Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) calls for six months of data retention in order to advance the fight against child abuse and child pornography.
“Since references to relevant IP addresses are often only received by the investigative authorities after several months, the storage period for IP addresses should only be extended from ten weeks to at least six months,” says a letter to Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), that is available in part from the German Press Agency. First the “Bild am Sonntag” reported about it.
When storing data, providers are legally obliged to secure users’ telephone and Internet connection data so that investigators can access them later. The issue has been the subject of controversy for years, especially with regard to data protection. A retention period of ten weeks has been stipulated in Germany, but the regulation is on hold.
The European Court of Justice ruled in 2016 that general and indiscriminate storage of telephone and internet connection data was not compatible with EU law. A further judgment of the European Court of Justice is expected in the coming months, from which Seehofer hopes for leeway.
Nevertheless, he thinks it makes sense to make the changes now “so that they can be implemented promptly after a ruling by the European Court of Justice confirming the compatibility of German regulations with EU law”, Seehofer writes in the letter of July 14. IP addresses were often the first and only investigative approach available to investigative authorities in child pornography cases. “Without the mandatory storage of IP addresses by telecommunications providers, numerous cases will inevitably remain unresolved.”
Lambrecht, on the other hand, wants to wait. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Justice said the “Bild am Sonntag”: “A legal need for adjustment can only be sensibly examined when the courts have ruled.”
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