Digital Rights Ireland

Matters pertaining to Digital Rights, hopefully focussing on Irish and Eruopean matters.

Digital Rights Ireland: ECJ Judgement on Data Retention

ECJ judgement on Digital Rights Ireland’s challenge to the EU’s data retention regime.

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CCTV, Dermot Ahern and evidence-based policy making

Dermot Ahern recently opened an extension of the Ballymun CCTV system. The report on it from the Irish Times says MINISTER FOR Justice Dermot Ahern has said a Garda CCTV system in Ballymun, north Dublin, will help reduce and solve crime rather than push illegal activity into areas not covered by the new cameras. Speaking at the launch yesterday of the newest section of Ballymun’s system, Mr Ahern said recent Department of Justice research had not revealed any increase in …

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Posted in Digital Rights Ireland, Irish Politics |

Comments on Copyright

Judge Charlton’s judgement in the EMI and Ors -v- UPC case has provoked a number of comments. For the moment, I’d recommend Rossa McMahon’s post Strike One? as the quickest and most painless path in to the issues at the heart of the matter. More later, if permitted by circumstance. UPDATE: I should add that Judge Charlton’s judgement is a most eloquent argument in favour of Irish Courts welcoming amicus briefs. As the judge says himself, it was the lack …

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They Drove all Night… To Get To EU

Danny O’Brien had an article in the newly opened up Irish Times where he dreamed of an EU decentralised by technology so that power was scattered on the four winds to the edges of the Union. Failing that, he admitted, it would be nice if our magic boxes and invisable signals could be used to bring more of the centre to the edge. Well, yesterday I spoke to a German lady who was doing exactly that. She and two other …

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Details on the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Data Loss

 As some of you will have seen in today’s Irish Times a laptop containing 171,324 blood donor records was stolen in New York. ” donor records would include details such as name, address, date of birth, gender, blood group and contact phone number. The records on the laptop included any donor details that were updated between July 2nd and October 11th, 2007.” I’ve spoken to the IBTS, and am expecting a call back later today with some further details. Information …

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Google Speaks Out Against Irish Data Retention Plans

Digital Rights Ireland are represented by McGarr Solicitors (where I hang my scarf of a workday). They’re currently in litigation with the Government about the introduction of Data Retention across Europe. Recently, the Irish Times reported that a government order to keep details of internet use by everyone in Ireland was imminent. Also reported was that the plan was that this be done by way of Ministerial Order (rather than passed as a law after a debate in the Oireachtas). …

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Data Protection in the New EU Treaty

As insomniacs will know, a deal has been done amongst member states on the wording on the reheated EU Constitution, now branded more modestly as a Reform Treaty. We don’t have the details of exactly what is agreed to hand yet. But reports of some of the novel inclusions which were under discussion (see the EU Observer’s Personal data protection under threat in EU treaty draft) are not very heartening. If the changes to European Data Protection principles proceed in …

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Registering an Interest

The question of a compulsory register of everyone buying (and possibly holding) a mobile phone has been raised again during these quiet summer days by Pat Carey TD, Junior Minister in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs. I’ll leave it to the Digital Rights Ireland post on this topic, and to Daragh O’Brien’s contribution from the field of information management, to outline the reasons why this is an idea which ought to be dumped, rather than regularly recycled. …

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It was brought to my attention yesterday that the Sunday Times front page (reproduced as pdf here with permission) ran last week with the story that Gardai have been accessing the information held under Data Retention, without oversight, at a rate of 10,000 queries a year. When the measure was brought in, it was described as being intended to be used for investigating serious crime and terrorist offences. This is an important story and it deserves the follow up interest …

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Like Fingerbobs, but made with facts, instead of digits. Factbob1: Speaking in UCC at the student Law Society Law Conference, Seamus Dooley of the NUJ conceeded that standards in newspapers have fallen in recent years. Factbob 2: At the same conference Gary Davis, the Deputy Data Protection Commissioner said that (a) Gardai were accessing telecommunications data at a rate of 10,000 requests a year. (b) the Data Protection Commissioner’s office, despite the fact that they nominally fall under the control …

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