Thursday, March 15, 2007

Big Brother in Europeans' everyday life

Privacy under pressure in Europe
By Bob Sherwood

Privacy campaigners claim it is the realisation of a Big Brother state, while some law enforcers insist it is a necessary response to the growing global threat of terrorism. For telecommunications groups and internet services providers, though, the prospect of Europe-wide laws requiring them to retain, and hand over, electronic communications data is a potential headache and extra cost burden.

A European directive is in preparation that will require the providers of publicly available communications services to retain details of fixed-line, mobile phone and e-mail communications for at least six months, and possibly up to two years. It is a requirement that even the US has not imposed in its war on terror.

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