The Polish digital rights group Panoptykon Foundation recently published harrowing findings regarding abuses of Poland’s mandatory data retention law. Using a Freedom of Information Act request, Panoptykon obtained documents that reveal that in 2011, Polish authorities requested users’ traffic data retained by telcos and ISPs over 1.85 million times — half a million times more than in 2010. These findings underscore fundamental flaws in the Polish mandatory data retention law that was fast-tracked in legislation without public debate in 2009.
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This paper is aims to give a brief overview of the following issues: (i) Polish data retention regime and its drawbacks; (ii) the use of data retention in practice and available
data on the subject; (iii) campaign run by the Panoptykon Foundation over last two years; and (iv) political shifts that occurred in Poland.
How many times did the public institutions reach out for the data concerning our telecommunication activities (dial records, etc.) in 2011? Over 1,85 million! We publish the latest data received from the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE).
Fight against data retention directive: where are we?, 27th Chaos Communication Congress (27C3) [VIDEO]
Five years ago data retention directive was adopted, introducing mandatory retention of the telecommunications of all citizens and resident of European Union. Since that time privacy movement against data retention in many European states has risen, national constitutional courts in Romania, Czech Republic and Germany have declared data retention laws illegal and case against directive is pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Civil society representatives, including Katarzyna Szymielewicz (Panoptykon Foundation), discuss problems regarding data retention directive, its evaluation and actions taken and needed to be taken to change European law in accordance with human rights.
On 9 and 10 November 2010 the representatives of the EDRi-member Panoptykon Foundation met with the representatives of the European Commission in order to discuss the evaluation of the Data Retention Directive (DRD) and the rationale behind the regime of blanket data retention. The meetings were held with representatives from Reding Cabinet first and secondly with members of the Directorate General for Home Affairs - DG Home. The following is a summary of the main issues that were discussed according to Panoptykon's point of view.