Preparation period for the storing of internet data too short

A new draft on e-surveillance presented by the German government plans the obligatory storage of citizens´s internet traffic and email data as soon as from January 1st 2008. Originally the government had planned to introduce this storage gradually in the several lines of business. For the internet economy this introduction should only have taken place from March 2009 onward.

This extended period was deliberately planned by the German government and added to the underlying EU guideline after intensive negotiantions in order to take into account the particular problems entailed by the introduction of such an unprecedented surveillance technology.

According to the Association of the German Internet Economy eco, such a timing is completely unrealistic given that storage planned is not comparable to traditional means of surveillance. The issue at hand was not an extension of an existing surveillance technology, but new and very demanding and costly technological and organizational processes had to be set up. Furthermore, the storage also applies to data which so far have not been recorded by any provider.

The Association also says that a precipitant implementation of the draft would also entail massive costs for the internet economy. At the same time it was not even sure whether the draft might not even by overturned by the European Court of Justice or the Federal Supreme Court of Germany. At least at the European Court of Justice there was already one complaint against the underlying EU guideline pending. Complaints to the Federal Supreme Court have already been announced too. Therefore eco demands the suspension of the implementation of the new guideline in question. GERMAN