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March 2015

Eurozone can't survive in current form, says PIMCO - Single currency area must become a "United States of Europe" in order to secure its future, says manager of world's largest bond fund (Telegraph, link)

Calais mayor blames UK's approach to Europe for migrants gathering in town - Natacha Bouchart claims Britain refuses to take responsibility for problems caused by migrants in the French channel port (Guardian, link)

EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) proposal: what's at stake (EP News, link)

Europol chief warns on computer encryption (BBC News, link)

EU keeps Hamas on terror list, despite court ruling (euractiv, link)

Dying for Justice: black and minority ethnic deaths in custody (Open Democracy, link): "509 suspicious deaths of people from BME, migrant and asylum seeker communities in state custody over 23 years. Five prosecutions. Not one single conviction. A chilling report from the Institute of Race Relations."

IRELAND: Gardaí could be given access to PPS numbers of two million drivers (Irish News, link): "Other measures examined by the multi-agency group include the exchange of PPS numbers between private vehicle buyers and sellers.... Also being reviewed is the linking of car-owners' PPS numbers for each new vehicle registration. Social security numbers being used to block people with unpaid fines from selling or buying cars or from renewing a licence is also being assessed. PPS is short for Personal Public Service Number, "a unique reference that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland."" See also: Personal Public Service Number (Citizens Information, link)

Polish Nazis target Aviva football fans - Gardai monitor skinheads ahead of tonight's [29 March] crunch Euro qualifier (Irish News, link)

Albania to Disclose Data About Telephone Surveillance (freedominfo.org, link)

Rise of urban warfare spurring wave of special equipment demands (Defence iQ, link)

UK: Labour vows to ban indefinite detention of asylum and immigration applicants - Yvette Cooper says current system is inefficient and ‘deeply scarring’ for detainees, and move would bring UK in line with most western countries (Guardian, link)

Paris and Copenhagen attacks have 'put European values to the test (EP Parliament, link): ""The western response to terrorism, insisting on a narrow definition of 'European', 'British', or 'French' values, rather than human values, can lead to pigeonholing 'the other' as 'radical', painting two-dimensional images that only increase alienation, and can lead to abuse""

PERU-EU: European Parliament approves elimination of Schengen Visa (Peru This Week, link)

USA: FBI told its cyber surveillance programs have actually not gone far enough - In-house 9/11 Review Commission calls for further expansion of informant and cyber surveillance networks but largely ignores domestic intelligence gathering (Guardian, link) and see: The FBI used to recommend encryption. Now they want to ban it

Bulgaria: Anti-torture experts speak out over “persistent failures” in treatment of jailed and detained people (CoE, link) and see: European Committee
for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT): Public statement concerning
Bulgaria (pdf)

Peter Greste calls for universal charter of media freedoms - Al-Jazeera journalist says the so-called war on terror is ‘a kind of globalised McCarthyism’ that is being used by governments to limit the press (Guardian, link)

EU-US: European court hearings expose lack of privacy safeguards for our data (Irish Times, link)

IRELAND: A New Irish Rebellion, This Time Against Water Fees (New York Times, link)

Noose around Internet’s TLS system tightens with 2 new decryption attacks (Ars Technica, link): "Exploits pluck passwords and other sensitive data out of encrypted data streams."

SPAIN: Judge ends inquiry into PP’s secret ledgers and moves to try ex-treasurers (El País, link)

UEFA’s Proposed Football Police Force ‘Completely Flawed’ (Newsweek, link): "A key European supporters’ association and a number of football hooliganism experts have criticised calls from the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for a European sports police force to crack down on what he has warned is a rising tide of football hooliganism."

UK: Arms Trade On Trial film released (Arms Dealers on Trial, link): "In defiance of corporate pressure, the film Arms Trade On Trial has been released, which documents our attempts to hold arms dealers from the DSEi arms fair to account for the promotion of illegal torture weapons."

UK: Claims Met police covered up child abuse spark three more inquiries (Guardian, link)

UK: ECHO INVESTIGATES: Shock claims of detainee at Portland's Verne amid staff concerns over training (Dorset Echo, link): "‘THIS is the worst thing I have ever seen and I can’t believe it’s going on in Britain’– those are the words of a detainee at The Verne Immigration Removal Centre."

UK: Prince Charles judgment puts government on warpath against the law (politics.co.uk, link): "David Cameron's bad misjudgement that it's "fair enough" for Prince Charles to enjoy private contact with ministers is leading to a bigger problem: the government is now on course to steal power away from the courts."

EU: Frontex and eu-LISA Sign Cooperation Plan for 2015 (Frontex, link)

France: Patriot Act à la française: France to legalise unlawful surveillance (EDRi, link)

German industry admits it overstated the benefits of TTIP (Left Foot Forward, link)

In Germany, Data Retention refuses to die (EDRi, link)

IRELAND: Shannon Airport: Ireland's Gateway to Torture (Truthout, link)

UK: HMRC’s use of powers against whistleblower ‘indefensible’, say MPs (Guardian, link)

UK: When anonymous hearsay can get you deported (IRR, link): "Operation Nexus allows for deportation on the basis of fundamentally unreliable and untestable material."

USA: Architect of CIA’s drone campaign to leave post in watershed moment (Washington Post, link)

N IRELAND: State 'involved in mass murder on British soil, colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 80 deaths between 1972 and 1978' (Belfast Telegraph, link)

USA: The DOJ Isn't Interested In Protecting FBI Whistleblowers From Retaliation (Techdirt, link)

SCOTLAND: Dungavel's refugee hunger strikers claim Home Office is misleading public over severity of protest (Herald Scotland, link)

UK: Court of Appeal dismisses criminal legal aid challenge (Law Society Gazette, link): "he Court of Appeal today gave the go-ahead for the government's controversial legal aid reforms by dismissing an appeal by the Law Society and practitioner groups. It refused to extend an injunction suspending the tender process until Monday while the Law Society seeks to take its case to the Supreme Court. The injunction expires today."

Hungary's Government Has Taken Control of the Constitutional Court (Liberties EU, link)

UK: Harmondsworth: Detained asylum-seeker sews up mouth in protest at conditions (The Independent, link)

EU: Platini warns of rising extremism in Europe (New Europe, link): "UEFA President Michel Platini has warned that nationalism and hooliganism are threatening European soccer. Rising extremism in European society is an "insidious trend (that) can also be observed in our stadiums," Platini told UEFA's annual meeting"

CoE: Czech Republic: Concern over Roma school separation (link) and see More Information (link)

GERMANY-BULGARIA: German courts refuse to extradite prisoners to Bulgaria (euractiv, link): "German courts have declined to hand over inmates to Bulgaria due to concerns over dire prison conditions in the European Union's poorest country"

TURKEY: Fact-finding visit to Turkey on countries of transit: meeting new migration and asylum challenges (CoE Parliamentary Assembly, link)

UK: Blacklisting and the role of social media and vetting agencies (private and govt) (UndercoverInfo, link)

IRELAND: Reports of Racism Quarterly (ENAR Ireland, link)

ITALY: Report of visits in the Palaspedini stadium of Catania and the CIE-CARA of Caltanissetta (Open Access Now, link)

UK: How to stop prison privatisation (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link)

UK: The coalition years: Criminal justice in the United Kingdom: 2010 to 2015 (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, pdf link)

EU trade secrets bill prompts concern (euobserver, link): ""MEPs are trying to walk a fine line between business interests and civil liberties in a new bill on trade secrets."  See: Proposal for a Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (pdf)

UK: MPs urge review of benefit sanctions regime (Public Finance, link) and see: House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee: Benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review (pdf) and also Benefit sanctions: Britain's secret penal system (Centre for Crime and Justice, link) plus Benefit sanctions: the 10 trivial breaches and administrative errors (Guardian, link)

UK: Afzal Amin Resigns As Tory Candidate Amid Extraordinary EDL Claims (Huff Post, link)

Spain's ruling party ran secret fund for 18 years, investigating judge finds - National court clears way for trial of former People’s party treasurer Luis Barcenas over claims of corruption that have also engulfed PM Mariano Rajoy (Guardian, link)

EU: EU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation” (EP Press release, pdf)

SWITZERLAND: US officials can violate the Swiss laws without consequences, whistleblower said - Snowden: US spies "comfortable" in Switzerland (New Europe, link)

FRANCE-UK: Immigration exit checks will 'limit tourism and trade', say transport operators Eurotunnel (Independent, link)

IRELAND’S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD: ESC rights not incorporated into domestic law (Irish Examiner, link)

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Access to justice is still all too often a luxury (link) And see: Draft report (pdf)

FRANCE: Council of Europe rights chief 'worried' by French bill - Europe's rights body has criticized French anti-terror efforts. The government wants to give intelligence services legal backing to vacuum up metadata in the hope of preventing an imminent terror attack. (DW, link): ""Limiting human rights to fight against terrorism is a serious mistake and an inefficient measure that can even help the terrorists' cause," Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks said." and see: French surveillance bill would legalize data monitoring (New Europe, link)

EU Tightens Borders With Construction of Croatia's 'Schengen Wall' (Sputnik, link)

Solidarity Against Spycops (South Wales Anarchists, link): "It has been over five years since we learned that Mark “Marco” Jacobs was not just another anarchist in the south Wales activist scene, but was actually an undercover police officer.... police lawyers have attempted to obstruct justice, giving a “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” defence... On Wednesday 25th March we will be in the Royal Courts of Justice in London attempting to strike out this non-defence."

Sex worker to launch legal challenge against NI prostitution ban - Laura Lee says new legislation that criminalises the payment of sex among consenting adults is a breach of European human rights law (Guardian, link): "Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults. The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June."

Hacking BIOS Chips Isn’t Just the NSA’s Domain Anymore (WIRED, link)

UK: Blacklisting: The next chapter is waiting to be written (NUJ, link)

UK: Did gun crime conspiracy spark the 2011 inferno? Rioting. Bloodshed. A complete breakdown of the rule of law. But now a shocking new fact about a police operation before the riot poses a disturbing question (Daily Mail, link)

UK: Lift restrictions on civil servants’ contact with the media (FDA, link): "In January 2015 the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, proposed changes to the Civil Service Management Code and Civil Service Code relating to contact with the media, including a requirement that civil servants obtain Ministerial authorisation before any contact with the media."

UK: Drone used to fly contraband into prison in bungled smuggling attempt (Evening Standard, link)

Thousands mark UN anti-racism day worldwide (Press TV, link)

New Zealand: How spy agency homed in on Groser's rivals (New Zealand Herald) by Nicky Hager, Ryan Gallagher: "GCSB used United States’ XKeyscore surveillance system to intercept emails mentioning other candidates for WTO job and paid close attention to Indonesian contender: A top secret document reveals New Zealand's surveillance agency spied on candidates vying to be the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a job sought by National Government minister Tim Groser.The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) programmed an internet surveillance system so it would intercept emails about the candidates from Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, Jordan and Costa Rica in the period leading up to the May 2013 appointment. Mr Groser missed the selection." And see: New Zealand Spied on WTO Director Candidates (THe Intercept, link)

UK: Prison conditions are worse than Strangeways 25 years ago says Lord Woolf (Mirror, link): "England's former top judge is calling for a review into the country's prison service as the three main parties use the issue like a "politcal football""

Video: Migrant Prisons of Libya: Europe or Die (Full Length) (VICE News, link): "As Libya descends further into civil war and lawlessness, migrants from Africa and the Middle East continue to journey to the country’s coast in search of smugglers to take them across the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe."

UK: Theresa May drops rules on ordering universities to ban extremist speakers - Home secretary also now likely to shelve publication of official counter-extremism strategy until after the general election (Guardian, link)

Snowden at SXSW: Be very concerned about the trickle down of NSA surveillance to local police (Privacysos, link)

UK: Police forces say BBC FOI request is 'vexatious' (BBC News, link): "Forty police forces across the country have dismissed as "vexatious" a BBC freedom of information (FOI) application about police monitoring of journalists' communications."

EU-USA: Brussels makes overture on ‘data flow’ agreement in TTIP (euractive, link): "Negotiations on the free flow of data could be considered as part the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but only after an agreement is reached on the EU’s data protection regulation, EU officials said yesterday (19 March)"

Saudi Arabia to stop visas for Swedish citizens amid human rights row - Kingdom also to refuse to renew visas in retaliation for critical remarks by Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallstrom (Guardian, link):

EU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation” (EP, link): "With the threat of terrorism growing every day, the task of Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, becomes increasingly more important. It’s his job to coordinate the Council's work in combating terrorism, keep an eye on all the instruments available to the EU and make policy recommendations. We talked to him about how terrorism should be fought and the role the European Parliament could play."

International Day Against Racism: education has a key role to combat prejudices (CoE Parliamentary Assembly, link)

Amazon doesn't want you to know how many data demands it gets (ZDNet, link): "Amazon remains the only US internet giant in the Fortune 500 that has not yet released a report detailing how many demands for data it receives from the US government."

UK: Watching you watching Bentham: The PanoptiCam (UCL News, link): " This month sees the launch of PanoptiCam, an online camera that
streams the live view from Jeremy Bentham's auto-icon in the South Cloisters."

EU: PICUM: Protecting undocumented children: Promising policies and practices from governments (link)

BELGIUM: Belgium’s Foreign Minister Thought It Was A Good Idea To Wear Blackface (BuzzFeed News, link)

IRELAND: Refugees face problems getting rented accommodation in Limerick (LImerick Post, link)

UK: Strangeways riot: The first 24 hours as it happened (Manchester Evening News, link): "fascinating documents obtained by the M.E.N offer a gripping account of the first 24 hours of the Strangeways Prison riot. Twenty-five years on since Britain’s bloodiest jail rebellion, we reveal an almost minute-by-minute account of the unfolding chaos."

UK: New Home Office rules puts justice even further out of reach for people seeking asylum (Refugee Action, link): "As of the 30 March, anyone who needs to submit new evidence that could help their case will be forced to travel to Liverpool to do so. Previously, people seeking safety could do this at their local immigration centre."

EU: Not Adding Up: The Fading Promise of Europe's Dublin System (Migration Policy Institute, link) See: Report (link)

Danes to vote on ending EU opt-outs (New Europe, link)

UK: Immigration detention: resistance and rebellion - With protests and hunger strikes now taking place inside eight of the UK's Detention Centres, is this the beginning of the end for detention? (Red Pepper, link)

Belgium axes prison sentences under a year (Expatica, link): "Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens has revealed details of his new Justice Plan, under which all jail sentences under one year will disappear from the Belgian penal code"

EU exit would make 2m Britons abroad illegal immigrants overnight – Grieve: Former attorney general tears into Eurosceptics ahead of Tory manifesto launch, saying UK departure from EU would create more problems than it solves (Guardian, link)

LONDON: Why we are occupying: We have have occupied the Vera Anstey Suite, the central meeting room of the university administration, to demand a change to the current university system (Facebook link) "LSE is the epitome of the neoliberal university. Universities are increasingly implementing the privatised, profit-driven, and bureaucratic ‘business model’ of higher education, which locks students into huge debts and turns the university into a degree-factory and students into consumers."

10 spy programmes with silly codenames used by GCHQ and NSA (AI, link)

Britain needs independent scrutiny of intelligence, says former head of MI6 - Sir Richard Dearlove makes case for oversight of security services by citizens’ groups, NGOs and people with understanding of technology (Gurdian, link)

What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name (The Intercept, link)

German politicians admit Greece has case for wartime reparations - Social Democrats and Greens break ranks with Merkel as relations between Berlin and Athens deteriorate over Greek attempts to renegotiate bailout terms (Guardian, link)

DENMARK: Danes seek 'flexible' opt-in on EU justice and home affairs (euractiv, link)

UK: Hillsborough disaster: commander admits his inaction led to 96 deaths - David Duckenfield agrees that if supporters had been prevented from going down tunnel into central pens, people would not have been killed (Guardian, link)

More than 100 Germans fighting for separatists in eastern Ukraine (DW, link) and see: Why Germans are joining the fight in eastern Ukraine (DW, link)

Hungary's far-right narrows gap on ruling Fidesz - pollster (Yahoo News, link)

GREECE: Don’t pass new anti-poverty law, commission tells Greece (Channel 4 News, link)

USA: A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret (New York times, link)

ECRE: Using the Charter of Fundamental Rights to improve reception and detention standards (link)

UK tied visa system 'turning domestic workers into modern-day slaves':- Kafala-style rule means foreign staff must leave if they change employer - Charity says 400 employees have approached it for help after being abused - Government fighting peer’s attempt to overturn controversial measure (Guardian, link), see also: Justice for migrant domestic workers: Kalayann (link)

FRANCE: French government orders website block - The French authorities have used new powers to block five websites, which they claim condone terrorism, without a court order.Internet service providers have 24 hours to comply. he chairman of European Internet Service Provider OVH tweeted that his firm had not been given any warning. (BBC News, link)

Greece could be shut out of Schengen over migration threat: Dutch prime minister (DutchMews.nl, link)

EU: Legal aid in criminal proceedings : will the European Parliament improve the Council’s “general approach”? (EASFJ, link)

SCOTLAND: Human rights legal challenge threat to Scotland's plans for "through the back door" identity database (Herald Scotland, link) and see: Say no to a Scottish national ID system (link)

UNHCR unveils far-reaching proposals for European action in the Mediterranean Sea (link) and Action Plan (link)

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: This isn't the one-stop EU data protection you're looking for - A twisting, tangled solution for a pretty simple problem (The Register, link)

EU set for further discussions on establishing asylum centres abroad (euobserver, link) and Italian Interior Ministry statement (link)

UK Oversight Committee Blesses ‘Bulk’ Surveillance (HRW, link): "A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-called “bulk” surveillance practices."

UK-EU: Donald Tusk: Cameron's call to reopen EU treaties is 'mission impossible' - European Council president promises help to UK prime minister to renegotiate terms of EU membership (Guardian, link)

UK: Nick Clegg blocks terror laws banning extremists from universities - Laws to ban extremist speakers have been blocked by the Liberal Democrats for fears of "eroding" free speech after one of the worst Cabinet rows of the Coalition (Sunday Telegraph, link)

UK parliamentary committee justifies mass spying on e-communications (WSWS, link)

UK: Mark Jenner confirmed as ‘100%’ SDS undercover cop by whistleblower (Police Spies Out of Lives, link)

Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court scraps data retention provisions (Sofia Scope, link)

EU explores new migration 'zone' in north Africa (euobserver, link)

German justice: from Jeremiah Duggan to Halit Yozgat (Institute of Race Relations, link): "In the latest twist at the NSU trial, the state premier of Hesse has been asked to take the witness stand."

Greek bailout crisis: Athens threatens to seize German assets 'as compensation for Nazi war crimes' (The Independent, link)

Swedish Supreme Court Approves Assange's Appeal Hearing (Telesur, link)

UK: Silhan Ozcelik: ‘Disgusting’ trial for young woman who tried to fight against Isis (Independent, link): "A teenager has appeared in court after allegedly trying to join Kurdish fighters battling Isis in Syria, in the first prosecution of its kind in Britain."

EU: Thomas Piketty on the Euro Zone: 'We Have Created a Monster' (Spiegel Online, link)

Germany mulls 'Islamist checks' on army applicants (Deutsche Welle, link)

SERBIA: Serbia: After threats, B92 postpones airing of investigative programme (Media Freedom, link)

UK: Could Ministry of Justice & Grayling be prosecuted for manslaughter over prison suicides? (OpenDemocracy, link)

UK: Theresa May withholds decision over use of water cannon by Met police (The Guardian, link)

EU: Cannabis policy reform in Europe: Bottom up rather than top down (Transnational Institute, link): "While in the Americas cannabis policy reform is taking off, Europe seems to be lagging behind. At the level of national governments denial of the changing policy landscape and inertia to act upon calls for change reigns. At the local level, however, disenchantment with the current cannabis regime gives rise to new idea."

EU: Germany Ready to Continue Romania, Bulgaria's Schengen Accession Talks (Novinite, link)

EU: Joint NGO Statement on the draft Brussels Declaration on the “Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights, our shared responsibility” (pdf)

EU: Up to a million Libyans ready to cross into Europe, says FRONTEX (New Europe, link)

HUNGARY: New legislation in Hungary permitting segregation in schools: question from Péter Niedermüller MEP and Commission's answer (links)

SPAIN: 18 detenidos por delitos contra las instituciones del Estado por protestar contra los desahucios (18 detained for crimes against the state after protestesting against evictions) (Diagonal, link)

SPAIN: Police chief’s business activities probed (El País, link): "A Spanish police inspector who has been involved in several high-profile political and legal inquiries is also a successful entrepreneur, holding a stake in 12 businesses with combined capital of €16 million, according to an analysis carried out by EL PAÍS of information available at Spain’s Business Registry... the Interior Ministry has announced it will launch an investigation into Villarejo to determine whether his police work and his business activities are compatible."

UK: Harmondsworth detainees launch hunger strike (Channel 4 News, link): "Detainees inside Britain's largest immigration removal centre say they have launched a hunger strike after a weekend of protests against conditions inside the complex."

UK: Hillsborough inquests: David Duckenfield 'not best man for the job' (BBC News, link)

UK: Latvia complains to UK parliament over forced adoptions (The Guardian, link)

EU: Trapped In Bulgaria: Europe Or Die (Episode 3) (Vice News, link)

FRANCE: Environmentalists lose bitter battle over controversial dam (France 24, link)

FRANCE-EU: Paris caught meddling in TTIP arbitration debate (EurActiv, link)

GREECE: Extreme Right Golden Dawn Trial to Begin on April 20 (Greek Reporter, link)

ITALY: Bologna nightclub denies black people ban (The Local, link)

SOUTH AFRICA: Apartheid spook ‘sold secrets’ (IOL News, link)

Chomsky on Snowden & Why NSA Surveillance Doesn’t Stop Terror While the U.S. Drone War Creates It (Democracy Now!, link)

UK-USA: UK man arrested on suspicion of US Department of Defense hacking (Ars Technica, link)

AUSTRALIA: Criminalising those who fight against IS (The Saturday Paper, link)

CANADA: A man was arrested for refusing to give his phone’s passcode to border agents (Business Insider, link)

Commission faces EU court over aid to Britain's Hinkley Point nuclear plant (EurActiv, link)

CROATIA: Minister: Croatia ready for evaluation of compliance with Schengen regime (dalje.com, link)

IRELAND: Time to take another look at bringing cameras into court (The Irish Times, link): "Courts Service says no law bans cameras from courtrooms, it is simply a practice that has grown through the years"

NETHERLANDS: In Amsterdam, a revolt against the neoliberal university (ROAR Magazine, link)

NETHERLANDS: Police staff suspended over inquiry into €500 million squad cars contract (The Amsterdam Herald, link)

UK: PETITION: Stop intimidating and shaming lawyers (change.org, link): "We pledge our support to any lawyer vindicating the rule of law in the name of truth, justice and accountability.We condemn attacks on Phil Shiner and anyone else whose legal work is focused on ensuring state accountability."

Tory cuts will increase risk of terror attacks – police chief - Sir Hugh Orde, outgoing president of Acpo, fears policing system is nearing a ‘tipping point’ if resources continue to be reduced (The Observer, link)

Extremism in Britain: Now the crackdown is launched - Ministers are planning a raft of new measures to help stem the tide of Islamic extremism and radicalisation (Sunday Telegraph, link)

Computer security - The law and unintended consequences (The Economist, link)

USA: Unclassified Version of March 6, 2015 Message to the Workforce from CIA Director John Brennan: Our Agency’s Blueprint for the Future (CIA, link)

Documents Shine Light on Shadowy New Zealand Surveillance Base (The Intercept) and Snowden files: Inside Waihopai's domes (Sunday Star - Times, link)

US government still hunting WikiLeaks as Obama targets whistleblowers - The Department of Justice and the FBI are pursuing a ‘multi-subject long-term’ investigation of the open-information website, court documents reveal (Guardian, link)

New book puts spotlight on role of covert police in human rights controversy - A new book that examines evidence of clandestine police collusion in the blacklisting of workers is launched next week in Parliament (Guardian, link)

Live Q&A: After four years of war in Syria, what’s the plan for refugees? Nine million people have fled conflict in Syria. Join us on 12 March 1-3pm to discuss a more permanent solution than refugee camps and host communities (Guardian, link)

Member States must enforce human rights amid rising tide of extremism – UN rights chief (UN link)

USA: The President’s Weak Privacy Proposal (New York Times, link): "The bill his administration recently offered will do little to help individuals while giving companies great leeway in determining how they collect, use and share personal data.."

ICC studying CIA torture report 'very, very closely': The ICC is taking a close look at the report and will determine next steps, especially incidents in Afghanistan where the court has jurisdiction (Middle East Eye, link)

Brussels plans migration centres outside EU to process asylum applications - European commission wants to use offices and embassies outside EU to process applications for asylum and refugee status before migrants reach Europe (Guardian, link)

Italy continues to carry the heavy burden of the rescue missions - Yet another migrant tragedy (New Europe, link)

Data breaches top police misconduct probe list (Police Oracle, link) and see: Numbers on police Disapproved Register published (College of Policing, link)

Danish intelligence to get more power than NSA (The Local, link): "As part of the government's new counter-terror measures, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service is given the ability to conduct surveillance on citizens abroad without a court order – something that not even the NSA or GCHQ can do"

UK: 300 staff working for peers and MPs have lobbying interests, analysis reveals - Almost one in five declare lobbying or outside interests – but just 11 will have to sign the new lobby register (Guardian, link)

Yarl's Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News (link) plus Yarl's Wood protest: we're not animals, we just want respect and: Yarl's Wood: Second worker suspended after abuse allegations (BBC News, link).And see: Parliamentarians call for "very radical shift in thinking" on immigration detention (Statewatch).

Undercover cop joined construction union UCATT to spy on workers (Daily Mirror, link)

Mohammed Emwazi tapes: '9/11 was wrong' - Isis militant known as ‘Jihadi John’ gave interview to advocacy group Cage in 2009 in which he claimed that MI5 said they would keep ‘a close eye’ on him (Guardian, link)

Yarl's Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News (link)

UK: Jury return critical misadventure and narrative conclusion at inquest into death of Habib Ullah following police restraint (Inquest, link)

Expand migrant rescue in Europe’s south (New Europe, link): "In an exclusive interview with New Europe, Cécile Kyenge, an Italian MEP and former integration minister under Enrico Letta’s government, talks about immigration and terrorism."

Companies should prepare for the EU’s forthcoming Data Protection Regulation (euractiv, link)

Google to be inspected by Italian privacy regulator (Jdsupra, link)

The New Face of Italian Immigration Detention: A Retreat from the Criminalisation of Migrants (Border Criminologies, link)

Development of a Scottish Population Register/ID Card Scheme is subject to ICO criticism (Hawktalk, link): " there was a flourishing “Entitlement Card” in Scotland; readers in the rest of the UK who can walk down memory lane on this subject will remember that this name was specifically chosen by David Blunkett in 2002 in his White Paper “Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud”."

Prison riots squad called to almost 100 incidents, including hostage taking, in one year (Birmingham Mail, link)

IATA to make security check at airports hassle-free (link to video)

White House releases draft Consumer Privacy Bill (Ralf Bendrath, link)

UK: On the blacklist: how did the UK’s top building firms get secret information on their workers? Five years after a blacklist was found that singled out construction site workers for being union activists, the full extent of undercover police surveillance and collusion is still not known, and myriad questions remain (Guardian, link)

UK: Far-right Pegida eclipsed by its opponents at first UK demo - ‘You’re not welcome here: get off our streets’ – Newcastle protestors’ message to anti-Islam marchers outnumbered by 3,000 to 400 (The Observer, link)

Spyware and malware availability sparks surge in internet stalking - Domestic violence experts warn malicious software is increasingly being used to compromise victims’ computers and phones (The Observer, link)

February 2015

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims (The Independent, link): "ive Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants. The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas. They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future."

USA: Presidential Memorandum: Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (White House, link)

GREECE: Golden Dawn and the “Dark Forces” - As it tries to subdue Greece’s oligarchs, Syriza also must rein in the police (Jacobin, link)

NATO's Secretary General underscored that the Alliace is adapting against all threats (New Europe, link)

The EU Stands By as Thousands of Migrants Drown in the Mediterranean (HRW, link)

UK: Inquiry into the use of Immigration Detention - The home of the Parliamentary inquiry into the use of immigration detention in the UK, hosted by the APPG on Refugees and the APPG on Migration (link)

Julian Assange is taking his appeal to Sweden’s highest court in a final attempt to lift a 2010 arrest warrant against him (sbs, link) and see: Fair Trials intervenes over access to case file (Fair Trials, link): "Lawyers acting in the criminal prosecution against Julian Assange in Sweden have today submitted an independent opinion prepared by Fair Trials, highlighting the lack of clarity surrounding the provision of EU law at issue and the need for guidance from the Court of Justice of the EU." See: Opinion (link)

UK: Home Office: Immigration statistics, October to December 2014 (link) and see Press release (link)

Met backs down on refusal to police climate and women's marches - Scotland Yard reverses earlier decision not to police Time to Act and Million Women Rise marches, after criticism from campaigners and Boris Johnson (Guardian, link): "The Met had previously told organisers from the Campaign against Climate Change (CACC) and Million Women Rise (MWR) that they would have to hire a private firm to organise traffic management, road closures, barriers and stewards for two separate protests on 7 March. Protest groups said the move amounted to an assault on the right to protest.... The Met said the u-turn did not represent a change in policy and managing protests fell “beyond our policing responsibility”. Future marches will have to negotiate with the police in order to secure their services."

Dutch Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU), AIVD-MIVD partnership in practice (link)

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet - FCC says ‘we listened and we learned’, and passes strict broadband rules that represent ‘a red-letter day for internet freedom’ (Gurdian, link) and And the Internet Goes Wild... FCC Vote Enshrines Net Neutrality Protections (Common Dreams, link)

Gemalto: NSA and GCHQ failed to massively steal the encryption keys (New Europe, link)

Austria passes 'Law on Islam' banning foreign money for Muslim groups (euractiv, link)

Parliament must act urgently against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism (Parliament magazine, link): "As recent events have led to a rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Europe, new measures are required to address both of these forms of racism, writes Claire Fernandez."

Paying for torture: The CIA tortured suspected terrorists on Polish soil. The European Court of Human Rights is making Poland pay the damages (The Economist, link)

Al-Jazeera journalists arrested for allegedly flying drone over Paris - Three foreign nationals taken into custody after police spot drone flying in the Bois de Boulogne woods in western Paris (THe Guardian, link)

Amnesty International Report 2014/15: The State of the World's Human Rights (AI, link)

Death Boats to Greece (Part 1): Europe Or Die (Episode 2) (VICE, link)

EU's zombie data-grab plan climbs out of coffin - EU Parliament split over blanket data retention for air passengers (The Register, link)

British police investigated over attempts to recruit activists as spies - Two Cambridgeshire officers face misconduct allegations after approaches by covert unit that campaigners said left them stressed and paranoid, with some ending their political activities (Guardian, link); "The investigation was launched after four campaigners alleged that they felt intimidated by police officers who were trying to turn them into informers. It is examining a

European Parliament: Question to the European Commission: Subject: ‘Ghost ship’ Blue Sky M (link) from Ska Keller MEP: "When 900 refugees, most of them Syrian, were rescued from the alleged ‘ghost ship’ Blue Sky M at the end of December, after the ship had, it was thought, been abandoned by its crew and left adrift in the Mediterranean, Frontex claimed that people smuggling had plumbed new depths of cruelty.... Evidently this was completely untrue"

Paris landmarks targeted in French night drone mystery (BBC News, link) and Paris night drone mystery deepens (link): "Drones have appeared over landmarks in central Paris for the second night running and police are no nearer knowing who is operating them."

Virtual biometric frontier awaits travellers to EU (euobserver, link): "The EU commission says setting up a virtual frontier for all visiting non-EU nationals will help create a more “welcoming” Europe. Fingerprints and or full facial captures may await future visitors to the EU when the Brussels-executive proposes a revised version early next year of its controversial 2013 ‘smart borders’ package... One of the parliament’s lead negotiators on the file, Slovenian centre-left Tanja Fajon, said that the “indiscriminate mass collection of data without a specific just cause must be a concern for all of us”."  See also Study: Technical Study on Smart Borders – Cost Analysis (pdf)

Commission pushes for new guidelines against foreign fighters (euractiv, link); "German Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière, and First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, hope to boost security at entry points along the EU’s external borders, also subjecting EU citizens to more thorough checks.... the only legal path would be to completely reform the Schengen Borders Code, which would require the approval of the European Parliament. But in de Maizière’s opinion, there is not enough time for such a procedure."

The ISC: Rifkind's resignation won't give this watchdog more bite - A new intelligence and security committee chair is unlikely to change direction as it finalises its surveillance law report – Rifkind will still be an ISC member (Guardian, link): "Rifkind has been very careful to ensure that he retains a key role in influencing the outcome of the ISC’s most important and last remaining piece of work before the election. This is their detailed report on Edward Snowden’s disclosures and their recommendations for overhauling the laws on digital surveillance."

France bans six nationals from travelling to Syria (Daily Sabah Europe, link)

Facebook accused of breaking EU data protection rules (CBR, link): "Facebook has reportedly broken EU data protection rules despite updating its privacy policy, according to a report commissioned by the Belgian privacy commission."

Amnesty raps Finland on refugee, transgender rights (Yle Uutiset, link)

UK: The rise of an intelligence lobby threatens the rights of lawyers, journalists – and all of us (link) by Paul Lashmar

UK: Intelligence and Security Committee looking for new Chair: See: The Intelligence and Security Committee: the government’s white-washing body of choice - The ISC has completely missed the major scandals of the past decade: this “oversight” committee only hears about the activity of those it oversees via the newspapers. (New Statesman, link)

Here Comes the ACTA Attack - Again: Don't think they'll ever give up (Computerworld, link)

Polizei und Justiz in Bund und Ländern überlegen Abwehrmaßnahmen gegen privat genutzte Drohnen (netzpolitik.org, link) [Police and justice in the federal and state defensive measures against private use drones]

Dutch Defense Cyber Strategy — Revised February 2015 (Matthijs R. Koot's notebook, link)

Flying somewhere? The EU wants to add you to a giant database of passenger details (the journal.ie)

EU rights chief warns against ethnic profiling (euobserver, link)

Finland legislates gay and lesbian marriage (New Europe, link)

Is the EU’s ‘big data’ effective in fighting terror? (euronews, link)

Call for Amicus Briefs in Case Against Hungary's Data Retention Law (Liberties.eu, link)

‘Unity’ is main answer to terrorists and extremists, European Socialists agree in eight-point plan (Malta Today, link) and see Declaration: United against fear (pdf)

Frontex reconoce que el salvamento de inmigrantes no es su objetivo tras otra tragedia en Lampedusa (eldiario.es, link) (Frontex admits that saving immigrants is not their goal after another tragedy in Lampedusa): "After the death of nearly 300 people last Wednesday in several shipwrecks near Lampedusa, NGOs once again warned that Europe is not doing enough to save lives in the Mediterranean. Speaking to eldiario.es, deputy director of Frontex, Gil Arias, has proved them right: the aim of Frontex is to "prevent clandestine entry" he says, because it "does not have a mandate for maritime rescue". Following the replacement of the Italian operation 'Mare Nostrum' by the Frontex-led Joint Operation 'Triton', there is nothing remaining with search and rescue as an objective."

UK: Family of Alan Turing to demand government pardon 49,000 other men - Campaigners to bring petition to Downing Street, demanding all men convicted under gross indecency law for their homosexuality are pardoned (Guardian, link)

Security fears prompt US scrutiny of EU visa waivers (euobserver, link)

British Army soldier 'travels to join fight against Isis' (The Independent, link)

Dispatches: The Human Rights Case for Encryption (Human Rights Watch, link)

GERMANY: Fighting mass migration with fast-track asylum procedures (Deutsche Welle, link)

Making the invisible visible: An artist brings the surveillance state out of the shadows (IFEX, link)

UK: Campsfield House immigration centre expansion decision delayed (BBC News, link)

UK: Racism in the Premier League: The number of arrests for racist chanting per club over the last 13 seasons (The Independent, link)

UK: Skewed narratives and civil resistance against the arms trade in the UK (International State Crime Initiative, link)

USA: Businesses don't live in fear of animal rights activists. Why charge them as terrorists? (The Guardian, link)

USA: The Bleak Science Bankrolled by the Pentagon (Motherboard, link)

EU: Nick Griffin helps launch new European far-right party (Searchlight, link)

FRANCE: 'We're racist': Chelsea fans block black man from train (Channel 4 News, link)

NORWAY: Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around an Oslo synagogue (The Washington Post, link)

UK: Six arrested as police help in evictions from London estate (The Guardian, link)

Lampedusa migrant centre conditions 'desperate' after rescues (BBC News, link)

Guantanamo of the East': Ukraine Locks Up Refugees at EU's Behest (Spiegel Online, link)

France pushes for security spending to be recognised as development aid (euractiv, link)

Importance of data privacy and transparency in the UK highlighed by Investigatory Powers Tribunal decision (bn blog, link)

Danish agents were warned about gunman Omar El-Hussein (BBC News, link)

Update from the ongoing deportations of migrants from the externalized border of the European Union (beating the borders (link): ""On Tuesday, 10th of February, the Moroccan authorities launched a large-scale operation to arrest and deport hundreds of migrants. They tormed the Gurugu mountain, destroying and burning the camp, and arresting around a thousand people who were than brought into a makeshift camp."

Spain And Portugal Strengthen Exchange Of Information On ihadis, Radicalization (Eurasia Review, link)

One year on: where are the far-right forces of Ukraine? (Channel 4 News, link)

Italy voices cautious approach to chaos in Libya (euobserver, link)

Real Media Gathering 2015 (link) a series of events and actions to campaign against media distortion and for independent grassroots ournalism.

CANADA: Troubled times ahead with new anti-terror legislation (rabble.ca, link)

The Frontex Failure (link): "I wanted to stop the deaths at sea. So I and a group of professionals founded MOAS. Last year MOAS rescued 3,000 migrants in distress. Men, women and children forced by humanitarian or economic reasons cross the deadliest border in the world: the Mediterranean Sea. We are getting ready to head out in May and we need your help to get funded. No one deserves to die at sea."

NHS database: Shallow response from MSPs shows heads in sand over Scottish ID Database (Open Rights Scotland, link)

French calls to rewrite Schengen code fall on deaf ears (euractiv, link)

Swiss immigration law to deepen impasse with EU (euobserver, link)

How data privacy is turning into an Orwellian maze (betanews, link)

Delivering pizza, making films ... now safety fears grow over use of drones: As companies scramble to discover new uses for small unmanned aircraft, critics fear changes to laws will ignore privacy issues (The Observer, link) and Amazon dismayed by proposed FAA rules on commercial use of drones: Federal agency would ban use of commercial drones out of operators’ sight: Amazon will ‘deploy where we have regulatory support we need’ (Guardian, link)

MI5 accused of covering up sexual abuse at boys’ home - Court case to address alleged cover-up of British state involvement at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland (Guardian, link): "MI5 is facing allegations it was complicit in the sexual abuse of children, the high court in Northern Ireland will hear on Tuesday. Victims of the abuse are taking legal action to force a full independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to testify and the security service to hand over documents. The case, in Belfast, is the first in court over the alleged cover-up of British state involvement at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s."

Europe shocked by Copenhagen terror attack (euobserver, link)

Revealed: indefinite detention of asylum seeker is based on conviction secured by torture: Exclusive: Sayed Abdellatif faces a lifetime of indefinite detention in Australia because of an adverse Asio assessment relying on evidence from an Egyptian court which documents show was obtained by torture (Guardian, link)

EU: A Death Sentence for Migrants (New York Times, link) and AI Petition: Stop people from suffering and dying at our borders! (link)

Poverty spurs mass migration from Kosovo (euractiv, link)

Macedonian opposition releases new wiretaps exposing the government (euractiv, link)

Anti-euro party AfD enters state parliament in Hamburg (euobserver, link)

Spy agencies fund climate research in hunt for weather weapon, scientist fears - US expert Alan Robock raises concern over who would control climate-altering technologies if research is paid for by intelligence agencies (Guardian, link): "The use of the weather as a weapon was banned in 1978 under the Environmental Modification Convention (Enmod)."

A lost opportunity for improving access to justice in environmental matters: the CJEU on the invocability of the Aarhus Convention (EU Law Analysis, link)

UK: Hundreds set to gather today for funeral of tragic scooter teen Henry Hicks (Islington Gazette, link): "Henry, of Liverpool Road, Islington, was on a black Vespa scooter when it hit a parked car on Wheelwright Street, near the junction of Roman Way, and went into the path of an oncoming Saab. He was being followed by a police car, believed to have had its blue light flashing, and the four officers in the car have been served with gross misconduct notices by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)." and see: Henry Hicks death: Four police officers hit with gross misconduct notice (link)

Police from several UK forces seek details of Charlie Hebdo readers - Newsagents in three counties questioned about sales of the French magazine’s special issue (Guardian, link): "Several British police forces have questioned newsagents in an attempt to monitor sales of a special edition of Charlie Hebdo magazine following the Paris attacks, the Guardian has learned. Officers in Wiltshire, Wales and Cheshire have approached retailers of the magazine...

Migrants rescued by Italian coast guard die of hypothermia (France 24, link) and see: Video: The deadly Mediterranean migrant routes (France24, link)

UK: Clegg urges May to pass law protecting journalistic sources from police - Deputy prime minister calls for legislation to be passed before election ensuring judicial warrant is needed to access reporters’ phone and email data (Guardian, link)

We'll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of 'MILLIONS' of people – Privacy International - 'Illegal' spying tribunal ruling fallout (The Register, link)

Macedonia opposition leader says PM ordered 'massive wire-tapping' (euractiv, link)

HUNGARY: The baby that divided a nation (BBC News, link): "As 2015 began, a boy was born in Hungary - the country's first baby of the year. But his family who are Roma, or Gypsy as they prefer to be known, found themselves at the centre of a national debate about racism."

Lampedusa, 29 migranti morti assiderati. “Siamo tornati a prima di Mare Nostrum” (Lampedusa, 29 migrants frozen to death. "We came before Mare Nostrum") (link)

Detention for asylum seekers could be reduced to nine months (Malta Today, link): "The maximum detention period for asylum seekers is expected to be reduced from a mandatory 12 months to nine months, according to plans by the government to amend the Immigration Act. The amendments are in response to demands by the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers, calling upon Malta to adhere to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights after three migrants successfully challenged their prolonged detention."

PM: Malta ‘will not oppose checks on travellers’ (Times of Malta, link): "Systematic checks on travellers at airports and seaports should not be ruled out in order to enhance European security, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat."

EU: Parliament resists pressure on passenger data ahead of EU summit (euractiv, link): "Green and Liberal MEPs are resisting the proposal for a pan-European Passenger Name Records (PNR) database in the face of mounting political pressure before a summit this week in which heads of state will press them to adopt the measure urgent"

German Data Protection Commissioners Take Action Against EU Data Transfers To US Under 'Safe Harbor' Program (Techdirt, link)

Why Violence Is Flaring at Europe’s Border Crossings (OSF, link)

UK: Should ALL British police officers be armed with Tasers? Officers vote tomorrow to decide (Mirror, link) and Police Federation votes for Tasers for uniformed officers - Critics say issuing stun guns to every frontline officer to counter terror threat would change face of British policing (Guardian, link)

UK: Thousands of armed police dispatched to routine incidents (The Independent, link)

International Crime and Policing Conference 2015 - Home Office conference explores thinking on cutting crime in a changing world. (HO, link) and Speech: Home Secretary at the International Crime & Policing Conference (link)

1995 – 2015: Thousands of deaths off the coast of Mayotte. The ‘Balladur visa’ kills! (Migreurop, link)

Samsung rejects concern over 'Orwellian' privacy policy - Smart TV voice recognition software could transmit ‘personal or other sensitive information’ to a third party, Samsung’s policy warns (Guardian, link)

Joan Burton protest: Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy released (BBC News, link): "An Irish member of parliament who was arrested over an anti-water charges protest that trapped the deputy prime minister in her car has been released."

Spain: New counter-terrorism proposals would infringe basic human rights (AI, link): "The proposed definition of terrorism includes so many crimes that it is rendered virtually meaningless. The parliament should reject any proposals that would violate basic rights."

Videosurveillance and privacy in a transatlantic perspective (ASFJ, link): "According to the words of Simson Garfinkel, it might then be concluded that: "The future we’re rushing toward isn’t one in which our every move is watched and recorded by some all-knowing Big Brother. It is instead a future of a hundred kid brothers who constantly watch and interrupt our daily lives. Orwell thought the Communist system represented the ultimate threat to individual liberty. Over the next fifty years, we will see new kinds of threats to privacy that find their roots not in Communism but in capitalism, the free market, advanced technology and the unbridled exchange of electronic information."

No, ministers – more surveillance will not make us safer - British politicians keep trying to sneak the Snoopers’ Charter into law – even when it is obvious that the last thing you need when looking for a needle in a haystack is more hay (Guardian, link)

Germany approves Bill to establish collective action for enforcement of consumer/data protection rights (Privacy, Law & Business, link)

Immigration clandestine : les exigences de Paris et de Berlin - Dans une lettre que "Le Point" s'est procurée, Bernard Cazeneuve et son homologue allemand demandent à Bruxelles de prendre ses responsabilités.(Le Point.fr, link)

USA: Border Infrastructure: Photographing the US-Mexico Border (Border Criminologies, link)

UK: How to reverse surge in religious hate crime? (BBC News, link) and Punish hate crime on social media with internet asbos, say MPs (Guardian, link)

UK: Climate change marchers told to hire private security firm - Campaign Against Climate Change says Britons now have to ‘pay to protest’ after police refuse to close roads along route (The Observer, link)

Why ‘I Am Not Charlie’ (link) by Gus John, an associate professor of education and honorary fellow of the Institute of Education, University of London.

UK: Culture secretary Sajid Javid: journalism is not terrorism - The Conservative MP signalled the government will amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act before May’s election (Guardian, link) Comment: This still leaves open the question of the surveillance of communications between lawyers and their clients, doctors and other professionals' guarantee of privacy

Why Violence Is Flaring at Europe’s Border Crossings (OSF, link)

UK: As we celebrate 800 years of the Magna Carta, an ambivalent attitude towards justice will cost us all (Justice Alliance, link)

UK: Domestic Extremist Awareness Day 2015 (Netpol, link) and Political Secret Police Units (Bristling Badger, link)

Greece Vows to End Anti-Immigrant Police Operation (HRW, link)

EU's asylum system dysfunctional, members must share responsibility - UNHCR (Reuters, link)

Germany set to pass ‘one of the harshest’ anti-terror laws in Europe (euractiv, link): "The Merkel government approved a new law meant to mitigate radical Islamist attacks, by making it a criminal offence to travel abroad to receive military training. Civil rights advocates are furious."

New law to make it easier to monitor foreigners (Slovak Spectator, link): "The changes should be part of the new law on secret services which the Interior Ministry will introduce in the near future. The parliament should discuss it at its March session and, if passed, the new rules should become effective as of June 1. “It relates especially to monitoring of security interesting people who do not have permanent residency in Slovakia,” Ivan Netík, Interior Ministry spokesman, told The Slovak Spectator."

UK: The realities of outsourcing: court interpreters mean miscarriages of justice (Open Democracy, link)

Spanish Court Criminalizes Linking to Copyright Infringing Materials and Reverses Consolidated Case Law (CIS, link): "As we reported a few days ago, the recent Spanish copyright reform granted enhanced powers to the Spanish Copyright Commission to target websites providing links to infringing works in a purposeful and massive way."

Why the EU should abolish corporate income tax (euobserver, link) By former Commissioner/Commission Vice-President Slim Kallas

Theresa May’s Prevent bill is extremism in the name of security - The home secretary’s counter-terrorism and security bill is a Hobbesian contract meant to frighten us into surrendering our freedoms (Guardian, link)

Trafficking in Human Beings: the EU legislates but the Member States keep dragging their feet… (ASFJ, link)

Ending the exploitation of seasonal workers: EU law picks the low-hanging fruit (EU Law Analysis, link)

Marine Le Pen is a fascist & not welcome here’: Protests over Oxford Union invite (RT, link)

Conservative EU lawmakers mount censure motion against 'extremist' Greek cabinet (euractiv, link)

The Deserving Detainee? (Unlocking Detention, Blog, link): "This International Migrants’ Day post was written for Unlocking Detention by Melanie Griffiths. Melanie is an ESRC Future Leaders Fellow at the University of Bristol. Her project, entitled Detention, Deportability and the Family: Migrant Men’s Negotiations of the Right to Respect for Family Life, is on the family lives and Article 8 rights of men at risk of deportation."

After Neoliberalism? Soundings Kilburn Manifesto Conference (Soundings, link): "Although the neoliberal economic settlement is unravelling, its political underpinning remains largely unchallenged. The analyses in our manifesto call into question the foundational assumptions of the neoliberal order, and argue for radical alternatives that are capable of challenging the system as a whole."

Merkel to press Hungary's Orban over Ukraine, racism (Expatica.de, link)

The Truth behind TTIP (Some of US): "The video shows how big business will be able to call the shots in Brussels, via a new chapter in TTIP misleadingly called “regulatory cooperation”. Regulatory Cooperation is bad news for consumers, workers and the environment. It means that corporations can co-write our regulation. The European Commission seems intent to open the doors to massive influence by big business."

USA: The Senate might try to pass SOPA before the year is over! (Watchdog.net, link)

UK 'Vexatious', 'annoying' and 'disruptive' Press Gazette barred by Met from asking more RIPA questions (Press Gazette, link)

The illusion of transparency in the EU: defence industry influence in Brussels (Open Democracy, link): "The goals and interests of the European Union and the defence industry are increasingly converging. Why?"

'Snoopers' charter' revival dropped by peers (BBC News, link)

ECHR: Netherlands and Belgium: Court rulings on psychiatric detention for public safety (link)

EU: Will the empire strike back? Strasbourg’s reaction to the CJEU’s accession opinion (ASFJ, link)

Big Idea 3: Internet spying threatens people and the environment (FOE, link)

Commission faces maladministration probe over TTIP secrecy (euractiv, link): "EXCLUSIVE: The European Commission is facing a likely maladministration investigation after refusing five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) access to secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) documents."

Merkel clashes with Orban on meaning of 'democracy' (euobserver, link): "The chancellor was referring to a speech by Orban last year in which he said he was building an “illiberal” state in Hungary, and cited Russian and Turkey as examples. But Orban replied that "not all democracies have to be liberal" adding: “Those who say that democracy is necessarily liberal are trying to put one school of thought above others and we cannot grant that."

FRANCE: Three French soldiers attacked in Nice - Extent of injuries unclear and suspect detained after attack by man with knife (Guardian, link)

UK: 53 asylum seekers in immigration detention have been locked up for a year or more, Gov reveals (link)

N IRELAND: Madden & Finucane challenge refusal of access to Republican remand prisoner held in Rose House seaparated wing (Pat Finucance Centre, link): "Ciaran Shiels, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, confirmed that his firm had initiated an emergency legal challenge against the refusal of the NI Prison Service to allow him access to his client Republican Prisoner Christy O’Kane from Derry and also against the denial of medical treatment to Mr O’Kane."

French job ad specifying ‘no Jews’ sparks complaints - Parisian company’s online advert for graphic designer stated candidates must be motivated, rigorous and ‘if possible, not Jewish’ (Guardian, link)

The Truth behind TTIP (Some of US): "The video shows how big business will be able to call the shots in Brussels, via a new chapter in TTIP misleadingly called “regulatory cooperation”. Regulatory Cooperation is bad news for consumers, workers and the environment. It means that corporations can co-write our regulation. The European Commission seems intent to open the doors to massive influence by big business."

UK: Lord Butler criticises Theresa May’s plan to ban extremist speakers at universities - Former head of civil service says the government is going too far in trying to limit free speech in its counter-terrorism and security bill (Guardian, link): “Universities have got a duty of care to their students to stop them breaking the law,” he told Sky’s Murnaghan programme. “But they’ve also got a legal obligation to encourage free speech within the law … universities are dealing with young adults. The whole point of university is that they should have a good deal of freedom to hear different opinions and make up their own minds on what’s right or wrong."

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) (Heise.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."

Dispatches: A Human Rights Agenda for New Greek Government (HRW, link)

USA: Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way to Assess Value (The Intercept, link): "The presidential advisory board on privacy that recommended a slew of domestic surveillance reforms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations reported today that many of its suggestions have been agreed to “in principle” by the Obama administration, but in practice, very little has changed. Most notably, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board called attention to the obvious fact that one full year after it concluded that the government’s bulk collection of metadata on domestic telephone calls is illegal and unproductive, the program continues apace.

January 2015

Recent news on deaths in custody (IRR news, link)

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

Court condemns police crackdown on Ökotárs headquarters (Politics.hu, 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)

Spying Program Leaked by Snowden Is Tied to Campaign in Many Countries (New York Times, link): "A program used by U.S. and British spies to record computer keystrokes was part of sophisticated hacking operations in more than a dozen countries, security experts said on Tuesday, after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reportedly leaked the source code for the program."

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)

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)

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."

MI5 says rendition of Libyan opposition leaders strengthened al-Qaida (Guardian, link)

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)

EU data czar seeks global voice amidst tension with US (euractiv, link)

Spaniards face sanctions if found to be drunk in charge of a pair of legs - Pedestrians to be breathalysed, and even be subject to speed limits, in proposed effort to make pavements safer (Guardian, link): "The proposal also sets out a speed limit for pavements, limiting the pace to “not surpassing that of a normal stride”

EU anti-democrats throw their toys out the pram (euobserver, link) by Leigh Phillip

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) Move long covered by NGOs, based on a UK government proposal to all track travel within EU..

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 and the US and Canada. This entails that many law students and practitioners are confronted with a theme that does not feature prominently in legal education."

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)

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)

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)

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."

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

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

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

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.

EU: A Tale of Two States: Rule of Law in the Age of Terrorism (ASFJ, link): "As a reaction to the recent terrorist attacks in France, several EU member states as well as the EU itself have announced significant anti-terrorism measures".

EU flight data bill set for possible overhaul (euobserver, link)

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 (youthforum.org, 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)

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)

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”."

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” (SPREEZEITUNG.de, 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 (Blesk.cz, 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 ministers to discuss terrorism amid tightened security (euobserver, 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)

42% of French people say cartoons that upset Muslims shouldn’t be published - Survey, in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack, also finds 68% feel citizens should be forbidden from returning to France after fighting with Islamist groups abroad (Guardian, 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.’'"

Secret US cybersecurity report: encryption vital to protect private data (Guardian, link): "Newly uncovered Snowden document contrasts with British PM’s vow to crack down on encrypted messaging after Paris attacks "

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 (Politics.co.uk, 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."

• EU: Charlie Hebdo attack renews calls for EU spy agency - Europe rethinks intelligence options (New Europe, link)

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)

Shaker Aamer's daughter: What we want most is Dad home (BBC News, link): "the daughter of the last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay talks exclusively to Newsbeat about her frustration that her dad hasn't come home despite being cleared for release twice. Johina Aamer, 17, last saw her father when she was four years old."

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)

• UK: BBC accused of treating staff like 'the enemy' as new figures show increase in email monitoring to investigate leaks (Press Gazette, link)

Dutch government sued over data retention law (PC World, 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)

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."

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."

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)

If Europe is against US's Irish email grab, it must pipe up now - European Commission still silent despite Ireland's plea (The Register, link) and Irish government intervenes in Microsoft data access case (link)

• UK: Racism probe police officers 'avoid sack', FOI request reveals (BBC News, link)

Danish government wants more data retention and plans to re-introduce session logging (It pol, 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."

UK public must wake up to risks of CCTV, says surveillance commissioner (Guardian, link)

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

Security is not a crime (riseup.net, 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)



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