On June 25, 2018, sixty-two NGOs, community networks, academics and activists are sending a joint open letter to the European Commission, along with various complaints against EU Member States' policy on blanket data retention.
What is at stake?
"Blanket data retention" refers to the obligation for telecommunication providers (telephone and Internet services) to retain traffic data (numbers called, IP addresses, location data, identity...) of all of their users for several months or years (depending on each national law). Such retention applies to every user, including people who are not suspected of any crime or wrongdoing.
Seventeen States within the European Union provide for such blanket data retention.
How is it inconsistent with European Union law?
The Court of justice of the European Union clearly ruled that such general and indiscriminate retention of data was contrary to the right to privacy, protection of personal data as well as freedom of speech and information -- all of which are protected by the EU Charter of fundamental rights.
In the Court's view, such mass surveillance measures are not acceptable.
What is our goal?
European law is not only more favourable for our rights and freedoms: It also trumps over national laws.. We want it to be enforced so that the 17 Member States currently in breach of EU law have to change their policies.
To this end, we are sending several complaints to the European Commission. This way, we invite the Commission to investigate and, eventually, to bring these States before the Court of Justice. This way, each of them can be sanctioned for its violation of EU law. To introduce our action, we are attaching to these complaints a joint open letter supported by more than 60 signatories in 19 Member States, which will also be sent to the European Commission.
You too can send your own complaint to the European Commission! You just need to put your contact information into the template for your country and send it at this address: SG-PLAINTES@ec.europa.eu . Doing so is not risky and is free. This complaint procedure is accessible to all.