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Blog: Is the Danish telecoms industry’s session logging illegal?

Industry Director Adam Lebech, DI Digital calls for an answer from the Danish Minister of Justice regarding the legality of the session logging currently carried out by telecommunications companies in Denmark.

The EU Court of Justice has declared that general and indiscriminate surveillance of citizens is against EU law.

The verdict was delivered right before Christmas in connection with a ruling in the case regarding Swedish and British data retention laws.

Several Swedish telecommunications operators have since stopped retaining data, while the Swedish Minister for Home Affairs has summoned the industry to a meeting regarding amendment of Swedish legislation.

In Denmark, the telecommunications industry is still awaiting an answer from Minster of Justice Søren Pape (K).

Telecommunications companies in Denmark are basically in the dark in relation to the session logging they currently carry out. I would therefore like to ask the Minister of Justice: Is the Danish telecommunications industry’s session logging illegal?

As industry director at DI Digital, I urge the Minister of Justice to provide his assessment of the EU ruling as soon as possible and to convene the industry for a dialogue regarding further proceedings.

The industry cannot live with the doubts raised regarding the legality of the session logging they carry out.

The EU ruling may invalidate the legal basis for the Danish requirements that telecommunications operators currently comply with regarding registration of online activity in Denmark. The same applies to the legal requirements on the way to ISPs about registering internet users’ subscriber and location data.
Back in January 2016, former Minister of Justice Søren Pind (V) announced that the government wanted to reintroduce session logging as a legal requirement for ISPs in Denmark.

The original bill was withdrawn after much criticism from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), as well as from several other trade organisations and parts of civil society.

DI has subsequently been in dialogue with the Ministry of Justice about the technical possibilities for providing the police with better investigative tools - without burdening the telecommunications industry unnecessarily. 
It is fundamentally in the interest of members of DI Digital that the police should have good investigative tools, but it is crucial that legislation in the field does not unnecessarily hamper investment in new digital infrastructure or undermine public confidence in digitalisation.
I look forward to a constructive dialogue with the Minister of Justice about how telecommunications operators should deal with the EU ruling and the future legislation ISPs can expect in the field.
The industry cannot live with the doubts raised regarding the legality of the session logging they carry out.
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PUBLISHED: 1/26/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 1/27/2017