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    Reuters: EU to take hard line on German resistance to data storage

    Reuters reports on news concerning Germany and a data collection directive in Europe that affects privacy and civil liberties:

    The EU executive is planning to refer Germany to the European Union’s highest court over its failure to introduce a law obliging phone and internet companies to store records for at least six months, a document seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

    The case, which is expected to be brought on Thursday to the European Court of Justice, follows a European Commission directive in 2006, aiming to help authorities track down suspected perpetrators of “serious crime”.

    The directive ordered the 27 member states to introduce laws obliging telecoms companies to store records of people’s emails and phone calls, including those made via the Internet.

    The German government tried to introduce such a law, but the country’s top court rejected it in March 2010 saying it led to a “particularly deep intrusion into telecommunications privacy”. […]

    Referral to the EU court is the final stage in an infringement procedure and can sometimes result in a fine.

    In a paper outlining the rules, the Commission said though such laws were “a restriction of the right to privacy” they would be used by police on “a case by case basis” without revealing the content of communication. […]

    Germany’s ruling liberal and conservative coalition partners have been at loggerheads over the EU data retention rules.

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