Thursday, 20 January 2011
Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages
Ivana Bacik (Independent)
It is unfortunate the delay has been so extensive. I re-read the Second Stage speeches of April 2010, at which time I pointed out we had been found to be in breach of our obligations by the European Court of Justice owing to the delay in transposing the 2006 directive. The Minister of State said there was extensive consultation between Second Stage in April 2010 and now. That there has been no change made to the Bill as a result of that consultation begs the question as to why it could not have been passed more quickly. Having said that, we broadly welcome the purpose of the Bill. As Senator Quinn said, we all support the fight against crime. The Labour Party's amendments, both in the Dáil and Seanad, were in the interest of ensuring the Bill was more robust and that its safeguards against breaches of privacy rights were adequate and rigorous. We were seeking to improve the Bill and we welcome its passage.
I thank the Minister of State and his staff. I thank those who make useful submissions to us, including the Data Protection Commissioner, the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland and Digital Rights Ireland. All were very constructive in their suggestions and comments on the Bill.