German leftists and liberals who oppose
police access to telecommunications records demonstrated Monday and
said they had filed a petition by 30,000 people for a
constitutional-court review of the practice.
protests were held a day before new legislation comes into force
requiring companies to retain records for six months of the to and from
addresses of e-mail, time spent on the internet and phone numbers
dialled by customers.
Police require a judicial warrant to search the files during inquiries into terrorism and serious crime.
Libertarian groups, citing the telephone snooping in totalitarian
states, angrily opposed the data-retention legislation when it was
passed. Unlike many countries, Germany has not let police use such data
At a rally Monday in the northern city of
Hamburg, opponents held a mock funeral for “the death of privacy.”
Police said the demonstration by 200 people passed off without
violence. Organizers claimed 500 attended.
In the southern
justice capital of Karlsruhe, the Working Party on Data Retention filed
for an urgent injunction to stop the legislation on the grounds that it
was “obviously unconstitutional.”
They said the 150-page
application against “surveillance without suspicion” was initially by
eight people, but was backed by 30,000 who had signed petitions.
Their names would be joined to the suit after processing by a Berlin
law office, making it the largest such appeal in modern German history.
“We are hoping for a quick ruling,” said lawyer Meinhard
Starostik leading the group. But a court spokesman said judges would
not sit on the case Monday.
The activists said they would
also seek to overturn the March 2006 European Union data-retention
directive that required Germany to pass the legislation. (source)
Hey Mr Barosso, the peoples of Europe are waking up……