Thumbs down from the Data Inspectorate regarding the e-law
The Government wish to monitor all data traffic that crosses the Norwegian border. “That will shake our democratic foundation,” the Norwegian Data Inspectorate believes. They are not alone in scepticism regarding the proposed changes to the e-law.
The Government will change the intelligence law (e-law) so that the metadata from all digital traffic crossing the border is stored by the Norwegian Intelligence service. This will, among other data. include name, date, time, geographical location and IP address of the originator.
Search in such data traffic shall, according to the proposal, only take place after a court ruling from secret court hearings in Oslo District Court, reports NRK.
Metadata can reveal intimate details of a person’s life, especially when it is systematically analysed, the Data Inspectorate asserts.
In its consultation response on the bill, the Inspectorate submits the clear advice that the Government must scrap the so-called digital border defence.
“The conclusion in our consultation statement is that the collection of information and the monitoring of the communication by Norwegians is so extensive that the proposal should not be implemented. It is a too large intervention in the right to privacy. It will also deviate from our democratic foundation,” Director of the Data Inspectorate, Bjørn Erik Thon, explains.
Affects most Norwegians
Although the Intelligence Service’s work is aimed at foreign threats, the measure will affect most users of telephony and the Internet in Norway, according to the Inspectorate.
“One consequence of monitoring is that it has a cooling effect on freedom of expression. Monitoring for most people will induce a sense of discomfort and lead to self-censorship or lack of communication. I think the dangers thereof are underestimated,” Thon continues.
According to the Data Inspectorate’s view, the bill is likely contrary to basic human rights.
Wish to store information for 18 months
The information will be stored for 18 months, and the proposed e-law suggests that expert lawyers at Oslo District Court are to safeguard the interests of those who are being monitored.
Director of the interest organisation IKT Norway, Torgeir Waterhouse, says he is concerned about how the Norwegian internet providers will be required to cooperate, and how much secrecy it will be around the technical monitoring equipment.
He also finds the duration of how long this data will be stored is problematic.
The bill is highly controversial and not even the Government parties agree. The Liberals is prepared to take dissent in the question.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today