Pro and Contra data retention

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"Communications data retention is essential for fighting terrorism and organised crime"
Even without logging all usage of telephone, cell phone, e-mail and the internet enough data is available to combat crime effectively:
* Already certain connection data is being retained for billing purposes, up to six months in germany.
* Furthermore, authorities can request a warrant for recording the communications data record of certain suspects, if needed.
* The terrorist attacs in Madrid in 2004 were solved via call data that was already available. No data retention was needed.
* Before the data retention directive was passed in 2006, there were only a few countries in the world that practised data retention. None of these countries used such an all-embracing logging scheme as planned in the EU directive. International authorities always did without the total logging of telecommunication.

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%. In these cases additional data was needed to solve crimes that had already been committed, not to prevent crimes. Furthermore, just two of these 381 crimes were connected to terrorism, even though the fight against terrorism is consistantly being put forward as the main reason why data retention is needed. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, call data is 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 remain easy for criminals to avoid detection by use of relatively simple technical means, such by using and frequently changing prepaid mobile phone cards bought abroad. The outcome would be an enormous effort that would have little more effect on terrorists than to annoy them a little.
* Klaus Jansen, chairman of the confederation of german detectives, complains already today: "Because it is well-known that eavesdropping on telephone calls is relatively easy for the police, suspects rarely speak openly on the phone." If data retention comes, criminals will arrange with the new situation quickly.

If only one indictable offense can be prevented, this justifies all data retention


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