Data retention may become delayed

Politics | 2011-02-12
A Swedish implementation of the controversial EU directive on data retention may become delayed. This since a united opposition with parliamentary majority wants to sort out the details in the directive with the use of an exemption clause in the Constitution.

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The Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) stipulates that EU member states shall store citizens' telecommunications data for six to 24 months. The information acquired will, after a court order, be made available to the police and security agencies.

Sweden was to have implemented the directive in September 15 2007, but for various reasons has failed to do this. The European Commission has sued Sweden at the European Court of Justice for the delay.

And now the implementation can once again become delayed. A majority of the mighty Parliamentary Constitutional Committee wants the government to consult the Parliament in certain matters of detail. Something they may be forced to because of an exemption clause in the Constitution.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats has earlier aired concerns that the traffic data could be stored in data bases abroad, not in Sweden.

Now also a majority of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee – Social Democrats, the Left Party, the Greens, and the Sweden Democrats – wants to use this exemption clause to ensure that the Riksdag will retain control of the design of important details affecting theimplementation.

The government would then be subordinated to the parliament when the detailed regulations for all the new legislative changes are to be settled. The Parliament is then to decide, for example, about which traffic data that operators must save, and how it shall be protected during the time of storage.

The Constitutional Committee has sent its opinion thereon to the Committee on Justice, which is currently hearing a report on how the EU Data Retention Directive is to be introduced in Sweden.

The political parties in the ruling coalition – the Moderates, the Liberals, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats – are against the proposal and claims that the exception claus can not be used in a case like this.

Except for the details, the Sweden Democrats however supports the government's proposal to implement the directive, while the rest of the opposition wants to review the EU Data Retention Directive further.


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