EU approves telecom anti-terror measures

European justice ministers have approved a compromise deal on controversial anti-terror measures increasing police access to telephone and Internet records, an AFP report said.


The deal lays out what kinds of data can be retained, for how long, under which conditions and the types of crime that would allow Europe's authorities access to it, the report said.


'I am very pleased indeed that we achieved an agreement today,' said British Home Secretary Charles Clarke, quoted by AFP, after the deal was secured at a two-day meeting, said.


The report quoted Clarke as saying that the deal keeps Britain on target to fast-track the measures through the European Parliament, the EU's executive commission and the council of member states before its presidency ends on December 31.


Britain has tried to build on the momentum gained from the Europe-wide outpouring of sympathy for the London public transport attacks on July 7, which killed 56 people, to get the new anti-terror measures passed, the AFP report said.


Under the deal, they would oblige businesses in the telecommunications field to keep details about callers, such as to whom they spoke, where and when, for six months to two years.

The rules would apply to land telephone lines and mobile phones, and Internet data like e-mail records and protocols, but police would not have access to the conversation or message itself.