In a landmark case, lobby group Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) says it is preparing to challenge the constitutionality of a law that obliges telecommunication companies to retain the details of all electronic traffic.
Well done guys.
Full DRI press release:
DIGITAL RIGHTS IRELAND CHALLENGES MASS SURVEILLANCE
For Immediate Release.
Digital Rights Ireland ltd (DRI) has written to the Minister for
Justice, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
and to the Garda Commissioner calling on them to cease the collection,
storing and accessing of personal private data on every citizen using
a mobile or fixed line phone.
Such data collection is a breach of the Irish citizens’ statutory,
constitutional and human rights to privacy, as set out in the European
Convention on Human Rights and endorsed in Irish courts, in the
European Court of Justice and in the European Court of Human Rights.
This data includes a record of the physical location of everyone with
a mobile phone in Ireland, as well as every number called, the time of
the call and its duration.
An undertaking has been sought from the Minister for Communications,
Marine and Natural Resources to withdraw a direction to
telecommunications providers to store this data. An undertaking has
been sought from the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
that he will not, and he will ensure that Ireland will not, withdraw
or otherwise not prosecute the challenge under Article 230 to EU
directive 2006/24/EC, which purports to mandate such interference with
citizens’ privacy on a Europe-wide basis.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is also called upon
to give an undertaking that Ireland will not in any circumstances
transpose or commence the process of transposition of Directive
2006/24/EC into national law.
The Garda Commissioner is called upon for an undertaking to withdraw
any and all requests made to telecommunications providers to store
this data, whether made under the Criminal Justice (Terrorist
Offences) Act 2005 or the Ministerial Direction of 25th April 2002.
Legal Proceedings Authorised
TJ McIntyre, DRI chairman and lecturer in law in University College
Dublin says “This mass surveillance by the state is a breach of our
right to privacy, as set out in our constitution and in the European
Convention on Human Rights which has been incorporated into Irish law.
The undertakings we have sought from the Ministers for Justice and
Communications and the Garda Commissioner are urgently required if the
ongoing breach of citizens’ rights is to stop. If they are not
forthcoming we have informed all the parties that our legal team have
instructions to commence legal proceedings.”