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Digital Rights Ireland v. Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
European Union Court of Justice
The European Union, through its legislative body, the European Parliament, issued Directive 2006/24/EC (the directive). The directive’s purpose was to gather data to help countries combat terrorism and crime in order to better protect the public and maintain international peace. To accomplish this goal, the directive ordered electronic and communications-service providers (e.g., Internet and phone-service providers) in the European Union to gather and retain certain data necessary to trace and identify the source of all communications on their networks. The required data was limited to information identifying a communication’s source and did not include any information about the contents of a communication. The directive required that the providers make the data available to competent national authorities, without placing any limits on the ways that those authorities could use the data. Also, the directive did not require that the data be kept or stored within the European Union. Digital Rights Ireland Ltd. and others (plaintiffs) brought actions in European courts arguing that the directive violated several privacy rights specifically set out in Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the charter). Those courts asked the European Union Court of Justice to determine whether the directive violated the privacy rights protected by the charter.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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