Denmark scrapped the practice in 2014 and the European Court of Justice has previously ruled that the blanket retention of internet usage is illegal, but the ministry not only plans to bring back session logging, it will go even further than before.
Jakob Willer, the director of the Telecom Industry Association, told news agency Ritzau that the government plans to carry out total surveillance on all online activities by every single internet user.
“We are actually a bit shocked that such a massive expansion has been suggested,” he said.
While the previous session logging system required telecommunications companies to carry out random checks, Willer said the new plan calls for “logging every individual session” of internet users.
Justice Minister Søren Pind confirmed to Ritzau that he will soon introduce a proposal to reintroduce session logging.
“Logging is a very essential tool for the police and PET [the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, ed.]. Therefore we need to have up-to-date logging rules, which we don’t today,” he said.
“Today, information is kept on which telephone numbers have called each other and at which time, but if the parties used internet-based communications like Messenger, Skype or iMessage, the information isn’t logged. In today’s world, that doesn’t cut it,” Pind told Ritzau.
Libertarian-leaning party Liberal Alliance said it would oppose any bill to reintroduce the logging of individual internet use.
“We live in a liberal democracy and it should be a basic principle that we respect people’s private lives. There is no place for the mass surveillance of residents who aren’t suspected of any criminal activity at all,” party spokeswoman Christina Egelund told Ritzau.
She said that the Justice Ministry itself was behind the decision to scrap the practice in 2014.
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“This would be the reintroduction of rules that the Justice Ministry said a few years ago were useless, expensive and restrictive of our freedom,” she added.
The Telecom Industry Association that the costs of implementing the plan would be in the hundreds of millions of kroner.
According to Ritzau, the Danish state has required the nation’s telecommunications companies to take random samples of Danes’ internet usage since 2007.