A ruling from the District Court of The Hague says that Dutch telecoms no longer have to retain Internet and phone traffic data for law enforcement purposes because the retention law infringes on the privacy of the Dutch. The law required telecoms to save the communication and location data of everyone in the country from six months up to year, which was disproportionate for the courts. Saving all that data in order to fight possible crimes made everyone a suspect, never mind how bad the government is at data storage.
Journalists, lawyers and activists are thrilled with the verdict because it would ensure the confidentiality of their communications. However, the whole thing is unsure because the now former Minister of Justice and Safety Ivo Opstelten and his deputy Fred Teeven have had to resign over a shady pay off with a drug dealer and new people need to be appointed.
A bill is already before Parliament to scrap the retention law, but until it’s a done deal – like the above-mentioned drug dealer pay off – it’s not over yet.
(Links: www.theregister.co.uk, fd.nl)
Tags: data storage, telecom
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology and the FOM Foundation have recently presented a new technology that potentially allows data to be stored 1,000 times faster with ‘spin current’ using ultra-short laser pulses.
Data is conventionally stored using magnetization, making bits 1 or 0, but the limits of this technology have been reached, and researcher Sjors Schellekens of the Technical University of Eindhoven says that it’s time for new data storage technology.
The ‘spin current’ is able to cause a change in magnetization, which is 1,000 faster than what is possible with today’s technology. The new method has also been hailed as step towards future optical computer chips, which Eindhoven University of Technology is now working on thanks to a Dutch grant of close to 20 million euro.
In 2009 The University of Twente was on to something in the same field with spin polarisation achieved at room temperature, which also sped up the reading of a hard disk.
Tags: data storage, Eindhoven University of Technology