Europe's data protection commissioners have dealt a blow to the U.K. government's plans to force telecom companies and Internet service providers to store communications traffic data, according to U.K. privacy lobbyists. The government is proposing that ISPs and phone companies retain their customers' telecom traffic data for up to two years and give law enforcement agencies access to that data--if needed--in a criminal investigation. This data would include catalogs of Web sites visited, records of e-mail recipients, lists of telephone numbers dialed and the geographical location of mobile phones.
The commissioners from various European countries largely rejected the government's sweeping proposals. They said they have "grave doubt as to the legitimacy and legality of such broad measures" and are worried about the financial burden they will place on telecom companies and ISPs. The commissioners also said that "such retention would be an improper invasion of the fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals".
Silicon.com's Graham Hayday reported from London.
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