Panel: The EU can do better: How to stop mass retention of all citizen’s communication data?

In this panel, digital rights experts explain the recent European jurisprudence on the issue of mass retention of telephone and internet communication data of all citizens. The panel analyses how governments in the EU are trying to continue with the concept of blanket data retention with a new generation of laws. For example, Belgium passed a new law that provides for mass surveillance of the entire country and every single citizen by purposefully and disproportionately exploiting the limits defined by the EU Court of Justice.

At the same time, in Germany there is a political window of opportunity for an alternative to blanket mass surveillance with the fierce discussion of a draft law providing for a quick freeze procedure. The majority of EU governments are calling for an expansion of mass surveillance, while there is no evidence for its necessity. Mass surveillance-free alternatives are not being considered. Experts are discussing the extent to which the EU Court of Justice is giving in to government pressure. Related to this, the panel identifies the current major threats to citizens’ right to confidential communications and provides an outlook on what action can be taken to defend fundamental digital rights.


  • Download the presentation by Raf Jespers here (in pptx format).


Siméon de Brouwer, Accredited assistant to Patrick Breyer MEP


  • Raf Jespers, Justis Lawyers Group, representing la Ligue des droits humains, @RafJespers, @mensenrechtenBE
  • Patrick Breyer MEP (Pirate Party | Greens/EFA), , @echo_pbreyer
  • Plixavra Vogiatzoglou of the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) / @plixavra /