Some time ago, Karlin Lillington of the Irish Times linked to details of a secret Council of Ministers questionnaire. This was drawn up in advance of any data retention legislation being in place, in November 2002.
It is interesting in its entirety, but I’d particularly draw people’s attention to question 5 and the Irish Government’s answer.
Questionnaire 5: Have you received any reports from your law enforcement authorities that have indicated an obstruction of their work due to the non-existence of appropriate legal instruments concerning traffic data retention?
So why, exactly, was it needed?