Miroslav Uřičař


Use of electronic communication data in the fight against terrorism

Probably no other means of the fight against terrorism does provoke so much controversy as data retention obligation – blanket storing of operational and localization data of participants of electronic communication that can be later requested by authorized bodies, usually as part of the fight against serious crimes. Recently was this obligation, or rather the relevant legislation that contains it, in total four times subject to decision-making of the Court of Justice of the European Union, three times assessed by the Constitutional court in the Czech Republic and in many cases also constitutional courts in other EU member states, including for example courts in Slovakia or Germany.

What exactly this obligation entails and why there are so many negative reactions? The author will present the main points of the data retention legislation and arguments in favor and against it. He will analyze the most important and relevant decisions of the court including a current case in which the Court of Justice of the European Union was addressed by French, British and Belgium courts. The Court of Justice of the European Union assesses in joint cases C-511/18 and C-512/18, in case C-623/17 and in case C-520/18 whether the legislation in individual states that asks for blanket storage of operational and localization data of all participants are not in breach of the EU legislation.

Advocate general of the Court of Justice Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona presented his view in these 3 cases on 15th January 2020. The Court of Justice by the time of finalization of this text has not issued its decision. It can be expected, however, within few months. The Court of Justice is not generally bound by the view of the advocate general, but generally decides in the main points in agreement with his view. The author will discuss also potential influence of the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the current data retention legislation in the Czech Republic that is enshrined in the Act on Electronic Communications.

Miroslav is active at LEGALITÉ law firm and as a director of the company LEGALITÉ Data Protection Services s.r.o. focusing on data and information security. In his legal practice, Miroslav specializes in administrative law and regulatory issues related to network industries, especially the electronic communications industry, privacy protection, compliance and litigation court and arbitration proceedings. In his practice he uses his practical experience and knowledge of the electronic communications sector and related areas (TV broadcasting, payment transactions regulation etc.) and also his 18 years experience in managerial positions at an electronic services provider where he was responsinle for the Legal, Regulatory, External Affairs, Business Security and Compliance units; in the years 2007 – 2016 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Mobile Network Operators. He is also a member of the commission on Public Law – Administrative Law of the Legislative Council of the Czech Government, member of the remonstrance commission of the Energy Regulatory Office and an arbitrator of the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the CR and the Agricultural Chamber of the CR and of the International Arbitration Court of the Czech Commodity Exchange, he is also a member of the UNICEF CR Executive Committee.