countries to repeal the EU requirements regarding data retention in favour of a system of expedited preservation and targeted collection of traffic data as agreed in the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime? (http://twiturl.de/DRletter) Thank you very much for considering this question. Yours sincerely, ...

Status:

  • Kasia has drafted a letter to the Article 29 Working Party: http://europeandigitalrights.pad.telecomix.org/3 (password: storage1). We are waiting for the politically opportune moment to send it.
  • Axel and Patrick have met with the competent EDPS official on 25 October. The EDPS is planning to publish a statement once the Commission has published its evaluation report.
  • Patrick has written to the German Commissioner Peter Schaar, who is supportive.

Can you help?

Evaluation standards

We need to reach consensus on what the absolute minimum standards are for the evaluation by the Commission, i.e. how the subcriteria for the 'necessary in a democratic society' test should be fulfilled. This could be achieved through a memo by a well-known criminologist.

Status:

  • Axel has not yet found a criminologist willing to write a paper to this effect in the Netherlands.
  • Dr. Nils Zurawski, sociologist with the University of Hamburg, has published a statement (14 October 2010)

Can you help?

FAQ

We need a FAQ on the most common arguments surrounding DR, so that activists, journalists, politicians, 'we' speak the same language.

Status: The FAQ has been drafted here by Patrick. I feel the draft still needs some work to its language and may also be too long in parts. Please help to improve it directly in the wiki, and to add other frequently asked questions if you have any.

Official assessments of proportionality

What I think would be useful to have the institutions legal services assess those questions, particularly with regard to the ECtHR and Romanian judgement, and use possible negative assessments politically.

Suggested questions:

  1. On the basis of the judgement given by the European Court of Human Rights on 4 December 2008 (No. 30562/04 and 30566/04), is a blanket and indiscriminate retention of communications data as currently mandated by directive 2006/24/EC "proportionate" and "necessary in a democratic society"?
  2. On the basis of the judgement given by the Constitutional Court of Romania on 8 October 2009 (No. 1258), is a blanket and indiscriminate retention of communications data as currently mandated by directive 2006/24/EC "proportionate" and "necessary in a democratic society"?
  3. What options are available to ensure the conformity of directive 2006/24/EC with all applicable fundamental rights instruments?"

Status:

  • Patrick asked Alexander Alvaro in this regard; he will advocate LIBE asking the Parliament's legal service for an opinion.

Can you help?

Own proposal

The Commission has no clue to proceed, we need to provide an elegant exit route. A joint proposal with industry would make our position more attractive.

Status:

  • Patrick proposed an industry meeting with EuroISPA member eco in Germany. The request is pending.

Can you help?

S&D support

The support of the S&D fraction in Parliament will be crucial to reach a majority.

It should be possible to get Schulz and his group to vote against DR, if a) there are good arguments to explain why he changed his mind and b) he smells a possible victory against EPP.

Other contacts in S&D who should be on our side and willing to help:

EPP contacts:

  • Axel Voss

Can anybody arrange meetings to talk to them?

Status:

Can you help?

Other ideas

  1. Preparing shadow (counter) report
  2. Meeting on Data Retention for other MEPs coordinated by Alvaro: Alexander Alvaro could organise a meeting in order to update other MEPs and try to influence their views. In the best case such meeting shoud be initiated by him but co-organised by MEPs from other groups.
  3. Hearing in LIBE Committee: If all coordinators agree, we can have a hearing even last minute.
  4. Discussion in the Intergroup on Privacy (chair: Sophie In' t Veld). The Intergroup on Privacy meets once every two months. Possibility of devoting one of the upcoming meetings (April?) to data retention, possibly also inviting some of us to speak.
  5. Written Declaration: Written Declaration requires a LOT of work while its impact tends to be limited. On the other hand, it does rise awareness of the problem. Written Declaration on data retention is something to be considered. Our feeling is that a project like this one can only be successful if we have a few really devoted MEPs and a lot of logistical support in Brussels (printing posters, leaflets, talking, meeting etc.)

Useful information

Time table

Calendar of data retention-related events:

  • The Commission intends to submit its evaluation report and recommendations to the European Parliament and the Council in March 2011. 3rd March is a DG Home internal deadline for publishing the report.
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