I enlighet med HAX uppmaning har jag skickat email till parlamentsmedlemmarna. Ett litet Python-script gör att var och en får ett personligt adresserat mail.
Dear Member of the European Parliament,
The MEPs Tiziano Motti and Anna Záborská are requesting that you sign the written declaration number 29, concerning extending the Data Retention Directive to cover search engine searches as well as the existing, far reaching regulations for the retention of personal data.
The Data Retention Directive is an expensive and inefficient tool that does very little to help preventing and solving crimes. Adding search engine data would make the directive even more expensive and even more wasteful.
The declaration claims that the reason for retaining search engine data would be to protect children from sexual crimes, but this reason rings very hollow. That a pedophile would use a search engine to try to locate illegal materials would be a very rare occurence, both in absolute numbers as well as in relation to the total number of searches being made. While saving children from sexual abuse is an urgent issue, we should do it in ways that produce the most effect for the money spent.
The Data Retention Directive, as it is, has been estimated to cost the citizens of Europe over one billion Euro annually. Adding search engine data to that will increase the bill by several hundred million Euro. This will not produce any desired effect of reducing sexual abuse against children. It may have some effect in pedophiles learning more techniques for hiding their tracks and learning more tricks for how to form anonymous rings for file sharing. The Internet provides a plethora of options, and as a developer of network applications since the early days of the Internet, I can assure you that the technical possibilities for hiding messages inside apparently innocent communication are limitless. As long as you allow people to connect to each other, they will be able to share information in an undetectable way.
Therefore, the only efficient way of protecting children against sexual abuse is to attack the source. Producers of materials showing abuse have to be identified as quickly as possible and brought to justice. Providers hosting illegal materials must be located as quickly as possible and brought to justice. If there are nations that do not cooperate or do not provide responses that are quick enough, the European Union should use its economic power to persuade them to change their ways. This is a much better use of the money that otherwise would be spent on retaining the private information of hundreds of millions of European citizens.
So, for the sake of the children, if you have not signed the written declaration, please refrain from doing so. If you have signed it, I hope that my arguments may persuade you to withdraw your signature. We must use our scarce resources where they do good, not where they are wasted.