Thursday, 20 January 2011
Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages
Peter Power (Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
I thank all the Senators for their contributions. We have had a very positive and interesting discussion. I have said on the few occasions on which I have had the privilege of addressing this House that if the media spent more time listening to and reporting on debates such as this, the true value of an upper Chamber would become more apparent.
Data retention is a tried, tested and valuable tool in the investigation of crime and safeguarding the security of the State in the digital age. This legislation will make the requirements on service providers less onerous than they are by reducing the retention periods, while giving State agencies extra tools to fight crime in the form of seeking retained data. The importance of any legislation that intersects with people's rights, in particular the right to privacy, a question that always arises, deserves robust examination, as has been the case in the Seanad today. The intrusion into someone's personal privacy is minimal and none of the content of transmitted data will be retained, rather information on the act of communication is what will be retained. This can be a valuable tool in the fight against crime.
I thank the House for its reception and look forward to the passing of the Bill into law.