ISP data retention snuck in by EU directive

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Thomas Ash built openDemocracy's site, and now runs PhilosoFiles

Henry Porter sounds a valuable alarm in the Guardian yesterday: Today, an EU directive comes into force which will compel all internet service providers to retain information from all emails and website visits. Data from phone calls and text messages will also be stored and made available to the government, its agencies and local authorities. Having seen how local officials have abused anti-terrorist laws, it's not hard to imagine the damage to privacy that will ensure.Nor is it hard to imagine the potential for the resultant database to be linked with domestic identity databases like those proposed in this country, enabling the government to readily match names with internet records. As Henry describes, EU directives like this one afford the Home Office a way to gain the building blocks necessary to construct such a scheme without undergoing the scrutiny parliament might give them. He even suggests that it lobbies for them for precisely this reason, securing powers sought by the British government but not by other Union members (Sweden, for example, has already announced that it will ignore the directive).