The german parliament has passed a law for retention of all communication data for a period of at least 6 months lately – despite all protests from various groups, organizations and experts.
Only the opposition (the Greens and the FDP/Liberals) voted against the law (and some single persons of the other parties). Some, who voted for the law, said later that they consider the law being against the constitution (Grundgesetz) and that the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) will bring the law (or parts of it) to fall.
When you wonder what this is all about, you may want to read the article “Personal Data Is Now on the Record in Germany” by Rose-Anne Clermont.
There will be a complaint of unconstitutionality (Verfassungsklage) against that law. It’s going to be the biggest complaint so far with about 20.000 petitioners. The protests are still going on.
Anyway, data rentention is happing all the time whenever you communicate, but it’s a new change that every communication data has to be recorded for at least 6 months. Prior to the new law, data retention was only allowed for billing purposes. Now it’s the default and not only Police and Courts are allowed to access the collected data, but organizations like RIAA or MPAA are aiming at getting access as well.
Basically there is no communication privacy anymore.
Given the other “security laws” lately, like the new biometric passport, the Passenger Name Records (PNR), it’s really threatening our privacy and democracy. And yet it’s still unproven that this will cause less terror.