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Germany high court blocks data-collection law

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website] on Wednesday placed an injunction [ruling; press release, both in German] on a federal law that gave the government the ability to access and collect Internet and telephone data. The law, which went into effect in January, allowed the government to collect information such as e-mail addresses, numbers dialed, and lengths of calls from service providers. The injunction permits the data to be saved, but requires that the government have a warrant to access the information and may only do so in extreme situations.

In February, the Constitutional Court ruled that a 2006 North-Rhine Westphalia [state government website, in German] law authorizing intelligence agents to search personal computers, networks, and Internet communications was unconstitutional [ruling, in German; JURIST report]. Last year, the German Federal Court of Justice [official website, in German] ruled [text, in German, JURIST report] that police in Germany were not permitted to secretly access computer and Internet data stored on suspects' computers without proper authorization. DPA has more.

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