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Dutch implementation of the Data Retention Directive

NCJ Number
G. Odinot; D. de Jong; R.J. Bokhorst; C.J. de Poot
Date Published
167 pages
This study examined the Netherlands' implementation of the European Union's (EU's) Data Retention Directive, which received statutory force in the Netherlands' Telecommunications Data Act (TDA).
The main reason for the EU's Data Retention Directive and the Netherlands' statutory implementation of it is to ensure the retention for a reasonable period of telecommunications and Internet data which have potential to be relevant evidence in criminal investigations; e.g., in ascertaining the time and place at which a certain mobile telephone was used to make a call. The TDA requires that providers of mobile phone and Internet services retain and secure their data and make it available for criminal investigations, as well as to destroy it at the prescribed time (1 year). This process is regulated by the Radio communications Agency Netherlands. It became clear during the interviews conducted for the current study that the criminal investigation professionals had little or no knowledge of how historical data on Internet traffic could be used for crime investigations. In addition, the work related to the investigative use of Internet data require an expertise not included in current investigative training. Interviews also revealed concern that the designated time period for retaining these data was too short. This is because crimes may not be detected or suspects identified until long after the current retention period has expired. Regarding how data targeted in the TDA are being used in criminal investigations, this study found that from January 2009 to February 2013, 26 cases involved evidence that included Internet provider (IP) data. More than half of these cases involved the downloading and/or distribution of images of child sex abuse. Between July 2012 and February 2013, telephone data were involved in 74 court rulings, typically to place suspects at locations where the mobile calls were made. References


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