Czech Republic: Prompt and accomodating implementation of EU data retention proposal (1)

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The Czech Senate (Upper House of the Parliament) rejected the Draft Bill on Electronic Communications because of excessive power of law-enforcement agencies to wiretap e-communication and to demand any operating and location data.

The modified draft of the Act approved on 17. December 2004 by the Chamber of Deputies empowered the Police to wire-tap all kinds of electronic communication and to demand any operating and location data regarding e-communications including mobile phones.

Such requests by the police have to be approved by a court decision acccording to Czech law. However, in practice judicial approval is only a formality. Phone companies and companies providing electronic communications (including Internet Service Providers) will, if the Senate´s decision is voted by Chamber of Deputies, have to archive such data for law enforcement bodies for 12 months.

The original version of the Act, approved by the government and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) in September last year, initially also included the extension of authority to the international intelligence, which was to allow monitoring of international phone and electronic communication and process personal data of those wiretapped. The same powers were to be granted to the BIS (counter-espionage) and the Military Intelligence Service as well. However, these provisions were not acceptable to the Defense and Security Committee of Chamber of deputies. MPs therefore partially turned down the law-enforcers' requests.

Source: Iuridicum remedium:

See also: EU: Survey on police powers to exchange personal data across member states (pdf) Most police forces in member states have extensive powers to "autonomously" access and exchange data on individuals. No data protection provision on individuals rights in draft Framework Decision.

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