Pro and Contra data retention

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"Communications data record is essential for the abatement of terrorism and organised crime"
Even without logging all use of telephone, cell phone, e-mail and internet there are enough data available for the abatement of crime:
* Certain call data are saved already for charging purpose, up to six months in germany.
* Furthermore, authorities can request a warrant which allows the communications data record on certain suspects, if needed.
* The terrorist attacs in Madrid in 2004 were solved via call data that were already available. No data retention was needed.
* Until the data retention directive was passed in 2006 there were only a few countries in the world which practised data retention. In no country in the world there was such all-embracing logging as planned in the EU directive. International authorities always did without the total logging of telecommunication until now.

In a survey, the Federal Criminal Police Office names 381 cases in wich investigators needed further call data - compared to 6 million crimes that are commited each year this is a marginal rate of 0.01%. This cases were just about solving crimes that were already commited, not about preventing crimes. Furthermore, just two of this 381 crimes showed connectionsto terrorism even to the abatement of terrorism is consistantly put forward as the reason why data retention is needed. According to the Federal Criminal Police office call data are mainly lacking in the investigation of child pornography in the internet as well as fraud crimes. This crimes however already have the highest rate of being solved without data retention.

Data retention is ineffective against terrorism and organised crime:
* Serious criminals remain undiscovered because they use alternative strategies to evade surveillance (as using several unregistered prepaid cards) or switch to other ways of communication (like letters, personal meetings)
* Heinz Kiefer, the president of the european police association, warned in 2005: " It would stay easy for criminals to avoid their detection with technicaly simplistic means, such as the use and frequent change of prepaid cards bought in a foreign country. The outcome would be an enormous efford that would have little more effect on terrorists than to anger them a little bit.
* Klaus Jansen, chairman of the confederation of german detectives, complains already today: "Because it got about that its is quite easy to put a trace on somebodys telephone suspects now only rarely speak openly on the telphone." If data retention comes, criminals will arrange themselfes to that quickly.


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