Both the EU Commission and the German government, which is currently still in office, have come up with new plans for data retention that go far beyond what they had originally demanded.


The European Court of Justice has already overturned laws and proposals on data retention several times, as have some national supreme courts, such as the Federal Court of Justice in Germany.


"With data retention, providers of telecommunications services are required to store data about their clientele for a certain period of time and make it available to investigative authorities upon request. A mobile phone provider must then provide information about when and with whom a person suspected of a crime made phone calls.

Such an obligation already existed in the past: An EU law introduced it throughout the Union in 2006. However, the ECJ overturned the directive in 2014 as an inadmissible encroachment on the right to privacy. It ruled that storing the data of almost everyone in Europe for long periods of time without any reason was incompatible with fundamental rights. Since then, the ECJ has repeatedly ruled against renewed attempts to introduce data retention."

But this does not change the fact that the EU Commission, under the German leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, the fallen Minister of Defense, has published a new "working paper" on data retention (the entire "working paper" is linked here).

In it, several ideas are put forward on how to circumvent the ECJ in order to expand the terror against the people, respectively the peoples in the EU. For example, it could be decided not to have an EU-wide law, but to actively support national governments in enforcing comprehensive data retention. Another idea is to require service providers to hand over identity data to authorities, including so-called over-the-top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp, Instagram or Skype. However, without querying location and traffic data, which the ECJ had explicitly prohibited. Or all data can be stored, including location and traffic data, but then only to protect "national security". What endangers the "national security" then remains of course a matter of interpretation, perhaps a demonstration, or strikes, or perhaps a pandemic, or the fact to have no white skin, the possibilities would be endless. 2


Of course, the FRG itself has to add to these reactionary fantasies. According to the Spiegel, a secret document of the still incumbent grand coalition (CDU, SPD) was "leaked" on this very topic. Such documents are to serve as a basis for discussion with other states and it will probably be no coincidence that this discussion was reopened only on the last meters of the current legislative period.


"According to it, the grand coalition is not only in favor of reintroducing data retention EU-wide, but also of extending it - as planned by the Commission - to video telephony and video conferencing, as well as messenger services such as WhatsApp, which have never been covered by it before.[...] Furthermore, in the position paper, Germany advocates data retention also for IP addresses and other related data, which would make every click traceable and thus all Internet users transparent." 3


As if that were not enough, the FRG wants to soften "jurisdiction" to such an extent to allow unlimited, person-independent and area-wide data retention  without specific cause, i.e. simply everyone, all the time.4During demonstrations, this type of data retention is already operated in the FRG, for the protection of "national security".


Obviously, ECJ or BGH, or whatever they may be called, are nothing that protects the interests of the people. Their only task is to give imperialism certain framework conditions to minimize the interimperilaistic contradictions and to negotiate the contradictions between capital and work, and between imperialism and oppressed nations;  the states will do secretly what they want anyway, no matter what any courts say about it. But to lend this an alleged "democratic legitimacy" is another step in the advancing reactionarization of the state.