The government is preparing a new law that will help combat delinquency and terrorism by having a degree of control over telecommunications.
The Spanish Home Office wants to have access to information regarding mobile telephone use and wants companies to make this information available to them by recording information for a period of 12 months. Under exceptional circumstances this could be extended to 24 months.
The law would apply both to pay as you go mobiles as well as those on contract. It would also oblige shops selling pay as you go mobiles to keep a register of their customers. At the moment there are approximately 16 million anonymous mobile phone owners. Investigations into telecommunications played an important part in the detention of 11th March suspects.
Last February the EU passed a law on the retention of information on telecommunications which made operators responsible for keeping information for a period of between 6 to 24 months in an attempt to combat both terrorism and other serious crime.
The terrorist attack in London on 7th July 2005 served as an incentive to help get the legislation approved by the member states.
This law applies both to fixed land lines as well as mobile telephones. Companies are required to keep a record of the telephone number from which the call originated, the number where the call is received, the length of the conversation and where the call was made from. Only under certain circumstances can the content of phone calls be made available to the authorities.