Blanket data retention (directive 2006/24/EC) is clearly a violation of the ECHR (respect for private correspondence), as most people would interpret the ECHR. It has been found unconstitutional in several member states of the Union. In Germany where there where reviews conducted, the normal citizens communication behaviour was radically changed after the directive was implemented, many people there now refrain from using e-mail for private matters such as corresponding with a psychologist or lawyer. The Human Rights Watch and one hundred and five other civil liberties organisations wrote a joint open letter to Commissioner Malmstrom, asking her to repeal the directive, but sadly the harsh realities is that she cannot do this without a majority in the Council.
Fundamentally, blanket traffic data retention is extremely disproportional as it places the entire European population under mandatory surveillance. It undermines the very foundation of the free and open society that we in Europe have started to take for granted since the fall of the Berlin wall and it substantially undermines the trust between the citizens and the authorities.
The UK actively campaigning within the Council of Ministers, would make it possible to repeal this draconian directive once and for all.