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    ISSN 1756-851X
    23 July 2014
 

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Top 20 stories - for full contents see: Statewatch News online or What's New: lists all items on the website.

UK: Terrorism definition 'should be narrower' (BBC News, link): "In his annual report, David Anderson QC is focusing on crimes which he says should no longer be classed as terrorist offences. Journalists and bloggers should not be convicted under terror laws, he said."

See: UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation criticises too-broad definition of terrorism (Press release, pdf) and Full report by David Anderson QC: Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (143 pages, pdf)

EU: Eurodrones: too politically loaded a venture for Europe? (euractiv, link):

"Remotely piloted aircraft equipped for spying and fighting are politically charged across Europe, in part by the civilian toll taken by America’s use of armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other conflict areas. The European Parliament wants member states to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in extrajudicial killings and to set up ethical standards for their use. In a non-binding resolution earlier this year, lawmakers also called for greater transparency in the use of EU funding for research and development of drone technology."

See also: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)

UK-EU: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) UK FAILS TO NOTIFY EU: NGO LETTER: Open Letter to Vice-President of the Commission Michel Barnier and Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom (pdf): "We, the undersigned organisations, would like to draw your attention to an infringement of EU law by the United Kingdom through its adoption on July 17 2014 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (“DRIP”)".

UK: DRIPA: David Davis and Tom Watson to sue government over new DRIP data laws (James Lansdale Tweet) and DRIP Bill legal challengeY(DODS Politics Home, link) EU and see: Liberty and MPs David Davis and Tom Watson launch urgent response to Government’s “emergency” surveillance law (Liberty link)

EU: MIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Parliament: For a European Strategy in the field of migration and asylum: Appeal to the European Parliament on occasion of the Italian Presidency Semester (pdf): Barbara Spinelli (MEP, GUE):

"Nowadays, refugees are the product, on an industrial scale, of that great war, immaterial and undeclared as it is, which is the war against the poor, with a stark border separating people who have a right to move from those who are denied that right. But a worldwide war, which sets apart subjects of the law from marginal bodies whose fate is at the mercy of events that are decided elsewhere, cannot turn Europe into a barbed wire fence. The Europe we want must be a place of welcome, of respect and of dignity."

GREECE: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control):

"The site is still under construction, but presents a chilling taste of what is to come and the claustrophobic conditions for migrants to be held there. For people who have committed no criminal offence, nor been charged with any, it is impossible to see why barred windows, prison-style lighting and surveillance towers and barbed wire are necessary on this island camp. One can only wonder at the horror they will feel and experience on being taken to this place after their arduous journeys."

UK: GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails - Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material 'may be permissible', say human rights groups (Guardian, link):

"The intelligence services are constructing "vast databases" out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told. The claim emerged during a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT)."

EU: CJEU: Penalising Refugees: when should the CJEU have jurisdiction to interpret Article 31 of the Refugee Convention? (EU Law Analysis, link)

EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies (pdf)

UK: DRIPA: UK's Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy: Demonstrating the lack of knowledgeable leadership and the failure to engage in democratic debate, this 'data retention' surveillance law seeds distrust (Guardian, link) See: DRIP Act 2014 as adopted (pdf)

EU: FRONTEX: Migreurop-REMDH-FIDH: Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial - The deployment of Frontex is impairing the right of asylum (pdf):

"At the Greek-Turkish border, the European Agency for controlling the external borders, Frontex, is taking part in a process that prevents refugees from benefitting from international protection. The latest report of the FRONTEXIT Campaign, “Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial underlines the dramatic consequences of the intensification of surveillance at that border (push-backs, lack of access to the asylum procedure, physical and verbal violence, etc.), and also the Agency's lack of accountability."

UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution Report: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (pdf):

"The contrast between the time taken by the Government to consider their response and the time given to Parliament to scrutinise the bill is a matter of concern, not least because of suspicions that are naturally aroused when legislation is fast-tracked......It is not clear why these provisions need to be fast-tracked."

EU: STATE-BUILDING: EU POLICE TRAINING FOR JOINT OPERATIONS:European Commission: CEPOL: Commission proposes to improve training for EU law enforcement officials (Press release, pdf) and Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union agency for law enforcement training (Cepol), repealing and replacing the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA (COM 465-14, pdf) The aim is to ensure: "priorities for operational law enforcement cooperation": The proposed CEPOL Objectives (Article 3) are set as:

"in particular in the areas of the fight against serious crime affecting two or more Member States and terrorism, management of high-risk public order and sports events, planning and command of Union missions." [emphasis added]

UN HUMAN RIGHTS: Dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances - Pillay (link):

"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned Wednesday that studies by her office and others have revealed a “disturbing” lack of transparency about governmental surveillance policies and practices, “including de facto coercion of private sector companies to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latter’s knowledge or consent.”

See: Report: The right to privacy in the digital age: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (pdf)

Statewatch Analyses online:

Secrets and lies: undercover police operations raise more questions than answers: "British police officers undercover in protest movements have been shown to have regularly operated outside the UK. Activists, lawyers and MPs have all called for an independent public inquiry in order to reveal the full extent of the practice."

Shining a light on deadly informers: The de Silva report on the murder of Pat Finucane: "Numerous flaws and oversights in de Silva’s report highlight the need for a full scale independent public enquiry into the British state’s dealings in Northern Ireland. Security agencies tasked with keeping the peace acted beyond the law, lied to their political masters, leaked information to loyalists, told falsehoods in criminal trials, and recruited known murderers as agents."

A duty to inform? The outsourcing of state surveillance responsibilities to the British public: "The government is increasingly encouraging - and in some cases compelling - members of the public to monitor and report on each other’s behaviour. This practice disproportionately targets the poor, foreign nationals and the already marginalised, and contributes to the normalisation of surveillance within British society."

Belgian 'municipal fines' cause growing dissent : Fines have been issued for an array of bizarre “offences” and have been used to target individuals involved in organising political protests."

See full list of Statewatch Analyses - resources for researchers (1999-ongoing)

UK: GCHQ: SURVEILLANCE-DISRUPTION: Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet (The Intercept, link)

"The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist” ..

The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive.... Here’s a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities: (see News)

See documents: GCHQ JTRIG Tools and Techniques (pdf) and: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and: GCHQ/JTRIG: Art of deception (pdf)

EU: COMMISSION PRESIDENT - DESIGNATE'S PROGRAMME: Juncker: A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change: Political Guidelines for the next European Commission (pdf): It is well short on "Democratic Change", no mention of openness (access to documents) or transparency and Includes giving a Commissioner "special responsibility for Migration" - surely this is the job of the Commissioner for Home Affairs (which was first defined as "internal security and immigration" in 2009)?

EU-USA-TTIP: US and EU trade talks to resume (BBC News, link): "Officials from the European Union and the US will spend this week in Brussels trying to make progress negotiating a controversial trade deal" and Who wins, who loses? (DW, link): "The free trade agreement TTIP between the US and EU has entered a new round of negotiations. But no matter how long the process lasts, the winner of any deal has already been determined - as have the losers."

See excellent analysis: Rosa Luxembourg Foundation: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy (pdf): by John Hilary: "officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. The stakes, in other words, could not be higher."


Top reports and services 2004-2014

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatch’s findings for SECILE project (pdf)
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Catalogue of EU Counter-Terrorism Measures Adopted since 11 September 2001 (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
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Report on how the EU assesses the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of its counterterrorism laws (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
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Data Retention in Europe: A Case Study (pdf) by Chris Jones & Ben Hayes :

EU: Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values - under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane."

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI - Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society

Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan

EU: Major report from Statewatch and the Transnational Institute: NeoConOpticon - The EU Security-Industrial Complex by Ben Hayes (pdf): 700,000+ copies downloaded. Executive Summary (pdf) and NeoConOpticon blog

SPECIAL STATEWATCH REPORT: The Shape of Things to Come - the EU Future Group (Version.1.3) by Tony Bunyan: 67,134+ copies downloaded. The report calls for a “meaningful and wide-ranging debate” before it is “too late” for privacy and civil liberties. In the words of the EU Council presidency: "Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts." See also ongoing: Statewatch Observatory: The Stockhom Programme

See: Tony Bunyan's column in the Guardian: View from the EU

Statewatch publication: Border wars and asylum crimes by Frances Webber (38 pages, pdf): "When the pamphlet ‘Crimes of Arrival’ was written, in 1995, the title was a metaphor for the way the British government, in common with other European governments, treated migrants and especially, asylum seekers. Now, a decade on, that title describes a literal truth.... There is a frightening continuity between the treatment of asylum claimants and that of terrorist suspects. In the name of the defence of our way of life and our enlightenment values from attack by terrorists or by poor migrants, that way of life is being destroyed by creeping authoritarianism, and those values – amongst which the most important is the universality of human rights – betrayed." See also: Crimes of arrival: immigrants and asylum-seekers in the new Europe (12 pages, 1995, pdf). To order hard-copy see: Statewatch Publications

EU: Statewatch Report: Arming Big Brother: new research reveals the true costs of Europe's security-industrial complex by Ben Hayes (pdf, April 2006). The European Union is preparing to spend hundreds of million on new research into surveillance and control technologies, according to Arming Big Brother, a new report by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Statewatch. Press release (English) Press release (Spanish, link) Copy of full report (English, pdf) Copy of full report (Spanish, pdf) Hard copies of Arming Big Brother can be obtained from: The Transnational Institute, please send an e-mail to: wilbert@tni.org with your request.

Europe: A collection of "Essays in defence of civil liberties and democracy" was published in 2005

Global surveillance: Global coalition launch report and international surveillance campaign: Statewatch, with partner organisations the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Focus on the Global South, Friends Committee (US) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (Canada) today publishes an in-depth report: "The emergence of a global infrastructure for registration and surveillance" (20 April, 2005).

Statewatch report: Journalism, civil liberties and the war on terrorism (full-report/request printed copy) - Special report by the International Federation of Journalists and Statewatch including an analysis of current policy developments as well as a survey of 20 selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin Amercia, the Middle East and the USA (published World press freedom day, 1 May 2005)

Statewatch "Scoreboard" on EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf) agreed in the wake of the Madrid bombings. Our analysis shows that 27 out of the 57 EU proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism - they deal with crime in general and surveillance: Analysis in Spanish (March 2004)


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