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January 2015

UK: Front-Line Police 'All Need Tasers' To Deal With Lee-Rigby Style Attacks, Claims Federation Chief (Huffinton Post, link): "All front-line police officers should be armed with a Taser because of the heightened security threat, the head of the Police Federation has said, but human rights charity Amnesty International says its ridiculous to think that Tasers will deter terrorists. Steve White, chairman of the body which represents front-line officers, said acts of terrorism could be carried out anywhere and police needed to be protected."

Challenges pending in Germany to EU/US Safe Harbour (article in DE) (

European Commission: Speech of Commissioner Jourova: Informal JHA council in Riga (pdf): "Our agency EUROJUST needs to work at its full potential and therefore be in a position to fully exchange information with EUROPOL and be associated to EUROPOL's Focal Points dealing with terrorism."

An Artist’s Pioneering Masks Shield Us from Future Surveillance (GOOD, link)

Privacy: With a Few Bits of Data, Researchers Identify ‘Anonymous’ People (New York Times, link): "Even when real names and other personal information are stripped from big data sets, it is often possible to use just a few pieces of the information to identify a specific person, according to a study to be published Friday in the journal Science"

UK: Met Riot Police Could Get Firearms Training (Yahoo Ireland, link):"The Metropolitan Police is considering training public order officers to use firearms to create a "reserve capability" to cope with terrorist attacks."

Michael Hayden: “We Kill People Based on Metadata” (Just Security, link)

Facebook and Twitter are terrorist "accomplices" if they fail to remove extremist content, says French president (Daily Mirror, link)

Rights and Safety for Refugees! Hamburg Kundgebungn in Memory of Khaled (The VOICE, link)

UK: Heavy opposition set to defeat key part of Theresa May’s terrorism bill - Peers, academics and senior Tories reject idea of placing legal duty on universities to prevent students from being drawn into extremism (Guardian, link)

Court condemns police crackdown on Ökotárs headquarters (, link)

UK broke law in fewer than 1% of European human rights cases in 2014 - Statistics published as Britain gears up for election that will feature Tory threats to withdraw from the European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)

How GCHQ prepares for interception of phone calls from satellite links (Techdirt, link): "Most of the Snowden-revelations are about spying on the internet, but NSA and GCHQ are also conducting the more traditional collection of telephone communications that go through satellite links." See also: GCHQ Bude (Wikipedia, link)

French police question 8-year-old over terror comment (France24, link): "Reports that French police questioned an 8-year-old after he allegedly made comments in school in praise of terrorists have highlighted fears that the authorities may be going too far in their crackdown on hate speech."

EU air passenger database about to take flight, but critics want it grounded (PC World, link): "The new plan calls for a database with personal flight data such as travel dates, itineraries, ticket information and baggage information, according to a document published by Statewatch on Wednesday and described as a leaked and legitimate EC document....Critics say such a database could violate fundamental human rights, but the Commission argues that it would help law enforcement with the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offenses and serious transnational crime.

Brussels Calling on Communication Firms to Provide Encryption Keys (EU Bulletin, link): "In a document that was leaked by the UK-based civil liberties group Statewatch, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, says that the EU Commission ought to introduce rules that would require the companies to help national governments collect data on possible suspects."

UK: Children mistakenly detained at Campsfield & Dover detention centres last month (Home Office, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (Intercept, link): "British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies, according to a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." See: BADASS Angry Birds document (link)

UK: Call To Trial Gunfire Detectors At ‘Soft Targets’ In London (Londonist, link): ""Gunfire detection systems should be installed at hospitals, museums,
train stations and shopping centres to improve armed police response times to terror attacks, a leading City Hall Conservative says."

UK: Two more journalists emerge as police spying targets, Press Gazette says: 'We've been misled by Met' (Press Gazette, link)

Denmark: Call to Reject Bill Increasing Refugees’ Vulnerability (Euromedrights, link)

Police officers could be charged for 'calling alleged domestic violence victim 'f*****g slag' and 'b***h' (Independent, link)

The missing link: Direct effect CETA/TTIP and investor-state dispute settlement (ASFJ, link): "International treaties have rarely received more attention than the proposed free trade deals between the

EU officials consider pooling air passenger data after Paris attacks - ID checks could be reintroduced within Schengen zone as European governments race to tighten security measures (Guardian. link).

Prevent and anti-extremism education (Open Democracy, link)

UK: Far-right ‘Christian Patrols’ back in Whitechapel targeting Muslims (Docklands & East London Advertiser, link)

Looking to MLATs: A step towards transparency for intelligence sharing agreements (PI, link)

Peer defends attempt to introduce snooper’s charter - Lord King tells House of Lords that current legislation is not sufficient to meet threat and it is parliament’s duty to update it (Guardian, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (The Intercept, link)

French mayor ‘evicts’ first black Marianne statue (France24, link): ""The small town of Frémainville is one of the few in France where a black-skinned Marianne statue adorns city hall. But the city's new mayor is replacing the minority Marianne, claiming she does not represent the French republic."

Aesthetics of Migration - Street Art in the Mediterranean Border Zones (Ibraaz, link): ""Beyond the distant images of washed-up bodies on the shore or a
packed craft stranded at sea is the everyday theatre of migrant detentions and expulsions from the towns bordering the Mediterranean."

Liverpool win asylum seekers reprieve in last port of call row with Government (Liverpool Echo, link): ""Liverpool Council has won a temporary reprieve from becoming the last port of call for asylum seekers hoping to remain the in the UK."

Greece turns left: What next? (euobserver, link): "Across Greece people will tell you the country is a litmus test for the rest of the continent, that where Greece goes Europe will follow."

Peer defends attempt to introduce snooper’s charter - Lord King tells House of Lords that current legislation is not sufficient to meet threat and it is parliament’s duty to update it (Guardian, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (The Intercept, link)

Terrorists and serious criminals beware ! Your travel data can tell everything about you (ASFJ, link): "After the last terrorist attacks the President of The European Council, the EU interior ministers, the EU anti-terrorism coordinator, the European Commission, some national parliaments and even the press have raised their voice against the European Parliament who is blocking since years a legislative measure on the access by law enforcement authorities to the passenger name record (PNR)which are managed by the airlines when you make a flight reservation."

UK: Family of man left in vegetative state hit out at IPCC over police brutality allegations - Family of Julian Cole speak out after 21-year-old left with broken neck after arrest by six officers in 2013 (Guardian, link)

President of the European Council Donald Tusk congratulates Alexis Tsipras on his appointment as Prime Minister of Greece On behalf of the European Union I wish to congratulate Alexis Tsipras on his appointment today as Prime Minister of Greece. The European Union has stood by Greece from the first day of the crisis and is committed to continue to support the country in its efforts to put its economy on a sustainable path. I look forward to working closely together with the new Prime Minister of Greece, and I look forward to welcoming him at the informal meeting of EU Heads of State or Government in Brussels on 12 February".(Council of the European Union Press Release)

Catharsis or catastrophe: what next for Greece and the Eurozone? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The better course for the EU is to take this opportunity to re-engage with the millions of EU citizens who are affected or angered by austerity, and re-orient the EU towards ending that austerity, instead of generating more of it. Although this is more easily said than done, it should never be forgotten that the initial rationale for the EU was not austerity, but economic growth which raised living standards for the population as a whole. So in voting for a party which promised the latter, Greeks have reaffirmed, not rejected, the Union’s traditional raison d’etre, reminding it that the Union cannot maintain its social or political legitimacy if it becomes no more than a mechanism for enforcing austerity."

Is Europe Overlooking the Far-Right 'Foreign Fighter' Issue in Ukraine? (Huffington Post, link): "Are extremist Islamist fighters the only foreign fighters Europe should be worrying about? The answer is no. The possibility of returning far-right fighters from Ukraine is a threat currently being overlooked. The conflict in Ukraine has provided an environment where the formation of foreign right-wing paramilitary groups can occur without any opposition. Both pro-Russian and Ukrainian Nationalists have operational paramilitary groups that hold right-wing extremist views, ties to neo-Nazism and welcome foreigners as fighters."

WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government (Guardian, link): - Search giant gave FBI emails and digital data belonging to three staffers - WikiLeaks told last month of warrants which were served in March 2012

Le PNR européen à la croisée des chemins : protection des données et lutte contre le terrorisme (ASFJ, link)

EU: Council’s position on Visa Directive a step back for young people’s mobility (, link): "The European Youth Forum is extremely
disappointed to see that the European Council has taken a backward step from the aim of a better visa regime in its recently published position on the proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and of residence for third-country nationals. The Council's position limits mobility to certain groups and could mean that delays and barriers to moving into and within Europe will remain."

Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities - ‘Blunt tool’ approach is leading parents into false sense of security, insist campaigners (The Observer, link): "campaigners say that it is misleading to suggest these filters are just about blocking pornography, and that they block a range of content, such as drugs, sex, alcohol, tobacco and anorexia. The Metropolitan police are currently producing a list of websites for the filtering services which they regard as terror-related. A website discussing the legalisation of cannabis found itself blocked, as did several small wine dealers, said Pam Cowburn of the transparency campaign Open Rights Group. Last year research by the group found that 54 registered charities had their websites blocked by one or another of the filters. Several were offering support and services to young people escaping abuse or alcohol dependency. One such charity, Alcohol Support, based in Aberdeen, called it a “big brother” approach."

MegaChat Encrypted Service Launched (Fillhipo, link): "Kim Dotcom, the Internet entrepreneur, has just announced the release of an encrypted chat service, called MegaChat. The service is to compete with the widely used and Microsoft-owned, Skype...This news has come after it has emerged that the EU counter-terrorism coordinator wants all companies to be required by law to hand over encryption keys when asked for them...Gilles de Kerchove said, in a document leaked by the civil liberties group Statewatch,that encryption “increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible"

Leaked doc: Europe's justice chiefs forming plans to cosy up to ISPs - Yeah, and bring back PNR! (The Register, link)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)POLAND: Maverick MEP Korwin-Mikke launches new party (Radio Poland, link): "Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the recently ousted leader of fringe party the Congress of the New Right, has registered a new party, the abbreviated name of which is KORWiN." See: Polish far-right MEP blasted for use of 'racist' language (The Parliament, link)

GERMANY: Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder (The Local, link): "Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th."

UK: Met policeman cleared after kicking mother tending to her child in hospital (The Guardian, link): "A police officer who kicked and hit a mother as she sat by the hospital bed of her sick child, leaving her with more than 40 injuries, has been cleared of actual bodily harm."

UK: Saudi King Abdullah: Britain mourns a tyrant (The Independent, link): "The Government face demands to reassess Britain’s relationship with the Saudi Arabian regime amid fury over the reverential tributes paid to King Abdullah following his death."

GREECE: ECHR Condemns Greece for Inhumane Migrant Treatment (Greek Reporter, link)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)

Austria's €290m plan to fight terror (The Local, link): "'The whole package is mainly designed for the furnishing of special forces and less on the prevention of terrorism' said Gert-Rena Polli,former head of the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism."

CALAIS: France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute (HRW, link) and see: Migrants describe police brutality in French city of Calais (France24, link)

Romania: The Big Brother Law 2 is unconstitutional (NineOclock, link): "The Constitutional Court (CCR) judges decided yesterday, with a majority of votes, that Romania’s cybernetic security law, nicknamed the Big Brother Law 2, was unconstitutional “in its entirety”."

EU anti-terrorism chief: Communications should be accessible to security services (euractiv, link): "De Kerchove said he expected governments to adopt an EU approach that would build on improving cooperation under systems already available, such as for Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone, and on existing institutions such as Europol and Interpol. The need for new legislation was limited, he said." [emphasis added]

UK: The day I found out I'm a 'Domestic Extremist' - When the police must use intrusive powers they should be focused on those individuals who pose a threat of serious harm and carry out serious criminal acts, writes Jenny Jones (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK: Strip-searched girl’s family sues Merseyside police (Guardian, link)

Austria's €290m plan to fight terror (The Local, link): "'The whole package is mainly designed for the furnishing of special forces and less on the prevention of terrorism' said Gert-Rena Polli,former head of the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism."

CALAIS: France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute (HRW, link) and see: Migrants describe police brutality in French city of Calais (France24, link)

Reaction to publication of: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf):

De Maizière will Verschlüsselung knacken - Der Kampf um Verschlüsselung wird härter: Sicherheitsbehörden in ganz Europa fordern einen Zugang zu verschlüsselten Daten. Deutschland will dabei offenbar mitspielen (Cracking encryption - The battle for encryption is harder: security authorities across Europe require access to encrypted data. Germany wants to play too obviously) (Zeit Online, link)

EU-Parlament will erneut über Fluggastdaten diskutieren (EU Parliament will discuss again on Passenger Name (Der Tag, link): " the civil rights organization Statewatch [published] a report of anti-terrorism co-ordinator of the EU"

Griff in die “Werkzeugkiste repressiver Regime wie China oder Bahrain” (, link): "The interior and justice policy spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, Jan Philipp Albrecht, has expressed shock over the demands of the EU anti-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove."

Wegen Snowden: EU-Beauftragter will IT-Anbieter zu Hintertüren für verschlüsselte Kommunikation verpflichten (MM News, link): "Snowden: EU commissioner wants to commit to a back door for encrypted communication IT vendors"

BMI: Behörden müssen Verschlüsselung knacken können (Futurezone, link): "BMI: authorities must be able to crack encryption"

De Kerchove navrhl vznik protiteroristického strediska u Europolu (, link): "Establishing a European counter-terrorism center within Europol is proposed by CTC European Union Gilles de Kerchove. The option is part of the documentation for the meeting interior and justice ministers of EU countries next week in Riga. The document is now available online published NGO Statewatch"

EU: From bad to worse? On the Commission and the Council’s rule of law initiatives (EU Law Analysis, link): "To conclude, the Commission and the Council’s initiatives may leave one deeply disappointed considering the serious nature of the internal challenges faced on the rule of law front. When comparing the two initiatives, one may however argue that the Commission’s is much less half-hearted and, thus, at least less counter-productive, than the Council’s, which does not simply represent the triumph of empty rhetoric over genuine action but also unfortunately undermines the future legitimacy of any Commission attempt to trigger its new pre-Article 7 procedure."

For five years Greece has been like a patient slowly bleeding’ - The sick man of Europe is dying and Sunday’s elections may be the tipping point (Guardian, link)

Charlie Hebdo attack spurs EU anti-terror 'projects' (BBC News, link)

EU considers 'security agents' to counter terrorism (euractiv, link): "European Union foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad, as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on 7 January."

EU To counter terror, Europe's police reconsider their arms (New Europe, link)

Europe to Legislate Level Tech Playing Field, Says European MP Reding (WSJ Digits, link): "We have the impression that our American friends, every time they do not want to apply the laws, they bring up national security. It has nothing to do with national security. They would like to have this national security exemption all over the place. We would like to have the rule of law all over the place, she said"

Fortress mentality on EU migration creates xenophobia, warns Italian PM - Matteo Renzi says defensive attitude in debate about freedom of movement opens the door to right-wing nationalism (Guardian, link)

BBC Democracy Day: Europe 'faces political earthquakes' (BBC News, link)

EU: Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the decision to appeal the Judgment regarding Hamas (EAS, link)

European Parliament: Draft Report :on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (2014/2256(INI)) Committee on Legal Affairs Rapporteur: Julia Reda (link) and see: Julia Reda (link)

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: MI5 and MI6 are losing ground to terrorists (Sunday Telegraph, link)

Mass surveillance not effective for finding terrorists (New Scientist, link)

UK: Wrongly convicted men launch new case against the Justice Secretary (Independent on Sunday, link)

Greek elections: Syriza’s young radicals plot a political earthquake for Europe (Observer, link)

Man the Euro lifeboats – but not the Greeks (Channel 4 News, link):"There are credible reports that the European Central Bank’s long awaited programme of quantitative easing will be announced on Thursday – but with a sting in the tail. The ECB will, according to the Financial Times, force national central banks in the Eurozone to assume all the risk inherent in the project, and probably exclude Greece."

Mike Marqusee 1953-2015: The movement has lost a unique and inspiring campaigner for justice. (IRR News Service, link): "A campaigner who never flagged, a writer who never missed the meaning of an experience, his loss is immeasurable".

GERMANY:Nach Spontandemonstration: Erstmals massenhafte Beschlagnahme von Mobiltelefonen in Leipzig (After spontaneous demonstration: first mass confiscation of mobile phones in Leipzig) (link)

Guantanamo: America's Battle Lab (link): ""GTMO operated as a Battle Lab, a world where experimentation on the defenseless served to generate data with which to counsel and train interrogators at military facilities across the globe. These bases utilized the insight granted by intelligence officers from GTMO, most notably Bagram and Abu Ghraib." See also: Did Gitmo "Suicides" Cover Up Murder? U.S. Sgt. Speaks Out on Deaths & Prison’s Secret CIA Site (Democracy Now!, link)

UK: Islington Against Police Spies: "Sack Bob Lambert! Former Police Spy: "Join us to demand the removal of Bob Lambert from London Metropolitan University. Picket London Met Friday January 30th 12.00 – 2.00pm LMU Tower, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB"

Germany's Merkel urges new EU law on data tracking (BBC News, link)

EU governments accused of 'Bermuda Triangle' approach to law-making (Parliament magazine, link)

Belgium on high alert after deadly anti-terror raid (BBC News, link)

Spain and "pushbacks" (ECRE, link)

Soldiers to guard Belgian Jewish sites as Europol warns of further attacks - Protection stepped up across Europe – with UK police on highest alert level ever – in wake of series of terrorist incidents (Guardian, link)

Je Suis Raif Badawi (Mat Carr's Infernal Machine, link): "If this punishment were to go ahead as planned and Badawi’s body were able to stand it, this ritual would be repeated for 19 more weeks. What was Badawi’s offence? He created the website Free Saudi Liberals, on which he posted things like this: .‘Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone … Secularism … is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.’'"

Nazi camp row over German asylum homes (BBC News, link): "Refugee organisations have criticised plans to house asylum seekers in a former outpost of a Nazi concentration camp in western Germany."

Theresa May says 'lives at risk' without data surveillance (BBC News, link) and see: Commons Statement: Home Secretary Theresa May on the threat we face from terrorism in the UK (link)

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings - Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability (The Nation, link)

The EU's giant and secretive deregulation blitz (Open Democracy, link): "It is not just TTIP, across the board the EU is bowing to business pressure to do away with 'burdensome' regulation - regulation that tends to save lives, protect consumers and ensure standards."

Over 50 anti-Muslim incidents registered in France after Charlie Hebdo shooting (RT, link)

Irish terror laws to counter jihadist threat (Irish Examiner, link): It's worth noting that the laws being passed are intended to implement the EU's 2008 Framework Decision amending the 2002 Framework Decision on combating terrorism - Ireland was supposed to implement these measures by 9 December 2010 (see Article 3)

• UK: A war on democracy: How statutory instruments replaced acts of parliament (, link): ""On present trends, the next parliament will pass 4,000 or more statutory instrument a year. They will, in aggregate, have a significant effect on how we conduct our daily lives. Some of this legislation will be debated. Much of it will not. The elephant in the room is the fact that this shift towards statutory instruments will itself take place without any debate."

Racial discrimination & collateral damage – Coleman revisited (EU Law Analysis, link)

UK: Proposals to expand Central NHS Register creates a national population register and significant data protection/privacy risks (Hawktalk, link)

USA: Role of FBI informant in eco-terrorism case probed after documents hint at entrapment - In the case of Eric McDavid, alleged to be ring-leader of eco-terrorist cell, ‘game-changing’ documents seen exclusively by the Guardian show informant may have entrapped him (Guardian, link)

As a Muslim, I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the free speech fundamentalists (New Statesman, link): "The response to the inexcusable murder of Charlie Hebdo’s staff has proved that many liberals are guilty of double standards when it comes to giving offence."

Up to 5,000 Europeans joined jihad, Europol chief says (euobserver, link): "The two attackers in Paris were on a US no-fly list, yet were able to carry out their attack, prompting one MP to ask Wainwright Tuesday whether it is possible to follow every suspect ever flagged. “It is exceptionally difficult, given the scale of the problem … for the security authorities to monitor all potential threats. That's the very painful reality that the attacks in Paris have shown,” said Wainwright."

Paris killings cement Danish referendum on EU justice opt-out (euractiv, link)

• UK: Cameron wants new 'comprehensive' communications surveillance laws (Outlaw, link)

EU and US Ministers discuss fight against terror, strengthening of external borders (EJP, link)

Back to border controls in fight against terrorism (Euro Weekly News, link) and EU hasn't moved on Schengen changes: PM (The Local, link): "European leaders have yet to decide whether to restore border controls within the Schengen zone, Spain's prime minister said Monday, after Madrid made a push for the visa-free treaty to be modified in the wake of France's terror attacks."

Germany’s debate over data retention flares following Paris attacks (euractiv, link): "n the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, calls for more intensive data surveillance to fight terror are gaining strength. But in France, data retention was neither able to prevent nor illuminate the attacks."

Wikileaks publishes CIA reports on travel ID checks (Papers please, link): These reports were published in December but Edward Hasbrouck has been
through them and makes some interesting points on the sometimes-illegal use of PNR/API data by European state agencies. See:
CIA Advice for US Government Operatives Infiltrating Schengen (pdf) and CIA Assessment on Surviving Secondary Screening at Airports While Maintaining Cover WikiLeaks release: December 21, 2014 (link)

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq (Open Democracy, link) and Court judgment (link)

• Germany-Greece:
Documents indicate bribe paid for tanks deal (ekathimerini, link): "German company Rheinmetall has admitted to paying a 127-million-euro bribe to Greek officials to secure the sale of 353 Leopard 2 battle tanks in a deal that was completed in 2009, according legal documents seen by Kathimerini and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung."

EU catches up, takes steps to control export of intrusion spyware, IP monitoring (Reporters without Borders, link) and see: The Review of export control policy: ensuring security and competitiveness in a changing world (European Commission, pdf)

• EU-PNR: Debate intensifies on stuck EU counter-terrorism bill (euobserver, link)

Spanish Judge Allows Criminal Complaint Against Satirist Facu Díaz For PP ETA Corruption Sketch (The Spain Report, link)

• UK: An insult to all the children who die in custody (Guardian, link): "Alex Kelly and the other 32 children who have died since 1990 deserve more than the state’s weasel words and a silence that shames the media"

Orban uses Paris march to demonise immigrants (euobserver, link)

French monitored Kouachi brothers but lost interest, despite red flags (CNN International, link)

De la surveillance de masse à la paranoïa généralisée (Le Monde Blog, link)

• European Parliament: Draft Opinion: TTIP (pdf)

Change Greece – Change Europe – Change4all (link)

If Europe is to overcome Islamist terror, it needs to fight for the values it holds dear - Paul Mason (Guardian, link)

• Spain: At least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners arrested in a Spanish police operation this morning. Three of them have been arrested in Madrid as they were on their way to Spanish Special Court for the first day of a new mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists.(link)

• UK: MI5 chief seeks new powers after Paris magazine attack (Guardian ,link)

Austria Detention Profile (Global Detention Project, link); "In early 2014, Austria opened its first specialized immigration detention facility. The development comes after more than two decades of criticism from national and international observers, who have pressed the country not to detain migrants and asylum seekers in prisons and other criminal facilities. The opening, however, was accompanied by controversy because of the decision to outsource security and other services at the facility to a heavily criticized private prison firm, G4S."

Four hostages killed in bloody end to Paris sieges (Channel 4 News, link): " Three gunmen and four hostages have been killed as police storm two sieges in the Paris area. The hostages died at a kosher supermarket in the east of the French capital."

Syrian refugees told to decide as camp shuts down (Cyprus Mail, link): "THE Syrian refugees who were rescued off the coast of Cyprus in September and are temporarily housed at the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre, need to urgently make arrangements for their stay in the country, since the camp will close down in a few days, the Interior ministry announced yesterday."

Recent curtailments of “freedom of expression” in Ireland (oireachtasretort, link)

Germany's right-wing populists join hands with anti-Islamist Pegida (euractiv, link)

No EU data protection deal 'before end of year' (Parliament magazine, link): "Rapporteur on the EU data protection regulation says parliament and council are 'heading in two different directions".

EU-US trade negotiations must be more transparent, as concerns are raised about clash with data protection rules (Out-Law, link)

• UK: A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – Angela Patrick (UK Human Rights blog, link)

Luxembourg drivers to be fined for offences abroad (link)

Demand Booming for ‘Smart’ Surveillance Cameras Among General Public (IFSECGlobal, link): "More than 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide in 2015, according to IHS."

• EU Ombudsman: "Further steps to increase TTIP transparency necessary" (link), see also: Full Decision (link)

Security is not a crime (, link): "On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid."

Greece: New anti-discrimination report set for February launch (Coe Human Rights, link): "The February analysis from the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) will be the fifth Council of Europe examination of the country’s efforts to strengthen social cohesion and fight xenophobia, anti-semitism and bigotry."

• UK: Police forced to disclose more details of “ghoulish and heartless” spy tactic - Police have conceded some ground over the secrecy surrounding the theft of the identities of dead children by their undercover officers (Guardian, link)

• EU: Now online - EU negotiating texts in TTIP (DG Trade, link)

• UK: The 30-year rule documents they don’t want you to see (Guardian, link): "A sweeping escape clause to the release of UK government papers means files on nuclear tests, GCHQ and the Falklands remain hidden."

Counter-protests dwarf German anti-Islam rallies (euobserver, link)

British government lobbies to 'water down' consent requirements in EU data protection regulation (Computing, link)

EU to set up expert group to fight jihadist propaganda (euobserver, link)

December 2014

Schadcode auf Rechnern der EU-Kommission identifiziert -Spur in die USA und nach Großbritannien (De Speigel, link): "Malicious code on computers of the EU Commission identified -Track to the United States and Great Britain"

Referendum would turn UK’s presidency of EU into a ‘farce’ - MPs and Foreign Office officials alarmed over possible clash of in/out vote with Britain’s turn to lead member states (The Observer, link)

Thousands of people have been demonstrating across the country against the ‘gagging law’ (Typically Spanish, link)

Ricky Tomlinson: ‘I’m a whingeing scouser, and I will whinge until they’re made to pay’ (Guardian, link): In 1973, Ricky Tomlinson spent Christmas in prison after picketing a strike. More than 40 years later, one of our best-loved actors says that the fight to clear the names of the Shrewsbury 24 faces a final hurdle: government secrecy"

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott: Opinion 2/13 on EU accession to the ECHR: a Christmas bombshell from the European Court of Justice (UK Constitutional Law Association, link)

Why are weapons-makers excited by TTIP? (euobserver, link)

NSA Drops Christmas Eve Surprise (The Intercept, link): "The National Security Agency on Christmas Eve day released twelve years of internal oversight reports documenting abusive and improper practices by agency employees. The heavily redacted reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board found that NSA employees repeatedly engaged in unauthorized surveillance of communications by American citizens, failed to follow legal guidelines regarding the retention of private information, and shared data with unauthorized recipients."

At least 15 migrants died in ‘shameful’ Calais conditions in 2014 - Guardian investigation reveals death toll over 12 months with many desperately trying risky routes into UK to escape makeshift camps without sanitation at French port (link)

German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls (Washington Post, pdf)

Italian police arrest 14 people alleged to be part of neo-fascist terrorist group - New Order Vanguard movement is alleged to have been planning attacks on politicians, prosecutors and police (Guardian, link)

UK: Fears over excessive stun gun use by police after man shot with Taser dies - IPCC investigating after Staffordshire police use stun gun on suspected burglar at house in Newcastle-under-Lyme (Guardian, link)

Greece’s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU (Guardian, link)

Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) advice on internet freedom (MR Koots, link)

UK: Theresa May plans to 'send home foreign graduates' met with anger and condemnation (Independent on Sunday, link)

UK must probe its role in CIA torture, says UN legal expert - UN’s former special rapporteur on torture says claims such as sanctioned use of Diego Garcia as ‘black site’ to render Libyans must be examined (Guardian, link)

UK: Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food (The Independent, link)

Thousands protest in Brussels against EU-US trade ageement (euobserver, link)

Journalists stage protest outside Downing Street for press freedom in Turkey (European Federation of Journalists, link)

UK government defines 'big data' and is advised to take lead on harnessing 'internet of things' opportunities (Outlaw, link) and see: HM Government: Horizon Scanning Programme: Emerging Technologies: Big Data (pdf link)

On 10 December Europol went live with its access to SIS II. (Europol, link)

UK: Justice blindfolded? The case of Jimmy Mubenga (IRR News Service, link): "Following the acquittal on 16 December of the G4S guards charged with the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, IRR vice-chair Frances Webber focuses on the judge’s decision to rule inadmissible evidence pointing to endemic racism within G4S."

EU: David Cameron says Europe's block on sharing passenger data is 'frankly ridiculous' (Daily Telegraph, link)

EU leaders skip second day of summit – and escape protests (euractiv, link): "EU leaders finished their summit in the early hours of 19 December, avoiding major protests that have completely blocked the centre of Brussels Friday."

Dutch far right politician Wilders to be tried for anti-Moroccan comments (DW, link)

Kenya 'deregisters' NGOs in anti-terror clampdown (BBC News, link): "Kenya has deregistered 510 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including 15 accused of links with terrorism, an official has said. The government has also frozen their bank accounts and revoked the work permits of foreign employees. "

UK: Disabled man threatened with arrest after handing out food to the homeless in Brighton (The Argus, link)

USA: Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch over Maryland (The Intercept, link): "In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles. And while the blimps may never stave off a barrage of enemy missiles, their ability to spot and track cars, trucks and boats hundreds of miles away is raising serious privacy concerns."

EU nations face mounting pressure over CIA black sites (euobserver, link): "At least 54 governments reportedly participated in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme. Among them those said to be involved are Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK."

UK: Update on the IPCC investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Thomas Orchard (IPCC, link) and see: Thomas Orchard custody death: Three police staff charged with killing mentally-ill church caretaker (Daily Mirror, link)

UN committee calls on countries to protect right to privacy (PC World, link)

New stories of INTERPOL abuse emphasise the need for reform (Fair Trials, link)

IRELAND: Surveillance by a Government-sponsored secret system (Irish Times, link): "Using the binding form of a statutory instrument, the Minister enacted the until-now-abandoned third part of the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008. This section governs the tapping by foreign governments of Irish phone calls and the interception of Irish emails. It also outlines how Ireland can request tapping in other countries for an Irish-based criminal investigation" and: State sanctions phone and email tapping - Companies that object to order could be brought before private ‘in camera’ court (IT, link): " Foreign law enforcement agencies will be allowed to tap Irish phone calls and intercept emails under a statutory instrument signed into law by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Companies that object or refuse to comply with an intercept order could be brought before a private “in camera” court."

Suspended Lives: Refugees and Migrants in Greece (Antifascist Action for Greece, link) and Testimonials from Detention Centres (link)

Spanish Parliament Approves Controversial Security Law (Telesur, link), Spain: Congress Passes Draconian “Gag Law” (Revolution News, link): Very good summary of main new offences, and New Law (Spanish, link)

TTIP fears well founded (Law Society Gazette, link)

• DRIPA 2014: UK court to review legality of web snooping law (GIGACOM,link)

Privacy concerns stall cybersecurity cooperation (Washington Examiner, link)

• ECHR: HOON v UK government: The publication of a parliamentary investigation into a politician allegedly seeking financial reward in exchange for his influence was justified (Press release, pdf)

• ECHR: Suspects of piracy against French vessels, apprehended in Somalia by the French authorities, should have been brought before a legal authority as soon as they arrived in France (Press release, pdf)

Jailed Greek student Nikos Romanos’s family fear son will be ‘martyr’ - Amid bitter clashes in Athens, the father of a young anarchist on hunger strike speaks of his son’s transformation from model student to figurehead for the protesters (The Obserber, link)

German government plans source prosecution as Greens push new whistleblower protection law (Courage, link)

Irregular Migration as a Response to Geopolitical Shocks: The Long - Term Effects of Short - term Policies (EUI, link)

UK: Drone ‘near miss’ with passenger plane close to Heathrow airport investigated - Air safety investigators due to release report into incident, which took place in July and involved an Airbus A320 (Guardian, link)

When data gets creepy: the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away (Guardian, link): "We all worry about digital spies stealing our data – but now even the things we thought we were happy to share are being used in ways we don’t like. Why aren’t we making more of a fuss? "

EU Commission wants to wipe out citizens’ involvement in TTIP and CETA (STOP TTIP, link) and see STOP TTIP (link):" In its rejection of the ECI, the European Commission claims that the negotiating mandates on TTIP and CETA are not legal acts but internal preparatory acts between EU institutions and therefore not contestable via an ECI. “The Commission’s view that only acts with an effect on third parties are permissible for an ECI is obviously a legal error. The negotiating mandate of the Commission is a formal decision of the Council and therefore a legal act. If the Commission’s legal opinion had any substance, then in plain English this would mean that Europe’s population is excluded from participation in the development of any kind of international agreements – information that is as frightening as it is scandalous,” according to Efler [ contact person of the ECI]"

• IRELAND: Government asks European court to revise ‘Hooded Men’ ruling - Court ruled in 1978 that treatment of 12 men was inhumane but not torture (Irish Times, link) and Ireland: Decision to reopen 'Hooded Men' court case a triumph of justice after four decades of waiting (AI, link)

UK: Is the Charity Commission targeting Muslims? (Spinwatch, link)

EU: 'Yellow cards' from national EU parliaments not very effective (euobserver, link): New tools national parliaments received five years ago this month to influence EU lawmaking are not very effective, a research requested by the Dutch national assembly found. The report - "Engaging with Europe" - by Radboud University in Nijmegen was presented in The Hague on Wednesday (3 December).... However, according to the researchers, national parliaments think Brussels does not reply quickly enough. And when they get the reply, it often “simply comes down to repeating the argumentation from the original draft legislative act”.

Danish court orders a UK company to block Danish IP addresses (EDRI, link)

At Global Climate Conferences, Spying Is Just Part of the Woodwork (The Intercept, link)

Artificial intelligence could spell end of human race – Stephen Hawking Technology will eventually become self-aware and supersede humanity, says astrophysicist (Guardian, link)

Doctors Without Borders Hits Greece on Refugees (ABC News, link)

• UK: Prison book ban overturned: The one stat which shows why it was the RIGHT decision (DAily Mirror, link)

UK: Protests in Campsfield IRC after detainee is beaten up by Mitie security guards (Close Campsfield, link)

• EU: Tusk takes over from Van Rompuy this WEEK (euobserver, link): Including "the commission has requested a closed-door presentation when its officials brief MEPs on an EU-US agreement which lays out rules on handing over EU citizens’ data among other issues."

Artificial intelligence could spell end of human race – Stephen Hawking Technology will eventually become self-aware and supersede humanity, says astrophysicist (Guardian, link)

Doctors Without Borders Hits Greece on Refugees (ABC News, link)

November 2014

GREECE: Athens 1944: Britain’s dirty secret - When 28 civilians were killed in Athens, it wasn’t the Nazis who were to blame, it was the British. Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith reveal how Churchill’s shameful decision to turn on the partisans who had fought on our side in the war sowed the seeds for the rise of the far right in Greece today (The Observer, link)

UK-EU: David Cameron’s timetable for reform in Europe ‘impossible’ - EU experts cast doubt over prime minister’s ability to secure changes to European law before referendum on membership (The Observer, link)

Civil Liberties in Peril Down Under (New York Times, link): "Australia and New Zealand are not among the usual suspects when it comes to state suppression of civil liberties. But both countries, stung by Edward J. Snowden’s revelations last year about their intelligence-gathering efforts, have been cracking down on the press: Australia has passed sweeping secrecy laws, while police officers in New Zealand recently raided the home of a reporter who had published information regarding a government scandal."

• UK-EU: The nine labours of Cameron: Analysis of the plans to change EU free movement law (EU Law Analysis, link)

Progress Slow on Talks Over Revision Of U.S.-EU Safe Harbor, Officials Say (Bloomberg BNA, link)

MEP vote ups pressure on EU to break up Google (euobserver, link): "MEPs in Strasbourg on Thursday (27 November) are targeting Google in a vote to pressure EU anti-trust regulators to unbundle the company in a move contested by the United States." and see: European Parliament press release: MEPs zero in on nternet search companies and clouds (pdf)

More support needed for British nationals abroad, Select Committee finds (FTI, link): "A new report released by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which followed evidence provided by Fair Trials, has criticised the inconsistent support received by British nationals abroad from consular services. The report, published on 23rd November,"

UK: Protest: Austerity Has Failed - Sack George Osborne - 2 Dec (Peoples Assembly, link)

European Parliament fights back hard on net neutrality (EDRI, link)

Violence against journalists on the rise, climate of impunity prevails, says UNESCO (IFEX, link)

• UK: MOJ “hell-bent on forcing through cuts” despite warnings (LCCSA, link): "The MOJ has this morning confirmed that it will pursue its overhaul of legal aid representation in police stations and magistrates’ courts despite widespread opposition from both the profession and outside justice campaigners who have repeatedly warned it will undermine justice and the right to a fair defence."

Greece’s Investment in Migration Control Yields No Returns (Open Society Foundations, link) See Midas report (link)

EU asks Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Slovenia to apply EU rules on exchange of information on traffic offences (, link)

UK: It isn’t Facebook that feeds terror. It’s war and tyranny - The refusal to accept Britain’s role in a violent campaign without end fosters fear and racism (Guardian, link)

Dutch govt response to ECJ’s April 2014 ruling on the EU Data Retention Directive (Matthijs R. Koot's notebook, link): " the Dutch government upholds the existing Dutch implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive and proceeds with its proposal for ANPR data retention. The Dutch government does, however, does try and meet the ECJ’s ruling through some cosmetic changes."

How journalists can protect their sources from the snoopers (Guardian, link)

Vodafone sent 1,000 News UK workers' data to police (BBC News, link)

National security: a concept in search of a meaning? (Matt Carr, link)

La Policía Militar entrena a soldados para actuar como antidisturbios ante población civil (, link): Troops from an armoured military regiment received a two-week training course in Valencia on "crowd control", but have not received an explanation why. Soldiers from the regiment said that "we must be prepared for everything and more in these times." and see: Spanish military prepares for domestic repression (WSW, link)

Riot police attack student protesters in Athens (Roarmag, link): "Schools in Greece have been occupied for a week. After today’s student protest, riot police blocked access to the university and attacked the students."

UK police leaflets advise people to ‘run, hide and tell’ in event of terrorist attack (The Guardian, link)

EU is 'aged and weary', pope says (euobserver, link): "In a highly anticipated speech attended by almost all members of the European Parliament, pope Francis on Tuesday (25 November) criticised the EU's treatment of migrants, its institutions, and its focus on growth and consumerism..... We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast graveyard”, Francis said, referring to the thousands who die each year trying to reach the EU."

Freighter with 700 migrants being towed to Crete (New Europe, link): "Hampered by gale-force winds and high waves, a Greek navy frigate was slowly towing a crippled freighter crammed with hundreds of migrants to safety on the southern island of Crete Wednesday."

• Excellent article: Migration, Fisheries, and the Supremacy of European Interests in Mauritania (Jadaliyya, link)

Met's journalist files include details of sexual orientation, childhood and family medical history (Press Gazette, link)

Calls for Data Protection Commissioner to investigate spy bug (Breaking, link)

Irish priest barred from centre for asylum seekers by owner over comments (Irish Examiner, link)

How Militarizing Police Can Increase Violence (Science of US, link)

System needed to allow positive decisions on asylum to be recognised across EU - see ECRE's new discussion paper here (link) and Discussion Paper (link)

Victims of INTERPOL abuse to speak at European Parliament event (FTI, link): "On 8th December, Fair Trials will host an event at the European Parliament, which will feature speakers who have been victims of abusive INTERPOL wanted alerts. The event is an opportunity to consider how EU institutions can work to prevent these political abuses."

UK: Suicide, murder, despair. Coalition government makes its mark on prisons (Open Democrcy, link) by Clare Sambroo: "Justice minister Chris Grayling is imposing a ‘more Spartan’ prison regime, with deadly consequences • 88 prisoner suicides in one year in England and Wales • Spending on food cut to £1.96 per prisoner per day (that’s £1.96 in total, breakfast, lunch and dinner)"

More than 600 migrants rescued in Mediterranean, says Italian coastguard - People pulled from sea in incidents near Strait of Sicily, while 270 Syrian refugees were rescued off northern Cyprus (Guardian, link)

Amnesty releases anti-spying program for activists (BBC News, link)

NETHERLANDS: NL Secret Documents Leaked by Police (link)

GREECE: Statement by immigrants on hunger strike in Amygdaleza
(MUTE, link)

UK-SWEDEN: Julian Assange: Swedish court rejects appeal to lift arrest warrant - Ruling means WikiLeaks founder still faces extradition to Sweden if he leaves Ecuador embassy in London
(Guardian, link)

GREECE: Sun Sets on Golden Dawn: Greek Party Accused in Killings and Racist Attacks (Spiegel Online, link)

Across Europe disillusioned voters turn to outsiders for solutions - Our correspondents in the European capitals report on the rise of insurgent parties across the continent (The Observer, link)

The centre is falling apart across Europe - For decades, European nations have been ruled by two-party systems. Not any more: fragmentation is the new normal as the economic crisis has led to a surge in popular, maverick parties that appeal to the young (The Observer, link)

Art in a Time of Surveillance (The Intercept, link)

Oxford University dons in immigration removal centre plea (BBC News, link): "Oxford University academics are calling on David Cameron to release detainees at a local immigration removal centre. Nine college heads are among 70 signatories of an open letter to the Prime Minister against Campsfield House in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Prof Danny Dorling said he opposed "the need to lock people up" when "they have broken no laws"."

WSJ: A Secret U.S. Spy Program Is Using Planes to Target Cell Phones (link)

Trilaterale Streifen gegen illegale Migration (link): The German Ministry of the Interior announced this week what they call "trilateral patrolling" in border regions with police from germany (Federal and Bavaria), Austria and Italy. the aim of fighting "illegal migration". Existing controls would be "significately boosted" and the controls are taking place in Italy.

Dispatches: US Needs To Recognize Privacy Rights – For Everyone (HRW, link): ""A hypocritical game is being played by the United States at the
United Nations General Assembly this week, as Germany and Brazil put forward another resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age. Just like last year, the US is all for it—provided it can strong arm other countries to cut out any provision that suggests its own practice of mass interception of communications is a human rights problem."

Banning begging in super-wealthy Norway (Aljazeera, link)

UK: All Cameras Are Police Cameras (link)

UNSC Resolution 2178: Compromising Democratic Values? – Analysis (eurasia-review, link)

Pew Privacy Study Finds Huge Concern About Control Of Personal Data Online (link)

Lord chief justice attacks secret trials (BBC News, link)

UK Govt admits defeat over claim renditions court case will damage UK-US relations Reprieve, link)

Hungarian protests show growing opposition to Orbán (euractiv, link)

Longer ISP Lock-In Will Increase Investment, Says New EU Commissioner For Digital Economy (Op-Ed) (Tom's Hardware, link): "Günther Oettinger, the new EU Commissioner for Digital Economy, said in a recent interview just days after he took his new job, that ISPs need longer customer lock-ins to increase investments. Unlike his predecessor, Neelie Kroes, who fought to give EU a strong net neutrality law, much lower roaming fees, and many other consumer protections, it seems Mr. Oettinger is more preoccupied with ISPs making more money."

French government on high alert after unexplained drone flights over nuclear power stations (The Independent, link)

UK: Theresa May downgrades Cameron pledge to reduce net migration - Home secretary makes clear government is preparing for public admission of failure to cut net migration to tens of thousands (Guardian, link)

GERMANY: BND will Informationen über Software-Sicherheitslücken einkaufen (Der Spiegel, link): German BND wants to start own version of Bullrun, break SSL encryption and buy Vulnerabilities".

UK: Theresa May and her worrying enthusiasm for so-called ‘not-spots’ - The home secretary’s argument that not being able to get a phone signal is in the interests of national security is truly disturbing (The Observer, link)

ECB Releases Letter at Urging of EU Ombudsman (, link)

Yes, Isis exploits technology. But that’s no reason to compromise our privacy - GCHQ’s new chief would do well to remember that sending encrypted emails doesn’t make you a criminal (The Observer, link)

Berlin’s digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA - With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks (The Observer, link)

Bulgarian Secretary General of Interior opens meeting of Police Cooperation Convention for SEE (iFocus, link): "Bulgaria is hosting the first meeting of the Directors of the criminal police of the Contracting Parties to the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe".

Internet of Things Will Transform Life as We Know It (SCiTechToday, link)

UK: Angela Patrick: Suing the state: judicial competence, restraint and redress in Belhadj (UK Consitutional Law Association, link) and Judgment (link)

USA: GAO: DHS Is Assessing Fusion Center Capabilities and Results, but Needs to More Accurately Account for Federal Funding Provided to Centers (pdf):

INTERPOL member countries endorse expansion of I-Checkit (Interpol, link): "Through I-Checkit, authorized companies such as airlines, banks and hotels can send customer passport information to be screened against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. The aim is to detect individuals attempting to use stolen or fraudulent travel documents in everyday transactions and prevent possible criminal activity from occurring."

EU-Africa free trade agreement 'destroys' development policy, says Merkel advisor (euractiv, link)

Surveillance = Killing (Huffington Post, link): "Did you know that BT has a code name in the international spy community? This ubiquitous British company that provides your flat with phone and Internet services has an alter-ego named REMEDY. Under this code name, BT has worked closely with UK and US intelligence to tap the communications cables that run through Britain, and to give access to customers' private data. While BT has never discussed its role, the company has been named as one of the "two top earners of secret GCHQ payments running into tens of millions of pounds annually"."

French parliament adopts 'anti-terrorism' law (World Bulletin, link)

UK: Drones 'could be used to send election leaflets' (BBC News, link)

UK: Police misuse of Ripa powers to spy on journalists is systemic, MPs told - National Union of Journalists says police routinely bypass need for judicial scrutiny to discover journalistic sources with Ripa (Guardian, link)

Statelessness is an evil that has been hidden for too long - The UN refugee agency is at last grappling with the problem. But eradicating it requires an international movement (The Guardian, link)

UK: G4S guards ignored deportee Jimmy Mubenga’s cries for help, court hears - Passengers on plane at Heathrow heard Mubenga shout ‘I can’t breathe’ as three guards pinned him in his seat, jury told (Guardian, link)

Germany: Berlin's police use brute force with refugee sympathisers (YouTube, link)

UK: Madhumita Venkataramanan: My identity for sale (Wired, link): "Earlier this year, Cambridge University security engineer Ross Anderson found that NHS hospital data had been sold to, among others, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which has used the information to calculate patients' risk of developing critical illnesses, and so "improve the accuracy of pricing" (read: increase insurance cost). "The Department of Health was selling off every NHS hospital patient's records for insurance purposes," says Anderson. "They claimed it was non-sensitive because it had been anonymised, but that's false."

UK: Alternative media: Facebook killed the internet star: reflections on radical media (SchNews, link) and Time to move on: IMC London signing off (Indymedia London, link)

UK: DWP orders man to work without pay for company that let him go - John McArthur is sanctioned by jobcentre after refusing ‘forced labour’ at firm where he was previously paid minimum wage (Guardian, link) For background see: Discipline and discontent: coalition government extends "slave labour" welfare policy, by Chris Jones (Statewatch database)

UK: GCHQ chief accuses US tech giants of becoming terrorists' 'networks of choice' - New director of UK eavesdropping agency accuses US tech firms of becoming ‘networks of choice’ for terrorists (Guardian, link) and New GCHQ chief spouts fiery rhetoric but spying agenda is same as before - Robert Hannigan’s response to the terror threat is an all too familiar one: spies need ever greater access to information (link)

Greece to give visa to Kurdish people (Kurdish Globe, link)

UK: MPs to escape expenses investigations after paperwork destroyed by Parliament - House of Commons authorities have destroyed all evidence of MPs expenses' claims prior to 2010, meaning end of official investigations into scandal (Daily Telegraph, link)

EU: Commission presidential race only interested 5% of European electorate (euractiv, link)

EU: Data protection tops the Commission's agenda (euractiv, link)

Boat sinks off Bosphorus; 24 dead, 7 rescued (New Europe, link): "A boat carrying suspected migrants from Afghanistan and Syria sank Monday just north of the Bosphorus Strait off the coast of Istanbul, leaving at least 24 people dead. Seven people were rescued, Turkish authorities said."

Merkel: UK exit better than restricting free movement (euobserver, link)

October 2014

UK: Police investigated woman after she questioned handling of mother’s death - Data protection request reveals Sussex force compiled dossier on internet activities of bereaved academic (Guardian, link)

UK: Trial collapses after immigration officials 'lie under oath' (Channel 4 News, link)

Spain: Excessive Force in Melilla (HRW, link)

UK: David Cameron cracks down on use of charities to fund terrorist organisations (Guardian, link)

USA: FBI director: Tech companies should be required to make devices wiretap-friendly (Washington Post, link)

UK: Cameron 'Pandering To Ukip' By Making MigrationWatch Chief A Lord (Huffington Post, link)

UK: Bleak figures show a relentless slide towards a low-pay Britain - Wage protesters marched over the greatest slump seen in real pay for 150 years on Saturday, but it is the march of technological advance that is driving a wedge between the country’s highest and lowest paid workers (The Observer, link) See: Chart (link)

UK: Inmate suicide figures expose human toll of prison crisis (Guardian, link) • Data obtained by Guardian reveals more than six prison suicides a month • Stories behind statistics show young men and mentally ill at high risk • Officials blame budget cuts for inadequate staff numbers and lack of training

TTIP: The arbitration game (The Economist, link): " a process known as “investor-state dispute settlement”, or ISDS. ISDS first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement between Germany and Pakistan in 1959. The intention was to encourage foreign investment by protecting investors from discrimination or expropriation. But the implementation of this laudable idea has been disastrous. It has become so controversial that it threatens to scupper trade deals the European Union is negotiating with both America and Canada. Multinationals have exploited woolly definitions of expropriation to claim compensation for changes in government policy that happen to have harmed their business."

Freedom of Information as a Fundamental Right (freedominfo, link)

Australia’s defence intelligence agency conducted secret programs to help NSA - It is unclear, from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, whether programs to hack computer networks continue at ASD (Guardian, link)

France: Counterterrorism Bill Threatens Rights (HRW, link)

Most in Europe agree they need stronger data protection laws (telecompaper, link): "According to a new research study from Sophos, conducted by Vanson Bourne, 84 percent of respondents agree that Europe needs stronger data protection laws, but 77 percent are not confident their organisations comply with current regulations. "

Europe cannot remain indifferent to what happened in Lampedusa (euractiv, link)

USA: SURVEILLANCE: Sen. Wyden: NSA tech spying hurts economy (Washington Post, link)

EU-USA: Ansip threatens to suspend Safe Harbour data agreement with US (euractiv, link)

Here’s why people are worried about a US warrant for emails on Irish servers (link)

Europe can stop deaths and suffering and regain control of its borders, says UN human rights expert (, link) Read Open Letter (link)

UK: New MI6 head revealed as Alex Younger to replace Sir John Sawers (Daily Telegraph, link): "Described as a career SIS officer, Mr Younger has for the last two years been overseeing MI6's intelligence operations worldwide."

UK: Judge clears students of police assault and says officers were ‘heavy-handed’ during ‘Cops Off Campus’ protest (West End Extra, link)

USA: FISA: Debate Brews Over Disclosing Warrantless Spying (New York Times, link)

New Intel Doc: Do Not Be ‘Led Astray’ By ‘Commonly Understood Definitions’ (The Intercept, link)

Anniversary of the 20 years The VOICE Refugee Forum (link)

UK: Londoners give up eldest children in public Wi-Fi security horror show - F-Secure’s ‘Herod clause’ experiment aims to show the dangers of insecure public hotspot connections (Guardian, link)

INTERPOL removes alert against activist Bahar Kimyongür after Fair Trials intervention (Fair Trials International, link)

EU: New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality - Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance (The Register, link)

EU: Hard facts on Europe's biggest lobbyists revealed for the first time (

UK: Conference 2014: courage and campaigning for migration justice (link) and Annual Report (link)

Syrian refugees will be free to choose final destination (Cyprus Mail, link)

New Intel Doc: Do Not Be ‘Led Astray’ By ‘Commonly Understood Definitions’ (The Intercept, link)

UK: Londoners give up eldest children in public Wi-Fi security horror show - F-Secure’s ‘Herod clause’ experiment aims to show the dangers of insecure public hotspot connections (Guardian, link)

September 2014

UK air strikes against Isis in Iraq: best-case and worst-case scenarios - What will be the extent of British involvement in the campaign, what are the risks, and can air power alone defeat Isis? (Guardian, link)

Anniversary of the 20 years The VOICE Refugee Forum (link)

INTERPOL removes alert against activist Bahar Kimyongür after Fair Trials intervention (Fair Trials International, link)

USA: The NSA is renting its technology to U.S. companies (The Daily Dot, link)

France adopts anti-terror law eroding civil liberties (EDRI, link) and France steps up security over terrorism threat (France 24, link)

Romania: Mandatory prepaid SIM registration ruled unconstitutional (EDRI, link)

EUROPOL: Almost 300 police chiefs, senior law enforcement officers and academic experts from Europe and beyond gathered at Europol headquarters in The Hague this week for the 2014 European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC).(link)

Mr Juncker: please do not undermine authors’ rights (euractiv, link): "When it comes to intellectual property, few debates have been as fierce as the status of film on the Internet. Filmmaker Bernard Tavernier takes to task Commission initiatives to harmonise author rights in the European Union."

Sicilian Town on Migrants’ Route Cares for the Living and the Dead (New York Times, link)

Protecting European democracy or reviving the Cold War? (IRR news Service, Review (link) by Liz Fekete. A new report by Human Rights First on fascism in Hungary and Greece raises important questions. But its orientation towards US national interests smacks of Cold War thinking.

This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test (The Register, link)

Press release: Jeremy Hammond announced as second Courage beneficiary (COURAGE, link): "Jeremy was sentenced to ten years in prison for being the alleged media source for documents from the private US intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), which included revelations that they had been spying on human rights defenders, for example Bhopal activists and members of PETA, at the behest of corporations and governments. WikiLeaks published these documents in partnership with 29 media organisations worldwide as the Global Intelligence Files, which are still being used for news stories around the world. Despite hundreds of pleas, including a letter submitted by WikiLeaks from itself and its media partners – “newspapers, TV networks, and magazines with a combined audience of 500 million” – asking for leniency for Jeremy, the maximum possible sentence was given."

Picking apart the new Serbian Criminal Procedure Code (Fair Trials International, link)

What Does Independent Journalism Look Like in the Digital Age? (OSF, link) and see: Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings (OSF, link): "If you worked in an industry—one absolutely critical to the proper functioning of society—but which exposed you to constant harassment and danger, how would you feel?"

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: President urges parliamentarians to speak out on ‘dangers’ facing the Strasbourg Court (link)

CEPOL: European Police College bids farewell to the United Kingdom (CEPOL, link)

UK Government Changes Its Line On Diego Garcia Flight Logs Sought in Rendition Row - Again (VICE NEWS, link)

Libya migrant boat sinks: Scores feared drowned (BBC News, link)

Hundreds protest for NGOs (Politics.Hu, link))

EU: Commission opposes European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP (euractiv, link) and see: The TTIP deal hands British sovereignty to multinationals - Cameron’s and Ukip’s backing for a treaty that lets corporations devour public services exposes their duplicity (Guardian, link)

Democratic Insecurity! Second preparation meeting for 20th anniversary of Refugee resistance by the Voice, Refugees from different parts of the movement meet together in Jena. Political potential of Refugee's position in EU was presented and discussed. (Youtube, link)

EP: MEPs threaten budget suspension over transparency (euobserver, link)

UK-USA: UK may allow US security checks on passengers before transatlantic travel - Britain only country of five approached by US that welcomed preclearance proposal, according to German government (Guardian, link)

EU: New Operation Could Hide Major Shift in Europe’s Immigration Control Policy (Inter Press Service, link)

UK: Police seized journalists' phone records in order to out Plebgate whistleblowers (Press Gazette, link): "A police report yesterday detailed how journalists’ telephone records were seized in order to track down the whistleblowers who revealed former Government chief whip Andrew Mitchell’s altercation with officers outside 10 Downing Street." See also: Interception Commissioner suggests secret police grab of Sun phone records may have been unlawful (Press Gazette, link)

BIOMETRICS: Barclays: Finger Vein Scanner 'Game-Changing' (Sky News, link): "Barclays' new weapon in the fight against fraud reads vein patterns on a customer's finger to gain access to accounts."

TURKEY: 82 refugees rescued after two days stranded at sea (Hurriyet Daily News): "Eighty-two illegal refugees [sic] who human traffickers had promised to transport to Romania have been rescued after being marooned on a small boat 24 miles off the coast of Istanbul."

Far-right violence in Greece: an effective response (Open Democracy, link)

France wants creation of new EU migration post (euobserver, link)

August 2014

USA: SURVEILLANCE: Will Court Move Clear the Way to Mass Government Hacking? (Nextgov, link): "With the rise of techniques that make it easy for criminals without any technical skill to hide their true locations, lawfully authorized remote access has become increasingly important to protect people from predators and solve serious crimes," Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in an email.... A related change permits investigators to secretly probe hundreds of infected computers in a "botnet" by obtaining a single warrant. Right now, authorities must obtain a warrant for each jurisdiction in which they plan to target computers."

HUNGARY: Kossuth Was a Refugee Too (European Civil Liberties Platform, link): "Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's tough new stance against refugees is part of a political agenda purported to uphold Hungarian interests, but instead reminds us of his lack of respect for democratic values and human rights."

UK: Investigating Companies: A Do-It-Yourself Handbook (Corporatewatch, link)

EU-US trade deal: slicing and dicing food safety (Friends of the Earth Europe, link)

UK becomes the first country to face a UN inquiry into disability rights violations (Politics and Insights, link)

UK: Met chief apologises for officer's unlawful use of CS spray on protesters - Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admits officer used excessive force when he sprayed teargas into faces of UK Uncut protesters (Guardian, link)

EU mission to help Italy save boat migrants (euobserver, link): " The EU is to launch a “Frontex plus” mission in autumn to help Italy on the search and rescue of Mediterranean boat migrants."

Facebook and Twitter users 'more likely' to censor their views offline - Pew study warns about ‘spiral of silence’ in US discussion of Edward Snowden’s NSA online surveillance revelations (Guardian, link)

Poland in the torture hot seat: Is Canada next? (, link)

Libya violence puts EU border mission in doubt (euobserver, link)

Challenging the refugee 'burden' (Open Democracy, link): "Refugees are often labeled a 'burden' by their host countries. This label is inaccurate and misleading. We must bring to light the benefits of refugees to their host communities."

UK: Former Attorney General blasts Boris Johnson over 'draconian' proposals to combat terror (Daily Express, link)

UK: Former MI6 counter-terrorism chief warns against rush to overhaul UK laws - Exclusive: Don't alter laws in response to 'unproven threat' from homegrown militants in Syria and Iraq, says Richard Barrett (Guardian, link)

German government pushes for 'Europeanisation' of arms industry (euractiv, link)

GREECE: Campaign to Close Campsfield and Barbed Wire Britain statement: Greek government’s announcement of plans to open 30 detention centres for migrants (link)

USA: Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed (The Independent, link)

UK: Hundreds of police staff investigated over use of Facebook and Twitter - Cases breaching social media guidelines include racist and threatening remarks and 'friend' requests to crime victims (Guardian, link)

USA: California “Kill Switch” Bill Could Be Used to Disrupt Protests (CommonDreams, link): "Police could use the kill switch to shut down all phones in a situation they unilaterally perceive as presenting an imminent risk of danger."

POLAND: Dissident theatre director fired by city mayor (XIndex, link): "Ewa Wojciak, director of Poland’s Theatre of the Eighth Day, was fired by Poznan mayor Ryszard Grobelny on 28 July. His administration oversees culture and arts in the city, including Wojciak’s subversive and anti-establishment theatre group."

EU-USA: Many US companies failing to uphold EU privacy rules, privacy group claims in FTC complaint (ZDNet, link)

ECHR: UK prisoners denied the vote should not be paid compensation, ECHR rules - However, European court of human rights upholds its earlier ruling that a blanket ban on UK prisoners voting is unlawful (Guardian, link)

UK: Police want right to see medical records without consent - Greater Manchester chief constable says move is needed to help police deal with people struggling to look after themselves (Guardian, link)

Antisemitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis' - Experts say attacks go beyond Israel-Palestinian conflict as hate crimes strike fear into Jewish communities (Guardian, link)

UK: The British police on armed routine patrol (BBC News, link)

Two Bulgarian Nationalist Parties Team Up for Early Elections (Novinite, link)

Homelands: The Lampedusa Chapter (Roads and Kingdoms, link)

Facebook faces EU and US probes over data harvesting (euractiv, link)

Golden Dawn case file on 78 suspects sent to prosecutor (, link)

Questions of Bias and Emotion in Telling the Gaza Story (Ethical Journalism Network, link)

Rise of the drones has police and regulators scrambling to catch up (Guardian, link)

UK: Armed police officer charged with murder over Azelle Rodney shooting (The Independent, link). See also: Armed police threaten to down guns and walk out over murder charge against Yard cop who killed suspected gangster (Daily Mail, link)

Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers (The Guardian, link)

David Cameron criticised for PR stunt in home of suspected illegal immigrants (The Guardian, link): Note that the Guardian is still usng the phrase
"illegal immigrants" and se: Reated:
Cameron immigrant benefits plan faces EU investigation (Irish Times, link)

Police cooperation: Romanian policemen to prevent pickpocketing at Amsterdam Gay Pride festival (Romania Insider, link)

EU: European Solidarity to Stop Infringements in Bulgarian Press Freedom (The European Initiative for Media Pluralism, link) and Related: Gross violation of press freedom in Bulgaria (Pressenza, link)

Former Golden Dawn MP Will Remain in Custody (Greek Reporter, link)

Seven Sigma Policemen Arrested in Bulgaria's Capital (Novinite, link)

'Sobriety tags' for people who commit alcohol-linked crimes get London trial (The Guardian, link)

Special constables should be armed with Tasers, says leading officer (The Telegraph, link) and Stunning rise in Devon police using Taser guns (The Gazette, link)

July 2014

Brussels Airport to introduce facial recognition scanners (Biometric Update, link)

Humanity in the News: An Italian Case Study on How to Tell the Migrant Story (Ethical Journalism Network, link)

ITALY: Shalabayeva deportation 'illegitimate' - Shalabeyeva and six-year-old kid seized in 'violent' night raid (ANSA, link): ""Italy's supreme Cassation Court ruled Wednesday that the deportation last year of the wife and daughter of a Kazakh dissident was "manifestly illegitimate"."

BULGARIA: Roma Protesters Block Three Trains in Bulgaria's Sofia (Novinite, link)

Bulgaria to Spend BGN 53 M on Traffic Monitoring Systems (Novinite, link)

PET stops poet Yahya Hassan's speech (Copenhagen Post, link)

Scores of arrests at banned pro-Gaza protest (The Local, link)

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats (The Local, link)

Court recognises female genital mutilation as grounds for asylum (Enet, link)

GERMANY: Crypto-phones for Merkel and Co (DW, link)

Neo-Nazi gang busted in Bialystok (The News, link)

What the recent ECJ ruling means for transparency in the TTIP negotiations (The Consumer View on TTIP, link)

IRELAND: Removal of Roma child conformed to definition of 'ethnic profiling', report finds (RTE News, link) and Official Report (link)

The Hague district court: ‘exchange of telecommunications data between Dutch intel/security services and NSA is permissible’ (link)

Italy rescues 1,800 migrants over the weekend (euractiv, link)

Torture retold: how the ‘Hooded Men’ case has come back under the spotlight (Irish Times, link)

UK: IPCC concern over police use of Tasers to gain compliance - Police watchdog raises alarm over use of Tasers in 'drive-stun' mode, which can deliver a shock directly to the body (Guardian, link) See: IPCC Tasers (pdf)

US intelligence chief leaves Germany due to spy row (New Europe, link)

Over 2,000 rescued migrants arrive at Italy's ports (New Europe, link)

EU top court rejects German language test for Turks (BBC News, link)

UK: Met police get first water cannon for use on British streets - Boris Johnson splashed out more than £200,000 on the secondhand crowd quelling machines (Guardian, link)

Albanian Government took a decision a few days ago to create a central database and force registration of all mobile phone IMEIs. The database will be accessible to several state institutions "according to the field of responsibility and for whatever they merit based on the legal competencies carried out by them". (link in Albanian)

EU data protection authorities to agree approach to ‘right to be forgotten’ appeals (Irish Times, link)

UK: Mark Duggan inquest judicial review to start (Haringey Advertiser, link)

Golden Dawn seeks 'one-party state'i (EnetEnlgish, link)

Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty 'extradited from Yemen' (BBC News, link)

Dutch 'Syria fighters' face prosecution if they return home (Amsterdam Herald, link)

Polish Muslims condemn 'hooliganism' after mosque attack (The, link)

More awareness of racism in Netherlands in wake of Zwarte Piet debate (Amsterdam Herald, link)

Roma schoolgirl deported from France arrives in Croatia (, link)

Serbia Urged To Adopt New Security Agency Law (Balkan Insight, link)

EU Commissioner: No Need of Refugee Situation Monitoring in Bulgaria (Novinite, link)

EU's right to be forgotten: Guardian articles have been hidden by Google - Publishers must fight back against this indirect challenge to press freedom, which allows articles to be 'disappeared'. Editorial decisions belong with them, not Google (Guardian, link)

Hunger Strike in all Greek prisons (, link)

New credit cards pose security problem - Hacker shows CBC how to crack 'contactless' MasterCard (CBC News, link)

German defence minister backs 'European armed drone' (euractiv, link)

Exporting Gaza’: The Arming of Brazil’s World Cup Security (The Nation, link)

Libya's detention centres accused of torturing migrants and refugees - EU should withhold financial assistance until abuses stop, says Human Rights Watch after hearing detainees' claims of beatings (Guardian, link)

June 2014

IRELAND: “We are now a blood-ridden country”: Margaretta D’Arcy rounds on TDs over Shannon…(The, link): "A PANEL OF TDs and senators have pledged to consider a petition asking for the Government to set up an investigation into US Military and CIA use of Irish airspace and Shannon Airport in particular. Peace activists from the Shannonwatch organisation — including Margaretta D’Arcy, who served three months in prison earlier this year for refusing not to engage in future protests at Shannon — made a presentation to the Oireachtas Joint sub-Committee on Public Petitions." See also Shannonwatch (link)

UK: The state of the nation: Infrastructure (ICE, link): ""[The report] warned, however, that hile we need to build the UK’s resilience, our infrastructure cannot be resilient to every eventuality, and that it will become more difficult to operate all infrastructure networks, at all times, in all conditions. It said a shift in the public’s expectations on infrastructure availability would be needed."

UK urged to tell all on US rendition flights - Fresh claims over use of overseas territory of Diego Garcia as secret jail for terrorist suspects (The Observer, link)

May 2014

As editors face more 'take-down' requests EU 'right to be forgotten' is at odds with US 'right to remember' (Press Gazette, link)

UK-GERMANY: Institutional racism in Germany is 'as bad as the Stephen Lawrence case' - Mother of dead student says police destroyed evidence and asks for investigation into involvement of far-right group (Guardian, link)

UK: Man wearing pig mask and toy bobby's helmet arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer (Manchester Evening News, link)

Hungary should reform its system for reviewing whole life sentences (link)

UK: Sussex police under fire for 'criminalising' fracking protests - Force accused of misusing section 14 orders last year with just 29 convictions resulting from 126 arrests at Cuadrilla site (Guardian, link)

BRUSSELS: Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate 'maintaining citizen's trust' (euractiv, link)

EU: Power struggles delay EU data protection reform (DW, link): "The reform of the EU's data protection laws should have been settled before the elections. But political power plays have delayed an amendment meant to protect European consumers from Internet data breaches. "

April 2014

UK: When will security services stop harassing Jamal Osman? (Channel 4 News, link):

INTERNET: BRAZIL CONFERENCE: The U.S. is losing its swagger at Brazil's Internet governance conference (Daily Dot, link)

UK: Taser use by Essex police facing review (BBC News, link): "The use of Tasers by Essex Police is to be reviewed after the force trebled its usage of the stun guns over the past five years. Home Office statistics (link) showed Essex Police recorded 152 Taser deployments in 2013, compared with 42 in 2009."

UK 'e-borders' programme unable to help track immigration - Government ministers admit flagship £500m programme cannot replace existing methods of estimating net migration (Guardian, link)

UK: Anti-Fascist Five walk out of court vindicated (Defend the Right to Protest, link)

BASQUE COUNTRY: Massacre in Vitoria (link) and Film (link): Looks at a massacre in the Basque Country in March 1976 (after Franco's death but before 'democracy'), which occurred when pretty much an entire town went on strike to demand at first better wages and working conditions, and subsequently freedom of association, expression etc. Five people were killed by the police, but no one has ever been punished, and the people of the town only managed to put up a memorial recently - all their other attempts were stopped by the police, who benefitted from an amnesty when the fascist system collapsed.

CIA's Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel - Former drone operators claim in new documentary that CIA missions flown by USAF's 17th Reconnaissance Squadron (Guardian, link)

Why is Europe failing to protect its Roma population from hate crimes? (New Statesman, link)

Top Greek official resigns over Golden Dawn video (Channel 4 News, link)

Morocco asks Spain for funds to help with on-the-spot deportations of migrants (El Pais, link)

Artists launch anti-drone campaign with giant poster of child in Pakistan (AllVoices, link)

South East European police forces establish good cooperation (, link)

Workplaces using private eyes to tail employees (Copenhagen Post, link)

Serious rise in number of self-inflicted prison deaths: Toll reaches 29 so far (Inquest, link)

Illegal detentions of protesters in Belgium during the visit of Chinese president (FIDH, link)

USA-NSA: Has the NSA Been Using the Heartbleed Bug as an Internet Peephole? (WIRED, link)

'Spy for us or we won’t let you become French' (The Local, link): "A young Russian-born student named Anna, desperate to gain French citizenship has become the centre of a scandal in France, after alleging police tried to blackmail her into spying on members of France’s anti-gay marriage movement or face the prospect of being deported."

Italy sounds alarm as 4,000 immigrants land (Yahoo, link)

March 2014

UK: Neo-Nazi who plotted to blow up Mersey mosques branded "evil" by judge (Liverpool Echo, link)

FRANCE: President François Hollande to fire PM after local election rout with far right on the move (Independent, link)

UK: Neo-Nazi who plotted to blow up Mersey mosques branded "evil" by judge (Liverpool Echo, link)

UK: Charities could be 'silenced' by data protection law, warns lawyer (Civil, link)

Good bye Schengen: Get your passport when traveling from Poland to Germany (TN, link)

Danish government plans to create a Center for Cybersecurity with privacy-invasive powers (EDRI, link)

Italy Closes Its Eyes to Sealed Mouths (IPS, link): "“We walk inside an area that is 128 steps long and seven-and-a-half steps wide. This is the path they made for us: two metres of bars over our heads, and upon the bars, two metres of plexiglas. We are like canaries in a cage, like birds of different races all in one cage."

Sea Swallows the Stories of Africans Drowned at Ceuta (IPS, link): "“Who will speak for them now? Who will tell their stories to their families in Cameroon or Ivory Coast?” asked Edmund Okeke, a Nigerian, about the 16 migrants who died while trying to swim to the shore of the Spanish city of Ceuta from Morocco. The victims were driven back with rubber bullets fired by the Spanish Guardia Civil (militarised police) from the beach of this Spanish enclave in north Africa, on Feb. 6."

SWEDEN: From boots to suits: Sweden Democrats' extreme roots (euobserver, link)

GREECE: On Location: Why refugees to Greece are sewing their mouths shut (Global Post, link)

Russian anger at SS veteran reunions in Baltic states (Voice of Russia, link): "In this Talking Point, Dr Marcus Papadopoulos argues why Russia is right to be furious over US and EU indifference to the fact that the governments of the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia, both members of the European Union and NATO, have sanctioned SS veteran parades on their soil."

Hacking Team Spy Software Identified on US Servers (Corpwatch, link) and: Italian spyware firm relies on U.S. Internet servers (Washington Post, link) also: Hacking Team’s US Nexus (link)

UKRAINE: Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev: A stream of European jihadists have traveled to Syria to wage holy war. Now a group of European neo-Nazis are traveling to Ukraine to save the white race (The Daily Beast, link)

Slovakia to help Croatia with Schengen border (, link)

February 2014

SCOTLAND: Social landlord agrees immigration deal with the Home Office (, link): "Scotland’s largest housing association has become the first landlord in the UK to sign a deal with the Home Office to identify illegal migrants who apply for housing."

EU: 'Antici protocols' shed light on EU crisis summits (euobserver, link)

CoE: Police abuse – a serious threat to the rule of law (link): "Far too often, police officers in many European countries resort to excessive use of force against protesters, mistreat persons in detention, target minorities and otherwise engage in misconduct. This undermines public trust in the state, social cohesion, and effective law enforcement, which rests on cooperation between police and local communities."

Statewatch News Digest: 20 February 2014 (112 items)

EU to probe Spain over rubber bullets fired at migrants (BBC News, link)

Beirtear na IMSIs: Ireland's GSOC surveillance inquiry reveals use of mobile phone interception systems (PI, link)

January 2014

Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link) and: Get the data: Pakistani government’s secret report on drone strikes

UK: Labour calls on government to apologise over miners' strike - Move follows release of Whitehall papers showing deployment of troops was considered at height of mid-80s dispute (Guardian, link) and Cabinet papers reveal 'secret coal pits closure plan' (BBC News, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 27 January 2014 (90 items)

UK: Hungarian fascist group Jobbik on the run in London (Channel 4 News, link)

Judicial Review of Migrant Detention in Europe: In Search of Effectiveness and Speediness (Oxford Human Rights Hub, link)

IRELAND: Irish president urged to free ailing peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy - Pardon sought for elderly playwright jailed for refusing to stop protests over US military flights at Shannon airport (The Observer, link)

DENMARK: Thorning-Schmidt denies withholding information in Danish spying scandal (European Voice, link): "Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark, has denied any wrongdoing in a spying scandal that led to the resignations of the country's justice minister and head of the domestic intelligence service. However, she is likely to be given an official parliamentary reprimand."

EU: Jobs not lifting Europeans out of poverty, commission warns (euobserver, link)

UK: Millions of passwords and email details stolen in Germany (BBC News, link)

Canada's government-sponsored law-breakers 'push the border out' (, link)

UK: NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms - Privacy experts warn there will be no way for public to work out who has their medical records or how they are using it (Guardian, link)

EU: Immigration study reaches some surprising conclusions (ekathimerini, link): "Future historians will likely look upon 2011 as the watershed year for the mass exodus of young Greeks abroad. The preliminary results of a study conducted by the European University Institute (EUI) ... from the crisis-hit nations of Europe’s south and Ireland, has confirmed many suspicions and revealed unpleasant truths too."

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