Data Retention

2005 was the year where some of our biggest privacy related nightmares became true. 4 years after 9/11 and a couple of months after the bombings of London everything seems possible in the name of public safety. Some decisions were made without any democratic legitimation like passports with biometric characteristics and RFID or area-wide deployment of video surveillance. Beside that the European ministers of Justice and the European Commission want to keep all telephone and internet traffic as well as the telephone positioning data of all 450 million Europeans. A numerous amount of supporting organisations started a campaign this year called data retention is no solution since this intention won’t help against child pornography and terrorism at all. Since it’s an important issue the programme committee has decided to make it one of the main non-technical topics.

The round begins with Brenno de Winters lecture called Hacking Data Retention – How bureaucrats fail to fight terror where he will talk about possibilities to circumvent the government control in numerous ways with a creative and effective use of technology and common sense. So the lecture will show that data retention only hit those who are not aware of this measure, but not organized crime or terrorists for example.

In the lecture Recent Developments in EU Data Retention proposals: Commission vs. Council – the lesser of two evils? Klaus Landefeld, who has participated in the discussion at EU level on behalf of EuroISPA (the European Internet Services Providers Association) is going to give an overview on the state of discussion, compare the approaches by the council and the commission. He will detail the industries point of view to as well as discuss possible approaches by individuals and Human Rights organizations to prevent the proposals at hand to become enacted.

The third lecture will be held by Dr. Marco Gercke, co-author of the Council of Europe’s report on cyber-crime, and will be called Data Retention – what comes next? Marco will discuss the known fact, that offenders as well as normal users acting in networks can easily circumvents the “risks” caused by the complete storage of traffic data by using public access points and encryption technology. So the next generation of regulation in this sensitive area is expected to be accelerated within the next years. How this acceleration could look like is the main objective of this talk.

The last lecture to be introduced not only has to do with data retention but gives an overview over the way the European Union works on the political level. The lecture European politics concerning digital rights will be held by Markus Beckedahl ( and Oliver Passek (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen).