Data retention in Belgium

This campaign is supported by various public figures, Belgian and European associations and organizations.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to be listed below:

The faces of this campaign

Lucas Belvaux

Film director

« Comment appelle-t-on un pays qui considère (et traite) chaque citoyen comme un délinquant potentiel ? Comment appelle-t-on un pays qui se donne le droit d’entrer dans le vie privée de chaque individu, dans son intimité quels que soient l’heure, le jour ou les circonstances ? Comment peut-on imaginer que le pacte démocratique, qui implique respect et confiance entre un état et les citoyens, puisse résister à une telle conception de la liberté individuelle ? Combien de temps l’Europe, et les pays qui la composent, résisteront-ils encore à cette lente érosion des valeurs et des principes qui les ont fondés et réunis ? »

Jan Blommaert

Sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist

« The right to a sovereign private sphere is a fundamental freedom that belongs to the legacy of the democratic enlightenment, which is only acquired through a very tedious process.We have learned that the respected distinction between a private and a public sphere constitutes the difference between a democracy and a totalitarian state, where the government regulates the overall behavior of its citizens.It is precisely in this private sphere that we can be an individual, a free and independent person whose thoughts and actions in the private sphere can only be judged by our own personal responsibility and morality. Laws which break this fundamental rule place the government on the side of the totalitarian regimes which the democrats have always fought.Such laws are based on a fundamental distrust of the citizens by the government.They will result in a fundamental distrust of government by citizens and, what is worse, of citizens by citizens. »

Eva Brems

Professor of human rights

« Gathering information on each and every one of us is typically something that is presented as innocent "for those who have nothing to hide" and as being necessary for combatting crime. But in practice we see that such measures often are used against the press, against political dissidents and against civil society. That’s why I don’t trust this at all. »

Ben Caudron

Sociologist and writer

« The law on dataretention doesn’t reflect the careful balance between technological innovation and the common interest. The dangers enclosed in this law seem to be as big an evil as the mischief it is supposed to protect us from. »

Elise Degrave

Post-doctoral researcher at the e-Government Chair and CRIDS

« Imaginons notre maison sans rideaux. Nous comporterions-nous de la même manière si tout un chacun était susceptible, à n’importe quel moment, de nous observer ? Une société où nos données peuvent circuler sans limite est comparable à une maison sans rideaux, et il y a fort à parier que les conséquences sur notre développement personnel seraient semblables : nous nous sentirions contraints de nous conformer à un modèle imposé pour éviter les ennuis. »

Thomas Gunzig

Writer and radio columnist

« Ma plus grande ambition est d’être oublié. »

Hilde Keteleer

Author and literary translator

« Translating Aanslag op de vrijheid, the essay written by Ilija Trojanow and Juli Zeh, has opened my eyes. The book opens with a quote from Benjamin Franklin; "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." The authors document very convincably that in the western world we are well on our way of loosing both. The only ones who benefit from the delusion of safety that erodes our democracies since 2001, are the firms that earn their profits with cctv, phonetaps, etc. Especially their conclusion that an important juridical principal - that each should be judged by his or her deeds and not by his or her phantasies - has struck me. If this principal of prosecution is replaced by mass surveillance as a means of prevention, we will inevitably end up here: "When thinking about prevention, we have a choice between considering everybody as a potential danger and treating them accordingly (control,surveillance, general suspicion) or we can distinguish between (good) civilians and (bad) terrorists. In practice both views are connected into one concept. As a writer I want to be judhged by my phantasies, as a civilian by my deeds. That is why I am worried about this new dataretention law. I don’t want to be treated as a potential suspect and I want my right to privacy to be protected. »

Joke van Leeuwen

Author and actress

« What were they thinking with their dubious Directive? Making us all look like suspects? »

Pierre Mertens


« I’ve happily discovered that we still have a right for privacy. In this case, would it be possible to try and avoid undermining it ? »

Martine Simonis

Secretary General of the AJP

« Pour l’Association des Journalistes professionnels, cette loi menace réellement le secret des sources journalistiques, pourtant légalement protégé. Or, sans secret des sources, il n’y a pas de liberté d’information. On touche ici à notre liberté d’expression. »

Nigel Williams


« Freedom is not protected (safeguarded) by repression and a society without privacy. Freedom and Democray is not something you fetch out of someone’s mailbox. »

They support the campaign



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Help funding your privacy, not the fact that you’re being placed under surveillance.

  • 85 donators
  • 5717 € collected
  • 114% of 5000€

The campaign is now over. Thank you!



He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

Benjamin Franklin