UK wants firms to retain communications data

European countries are pushing for tougher data retention regulations that would force firms to keep records of phone calls and Web surfing for a year
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

Five European countries are pushing the EU to adopt regulations that would force companies to store telephone and Internet data for a year, in a bid to help authorities fight terrorism.

Companies would have to retain information on the Web sites their employees visited and the phone numbers they dial — although not a record of the conversation itself — according to plans set out by German interior minister Otto Schily.

The UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy are urging other member states to join the initiative, according to the Financial Times.

Paul Talbut, chairman of the Storage Networking Industry Association Europe, said the move could have an impact on civil liberties and also on phone companies.

"It throws up issues about common standards on data retention, integrity and security policies," he said. "It does reveal phone companies have not only got to have systems to retrieve [data], but also keep [its] integrity."

The five countries have also agreed to share criminal and DNA data.

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