Berlin, Oct 16 (IANS) The German parliament on Friday approved a revised law to collect and retain information about phone calls and internet use.
While 404 lawmakers voted in favour of the new data retention law, 148 voted against it, Xinhua news agency reported.
Under the legislation, telephone and internet connection data would be stored by telecommunications companies for ten weeks. This includes telephone numbers, time and duration of calls as well as computer IP addresses.
Location information resulting from mobile phone conversations would be retained for a shortened period of four weeks.
Investigators would have to ask a judge for access to the data stored by providers.
Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled against data retention in March 2010, and the storage of information was suspended in Germany. Before that, communications data had to be retained for six months in accordance with a European Union directive.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas defended the re-introduction of data retention law, saying the “intrusion into the privacy of personal data takes place at a reasonable level.”
However, opposition parties and many data protection campaigners claimed the new legislation would also be unconstitutional. They said they were considering filing a constitutional suit against it.