The Swedish government has put off implementing the EU Data Retention Directive, risking a fine from the European Court of Justice.
The Data Retention Directive requires requires ISPs and other providers of publicly available electronic communications services to keep user data - including IP address and details of the time, sender and recipient of email communications - for at least 24 months. This information must be made available to the national authorities on receipt of a court order.
The Riksdag approved the Directive by a vote of 281 - 68 in 2007, but the the Left Party and the Greens have managed to postpone its implementation using a constitutional provision whereby a vote of one sixth of MPs can postpone a decision for a year.
The parties believe that the Directive violates basic freedoms, and are calling for the Swedish government renegotiate the Directive at the EU level.
“The parliament’s decision is a victory, albeit a temporary one, for all who are fighting for an open society where individual freedoms are respected,” said Left Party MP Jens Holm.
The Data Protection Directive is currently under review by the EU Commission, but the evaluation team have been hampered by a lack of reliable statistical evidence. Sweden’s latest rebellion will make it even more difficult for the Commission to achieve EU-wide implementation of the DRD in its current form.