BRIEF: Sweden approves EU data retention rules
STOCKHOLM, Mar 21, 2012 (dpa - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Sweden on Wednesday approved a European Union directive stipulating that telecom companies should retain customer communication data for a six-month period.
The so-called Data Retention Directive was adopted as part of EU anti-terrorism measures in 2006, following terrorist attacks in Madrid and London.
The data stored relates to telephone, email and internet usage. Critics have argued this could damage privacy, while supporters say the data can help tackle serious international crime.
The Swedish parliament approved the directive with 233 legislators voting in favour and 41 against, while 19 abstained.
At least one member of the governing centre-right coalition voted against the directive on Wednesday. However, the opposition Social Democrats had backed the directive, ensuring it would be adopted.
The directive was opposed by the opposition Green Party and Left Party. A year ago, those parties forced a year-long postponement of the vote under a provision where a sixth of the votes in parliament can postpone a decision for at least a year.
The directive was to take effect May 1 in Sweden, which faces a fine for the delay in introducing the directive.
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