Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Does the EFF Have People In Europe?

The New York Time's posted this eerily Orwellian article today from Paris.

European governments are preparing legislation to require companies to keep detailed data about people’s Internet and phone use that goes beyond what the countries will be required to do under a European Union directive.

In Germany, a proposal from the Ministry of Justice would essentially prohibit using false information to create an e-mail account, making the standard Internet practice of creating accounts with pseudonyms illegal.

This frightening legislation, regardless of whether it could even be done, could signal a drastic shift in the way Europe address electronic rights.

While American companies such as Google, the article says, did not require any guarantee that the names associated with email addresses are valid, new legislation may change this.

A draft law in the Netherlands would likewise go further than the European Union requires, in this case by requiring phone companies to save records of a caller’s precise location during an entire mobile phone conversation.

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