Data retention in Norway will probably be approved

Andreas Tolf Tolfsen ato at
Wed Mar 9 21:27:58 UTC 2011

As you may or may not be aware, there's been a long debate in Norway
on whether we should implement the EU Data Retention Directive as a part
of Norwegian legislation.  This has, perhaps, been the single most
important policy issue in Norway for the past five years.

As Norway is not a member of the European Union, we have a trade
agreement with the EU which allows us to participate on equal level as
EU member states in the EEA, the European Economica Area.  This
agreement also involves implementing all EU directives.

As a part of this agreement, there is a veto right that can be used in
special cases where a directive is highly controversial.  This right has
never been exercised.

The Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet) is the only party in the Norwegian
Storting (Parliament) that is in favour of the directive.  The other
parties it shares power with in the government does not support the

Tonight, the right-wing party Høyre (sort of like the Tories in Britain,
only slightly more liberal) decided to support Arbeiderpartiet, and
decided that they'll give their votes in return for some slightly milder
implementation details concerning the directive.

As far as my sources tell me, the support in Høyre was _three_ votes
away from being rejected at tonight's meeting.  Arbeiderpartiet needs
Høyre's support for passing this directive, and it now looks like data
retention will finally be approved in Norway.

This has been a highly controversial issue, and literary every interest
organization in Norway apart from the Police and the Police Directorate
have been critical in their views on the directive, including the
Norwegian Data Inspectorate, all ISPs, and the Norwegian lawyer's
association have voiced their concern.

It now looks like we've lost this fight…

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