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Wednesday, 14 December 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote
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  Cecilia Malmström (ALDE ), in writing. (SV) Good laws are not enacted under pressure of time and with a faulty basis for decision-making. I am very critical of the way in which the process relating to the proposal for a decision on the retention of electronic communication services data has been handled. This is a difficult issue on which to adopt a position. Reflection is required, together with a solid factual basis in relation to the privacy aspect, the technical consequences and the actual costs for telecommunications operators and thus consumers.

This is an approach we owe Europeans. It is undoubtedly the case that electronic communication data can be of value in various criminal investigations. That does not, however, mean that we should give the green light to extensive data retention. It must be possible to use electronic communication data, but only in connection with very serious and well-defined crimes and following court decisions. A harmonisation of EU provisions is desirable, but it should be much more restrictive than is indicated by the current decision. The proposal for amending the directive, adopted in Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, was a step in the right direction. In the vote, this proposal was, however, rejected in favour of proposals that are too far-reaching. I therefore chose to vote against the proposal for a directive. I should have liked to have seen a decision involving shorter retention periods and better protection of privacy. E-mails would have been exempted, and the use of electronic communication data would only have been permitted in the case of certain serious and well-defined crimes.

 
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