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Retention of Data Bill falls short on safeguards for citizens privacy – Ó Snodaigh

13 July, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill, published by the Minister for Justice this morning is short on safeguards for the privacy of citizens of the state. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the measures included in the Bill such as access to email data should only be used in targeted investigations and must be sanctioned by a judge rather than a member of An Garda Síochána.

Speaking today after Minister Ahern published the Bill Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “We all want to see the Gardaí given proper powers and resources to tackle crime, particularly serious crime, but these measures must be accompanied by adequate safeguards for the privacy of citizens. Unfortunately the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009 falls short on those safeguards.

“While we welcome the technological advances that assist in the investigation and prosecution of serious offences we will be seeking additional safeguards to prevent the sort of big brother trawling exercises that have characterised the Garda use of these powers in the past. These powers should only be used for specific targeted investigations and must be sanctioned by a judge rather than a member of An Garda Síochána as is proposed by the Bill.

“I welcome the reduction in the length of time communications data is to be retained. We had argued in the past that three years was excessive.” ENDS

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