The German government has passed a law that’s going to rip another hole in privacy.  The new law will take effect next year.  When it does, quite a bit of data about communications will be kept for at least six months.  From what I’ve read the actual content of the communications will not be stored, just the basic connection data that identifies where it’s origin, destination and so on..

Data saved for each phone call will include date, time, length of the call and what numbers were involved. This will apply to landline, cellular or VoIP calls.  For Cellular calls they also want the location of the phone at the time of the call and the phone’s IMSI code and the SMS connection data

All Internet access will have the date, time, length of connection, the line used and the IP address assigned at the time

Each email sent will have all email addresses involved and the message header saved.

Basically they want to know who connects to who, along with where they were at the time and when.

If that isn’t a wake up call, then think about the fact that there are plenty in our own government (and outfits like the RIAA) that would love to see this (and a lot more) data recorded on all communications here in the US.

Do yourself a favor and make some time to learn how to use simple encryption tools like PGP and GPG.  A good place for a beginner to learn is the PGP Basics Yahoo! group.

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