Germany: A Major Victory For Privacy

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By Scribe

Yesterday, there was a major victory for privacy.  Unfortunately, it was not in the US.  The German Constitutional Court threw out as unconstitutional a law which required storage of all flavors of electronic data on everyone.  Further, they required that the databases which had been built to comply with that law be erased.  Immediately.

The decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court has huge implications.  In it, the Court decided that privacy of users and their communications was more important than the speculation of the government which supported a law requiring retention of all electronic communications for some time (6 months, IIRC) in a form easily accessible to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.  Moreover, the decision was predicated on the German Constitution, and threw out the law requiring data retention as unconstitutional.  Finally, the Court required that the databases heretofore created under that law, be erased “immediately”.

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