Statewatch News online: Archive for year 2013
News Online Archives: 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit (Der Spiegel, link):
"The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting."
Cited document: COTTONMOUTH (pdf)
See also: Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox (Der Spiegel, link) and: NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware (The Verge, link): "The report indicates that the NSA, in collaboration with the CIA and FBI, routinely and secretly intercepts shipping deliveries for laptops or other computer accessories in order to implant bugs before they reach their destinations. According to Der Spiegel, the NSA's TAO group is able to divert shipping deliveries to its own "secret workshops" in a method called interdiction, where agents load malware onto the electronics or install malicious hardware that can give US intelligence agencies remote access."
And: NSA Spying on Europe/Asia SEA-ME-WE-4 Undersea Telecom Cables (including document, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION DIRECTIVE ON LEA DATA EXCHANGE: Latest "state of play" in the Council of the European Union: Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection: Discussions on its negotiating position regarding the Directive for Member State law enforcement agencies exchanging data and intelligence:
- Draft Council position: 11624-rev1-13 (88 pages, pdf) Council Presidency report on re-drafting of the Council's position with Member State positions
- Compilation of Member State responses to the above Council Presidency draft (14901-rev-2-13, 121 pages, pdf) With the positions of: Germany, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Finland and Switzerland (This is a Mixed Committee proposal) and Sweden's position (14901-add5-13, pdf) 5 pages
- UK position (14901-add-4-13, pdf) 17 pages. The UK "opposes" or strongly opposes eight points in the Commission proposal and the supports the "removal" of 21 points in the Commission proposal. The UK proposes or opposes a large number of proposals for rights of access and mechanism for accountability. In general the UK feels that: "the text does not reflect the move towards privatisation of law enforcement activity".
- Commission proposal: Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (COM 10-12, pdf)
France jumps EU law and follows UK with mass surveillance of air travellers (Mediapart, link)
EU: European Council: DEFENCE POLICY: European Council, 19-20 December 2013: Conclusions on common security and defence policy (pdf) Includes Battle Groups deployment, migration, the development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), role of the European Defence Agency, the European defence technological and industrial base (EDTIB), Research dual-use:
"For the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council held a thematic debate on defence. It identified priority actions for stronger cooperation. This debate was preceded by a meeting with the ATO Secretary-General."
"The European Council calls on the Member States to deepen defence cooperation by improving the capacity to conduct missions and operations and by making full use of synergies in order to improve the development and availability of the required civilian and military capabilities, supported by a more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). This will also bring benefits in terms of growth, jobs and innovation to the broader European industrial sector."
"The numerous civilian and military crisis management missions and operations throughout the world are a tangible expression of the Union's commitment to international peace and security. Through CSDP, the Union today deploys more than 7000 staff in 12 civilian missions and four military operations."
See also: Preparing the December 2013 European Council on Security and Defence Final Report by the High Representative/Head of the EDA on the Common Security and Defence Policy (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Greek Council Presidency: Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings, January-June 2014: Draft Agendas (pdf)
USA-NSA: New documents show how the NSA infers relationships based on mobile location data (Washington Poost, link): "Everyone who carries a cellphone generates a trail of electronic breadcrumbs that records everywhere they go. Those breadcrumbs reveal a wealth of information about who we are, where we live, who our friends are and much more. And as we reported last week, the National Security Agency is collecting location information in bulk 5 billion records per day worldwide and using sophisticated algorithms to assist with U.S. intelligence-gathering operations." See: Cotraveler document (pdf)
And: "In the view of the NSA, signals intelligence, or electronic eavesdropping, was a matter of life and death, without which America would cease to exist as we know it, according to an internal presentation" (Washington Post): NSA/CSS Mission: Provide and Protect vital information for the nation (dated 24-2-08, pdf)
UNHCR-UK: UK immigration bill could create 'climate of ethnic profiling' UNHCR: UN refugee agency condemns bill which seeks to restrict access to benefits and force temporary migrants to pay for services (Guardian, link)
Italy: ASGI statement over Lampedusa video highlights (pdf): Following the shocking images of naked migrants being sprayed with disinfectant that was aired on the Rai 2 evening news programme, ASGI has issued a statement (translation):
"Associazione studi giuridici sullimmigrazione (A.S.G.I.) expresses its disdain for the practices documented by the national media that migrants from both sexes were subjected to in the first aid and reception centre (CPSA) in Lampedusa. They are inhuman and degrading treatments, forbidden by the Convention for the protection of human rights and which constitute possible criminal offences that, beyond their judicial categorisation, are symbolic of living conditions in the administrative detention centres: they are a further reason to forcefully call for their immediate closure."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance: complacency, secrecy Britain's great vices: Democracy's real responses to state surveillance begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say (Observer Editorial, link):
"the two worlds of DC and Cheltenham intersect at last. There is no absolute security, just as there are no definitive reforms. There is always desperate peril to secrecy. Horrible things happen when nobody knows. Exaggeration about everything from terrorist threats to budget cuts is endemic behind closed doors. Perhaps America, in the decade after 9/11, has feared and promised too much. But certainly Britain, drifting in a haze of conspiratorial chappishness, has changed far too little. The answer to both ailments is out there for us all to register. It is what we expect, what we understand and demand, that matters most. This secret world is our world, too. Democracy's real responses begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief (Guardian, link) "British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU's competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal."
Friendly Fire: How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel and the EU (Der Spiegel, link) "Documents from the archive of whistleblower and former NSA worker Edward Snowden show that Britain's GCHQ signals intelligence agency has targeted European, German and Israeli politicians for surveillance."
N.S.A. Dragnet Included Allies, Aid Groups and Business Elite (New York Times, link) "Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses."
Statement by Commission spokeswoman on the newspaper allegations of surveillance of Vice-President Almunia (europa.eu, link) "This piece of news follows a series of other revelations which, as we clearly stated in the past, if proven true, are unacceptable and deserve our strongest condemnation. This is not the type of behaviour that we expect from strategic partners, let alone from our own Member States."
EU: Agency for Fundamental Rights: Racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism: learning from experiences in Greece and Hungary (pdf)
"FRA noted growing alarm at the national, EU and international levels at ongoing manifestations of discrimination, racism and related intolerance in two EU Member States, namely Greece and Hungary, combined with the phenomenon unique in the EU of the representation in national parliaments of parties with extremist rhetoric, with Golden Dawn in Greece mainly targeting irregular migrants and the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom) in Hungary mainly targeting Roma and Jews. Golden Dawn organises its members into paramilitary groups and directly engages in violent criminal activities, while Jobbik openly supports similar activities by paramilitary organisations or groups. In both EU Member States, and despite their efforts to stop such activities, evidence from recent polls shows that the popularity of these parties remains relatively high, in particular among younger age groups."
UK: Torture victims have well-founded claim that UK complicit in their abuse, says High Court (Reprieve, link): "A High Court judge has today expressed his concern over a case brought by an anti-Gaddafi dissident and his wife who were kidnapped and forcibly sent to Libya in a 2004 extraordinary rendition operation orchestrated by MI6."
Libyan told he cannot pursue rendition claim in case it harms UK interests (Guardian, link): "A prominent Libyan dissident cannot pursue his "well-founded" claim that he was unlawfully abducted in a joint MI6-CIA operation, and later tortured, because to do so would damage Britain's relations with the US, a high court judge ruled on Friday."
UK: RENDITION: Report of the Detainee Inquiry (19 December, pdf)
"The report does not find facts or reach conclusions. It is based on the scrutiny of documents, no witness has yet had the opportunity to explain or add to this information. But the Inquiry has shone a bright light onto issues which might be investigated further by a future Inquiry or on which the Government can take action now.
Documents indicate that in some instances UK intelligence officers were aware of inappropriate interrogation techniques and mistreatment or allegations of mistreatment of some detainees by liaison partners from other countries.
Documents indicate that Government or its Agencies may have become inappropriately involved in some cases of rendition."
Rendition inquiry finds questions about UK involvement remain unanswered (link) "Sir Peter Gibson highlights rendition of two Libyans to Tripoli and says allegations 'plainly required investigation'"
MI6 'turned blind eye' to torture of rendered detainees, finds Gibson report (link) "Britain's intelligence agencies 'totally unprepared' for US response to 9/11 and years later 'co-operated with interrogations'"
MI5 and MI6 face questions over torture of terrorism suspects (link) "Gibson inquiry concludes UK government and intelligence agencies had been involved in so-called rendition operations"
EU-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: NSA inquiry: lead MEP presents preliminary conclusions (press release, 18 December, pdf)
"The European Parliament should consent to a trade deal with the US only if it makes no reference to data protection, says its Civil Liberties Committee in the preliminary conclusions of its inquiry into surveillance of EU citizens by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and EU member states, tabled by lead MEP Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) on Wednesday. The draft text also calls for the swift creation of an EU data storage cloud and judicial redress for EU citizens to protect their data in the US."
EU: Eurojust and Frontex sign Memorandum of Understanding (link) "The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Eurojust and Frontex is to define, encourage and improve cooperation between Eurojust and Frontex in order to support the fight against serious cross-border crime, such as smuggling and trafficking in human beings. Both Eurojust and Frontex will establish a contact point to coordinate cooperation between the two organisations."
See: Statewatch observatory on Frontex
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama review panel: strip NSA of power to collect phone data records (Guardian, link) "Review proposes greater authority for spying on foreign leaders; Government 'should be banned from undermining encryption'; Forty-six recommendations in 300-page report released early"
However, there is little comfort for EU concerns over surveillance of people and groups outside the USA: "the report proposes only minimal overseas reforms, merely requiring higher clearance to identify both the uses and the limits of surveillance on foreign leaders and in foreign nations.
See: full report (pdf)
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: European Parliament: LIBE Committee: Openness, transparency and access to documents and information in the European Union (pdf)
"The Treaty of Lisbon updates the terms under which the principles of transparency and openness clarify the right of public access to documents in the European Union. This right is both a fundamental right of individuals and an institutional principle. The revision of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, which sets out the arrangements for this, is influenced, to a large extent, by the numerous interpretations from the Court of Justice of the European Union, particularly during the last five years. Observation of the practice followed by the EU institutions and the broad lines of the practices followed nationally indicate that EU law needs to undergo extensive revision, with the aim of both leveraging the case law experience acquired and bringing itself up to date."
NORWAY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Norway´s secret surveillance of Russian politics for the NSA (Dagbladet, link) "A top secret document shows the extensive cooperation between the Norwegian Intelligence Service and the US National Security Agency...The Norwegian Intelligence Service conducts surveillance of politicians, energy policy and other civilian targets in Russia - and provides this information for the USA."
UK: Subject Access Requests an introduction (Network for Police Monitoring, link) Information on why you should ask the police for the data they hold about you.
ITALY: Outrage over video of degrading treatment of Lampedusa migrants (euronews, link) Outcry in Italy over video of naked refugees being disinfected in public (Guardian, link) "Video footage appearing to show migrants at the reception centre on Lampedusa standing naked in the open air while waiting to be sprayed for scabies has provoked a storm of protest in Italy."
BRAZIL-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden offers to help Brazil over US spying in return for asylum (Guardian, link) "NSA whistleblower says in letter he is willing to help in wake of revelations that President Dilma Rousseff's phone was hacked." Brazil is not considering asylum for Snowden (euronews, link) "Brazil has said it is not considering granting asylum to the fugitive former US security analyst Edward Snowden despite his offering to help investigate revelations that the NSA spied on their president."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Spy chiefs should not be accountable to parliament, says ex-GCHQ chief (Guardian, link) "The heads of the security services should not be directly accountable to parliament, the former GCHQ chief has said. Sir David Omand said they should make more public appearances to make it easier to see "the kind of people they are", but that accountability was a different matter and would "build up the agency heads into something they are not". See: Live blog of NSA debate (Guardian, link)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: By cracking cellphone code, NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations (Washington Post, link) "The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means to decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day."
EU: LIBE Committee endorses "informal" Parliament-Council agreement on freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime
The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament has approved a compromise text of the Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union, in a vote that endorses "an informal Parliament/Council deal struck on 27 November". The approved text is due to be voted on by a plenary session of the Parliament at the end of February 2014.
MALTA: Lampedusa tragedy - a case of political bravado gone wrong? Malta had six options but made the wrong choice (Malta Independent, link)
Documents, maps and eye-witness accounts seem to indicate that the Maltese government took what was the riskiest and least logical of the six choices it had available on 11 October, when the country was charged with coordinating the rescue of hundreds of Syrian migrants off Lampedusa. Any of the other five choices could have prevented the migrant tragedy, but all the available evidence leads to the conclusion that Malta had tried to rescue the migrants on its own, instead of asking for the assistance that was available.
EU: SCHENGEN: The Future of the Schengen System (pdf) Report by Steve Peers for the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies.
The principles governing the Schengen co-operation have been under review and in 2013 - after rather long and difficult negotiations - the EU institutions agreed on a new set of rules. The Future of the Schengen System, by Professor Steve Peers, analyses these rules and their significance for the free movement in the EU. The author also formulates recommendations as to how to ensure that the Schengen system will remain transparent, effective, legitimate and compliant with human rights.
EU: SURVEILLANCE & SEARCH AND RESCUE IN MED: European Parliament report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (A7-0461/2013, pdf)
EU-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs working documents (pdfs):
Working document 1 on the US and EU Surveillance programmes and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights
Working document 3 on the relation between the surveillance practices in the EU and the US and the EU data protection provisions
Working document 4 on US Surveillance activities with respect to EU data and its possible legal implications on transatlantic agreements and cooperation
Working document 5 on Democratic oversight of Member State intelligence services and of EU intelligence bodies
EU: European Parliament LIBE Committee: Roma discrimination: end illegal expulsions and ethnic profiling, MEPs say (press release, pdf) EU countries must stop illegal expulsion of Roma people and end ethnic profiling, police abuse and human rights violations perpetrated against them, says Parliament in a non-binding resolution adopted on Thursday. It assesses member states' strategies to boost Roma integration and calls for more funds to prevent discrimination and reach small community projects. European Parliament resolution on the progress made in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies (B7-0555/13, pdf)
EU: MIGRATION AND ASYLUM: New website: www.EuropeanMigrationLaw.eu (link)
www.EuropeanMigrationLaw.eu is an innovative tool offering direct and simple access to EU rules and jurisprudence relating to asylum and immigration. Independently run and reviewed by legal experts, it aims to provide lawyers, judges, trade unions, social workers, NGOs, governments, international organisations, academics, researchers with a reliable and up to date source of information.
CAMPACC MEETING: Podcast of panel discussion on State Surveillance, Counter-Terror Powers and Global Securitisation Strategies (link)
Includes talks by Kat Craig (Reprieve, Legal Director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism and Vice-Chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers), Tony Bunyan (Director, Statewatch), Rob Evans (Guardian journalist), Matthew Ryder QC (Matrix Chambers, representing David Miranda), Dr Nafeez Ahmed (author, international security scholar, environment writer for The Guardian), and Les Levidow (CAMPACC).
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Whistleblowers to US Intelligence Agents: 'Follow Your Conscience' (Common Dreams website, link) Ellsberg, Drake, Radack, McGovern among others who publish open letter to those whose jobs are affront to democracy.
USA: Government Accountability Office: Department of Homeland Security's efforts to Improve Employee Morale and Fill Senior Leadership Vacancies (pdf) "GAO has made recommendations in prior reports for DHS to strengthen its analysis of low employee morale, and identify clear and measurable metrics for action plan success. DHS concurred with these recommendations and has reported actions under way to address them."
EU: European Parliament: European Central Bank: "Independence without democratic scrutiny is dangerous" (press release, pdf)
"The European Central Bank (ECB) has played a key role in fighting the crisis in Europe in recent years, making it important to scrutinise what it is doing. It has been part of the troika of international lenders that manage the bailouts for crisis-stricken EU countries and is preparing to take on the supervision over Europes largest banks. On 12 December the European Parliament votes on a report reviewing the ECBs work in 2012, which is why we asked three MEPs from different groups about it."
European Parliament report on the European Central Bank Annual report for 2012 (A7-0382/13, pdf)
SECILE Project: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatchs findings for SECILE project (pdf)
SECILE is an EU-funded research project examining the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of European Union counter-terrorism measures. Statewatchs role in the project is to conduct a stocktake of EU counter-terrorism measures and to collect and analyse data about their implementation. This summary documents summarises three of Statewatch's four reports and contains:
An overview of Statewatchs research findings
The EU appears far more concerned with assessing the exercise of its authority than with evaluating its effectiveness in the context of counter-terrorism. The legitimacy of EU counter-terrorism policy is simply taken for granted by legislators while challenges to the EUs legitimacy have consistently been met with the conviction that more Europe is the only solution.
A commentary on the evolution of the EU counter-terrorism agenda
The extensive catalogue of EU counter-terrorism measures identified in this report gives rise to five substantive concerns:
- the sheer scope of the programme;
- the breadth of the EUs counter-terrorism agenda;
- the EUs counter-terrorism agenda has become so bloated as to make it extremely difficult for citizens and even specialist researchers to understand which specific policies fit in where and why, never mind what those policies do; where they came from; whether they have been properly implemented or whether they are effective;
- the "democratic deficit" that has long been synonymous with EU decision-making has been particularly pronounced in the area of justice and home affairs and security policy;
- the increasing involvement of the security and defence industry in many of the security and counter-terrorism policies overseen by the European Commission26 gives rise to concerns about democracy, accountability and undue corporate influence.
An explanation of the different types of EU legal measures and their effect
Provides detailed information on Regulations, Directives, Framework Decisions, Decisions, Common Positions, International agreements, and Other measures.
EU: New 77 billion research fund launches; 3.4 billion for security research
The European Commission announced this week the first opportunities for funding under the new Horizon 2020 research budget, which has a total budget of just over 77 billion. 3.4 billion of that money will over the next six years be directed towards the theme 'Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of its citizens', which aims at contributing to "the implementation of the policy goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Security Industrial Policy, the Internal Security Strategy and the Cyber Security Strategy."
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Court of Justice: Advocate General condemns massive storage of communications data (EDRi, link)
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice today issued a devastating Opinion on the European Directive that requires European telecommunications providers to store details of all electronic communications for between six months to two years...The Advocate Generals Opinion states that the Directive is as a whole incompatible with Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, the measure is not necessary and does not genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union".
See: Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón delivered on 12 December 2013 (C-293/12, pdf)
Background: Statewatch report for SECILE Project: Data Retention in Europe: A Case Study (pdf) by Chris Jones & Ben Hayes
Media coverage: Data Retention Directive CLASHES with EU citizens' privacy rights, says top lawman (The Register, link) Advocate-general says data retention rules breach fundamental rights (European Voice, link)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking (Washington Post, link) "The National Security Agency is secretly piggybacking on the tools that enable Internet advertisers to track consumers, using "cookies" and location data to pinpoint targets for government hacking and to bolster surveillance."
See: Slide from an internal NSA presentation (pdf)
Index on Censorship: Time to step up: The EU and freedom of expression (link)
"This paper explores freedom of expression, both at the EU level on how the Commission and institutions of the EU protect this important right, but also across the member states. Firstly, the paper will explore where the EU and its member states protect freedom of expression internally and where more needs to be done. The second section will look at how the EU projects and defends freedom of expression to partner countries and institutions. The paper will explore the institutions and instruments used by the EU and its member states to protect this fundamental right and how they have developed in recent years, as well as the impact of these institutions and instruments."
EU: Council of the European Union: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (10 December, 17434/13, pdf)
"The objective of the Union policy in this context is to ensure the efficient monitoring of the crossing of the Member States external borders, through, among other means, border surveillance. This draft Regulation shall apply to border survveillance operations carried out by Member States at their sea external borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex."
See also: earlier draft with to delegations with Presidency compromise suggestions (4 December, 17333/13, pdf)
France: French government used fake Google certificate to read its workers' traffic (The Register, link) "A French government agency has been caught signing SSL certificates and impersonating Google...It seems the French Treasury department created the counterfeit certificate in order to monitor employee traffic that would otherwise pass through its network wrapped in encryption."
PRIVACY lNTERNATIONAL: International agreement reached controlling export of mass and intrusive surveillance technology (link) "Two new categories of surveillance systems were added into the dual-use goods and technologies control list of the Wassenaar Arrangement last week in Vienna, recognising for the first time the need to subject spying tools used by intelligence agencies and law enforcement to export controls."
See: The Wassenaar Arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies - List of dual-use goods and technologies and munitions list (pdf)
MULTINATIONAL SURVEILLANCE & DISRUPTION: 12 Corporate Espionage Tactics Used Against Leading Progressive Groups, Activists and Whistleblowers - Corporate spies for Dow, Kraft and others have tried to discredit, shame and infiltrate civic groups using an array of dirty tricks (link) and see: Report (pdf): "Posing as volunteers. Stealing documents. Dumpster diving. Planting electronic bugs. Hacking computers. Tapping phones and voicemail. Planting false information. Trailing family members. Threatening reporters. Hiring cops, CIA officers and combat veterans to do all these dirty deedsand counting on little pushback from law enforcement, mainstream media or Congress.
EU: DATA PROTECTION: EU data protection bill 'moves backwards' (euobserver, link): "Insiders say delay tactics triggered by a number of states means adoption would likely occur near the end of 2014, after European Parliament elections."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Apple, Google, Microsoft and more demand sweeping changes to US surveillance laws - AOL, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and LinkedIn to call for reforms to restore the public's trust in the internet (Guardian, link) Link to: Global Government Surveillance Reform
See also: Snowden to make video appearance at EU parliament (euobserver, link) and Amnesty to take legal action against UK security services Human rights group says it is 'highly likely' its emails and phone calls have been intercepted by British intelligence (Guardian, link)
ITALY-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Revealed: How the Nsa Targets Italy (L'Expresso, link):
"A special unit operating under cover and protected by diplomatic immunity, assigned to a very sensitive mission: to spy on the communication of the Italian leadership. That is what top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published in Italy exclusively by l'Espresso in collaboration with "la Repubblica" reveal. A file mentions the "Special Collection Service " (SCS) sites in Rome and in Milan, the very same service which, according to the German weekly "Der Spiegel ", spied on the mobile phone of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel....The Special Collection Service is likely one of the most sensitive units in U.S. intelligence. The service deploys teams under diplomatic cover, operating in US embassies around the world to control friendly and enemy governments." See: Close Access SIGADS - Italy (pdf) and SCS: Global Special Collection Centres (pdf)
And: The Guardian: Special supplement on Snowden-NSA-GCHQ (link)
UK: Multiple arrests as hundreds of student protesters clash with police in central London - 36 students arrested at protest about student arrests (Indpendent, link): "Thirty-six student protesters were arrested in London last night, with many more kettled, during a Cops off Campus demonstration over police presence on university campuses. Between 200 and 300 students gathered outside the University of London Union to protest over alleged police brutality on Wednesday, which included video footage appearing to show a policeman punching a student."
FRANCE: Right-wing mayor slammed after suggesting Roma people should be left to burn (Mediapart, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 5-6 December 2013: Press release: Final, 5-6 December (pdf): Main agenda: "B" Points" (pdf), "A" Points agenda non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and Background Note (pdf)
EU: FOOTBALL: Justice and Home Affairs Council: Council conclusions adopting the 2014-2016 EU work programme on minimising risks to safety, security and public order in connection with sports events, in particular football matches, with an international dimension (pdf)
One of the result will be to update the Football Handbook, which is being discussed in the Law Enforcement Working Party: Danish delegation: Results of the survey on the existing legal framework to prevent identified risk fans from attending football matches (pdf) and Discussion Paper (pdf): "Travelling known offenders:· incorporate the key recommendation on travelling known offenders as proposed in the survey of the Danish delegation on the existing legal framework to prevent identified risk fans from attending football matches."
IN THE BACKGROUND: FOOTBALL IS ALWAYS THE TESTING GROUND FOR EU POLICE COOPERATION ON COMBATING CROSS BORDER PROTESTS AS WELL: SUSPECTS TO BE LOGGED, PREVENTED FROM LEAVING HOME COUNTRY, USE OF COERCIVE METHODS: Draft template of a Memorandum of Understanding concerning international police cooperation in connection with providing safety and security during major sports events with an international dimension (pdf): Draft MOU proposes the collection and exchange of data on all people intending to cross borders to attend a football or sports event and this will include:
" . [name of the visiting country] shall undertake all necessary measures provided by the law to prevent the departure from the territory of . name of the visiting country of any persons who may pose a threat to public order and security during the name of the event or who have been involved in violence or disorder in connection with the sports events."
It thus would cover not just those convicted in connection with sporting events but those suspected who "may" pose a threat to public order. And: "If it is legally possible to prevent the "risk supporters"/supporters with a stadium ban from participating in the event or from leaving their home country, this should also be referred to in the agreement." plus:
"It is recommended that the head of the delegation, liaison officers and spotters (police officers who have direct contact with supporters) should not possess firearms Sometimes it is possible for police officers (police forces) protecting the movement of supporters to possess firearms or ammunition, however this depends on the legal regulations and bilateral agreements between the two countries. It is also possible to include a statement that police officers may use coercive measures."
British Intelligence Operation to Kidnap Snowden? Number One MI-6 Officer Working Undercover in Moscow Embassy (Global Research, link)
Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: The Equality Committee denounces racial profiling (link) and The Resolution (pdf)
EU: TASK FORCE MEDITERRANEAN: Council of the European Union: Task Force Mediterranean (Press release, pdf) and Commission Proposal (pdf): discussed in the "Mixed Committee" of the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
"The task force identified five main areas of action which will be pursued actively during the coming months:
Actions in cooperation with third countries.
Regional protection, resettlement and reinforced legal avenues to Europe.
Fight against trafficking, smuggling and organised crime.
Reinforced border surveillance contributing to enhancing maritime situational picture and to the protection of saving of lives of migrants in the Mediterranean.
Assistance and solidarity with member states dealing with high migration pressure."
WATCH THE MED launched (link): "Watch The Med is an online mapping platform to monitor the deaths and violations of migrants rights at the maritime borders of the EU". See: WatchThe Med: a counter-surveillance network to stop deaths and violations of migrants rights at sea (pdf)
EU SEARCH & RESCUE:Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (17333-13, 4-12-12, pdf) To be discussed at the meeting of JHA Counsellors on 9 December 2013. Latest draft of the Council negotiating position including changes to the text on interception at sea and search and rescue.
EU: SECILE Project Reports:
- Catalogue of EU Counter-Terrorism Measures Adopted since 11 September 2001 (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones (Statewatch):
This report catalogues all EU CTMs adopted since 11 September 2011 and forms the basis for further research and analysis regarding their impact, legitimacy and effectiveness by the SECILE consortium. The report has been produced by the civil liberties organisation Statewatch which is conducting a stocktake of EU CTMs and collecting and analysing data about their implementation.
- Report on how the EU assesses the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of its counterterrorism laws (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones (Statewatch)
This report examines the mechanisms available to the EU to assess the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of its counter-terrorism policies. The research focuses primarily but not exclusively on the utilisation and application of these mechanisms rather than the substance of the assessments that they produce.
Data Retention in Europe: A Case Study (pdf) by Chris Jones & Ben Hayes (Statewatch):
This report examines the implementation of Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks (the Data Retention Directive). The Directive obliges providers of internet and telephony services to keep detailed traffic data (or metadata) regarding the identities and activities of their subscribers for between 6 and 24 months and provide access to police and security agencies for the purposes of investigating serious crime, and has been described as the the most privacy-invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU
INTERPOL: MEPs letter: Political abuse of INTERPOL'S systems (pdf) to Commissioners Mamstrom & Reding and Catherine Ashton (EEAS). See also: Statewatch: INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show (Washington Post, link):
"The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals and map their relationships in ways that would have been previously unimaginable."
See also: How the NSA is tracking people right now (pdf)
And see: Example of current records (pdf): Note transfer to MARINA:.Marina is the primary storage and analysis tool for metadata.
Council of Europe report: Safeguarding human rights in times of economic crisis (pdf):
"Many governments in Europe imposing austerity measures have forgotten about their human rights obligations, especially the social and economic rights of the most vulnerable, the need to ensure access to justice, and the right to equal treatment. Regrettably, international lenders have also neglected to incorporate human rights considerations into many of their assistance programmes," said today Nils Muinieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights"
see also: Austerity stripping away Europe's human rights, watchdog says (euobserver, link):
"Austerity measures imposed by international creditors on member states are eroding the social and economic rights of people, says human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.....The latest twist came over the weekend when Spain backed a draft law on public order that cracks down on civil disobedience. The revised draft, if ratified, means Spaniards can be fined up to 30,000 for insulting a government official, burning a flag, or protesting outside the parliament without a permit. Covering faces or wearing hoods at demonstrations is also an offence. Judges would also be able to impose fines of up to 600,000 for picketing at nuclear plants, airports, or if demonstrators interfere with elections."
EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Programme for inquiry meeting 5 December 2013 (pdf) and Working Document from AFET (pdf)
UK: GCHQ: Alan Rusbridger and the home affairs select committee: the key exchanges - Guardian's editor-in-chief tells MPs that the publication of NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden was in the public interest (Guardian, link)
and UK-GCHQ: MPs ask MI5 boss to justify claim that NSA leaks endangered national security - Keith Vaz, chairman of home affairs select committee, says spy chief Andrew Parker has been summoned to give evidence (Guardian, link)
AUSTRALIA:: Revealed: Australian spy agency offered to share data about ordinary citizens (Guardian, link)
Secret 5-Eyes document shows surveillance partners discussing what information they can pool about their citizens
DSD indicated it could provide material without some privacy restraints imposed by other countries such as Canada
Medical, legal or religious information 'not automatically limited'
Concern that intelligence agency could be 'operating outside its legal mandate'
UN: EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance - UN's senior counter-terrorism official says revelations 'are at the very apex of public interest concerns' (Guardian, link) and see:
It's outrageous to accuse the Guardian of aiding terrorism by publishing Snowden's revelations - Alan Rusbridger is being grilled by MPs but he has published nothing that could be a threat to national security (Guardian link) article by Ben Emmerson.
USA-NSA-CANADA: NSA G8-G20 Summit SIGINT Directive (pdf) See also: Exclusive: New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto - Surveillance during 2010 summit 'closely co-ordinated with Canadian partner' CSEC (CBC News, link)
European Court of Justice: Where a Member State may not transfer an asylum seeker to the State competent to examine his application because of a risk of infringement of his fundamental rights in the latter, the Member State is required to identify another Member State as responsible for the examination (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of judgment (pdf)
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Sea rescue delays should be probed: A rapporteur of the Council of Europes Parliamentary Assembly has called for an investigation into alleged delays in a sea rescue operation when up to 200 migrants were feared dead. (Times of Malta, link)
European Commission publishes new Procedural Rights package (Fair Trials International, link): "On 27 November 2013, the European Commission published a package of five new measures to establish minimum fair trial standards across the EU (outlined below). This includes three draft directives (on legal aid, children and the presumption of innocence) and two recommendations (on legal aid and vulnerable suspects), and represents the next stage of the procedural rights roadmap established in 2009."
UK: Theresa May pressed for explanation of hunger striker's 'botched' deportation - Labour joins voices calling on home secretary to explain why ill asylum seeker was returned to UK after 20-hour flight (Guardian, link): "Home secretary Theresa May is coming under growing pressure over an apparently botched attempt to deport a seriously ill man from Britain on a private plane. Ifa Muaza, who was carried to the plane on a stretcher after a 90-day hunger strike, was returned to the UK after a 20-hour flight that saw the plane prevented from entering Nigerian airspace.
Amazon testing drones for deliveries (BBC News, link): "Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says. The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said"
EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: What now for the surveillance state? Even GCHQ and the NSA know their work may not be sustainable without a proper debate about their power (Guardian, link): Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger:
And: Decoded: the main stories from the Snowden files explained: Revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ have shocked some and embarrassed others. Here we outline the main stories, what they mean and why they matter (Guardian, link)
CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How CSEC became an electronic spying giant (Globe and Mail, Canada, link): "It is known as Camelot, and it is believed to be among the most expensive government buildings Canada has ever built. Next year, the analysts, hackers and linguists who form the heart of Communications Security Establishment Canada are expected to move from their crumbling old campus in Ottawa to a gleaming new, $1-billion headquarters." And: Read a CSEC document that was first acquired by Edward Snowden (link): "In 2012, Communications Security Establishment Canada analyzed telecommunications flows surrounding Brazils Ministry of Mines and Energy. The ministry was described by CSEC as a new target to develop. Codenamed Olympia, the suite of analytic tools used by CSEC to parse the ministrys telephone and Internet use was the subject of a presentation made to allied intelligence analysts inside the United States.
UNSAFE HARBOURS: Report on the readmissions to Greece from Italian ports and the violations of the migrants' basic human rights. Full report in Italian
Over a hundred accounts collected from migrants, both adult and underage, detailing their experiences of summary readmission from Italy to Greece. Italy does not safeguard the basic human rights of the migrants, especially asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors.
Summary in English (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation & Surveillance at sea: including search and recsue
- Data Protection Regulation: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) Delegations will find below comments on Articles 83a, 83b and 83c, received at 11 November 2013 (97 pages, pdf) Detailed Member State positions on a) Processing of personal data for historical purposes, b) Processing of personal data for statistical purposes and c) Processing for scientific purposes
- Surveillance at sea: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) Council negotiating position discussion. New draft of interception, and search and rescue.
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison (The Truth, link):
"If you live in the United States, you live in a high tech surveillance grid that is becoming more oppressive with each passing day. In America today, the control freaks that run things are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do. If we continue on the path that we are currently on, we will be heading into a future where there will be absolutely no privacy of any kind. In fact, many would argue that we are essentially there already."
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Negotiating position: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - The one-stop-shop mechanism: partial general approach on essential concepts (16626-13, 26-11-13pdf) and To: JHA Counsellors/COREPER: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - The one-stop-shop mechanism: partial general approach on essential elements (16626-rev1-13, 26-11-13, pdf)
UK: The Home Affairs Select Committee calls on the Home Secretary to abandon plans to control khat under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Committee recommends instead the introduction of a licensing scheme for importers of the plant. Khat report (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Programme 2 December 2013 (pdf) and see: NSA leaks: former DPP calls for more scrutiny of UK's security services - Lord Macdonald says that ISC 'needs more power, cash and opposition chair' (Guardian, link)
UK: Revealed: the bonfire of papers at the end of Empire - DG was a code word to indicate papers were for British officers of European descent only (Guardian, lnk)
UK: Private jet standing by to deport 'close to death' hunger striker Isa Muazu to Nigeria (Indpendent, link)
Migreurop press release: Launch, London, 2 December: Atlas of migration in Europe, a critical geography of migration policies
Since the mid-1980s, European countries continue to strengthen immigration controls at their borders, as well as in transit countries. As a result, migrants' routes become more and more dangerous and the poorest population of the planet is assigned to "house arrest".
In 2013, it wouldn't be possible for an Atlas on European Union (EU) asylum and immigration policies to ignore the dramatic situations permanently ongoing at its borders. Every year, hundreds of exiles die, by drowning, by exhaustion, on overloaded boats and along militarized terrestrial borders.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU-USA Working Group report published: Existence of PRISM confirmed by USA and also the blanket powers to place under surveillance non-US people including the "the political activities of individuals or groups" : Report on the findings by the EU Co-chairs of the ad hoc EU-US Working Group on Data Protection (released 28.11.13, pdf) among its findings are:
"Under US law, a number of legal bases allow large-scale collection and processing, for foreign intelligence purposes, including counter-terrorism, of personal data that has been transferred to the US or is processed by US companies. The US has confirmed the existence and the main elements of certain aspects of these programmes, under which data collection and processing is done with a basis in US law that lays down specific conditions and safeguards. Other elements remain unclear, including the number of EU citizens affected by these surveillance programmes and the geographical scope of surveillance programmes under Section 702."
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) (as amended by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1881a) allows the collection of personal data from non-US people.
"Under Section 702, information is obtained "from or with the assistance of an electronic communication service provider". This can encompass different forms of personal information (e.g. emails, photographs, audio and video calls and messages, documents and internet browsing history) and collection methods, including wiretaps and other forms of interception of electronically stored data and data in transmission.
The US confirmed that it is under Section 702 that the National Security Agency (NSA) maintains a database known as PRISM. This allows collection of electronically stored data, including content data, by means of directives addressed to the main US internet service providers and technology companies providing online services, including, according to classified documents disclosed in the press but not confirmed by the US, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Apple, Skype and YouTube.
The US also confirmed that Section 702 provides the legal basis for so-called "upstream collection"; this is understood to be the interception of Internet communications by the NSA as they transit through the US 1 (e.g. through cables, at transmission points).
Section 702 does not require the government to identify particular targets or give the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (hereafter 'FISC') Court a rationale for individual targeting. Section 702 states that a specific warrant for each target is not necessary."
"Foreign intelligence could, on the face of the provision, include information concerning the political activities of individuals or groups, or activities of government agencies, where such activity could be of interest to the US for its foreign policy." [emphasis added]
EU commissioner under fire over response to US spy allegations (euobserver, link)
CANADA-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto - Surveillance during 2010 summit 'closely co-ordinated with Canadian partner' CSEC (CBC News, link)
"Top secret documents retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden show that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government allowed the largest American spy agency to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits. The documents are being reported exclusively by CBC News.
The briefing notes, stamped "Top Secret," show the U.S. turned its Ottawa embassy into a security command post during a six-day spying operation by the National Security Agency while U.S. President Barack Obama and 25 other foreign heads of government were on Canadian soil in June of 2010.
The covert U.S. operation was no secret to Canadian authorities. An NSA briefing note describes the American agency's operational plans at the Toronto summit meeting and notes they were "closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner."
EU: Frontex: Code of Conduct for joint return operations coordinated by Frontex (pdf)
USA-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Five Eyes, 9-Eyes and many more (electrospaces.net, link)
And: UN advances surveillance resolution reaffirming 'human right to privacy' (Guardian, link)
Draft goes ahead despite US and UK concerns over language
Inquiry possible into impact of excessive government spying
INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report
The global policing body INTERPOL is failing to prevent states across the world from using its computer systems to issue 'Red Notices' aimed at persecuting refugees, journalists and peaceful political activists, according to a new report by Fair Trials International (FTI).
SPANISH: PROTESTS: Spanish government drafts strict anti-protest laws - Opposition and activists criticise plan to introduce steep fines for activists who take part in unauthorised protests (Guardian, link) and Spain government introduces anti-protests laws (Jurist, link) pluse see: Statewatch Analysis: European governments step up repression of anti-austerity activists (pdf)
EU-USA: TFTP: Apparently everything is OK: Letter from Commissioner Malmstrom to US Under Secretary Treasury concerning TFTP (pdf)
"The consultations, combined with information received from the Department Provider and other sources, lead me to conclude that there are no elements showing that the US Government has acted in a manner contrary to the provisions of the Agreement"
and: EU intelligence agencies complicit in NSA snoops, US senator says (euobserver, link): "A top US senator told the European Parliament foreign relations committee on Tuesday (26 November) that US snooping was done largely in co-ordination with your countries intelligence services."" plus: NSA surveillance: Europe threatens to freeze US data-sharing arrangements After Edward Snowden revelations, EU executive underlines US compliance with European law and 'how things have gone badly' (Guardian, link)
And: UN advances surveillance resolution reaffirming 'human right to privacy' (Guardian, link)
Draft goes ahead despite US and UK concerns over language
Inquiry possible into impact of excessive government spying
USA SURVEILLANCE: Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit 'Radicalizers' (Huffington Post, link) and NSA 'collected details of online sexual activity' of Islamist radicals - Document leaked by Edward Snowden shows agency sought out 'vulnerabilities' such as looking at explicit material online (Guardian, link)
EU: Documents on TFTP, TFTS and US PNR as adopted by the European Commission today (27.11.13):
- Communication: A European terrorist finance tracking system (EU TFTS) (COM 842-13, pdf)
- COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT Accompanying the document Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a European Terrorist Financing Tracking System (TFTS) (SWD 488-13, pdf)
- COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Accompanying the document A Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a European Terrorist Financing System (TFTS)xx (SWD 489-13, pdf)
- Communication on the Joint Report from the Commission and the U.S. Treasury Department regarding the value of TFTP Provided Data pursuant to Article 6 (6) of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (COM 843-13, pdf)
- Joint Report from the Commission and the U.S. Treasury Department regarding the value of TFTP Provided Data pursuant to Article 6 (6) of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (COM 843-13, pdf)
- Joint Review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name records to the United States Department of Homeland Security (SEC 630-13, pdf)
- Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name records to the United States Department of Homeland Security (COM 844-13, pdf)
EU-USA: More reports and press releases on USA surveillance and rebuilding "trust":
- Commission Press release: EU-US agreements: Commission reports on TFTP and PNR (pdf)
- Commission Press release: European Commission calls on the U.S. to restore trust in EU-U.S. data flows (pdf)
- Commission Communication: Rebuilding Trust in EU-US Data Flows (COM 846-13, pdf)
- Press release: European Commission calls on the U.S. to restore trust in EU-U.S. data flows (pdf)
- Commission: Communication on the Functioning of the Safe Harbour from the Perspective of EU Citizens and Companies Established in the EU (pdf)
- Press release: Restoring Trust in EU-US data flows - Frequently Asked Questions (pdf): Note it does not give access to "A factual report on the findings of the EU-US Working Group" set up to investigate US surveillance.
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International report: Eyes Wide Open (link):
For almost 70 years, a secret post-war alliance of five English-speaking countries has been building a global surveillance infrastructure to master the internet and spy on the worlds communications. This arrangement binds together the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to create whats collectively known as the Five Eyes.
EU: SECILE report: Report on the transposition of EU counter-terrorism measures (62 pages, pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones (Statewatch)
"In its Catalogue of EU counter-terrorist measures (CTMs) adopted since 11 September 2001 Statewatch has attempted to compile all relevant EU counter-terrorism measures adopted since 11 September 2001. This suggests that at least 239 specific EU laws and policies have been adopted in the name of counter-terrorism since 11 September 2001. This report considers the implementation of those measures a process known as transposition (or sometimes transposal). This report is concerned with the 88 EU counter-terrorism laws that actually require the member states to enact dedicated implementing measures to transpose them into law or policy....
The magnitude of the task facing anyone seeking to understand how EU counter-terrorism law has been transposed is compounded by a failure to include provisions for review in the legislation itself on a systematic basis, failures on the part of the EU institutions to actually conduct those reviews, and failures to make reviews readily available and easily accessible where they have taken place. All of this leaves the public and indeed the EU institutions with little knowledge of whether these measures have actually been implemented, and, more importantly, how they function in practice. This is particularly problematic in light of the fact that legislation intended to deal with the problem of terrorism frequently impinges upon fundamental rights."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Doomsday Cache: Spooks Worried About Snowden Insurance Files (link)
EU to review safe harbour data privacy rule for US companies (Financial Times, link):
"The EU will review a key provision in its data protection rules that US technology companies have relied on to move data across borders without European oversight, in a sign of more fallout from the spying scandal sparked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden."
EU-USA: TRADE TALKS: Leaked document shows EU fear of inferiority in US trade talks (euractiv) and Issues paper Communicating on TTIP - Areas for cooperation between the Commission services and Member States (Notak, link) plus see: Issues paper Communicating on TTIP Areas for cooperation between the Commission services and Member States (pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Want to set up a website? The Five Eyes want your personal data (pdf) by Chris Jones
"New global rules agreed in June by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mean that personal data of anybody registering a website domain name will be retained by private companies for up to two years. The provisions were included following demands made by law enforcement agencies and governments of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. EU member states data protection authorities have argued that the new rules are illegal, an argument dismissed by both the European Commission and ICANN."
UK: The Independent Commission into the future of policing today published its report 'Policing for a Better Britain': Summary (pdf) plus Report (pdf):
The Independent Commission into the future of policing today published its report 'Policing for a Better Britain'.
A Royal Commission in all but name the Commission's remit was as wide reaching as that of the Royal Commission on the Police undertaken fifty years ago. When launching the report Lord Stevens, Chair of the Commission, expressed his thanks to all members of the commission for their time, effort and unwavering support all of which he reminded the audience had been given on a completely pro bona basis."
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE BY SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES: Article 10 of the Convention includes the right of access to data held by an intelligence agency (Media report, link):
"In its judgment of 25 June 2013 in the case of Youth Initiative for Human Rights v. Serbia the European Court of Human Rights has recognised more explicitly than ever before the right of access to documents held by public authorities, based on Article 10 of the Convention (right to freedom of expression and information). The judgment also recognises the importance of NGOs acting in the public interest. The judgment contains a particularly important statement by the Court unambiguously reaffirming that in Europe security services and intelligence agencies are to respect the European Convention of Human Rights. The Court ordered the information held by the Serbian Intelligence Agency to be made accessible for the applicant NGO."
See: Judgment: Full-text (pdf)
USA-NSA-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Digital Sleeper Cells: NSA Infects More Than 50,000 Computer Networks Worldwide With Malware Implants (link) and see Chart: Worldwide SIGINT/Defense Cryptologic Platform (jpg) which sets out the global "Classes of Accesses" including 50,000 "implants", 16 of the 20 "Covert, Clandestine or Cooperative" world-wide accesses to high speed optical cables, 80+ SCS (Special Collections Service) embassy/mission-based spying centres, and FORNSAT (foreign satellite collection). The "double-bubble" over the UK indicates both interception of high speed optical cables and well as satellite collection by GCHQ Cheltenham and Bude and the US base in Menwith Hill, Yorkshire.
EU: Hundreds of millions of euros for Libyan borders: EU accused of militarising migration policy
The French website Mediapart has today published an article entitled 'Europe's secret plan to securitise Libya', which says that: "The European Union is investing hundreds of millions of euros in reinforcing Libya's borders, fearing that instability in the country will inflame the region and encourage migration to Europe."
"Failure of institutions, competition between armed groups, porous borders, trafficking of all sorts: the Member States of the European Union are concerned at the highest level about the chaos prevailing in Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. They are investing hundreds of millions of euros to try to stop disturbances extending to the entire region, which is already unstable. To prevent migrants arriving on European shores, they are trying to block them upstream."
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Parliament: Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (624 pages, pdf)
USA: NSA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Report Outlined Goals for More Power (New York Times, link): "Officials at the National Security Agency, intent on maintaining its dominance in intelligence collection, pledged last year to push to expand its surveillance powers, according to a top-secret strategy document.
In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.s signals intelligence operations, which include the agencys eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.
See SIGINT Strategy: 2012-2016, 23 February 2012 (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software (nrc.nl, link). See also: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm (Die Spiegel, link) and U.S. spy networks successes, failures and objectives detailed in black budget summary (link) plus $52.6 billion budget (link)
Catching up: back stories
- NZ police affidavits show use of PRISM for surveillance (ItNews, NZ, link), See also Disclosure Affadavit (pdf) and 2nd version (psd)
- 'Project 6': CIA Spies Operating in the Heart of Germany (De Spiegel, link) "For years, intelligence services from the US and Germany conducted a secret project on German soil. Together, they developed a counter-terrorism database -- with even a journalist coming under suspicion."
- Revealed: How Australia spies on its neighbours (The Age, link)
- The NSA's intern inquiry about the Elysée hacking revealed (Le Monde, Technologies, link)
- NSA chiefs admission of misleading numbers adds to Obama administration blunders (Washington Times, link)
- Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans (Reuters, link)
- Sweden sits on pipeline of intelligence 'gold' (The Local, link)
European Parliament calls on Council to prevent Europol negotiating new international agreements
A European Parliament vote on Wednesday showed overwhelming support for a resolution calling on the Council of the European Union not to authorise the opening of negotiations on new cooperation agreements between Europol and Brazil, Georgia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA deputy director skeptical on sharing data with FBI and others - John Inglis appears at University of Pennsylvania to argue legality of bulk surveillance and indicates stance on Feinstein bill (Guardian, link)
UK: LONDON: EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Public meeting: State Surveillance, Counter-Terror Powers and Global Securitisation Strategies (pdf): Tuesday 10 December 2013, 6.30-8.30pm: Venue: National Union of Journalists, 308-312 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP. Organised by Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Statewatch, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Speakers: Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, National Union of Journalists (NUJ); Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch, journalist and author the The Shape of things to Come; Rob Evans, Guardian journalist and co-author with Paul Lewis of Undercover: the True Story of Britains Secret Police; Matthew Ryder QC, Matrix Chambers, representing David Miranda; Dr Nafeez Ahmed author, investigative journalist, international security scholar, environment writer for The Guardian; latest book, A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It. Les Levidow, CAMPACC Chair: Kat Craig, Reprieve, Legal Director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism (ACT) and Vice-President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
EU: MILITARISING MIGRATION: EU members warships must not be deployed against refugees off the coast of Lampedusa! (pdf) Press release by Andrej Hunko, Member of the Left Party parliamentary group in the Bundestag and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
"Using the Navy and Air Force to combat migration would be an inconceivable militarisation of EU policy on refugees. The German government must take immediate steps to ensure that this proposal never becomes reality,...The EEAS also unequivocally states the true aim of the EU military operation: it would build pressure in negotiations with Morocco and Turkey on readmission agreements, which would allow unwanted migrants to be easily deported to these countries. According to the EEAS, the Turkish government could, if it participates, even stand to gain in terms of its EU accession negotiations.
and see European External Action Service (EEAS): Migration Flows in the Southern Neighbourhood and their External Relations Perspective Possible Avenues for Dialogue and Cooperation with Partner Countries, including Options for a CSDP Operation (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: EU military exercises 2014-2016, EU Battlegroups & COE processing of personal data
- European External Action Service (EEAS): Draft European Union Programme of Exercises and Exercises-Related Activities 2014-2016 (pdf): List of joint exercises with EU Member States and NATO.
- PMG recommendations on EU Rapid Response Capabilities and EU Battlegroups (pdf): "the agreed level of ambition for the EU BGs, as the flagship military rapid response tool, should be maintained and concurs that the case of highly capable and interoperable forces, available at short notice for CSDP operations, is stronger than ever. It underlines the demonstrated effects of the EU BGs as a transformational tool and a vehicle for concrete multinational cooperation and interoperability."
- Council of Europe: Data protection: Negotiations on the modernisation of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of personal data (EST 108) - Information with a view to the CAHDATA-meeting on 12 14 November 2013 (Strasbourg) (pdf) Multi-column document with the proposal and positions of institutions.
Anti-extremism or anti-fascism? (IRR News Service, link) by Liz Fekete: "Anti-extremism frameworks, popular in policy and academic circles, are masking the multi-dimensional and pan-European nature of contemporary fascism and the role of the state."
NORTHERN IRELAND: MILITARY REACTION FORCE (MRF) & FORCE RESEARCH UNIT (FRU): Undercover soldiers 'killed unarmed civilians in Belfast' - Soldiers from an undercover unit used by the British army in Northern Ireland killed unarmed civilians, former members have told BBC One's Panorama (BBC News, link)
See Statewatch Feature: N Ireland: Documents confirm collusion (Statewatch bulletin, vol 8 no 2, March-April 1998, see pages 18-23):
"A number of security force killings in the early 1980s had led to allegations of a "shoot-to-kill" policy and to the thwarted Stalker inquiry. In these circumstances, some commentators believe, military intelligence renewed its interest in the tried and tested strategy of using unofficial forces - referred to in Army manuals as "pseudo gangs" - to undermine the common enemy. In the early 1970s, the unit responsible for such a strategy was called the Military Reaction Force. By the late 1980s, it was the turn of the Force Research Unit." [emphasis added]
And: Britains Force Research Unit (Statewatch Bulletin; vol 13 no 5 August-October 2003) and MI5's control over national security issues means covert operations are run by a "parallel police force" (Statewatch News Online, January 2013)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data: Guardian, link)
2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material
UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet
Separate draft memo proposes US spying on 'Five-Eyes' allies
Documents show Blair government let US spy on Britons (Channel 4 News, link and: Watchdog demands GCHQ report on NSA's UK data storage Intelligence and security committee chair Sir Malcolm Rifkind seeks explanation of deal that allowed US to 'unmask' Britons (Guardian, link)
UK: Files on politicians, journalists and peace protestors held by police in "domestic extremist" database
At least two elected Green Party politicians, a well-known comedian and journalist, and an 87 year-old peace protestor have been the subject of ongoing police surveillance, with officers monitoring and logging in the National Domestic Extremism Database their presence at demonstrations, public meetings, conferences, and on television. The police reportedly hold nearly 9,000 files on "domestic extremists".
UKUSA-AGREEMENT: "Five-Eyes" agreement: UKUSA Agreement Release 1940-1956 (link) Contains a wealth of background documents. For example, the 1955 version of the 1946 UKUSA Agreement (pdf)
USA-NSA: ICELAND-GERMANY: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance hinders Iceland's attempts to be a haven for free speech - 'It is obvious that it doesnt matter if we have the best source protection laws in the world,' says Icelandic MP (Guardian, link) plus German MPs complain about NSA silence on Angela Merkel hacking National Security Agency accused of showing 'reluctance to speak plainly' about allegations that chancellor's phone was hacked (Guardian, link)
and see: Corporations increasingly spying on nonprofits, group says (Los Angeles Times, link)
PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL: Private firms selling mass surveillance systems around world, documents show - One Dubai-based firm offers DIY system similar to GCHQ's Tempora programme, which taps fibre-optic cables (Guardian, link) and: Privacy International (link) and Trade in spy systems must be reviewed, says committee chair - Sir John Stanley says licensing of exports is a growing issue in age of unparalleled capacity for surveillance (Guardian, link)
See also: French firm Amesys, criticised for selling to Gaddafi's Libya, offers customers "lawful or massive interception" of telecommunications
NORWAY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Norway denies NSA collaboration but admits to snooping on phone calls - Military intelligence chief responds to claims that 33 million Norwegian phone calls had been monitored by the NSA (Guardian, link) and NSA targets Norway mobile calls (euobserver, link) and see:
European Parliament to the Commission: Compatibility of secret evidence, trials and closed material procedures with European fundamental rights standards (link)
European Parliament: Draft report: with recommendations to the Commission on the review of the European Arrest Warrant (pdf) Rapporteur: Sara Ludford MEP. Calls for major reforms of the EAW
NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Declassified Documents: NSA Wanted To Collect Geolocation Data (Der Spiegel, link) and: DNI Clapper Declassifies Additional Intelligence Community Documents Regarding Collection Under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (link) and "Exploring the Possibility of Acquiring Such Mobility Data' (pdf)
See also: Indonesia halts co-operation on people smuggling in phone tapping row Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demands explanation Tony Abbott says he will reply 'swiftly, fully and courteously' (Guardian, link)
EU: EUROPOL: Europol Work Programme 2014 (pdf): Includes:
"Annual Objective 2.2.4 Build a comprehensive picture of internal security threats in the EU incorporating future-forecasting and scenario management techniques Expected result Improved strategic analysis, which takes into account different possible futures for internal security in the EU" and
"Annual Objective 2.3.1 - Enhance existing information exchange systems with new toolsets for supporting investigations directly [including]
Access to other systems and databases - Schengen Information System (SIS II)
Improved interconnection between Europols systems rollout of Unified Search Engine within Europol
Alignment with Universal Messaging Format (UMF) standard/framework, including use of SIENA as a pilot
Adequate processing capabilities, especially for large volumes of cybercrime data
Interoperability with US Fusion Centres and Interpol in Singapore; SIENA link to the US Treasury
Further assessment and analysis in relation to a European Tracking Solution (ETS): an interoperability mechanism for carrying out surveillance by monitoring or recording the geographical location or movement of a subject" [emphasis added]
LONDON: Launch of ATLAS OF MIGRATION IN EUROPE (pdf): by Migreurop, published by New Internationalist:At Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincolns Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ. The panel of speakers includes: Liz Fekete (Institute of Race Relations) Jerome Phelps (Detention Action) A former detainee (Freed Voices) Chris Jones (Statewatch) Olivier Clochard (Migreurop) Katherine Booth (FIDH) Monday 2nd December 2013, 6-8pm.
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION: Joint Press Statement following the EU-US-Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting of 18 November 2013 in
Washington (pdf) This states that the two sides aim to agree a comprehensive "umbrella" agreement on data protection in the field of law enforcement by the summer of 2014. However, there is, as yet, no commitment from the US side to cease placing non-USA citizens under surveillance under FISA or simply because communications pass through the USA.
AUSTRALIA-INDONESIA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The NSA scandal has detonated in Australia - we can no longer look away - We grant intelligence agencies extraordinary powers to go after violent extremists. But since when did the president of Indonesia, or Germany's chancellor, join this company? (Guardian, link)
and: Australia: 3G surveilance in Asia (pdf), Australia's spy agencies targeted Indonesian president's mobile phone Secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden show Australia tried to monitor the mobile calls of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife (Guardian. link)
Plus: NSA grapples with huge increase in records requests (USA Today, link): "Americans are inundating the NSA with open-records requests, leading to an 888% increase in such inquiries in the past fiscal year. Anyone asking is getting a standard pre-written letter saying the NSA can neither confirm nor deny that any information has been gathered." and Exclusive: Surveillance technology out of control, says Lord Ashdown - Former Lib Dem leader says it is time for high-level inquiry to address fundamental questions about privacy in 21st century (Guardian, link) and German MPs complain about NSA silence on Angela Merkel hacking National Security Agency accused of showing 'reluctance to speak plainly' about allegations that chancellor's phone was hacked (Guardian, link)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time Fisa court judge who authorised massive tapping of metadata was hesitant but felt she could not stand in the way (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Give Snowden Asylum in Germany (New York Times, link): by Malte Spitz a Green Party politician and a privacy activist. Hans-Christian Ströbele is a Green Party member of the Bundestag and serves on the intelligence committee:
"We demand an immediate change in the governments policy. Edward Snowden should be given a safe residence in Germany or in another democratic European country and be allowed to stay permanently if he wants to." and:
"The spying goes on" (Security Times, link, Hans-Christian Ströbele is a Green Party member of the Bundestag, see page 6)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Mark Kennedy, ex-undercover officer, sought help from STRATFOR (Wikileaks, link) and see Stratfor (link), plus: Wikipedia on Stratfor (link)
EU-USA: EU-USA Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting: 18 November in Washington, DC (pdf): The meeting will discuss both "Umbrella" Data Protection Agreement, stalled since the spring of 2011, and the "ad hoc EU-US working group" on USA data surveillance of the EU:
"Vice-President Viviane Reding said ahead of the meeting: "There have been more than 15 negotiating rounds. But one fundamental issue has not yet been resolved: a meaningful agreement has to give European citizens concrete and enforceable rights, notably the right to judicial redress. Every U.S. citizen in the European Union already enjoys this right, irrespective of whether he or she is resident in the EU. But European citizens who are not resident in the U.S. do not enjoy this right. It is important that a European boarding a plane in Rome or searching the web from his home in Germany has a right of judicial redress in the U.S. whenever their personal data are being processed in the U.S."
Reding in Washington: EU Sends Tough Commissioner for NSA Talks (Der Spiegel, link): ""The current EU-US agreement on mutual legal assistance -- which focuses in particular on American IT companies in Europe whose data can be accessed by US officials -- has not been adhered to by the Americans, Reding said"
EU: GREECE-TURKEY: Joint press release: Greece - Turkey: The route is dangerous, people are dying The tragic limits of European migration policies (Migreurop, link), French (link), Greek (link) and Turkish (link) and Report by Pro Asyl: Pushed back (pdf)
USA: Government Accountablity Office (GAO): Aviation Security:TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities (pdf): Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program:
"Available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators, which are used in the Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. GAO reviewed four meta-analyses (reviews that analyze other studies and synthesize their findings) that included over 400 studies from the past 60 years and found that the human ability to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Threat from NSA leaks may have been overstated by UK, says Lord Falconer Ex-lord chancellor defends Guardian reporting of Snowden files and says he's sceptical of warnings from spy agency chiefs (Guardian, link) and Also: Belgian and Dutch data protection agencies to investigate Swift security (Finextra, link)
Plus: Fibre optic cable networks from which metadata can be scooped up: Submarine Cable Map (link)
EP: DATA SURVEILLANCE INQUIRY: 18 November 2013: Strasbourg: The extent of national competence as regards internal security (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers and Poland: Adam Bodnar (pdf)
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Archbishop: EU immigration policy should put the human beings first (euractiv, link)
EU: Data protection: the European Parliament still fighting on two fronts (EASFJ, link)
Ireland: Campaign to block FOI fee increases successful, but unacceptable 15 up-front fee remains (link)
EU ministers discuss deployment of drones (euractiv, link): "European foreign and defence ministers will discuss how to deploy drones for civilian operations, ranging from disaster prevention to deterring human traffickers on the EU's borders, in a two-day meeting that opens in Brussels today (18 November) ....Drones, or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) as they are known in the EU jargon, have been long identified as a shortfall in the European defence, which relies completely on American and Israeli technology in this field."
See: A new deal for European defence: Toward s a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector (pdf) and Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector (COM 542, pdf)
EU 'civilian' mission training paramilitaries in Libya (euobserver, link): "The EU's "civilian" border mission in Libya is in fact training paramilitary forces, amid a wider European and US effort to stop Libya becoming a "failed state." According to an internal EU paper - a blueprint for the border mission, Eubam Libya, dated 18 April and seen by EUobserver - its "main effort" is to build up the "operational level" of Libya's "Border Guards (BG)" and "Naval Coast Guard (NCG).",,,, Apart from training paramilitaries to stop EU-bound migrants on land and maritime borders, the EU is also trying to build up Libya's ability to spot and stop migrant boats in the Mediterranean Sea."
See also: German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to revolutions (Statewatch database, link)
UK: Police tried to spy on Cambridge students, secret footage shows - Officer is filmed attempting to persuade activist in his 20s to become informant targeting 'student-union type stuff' (Guardian, link): with four video extracts.and It's no surprise that police were willing to spy on Cambridge students like me - The role of universities as spaces of creativity, dissent and education is under threat from the government and police (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Passively 'Sniffing' Data: How Mobile Network Spying Works (Der Spiegel, link): "British intelligence agency GCHQ has been targeting mobile phone company networks. Telecoms security expert Philippe Langlois explains what they can find this way, and how users can protect themselves from such snooping." and 'Royal Concierge': GCHQ Monitors Hotel Reservations to Track Diplomats (Der Spiegel, link). Also: New York Times backs the Guardian over Snowden leaks (Guardian, link) and Greenwald: Many, Many, Many More Significant Documents About Canadian Surveillance and Partnership with NSA Will Be Reported (link)
Plus: Media from Europe to US face new, sometimes uncomfortable tests revealing NSA spy documents (Washington Post. link) and European, US Media Face New Tests With NSA Spying (Huff Post, link)
European Parliament hearing: Agenda: 18 January 2013 (pdf) and Submission on Poland (pdf)
Plus: Canada and the Five Eyes Intelligence Community (link)
EU: European Ombudsman calls on Frontex to deal with complaints about fundamental rights infringements (press release, pdf) Press release in French (pdf)
"The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has called on Frontex to establish a mechanism for dealing with complaints about fundamental right infringements arising from its work. Frontex co-ordinates the co-operation between EU Member States in the field of border security and illegal immigration. The Ombudsman conducted an investigation, including a public consultation, about how Frontex complies with human rights standards. Frontex complied with most of the Ombudsman's recommendations, but refused to set up a complaints mechanism. Accordingly, the Ombudsman submitted a Special Report on this issue to the European Parliament."
Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry against Frontex (pdf)
Special Report from the European Ombudsman following his Draft Recommendation to Frontex in her own-initiative inquiry (pdf)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Privacy and data protection can restore consumer confidence in the Digital Society (press release, pdf)
"The European Commission's proposal on harmonising electronic communications services across the EU will unduly limit internet freedom, says the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). In his Opinion, the EDPS welcomes the inclusion of the principle of net neutrality - the impartial transmission of information on the internet in the text, but also said that it is devoid of substance because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage internet traffic."
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office - Discussion paper (15386/13, pdf) Focusses on "the future competences of the EPPO, the role of delegated prosecutors and the structure of the office."
'Far right to conclude secret agreement' (presseurop, link) "At a very private meeting in a hotel in Vienna" on November 15, several European far right parties including Vlaams Belang (Belgium), the Front National (France), the Party for Freedom (Netherlands), the Freedom Party of Austria and the Northern League (Italy) are to draft a conceptual cooperation agreement, announces De Morgen" See also: 'The extreme right attempts to unite' (presseurop, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Discussion paper on the future development of the JHA area (15696/13, pdf)
"The purpose of forthcoming discussions is to address issues specific to the mandate of each of the committees as well as horizontal aspects such as those pertaining to the external dimension of the JHA area."
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions adopting the 2014-2016 EU Work Programme on further measures designed to maximise safety and security in connection with sports events, in particular football matches, with an international dimension (13658/2/13 REV 2, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Friends of the Presidency Group on Cyber Issues:
Report on the activities carried out by the Friends of the Presidency Group on Cyber Issues for the period December 2012 to October 2013 (15317/13, pdf) and Report to delegations (13970/1/13 REV 1, pdf)
Summarises the main activities carried out by the Group which aims to provide guidance and input on horizontal aspects of cyber issues and exchange information on these matters. The group has convened six times and is attended by senior-level officials from the Member States, the Commission and the European External Action Service. Representatives of EU Agencies, in particular Europol, ENISA and EDA, were systematically involved in the Group's work for items within their competence.
Extension of the Friends of the Presidency Group mandate (15111/13, pdf)
Following discussions at the last Group meeting on 30 October, delegations "expressed their wish for an extension of the mandate with 3 years to fully anchor the Group in the Council's working landscape and to provide continuity and longer work span by maintaining at the same time its horizontal, strategic and cross-cutting nature."
EU: Council of the European Union: European External Action Service:
Report by the Head of the European Defence Agency to the Council (15263/13, pdf)
Priority setting for CFSP [Common Foreign and Security Policy] actions - more effective use of the CFSP budget (15515/13, pdf)
UK: Blacklist Support Group: TUC Day of Action on Blacklisting, 20 November (link) The Blacklist Support Group is calling on all supporters, Trades Councils and trade union branches to organise an event in your area for the TUC Day of Action on Blacklisting.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA - Data protection supervisory bodies for Europol (15495/13, pdf)
"One of the main discussion points that emerged during the ongoing examination of the proposed Regulation on Europol by the Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP), in particular at its meeting of 9-10 October 2013 focusing inter alia on Chapters VII-VIII relating to data protection, was the choice of the data protection supervisory body to monitor the processing of personal data by Europol."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Counter-terror chief renews fight for 'snooper's charter' - Charles Farr tells MPs that public's data was never collected by GCHQ and claims Snowden leaks damaged GCHQ's work (Guardian, link): "The Home Office's head of counter-terrorism has revived his fight to secure the return of the "snooper's charter" legislation, insisting that the government's spy listening centre GCHQ has never collected the communications data required by Britain's police and security services under the ditched bill." and
Oil Espionage: How NSA and GCHQ Spied on OPEC (Leaksource, link): "America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ are both spying on the OPEC oil cartel, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal. The security of the global energy supply is one of the most important issues for the intelligence agencies. Documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that both America's National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters..."
EU: EUROPOL & EDPS: The European Data Protection Supervisor proposes that the EDPS should take over the supervision of Europol from the Joint Supervisory Body: Letter to Europol (pdf)
European Parliament: SEARCH & RESCUE at sea: Amendments proposed (pdf) and see Commission: Proposal establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Jim Sensenbrenner takes NSA reform case to European parliament - Wisconsin congressman attends meeting of EU civil liberties committee and labels Feinstein reform proposals 'scary' (Guardian, link), The personal data protection from the US perspective (New Europe, link) and Tech giants plead innocence to MEPs on US snooping (euobserver, link) See also: John Kerry: world leaders have been understanding about NSA leaks US secretary of state says foreign governments understand that Barack Obama did not order all phone and internet surveillance (Guardian, link)
UK: Information commissioner voices fears over scale of NSA surveillance - Christopher Graham says issues of national security cannot be allowed to overshadow concerns of legitimate public interest (Guardian, link)
European Parliament Press Releases: NSA has no direct access to customers' data, IT firms tell MEPs (pdf) and NSA inquiry: EP should rethink data transfer
deals with the US, experts say (pdf)
EU: EUROPOL: Draft operational and strategic cooperation agreements
Europols Management Board has endorsed two new draft agreements, dealing with operational and strategic cooperation between Europol and Albania, and between Europol and Serbia. The agreements, if approved by the Council of the European Union, would permit the exchange of personal data and classified information. Europol currently has strategic agreements with both Albania and Serbia, which do not permit the exchange of personal or classified information.
see: Serbia (pdf) and Albania (pdf)
Council of Europe: Speech by Nils Muinieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: Freedom of expression and democracy in the digital age - Opportunities, rights, responsibilities (pdf):
"restrictions to media freedom on grounds of national security emerge as a particularly serious one, as we have seen following the recent disclosure of the US and UK mass surveillance programmes. The US intelligence agency, NSA, and its British counterpart, GCHQ, target encryption techniques that are used by Internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo, making them vulnerable to surveillance. States, of course, have a duty to ensure security within their borders, and in doing so they can undertake the secret surveillance of individuals who can pose a threat. But if they do not do this properly, they risk undermining or even destroying the same democracy they are purporting to defend. To stem this risk, states and private companies must develop surveillance policies that respect human rights. Spying on individuals on a massive scale, without strict legal rules and democratic oversight, can have adverse effects on freedom of expression by provoking a chilling effect on investigative journalists and activists who might fear exposing their sources."
Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland (The Story.ie, link):
"Weve had sight of new amendments to the FOI Bill 2013 proposed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. We will be blunt: if passed, Freedom of Information is dead.
TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail."
See: FOI Amendments (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Spy agency revelations: Tory peer urges 'defenders of liberty' to speak out - John Gummer, now Lord Deben, says left and right should worry about terrorism being used as an excuse to curtail freedom (Guardian, link):
"freedom means you have to be constantly on your guard against those who use terrorism and the need to defend against it as an excuse for actions which are manifestly unacceptable," he said."
and: Quantum Spying: GCHQ Used Fake LinkedIn Pages to Target Engineers (Spiegel Online, link): "Elite GCHQ teams targeted employees of mobile communications companies and billing companies to gain access to their company networks. The spies used fake copies of LinkedIn profiles as one of their tools." and Part 2: GCHQ Wants To Make Mobile Web an All-Seeing Surveillance Machine (Spiegel Online, link)
See also: Facebook statement to the European Parliament inquiry into surveillance (pdf)
And: NSA leaks: Theresa May says editors 'should recognise their responsibilities' - Home secretary follows cabinet colleagues in criticising newspapers over stories based on Edward Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)
EU report highlights anti-Semitism in France (euobserver, link): "Some two-thirds of Jews living in France fear a verbal or physical assault in the next 12 months, according to a new EU survey. Belgium is close behind in terms of numbers, followed, in descending order, by Hungary, Germany, Latvia, Italy, Sweden, and the UK. The findings, by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in Vienna, came out on Friday (8 November) in its first ever attempt to collect comparable data on anti-Semitism in Europe."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Why NSA's war on terror is more than just a 'neat' hacking game - Edward Snowden's revelations show how British and US spies have compromised e-commerce and civil liberties with a series of clever coding stunts (Observer, link)
UK-GCHQ-MI5-MI6: LIBERTY NEWS: A grilling that wouldnt have scared a puppy (link): "As feared, yesterdays grilling consisted of friendly and open-ended questions resulting in few specific answers and barely anything not already on the public record. These public servants have presided over blanket surveillance of the entire population without public, parliamentary or democratic mandate. But Parliaments response yesterday was woeful. There was also an odd, circular feel to proceedings with questions about accountability met by repeated statements about oversight by the Committee despite the fact that little of substance was discussed."
and see: Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger to be questioned by MPs over NSA leaks Rusbridger to appear before home affairs select committee after claims that revelations were damaging national security (Guardian, link) and What is Tor? A beginner's guide to the privacy tool: The anonymity software has sparked controversy but who built it, what is it used for, what browser does it use and why is the NSA so worried by it? (Guardian, link)
Council of Europe: UK-GCHQ-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK objects to attempt by Council of Europe to examine online spying - Foreign Office delays publication of declaration by 47-member human rights watchdog on gathering electronic data (Guardian, link):
"Britain is delaying the publication of a declaration on internet freedom by the 47 members of Europe's human rights watchdog after objecting to a probe into the gathering of "vast amounts of electronic data" by intelligence agencies.
In a sign of Britain's determination to protect the work of GCHQ and other intelligence agencies, the government is declining to endorse a political declaration by the Council of Europe that could limit the ability of "security agencies" to gather electronic data."
See: Council of Europe: Political Declarations and Resolutions, 8 November 2013 (pdf), para 10
IRELAND: Dublin, 15-16 November: Conference: The EU: The Military Dimension (pdf) organised by the People's Movement and The Peace & Neutrality Alliance (PANA) Including The EU: Democratic and Civil Liberties Deficit.
EU: GREEK-TURKISH BORDER: Greek special forces push back Syrian refugees, NGO says (euobserver, link):
"Armed special-op units in Greece are reportedly repelling asylum seekers and refugees in commando-like operations on its Turkish land border and out at sea. The allegations, gathered in around 90 anonymous testimonies of intercepted migrants along with two unnamed French journalists, are detailed in a report out Thursday (7 November) by the German-based Pro Asyl NGO."
and Report by Pro Asyl: Pushed back (pdf)
Greek police storms TV building as Troika visits (euractiv, link): "Riot police stormed the former Greek state television headquarters in Athens yesterday (7 November) and evicted dozens of journalists who were fired five months ago, ending a protracted sit-in against the broadcaster's closure.... "I was on air when riot police stormed into the studio and ordered me to shut the microphones and leave," said Nikos Tsibidas, spokesman for ERT's radio workers union. "I've never seen anything like this before; it's barbaric and indicative of the kind of democracy we have in this country.""
EU Court of Justice rules sexual orientation valid ground for fear of persecution in asylum procedures (EP Intergroup on LGBT Rights, link) and:
ECJ: Press release: Homosexual applicants for asylum can constitute a particular social group who may be persecuted on account of their sexual orientation (pdf): "In that context, the existence of a term of imprisonment in the country of origin sanctioning homosexual acts may constitute an act of persecution per se, provided that it is actually applied." and: ECJ: Full-text of judgment (pdf)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Miranda detention hearing: "ARTICLE 19, English PEN and the Media Legal Defence Initiative have submitted a brief to the UK High Court as an intervention in the case of David Miranda, media worker and partner of Glenn Greenwald, a prominent journalist. The brief argues that his detention and the seizure of information he was carrying, provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, was unlawful under international law protecting freedom of expression." See joint submission:Joint Submission to hearing (pdf)
and see: David Miranda detention based on legitimate concerns, court told - Police wanted to know how encrypted files were arranged as they feared release of all Snowden material, lawyers argue (Guardian, link): "Justification for controversial port stops under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 under which around 60,000 passengers a year are questioned emerged during David Miranda's legal challenge of his detention at Heathrow airport.... Mr Justice Ouseley, one of three judges considering the case, intervened to comment: "Just as well it was not in force during world war two, it might have applied to the French Resistance.""
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Ex-MI5 and MI6 legal chief says UK should adopt French oversight model - David Bickford rejected wholesale law changes but says judges better placed than ministers to authorise intelligence operations (Guardian, link)
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Two takes on UK spy chiefs presentation to parliament: UK intelligence work defends freedom, say spy chiefs (BBC News, link) and UK spy chiefs defend mass-snooping on Europeans (euobserver, link)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: CIA Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data (New York Times, link): The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the companys vast database of phone records, which includes Americans international calls, according to government officials The C.I.A. supplies phone numbers of overseas terrorism suspects, and AT&T searches its database and provides records of calls that may help identify foreign associates, the officials said. The company has a huge archive of data on phone calls, both foreign and domestic, that were handled by its network equipment, not just those of its own customers.
EU: Smart borders: Commission impact assessments misleading, suggests European Parliament study
A study produced for the European Parliament published in late October has criticised proposal for an EU "smart borders" system, arguing that the Commission made a political commitment to the project in 2008 and has since "focused on 'selling' the policies at the expense of impartially evaluating their necessity feasibility and impact." According to the study, the impact assessments produced by the Commission have been "designed to legitimise the policy option already chosen by the European Commission.
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Cyprus: the home of British/American Internet surveillance in the Middle East (link) by Nicky Hager and Stefania Maurizi:
"British and US Internet surveillance in the Middle East and surrounding regions occurs from a secret base on the island of Cyprus, as l'Espresso, the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the Greek daily Ta Nea and the Greek channel AlphaTV can reveal. The country only has a million citizens and is a small player in world affairs, but it is a key site for the mass surveillance systems revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden."
And: Exclusive: RAF Croughton base 'sent secrets from Merkels phone straight to the CIA' (Independent, link)
EU: SECILE PROJECT: Study: The EU Data Retention Directive: a case study in the legitimacy and effectiveness of EU counter-terrorism policy (pdf) by Chris Jones and Ben Hayes (Statewatch):
"SECILEs first publicly available report co-authored by Chris Jones and Dr. Ben Hayes at Statewatch examines the implementation of Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks (the Data Retention Directive). The Directive obliges providers of internet and telephony services to keep detailed traffic data (or metadata) regarding the identities and activities of their subscribers for between 6 and 24 months and provide access to police and security agencies for the purposes of investigating serious crime, and has been described as the the most privacy-invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU. This report explains the policy-making process that resulted in the Directive, the obligations stemming from it, and the way these have been transposed into the national law of the member states with reference to infringement proceedings, legal challenges and the review of the legislation by the European Commission. (SECILE is an EU-funded research project examining the legitimacy and effectiveness of European Union counter-terrorism measures (CTMs))."
Link to SECILE Project
EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: LIBE Committee Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens:
Meeting: 7 November 2013: Agenda (pdf)
- EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (EU INTCEN) (Wikipedia, link)
- Report on the democratic oversight of the security services: Adopted by the Venice Commission (pdf)
- Judicial Scrutiny of Intelligence Agencies (pdf) David Bickford, Former Legal Director of the Security and intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6
- Letter from BT declining invitation to attend Inquiry (pdf)
- Press release: Claude Moraes, Chair of the Inquiry: Moraes: EP is looking not only into NSA allegations but also at EU's own backyard (pdf)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The interception of satellite communications: ECHELON (Wikipedia, link)
and see: Switzerland: Onyx (interception system) (Wikipedia, link): "The goal of the system is to monitor both civil and military communications, such as telephone, fax or Internet traffic, carried by satellite. Onyx uses lists of keywords to filter the intercepted content for information of interest, and the choice of keywords by the intelligence community must be approved by an independent commission. The system is not supposed to monitor internal communications; however, the monitoring of a communication between a person in Switzerland and someone in another country is allowed."
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Statewatch: EU: Welcome to the new world of the interception of telecommunications (link to database) and EU agrees rules for remote computer access by police forces but fails, as usual, to mention the security and intelligence agencies (link to database). Article and Analysis by Tony Bunyan.
EU: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS REGULATION: Council of the European Union puts off moving to an open EU yet again: See: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents - State of play (pdf)
After nearly five years of stalemate, an "institutional impasse", the Council of the European Union (EU Member State governments) proposed that Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to EU institution documents should be amended but limited to modifying it to "take into account the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty". This is a reference to the Commission proposal of 2008 which only makes one change - to extend the Regulation to cover EU agencies.
The Commission proposal ignores the obligation to implement Article 15 of the Lisbon Treaty which states that the Council and the European Parliament shall publish "documents relating to the legislative procedures" which would require the removal of Article 4.3 of the Regulation that allows the Council to refuse access where disclosure could "seriously undermine the institutions decision-making process, unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure". The Council never agree to release a document on public interest grounds and 40.9% of all initial applications are refused under Article 4.3 plus part of 25.3% of refusals for "several reasons together" (2012 Annual Report).
See: Proposed Commission changes to Regulation on access to documents fail to meet Lisbon Treaty commitments and Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit by Tony Bunyan
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The European Parliament's rapporteur, Michael Cashman MEP, is quite right to ask the Council, as a minimum, to commit itself to "new arrangements for granting access to documents" and putting documents online.
The failure of the Commission to propose, and the Council to support, the full implementation of the Lisbon Treaty by making documents related to the legislative procedure public as they are produced means we have secret documents being discussed in secret trilogues - a process that excludes national parliaments, citizens and civil society. This makes a travesty of democratic accountability."
Statewatch's Observatory: The Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-ongoing
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Miranda case: Police: the Security Service wanted to retrieve Mirandas espionage material (Headoflegal, link): "The Metropolitan Polices written grounds of defence in the Miranda judicial review case, published on this blog today, contain a number of significant claims about how they, in liaison with the Security Service, came to stop and question David Miranda at Heathrow airport in August this year."
Miranda case: The Queen v David Miranda: Defence case (pdf)
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Cyprus: Isle of spies (Presseurop, link):
"which is home to one of the main listening posts maintained by the British signals intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It has now emerged that a UK military base on the island is the "foreign station" codenamed "Sounder" and see:
Et Tu, UK? Anger Grows over British Spying in Berlin: First it was the US -- and now it turns out the UK might have been spying from its embassy in Berlin, too. Officials at Germany's Foreign Ministry responded Tuesday by inviting Britain's ambassador for a lecture (Spiegel Online, link)
Background: Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin' - Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out (Independent, link)
Council of Europe: Commissioner for Human Rights: EU border control policies negatively affect human rights (link):
""The EU externalisation of border control policies has a deleterious effect on human rights, in particular the right to leave a country, which is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other rights most importantly, the right to seek asylum", said today Nils Muinieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a research paper on the right to leave a country."
See: Issue Paper: The right to leave a country (pdf)
EU-USA Data surveillance A coincidence or part of a much wider trawl of communications across the EU?
- Did the intelligence agencies of France, Spain and Italy take part in a NATO coordinated "trawl" of communications over exactly the same period?
- And if they did, how is it that their governments did not seem to know what was going on?
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"EU governments are caught in a double-bind. They do not want to be spied upon by their "friend", the USA, but they spy too and on each other. Far more important is who is holding this mass of personal data in each EU state, who do they pass it on to and against whom and why is it used?
The pervasive pre-emptive logic of the security and intelligence agencies, in the EU and the USA, reverses the presumption of innocence - everyone is a potential suspect."
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: DO WE NEED ANOTHER UNACCOUNTABLE AGENCY? EU should create own spy agency, Reding says (euobserver, link): "EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020."
UK: Police Spies Out of Lives: Statement re todays Appeal judgment (link):
"The Court of Appeal has today decided against us in the first part of our appeal, namely our attempt to have our human rights cases against the police heard in open court, and have upheld the decision that the claims should be heard by the shadowy and secretive Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT).
However, we welcome the clarity from the Court of Appeal that the actions of the police were intrusive and amount to a breach of Human Rights. They said:
The establishing and/or maintaining of an intimate sexual relationship for the covert purpose of obtaining intelligence is a seriously intrusive form of investigatory technique. We do not think that it is in issue that it amounts to an invasion of an individuals common law right to personal security and of a most intimate aspect of the right to privacy under article 8 of the Convention.
See Full-text of Appeal judgment (pdf) and see: Women face fresh legal battle over secrecy (link)
UK-EU: House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union reports: UK Opt Out & EPPO
- Follow-up report on EU police and criminal justice measures: The UKs 2014 opt-out decision (pdf)
- Subsidiarity Assessment: The European Public Prosecutors Office (pdf)
UK-GCHQ-EU-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin' - Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out (Independent, link):
"Concerns were raised tonight that Britain operates a top-secret listening post from its Berlin embassy to eavesdrop on the seat of German power.
Documents leaked by the US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden show that GCHQ is, together with the US and other key partners, operating a network of electronic spy posts from diplomatic buildings around the world, which intercept data in host nations."
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International files OECD complaints against telcos for role in UK mass surveillance program (link)
"Privacy International today has filed formal complaints with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the UK against some of the worlds leading telecommunication companies, for providing assistance to British spy agency GCHQ in the mass interception of internet and telephone traffic passing through undersea fibre optic cables.
According to recent reports, BT, Verizon Enterprise, Vodafone Cable, Viatel, Level 3, and Interoute granted access to their fibre optic networks for the United Kingdoms Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) surveillance program, Tempora. As a result, Privacy International believes that there are grounds to investigate whether up to a dozen OECD guidelines, pertaining to companies' responsibilities to respect human rights, including the right to privacy and freedom of expression, were violated."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Police Spies Out of Lives: The case so far twists and turns (link) and ADVANCE NOTICE: Weds 20 or Thurs 21 November (exact date tbc):
" Later this month five of the women in this case will face an attempt by the police to have their entire claim struck out.
- These are common law claims of deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence made by the women who were decieved into long-term intimate relationships with undercover officers.
- The police will argue that the claims should be struck out because their asserted Neither Confirm Nor Deny policy prevents them from answering questions, disclosing any documents or giving evidence, and therefore they say they will be prevented from having a fair trial."
UK: Yarl's Wood sex inquiry witness to be deported without speaking to police - Crucial figure in immigration centre probe held hours before appointment with investigators (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Draft Working Document on Foreign Policy Aspects of the Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens for consideration in the AFET committee on 4 November 2013 (pdf):
"in light of the technologies available and the revelations about activities of US and some European intelligence services, many citizens consider the open, democratic character of our societies to be in danger. It is the task of public authorities, both in the EU and the US, to re-establish the balance between security and privacy. There is a danger of the development of a surveillance state, given growing data processing capacities of computers and availability of any kind of information on social networks. The individual risks being completely known and his behaviour predictable by the state....
However, the US debate is solely focussed on remedies needed to strengthen the rights of US citizens."
USA-UK-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Human rights groups' open letter to David Cameron on surveillance - 'National security should never be used to justify preventing disclosures of illegalities or wrongdoing,' says coalition (Guardian, link): The UK government's actions and Camerons recent veiled threats prompted 70 of the worlds leading human rights organisations to write a joint letter to the prime minister:
"We have joined together as an international coalition of free speech, media freedom and human rights organisations because we believe that the United Kingdom government's response to the revelations of mass surveillance of digital communications is eroding fundamental human rights in the country. The government's response has been to condemn, rather than celebrate, investigative journalism, which plays a crucial role in a healthy democratic society."
Brazil and Germany want anti-surveillance UN resolution (euobserver, link): "Brazil and Germany want the UN General Assembly to adopt a draft resolution to end mass surveillance, as German public figures call for Edward Snowden to receive asylum."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Three documents from New York Times: Documents Show N.S.A. Efforts to Spy on Both Enemies and Allies (link) and Mission Plan: 2008-2013 (pdf) and 2007 Mission List (pdf) and
NETHERLANDS: SIGINT and wiretapping: the Dutch Intelligence and Security Act 2002 (link) and Denmark is one of the NSA's '9-Eyes' (Copenhagen Post, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: POST-STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Discussion Paper on the future development of the JHA area (pdf):
"The European Council will hold a discussion at its June 2014 meeting to define strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning in the area of freedom, security and justice (pursuant to Article 68 TFEU). In preparation for that meeting, the incoming Presidencies are invited to begin a process of reflection within the Council. The Commission is invited to present appropriate contributions to this process." [emphasis added]
The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) "Stockholm Programme" (2010-2014) will be followed by new one to be agreed in June 2014 by the European Council with a view to its formal adoption under the Italian Council Presidency (July-December 2014). The new Programme will set the JHA agenda for the following five years. The European Commission can express a view and the European Parliament can too - but the final decision is taken by the European Council (the EU's fourth institution). However, it is hard to see how the European Parliament can express a meaningful view unless it receives a draft by the end of the year as its final plenary session is on 14-17 April and European elections are on 22-25 May - it does not meet again in full session until 14-17 July 2014, followed by a summer break until 15-18 September.
EU: Council of the European Union: "Foreign fighters", Migratory "pressures", EEAS review & 2012 World Human Rights report
- Workstream on foreign fighters - Questionnaire (pdf):
"The large majority of Member States supported the CTC proposal to establish workstreams on foreign fighters. They suggested a number of important aspects that could be examined, which could be divided into three major areas of work: departure, travel and return."
- EU Action on Migratory Pressures - A Strategic Response - 3rd Biannual Update (pdf): See detailed ANNEX, p3-87.
- EEAS Review indications relating to the legal and institutional issues raised by the recommendations (pdf): "EEAS Review indications of the legal and institutional issues raised by the recommendations"
- EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2012 (Country Reports) (pdf)
EU: EUROPOL REGULATION: Second Opinion of the Joint Supervisory Body of Europol (Opinion 13/56) with respect to the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) (pdf)
The Joint Supervisory Body concludes that the proposed Regulation "would result in a much weaker Europol data protection regime". For example, the JSB questions why the long-standing definition of a serious crime is replaced by the criterion "forms of crime which affect a common interest covered by a Union policy"?
and see: European Commission: Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA (pdf)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Metropolitan police detained David Miranda for promoting 'political' causes Justification for airport detention of partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald alarms human rights groups and Tory MP (The Observer, link)
"The detention of the partner of a former Guardian journalist has triggered fresh concerns after it emerged that a key reason cited by police for holding him under terrorism powers was the belief that he was promoting a "political or ideological cause".
The detention order under Schedule 7 said:
"We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people's lives. Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under schedule 7."
USA- NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Portrait of the NSA: no detail too small in quest for total surveillance The NSA gathers intelligence to keep America safe. But leaked documents reveal the NSA's dark side and show an agency intent on exploiting the digital revolution to the full (The Observer, link)
EU-UK-GCHQ: GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies (Guardian, link):
"The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency.....In the intelligence world, far more than it managed in diplomacy, Britain has made itself an indispensable bridge between America and Europe's spies."
The documents used by the Guardian also reveal that the UK's internal security agency MI5 (Security Service) and MI6 (SIS, Secret Intelligence Service) work with GCHQ not only to extend the technical capabilities of other EU state agencies but also to advise them on how to get round their national laws, for example:
""We have been assisting the BND (along with SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] and Security Service) in making the case for reform or reinterpretation of the very restrictive interception legislation in Germany,"
See also: National Security Agency: Relationships and Authorities (pdf): including: "Leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and/or routers throughout the world"
EU-CIA: Poland asks court to hear CIA jails case in private (Reuters, link):
"Poland's government has asked the European Court of Human Rights to exclude the media and the public from a court hearing on whether Poland hosted a secret CIA prison on its territory. The request for a private hearing was criticised by a Polish human rights group, which accuses the state of trying to conceal its involvement in the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme behind a veil of secrecy."
See: Application no. 28761/11 Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad AL NASHIRI against Poland lodged on 6 May 2011 STATEMENT OF FACTS (pdf) and Application no. 7511/13 Zayn Al-Abidin Muhammad HUSAYN (ABU ZUBAYDAH) against Poland lodged on 28 January 2013 STATEMENT OF FACTS (pdf)
NETHERLANDS: Dutch State should provide basic need for undocumented migrants:
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has ruled, in a 'decision on immediate measures' (on October 25 2013) that the Dutch state has an obligation to provide for basic needs (shelter, food and clothing) to persons living in the Netherlands who are not granted residence permits.
to such an extent that undocumented migrants have access to shelter, food and clothing in order to safeguard their human dignity and prevent further harm
This is a provisory ruling, the definitive is still to come. But it could also set a precedent for other European countries denying undocumented migrants these rights. The ruling was done on the request of a claim by the Dutch Protestant Churches, via the Conference of European Churches.
See the full text of the decision here
UK: Sex ban for undercover cops on targets they are spying on (Daily Mirror, link): " Eight women are suing Scotland Yard over claims they were duped into long-term affairs with undercover detectives"
AUSTRALIA-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exposed: Australia's Asia spy network (Sydney Morning Herald, link): "Australian embassies are being secretly used to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of a US-led global spying network, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden and a former Australian intelligence officer."
See also: US spy leaks: How intelligence is gathered (BBC News, link)
UK: EU JHA OPT-OUT: "purely symbolic": House of Commons, Justice Committee: Ministry of Justice measures in the JHA block opt-out (pdf):
"We note that the UK already meets all the standards concerned, and conclude that the arguments for opting into these measures are primarily symbolic, and those arguments do not outweigh the disadvantages of bringing wide areas of criminal justice in the UK unnecessarily into the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union and
Home Affairs Select Committee: Pre-Lisbon Treaty EU police and criminal justice measures: the UKs opt-in decision (pdf):
"If the Government proceeds with the opt-in as proposed, we note that it will not result in any repatriation of powers. Indeed, the increased jurisdiction of the ECJ may result in a net flow of powers in the opposite direction."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA/CIA "Special Collection Service" (SCS) based on 80 locations world-wide used by NSA for surveillance: Full document (pdf)
EU-SPAIN-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: El CNI facilitó el espionaje masivo de EEUU a España (Il Mundo, link):
"According to the document seen by El Mundo, the US classifies cooperation with various countries on four different levels. In the first group "Comprehensive Cooperation" are the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The second group "Focused Cooperation" of which Spain is a member, includes 19 countries, all of them European, apart from Japan and South Korea. The third group "Limited cooperation" consists of countries such as France, Israel, India and Pakistan; while the fourth "Exceptional Cooperation" is made up of countries that the US considers to be hostile to its interests." (Guardian take on story)
see also New NSA leak: High level of Danish and US intelligence sharing (Copenhagen Post, link)
NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say (Washington Post, link):
"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials. By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.
The NSAs principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agencys British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters . From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and the GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information among the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants." and
Spying scandal: Will the 'five eyes' club open up? (BBC News, link)
GERMANY: ECCHR expert opinion on German Federal Prosecutors decision to discontinue investigations into killing of German national by a drone (engl. Version): "The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights analyzed the German prosecutors decision to discontinue investigations into the death of Bünyamin E. in Pakistan in October 2010. According to the ECCHRs examination, the decision raises a number of serious doubts as to the application and interpretation of the law and shows insufficient investigations. The expert opinion is intended to enable the family of Bünyamin E. to exercise their rights."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: U.S. Says France, Spain Aided NSA Spying -- Update (Wall Street Journal, link): "Widespread electronic spying that ignited a political firestorm in France and Spain recently was carried out by their own intelligence services and not by the National Security Agency, U.S. officials say.....U.S. officials said the Snowden-provided documents had been misinterpreted and actually show phone records that were collected by French and Spanish intelligence agencies, and then shared with the NSA, according to officials briefed on those discussions." and
N.S.A. Head Says European Data Was Collected by Allies (New York Times, link): "The head of the National Security Agency on Tuesday vigorously challenged recent reports that the United States had been gathering the phone records of millions of Europeans, saying that the records had in fact been turned over by allied spy services. This is not information we collected on European citizens, said the agencys director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander. It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations...... General Alexander and James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence, broadly defended the N.S.A.'s practice of spying on foreign leaders. Such espionage, they said, was a basic pillar of American intelligence operations that had gone on for decades. and see:
Europeans spy just as much, US intelligence chiefs say (euobserver, link)
UK: The Last Ambush? Aspects of mental health in the British armed forces (Forces Watch, link): "ForcesWatch published a major report detailing how post-war mental health problems are most common in young soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds; also in veterans who left the forces in the last decade. The report, and our campaign to raise the age of recruitment to 18, got considerable media attention"
UN HUMAN RIGHTS: Drone attacks: UN rights experts express concern about the potential illegal use of armed drones (link)
UK: Metropolitan Police accused of spying on Green Party Councillor (link): "The accusations follow a Freedom of Information request revealing 22 police records relating to the Councillor Ian Drivers activities as a campaigner in his local area. The majority of entries relate to Drivers role as an organiser of a campaign protesting against the export of live animals from Ramsgate and Dover ports. One record notes a meeting in support of equal marriage organised by Councillor Driver. The records released to Driver by the Metropolitan Police after he submitted a Data Protection Subject Access Request include 22 database entries covering the period June 2011 until June 2013."
Everyone should read this response to the FOI request: Details of the surveillance of Councillor Driver (pdf)
EU Council of the European Union: Seasonal workers, final text: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Approval of compromise text (15033-13, 25-10-13, pdf)
ITALY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA, «spiate 46 milioni di telefonate in Italia» ["NSA: 46 million telephone calls in Italy were spied on"] (corriere della sera, link) and Is Italy next in line for NSA spying revelations? (ZD net, link)
Also: NSA faces sweeping review into extent of surveillance - Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein, who has been a loyal defender of the NSA, demands a 'total' surveillance review (Guardian, link) and US to 'review' spying activities amid European outrage (euobserver, link)
GERMANY-USA-DATA-PROTECTION: Appearances and Reality: Merkel Balks at EU Privacy Push (Spiegel Online, link): Chancellor Merkel ends up backing UK PM to delay the Regulation on Data Protection:
"Chancellor Merkel has put on a good show of being outraged by American spying. But, at the same time, she has impeded efforts to strengthen data security. Does she really want more privacy, or is she more interested in being accepted into the exclusive group of info-sharing countries known as the 'Five Eyes' club?
...American tech corporations could hardly believe their luck at having Merkel's support. Now they're hoping for more leeway to water down the data-protection law as soon as the furor over the latest spying scandal has subsided. One high-ranking American tech-company executive told the Financial Times: "When we saw the story about Merkel's phone being tapped we thought we were going to lose." But, he added: "It looks like we won." "
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER: Council of the European Union: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Approval of a package of the main elements in the file in view of its final agreement (pdf): This nearly final "compromise" between the Council and the European Parliament manages to suggest the 'correct' interpretation of all of human rights clauses in the pre-Lisbon measures. However, the impression is that the EP had to trade off this improvement against all the improvements that it wanted to make concerning covert investigations, telephone interception etc.
See also the European Parliament's "Orientation Vote" setting out its negotiating position before entering secret trilogue meetings with the Council: EIO position (8.5.12, pdf)
EU virtual border scheme based on 'creative' figures (euobserver, link): "A European Parliament civil liberties report suggests the European Commission used misleading arguments to back its billion-euro plus proposal to finger print non-Europeans on visit to the EU."
See: European Parliament study: The Commissions legislative proposals on Smart Borders: their feasibility and costs (pdf):
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How embassy eavesdropping works (Duncan Campbell.org, link): "Secret US espionage activity against Germany, from Germany and revealed this week by Der Spiegel has added new evidence to European concerns about the interception of the phones of the Germany's Chancellor Merkel and other world leaders. Duncan was a consultant to Der Spiegel for the enquiry and identified the listening "windows" shown"
and The embassy spy centre network (link): "Over 70 US embassies around the world hide joint NSA-CIA Special Collection Service (SCS) electronic monitoring centres. The images here show some of the more prominent sites in Europe and the Middle East. All feature rooftop sheds packed with surveillance antenna and equipment.
GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Partner Merkel, Obama im Mai 2012 in Camp David (Die Spiegel, link, 7 MB, large pdf): CIA/NSA Special Collection Service - The Special Collection Service is a joint CIA-NSA surreptitious entry agency which breaks into targeted facilities to steal secret information. Based on documents addressed to: "USA, AUS,CAN, GBR,NZL" (the "Five-Eyes")
UK: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Home Affairs Select Committee: Committee launches counter-terrorism inquiry (link) and Evidence submitted (link)
UK: Whats wrong with APNR? (no to cctv, link):
This report focuses on the police use of ANPR as a mass surveillance tool. This is a network of police ANPR cameras that are used alongside a variety of databases that can be used to identify cars and their occupants. The data collected from the cameras is stored in local force databases (known as Back Office Facility or BOF) and in a centralised database the (National ANPR Data Centre or NADC). The data can then be used alongside data mining tools. The details of all vehicles passing police ANPR cameras are stored in these databases - the time, date, location and direction of travel of the vehicle and the image of the license plate are stored for two years and a photograph of the whole car and driver is stored for 90 days
SPAIN-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA 'monitored 60m Spanish calls in a month' (BBC News, link): "The US National Security Agency secretly monitored 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month, Spanish media say....They say the NSA collected the numbers and locations of the caller and the recipient, but not the calls' content." see: La NSA rastreó 60 millones de llamadas en España en un mes (El Pais, link) and see: US struggling to contain Europe spying scandal (euobserver, link)
EU to push ahead on data protection despite UK opposition (euractiv, link): "EurActiv has learned that the EU executive [the Commission] instead believes that a mandate to push forward with new rules by spring next year remains possible, and that this can be achieved even in the face of strong opposition from the UK."
UN: US DATA SURVEILLANCE: General Assembly: Draft Resolution on Privacy (pdf): Including:
"Affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular the right to privacy, including in the context of the surveillance of communications.. [and Calls on all States]
To take measures to put an end to violations of these rights and to create the conditions to prevent such violations, including by ensuring that relevant national legislation complies with their international human rights obligations and is effectively implemented"
EU: Council of the European Union: Seasonal workers: Final "compromise" text: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Approval of compromise text (pdf):: Multi-column text, 122 pages (15033-13, 25-10-13)
GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Surveillance: Merkel cell phone is since 2002 on U.S. eavesdropping list (Spiegel Online, translation, link) and US bugged Merkel's phone from 2002 until 2013, report claims (BBC News, link):
It appears that Merkel's telecommunications were placed under surveillance by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) from 2002, two years after she was elected the CDU's party leader. Her party was then in opposition and this suggests that the net cast by the SCS operations in Berlin (and in other capitals) extended not just to governments but to potential future government parliamentarians too.
And see: Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally - Statement from whistleblower Edward Snowden read to crowd featuring groups from left and right of political spectrum (Guardian, link)
NORWAY: Police testing surveillance drones in Oslo
In recent months the police in Oslo and the neighbouring police district Follo have been testing small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with cameras, known more commonly as drones. On 1 September this year people outside the Oslo City Hall saw a drone, controlled remotely by a police officer, circling over this widely-used public recreation area. This is one of a number of sightings of the police honing their drone piloting skills in public areas in which there is no situation that would make use of the technology necessary.
GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance: Germany to send intelligence officials to US - Move comes as Germany and Brazil lead calls for UN resolution on internet privacy in wake of Edward Snowden leaks (Guardian, link)
See: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-USA Data Surveillance
UK: Increased deployment of Tasers in London "should not have to involve politicians"
The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, John Tully, has said that "the deployment of Taser should be an operational consideration for chiefs - and that the decision should not have to involve politicians," according to a report in the magazine Police Oracle. His comments come a week after the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee issued a report, 'Arming the Met: The deployment of less-lethal weapons in London' (pdf), that criticised the decision taken by the Metropolitan Police to vastly expand the number of police officers trained to use Tasers, and the number of Tasers available, which is due to increase from 800 to more than 6,500.
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Leaked memos reveal GCHQ efforts to keep mass surveillance secret - Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers show UK spy agency fears legal challenge if scale of surveillance is made public (Guardian, link):
"The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has repeatedly warned it fears a "damaging public debate" on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes, classified internal documents reveal."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU Summit: Merkel's Delicate Dance over Spying Allegations (Spiegel Online, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION:THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL PUT OFF DECISION UNTIL 2015: Data protection rules delayed at EU summit talks (euractiv, link):
"the adoption of a proposed EU data protection regulation was delayed until 2015....Early drafts of the European Council conclusions called for the DPR to be completed by Spring 2014. That was later changed to during 2014, an amendment that was strongly criticised by the Commission.
A high-ranking EU official said before the summit that the European Commission hoped that the wording would change back to next Spring, rather than next year to give more impetus to the proposal. The final conclusions have now been amended to read by 2015"
See also: Council Conclusions: Section 8 (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Statement of Heads of State or government: on USA data surveilance, 24-25 October 2013 (pdf):
"A lack of trust could prejudice the necessary cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering.
The Heads of State or Government took note of the intention of France and Germany to seek bilateral talks with the USA with the aim of finding before the end of the year an understanding on mutual relations in that field. They noted that other EU countries are welcome to join this initiative."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The European Council [Prime Ministers and Heads of State] is now the fourth formal EU institution, and some would argue the most powerful as it sets the agenda. Its statement only addresses the concerns of governments not those of the people or civil society groups who have been place under surveillance by unaccountable agencies in the USA and EU Member States.
This comes at the same time as it also agreed [see above] to put off the decision to adopt the new EU Regulation on data protection until 2015, when the expectation had been that it would be adopted before the European Parliament elections in May 2014. And comes just days after the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee adopted, by a large majority, a policy position to ensure that no personal data could be transferred outside the EU without the authorisation of the national data protection authority and that the individual concerned would have to be informed of the request.
It would appear that the priority of the European Council is to strongly oppose the USA spying on EU governments but not demanding that its own citizens are protected."
FRANCE-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA and French intelligence (pdf) Concerning cyber attacks on the French Presidential network.
See also: France in the NSA's crosshair : phone networks under surveillance (M Technologies, link), NSA Spying: Laurent Fabius convened "immediately" U.S. Ambassador (Le Monde, translation), Le Monde (link) and Le Monde PRISM slides (pdf) Snowden leaks: France summons US envoy over spying claims (BBC News, link) and US spy agency 'monitored millions of French phones' (France 24, link)
EU: SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament study: National programmes for mass surveillance of personal data in EU Member States and their compatability with EU law (pdf): "It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Undercover police may still be having 'secret' sexual relationships, chief says - Bernard Hogan-Howe says he can't be sure that officers aren't still getting involved with undercover targets or crime victims (Guardian, link)
IRELAND: Garda Commissioner to submit report on removal of children from Roma families (breaking news.ie, link)
NORTHERN IRELAND: Book claims 'indisputable evidence of security forces collusion' (BBC News, link): "A new book claims members of the RUC and UDR were part of a loyalist gang that killed more than 100 people in the 1970s.
The book claims to have uncovered evidence of collusion on a huge scale. It says the loyalist gang operated from farms in counties Armagh and Tyrone. One extract, from an unpublished HET report, says there was "indisputable evidence of security forces collusion" that should have rung alarm bells all the way to the top of government. Lethal Allies - British Collusion in Ireland contains other extracts of unpublished reports by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) that refer to evidence of widespread collusion."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts (Guardian, link)
Agency given more than 200 numbers by government official
NSA encourages departments to share their 'Rolodexes'
Surveillance produced 'little intelligence', memo acknowledges
The NSA memo suggests that such surveillance was not isolated as the agency routinely monitors world leaders
EU; SEARCH & RESCUE: Joint declaration: To the Heads of State and Government ahead of the European Council summit on 24 and 25 October 2013 (pdf):
"In the wake of the shipwreck that saw more than 300 people drown off the shores of Lampedusa on 3 October, the Migreurop network, together with several organisations based in the north and the south of the Mediterranean, has questioned the responsibility of European states and their partners in the implementation of the EU's migration policy (see the opinion column Murderous Europe on 4 October 2013), and has also expressed its concern to the European Parliament on the role played by the European border agency, Frontex, during this incident (see the press release attached: Frontex : controlling or saving lives? on 9 October 2013).
Ahead of the European Council summit, Migreurop calls on the heads of State and government to abandon security-oriented and repressive asylum and immigration policy."
EU: Council of the European Union: Seasonal workers, LEA access to EES, RTP, Researchers and students Directive
- Seasonal workers: Proposed "compromise": Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Analysis of the draft final compromise text with a view to agreement (128 pages, pdf) Multicolumn text following the 7th trilogue meeting with the European Parliament.
- LEA access to Entry/Exit System: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union - Access for law enforcement purposes (pdf): Contrary to the Commission proposal: "a large majority of delegations favoured to provide for access to the EES for law enforcement purposes, and in particular for the purpose of combating cross-border crime and terrorism, from the date of start of the operation of the EES."
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Registered Traveller Programme (pdf) Council discussions - with Member State positions.
- Researchers and students: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing [Recast] (pdf) With 234 Member State interventions. And see: Council position on mobility clauses (pdf)
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Safer passage into the EU (European Voice, link): "As recent incidents in the Mediterranean prove, more and more migrants are taking extreme risks to enter the European Union, and increasing numbers are dying in the attempt." Letter from Leon Prop, Director, Red Cross EU Office, Brussels.
EU: Council of the European Union: Europol, European Public Prosecutors Office, Policy Cycle and ECHR accession
- EUROPOL: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA - Revised Chapters I-II and Annex 1 (pdf) Contains 132 Member State positions.
- Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office - Follow-up to the first meeting of the Working Party (pdf) Discussion on stricture and powers of the EPPO.
- COSI & CUSTOMS: Draft 7th Action Plan, reflective of the EU Policy Cycle (pdf): "The proposed 7th Action Plan contains 11 actions which cover one or more of the following work areas: intelligence, operational cooperation, IT systems, training, and inter agency and institutional cooperation."
- ECHR: EU ACCESSION: DECLASSIFIED: Authorisation to produce Council documents before the Court of Justice in Case A-2/13 and decision on the necessary de-classification of these (pdf) and Accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (ECHR): = Exchange of views/Certain issues (pdf)
EU: European Commission: EU-funded project to take biometric security systems to the next level (pdf):
"In recent years weve seen face, voice and fingerprint identification software move from Sci-Fi films into real life affordable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The TABULA RASA consortium, which is supported by EU research and innovation investment, has set out to identify just how well this new software works, in particular against the growing phenomenon of spoofing i.e. using everyday materials such as make-up, photographs and voice recordings to subvert or directly attack biometric systems."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Berlin Complains: Did US Tap Chancellor Merkel's Mobile Phone? (Spiegel Online, link): "Berlin is taking seriously indications that Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone might have been tapped by US intelligence, according to SPIEGEL information. Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama on Wednesday about her concerns." and UK: Angela Merkel phone-bugging claims are result of Snowden leaks, MP claims - David Winnick says disclosure shows wisdom of decision to hold Commons debate on oversight of UK spying agencies (Guardian, link)
EU: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO SUSPEND EU-USA SWIFT AGREEMENT: European Parliament press release: MEPs call for suspension of EU-US bank data deal in response to NSA snooping (pdf):
"The EU should suspend its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement with the US in response to the US National Security Agency's alleged tapping of EU citizens' bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, says a non-binding resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday. The resolution, tabled by the S&D, ALDE and Greens/EFA groups, was passed by 280 votes to 254, with 30 abstentions.
Although Parliament has no formal powers to initiate the suspension or termination of an international deal, "the Commission will have to act if Parliament withdraws its support for a particular agreement", says the approved text. It adds that Parliament will take account of the Commission's response to this demand when considering whether to give its consent to future international agreements."
See: Unofficial version of the adopted Resolution (pdf) and European Commission: Statement by Commissioner Malmström on the European Parliament's resolution on the EU-US TFTP agreement (pdf)
IRELAND: Child born in hostel for asylum seekers placed in State care for her own safety - Catalogue of abuse and neglect of children detailed in new report on childcare cases (Irish Times, link) and ECO for 8-year-old born and reared in direct provision centre (link)
UK-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FROM 1998: UK spying on EU partners (Statewatch Bulletin, January-February 1998)
The UK's overseas intelligence gathering service, MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service, SIS), spies on other EU governments to strengthen their position in negotiations. As the Guardian put it: The clearest confirmation from authoritative sources of a long-held suspicion comes in BBC 2's How to be Foreign Secretary... The programme broadcast on Sunday 8 January 1998 quotes a senior official, who could not be identified, as saying:
"Of course, we spied on them. It is as vital to know what our European partners are doing as any Soviet battle plan. (Times, 2.1.98)
EU: SMART BORDERS: European Parliament study: The Commissions legislative proposals on Smart Borders: their feasibility and costs (pdf):
"This study examines the technical feasibility and financial soundness of the Commission legislative proposals to establish a EU Entry/Exit System (EES) and EU Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) for the external borders of the Union. It puts the impact assessment documents accompanying the proposals in comparative perspectives with likeminded initiatives in third countries (USVIST), at the national level in the EU (UK border checks and e-Borders), and with past European initiatives (SIS II, VIS). It finds that it is not reasonable to consider that the measures envisaged in the smart borders package are technically feasible and financially sounds, and formulates recommendations to the LIBE Committee and the European Parliament in this regard."
EU: Ashton calls for military-grade drones in EU airspace (euobserver, link):
"A security strategy paper by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says EU countries should use military-grade drones for border surveillance. The EU chief is set to debate security ideas with MEPs in the plenary chamber in Strasbourg on Wednesday (23 October). Her plan, which outlines priorities in the lead up to an EU summit on defence in December, notes that there is an urgent need to prepare a programme for the next generation of so-called Medium Altitude Long Endurance (Male) drones."
See: Preparing the December 2013 European Council on Security and Defence Final Report by the High Representative/Head of the EDA on the Common Security and Defence Policy (pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Critics condemn new EU data-protection legislation (BBC News, link)
EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE: SEARCH & RESCUE: Statewatch Analysis: EU rules on maritime rescue: Member States quibble while migrants drown (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"For many years now, the death toll of migrants who drown while attempting to reach the European Union in search of a better life has tragically been rising. Most recently, public opinion was particularly shocked when hundreds of migrants drowned when a single vessel sank off the coast of Italy. The Italian government has called for the EU to adopt an action plan to deal with the issue, and the Prime Minister of Malta, calling the Mediterranean a graveyard, has called on the EU to act.
Yet shockingly, these Member States, along with four others, are blocking an EU proposal on the table that contains concrete rules on the search and rescue of migrants precisely and solely because it contains rules on search and rescue (along with disembarkation) of migrants. In fact, they describe their opposition to such rules as a red line, ie they refuse to negotiate on their opposition to any detailed EU rules which concern saving migrants lives." [emphasis in original]
EU: Lampedusa: Survivors excluded from Italy memorial (BBC News, link): "Survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African migrants died have protested in Italy after being excluded from a ceremony to honour the victims."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Security services need full review (Guardian, link) Letter from: John McDonnell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP: and see: Early day motion (link):
"That this House considers that the revelations exposed in The Guardian that British security services have examined the internet activities of British citizens without the consent of Parliament demonstrate that the Intelligence and Security Committee is not fit for purpose; believes that the Committee should be chaired by an hon. Member who has not served in a Department with responsibility for intelligence and security services for the purpose of avoiding any potential allegations of conflict of interest; and calls for any independent review reporting to Parliament on the appropriate structure and arrangements to ensure effective Parliamentary democratic scrutiny of the intelligence and security services."
UPDATED: EU: DATA PROTECTION: Data protection vote one step forward, two big steps backwards (EDRI, link):
" The European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee held a crucial vote this evening on the future of privacy and data protection in Europe.
We applaud Parliamentarians for supporting and even improving - several important and valuable elements of the original Commission proposal. We are particularly happy that the Committee chose to overturn the Commission's proposal to allow Member States the scope to exempt themselves from the rules on profiling. Nonetheless, we are shocked and disappointed that Parliamentarians voted to introduce massive loopholes that undermine the whole proposal."
and see: Major Loopholes in Privacy Regulation - EU Parliament Must Stand For Citizens (La Quadrature du Net, link)
also: European Parliament: Press Release: Civil Liberties MEPs pave the way for stronger data protection in the EU (pdf):
"Data transfers to non-EU countries: According to the adopted text, if a third country requests a company (eg. a search engine, social network or cloud provider) to disclose personal information processed in the EU, the firm would have to seek authorisation from the national data protection authority before transferring any data. The company would also have to inform the person of such a request, MEPs say. This proposal is a response to the mass surveillance activities unveiled by the media in June 2013." [emphasis in original] and
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): An important and welcome step towards stronger and more effective data protection in Europe (pdf) and Article 29 Data protection Working Party: Press release (pdf) also: Peter Schaar on the new proposals from the European Parliament: The European data protection reform must be completed rapidly (pdf)
UPDATED: Abertzale hails ECHR decision as very good news on a human level [El Pais, link]: "Lawyers for Inés del Río to file for a further 55 ETA inmates to be freed"
See: ECHR: Court: Spain must free terror convict Ines Del Río Prada (Council of Europe, link) and Press release: The Court delivers its Grand Chamber judgment in the Del Río Prada case (ECHR, pdf):
"In todays Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Del Río Prada v. Spain (application no. 42750/09), which is final, the European Court of Human Rights held:
by fifteen votes to two, that there had been a violation of Article 7 (no punishment without law) of the European Convention on Human Rights;
unanimously, that since 3 July 2008 the applicants detention had not been lawful, in violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention; and
by sixteen votes to one, that the respondent State was to ensure that the applicant was released at the earliest possible date.
The case concerned the postponement of the final release of a person convicted of terrorist offences, on the basis of a new approach known as the Parot doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court after she had been sentenced."
See also: Full-text of judgment (pdf)
EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE: SEARCH & RESCUE: THE COUNCIL DIFFERING: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf): "Certain delegations" support the Commission's detailed search and rescue procedures in Articles 9-10 while "six delegations" (ie: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese) say the EU has no "competence" and that "these elements should be deleted" and replaced by a, short, general obligation to international law.
Although the Council Presidency observes: "The Presidency considers that leaving such elements to be ruled in the operational plans adopted by Frontex could be seen as delegating to Frontex the powers to establish essential elements of legislation touching upon the fundamental rights of individuals which pursuant to the abovementioned ECJ judgement should be reserved to the EU legislature, the very reason for which the 2010 Decision has been annulled." It nonetheless proposes that "The proposal of the six Member States could be used as a starting point" and by adding the "necessary substantial rules and criteria regarding search and rescue and disembarkation, which Frontex would need to observe when establishing the operational plan."
And see: The European Parliament Draft Report accepts the Commission's proposals for search and rescue: Draft European Parliament report: on the proposal for a regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the EU (pdf) European Parliament: LIBE Committee: Working Document no 1 (pdf) and Working Document no 2 (pdf)
FRANCE-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: France in the NSA's crosshair : phone networks under surveillance (M Technologies, link), NSA Spying: Laurent Fabius convened "immediately" U.S. Ambassador (Le Monde, translation), Le Monde (link) and Le Monde PRISM slides (pdf)
Snowden leaks: France summons US envoy over spying claims (BBC News, link) and US spy agency 'monitored millions of French phones' (France 24, link)
EU: POLICE COOPERATION: July 2013 saw the conclusion of a two year-long, EU-funded project aimed at improving police cooperation: "Implementation of PRUM decisions: Preparation for the joint police operations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland": Police officers are being trained to use one of cooperation tool of the Prum Decision: Joint police operations (pdf) The project was based on provisions of the Prüm Decision, which as well as granting Member States access to each others DNA, fingerprint, and vehicle registration data databases also: [A]llows the seconding of police officers to another state with regard to maintenance of public order and security and prevention of criminal offences especially during mass events. One of the most important aspects of the Prüm decision is that it allows the EU Member States to confer executive powers to police officers of other EU Member States seconded to participate in the joint operation.
And see: video shows public order training exercises being undertaken by riot police using water cannons, rubber bullets, pepper spray and net guns. See: Practical training to perform joint police operations
USA-MEXICO: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Fresh Leak on US Spying: NSA Accessed Mexican President's Email (Der Spiegel, link):
"The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years. It hacked into the president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico."
GREECE: Two sought by police in Crete for attack on immigrant workers (Ekathinevini, link): "All five victims were taken to a medical center in the area and are being treated for their injuries. Police said the immigrants were living in Greece illegally and will be arrested."
EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE & SEARCH AND RESCUE: Draft European Parliament report: on the proposal for a regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the EU (pdf) This draft Report from the LIBE Committee proposes small changes to Articles 6-9 except for deleting: :
"(e) ordering the ship to modify its course outside of or towards a destination other than the territorial sea or the contiguous zone, including escorting the vessel or steaming nearby until the ship is heading on such course" Justification: The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provides for the freedom of navigation on the high seas. It is therefore not possible for a participating unit to order the ship to modify its course on the high seas.
And see Background on the issue of "Search and rescue":
Council of the European Union: NOTE: From: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese delegations: To: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union - Position on Articles 9 and 10 (pdf) and see also:
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) With Member States' positions
Articles, in the Commission proposal, covering interception at sea (Articles 6-8, pages 11-18) are set out in great detail in the second document above. Articles 9 (pages 19-22) set out the details for "Search and rescue". The Note from the six Mediterranean countries seeks to replace the text of Article 9 as set out with a general four-line statement (first document above). It would appear that these six Member States are concerned with the burden the search and rescue clauses might place on them as no meaningful solidarity plan is in place for other Member States to share responsibility.
See also: SEARCH & RESCUE: Italy and Malta say 'No' to Frontex rules in sea rescue operations (euobserver, link):
EU DATA PROTECTION: Act now: One minute to save your right to privacy (EDRI, link): " On 21 October, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) will vote a an of huge importance to civil rights: The General Data Protection Regulation.The purpose of this very long legislative proposal is to make sure that our rights to privacy and data protection can be effectively asserted in our everyday lives." and Data protection series - issue sheets (EDRI)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Documents reveal NSAs extensive involvement in targeted killing program (Washington Post, link): "It was an innocuous e-mail, one of millions sent every day by spouses with updates on the situation at home. But this one was of particular interest to the National Security Agency and contained clues that put the senders husband in the crosshairs of a CIA drone." and:
The GCHQ scandal is not about the Guardian - It is an insult to parliament: Instead of shooting the messenger, MPs should be affronted that they have been kept in the dark over activity they are meant to oversee (Guardian, link)
Also: UK's top prosecutor defends journalists who break law in public interest - Keir Starmer says his guidelines are drafted to let journalists pursue difficult stories without fear of prosecution (Guardian, link): "Britain's most senior prosecutor has launched a robust defence of journalists who break the law pursuing investigations that have a genuine public interest. Legal guidelines had been drafted, he said, to protect reporters." See: Guidelines for prosecutors on assessing the public interest in cases affecting the media (CPS, link) and Annex A (pdf)
EU: Frontex cancels surveillance plane contract due to lack of interest from companies
The EU's border agency Frontex has failed in its attempt to purchase a plane for "aerial border surveillance service for the EU external land borders" after "no suitable tenders" were submitted in response to an advert posted at the end of March. The agency sought to purchase an "aircraft equipped with multi-intelligence sensors, radio communication means, ground station and personal equipment, in order to perform aerial surveillance at the external EU land border between Greece and Turkey," but a notice posted on the EU's tendering website TED in August shows that the contracting procedure was cancelled following the submission of just one bid. It is unknown which firm made the bid.
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: European Court of Justice rules in favour of greater transparency of the Council of the EU (Access Info, link) and Full-text of judgment (pdf):
"Madrid/Luxembourg, 17 October 2013 In a case brought by Access Info Europe, the European Court of Justice today rejected arguments by the Council of the European Union that it should be able to keep secret the identities of Member States making proposals in the context of negotiations on future EU legislation....The Council of the EU had fought to defend its policy of releasing legislative drafting documents with the names of Member States tabling amendments blacked out."
The document in question. as the court notes. concerned discussions within the Council on amending the Regulation on public to EU documents - it was dated 26 November 2008 and the full-text (with Member States' positions) was put online at the time by Statewatch: EU doc no: 16338/08 (pdf). At issue was the Council's deletion of Member States' positions: The judgment observes in para 8: "On 26 November 2008 that is to say, the very day on which the requested document was created an unedited version of the requested document was made available to the public on the internet site of the organisation Statewatch, without authorisation (the unauthorised disclosure")."
ECHR: Making internet news liable for content: Case Law, Strasbourg: Delfi AS v Estonia: Court Strikes Serious Blow to Free Speech Online Gabrielle Guillemin (Inform's blog, link) and see: Full-text of judgment (pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: 'Breakthrough' on EU data protection bill (euobserver, link): "After 18 months of intense negotiations, MEPs spearheading the European Data Protection regulation have reached a compromise. The heavily lobbied draft bill, which included a record-breaking 4,000 amendments, is now set for a committee orientation vote in the next plenary session in Strasbourg....A so-called anti-FISA clause, removed at the Commissions draft stage of the document following pressure from the US, is now back in the draft."
See previous coverage: The following Note, released by Statewatch, from the USA was sent to the European Commission listing its opposition to key clauses in the draft revision of the Data Protection Directive: Informal Note on Draft EU General Data Projection Regulation (December 2011) (pdf) This was accompanied by a lobbying campaign at the stage of Inter-service consultation within the Commission. It is therefore no surprise to learn that: EU Commission Postpones Publication of Proposal for Revised Data Protection Directive (Privacy and Information Security Law blog, link). See also: EDRI comments: US lobbying against draft Data Protection Regulation (link)
UK: LONDON: Assembly demands transparency over expansion of police weaponry (link): "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Mayor of London must make the case for increasing the number and range of weapons used to police London, a new report from the London Assembly says." See: Arming the Met: The deployment of less-lethal weapons in London (pdf) and Statewatch database: Thousands more Tasers issued to police in London
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia (New York Times, link): "Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, said in an extensive interview this month that he did not take any secret N.S.A. documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June, assuring that Russian intelligence officials could not get access to them."
And: UK: Extent of spy agencies' surveillance to be investigated by parliamentary body - Intelligence inquiry begun after Edward Snowden leaks and Guardian revelations on GCHQ and NSA personal data sharing (Guardian, link)
EU-ECJ: Press release: Including fingerprints in passports is lawful (pdf): "Although the taking and storing of fingerprints in passports constitutes an infringement of the rights to respect for private life and the protection of personal data, such measures are nonetheless justified for the purpose of preventing any fraudulent use of passports.... However, the Court also notes that the regulation explicitly states that fingerprints may be used only for verifying the authenticity of a passport and the identity of its holder. Moreover, the regulation does not provide for the storage of fingerprints except within the passport itself, which belongs to the holder alone. The regulation not providing for any other form or method of storing those fingerprints, it cannot in and of itself be interpreted as providing a legal basis for the centralised storage of data collected thereunder or for the use of such data for purposes other than that of prevent ing illegal entry into the EU "
and Judgment: full-text (pdf)
Also: Security trumps privacy, says EU court (euobserver, link): "Ensuring protection against the fraudulent use of passports outweighs personal privacy concerns about mandatory fingerprinting, the European Union's top court said Thursday. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday (17 October) that although the taking and storing of fingerprints for passports breached privacy and personal data rights, it did not breach the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights and was in line with EU law."
GERMANY: Open letter by the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg to the senate of Hamburg and a renewal of our offer for talks (link) See also story below
BULGARIA: Government panics over refugees (Presseurop, link); "Bulgarian authorities are preparing a series of emergency measures in response to the growing refugee crisis, reports Sega. According to the daily, the Ministry of Interior is to receive an additional 27 million leva (13.5m), of which 5 million will be for construction of a 30km long wall on the border with Turkey close to Elhovo."
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Italy and Malta say 'No' to Frontex rules in sea rescue operations (euobserver, link):
"All these countries are asking the other member states to help them and to take responsibility but at the same time they dont want those member states to be responsible for the search and rescue through common guidelines drawn up by the commission, Ann Singleton, co-chair of the trustees of the UK-based civil liberties group Statewatch.....the EU has ended up with a hotch-potch of counter-productive control of immigration border policies, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths over the last decade."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Extent of spies' mass surveillance to be investigated by parliamentary body - Intelligence inquiry begun after Edward Snowden leaks and Guardian revelations on GCHQ and NSA personal data sharing (Guardian, link)
GERMANY: Anger and ultimatums over raids on migrants in Hamburg
Undocumented migrants in Hamburg have a number of long-standing campaigns and are supported by thousands of local citizens. But the authorities have now decided to undertake targeted raids against people with an African appearance, and migrants and their supporters have reacted angrily.
Self-organised undocumented migrants have organised a number of high-profile protests and demonstrations across Germany in recent months. In Hamburg, one group that has been very visible is made up of migrants who travelled from Libya to Lampedusa, and after receiving temporary Italian papers continued to Germany where they are now seeking dignified lives.
USA-NSA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (Washington Post, link):
"The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
During a single day last year, the NSAs Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year."
See documents: Content Acquisition Optimisation (pdf), SSO Collection Optimisation (pdf) and SSO Collection Optimization Overview (pdf)
UK: Race & Class (Institute of Race Relations) and the Mannheim Centre for the Study of Criminology and Criminal Justice (LSE): HILLSBOROUGH: Resisting injustice, recovering truth (pdf), Lecture to introduce the October issue of Race & Class, 27 November 2013, 7-9pm, London School of Economics: Speaker: Phil Scraton, author of Hillsborough: The Truth and a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
UK DATA SURVEILLANCE: Conservative peer Lord Blencathra hits out at online spying by GCHQ - MPs should be able to vote to approve surveillance programmes or put a stop to them, says former minister (Guardian, link) and Snowden leaks: MI5 chief accused of using 'foolish self-serving rhetoric' - Former DPP Lord Macdonald dismisses Andrew Parker's claim that greater scrutiny would harm intelligence agencies (Guardian, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Working Document 02/2013 providing guidance on obtaining consent for
EU: EUROSUR: Goals of Eurosur border scheme questioned (DW, link): "The European Parliament has approved Eurosur, which is supposed to prevent illegal immigration off Europe's southern coasts and save refugees in maritime distress. But some doubt those two goals are compatible."
European Parliament: Press release (pdf) and Full-text Eurosur Regulation (pdf) as agreed at 1st reading with the Council of the European Union
GERMANY: DATA SURVEILLANCE: German NSA has deal to tap ISPs at major Internet Exchange (ars technica, link)"Spy agency BND stays mum on how it's distinguishing domestic vs. foreign traffic."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New York Times says UK tried to get it to hand over Snowden documents - Jill Abramson says she was approached by UK embassy officials after announcing collaboration with Guardian over NSA files (Guardian, link), GCHQ accused of monitoring privileged emails between lawyers and clients (link) and GCHQ mass surveillance putting right to challenge state at risk, say lawyers (link)
See also: Spooks and secrets: what is the public's right to know? (The Observer, link): "Last week, a row exploded over the Guardian's disclosures of secret surveillance, with senior politicians and newspaper editors at loggerheads. Here, civil rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti and ex-MI6 officer Nigel Inkster debate the rights and wrongs of exposing such practices in a free society"
EU-CIA: European Parliament: Press release: US-led CIA rendition and secret detention programmes: impunity must end (pdf):
"The climate of impunity surrounding EU member states' complicity in the CIA's secret "rendition" and detention programmes has allowed violations of fundamental rights to continue unchecked, as revealed by mass surveillance programmes run by the US and some EU member states, said the European Parliament on Thursday. MEPs want Parliament's right to investigate such violations in the EU to be reinforced, and again urge EU institutions and member states to investigate the CIA operations in depth.
MEPs are "highly disappointed" by the Commissions refusal to respond in substance to the recommendations made by Parliament in its September 2012 resolution on the follow-up to the work of its Temporary Committee on the CIA's alleged use of European countries for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners. These recommendations are reiterated in this year's resolution. For example, MEPs again urge the Commission to investigate whether EU rules were breached by collaboration with the CIA programme."
and Resolution, adopted 10 October 2013: Alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA (link)
GERMANY: State surveillance of MPs: Press release on judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court: Observation of Parliamentarians by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is Subject to Strict Proportionality Requirements (pdf)
On 17 September 2013 the German Federal Constitutional Court decided that the observation (surveillance) of the former Left Party MP Bodo Ramelow by the domestic secret service, the so-called Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), is disproportionate and violates the MPs autonomy as guaranteed by article 38 (1) of the Basic Law.
Although the Court did not prohibit the observation of MPs in general, it noted that keeping dossiers on members of the legislative branch of government by an executive agency risks unbalancing the separation of powers. Hence, the judges noted that an observation is only justified if an MP seems likely to abuse his or her seat for an active and aggressive fight against the free and democratic order.
In the case of Bodo Ramelow, lower courts had already confirmed that the MP was not suspected of working against the German constitutional order even if certain factions of the Left Party are suspected to do so. Ramelow, who joined the party in 1994, was continuously observed (surveilled) by the secret service since 1986, and when he became Member of the Federal Parliament in 2005.
Ramelows individual complaint against the secret service practice was turned down by the Federal Administrative Court which now has to revise its decision. However, the comprehensive complaint by the Left Party in Federal Parliament against the surveillance of more than half of its MPs, challenging the relevant provisions of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Act, was rejected by the Constitutional Court for formalistic reasons.
UK: Police colluded in secret plan to blacklist 3,200 building workers - IPCC tells lawyers representing victims it is likely that all Special Branches were involved in providing information (The Observer, link). The role of the Special Branch, attached to each local police force across the country, was not new. In the 1970s they worked with the Economic League.
UK: Police Spies Out of Lives - Support group for women's legal action against undercover policing (link): Undercover police abuse cases - appeal against secret court: Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October 2013: Claimants fight for human rights cases to be heard in open court, not in secret tribunal.
EU: (12.10.13): UNHCR Chief expresses shock at new Mediterranean boat tragedy (link): " UNHCR is calling for a number of urgent measures to prevent further tragedies and increase burden sharing"
Malta warns EU waters 'a cemetery' after fresh tragedy (BBC News, link): "Malta's prime minister has said European waters close to Africa are turning into a cemetery, after another boat laden with migrants capsized....Joseph Muscat said Malta felt "abandoned" by the rest of Europe and urged the EU to take action. Malta and Italy launched a rescue operation after a boat capsized on Friday, killing at least 50 people. It happened 120km (70 miles) off Lampedusa, the Italian island where at least 300 migrants drowned last week."
See also: Lampedusa toll at 311 as Italy divers finish boat search (BBC News, link), Fortress Europe: How the EU Turns Its Back on Refugees (Spiegel Online, link): "They come seeking refuge, but when asylum seekers cross into the European Union, they often find little compassion. In Greece, they are held in squalid detention camps, while in Italy they often end up on the street. Here is what they face at entry points across the EU." and EU Plans Big Brother System in Mediterranean - In the wake of last week's tragedy on Lampedusa, the EU is planning a system that uses drones and satellites to track refugees at sea. But it doesn't offer ways to save people like those killed in the deadly incident (Spiegel Online, link)
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE AT SEA: WILL ALL EU MEMBER STATES TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?
Council of the European Union: NOTE: From: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese delegations: To: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union - Position on Articles 9 and 10 (pdf) and see also:
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) With Member States' positions
Articles, in the Commission proposal, covering interception at sea (Articles 6-8, pages 11-18) are set out in great detail in the second document above. Articles 9 (pages 19-22) set out the details for "Search and rescue". The Note from the six Mediterranean countries seeks to replace the text of Article 9 as set out with a general four-line statement (first document above). It would appear that these six Member States are concerned with the burden the search and rescue clauses might place on them as no meaningful solidarity plan is in place for other Member States to share responsibility.
EU: Member States reassert support for law enforcement access to proposed new Entry/Exit System
Immediate access for law enforcement authorities to one of two proposed EU border control databases is favoured by "a large majority" of EU Member States' governments, according to minutes from a meeting of the Council of the EU's Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA).This further confirms the determination of Member States to obtain access to the system, should it be developed, for their law enforcement authorities. Discussions on the Commission's proposal in May saw twenty delegations declaring themselves "in favour of using the EES for law enforcement purposes."
EU: A question of public interest: A vote by the Council of Europe's political body could shift the debate about national security towards transparency (european voice, link): "A little-noticed vote in Strasbourg on 2 October is in reality a very big deal for whistleblowers, confidential sources and privacy activists. In the vote, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) endorsed the Tshwane principles on national security and the right to information' a set of recommendations covering, among other things, how to protect whistleblowers and journalists' confidential sources, and what to do about abusive surveillance." See: The Tshwane Principles on National Security and the Right to Information: An Overview in 15 Points (link)
EU: European Commission: Comitology: Report from the Commission on the working of Committees during 2012 (COM 701-13, pdf)
ECHR: The European Court of Human Rights: Making an Internet news portal liable for the offensive online comments of its readers was justified (pdf): "the Court held that making Delfi liable for the comments was a justified and proportionate interference with its right to freedom of expression. There had therefore been no violation of Article 10." Full-text of judgment (pdf)
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The spooks strike back over GCHQ leaks but they have a history of exaggerating threats - The real issue isn't what the Guardian published, but the lack of political oversight of the security and intelligence agencies (Guardian, link):
"instead of attacking the recipients of the leaks, GCHQ, David Cameron, Jack Straw and others now queuing up to criticise the Guardian should tell the US to look at its own security, and ask why a junior CIA official turned private contractor possessed so much sensitive information collected by British as well as American intelligence agencies."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Editors on the NSA files: 'What the Guardian is doing is important for democracy' - On Thursday the Daily Mail described the Guardian as 'The paper that helps Britain's enemies'. We showed that article to many of the world's leading editors. This is what they said (Guardian, link) and Surveillance, democracy, transparency a global view (Guardian, link) and: Editorial: Spies and journalism: when worlds collide - The raging global discussion about the proper limits of surveillance of the past few months will become harder to ignore (link)
Also: Sir David Omand: Snowden leak is 'most catastrophic loss to British intelligence ever' (Daily Telegraph, link): "Sir David Omand, who was once Britains homeland security adviser to No 10, said Snowdens actions eclipsed the exploits of the Cambridge spy ring, whose five members leaked information to the Soviet Union during the Second World War and Cold War." and Snowden leaks worst blow to British intelligence ever (The Times, link)
International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) report covering USA, Israel, Canada, Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Kenya, South Africa and UK : Take back the streets: Repression and criminalisation of protest around the world (4MB, pdf)
UK: House Affairs Select Committee report: Asylum (pdf)
EU: THE NEW "STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME": Meijers Committee Note: Note on the new Area of Freedom, Security and Justice Multiannual Programme for the period 2015-2020 (pdf) including: "The Meijers Committee invites the Council, the other EU institutions and national governments to develop legislative initiatives that ensure the implementation of human rights standards into the framework of transnational cooperation between national authorities."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Speech by European Data Protection Supervisor at Civil Liberties Committee hearing on mass surveillance (pdf):
"At this stage, there seems to be little doubt that we are facing an existential challenge to our fundamental rights and liberties. We must therefore be prepared to "draw a line in the sand"....Let me therefore be very clear, we must now make a stand, it is really "now or never"."
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MI5 chief's defence of GCHQ surveillance: extracts and analysis - Andrew Parker has given his first speech since becoming head of the UK's domestic intelligence agency (Guardian, link) and UK debate grows over 'Orwellian' NSA and GCHQ surveillance - MI5 director's speech gets backing of prime minister as Guardian editor warns over suppressing dissent (Guardian, link) See also: Full text of speech: Director of Security Service on MI5 and the Evolving Threat (link)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, Luxembourg, 7-8 October 2013: Final Press release - 7-8 October 2013 (pdf): See: also: "B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points Agenda legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and "A" Points Agenda non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf)
UK: E-borders: Report finds failings (BBC News, link): "A report has found failings in the government's £500m "e-borders" scheme to gather information on passenger movements in and out of the UK. The independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine, found that fewer than two-thirds of passenger movements were covered. And almost 650,000 records relating to smuggling had been deleted, he found."
See: Report by John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: Press Release: e borders programme is helping the police but has yet to deliver significant benefits to immigration control (link), Report: Exporting the border? An inspection of e-Borders (pdf) and The Home Office response to the Independent Chief Inspectors report on An inspection of e-Borders (pdf)
- EU: API, PNR, threat assessments, and data-mining: Member States push for access to travellers' personal data for customs authorities (Statewatch News Online, February 2013)
- European Commission: Evaluation on the implementation and functioning of the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data set up by Directive 2004/82 (Final Report for Directorate-General for Home Affairs, pdf)
- Council of the European Union: Final Report on the Study by the Presidency on Advanced Passenger Information
and Passenger Name Records (pdf)
- UK: Border Agency: e-borders: Overview of legislation (pdf)
UK-CANADA-BRAZIL-AUSTRALIA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MI5 chief: GCHQ surveillance plays vital role in fight against terrorism: Sir Andrew Parker mounts strident defence of UK intelligence and denies MI5 seeks 'all-pervasive security apparatus' (Guardian, link)
Full text of speech: Director of Security Service on MI5 and the Evolving Threat (link)
See also: Brazil accuses Canada of spying after NSA leaks: Canadian ambassador summoned to explain claims spy agency collected Brazilian energy ministry internet and phone data (Guardian, link) and Australian government withheld knowledge of Prism program - Freedom of information request confirms Attorney General's Department prepared a secret ministerial briefing in March (Guardian, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Hundreds of US companies make false data protection claims (euobserver, link) and see: EU/US Safe Harbor Effectiveness of the Framework in relation to National Security Surveillance (pdf) presentation by Chris Connolly (Galexia) to the LIBE Committee hearing on Electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens.
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
Lampedusa boat disaster: Death toll rises to 232 (BBC News, link):
"Italian divers have recovered dozens more bodies from a boat carrying African migrants that sank on Thursday. Thirty-eight bodies were freed from the hull, which divers had previously been unable to access. The official death toll now stands at 232. Divers "unpacked a wall of people", a navy officer said, adding that corpses were "so entwined one with the other" they were difficult to pull out."
And see: ECRE: Deaths at sea off the Italian coast: ECRE calls for safe channels for refugees to reach Europe (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Cyber issues: "Friends of the Presidency" & Surveillance of external borders
- Report on the activities carried out by the Friends of the Presidency Group on Cyber Issues for the period December 2012 to October 2013 (13970-13, pdf)
- FRONTEX: Operational cooperation: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) With Member States' positions.
On the issue of search and rescue the Council Legal Service "observed that that this provision touches the limits of EU competence in the sense that providing for operations of which the main objective is "rescue of lives at sea" would already go beyond the competences of the EU legislator."
EU: Meijers Committee: Commission Proposal for a Directive on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers (COM(2013) 236 final) (pdf): Standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law.
FRANCE: French court rules police ID-checks legal (Aljazeer, link) and see: Human rights organisations say reform of stop and search legislation does not go far enough (Statewatch database)
EU: "FOREIGN FIGHTERS": Council of the European Union: Terrorism Working Party: Summary of discussions (pdf): "The NL delegation made a presentation on monitoring terrorist travel and provided information on its quick scan enquiry to assess the different instruments already at the disposal of Member States, aiming at gaining knowledge and oversight of all available information systems and at identifying gaps and shortfalls...."
In this context, FR highlighted the importance of a more efficient use of the SIS II, which appeared to be the most appropriate instrument to detect travel movements of foreign fighters. The issue of how to increase the use of SIS II by Member States would be dealt with in one of the next meetings of the Working Party for Schengen Matters (SIS/SIRENE). In addition, FR also recalled the need to continue to work on the PNR file, especially by pursuing contacts at appropriate level with the European Parliament.
And see: EU seeks increased surveillance of travel and social media to deal with "foreign fighters"
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Lampedusa: call for investigation into allegations that boats failed to carry out rescue (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Selling Secrets of Phone Users to Advertisers: Once, only hairdressers and bartenders knew peoples secrets. (New York Times, link):
DATA PROTECTION: Why big data has made your privacy a thing of the past - Despite the efforts of European regulators to protect citizens' personal data, predictive analytics has made it too easy to piece together information about individuals regardless of the law (The Observer, link)
UK-FRANCE: French police try to move Syrian refugees seeking asylum in UK - About 60 Syrians refuse to move from walkway of Calais port building until they are able to speak to British officials (Guardian, link). See: Press release: Calais: Syrian refugees stage blockade of ferry terminal (pdf)
EU-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Belgacom downplays UK hacking allegations at EU hearing (euobserver, link):
"Belgian telecommunications firm Belgacom has played down revelations it was hacked by British intelligence..."
"Why would Belgacom internal systems be a target for a state? Were talking about a massive, sophisticated attack," Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld, who chaired the hearing, said. Claude Moraes, a British centre-left MEP, noted: "You have allegations of the UK spying on Belgian telephone systems which were part of the infrastructure of the European Union I think that's quite an unusual allegation and of course it can't just stand, it has to be investigated."
MEPs also criticised the UK for declining to send a speaker.."
See: European Parliament press release: Belgacom hacking case: MEPs regret UK intelligence service absence at EP hearing (pdf)
See full text: UK Permanent Representative in Brussels turning down invitation and leaving an empty chair at the hearing: Letter to LIBE Committee (pdf) :
"The activities of intelligence services are equally the sole responsibility of each Member State and fall outside the competences of the Union. For that reason, and with respect, the UK must decline your invitation for the Director of GCHQ to attend your Hearing. Further, it is my Governments consistent policy not to comment on intelligence matters." (and see USA's response below)
And see original report: : Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm - A cyber attack on Belgacom raised considerable attention last week. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and seen by SPIEGEL indicate that Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was responsible for the attack. (Spiegel Online, link)
EU-USA DATA SURVEILLANCE: Letter from US Representation to the European Union declining to attend the European Parliament inquiry (pdf):
"In response to your invitation for US Government officials to participate in the LIBE Committee's hearings on alleged NSA programs, I regret that we cannot offer any encouragement for official US participation..."
The response says that the "appropriate" channel is the Ad Hoc Working Group set up by the USA, the EU Council, Commission and EU Member states whose meetings and documents are secret.
GERMANY-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA: There has been much criticism of the US agency in Germany, but surveillance laws in both countries fail to protect internet privacy (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ - When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new kind of surveillance society (Guardian, link):
"The documents make clear that GCHQ's eavesdropping abilities are on a scale unmatched anywhere in the free world, and they privately boast about the "more permissive legal environment" in the UK and yet, nobody seems to care. It's tragicomic that the surveillance story which most gripped the public imagination concerned Poole borough council's use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) to spy on a family suspected of cheating in regard to school catchment areas.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Newsnight Greenwald interview: Link (3-10-13, BBC)
Belgium secretly extradites Nizar Trabelsi to the US (Cagedprisoners, link)
UK-USA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users (Guardian, link) and Attacking Tor: how the NSA targets users' online anonymity (Guardian, link)
SWEDEN-PROFILING: UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Concluding observations on the combined nineteenth to twenty-first periodic reports of Sweden, adopted by the Committee at its eighty-third session (1230 August 2013):The Committee expressed concern at the apparent discrepancy between the number of arrests and the number of convictions under the Swedish Terrorism Act, which gives rise to concerns about unwarranted arrests due to racial profiling.
EU: EXCHANGING CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS: A HIERARCHY OF TRUST: Council of the European Union: Authorisation to release EU classified information to third States and international organisations in the context of the EU Crisis Management Exercise MILEX 13 (pdf): Some (including UN and NATO) given access to classified documents no higher that RESTRICTED (the lowest level) but most will get only unclassified documents.
EU: European Commission Communication: Strengthening the foundations of Smart Regulation improving evaluation (COM 686-13, pdf):
"Responding to the need to continually improve and strengthen governance, the European Commission has developed a comprehensive Smart Regulation policy aimed at facilitating the achievement of public policy objectives at minimum cost and improving the added value of EU intervention. Evaluation is a key Smart Regulation tool, helping the Commission to assess whether EU actions are actually delivering the expected results...."
EU after Lampedusa tragedy: More border surveillance (euobserver, link): EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said this tragedy shows the need for Europe to "become better at identifying and rescuing vessels at risk." ...A new border surveillance system, Eurosur, will become operational in December this year and will help countries better coordinate and use "improved surveillance technology" to track and rescue small ships, she added.
And: Migrants' deaths prompt EU hand-wringing (european voice, link): "Ska Keller, a German Green MEP who is the Green group's spokeswoman on migration, criticised Eurosur in its current form for not obliging member states to patrol high-risk areas. New EU rules on the surveillance of external sea borders are currently under discussion in the European Parliament and Council but EU governments are again pushing for limited provisions for assistance in the case of emergencies, she said. This position is not acceptable. EU governments must finally take their responsibility to prevent these avoidable tragedies off Europe's coast, she said.
EU: CYBER CRIME: Council of the European Union: From: General Secretariat of the Council - To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Implementation EU Policy cycle for organised and serious international crime: Multi-Annual Strategic Plan (MASP) related to the EU crime priority "cybercrime" (pdf):
""To combat cybercrimes committed by OCGs and generating large criminal profits such as on-line and payment card fraud, cybercrimes which cause serious harm to their victims such as online Child Sexual Exploitation, and cyber-attacks which affect critical infrastructure and information systems in the EU".
This document is based on the outcome of the MASP workshop held in Brussels under the auspices of the Commission on 11-12 July 2013 and was agreed following the discussions in COSI on 17 September 2013."
EU: DATA PROTECTION AND THE POLICE SECTOR: Council of Europe: Report: Recommendation R (87) 15 Twentyfive years down the line by Professor Joseph A. Cannataci and Dr. Mireille M. Caruana (pdf):
"Between the period 2011-2012, within the framework of the PUPIE project, the authors carried out a survey of the state of legislation in 30 out of the Council of Europe's 47 member States in an effort to determine the impact of the Council of Europe's Recommendation R(87)15 on data protection in the police sector over the 25 years since the adoption of the Recommendation in 1987....
the Report advocates that the time has come for a binding legal instrument which is capable of being deployed across sectors which have hitherto often been parallel worlds: that of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the other of Security & Intelligence Agencies (SIS)."
ITALY: Italy boat sinking: Dozens of migrants die off Lampedusa (BBC News, link): "At least 82 people have died after a boat carrying African migrants sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the island's mayor says. More than 140 have been rescued but hundreds are missing, officials say."
EU: A cornerstone of the EU threatened, thus far informally - EU free movement under threat from the North (New Europe, link): "A proposal by Members of the European Parliament for legislation that would limit immigration from the EU's troubled southern economies to its more affluent ones has made it for discussion all the way into the College of Commissioners according to a number of reports in Greek newspapers."
EU: Surveillance and spying: "the time to be politically active on these themes is now"
The scandal surrounding police infilitration of protest movements has rumbled on since late 2010, when undercover officer Mark Kennedy was exposed by his former friends. While Kennedy is known to have chiefly infilitrated the environmental movement, the most recent revelations have centred on attempts by London's Metropolitan Police to use undercover officers to gain intelligence on anti-racist and justice campaigns, such as that of Stephen Lawrence's family.... Film director Jason Kirkpatrick, a former friend of Mark Kennedy's, has decided to make a documentary on the scandal. A UK 'sneak preview' tour of the film starts next week in London.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US denies entry to German NSA critic (New Europe, link)
EU: 'Virtual borders' scheme to track every non-EU citizen (euobserver, link) See: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union (pdf) with Member State positions.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden to EU: Whistleblowers need protection (euobserver, link): "Surveillance of whole populations is one of the greatest challenges facing human rights, former NSA agent Edward Snowden told the European Parliaments civil liberties committee at a hearing on whistleblowers."
GREECE: Indian Immigrant Found Dead in Acharnae (Greek Reporter, link): "The police attributed his death to criminal action. According to police reports, the victim bears a heavy injury on the head from an unknown object.
EU: Note Meijers Committee on the proposed Council Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutors Office
EU: Security industry is shaping EU legislation (euobserver, link)
GREECE: FRONTEX activities on Mytilene, Greece: Attempt to take over "open" PIPKA migrant centre, "closed" detention centre set up - FRONTEX claim that families were not expelled from their rooms refuted
Earlier this month the EUs border agency FRONTEX was accused by migrant support groups on the Greek island of Mytilene of expelling migrant families from rooms that they were occupying, in order to set up their own offices at the PIPKA "open" migrant centre. FRONTEX subsequently disputed these claims, saying that the events described never took place. Now groups on the island have issued a statement disputing FRONTEXs statement and describing in detail their version of events.
ITALY: Migrants killed on Sicilian tourist beach (euronews, link), includes horrific picture:
The bodies of 13 migrants were washed ashore after the crew of their overloaded boat forced some of its 200 passengers to disembark in the surf....Some 60 migrants attempted to escape from the scene on foot, but in his panic one was hit by a passing car which did not stop, and is now in hospital in a serious condition."
GREECE: Golden Dawn leader charged with heading a criminal gang - Nikos Michaloliakos appears in court after he is arrested along with key members of his Greek neo-fascist party (The Observer, link) Greek justice hits neo-Nazi Golden Dawn (euractive, link)
And see: Golden Dawn: live blog (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Freezing of assets: Trilogue text: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union: Text submitted by the Presidency on behalf of the Council in view of the Fourth Trilogue on 2 October 2013 (pdf) and: Commission proposal (pdf)
BELGIUM: Tear gas and water canon used on Afghan asylum seeker children and women in Belgium protest .(Kabulblog, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the NSA obtains and uses airline reservations (The Identity project, link) and see: How airline reservations are used to target illegal searches (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A TIMELY REMINDER FROM HISTORY: A quote from Senator Frank Church, who headed a seminal inquiry in 1975 into the surveillance of the peace movement in the USA (the Church Committee report), seems pertinent today:
"If a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of government to know. Such is the capacity of technology."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens (New York Times, link):
"Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials."
See also: Documents on N.S.A. Efforts to Diagram Social Networks of U.S. Citizens (link) which again emphasise that surveillance of anyone in the world is OK so long as they are careful when it comes to involving US citizens:
" The primary new responsibility is the requirement: to enter a foreign intelligence (FI) justification for making a query or starting a chain"
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Creeping Cloud (New York Times, Sunday Review, link):
" James Bamford, the chronicler of the untrammeled powers of the Puzzle Palace, as he calls the N.S.A., wrote in Wired that the Utah tower of Babel may be able to store a yottabyte. That is equal to a septillion bytes or about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text...."They saw 9/11 and all these other terrorist attacks on CNN. They didnt have a clue. The more electronic hay they stack on their haystack, the more difficult it is to find the needle. " (emphasis added)
EU: The European Police Chiefs Convention: "allowing law enforcement leaders to influence wider policy and legislative developments"
Earlier this month the annual European Police Chiefs Convention was held in The Hague, with over 200 police chiefs and law enforcement officials from Europe and beyond meeting to discuss police leadership; witness protection and informant handling; data protection; and modern technology. A Europol report on the Convention shows that police chiefs are hoping to weaken proposed new EU data protection regulations; develop closer links between police forces, technology firms and research institutes; increase international police collaboration; and will in the future consider setting up an EU fund for the payment of informers.
EU-USA: INTERIOR MINISTERS:G6 MEETING: G6 interior ministers meet with U.S. counterparts in Rome (German, Miniister of Interior, link): The secretive Group of Six (G6) countries are France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The USA attends the meeting on the second day. Their interior ministers meet every six months under a rotating presidency. No agendas, documents or G6 press releases have been made available for years. See also: Readout of Acting Secretary Beers Visit to Italy (USA Department of Homeland Security, link) and European, U.S. Ministers Build Security Cooperation (IIP Digital, link)
GREECE: RACIST VIOLENCE RECORDING NETWORK: The Greek State must send a clear message against racist violence (pdf)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: Another watershed moment: Leahy Delivers Keynote Address On Foreign Surveillance Oversight At Georgetown University Law Center (link):
"I entered the Senate in 1975. The very first vote I cast as a United States Senator was in favor of the Senate resolution that created the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans that is, the Church Committee. It was a watershed moment in history, and I remain proud of that first vote.
Through the work of the Church Committee, the American public learned of years of excesses and abuses that had occurred in the secretive and largely unchecked intelligence community. These revelations made clear that change was needed. They led to the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveilance Act in 1978, as well as the establishment of the congressional Intelligence Committees to provide ongoing, comprehensive oversight of our intelligence agencies. Today, nearly 40 years later, we have arrived at another watershed moment. And once again, it is time for change."
See also: Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Introduction of the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 Senate Floor (link)
UK: Guantanamo Brit Shaker Aamer files tribunal complaint against UK intelligence services over torture and detention (Reprieve, link)
UK: Peace campaigners to go on trial during week of action against armed drones
Campaigners are organising a series of events across the UK to "promote understanding and resistance to the growing use of drones and remote warfare", during a week in which six protesters will face trial after being arrested at a demonstration at a Royal Air Force (RAF) base. The Drones Week of Action takes place from 5 to 12 October and is part of International Keep Space for Peace Week.
INDIA-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA planted bugs at Indian missions in D.C., U.N. (The Hindu, link)
"Two of the most important nerve-centres of Indian diplomacy outside the country the Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations and the embassy in Washington, DC were targets of such sophisticated bugs implanted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that entire computer hard disks might have been copied by the American agency. The U.N. Mission building in New York and the embassy premises, including its annex, in Washington were on a top-secret list of countries and missions many of them European allies of the U.S. chosen for intensive spying."
And see: NSA spied on Indian embassy and UN mission, Edward Snowden files reveal - Documents released by US whistleblower show extent and aggression of datamining exercises targeting its diplomatic ally (Guardian, link)
See also: Secret bunkers, a challenge for U.S. intelligence (The Hindu, link)
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: SWEDEN: ROMA REGISTER: Commissioners concerns about police file on Roma in Sweden (CoE, link). See previous coverage below)
NSA spied on Martin Luther King, documents reveal (BBC News, link)
FRANCE-ROMA: French minister's anti-Roma remarks draw EU criticism (euobserver, link) and Reding slams France for using Roma as election scapegoats (euractiv, link)
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: France: Record number of forced evictions (AI, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Suspension of SWIFT Treaty? European Commissioner Malmstrom: Intervention by Cecilia Malmström on the EU-US TFTP Agreement in the European Parliament (pdf) See: EU wants answers on NSA bank spying allegations (euobserver, link) and
European Parliament press release: MEPs raise suspension of EU-US bank data deal (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance goes beyond Orwell's imagination Alan Rusbridger: Guardian editor says depth of NSA surveillance programs greatly exceed anything the 1984 author could have imagined (link): ""All sorts of people around the world are questioning what America is doing," said Rusbridger. "The president keeps saying: well we don't spy on our people. [But] that's not much comfort if you are German."
And: TTIP: Data is the elephant in the room (euractiv, link): "Data protection issues have been cut out of the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but rivalry between the two trade blocs in the critical booming sector threatens to spoil any deal."
See also: TFTP: Letter from Department of the Treasury, USA to EU Commissioner Malmstrom on TFTP (Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme) (pdf)
GREECE: Essay: the new untouchables: Greece's - and Europe's - treatment of undocumented migrants is a threat to the liberty of us all (New Statesman, link)
New issue of Statewatch Journal: Informants, spies and subversion
"This issue takes a wide-ranging look at the theme of informants, spies and subversion. From the editorial: "[These essays] are broadly concerned with different types of informing. The intention is not to sort the good grasses from the bad but rather to interrogate the relationship between states and informers and better understand the role that they play not just in the pursuit of security and criminal justice, but state subversion and the pursuit of profit."
Article: Quand la marine marchande seconde la police aux frontières : externalisation et soustraitance des contrôles migratoires dans le milieu maritime (Sanctions for stowaways: how merchant shipping joined the border police, pdf) This is a translation of the article which appears in the new issue of Statewatch Journal (above).
European Parliament: September 2013: Debate on "Smart Borders" in the Committee on Civil Liberties (Ska Keller MEP, link):
"In her speech, Ska Keller left no doubt that "Smart Borders" are absolutely unjustified: "They are pointless and useless, contrary to fundamental rights and discriminatory, they will cost us billions of Euros and they will prolong the queue at the European borders significantly."
SWEDEN: ROMA POLICE REGISTER: Over one thousand children illegally registered (DN.se, pdf)
Swedish police have illegally registered Romanis, in a document containing 4.029 names from all over the country. The file is used in police work and can be accessed by a large number of employees.
Over one thousand of the people in the document are minors. 52 of the names in the file belong to two year old children. They are on the list for one reason only: they were born into Romani families.
It is not a record of criminal activity. Many of the adults listed have never been convicted of any crime. The document identifies family ties it is a registry based on biology.
See also: Police under fire for monitoring Romanis (Expressen.se, pdf), Swedish police confirm illegal registry of Roma (The Local, link): "Police in Sweden have collected information on thousands of Roma, many of whom have never committed any crimes and including 1,000 children, in a database that likely breaks several laws, according to a Swedish media report." and Swedish police confirm illegal Roma database (euractiv, link)
STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: European Parliament: Draft Report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme (pdf):
"requests the fulfilment of the obligation to inform the Parliament immediately and fully at all stages of the procedure leading to the conclusion of international agreements;"
"Takes the view that the era of large-scale multiannual programmes based on the intergovernmental approach is over, given the array of legal bases provided for by the Treaties in the policy spheres covered by the area of freedom, security and justice, the scope for the Commission to make use of its right to propose legislation and its stated ambition to do so;"
"Is of the view that, in general terms, the implementation of the Stockholm Programme does not live up to its ambition to promote citizens rights... Fears that the economic crisis may develop into a crisis of democracy and believes that strong political leadership is necessary to defend democratic achievements"
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament Briefing Note: The US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programmes (PRISM) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activities and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights (pdf):
"In light of the recent PRISM-related revelations, this briefing note analyzes the impact of US surveillance programmes on European citizens rights. The note explores the scope of surveillance that can be carried out under the US FISA Amendment Act 2008, and related practices of the US authorities which have very strong implications for EU data sovereignty and the protection of European citizens rights."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm - A cyber attack on Belgacom raised considerable attention last week. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and seen by SPIEGEL indicate that Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was responsible for the attack. (Spiegel Online, link):
" A "top secret" Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) presentation seen by SPIEGEL indicate that the goal of project, conducted under the codename "Operation Socialist," was "to enable better exploitation of Belgacom" and to improve understanding of the provider's infrastructure."
Edward Snowden has raised 'real issues', says head of UK spy watchdog - Sir Malcolm Rifkind defends UK intelligence agencies' techniques but appears to concede laws may need review (Guardian, link):
"GCHQ had been targeting the Belgian telecoms giant Belgacom, whose major customers include the European parliament, [European Council] and the European commission. The operation, codenamed "Socialist", had given GCHQ the ability to secretly hack into Belgacom for at least three years."
- Rifkind was responding to this article: Edward Snowden has started a global debate. So why the silence in Britain? We're subject to huge unwarranted surveillance but Westminster's useful idiots are more likely to sanction than criticise it (Simon Jenkins, Guardian, link)
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
DATA PROTECTION: ICIC (International Conference of Information Commissioners): Press release: Information Commissioners Require Strengthening of Transparency at National and International Level (pdf) and Berlin Declaration on Strengthening Transparency at the National and International Level 20 September 2013: Transparency: the Fuel of Democracy (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU and US to discuss snooping allegations - information from meetings may not be shared with the public. (european voice, link),and Surveillance at the United Nations (EFF link)
Nato wants EU countries to buy more drones (euobserver, link)
EU: UK JHA OPT-OUT: Letter: European Parliament President to Commission (pdf) and Letter: Commission President to the European Parliament: (pdf) See: Statewatch Analysis including details of measures concerned The UKs planned block opt-out from EU justice and policing measures in 2014 (pdf)
EU-RUSSIA: Letter: Commissioner Malmstrom to LIBE Committee, European Parliament (pdf) See also: EU tells Russia to drop air passenger data law (euobserver, link) and EU wants Russia to explain air passenger data demand (BBC News, link)
EU: Barroso orders security sweep after allegations of US spying (european voice, link)
GREECE: 34-year old antifascist stabbed to death by neonazis in Athens (left.gr, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'Follow the Money': NSA Spies on International Payments (Der Spiegel, link)
The United States' NSA intelligence agency is interested in international payments processed by companies including Visa, SPIEGEL has learned. It has even set up its own financial database to track money flows through a "tailored access operations" division.
GREECE: FRONTEX: Welcome to Europe have released another press release on Frontex's activities on the island: Screened by Frontex after ten hours in the sea (Welcome to Europe, link)
UK: Policing of protest: documents on Police Liaison Officers released following Freedom of Information request
London's Metropolitan Police have released a number of documents on the role of Police Liaison Officers (PLOs), whose official remit is to "provide a link between the police, protest organisers and protestors through dialogue with a focus on negotiation, mediation, initiation, communication [and] sensing." Critics have argued that PLOs play a significant role in the gathering of intelligence on protestors and the content of the documents may well be seen as providing confirmation of this view.
EU: Asylum Information Database: Annual Report 2012/13: Not There Yet: An NGO Perspective on Challenges to a Fair and Effective Common European Asylum System (pdf): "There is still a long way to go in the establishment of a fair and efficient Common European Asylum System despite more than 12 years harmonising national asylum policies and the adoption of the asylum package in June 2013. The report looks at asylum systems in 14 EU Member States and illustrates huge differences as regards the procedural rules and safeguards for asylum seekers, their access to shelter and employment, and the use of detention."
UK: Police launch investigation into claims of sexual abuse at immigration centre: "Police have launched an investigation into claims that a woman who was held at an immigration removal centre was subject to inappropriate sexual behaviour from guards." See: Detainees at Yarl's Wood immigration centre 'facing sexual abuse' (The Observer, links)
European Parliament approves readmission and visa agreements with Cape Verde
The European Parliament voted on 11 September to conclude to an agreement on the readmission into Cape Verde of persons residing in the EU without authorisation (and vice-versa, from Cape Verde to the EU), alongside an EU-Cape Verde short-stay visa facilitation agreement.
EU: Statewatch Observatory on Frontex updated: General Report 2012 (pdf) and Frontex Risk Analysis Network (FRAN) Quarterly: January-March 2013, October-December 2012 and July-September 2012 (pdfs). See: Frontex FRAN Report for Q4 2012 (Migrants at Sea, link): "During the fourth quarter 2012 several FRAN indicators varied radically compared with other reporting periods. First, there were only 13 613 detections of illegal border-crossing at the EU level - the lowest ever recorded figure for any quarter since data collection began in 2008. And for the first time since 2010, there were more detections at the sea borders (59%) , primarily in the Central Mediterranean, than at the land borders."
EU wants access to more national police units for "robust" missions outside European borders
The European External Action Service (EEAS) has been seeking information from EU Member States about the availability of national police officers for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions outside of the EU. There are currently ten civilian CSDP operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kosovo, Libya, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, amongst other places.
ITALY-CIA-RENDITION: Ex-CIA chief seeks Italy pardon for Egypt rendition (BBC News, link) and Full text of Robert Seldon Lady's letter (from Corriere della sera, pdf)
IRELAND: DNA database legislative proposal published: DNA database to become operational in Republic of Ireland (BBC News); DNA data 'to respect human rights' and New DNA database will have profiles of 1,000 sex offenders (Irish Independent); DNA database is one more tool that will help perpetrators, says RCNI and Serious criminals will have DNA logged on international database (The Journal); and Watchdog calls for privacy guarantees on DNA data sharing (Irish Council for Civil Liberties); See the full-text (pdf) of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013 and the Irish government's Explanatory Memorandum (pdf)
NETHERLANDS: VVD wants fingerprinting of everyone arriving in Schengen zone (Dutch News): "Everyone arriving in Europe's open border area, known as the Schengen zone, should be fingerprinted at the border, according to the VVD's draft manifesto for next year's European elections." See also: Liberals call for fingerprint checks on frontier of Schengen zone (The Amsterdam Herald)
GERMANY: The usual suspects: Hamburg police accused of racial profiling (Spiegel Online): "Residents of an immigrant neighborhood in Hamburg recently took to the streets in protest of what they say is prejudicial policing by local authorities. Are the police guilty of racial profiling?" And see from October 2012: Racial profiling in Germany: Court rules against police checks based on skin colour
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Civil Liberties Committee holds second hearing on NSA snooping (pdf)
ITALY: Riots close Italys immigrant detention centers (WorkerFreedom, link): "CIE detainees often try to break out, resist, harm themselves or go on hunger strike. Now they have succeeded in doing what organizations, politicians and activists have been unable to do: close CIEs. The fight against CIEs (illegal immigrant detention centers) has taken different forms: from the LasciateCIEntrare (Let us in) campaign to allow journalists to visit and write about these prisons to active support from autonomist and anarchist groups. CIE detainees often try to break out, resist, harm themselves or go on hunger strike. Now they have succeeded in doing what organizations, politicians and activists have been unable to do: close CIEs."
Romania: more resistance against politics-as-usual (Roar, link): "The worldwide wave of protest is spilling over into Romania, where resistance against corporate environmental destruction is taking off in a big way. For eight consecutive days, people in Romania have been protesting a planned mining project in Rosia Montana, a mountain village in the West of the country. The demonstrations are directed against threatened environmental destruction, but the protests also express distrust of the government, of parties, and of the political establishment in general. There is already talk of a Romanian Autumn. The worldwide struggle against corporate domination and political collusion has opened a new front."
ISRAEL-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel: (Guardian, link)
Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis
Only official US government communications protected
Agency insists it complies with rules governing privacy
Full-text of NSA and Israel's 'memorandum of understanding' (pdf)
The existence of this Israel-USA Agreement concerning the exchange of data on US citizens begs the question: Is there another Agreement covering access to data on non-US citizens?
See also: Edward Snowden nominated for EU human rights award (euractiv, link)
UK: Police use of Tasers more than doubles
The number of times police officers in England and Wales have fired Tasers - electro-shock weapons that deliver up to 1,200 volts into the body through metal probes that pierce the skin - more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, according to figures released by the Home Office this week. During 2009 police officers used Tasers 3,128 separate times. By the end of 2011 this had increased to 7,877 uses.
GREECE: FRONTEX: Mytilene / Greece: European Border Agency FRONTEX invades place of solidarity (pdf):
"The people of the Greek island Lesvos (Mytilene) are famous for their solidarity to the refugees arriving on the island. In December 2012 the solidarity organized by the network "Village of Alltogether" was in the focus of international media as a seldom example of good practice showing that human rights in reality are a matter of the people and not of politicians and their empty words...European Border Agency FRONTEX, has prepared themselves to occupy two rooms in the main building with the aim to open an office for their so called screening. ... On the 6th of September 2013 two FRONTEX-officers from Italy and Sweden expulsed a family with small children and a pregnant woman from the rooms they were hosted in order to occupy and re-use these rooms as their offices introducing themselves as European Border Police."
See also: Statewatch visit to the Pikpa Centre for asylum-seekers in Mytilene Tony Bunyan (Statewatch Director) and Ann Singleton (Co-Chair of Statewatch) visited the Pikpa Centre in early April 2013, an open facility run by volunteers in a building provided by the municipality. A significant number of the people in Pikpa today have been there for 17 or 18 days, not knowing if they will ever see a lawyer, be able to claim asylum, or move out of the Centre.
GREECE: Greek Helsinki Monitor: Abusive trial of University Rector and anti-Nazi activist after Golden Dawn complaint (August 2013, pdf). They were subsequently both acquitted.
GREECE: Court: Greeces treatment of asylum seeker breached human rights law (pdf)
HUNGARY: Hungary is about to criminalise homelessness once again (pdf) and The criminalization of homelessness in Hungary between 2010 and 2013 (pdf): "By passing a new law that would criminalize street homelessness, the Hungarian government is once again about to violate the fundamental right to human dignity, defy the countrys international obligations, and go directly in the face of the judgement of Hungarian Constitutional Court."
EU: European Commission: Right to a lawyer: Press release: Another landmark of the procedural rights agenda has been met: European Parliament adopts Commission proposal on access to a lawyer (pdf)
COE-UK: Council of Europe: Press release: Court confirms ruling to halt UK plans for US extradition of terrorist suspect (link):
"Judges have rejected a request from the United Kingdom that they re-examine a decision to stop the governments plan to extradite a terrorism suspect to the United States.
Last April, the European Court of Human rights held, unanimously, in the case Aswat v. the United Kingdom (application no. 17299/12), that there would be a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights if Haroon Aswat was extradited to the United States. The court further decided to continue to indicate to the government of the United Kingdom under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court (interim measures) not to extradite Aswat until the judgment became final or until further order."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs call for suspension of EU-US Swift agreement following new NSA revelations (Parliament, link) and European Parliament Press release: European parliament has obligation to safeguard citizens rights to privacy, says Claude Moraes (pdf) and see: José Bové: US demanded encrypted calls during EU-US trade talks (euractiv, link)
NORTHERN IRELAND: DUBLIN II: High Court of Northern Ireland quashes Dublin II decision of UK Border Agency to return Sudanese family to Ireland (Asylum Information Database, link) and Full-text court judgment (pdf)
EU: European Policy Centre discussion paper: The European Parliament elections 2014 - Watershed or, again, washed out?
"...if the upcoming European elections are to herald significant change and avert latent risks, European and national political actors need to choose meaningful electoral messages and credible nominees for the Presidency of the Commission when going up against the anti-EU/euro parties."
UPDATED: UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Full-text: Secret Document Reveals NSA Campaign Against Encryption (pdf):
New York Times commented: "Documents show that the NSA has been waging war against encryption using a battery of methods that include working with industry to weaken encryption standards, making design changes to cryptographic software, and pushing international encryption standards it knows it can break." NYT version with comments (pdf)
See also: How to remain secure against NSA surveillance, Bruce Schneier, Guardian (link) and The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA and GCHQ unlock privacy and security on the internet (Guardian, link)
NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records
$250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
Security experts say programs 'undermine the fabric of the internet'
and: NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption programs that EVERYONE uses to email and make purchases on their phones and tablets (Daily Mail, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Unreported NSA spy systems revealed (euobserver, link): "A speaker invited to a European Parliament hearing into the large surveillance programme by the US intelligence agency NSA has revealed two previously unreported systems used to spy on people."
UK: The lobbying bill: a minefield for anti-racist groups (IRR News Service, link): "Legislation currently going through parliament which was supposed to address parliamentary corruption scandals may end up gagging community groups, including anti-racists, instead." Link to Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Justice Commissioner Reding: The EU and the Rule of Law What next? (pdf)
"The first step would be to exploit the potential offered already by the existing Treaties, in order to develop an improved mechanism for handling a future rule of law crisis. I believe we could take a similar approach for Article 7 procedures as in Commission infringement proceedings, by giving "formal notice" to a Member State where we have reason to believe that a systemic rule of law crisis is on the way to developing.
A second step could be to anchor a strong basis for a more far-reaching rule of law mechanism, which would include more detailed monitoring and sanctioning
powers for the Commission, in an amendment of the Treaty."
UK-SPAIN: DATA SURVEILLANCE: London spies on Spanish communications as well (Spanish link to: Publico.es)
The British agency GCHQ has intercepted the underwater cable connecting Spain with the Middle East and Asia, to secretly control telephone and Internet connections. European intelligence sources confirmed this surveillance on a massive scale"
Se also from Statewatch: UK/Spain/Gibraltar: Early 20th century communications interception in Spain: a historical perspective
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Report to the President of the European Parliament by: Elmar BROK, Chairman of EP Foreign Affairs Committee, on his visit to Washington DC focused on the issue of NSA surveillance programmes of internet and telecommunications (pdf)
STUDY: Digital Personae and Profiles in Law: Protecting Individuals' Rights in Online Contexts (link)
EU-USA:DATA SURVEILLANCE: UN: press should not be 'intimidated into silence' over state secrets - Representatives criticise UK government following detention of David Miranda, and call for public debate over NSA surveillance (Guardian, link): "Two senior UN representatives have warned the British government that the protection of state secrets must not be used as an excuse to "intimidate the press into silence" following the detention of David Miranda under the Terrorism Act."
ITALY: CIA: US allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says (McClatchy, link)
EU: Towards a Surveillant Society: The Rise of Surveillance Systems in Europe by Thomas Mathiesen: "A most timely publication in view of current concerns about snooping. Thomas Mathiesen describes how the major databases of Europe have become interlinked and accessible to diverse organizations and third States; meaning that, largely unchallenged, a Surveillance Monster now threatens rights, freedoms, democracy and the Rule of Law."
"Brings into the light the hidden effects of [surveillance and warns] of the need for vigilance: Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch.
A timely and highly troubling analysis [ which] reinforces alarm regarding a panoptical globe: Andrew Rutherford.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament LIBE Committee Inquiry: Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU citizens:
- European Parliament, 4 July 2013 Resolution setting up the Inquiry (pdf)
- Draft programme: Thursday, 5 September 2013, 15.00 18.30, Brussels (pdf)
- Meeting of 24th July 2013 concerning feedback from the first meeting of the EU-US expert group on data protection (pdf)
- Letter: President of the EP to the Council (pdf)
- Letter: LIBE Chair to EP President (pdf)
- Letter: LIBE Chair to Commissioner Reding (pdf)
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA Congressional Research Service:
- NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress (pdf)
- Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EDRI (European digital Rights) and FREEGroup: Statement: EDRi and FREE urge European Parliament to bring an end to lawless surveillance and Full submission (pdf). Statewatch is a member of both groups. See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests (Washington Wire, link), NSA 'spied on communications' of Brazil and Mexico presidents: Brazil's Globo news program reports revelations based on documents obtained by Glenn Greenwald from Edward Snowden (Guardian, link) and NSA Spying Brazil and Mexico Presidents (Cryptome, link)
EU: EU police special forces network to become "more and more useful" and to receive increased financial support
The European network of national police special forces units that goes under the name of Atlas is to receive an increase in funding from the European Commission and, according to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, will "prove more and more useful" in the future. Atlas has five internal working groups, dealing with ships, aircraft, buildings, transport and penetration, each one of which "works to make the intervention of the special units more effective."
EU-US: Satellite states: Commission prepares for negotiations with the US on EU's defence and internal security satellite system
The EU is currently developing a "public regulated service" (PRS) for its Galileo global positioning satellite system that will be used by EU institutions and Member States for "sensitive applications that require a high level of continuity" and that may be "very sensitive from a political and strategic viewpoint", such as those used by the military and internal security forces. The European Commission is currently preparing for negotiations with the US on providing access to this "public regulated service" (PRS), through which highly sensitive information will be transmitted, despite concerns over the US National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs and recent calls from some senior EU figures for European "autonomous security capabilities".
EU-USA: Spot the terrorist? Data protection and the seizure of personal data on laptops at airports (HawkTalk blog, link) A detailed blog on the interplay between data protection and terrorism law as it applies to Mr. Mirandas seized phone/computer at London Airport.
SLOVAKIA: Roma See the Writing On The Wall (IPS, link): "The European Commission (EC) has demanded that Slovakias second city, Kosice, tear down a wall put up to segregate Roma the 14th such wall in the country and the eighth built in the last four years."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA leaks: David Cameron's response is intimidation, says world press body - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers tells the UK government its actions could threaten press freedom (Guardian, link) Letter to the UK PM: Protest Campaign - United Kingdom, 23 August 2013 (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda's detention is a threat to press freedom, say European editors - Newspapers urge prime minister to restore Britain's reputation for free press after holding of Guardian journalist's partner (The Observer, link):
"In an open letter to David Cameron published in today's Observer, the editors of Denmark's Politiken, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter, Norway's Aftenposten and Finland's Helsingin Sanomat describe the detention of David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, as harassment."
See: Press freedom: an open letter to David Cameron from Nordic editors: While domestic security must be upheld, it is equally important to protect open public debate (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach (Washington Post, link):
"The National Security Agency -which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizenshas built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.
The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say. The NSA's filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S."
UK: Exclusive: Police under fire over arbitrary terror arrests at UK borders (The Independent, link): "IPCC investigating 25 complaints about Schedule 7 detentions at borders as Scotland Yard given ultimatum after refusing to hand over evidence."
UK: The shameful Go Home campaign: The rhetoric on migrants shows how politicians and the media have created, and embedded, racism in British politics (IRR news Service, link) by John Grayson
Germany 'underestimated' neo-Nazi risk (euobserver, link)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: UKs secret Mid-East internet surveillance base is revealed in Edward Snowden leaks - Data-gathering operation is part of a £1bn web project still being assembled by GCHQ (The Independent, link):
"Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt. The station is able to tap into and extract data from the underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the region. The information is then processed for intelligence and passed to GCHQ in Cheltenham and shared with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police Judges curtail using or sharing of material, but authorities can examine it for 'national security' (Guardian, link) and see: Letter to Home Secretary: Detention of David Miranda Announcement of Independent Review (link)
EU: Statewatch's Observatory on FRONTEX has been updated: FRONTEX Observatory and Updated documentation
EU: Commission offers little assistance to those seeking answers over police infiltration of protest movements
The European Commission has provided answers to a number of questions submitted by Green MEP Keith Taylor regarding the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG), a secretive international police working group that, in the words of the Commission, "looks at the exchange of expertise and knowledge on undercover techniques/activities between investigators involved in these activities."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European rights watchdog queries UK on Snowden affair (euobserver, link):
"Secretary general Thorbjorn Jagland of the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has asked the UK to explain its recent actions in the US snooping scandal, exposed by former security official Edward Snowden. In a letter addressed to UK home secretary Theresa May on Wednesday (21 August), Jagland asks how its actions are compatible with Britain's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, Jagland wants to know how the convention squares with the detention of a Guardian reporters partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow airport and the forced destruction of the papers hard drives containing Snowden's leaked documents."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden NSA files: secret surveillance and our revelations so far Leaked National Security Agency documents have led to several hundred Guardian stories on electronic privacy and the state (Guardian, link), Surveillance secrecy: the legacy of GCHQ's years under cover - Signals intelligence has always been regarded in Whitehall as acutely sensitive (Guardian, link)
EU: Note Meijers Committee on the proposal for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (COM(2013) 45 final) (pdf): "While the Meijers Committee supports activities of the Union with regard to the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorist activities, the Committee is concerned that the present proposal lacks safeguards against discrimination on the basis of nationality or ethnic origin."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Cameron told Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood to 'warn' Guardian over Edward Snowden documents (Independent, link) and No 10 contacted Guardian over Edward Snowden secrets (BBC News, link) See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK requests destruction of sensitive Snowden files, EU silent (euractiv, link): Guardian Editor, Alan Rushbridger, said: "The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes and, increasingly, it looks like 'when'"
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: So the innocent have nothing to fear? After David Miranda we now know where this leads - The destructive power of state snooping is on display for all to see. The press must not yield to this intimidation by Simon Jenkins (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: SPIN & REALITY: Theresa May had advance notice of David Miranda detention at Heathrow (Guardian. link): "Home secretary confirms Met briefed her before but denies she directed actions, saying police had 'operational independence' "Downing Street confirmed that the prime minister was also informed. "We were kept abreast in the usual way," a No 10 source said. "We do not direct police investigations." "
The "spin", the official line, is that the Metropolitan Police decided to detain and question Miranda at Heathrow for 9 hours under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The Metropolitan Police informed the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary of the decision taken by the police, who then gave the USA the "heads up" on what was going to happen.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch News Editor, comments:
"In reality this is not the way things happen. The NSA and GCHQ/MI6, the "cousins" in intelligence lexicon, were tracking the movements of Greewald and Miranda and knew that Miranda had been in Germany and was going to change planes in London. They decided to intervene and sought clearance by informally telling their governments what was planned. Given the OK the Metropolitan Police, the "foot soldiers", formally detained Miranda to be questioned by intelligence officials."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files - A threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the files leaked by Edward Snowden led to a symbolic act at the Guardian's offices in London (Guardian, link) and Groklaw legal site shuts over fears of NSA email snooping Pamela Jones shuts award-winning site, saying concerns that messages could be read mean that 'there is now no shield from forced exposure' (Guardian, link) See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden NSA files: US and UK at odds over security tactics as row escalates - White House says it would be 'difficult to imagine' US authorities adopting GCHQ tactic of demanding destruction of hard drives (Guardian, link) and David Miranda's lawyers threaten legal action over 'unlawful' detention - Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald seeks return of equipment seized during nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow (Guardian, link) and Full-text of lawyers letter (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU data watchdog to investigate Prism scandal (euobserver, link): "EU data regulators will carry out their own investigation into whether privacy rules have been breached by secret US surveillance programmes, according to the bloc's privacy experts. In a letter published on Monday (19 August) to EU Justice commissioner Viviane Reding, Jacob Kohnstamm, Chairman of the Article 29 working party, said that his group would assess the controversial PRISM programme as well as other platforms used by the US National Security Agency (NSA)."
See: Article 20 Working Party Letter to Commissioner Reding concerning XKeyscore and Prism (pdf)
See also: Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda, schedule 7 and the danger that all reporters now face - As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge and the Guardian offices have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing (Guardian, link) Interesting article by Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger, which includes details of the pressure put on the newspaper:
"A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.
The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more." and:
" one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement"
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: White House was given 'heads-up' over David Miranda detention in UK - US says it did not sanction holding Glenn Greenwald's partner at Heathrow, but was told his name was on passenger list (Guardian, link), David Miranda detention prompts outcry over 'gross misuse' of terror laws - Journalists, human rights lawyers and civil liberties campaigners condemn Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow (Guardian, link) and: Terrorism law watchdog calls for explanation of Miranda detention - David Anderson QC becomes latest figure to question treatment of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner (Guardian, link) See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
See also: Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000: A police snooping tool to protect private profit (Corporate Watch, link), StopWatch: Briefing (pdf), New law would allow indefinite retention of data seized at ports (Statewatch database) and UK: What to do if stopped and questioned at any UK airport or other port (The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours - David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act (Guardian, link) See also Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
UK: Police 'spied on activists for blacklisting agency' - Whistleblower says he believes he personally collected intelligence that later appeared in files of agency (Guardian, l.ink)
International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (Necessary and proportionate, link) Signed by 215 NGOs.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Article 20 Working Party Letter to Commissioner Reding concerning XKeyscore and Prism (pdf): "Especially alarming are the latest revelations with regard to the so-called XKeyscore, which allegedly allows for the collection and analysis of the content of internet communication from around the world." See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
UK-NSA-GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Historical article: The Eavesdroppers (pdf) by Duncan Campbell and Mark Hosenball in Time Out, 21 May 1976. See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU: FRONTEX-EUROJUST MOU: Council of the European Union: Approval by the Council of the EU of the draft Memorandum of Understanding
between Eurojust and Frontex (pdf): Includes the Joint Supervisory Body Opinion.
UK: Landlords as immigration police? (IRR News Service, link) by Frances Webber:"a submission to a current government consultation by Frances Webber, a retired immigration barrister. Response to consultation document Tackling illegal immigration in privately rented accommodation."
EU: European Commission: Report on the requirements for children crossing the external borders of the Member States (COM 567-13, pdf) and 2012 Annual Report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) 300/2008 on Common Rules in the field of Civil Aviation Security (COM 523-13, pdf)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds (Washington Post, link) and see: Edward Snowden documents show NSA broke privacy rules (BBC News, link)
UK: Campaigners to challenge G4S' 'unlawful' business in court (Stop G4S, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Ally and Target: US Intelligence Watches Germany Closely (Spiegel Online, link): "German intelligence services cooperate closely with the NSA, but the country is also a target of US surveillance, as a document seen by SPIEGEL makes clear. The spy software XKeyscore is operated from a facility in Hesse, with some of the results landing on President Obama's desk."
EU: European Commission: Communication: Maximising the Development Impact of Migration: The EU contribution for the UN High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexus (COM 292-13, pdf) and UK government Explanatory Memorandum (pdf)
Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: Resolution: Call for an Inquiry into: Massive Eavesdropping in Europe (pdf)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Administration: White Paper: Bulk collection of telephony metadata under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act (9-8-13, pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: After PRISM : 181 NGOs ask for less surveillance and improved data protection standards..new global standards (EASFJ, link): International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US National Security Agency 'is surveillance leviathan' (BBC News, link): "Papers that said a US spying programme "touches" 1.6% of internet traffic in fact reveal the vast scale of snooping, a senior security researcher has said. Officials played down the scale of the operation, comparing US data collection to a small coin on a basketball court. But Caspar Bowden told the BBC that the National Security Agency (NSA) was a "surveillance leviathan" with no protection for non-US residents." See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects - Law-Enforcement Officials Expand Use of Tools Such as Spyware as People Under Investigation 'Go Dark,' Evading Wiretaps (Wall Street Journal, link) See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
ITALY: Police operation against No TAV: charges of terrorism and subversion (Struggles made in Italy, link) and see: The No-TAV Struggle in the Susa Valley (link)
UK: Met chief was briefed a year ago about police spying on Lawrence campaign - Bernard Hogan-Howe was briefed about police infiltration of groups linked to campaign 11 months before family was told (Guardian, link)
UK: Home Office backs down over 'go home' vans after legal complaint - Government agrees to consult with local communities before embarking on such campaigns again (Guardian link)
UK: Home Office: Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (pdf) and see: Home Office Minister in the House of Lords who said: "The whole focus of this code ,,, is going to be on improving the effectiveness of surveillance": see statement: Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (Code of Practice for Surveillance Camera Systems and Specification of Relevant Authorities) Order 2013 (link) and Surveillance camera code of practice comes into force (BBC News, link). See also: No CCTV (link) and: Surveillance Camera Code of Practice: FAQs (link)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls - Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications (Guardian, link)
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Mandatory Data Retention: European Commission: DG Home: Evidence for necessity of data retention in the EU (March 2013) (pdf), Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) (18-4-11, pdf) and Commission's Experts' Group Electronic Data Retention (link). The Commission Briefing states that "there are over two million requests per year for retained data" in the EU (p7) - in 2012 the UK alone made 570,135 requests to service providers (Annual Report of Interception of Communication Commissioner). The communications data held by service providers for law enforcement agencies covers: fixed and mobile phones (and location), source data and IP addresses - this is better known as "metadata" and the recent revelations on EU-USA data surveillance has demonstrated how "metadata" can generate a highly detailed picture of a person's life and contacts.
The Briefing criticises "certain NGOs" (eg: vorratsdatenspeicherung) on the basis that criminal investigations are based on several sources of evidence of which mandatory data retention is only one. However, it should be the responsilbitity of each EU Member State to provide aggregate statistics showing 1) the total number of communications data requests 2) the number of people charged and 3) the number of people convicted where communications data has been used. See, for example: USA Wire-tap report (links)
UK: Justice delayed is justice denied (IRR News Service, link): "On Saturday 3 August, over 500 people gathered at the North London Community House in Tottenham to remember Joy Gardner, Mark Duggan, Roger Sylvester and Cynthia Jarrett, who all died locally at the hands of the police."
UK: McAlpine names rivals in blacklist defence: Full list (Construction Inquirer, link):Sir Robert McAlpine has added at least nine other contractors as co-defendants against a multi-million pound legal action by blacklisted builders."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S.(New York Times, link): " The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials." See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International to challenge telecoms firms over GCHQ cooperation - Vodafone and BT are among the companies questioned about their compliance with intelligence gathering (Guardian, link). See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
EU: European Parliament: Draft Report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software: CNET has learned the FBI has developed custom "port reader" software to intercept Internet metadata in real time. And, in some cases, it wants to force Internet providers to use the software (link)
EU: BOATS FOR PEOPLE: Are Mediterranean states dreaming of a European Papua New Guinea where they can lock up their boat-people? (Migreurop, link)
SCOTLAND: MI5 spies told: stay out of referendum: A senior Nationalist has written to the head of the UK's Security Service and asked for an assurance that MI5 spies will not interfere in the independence referendum (Herald Scotland, link)
US directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans (Reuters, link)
Greece's food crisis: families face going hungry during summer shutdown - Frontline charities report that up to 90% of families in the poorest neighbourhoods rely on food banks and soup kitchens. But, with no end to austerity in sight, even the volunteers are flagging (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operation cooperation on internal security (COSI): Implementation of the Council's conclusions setting priorities in the fight against organised crime for 2014 - 2017 : identification of the relevant actors (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Law Enforcement Working Party: Relationship between the LEWP and the eighteen (18) expert groups and networks related to the LEWP - suggestions for improving the planning, monitoring and reporting (pdf) See also Statewatch coverage: EU: Europe's police and immigration "mobile identification" enthusiasts prepare to regroup during Irish Presidency of the EU and: Europe's justice and interior ministers push for closer relations between internal security authorities and industry and EU: Crystal balls: internal security authorities want "technology foresight"
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU needs 'German standards' on data privacy (euobserver, link)
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-USA Data Surveillance
UK: Ian Tomlinson's family win apology from Met police over death in 2009 - Four-year battle by newspaper seller's family ends with financial settlement and admission that officer used 'excessive force' (Guardian, link) and: Tomlinson apology: has the Met learned to say sorry sooner? Some families have had to wait more than three decades for the police to admit wrongdoing (Guardian, link)
Netherlands: Two rejected asylum-seekers deported by charter flight
On Thursday 1 August the Dutch secretary for Justice Fred Teeven ordered the deportation by special charter flight of two people who had their applications for asylum rejected. The two had been imprisoned in the Rotterdam prison for irregular migrants and had been - together with many other refugees - on hunger strike for a long period.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: In wake of leaks, US intelligence pulls back the curtain on metadata collection - Highest US intel official declassifies three previously top-secret documents.(ars technica, link) and see: You may already be a winner in NSAs three-degrees surveillance sweepstakes! NSA's probes could cover hundreds of millions of Americans (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'The NSA Benefits': Mass Data Transfers from Germany Aid US Surveillance (Spiegel Online, link): "German intelligence sends massive amounts of intercepted data to the NSA, according to documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden, which SPIEGEL has seen. The trans-Atlantic cooperation on technical matters is also much closer than first thought."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Seven telcos named as providing fiber optic cable access to UK spies - New Snowden leaks show Verizon, Vodafone, and BT share direct data (ars technica, link) and see: Who's watching GCHQ? Proper oversight of Britain's secret listening agency is lacking and that should worry us all (Guardian, link)
UK-GCHQ-USA: Exclusive: NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ (Guardian, link)
Secret payments revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden
GCHQ expected to 'pull its weight' for Americans
Weaker regulation of British spies 'a selling point' for NSA
More detail in: GCHQ: inside the top secret world of Britain's biggest spy agency (Guardian, link)
Files leaked by Edward Snowden reveal how the NSA pays for and influences some of the UK's intelligence gathering programmes. The documents also give unique insights into the challenges faced by the agency and the concerns it has about how to tackle them.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet' (Guardian, link)
XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
See: XKeyscore presentation (pdf) "Top Secret" and addressed to the 1946 UKUSA agreement which involves: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK
and: NSA Chief Heckled At BlackHat As Agency Defends XKeyscore: Alexander fends off attacks from BlackHat audience member (Techweek Europe, link)
UK: Corporate Watch has released a new, 20-page Briefing: Are the UK's mass deportation flights lawful? examining the lawfulness of the UK's mass deportation charter flights, where private airlines are contracted to deport up to 80 refugees and migrants to a particular country at a time. Part of a forthcoming report by Corporate Watch and Stop Deportation examining various other aspects of this controversial programme, the briefing aims to provide campaigners and legal practitioners with some arguments and tools with which to challenge the legality of these flights.
ITALY: CIA inflated threat posed by preacher to justify 2003 kidnapping/rendition in Italy, former CIA official (matthewaid.tumblr.com):
"A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation"
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Overstay Enforcement: Additional Actions Needed to Assess DHSs Data and Improve Planning for a Biometric Air Exit Program (pdf)
GREECE: ATIMA Press release: Death of detained irregular migrants (pdf):
"This new situation of the prolonged detention of thousands of irregular migrants and asylum seekers in conditions that are often unacceptable, has led to extreme and very dangerous situations such as rebellions of the detainees and loss of human life. According to recent publications two detainees committed suicide (one in Grevena Police Station and another in Kozani) while a few days ago an Afghan detainee lost his life. According to the allegations of the Afghan Community the detainee in Korinth detention center didnt get medical treatment on time and when he was taken to hospital his situation was not reversible."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Council Presidency: Presidency statement on outcome of discussions on EUUS working group (pdf)
UK: Police get new mobile fingerprint scanners linked to immigration database: Police in the UK are being equipped with new devices that allow them to check fingerprints against the Immigration and Nationality Database whilst in the street.
UK: Secret list of firms that used private investigators should be published, say MPs - Law and insurance companies were among those to use investigators accused of hacking, according to secret Soca list (Guardian, link)
EU: Commission launches study on the possible creation of a "European System of Border Guards" to be operated by Frontex: The possibility of establishing a "European System of Border Guards" is to be examined in a new study that is aimed at informing a future evaluation of Frontex, the EU's border control agency. The study will be carried out by the multinational consulting and IT giant Unisys, who won the contract at the end of June at a cost of 289,357 and will use the study to set out three potential models for a European System of Border Guards. This will inform an evaluation of Frontex due to take place in 2014, and which may lead to the redrafting of the agency's grounding legislation.
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): EEAS Review (pdf)
UK failing to win the war on e-crime: Home Affairs Select Committee report: E-crime (165 pages, pdf)
UK: New law would allow indefinite retention of data seized at ports
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill is currently being debated in parliament and, if passed, will give a vast array of new powers to police, local authorities and other officials. It will also amend terrorism legislation to allow for the indefinite retention of data seized from persons detained at border crossings.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New Report Calls for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies (Global Network Initiative, link) The Report: Opening the lines: A Call for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies (link, pdf)
European Parliament: Ad Hoc Briefing: The implications of EU anti terrorism legislation on post-conflict political processes and on the standing of the EU as a mediator in regional conflicts (pdf):
"The effects of EU antiterrorism legislation are ambivalent. Banning whole organisations provides hardly an incentive for behavioural change but may strengthen extremism and belligerence. In territories with limited statehood the effects of listing can disrupt essential social and humanitarian services which the organisations offer and for which they are backed by larger parts of the society. The lack of transparent criteria for delisting is another critical issue. As a means of 'prevention' the listing practice seems to be easy to apply, but hardly to remove."
Initial appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment European Commission proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a space surveillance and tracking support programme (pdf)
and LIbrary Briefing: Using scoreboards to assess justice systems (pdf)
ITALY: 31 migrants drown en route to Lampedusa - Survivors say vessel capsized during attempted crossing from Libya to Italian island (Guardian, link)
EU planning to 'own and operate spy drones and an air force (Daily Telegraph, link)
"The European Union is planning to own and operate spy drones, surveillance satellites and aircraft as part of a new intelligence and security agency under the control of Baroness Ashton.... Officials told the Daily Telegraph that the European Commission and Lady Ashtons European External Action Service want to create military command and communication systems to be used by the EU for internal security and defence purposes. Under the proposals, purchasing plans will be drawn up by autumn. The use of the new spy drones and satellites for internal and external security policies, which will include police intelligence, the internet, protection of external borders and maritime surveillance, will raise concerns that the EU is creating its own version of the US National Security Agency."
And see: European Commission: Communication:Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector (COM 542-13, pdf) and France and Germany seek to revive EU defence policy (euobserver, link)
EU: EUROPEAN BANK & COURT OF JUSTICE EXEMPTED FROM HAVING TO DEPOSIT THEIR HISTORICAL ARCHIVES: Council of the European Union: Council Regulation amending Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 354/83 as regards the deposit of the historical archives of the institutions at the European University Institute in Florence (pdf) The European Parliament had to "consent" to the proposal, which it did: EP Report (pdf) and said in its Report: "The proposal in fact provides for limited amendments to the existing regulation,such as the obligation for each EU institution (except the Court of Justice and the European Central Bank) to deposit at the EUI its historical archive" (EUI, the European University Institute in Florence).
This seemingly harmless amendment to the rules for the archiving of all the documents of EU institutions (European Council, Council of the European Union, European Commission, European Parliament and agencies and bodies) excludes the Court of Justice and the European Central Bank from its scope - they will be allowed to decide on a "voluntary basis" which documents to deposit or not.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, commented: "To exclude the Court of Justice and the European Central Bank from the obligation to deposit their documents in EU archives is a backwards step. The rules only apply to documents which are at least 30 years old and if there are specific categories which require longer protection the period could be extended - though it might be asked why? To remove these institutions from the obligation to deposit their archives means that the lessons of history will never be learnt and people will never know what happened and why."
IRELAND: State agencies target Irish phone and internet records - Up to 10,000 requests for information made annually in Ireland compared with just 326 for Austria (Irish Times, (link): "Irish authorities made 27 times as many requests for peoples stored phone and internet use data compared to law enforcement agencies in comparably sized Austria, according to submissions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg."
See also: Data retention might not be proportional to risks (Internet Policy Review, link) on this case.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Roma communities under fire from the far Right in the Czech Republic need pan-European support (IRR News Service, link)
Greece: 1 immigrant dies in Aegean Sea, 12 sought (New Zealand Herald, link)
UK Police Forces and Freedom of Information contact addresses: Police FOI (xls file)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance: narrow defeat for amendment to restrict data collection - First major challenge to NSA's bulk collection of phone records defeated by only 217 votes to 205 in House of Representatives (Guardian, link)
CYPRUS: Unanimous decision of the European Court of Human Rights condemns the Republic of Cyprus Lack of an effective remedy in cases of deportation and detention of asylum seekers and unlawful detention aiming to deportation (vis KISA): "KISA Action for Equality, Support and Antiracism is very pleased to welcome today's decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Case of M.A. v. Cyprus, under which the right to an effective remedy (Article 13) has been violated concerning violations of the right to life (Article 2), the prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3) and the right to personal liberty ( Article 5) in the case of asylum seekers for whom an order of detention and deportation in Syria was issued in 2010. Furthermore, the ECHR ruled that the applicant's detention for purposes of deportation for a period of eleven months was unlawful and violates the right to personal liberty and security." See: ECHR judgment: Case of M.A. v Cyprus
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden's fear of flying is justified - Snowden is a refugee, not a spy. But America has history when it comes to forcing down planes in defiance of international law (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EP Inquiry: Letter from Martin Schulz, MEP, President of the European Parliament to the Council Presidency (pdf): Asking how the European Parliament is going to be informed on the meetings taking place between the EU and the USA.
UK: The IPCC has today published their annual statistics on deaths during or following police contact for the year 2012-13.: link to Report See: INQUEST response to IPCC figures on deaths during or following police contact (link)
USE OF DRONES: A new poll (Pew Research Centre, link) has found that the US policy of drone strikes remains unpopular around the world, with a bigger number of countries surveyed than last year's round of questioning:
"In most of the nations polled, there continues to be extensive opposition to the American drone campaign against extremist leaders and organisations. In 31 nations, at least half disapprove of the US conducting drone missile strikes targeting extremists in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. At least three-in-four hold this view in 15 countries from all corners of the world, including nations from the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Asia.... "The only three countries where majorities support the drone campaign are Israel (64% approve), Kenya (56%), and the US itself (61%)."
These results come at the same time as the Washington Post has run a piece on the expanding US drone surveillance program: U.S. military drone surveillance is expanding to hot spots beyond declared combat zones (link)
Statewatch database: UK: Poll reveals widespread international disapproval of drone strikes
EU: FREEZING AND CONFISCATION OF ASSETS: Council of the European Union: Comparative table: submitted by the Presidency on behalf of the Council in view of the second trilogue on Wednesday 10 July 2013: Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union (2012/0036(COD)) (pdf): Multi-column document showing the different positions going into the Council-European Parliament trilogue.
EU: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: Council of the European Union press release: Council's public register of documents hits 2 million mark (pdf): "The Council of the European Union's public register has reached 2 million documents online. As of today the register contains the references of 2.000.267 documents. Around 75% of these documents are publicly available and directly downloadable. A further 15% are partially available." ["Partially accessible" means censored] And see: Annual report for 2012 (pdf)
OVER 50% of initial requests to the Council for documents are refused to keep secret discussions on new measures
These figures sound good until the detail is examined in the Annual Report: The reasons for refusal of access on an initial application was 41/3% were for the "protection of the institution's decision-making process" (this is under Article 4.3 of Regulation 1049/2001). Understandably many applicants are interested in documents which concern new measures being discussed in the Council and its Working Parties yet it would appear that of over 50% are refused - in addition to 41.3% being refused for this reason 30.0% are refused for "Several reasons together" which can also include refusal for the "protection of the institution's decision-making process".
EU: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: Council of the European Union: FIGURES FOR CLASSIFIED/"SENSITIVE" documents given for the first time: Annual report for 2012 (pdf)
Of the documents held or produced by the Council:of the European Union in 2012
13,817 were classified as "Restricted" in 2012 - the highest annual figure ever
1,339 were classified as "Confidential" in 2012
9 were classified as "Secret"
These includes documents produced by the Council and those sent to the Council by the European Commission or the European External Action Service (EEAS). The figures for "sensitive"/classified documents produced by the Council itself (and included in the figures above) are given as:
None were classified as "Top Secret"
33 were classed as "Secret" in 2012
332 were classified as "Confidential" in 2012 (most are not recorded in the public register)
The figure for the number of "Restricted" documents (the largest category is not given as "Restricted" documents are not referred to in the Regulation, Article 9).
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director comments: "The largest category, "Restricted", 13,817 documents, is of the greatest concern. "Restricted" is defined as where the disclosure of a document would be "disadvantageous" to the interests of the EU or a Member State. The term "disadvantageous" can be used to keep current and ongoing discussions secret and hence stop any critical media coverage - to enforce what has been called "the space to think" for Council and Commission officials and keep the people uninformed and unable to make their views known."
Greece: The city at a time of crisis: Mapping racist attacks in Athens
Since the onset of the financial crisis and subsequent economic policies introduced by the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Greece, racism and incidents of racist violence in the country have risen sharply. During 2012, the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) recorded 154 incidents of racist violence. In 91 cases, victims said they believed that the perpetrators belonged to an extremist group. In "at least 8 cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks reported that they recognised persons associated to Golden Dawn among the perpetrators." The RVRN also reported that "there is a distinct category of 25 incidents where police and racist violence are interlinked," with some attacks taking place in detention centres and police stations, while in others "the involvement of law enforcement officials in racist attacks was also reported."
Increased racism and the growth of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have led to numerous different responses from social, political and community organisations. These include fairly typical activities such as marches and demonstrations as well as more novel responses such as anti-fascist motorcycle patrols in neighbourhoods "where thugs are known to beat up immigrants and cause damage to their shops."  Recently the team behind the research project The City at a Time of Crisis, which aims to "trace and research the effects of the ongoing financial crisis on urban public spaces in Athens," launched a map to document racist attacks in the city. Statewatch spoke to Jaya Klara Brekke from the group to find out more.
GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'Key Partners': The Secret Link Between Germany and the NSA (Spiegel Online, link): "Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said she knew nothing about American surveillance activities in Germany. But documents seen by SPIEGEL show that German intelligence cooperates closely with the NSA and even uses spy software provided by the US"
UPDATE: CIA chief wanted in Italy for rendition on his way back to US (Independent, link).
Previous reports: EU-CIA: Ex-CIA Milan chief held in Panama over cleric abduction (BBC News, link) : "A former CIA station chief convicted by an Italian court of kidnapping a terror suspect has been detained in Panama, Italian officials say. Robert Seldon Lady was sentenced to nine years in jail for his involvement in the abduction of the man, an Egyptian cleric, in Milan in 2003. The cleric, known as Abu Omar, was allegedly flown to Egypt and tortured. Lady was convicted in absentia with 22 other Americans for their role in his "extraordinary rendition" and CIA official held in Panama over Italian snatch case (link)
EU-USA: EU questions decade-old US data agreement (euobserver, link): "The European Commission is casting doubts on a 13-year old data sharing agreement with the United States. EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding on Friday (19 July) told reporters in Lithuanias capital Vilnius her services will be reviewing the so-called Safe Harbor Agreement."
EU: Growing racism spurs rise in extremist parties, commission says (euobserver, link): "Speaking to reporters in Lithuanias capital Vilnius, EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the EU has never before seen so many far right parties in elected bodies since the Second World War."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Extract from the Minutes of the 4 July 2013 meeting of COREPER II: EU-US High Level expert group on security and data protection (pdf): COREPER is the Council of the European Union's Committee of permanent Brussels-based representatives of the 28 EU Member States.
EU: EDPS ON SMART BORDERS: European Data Protection Supervisor: Smart borders: key proposal is costly, unproven and intrusive (Press release,.pdf) and Full-text of Opinion (pdf):
"There is no clear evidence that the Commission Proposals to create a smart border system for the external borders of the EU will fulfil the aims that it has set out, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) today. Following the publication of his opinion which focuses specifically on the Entry/Exit System, the EDPS said that one of the stated aims of the proposals was to replace the existing 'slow and unreliable' system but the Commission's own assessments do not indicate that the alternative will be sufficiently efficient to justify the expense and intrusions into privacy.
As law enforcement authorities may potentially be granted access to the database after a period of evaluation of the system coming into force, it appears that the proposals are anticipating such access before demonstrating that the intrusion into the private lives of individuals is actually necessary. The general trend to give law enforcement authorities access to the data of individuals, who in principle are not suspected of committing any crime, is a dangerous one. The EDPS strongly recommends that the precise added value of such access, compared with access to existing biometric databases, be identified." (emphasis in original)
EU-ECJ: KADI: European Court of Justice: Press release: The Court dismisses the appeals against the General Courts Kadi II judgment
The European Union may not impose restrictive measures on Mr Kadi, without evidence to substantiate his involvement in terrorist activities (pdf) and Judgment against appeal by EU Member States (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Facebook, Skype challenged in EU over spy affair (euobserver, link): " A group of Austrians, led by law student Max Schrems, has challenged the EU-based subsidiaries of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo on data privacy following revelations that they allowed US intelligence services to search to Europeans' data."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Statement from the Intelligence and Security Committee clears GCHQ on use of PRISM: Statement on GCHQs Alleged Interception of Communications under the US PRISM Programme (pdf): "It has been alleged that GCHQ circumvented UK law by using the NSAs PRISM programme to access the content of private communications. From the evidence we have seen, we have concluded that this is unfounded." and: Inquiry into snooping laws as committee clears GCHQ: Intelligence and security committee also confirms GCHQ's use of NSA Prism surveillance material for first time (Guardian, link)
See also: Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament: Annual Report 20122013 (pdf). As usual this is peppered with *** (censored sections). The report does draw attention to a little publicised fact that: "The Security Service continues to work closely with the police, and has a network of regional stations ***." In 2011 MI5 set up eight new regional stations - around a quarter of MI5's 4,000+ officers are based in the regions.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The PRISM scandal gets bigger (EDRI, link)
A lethal 'non-lethal' weapon (Corporate Watch, link):
"With tear gas a prominent weapon used to repress the recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, the multi-billion global market has been expanding. Reported incidents of tear gas-related deaths and injuries have prompted critique of its classification as 'non-lethal' and renewed calls for a ban on its use."
UK: Independent Police Complaints Commission report (IPPC): Report on Metropolitan Police Service handling of complaints alleging race discrimination (pdf): and see: Six Met police officers could be sacked over racist joke text messages: News emerges as part of watchdog report saying force is failing in way it handles racism complaints against officers from public (Guardian, link)
Europe's justice and interior ministers push for closer relations between internal security authorities and industry
The Council of the European Union is hoping to strengthen the involvement of Europe's internal security agencies in "security-related research and industrial policy", calling on Member States' authorities to provide more support for the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS), a working group that last year agreed on a series of "priority areas" that include drones, covert surveillance, remote vehicle stopping and non-lethal weapons.
UK: LEGAL AID: House of Commons Justice Committee: Transforming Legal Aid: evidence taken by the Committee (60 pages, pdf). See also: "The potential death of legal aid": lawyers protest against new government proposals (Statewatch database)
GREECE: 4,000 police on duty for Schaeuble visit: Protests and gatherings banned in large swath of central Athens (EnetEnglish, link)
UK police use powers to seize personal data at borders (Computer Weekly, link)
EU: European Parliament study: The Lisbonisation of the European Parliament: Assessing progress, shortcomings and challenges for democratic accountability in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (55 pages, pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Power of Britain's Data Vacuum (Spiegel Online, link)
EU: EUROPEAN PUBLIC PROSECUTOR & EUROJUST: European Commission proposals: Communication: Better protection of the Union's financial interests: Setting up the European Public Prosecutor's Office and reforming Eurojust (COM 352-13, pdf), Council Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (COM 534-13, pdf) and Regulation on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) (COM 535-13, pdf)
UK police accused of supplying target information for military 'kill list': Court case launched following mistaken identity in Afghan attack to hear claim that Soca helped to compile list for Nato (Guardian, link)
UK: Report on: UNDERCOVER POLICE USE OF DEAD CHILDREN'S NAMES: Operation Herne: Report 1 · Use of covert identities (pdf) See: Dead children's IDs used by undercover police to be kept from families (BBC News, link)
EU: European Commission: Annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on the activities of the EURODAC Central Unit in 2012 (COM 485-13, pdf) and Annual Report on the Situati on of Asylum in the European Union 2012 (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Lithuanian Council Presidency: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, 18-19 July 2013: Programme (pdf), Discussion paper: Cyber security issues (pdf), Future Development of the JHA Area: Discussion Paper on Home Affairs issues (pdf), Future Development of the JHA Area: Discussion Paper on Justice (pdf), 4th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (pdf) and Data Protection Reform: Role of the European Data Protection Board in the consistency mechanism (pdf)
EU: Attacks against Roma in Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (errc, link) and the Institute of Race Relations (IRR): "This week, we publish a briefing paper which documents a growing tide of hostility against Europes Romani communities" (link).
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Merkel calls for EU data protection law after US spy affair (euobserver, link) and Prism case prompts Merkel to seek tougher EU data protection laws (euractiv, link) and see:
UK: Privacy campaigners demand review of snooping laws - Groups write to select committee raising concerns about the way ministers and intelligence agencies have interpreted law (Guardian, link)
UK: Travellers' mobile phone data seized by police at border: Thousands of innocent holidaymakers and travellers are having their phones seized and personal data downloaded and stored by the police, The Telegraph can disclose (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: IRELAND: High Court Refuses Provisional Arrest Warrant for Edward Snowden: What Next? (Human Rights in Ireland, link): The USAs application for provisional arrest to Ireland is dated 5 July - three days after Morales' jet forced to land.
USA: In 'Chilling' Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists' Private Internet Data: "Sweeping" subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant's devastating actions in Ecuador (link)
UK: Britain's drone policy to be examined by MPs (BBC, link) A new inquiry into Britain's policy on armed drone aircraft has been announced by the Commons Defence Committee. MPs will examine the UK's deployment of armed drones and the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.
See also: UK Defence Select Committee anounces remit of inquiry into use of drones (Drone Wars UK, link) Submission from Drone Wars UK to the Defence Select Committee Inquiry (pdf)
Greece: Doctors of the World strongly condemns the re-introduction of a discriminatory public health decree in Greece (press release)
Last week, the new Greek Minister of Health decided to re-introduce Public Health Decree 39A which imposes measures such as obligatory testing for hepatitis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and communicable diseases...This decree is a serious violation of basic human rights, human dignity and medical ethics. It goes against the recommendations of international public health specialists and human rights bodies, including those from the WHO, UNAIDS, the European Centre for Disease Control and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.
See also: Greece: Repeal Abusive Health Regulation (Human Rights Watch, 4 July) Greece reintroduces forced HIV testing (EurActiv, 12 July) Interview with Greek Minister for Public Order, Nikos Dendias, on the BBC World Service (BBC, 10 July)
EU: EU seeks increased surveillance of travel and social media to deal with "foreign fighters"
In late May, the EU's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (CTC), Gilles de Kerchove, published a paper outlining 22 potential measures that could be taken by EU institutions, agencies and Member States to deal with "jihadists travelling from Europe to Syria and other hotspots". The paper describes these "foreign fighters" as "a serious problem for European internal security" and proposes trying to address the issue with public relations exercises, high-level political meetings, and the increased surveillance of social media and travel - including through the introduction of the controversial EU PNR (Passenger Name Record) Directive.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Guardian report: Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages (link)
Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian...The documents show that:
Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;
In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".
EU: Uncertain future for EU-funded police project aimed at enhancing covert surveillance techniques
An EU-funded project - International Specialist Law Enforcement (also known as Project ISLE) - aimed at enhancing the covert surveillance abilities and techniques of Member States' police forces appears to be in limbo, if not discontinued altogether.
UK: Stephen Lawrence case: Special Branch 'spied on' Macpherson inquiry (Guardian, link) Special Branch officers gathered intelligence on anti-racism campaigners from within the official inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, according to a police whistleblower.
UK: G4S: Government charged for electronic tagging of dead people (Channel4, link) Justice Minister Chris Grayling reveals serious mis-charging by Serco and G4S over electronic monitoring of offenders. G4S, which has refused to allow an in-depth audit, may face an SFO investigation.
US: Reprieve report: Down the tubes: The 2013 Hunger Strike at Guantánamo Bay (pdf) See also: Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) demonstrates Guantanamo force-feeding Standard Operating Procedure (youtube, link) and Reprieve: When will White House transfer cleared Gitmo prisoners? (CNN, link)
The report finds evidence of heavy-handed tactics being used by the prison authorities in an attempt to break the strike. Detainees report:
- The frequent use of violent procedures known as Forcible Cell Extractions (FCEs) against those who refuse food, resulting in one example in aggravation of old injuries (Abu Wael Dhiab)
- The use of unnecessary force during the force-feeding process, resulting in vomiting or bleeding in some cases
- A new regime of invasive genital searches for any detainees wishing to take calls from family or legal counsel, or attend meetings thought to be aimed at discouraging such calls and therefore restricting the flow of information from the prisoners to the outside world
- The use of solitary confinement to "prevent them from achieving solidarity," in the words of the Guantánamo authorities Standard Operating Procedure
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee MEPs agree on surveillance inquiry's next steps (link)
The European Parliament inquiry into alleged spying by the US and EU countries will hold hearings with their authorities, legal and IT experts, NGOs, data protection authorities, national parliaments following this issue and private firms involved in data transfers, the Civil Liberties Committee decided on Wednesday. The first hearing takes place on 5 September.
GREECE: Hunger striker released on bail on 38th day of protest (EnetEnglish, link) Decision to release Kostas Sakkas on bail comes a day after a doctor monitoring his health said he is at the 'final stage' of life, having completed 37 days on hunger strike. See also: In Greece, things move fast except justice for Kostas Sakkas (Guardian, link)
UK: Man dies after police use Taser in Manchester (Sky, link) Police say the 23-year-old "suffered a medical episode" after police fired a Taser stun gun at him in Manchester. See also: Thousands more Tasers issued to police in London
GREECE: ROAR magazine: Landscapes of emergency: militarizing public space (link) This short documentary reveals the undeclared state of emergency that casts its shadow over the functions of public space in crisis-ridden Athens today.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Congressional Research Service report: NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress (2 July 2013, pdf)
Recent attention concerning National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance pertains to unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. Since these programs were publicly disclosed over the course of two days in June, there has been confusion about what information is being collected and what authorities the NSA is acting under. This report clarifies the differences between the two programs and identifies potential issues that may help Members of Congress assess legislative proposals pertaining to NSA surveillance authorities.
EU: EU officials discuss interconnection of visa database and Schengen Information System
The Visa Information System (VIS) launched in October 2011 and the Schengen Information System II (SIS II) began operating in April this year. Both of these vast European databases can hold tens of millions of pieces of data on people and property, and now EU officials are looking to move towards realising a long-held goal - the interconnection of the two systems.
EU: Eurojust and Interpol establish "cooperative relations in order to improve the international response to serious crime"
Eurojust, the EU agency dealing judicial cooperation in criminal matters, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Criminal Police Office, Interpol. The purpose of the MoU is to "establish, define, encourage and improve cooperation between the Parties in the fight against serious crime, particularly when it is organised."
UK: UK to scrap 100 EU justice laws (euobserver, link) The UK wants to repatriate 35 EU-wide police and justice laws out of some 130 in its wider efforts to claw back power from the EU. "We believe the UK should opt out of the measures in question for reasons of principle, policy, and pragmatism," UK home secretary Theresa May told ministers in London on Tuesday 9 July.
See: Home Secretary's oral statement to the House of Commons on this decision (gov.co.uk, link) Decision pursuant to Article 10 of Protocol 36 to The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (pdf)
UK: European Court of Human Rights: Grand Chamber judgment finds UK whole-life jail sentences violate Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights (press release, pdf) Judgment (pdf)
See: Britain faces new clash with Europe over whole-life jail sentences (Guardian, link) and Whole-life jail sentences: what are the government's options? (Guardian, link)
EU-US: TAFTA, the US-EU's Trojan Trade Agreement: Talks (and Leaks) Begin (EFF, link) The first round of talks in what the U.S. and EU trade representatives intend to be the largest bilateral trade agreement ever have begun.
EU: Greece accused of undertaking illegal 'push-back' operations, Maltese Prime Minister says they are an option
According to a new report by Amnesty International, "people's lives are frequently put at risk by the actions of the Greek border guard and coastguard while carrying out push-back operations along the border with Turkey." This comes just days after Malta's Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, "reaffirmed his government's position not to exclude the controversial push-backs of migrants at sea."
See: Lives at risk as refugees pushed back to Turkey, Amnesty warns in new report (Amnesty press release, link) Full report (pdf)
Refugees trying to reach the EU via Greece from conflict-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan are being unlawfully returned to Turkey by Greek coast and border guards. The report examines the Greek authorities dangerous use of push backs - when they turn groups of refugees and other migrants back across the border, denying them the right to have their individual cases heard or to challenge their expulsion.
UK: Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary: Police use of stop and search powers is too often ineffective in tackling crime and procedurally incorrect, thereby threatening the legitimacy of the police (press release, link) Full text of report (pdf)
The report found that "27% of the 8,783 stop and search records examined by HMIC did not include sufficient grounds to justify the lawful use of the power."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Federal Judge Allows Electronic Frontier Foundation's NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed (link) Why we only spy on foreigners doesnt work any more for the NSA (Washington Post, link)
UK: Jimmy Mubenga was unlawfully killed, inquest jury finds (Guardian, link) Mubenga died after being restrained by three G4S guards as he was being deported to Angola in October 2010. At the end of an eight-week inquest, a jury of seven men and three women recorded a majority verdict of nine to one of unlawful killing after four days of deliberations.
G4S faces damages claim over killing of Jimmy Mubenga (Guardian link)
Jimmy Mubenga case a 'predictable consequence' of deportation system (Guardian link)
Jimmy Mubenga's unlawful killing was a death waiting to happen (Guardian link)
Response from Inquest, Jimmy Mubenga's family, and lawyer (Inquest, link)
Utter contempt for dignity and life (Liberty, link)
Amnesty response to Jimmy Mubenga inquest (link)
Campaigners call for corporate manslaughter charges against G4S following 'unlawful killing' verdict in Jimmy Mubenga inquest (StopG4S, link)
See also: Unlawful killing verdicts 1990-2012 - all statistics of deaths in custody (Inquest, link) and Statewatch analysis: The death of Jimmy Mubenga: Securing your world through privatised manslaughter (July 2011)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU-US counter-terrorism pacts at risk over snooping affair (euobserver, link) and Snowden Claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot (Spiegel Online, link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: EDPS finds major deficiencies in anti-money laundering proposals (pdf) and Opinion (pdf):
"Giovanni Buttarelli, Assistant EDPS, said: "The growing trend to acknowledge the importance of data protection in proposals for legislation is a welcome one. But on closer examination, the claims are often not supported with concrete measures and safeguards. A lack of further details will also result in undue discrepancies among Member States. Data protection should therefore not be perceived as an obstacle to combat money laundering but as a basic requirement necessary to achieve this purpose".
EU-EAW: Council of the European Union: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant Year 2012 (pdf). The three leading states issuing EAWs (and the number of people surrendered as a result) were: Poland 3,497 (1,103), Germany 1,984 (1,104) and France 1,087 (322). NB: the number of people surrendered includes those where warrants were issued in previous years)
EU: New Ombudsman (pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US attempts to block Edward Snowden are 'bolstering' case for asylum - As Venezuela and Nicaragua offer help to whistleblower, experts say US actions are strengthening his case for safe haven (The Observer, link)
And see: The NSA/GCHQ metadata reassurances are breathtakingly cynical - The public is being told that the NSA and GCHQ have 'only' been collecting metadata, not content. That's nothing to be thankful for (The Observer, link), Me and my metadata - thoughts on online surveillance (link) and Betrayed by our own data: Mobile phones are tracking devices that reveal much about our lives. One look at our interactive map of data provided by the Green party politician Malte Spitz shows why (link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA leaks: UK blocks crucial espionage talks between US and Europe - First talks to soothe transatlantic tensions to be restricted to data privacy and Prism programme after Britain and Sweden's veto (Guardian, link)
"While Grybauskaite [Lithuanian Council Presidency] said on Thursday that the Europeans wanted to hold two separate sets of talks with the U.S., just a day later she said one was dropped, along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Intelligence matters and those of national security are not the competence of the EU, Barroso said." (Activist Post, link)
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, observes: "Instead of creating two EU-USA working groups as promised, the UK and Sweden veto means there will only be one working group on PRISM and data protection. The working group that has been vetoed would have covered intelligence and espionage collection and usage - the role of the USA's NSA and UK's GCHQ gathering all forms of communications not just between EU governments but also those of individuals and groups "of interest to the state" in Europe and the rest of the world.."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Venezuela and Nicaragua make Snowden asylum offers (BBC News, link)
UK: Five police forces investigated over alleged Stephen Lawrence smear campaign (Independent, link)
"The investigation into alleged police attempts to smear the Stephen Lawrence campaign and undermine the credibility of witnesses attending the Macpherson inquiry into the black teenagers racist murder is focusing on the activities of five forces, The Independent has learnt.
Investigators are understood to be waiting for senior officers from Avon and Somerset Constabulary and West Midlands Police to complete urgent trawls of their records in relation to possible surveillance or intelligence gathering operations carried out in Bristol and Birmingham.
The cities, alongside Bradford and Manchester, hosted regional sittings of the Macpherson Inquiry in 1998 where race relations campaigners aired a string of grievances against their local forces over stop and search and other flashpoint issues."
And see: Police admit bugging Stephen Lawrence murder witness - Senior officer gave authorisation to record at least one meeting with Duwayne Brooks (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European NGO statement: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Transnational Institute and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights: Grounding of Bolivian presidential jet in attempt to render whistleblower shames European Union (pdf):
"The refusal of entry into their airspace by European states for the Bolivian presidential jet on the basis of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board was an astonishing manoeuvre that flies in the face of the EUs commitment to democracy, human rights and international law.
The potential damage that this action does to both the reputation of the European Union and respect for international law within and beyond its borders cannot be understated. The forcing down and searching the Bolivian Presidents jet was a clear breach of fundamental principles of diplomatic immunity and inviolability. Such principles are the bedrock of good international relations and customary international law."
UK: Full-text: The Report of The Azelle Rodney Inquiry (pdf): See: Azelle Rodney 'Unlawfully Killed' By Police (Sky News, link) and Why did Met officer keep firing at Azelle Rodney? Police marksman's account of shooting suspect six times due to his 'body language', was contradicted by forensic evidence (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs slam US snooping, amid revelations France does the same (euobserver, link)
- MEPs to set up US spy scandal inquiry (The Parliament, link)
- France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style methods': Intelligence agency has spied on French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity, says Le Monde newspaper (Guardian, link)
- Kroes: Spy scandal could harm US Cloud firms (euobserver, link)
- US and Germany to hold talks over European NSA surveillance concerns: Obama tells Merkel US 'takes seriously the concerns' but French interior minister admonishes US ambassador at 4 July party (Guardian, link)
- Latin American leaders slam US, EU on Morales flight (euobserver, link)
- John Pilger: Forcing down Evo Morales's plane was an act of air piracy: Denying the Bolivian president air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world (Guardian, link)
- In English : Revelations on the French Big Brother (Société, link)
CoE-MALTA: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Malta (link to Press release) and to Report and Response of government
UK: CPS may bring first case against Metropolitan police spy - Jim Boyling alleged to have concealed from his managers a relationship he was having with a political campaigner (Guardian, link)
Updated: EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes (pdf) The resolution, approved by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions. The Resolution (pdf)
European Parliament: Letter from the Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) requesting the setting up of an EP inquiry (pdf) and for plenary session vote on Thursday with amendments to be discussed: Joint Motion for a Resolution: on the US National Security Agency surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens privacy (pdf) And see: TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance (La Quadrature du net, link)
FRANCE: DATA-SURVEILLANCE: Révélations sur le Big Brother français (Le Monde, link)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly (PACE): European Parliamentarians OK Whistleblower Resolution (Freedominfo.org, link). See also: PACE committee calls for protection of whistleblowers who reveal state wrongdoing (Press release, pdf) and National Security and Access to Information (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Council conclusions on the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy joint communication on the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Provisional agendas for Justice and Home Affairs Councils (July-December 2013, pdf)
UK-ECUADOR: SURVEILLANCE: Snowden row intensifies as hidden bug found in Ecuador's embassy - Ecuadorean minister threatens to reveal perpetrators after device discovered during meeting over Assange (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Bolivian President: "kidnapped by imperialism in Europe"
"According to media reports, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal .. denied his plane the right to fly over their airspace." : EU states ground Bolivian leader's plane in Snowden affair (euobserver, link):
"Saavedrd said he considered the whole fiasco as a hostile act perpetrated by the United States which uses EU governments as proxies." [Bolivian Defence Minister] and "Bolivia's vice president, Alvaro Garcia, went further. He said Morales had been kidnapped by imperialism in Europe."
- Bolivians bitter as Snowden stand-off triggers 'hostile act' (CQ News, link): "Just days after the US Presidents claim that he would not be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker, the Obama administration was accused of doing precisely that."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE European Parliament to launch enquiry into US eavesdropping (euractiv, link):
"The European Parliament on Thursday (4 July) plans to establish a special committee to investigate reports that an American spy agency monitored phone calls and e-mails of EU institutions and some member states."
EU: Law enforcement authorities to gain access to European visa database on 1 September
The EU's policing agency Europol and law enforcement authorities of states that are part of the Schengen area of free movement look set to be able to access information held in the EU's Visa Information System (VIS) from 1 September onwards, potentially giving them access to vast amounts of personal information and biometric data.
EU-Russia: UK shuns working arrangement between the European Police College and the Russian interior ministry on security grounds
The UK government has declared that it is "unable to support" a working arrangement between the European Police College (CEPOL) and the Academy of Management of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, citing "concerns about engagement with some parts of the Russian security infrastructure."
NORTHERN IRELAND:Criminal Justice Inspectorate: A review of the criminal justice systems preparedness for exceptional or prolonged public disorder (pdf) and see: Use G8 plan for riots (BBC News, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A blast from the past: ECHELON report and follow up: 1999 (pdf)
EU:-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Barroso orders security sweep after allegations of US spying (European Voice, link) and EU data bill is likely target of NSA snoops (euobserver, link) also Statement by the spokespersons of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on the press reports of US surveillance of EU premises (link)
EU: EUROSUR REGULATION: Full text as agreed between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (11367-13, 25-6-13, pdf)
and see: Draft Regulation establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) [First Reading] - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (10309-13, 31-5-13, pdf) includes:
"agreed that the Presidency would take into account a suggestion supported by certain delegations to delete the reference to the lives of migrants in Article 3(fb) and Article 9(3)(a) but the Presidency underlined that the European Parliament was likely to strongly resist such a change." [emphasis added)
and: Outcome of proceedings of the Mixed Committee at the level of Senior Officials on 13 June 2013 (11576-13, 25-6-13, pdf):
"The CLS [Council Legal Service] explained that the Council declaration on EUROSUR cannot be understood as precluding any EU rules in the field of search and rescue at sea, in particular after the judgment of the Court of Justice on 5 September 2012, European Parliament v Council (C-355/10).
DE [Germany] indicated that it intends to abstain and ES [Spain] and EL [Greece] indicated that they intend to vote against." [emphasis added)
EU: EXIT-ENTRY SYSTEM: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union (11143-13, pdf) Council working party discussions developing its negotiations - more powers for law enforcement agencies. Contains Member State positions.
See: Statewatch coverage: Member States want access to the proposed Entry/Exit System for law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies and Presidency under pressure to "ensure law enforcement access" to proposed entry/exit migrant database
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Washington Post publishes new documents on PRISM: NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program (link). And see: U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program (Washington Post, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies - Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets including EU, France and Italy (Guardian, link) See also: Press release: Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the alleged surveillance of EU premises (pdf), EU-US relations at risk after new bugging scandal (euobserver, link) and EU calls for US wiretapping to stop immediately (euractiv, link)
This is not the first time this has happened, do you remember this from 2003: Telephone lines in EU Council building tapped (euobserver, link)
Consortium News.org: How to Thwart Internet Spying (link)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Home Affairs Select Committee: Undercover Policing: Interim Report: Government Response to the Committee's Thirteenth Report of Session 201213 (pdf) and see: Home Affairs Committee: Undercover Policing: Interim Report (pdf), While the 40-year old Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) was disbanded five years ago their role continued under another "hat" (NPOIU) and has now been moved to yet another "hat" (NDEDIU) as the government recognises:
"The issues around the management of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) by ACPO were raised in last year's report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, following which the management of the NPOIU moved from ACPO to the Metropolitan Police Service, where it was absorbed into the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit."
UK: POLICE STANDARDS: Home Affairs Select Committee: Leadership and standards in the police (pdf): Committee Chair Keith Vaz MP said:
Broken systems of accountability and a patchwork of police standards and training, have allowed a minority of police officers to get away with corruption and incompetence which is blighting an otherwise excellent service with dedicated officers. The recent allegations of police spying on the Lawrence family and the bugging of Duwayne Brooks, and other activities of undercover officers have shocked the public."
Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices (Der Spiegel, link) and 'Out of Control': Europe Furious over NSA Spying on EU Facilities (link)
Documents obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel from whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the USA's NSA has been spying on the diplomatic missions of the EU at the UN in New York and and its offices in Washington. This involved placing bugs in their offices and intercepting its computer networks. The NSA was able to listen in to discussion as well as getting access to emails and documents.
The documents also show that just over five years ago the NSA conducted an electronic eavesdropping operation in the Council of the European Union's Justis Lipsius headquarters in Rue de la Loi.
and Key US-EU trade pact under threat after more NSA spying allegations: Reports in Der Spiegel that US agencies bugged European council building 'reminiscent of cold war', says German minister (Guardian, link)
European Parliament: Working Document I: on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2012 (pdf) and Working Document II: on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2012 (pdf): "The situation of fundamental rights in the EU and the debate on the need for a new EU mechanism on fundamental rights, the rule of law, democracy and justice."
EU: Council of the European Union: The Swedish delegation: to: the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI)
Subject: Discussion paper on COSI and terrorism 10162-13, (pdf) Argues for COSI to take a more active role on counter-terrorism.
EU: Council of the European Union: Policy Advisory Document for the years 2014 to 2017 (8453-rev-2-13, pdf): "Action 30 of the EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime requires that COSI and the Commission produce a Policy Advisory Document (PAD) on the basis of the EU SOCTA 2013 to assist COSI in submitting to the Council draft conclusions setting the EU crime priorities for the upcoming cycle between 2014 and 2017."
EU:EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER: Council of the European Union: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters -Text suggestions in view of the trilogue on 11 June 2013 (9747-rev1-13, pdf)
EU Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism = Preparation for the first informal trilogue (10583-13, 126 pages, pdf) First Council discussion on its negotiating position.
EU: Council of the European Union: Joint declaration establishing a Mobility Partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union and its Member States (6139-13, pdf) The participating Member States of the EU are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain anf the UK. Includes "To continue cooperation on readmission to the mutual benefit of both parties" and: "To enhance information exchange, administrative capacity and operational and technical cooperation with regard to border management, the detection and dismantling of networks involved in trafficking migrants and cross-border organised crime, and combating illegal immigration" together with "to enhance procedures for the security and issue of travel documents in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards; of identity documents and residence permits; and of other official documents issued by the Moroccan authorities.." the latter provision affects not just migrants but Moroccan citizens too.
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (225 pages, pdf). Council developing its negotiating position before trilogues with European Parliament.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: For those that missed here are three three original leaks by Snowden: Top Secret: Exhibit A (pdf), Secret: Exhibit B (pdf) and Secret: Certification Order (pdf) and European Parliament: Schulz on alleged bugging of EU office by the US authorities (link)
UK: SPYING ON THE EU: Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ's secret cable trawl: Minister questions legality of mass tapping of calls and internet and demands to know extent to which Germans were targeted (Guardian, link)
UK: A STATE OUT OF CONTROL: Police unit monitors 9,000 'extremists': Officers familiar with workings of unit indicate that many of campaigners listed on database have no criminal record (Guardian, link):
"On Tuesday, Francis [an undercover police officers] said in a Guardian webchat that those targeted by Special Branch in the past included the former home secretary, Jack Straw, once a student union activist.
"I read Mr Straw's rather large file," he said. "It will be a pink file with his individual 'RF' (Registry File) number. The same for [MPs] Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn and Imran Khan, the lawyer for the Stephen Lawrence family. The human rights solicitor firm Bindmans also had its own dedicated file."
- "pink file" means: record all references (open sources) and "flags" on police/security computers records systems.
- all Special Branch files are routinely passed upstairs to MI5 who incorporate them into their own records
EU: Council of the European Union: Current Council negotiating position on the Regulation on data protection: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (225 pages, 21.6.13, pdf) and Council earlier discussion:on Chapter V, transfers to non-EU states: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Revised Chapter V (pdf)
ECJ: DATA PROTECTION: THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN: Opinion of Adovcate General: Press Release (pdf) and Full-text of opinion (pdf) See also: EU court: No 'right to be forgotten' in data rules (euobserver, link)
UK: Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption: Exclusive: undercover officers in Special Demonstration Squad targeted political campaigns against Metropolitan police (Guardian, link)
UK: Police 'smear' campaign targeted Stephen Lawrence's friends and family: Exclusive: former undercover officer Peter Francis says superiors wanted him to find 'dirt' shortly after 1993 murder (Guardian, link)
"A police officer who spent four years living undercover in protest groups has revealed how he participated in an operation to spy on and attempt to "smear" the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, the friend who witnessed his fatal stabbing and campaigners angry at the failure to bring his killers to justice."
Peter Francis, a former undercover police officer turned whistleblower, said his superiors wanted him to find "dirt" that could be used against members of the Lawrence family, in the period shortly after Lawrence's racist murder in April 1993. He also said senior officers deliberately chose to withhold his role spying on the Lawrence campaign from Sir William Macpherson, who headed a public inquiry to examine the police investigation into the death.
Francis said he had come under "huge and constant pressure" from superiors to "hunt for disinformation" that might be used to undermine those arguing for a better investigation into the murder. He posed as an anti-racist activist in the mid-1990s in his search for intelligence."
and see: Doreen Lawrence: 'police resources were used to monitor our campaign': Murdered teenager's mother responds to claims by a former undercover officer that the Met wanted to discredit her family" (Guardian, link)
European Parliament: MEPs waive immunity for Marine Le Pen over anti-Muslim comment (euractiv, link): "MEPs have lifted parliamentary immunity for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the outspoken politician who is expected to face criminal charges over racist remarks".
Five Countries Conference (FCC)
It is interesting to note that the Five Country Conference (FCC) is, by chance, comprised of the same five states - Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA - who take part in the ongoing 1946 UKUSA agreement which set up the global surveillance system. The FCC's work is centred on matching biometrics (fingerprints) to check refugees, asylum-seekers, those of "concern" and criminal offences:
EU-USA-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications: Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA (Guardian, link) and:
Mastering the internet: how GCHQ set out to spy on the world wide web: Project Tempora the evolution of a secret programme to capture vast amounts of web and phone data (Guardian, link)
UK: McLibel leaflet was co-written by undercover police officer Bob Lambert: Exclusive: McDonald's sued green activists in long-running David v Goliath legal battle, but police role only now exposed (Guardian, link)
UK: Government proposes limited reforms of undercover police authorisations, neglects other issues
The government has announced plans to introduce a new system of authorisation for undercover policing operations in response to scandals that have plagued the police since January 2011 when Mark Kennedy was ousted as a spy within the European environmental movement.
What is missing from the government's reponse is a willingness to re-define "domestic extremism" so as to expressly exclude the right to protest in a democracy..
EU: EURODAC: Council of the European Union: Common European Asylum System: Council adopts the Eurodac regulation (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of Eurodac Regulation as adopted (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Report on the EU support for democratic governance, with a focus on the governance initiative (COM 403-14, pdf) Covers democracy and governance outside the EU.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A WORD TO THE WISE: Why NSA surveillance is a threat to British doctors and lawyers: Professionals using cloud services will have to guard against the danger of patients and clients being snooped on (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs reactions: Jan Albrecht - Sarah Ludford - Sylvie Guillaume
Justice Commissioner Reding has indicated to the European Parliament that she would not object if the parliament were to reinstate of Article 42 (which was removed from the draft Commission proposal by US lobbying) and would require authorisation in every instance where the communications of an EU citizen were requested by US agencies from service providers based in the USA: See: US spy scandal prompts redraft of EU data bill (euobserver, link). If the parliament were to adopt this position we would see a "battle royale" between it and the Council (EU governments) and other Commissioners and Directorate-Generals who are susceptible to USA pressure.
UK: Police data-gathering on protesters dealt a blow by the courts
The high court has ruled that the Metropolitan police acted unlawfully by filming a legal observer and forcing her to hand over personal details so that she could leave a "kettle" (surrounded and detained by a police cordon), in what is the second legal victory this year for campaigners attempting to limit the powers police have to gather information on protesters.
GREECE: Police crackdown on illegal migration in Athens is abusive says report (Ekathimerini): "Police in Athens are conducting abusive stops and searches and have detained tens of thousands of people in a crackdown on illegal immigration, according to a Human Rights Watch report released on Wednesday." Full report: Unwelcome guests: Greek police abuses of migrants in Athens (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Annual report on immigration and asylum: Press release (COM 422, pdf), Full-text of Report (pdf) and Staff Working Document (SWD 210, pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US spy scandal prompts redraft of EU data bill (euobserver, link). See: Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on data protection (pdf) and overt lobbying by the US officials against Article 42 including the submission of an Informal Note on Draft EU General Data Protection Regulation (December 2011) (pdf) from the USA. And: final, adopted an published, version: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (25 January 2012, pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: PRISM: EU citizens' data must be properly protected against US surveillance (Press release, link) and Sarah Ludford MEP press release: PRISM and data protection: Commissioner's answers inadequate (pdf)
EP-HUNGARY: MEPs ask Hungarian government to change course and fully respect European values (link) and Full text of Resolution (link)
UK: Police acted unlawfully after kettling cuts protesters, high court rules - Legal observer was filmed and made to hand over personal information as condition of release from containment in 2011 (Guardian, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU Parliament in push to limit U.S. data access (Reuters, link) and Britain's response to the NSA story? Back off and shut up - Snowden's revelations are causing outrage in the US. In the UK, Hague deploys a police-state defence and the media is silenced (Guardian, link)
The Spanish Police might use spying Trojans on individuals computers (EDRIgram, link)
G8 police operation 'means officers well prepared' for possible future riots - Northern Ireland operation costing £50m resulted in just two arrests, but PSNI say money was well spent (Guardian, link) See also: UK: Tests near completion on new police weapon and UK: Thousands more Tasers issued to police in London
US-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MoD serves news outlets with D notice over surveillance leaks - BBC and other media groups issued with D notice to limit publication of information that could 'jeopardise national security' (Guardian, link)
"reading people's email before/as they do": GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits: Exclusive: phones were monitored and fake internet cafes set up to gather information from allies in London in 2009 (Guardian, link)
"One document refers to a tactic which was "used a lot in recent UK conference, eg G20". The tactic, which is identified by an internal codeword which the Guardian is not revealing, is defined in an internal glossary as "active collection against an email account that acquires mail messages without removing them from the remote server". A PowerPoint slide explains that this means "reading people's email before/as they do".[emphasis added]
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "These revelations come as no surprise to those who have tracked US-UK intelligence-gathering since the 1946 UKUSA agreement setting up global cooperation between the NSA and GCHQ. Intercepts by GCHQ are routinely forwarded to the Cabinet Office and then onto Ministries like the Foreign Office and have always given UK Ministers and officials the inside track in EU and international negotiations. Secondly, this confirms that a technological capacity of "reading people's email before/as they do" can be used not only to spy on other governments but also on organisations and individuals in civil society."
Background: UK-USA: National Archive publishes details of the 1946 UKUSA agreement for first time (Statewatch database)
EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Scheme does not meet the tests of necessity and proportionality: Serious concerns regarding proposed Entry Exit System (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf)
"In its opinion the Working Party highlights that the added value of an Entry Exit System to achieve its aims is not a sufficient test to prove its necessity and its proportionality in terms of its impact on fundamental rights. The Working Partys opinion furthermore calls into question whether the Entry Exit System can be effective in achieving its own stated aims. Even if it were accepted that the proposed system provided significant added value, the opinion concludes that the added value of the Entry Exit System to achieving its stated aims does not meet the threshold of necessity which can justify interference with the rights under Article 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental rights. Furthermore, the opinion expresses that the added value of the proposed system is not proportionate to the scale of its impact on fundamental rights in relation to each of its aims, and that alternatives exist to meet its aims."
PARIS: Press conference on the 'left to die boat' case (link)
G8: PREPARATIONS: The security tightens, the tension rises, the preparations speed up (Belfast Telegraph, link), G8 summit security operation steps up as world leaders head for Northern Ireland: Security and policing costs could reach £50million, with an additional £10million on staging the summit at the luxury golf resort (Daily Mirror, link) and G8: Lock down on Lough Erne (BBC News, link)
In our own backyard the EU's Directive on mandatory data retention (2006) requires service providers to hold records of all communication data (who contacted who and when) for e-mails, faxes, landline and mobile phone calls (including the location) and to give law enforcement agencies access to this data. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "However, the Directive also requires records to be kept of all internet usage across the EU. Access to a person's internet usage also reveals its content, the pages looked at."
EU: CYBER SECURITY v. PRIVACY: Credible cyber security strategy in the EU needs to be built on privacy and trust: Cyber security is not an excuse for the unlimited monitoring and analysis of the personal information of individuals, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Press release (pdf) and Opinion (pdf): Peter Hustinx (EDPS) said:
"if the EU wants to cooperate with other countries, including the USA, on cyber security, it must necessarily be on the basis of mutual trust and respect for fundamental rights, a foundation which currently appears compromised."
US defends spy programme to sceptical EU (euobserver, link)
GREECE-EU: Council of the European Union: Greece's National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management: Information by Greece (pdf) The plans include "Pre-removal centres" run by the police:
"Five (5) pre-removal centres are operating in Amygdaleza, Corinth, Paranesti, Xanthi and Komotini, with total capacity of 5000 places. The establishment of four (4) additional preremoval facilities at Lesvos, Western Macedonia, Ritsona and Karoti- Evros, will increase the total capacity to 10.000 places by the end of 2014." and for border controls the:
"extension of the existing integrated border surveillance system, in progress in the area of Evros (i.e. thermal cameras), focuses on the improvement of border management, the reduction of the deployed human resources (i.e. police officers) and, consequently, the limitation of the respective costs. The project of the Orestiada P.D., covering 35km of the river border, will be completed by the end of 2013, whereas the study for the project of the Alexadroupolis P.D. (i.e. 90 km borderline surveillance), is expected to be ready by the end of June.
The establishment of five (5) Regional Operational Centres at the Eastern Aegean Islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Rhodes) will be completed by the end of July."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the USA changed the Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on EU data protection before it was formally adopted in January 2012 so as not to stand in the way of FISA/PRISM surveillance of the EU: The Financial Times reported on 12 June 2013, that due to US pressure and high-level lobbying, the Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on data protection (pdf), sent out for inter-service consultation in December 2011, was amended by deleting Article 42. Article 42 would have been effectively an "anti-FISA clause" (the USA's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and was deleted, after lobbying, by the full college of Commissioners as this would have led to major conflicts with the USA because most data servers of internet companies holding data on EU citizens are based in the USA. The Financial Times quotes a EU official as saying: "White House officials were making the rounds here and especially targeting Commissioners who have close relationships to the US to get them to remove Article 42" (in the draft proposal).
This volte-face by the Commission followed overt lobbying by the US officials including the submission of an Informal Note on Draft EU General Data Protection Regulation (December 2011) (pdf) from the USA and (put online at the time by Statewatch) which led to negative opinions being expressed by a number of Commission DGs.
The US Note says that Article 42 would impede and hinder law enforcement cooperation because "provision should be made to prohibit a controller or processor to directly dispose personal data to requesting third countries, unless authorised to do so by a supervisory authority [eg: a member state data protection authority... the draft regulation would effectively undermine international cooperation" - the "international cooperation" referred to is, of course, a one-way street whereby the USA reserves to itself to right to put under surveillance anyone in the EU or the world.
The final, adopted an published, version: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on
the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (25 January 2012, pdf)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Spies Without Borders I: Using Domestic Networks to Spy on the World (EFFI, link) and International Customers: It's Time to Call on US Internet Companies to Demand Accountability and Transparency (EFFI, link)
EU: Committee asked to reconsider passenger data plan (European Voice, link): The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) opposed the idea of extending the EU-PNR proposal to also cover tracking passengers' movements inside the EU (recording all travel between Member States). This extension of the proposals scope was initiated by the UK government and other governments in the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The original proposal from the European Commission concerned only monitoring air travel from outside the EU (those coming into the EU from third countries on visas or visa-free countries). The Committee's report was due to be discussed at the Strasbourg plenary session this week but the Conference of Presidents (the party leaders in the EP) stepped in and sent it back to the Committee.
EU: Data protection authorities condemn Commission's Europol proposal
The data protection provisions of the European Commission's most recent law enforcement proposal have been condemned by European data protection authorities, with the Joint Supervisory Board of Europol saying that they are a "a clear retrograde step" that "would result in a much weaker Europol data protection regime."
At the end of March, the Commission published a proposal for a Regulation that would establish a European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training, merging Europol (whose name the new agency would retain) and the European Police College, CEPOL. At the beginning of May both agencies rejected the proposal, arguing that their "core mandates do not overlap though they co-operate on some training issues relevant to serious crime."
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Access to documents: Parliament calls for immediate action to break the deadlock (Press release, pdf):
"The Commission should engage fully in the amending and Lisbonising of the 2001 regulation on access to documents, or take "any appropriate measures to break the deadlock", and Council should immediately restart debates to adopt its first-reading position and to continue negotiations, ask MEPs."
The resolution was adopted by 333 votes in favour, 128 against and 50 abstentions.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU Commissioner Reding's letter to the US Attorney-General (full-text, pdf) See below for background. Poses seven questions and opens with:
"I have serious concerns about recent media reports that United States authorities are accessing and processing, on a large scale, the data of European Union citizens using major US online service providers. Programmes such as PRISM and the laws on the basis of which such programmes are authorised could have grave adverse consequences for the fundamental rights of EU citizens."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Council of Europe statement: Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Risks to Fundamental Rights stemming from Digital Tracking and other Surveillance Technologies (pdf) Opens with the following:
"Data processing in the information society which is carried out without the necessary safeguards and security can raise major human rights related concerns. Legislation allowing broad surveillance of citizens can be found contrary to the right to respect of private life. These capabilities and practices can have a chilling effect on citizen participation in social, cultural and political life and, in the longer term, could have damaging effects on democracy. They can also undermine the confidentiality rights associated to certain professions, such as the protection of journalists sources, and even threaten the safety of the persons concerned. More generally, they can endanger the exercise of freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights"
and among its Recommendations it: "encourages member States to bear these risks in mind in their bilateral discussions with third countries, and, where necessary, consider the introduction of suitable export controls to prevent the misuse of technology to undermine those standards"
UN-UK: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai: Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (pdf): The Recommendations (see p21) include on the Right to freedom of peaceful assembly: England and Wales:
" adopt a positive law on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly whose purpose is to facilitate and protect such right, in full consultation with civil society and other relevant stakeholders;
undertake a judge-led public enquiry into the Mark Kennedy matter, and other related cases, with a view to giving voice to victims, especially women, who were deliberately deceived by their own government, and paving the way for reparations;
review legislation governing undercover policing specifying that peaceful protestors should not be infiltrated;
adopt a law on intelligence gathering with a view to increasing accountability of intelligence services;
delete any records of peaceful protestors on the National Domestic Extremism Database and other intelligence databases;
adopt a tighter definition of domestic extremism and instruct police officers that peaceful protestors should not be categorized as domestic extremists;
end the practice of containment or kettling.;
ensure that law enforcement authorities which violate the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly are held personally and fully accountable for such violations by an independent and democratic oversight body, and by the courts of law; in this regard, command responsibility must be upheld;
law enforcement officers should wear identification badges at all times;
stop using pre-emptive measures targeted at peaceful protestors;
stop using stop-and-search powers in the context of peaceful protests;
stop imposing stringent bail conditions on peaceful protestors;
establish a protest ombudsman before whom protestors can challenge bail conditions;
stop enforcing private injunctions against peaceful protestors;
separate the protest liaison function from intelligence gathering;
always allow independent monitoring during peaceful protests and assemblies and ensure at all time the protection of those monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses in this context;
grant more powers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, by notably allowing the Commission to report before the Parliament, and increasing its resources; protestors should be able to bring complaints directly to the Commission; and a greater mixed nature of investigators should be achieved;
and Private companies should stop requesting private injunctions orders against peaceful protestors."
See also: UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices (Statewatch News Online, January 2013)
USA-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens: EU officials demand answers on what data snooping programmes entail and whether they breach human rights (Guardian, link), US spy scandal widens as MEPs and MPs seek answers (euobserver, link) and Parliament expresses anger over US data scandal (euractiv, link)
G8 summit: Irish trade unions call in human rights monitors: Union congress fears erosion of right to protest amid Northern Ireland's largest-ever security operation to guard world leaders in County Fermanagh (Guardian, link)
BULGARIA: Statewatch Analysis: The use and misuse of telephone taps and communications data by Bulgarian intelligence (pdf) by Alexander Kashumov (Access to Information Program, AIP):
Tzvetan Tzvetanov, Minister of Interior in the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) government from 2009-2013, was criticised for widespread unauthorised wiretapping after information was published in the media in 2013. Concerns surfaced following an anonymous complaint registered with the Public Prosecutors Office and a former ministers outspoken allegation, in a television interview, that all GERB cabinet ministers were subject to permenant phone-tapping throughout their time in office. On 15 April 2013, the Prosecutor General told a press conference that his investigation had revealed a lack of oversight within the Internal Ministry Directorate responsible for the technical performance of phone tapping. The investigations report was only partly classified as secret, but neither the open nor the secret part of the report was made available to the public.
UK:University and College Union: Guidance for UCU branches in relation to implementation of government immigration rules (link): It is a bit contradictory, but better than previous statements.
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA's Patriot Act Phone Surveillance (ACLU, link): The ACLU are taking a court action against the PRISM surveillance system which is authorised under the Patriot Act Section 215 using a FISA Order (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). PRISM collects personal information from users of Skype, Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc from inside and outside the USA (described as "customers" of US-based internet services).
See also: What's in the rest of the top-secret NSA PowerPoint deck? (Wired): refers to fact that only 5 of the 41 pages handed over to the press by Edward Snowden have so far been published. and Spy court urged to unmask legal basis for NSA dragnet phone surveillance (Wired)
UK: G8 protests: 57 people arrested in London after clashes between police and anti-capitalist demonstrators: Major operation launched to clear central London HQ of anti-G8 movement in former police station (Independent, link) and see: Police violence at Stopg8 protest (Netpol, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America: Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution (Guardian, link): Daniel Ellsberg:
"In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution."
World leaders seek answers on US collection of communication data - Data protection chiefs and analysts in EU, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada express concerns at revelations in leaks (Guardian, link)
The European Parliament plenary session this morning (11 June) is discussing: "US Internet surveillance of EU citizens (NSA PRISM programme): Commission statement": EU to seek privacy guarantees from US after intel scandal (link)
- Spy scandal to impact talks on EU-US data treaty (euobserver, link)
- US data surveillance worries German expert (DW, link) article by Thilo Weichert
- Time for Europe to stop being complicit in NSA's crimes (New Europe, link)
- US data scandal deepens EU-US divide on privacy (euractiv, link)
- US scandal shows EU needs 'highest standards' on data privacy (Public Service Europe, link)
EU: Reactions to exposures on PRISM and Boundless Informant
CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague to protest if US monitoring of Internet is confirmed (Prague Daily Monitor)
EU: US data scandal deepens EU-US divide on privacy (EurActiv); PRISM makes trade deal a mission impossible (Presseurop)
GERMANY: Germanys Merkel, concerned about US surveillance, will discuss with Obama (Epoch Times);
Germany most snooped country by US (euobserver)
NETHERLANDS: Dutch security service has received information via PRISM Telegraaf and Dutch privacy watchdog wants answers on US data mining (Dutch News) and Bits of Freedom: Dutch spooks must stop use of PRISM (link)
Belgium: Ook Staatsveiligheid krijgt informatie uit Prism (link)
A lesson from history for those who strive to bring intelligence agencies to account (The Privacy Surgeon)
EU: Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration (link) by the Fundamental Rights Agency and European Court of Human Rights
UK: Home Office presses ahead with 'snooper's charter': Conservatives to press ahead with lobbying to introduce the snooper's charter, despite revelations about US internet surveillance (Guardian. link)
See also Statewatch's Observatory on interception: 1937 - ongoing
Secrecy at EU level is a challenge to democracy: Parliaments are increasingly being eclipsed by powers assumed at European level (Irish Times, link) Article by Professor Deirdre Curtin
Proposed reforms of the Schengen evaluation mechanism (Coelho report), were referred back to the Civil Liberties Committee. They will be replaced in Tuesday's agenda by another report by Mr Coelho, on the same subject but a different legal basis, reflecting an agreement with the Council. This report will be put to a committee vote on Monday evening.
The use of EU air passengers' data to counter terrorism (Kirkhope report) was also referred back to the Civil Liberties Committee, under Rule175.
Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data: Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloguing global surveillance data including figures on US collection (Guardian, link). And see: Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool four key slides (link) and Boundless Informant: NSA explainer full document text (link)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 6-7 June 2013: Press release (pdf) "B" Points agenda for discussion (pdf), "A" Points agenda: legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf), "A" Points agenda: non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf)
US spy chief Clapper defends Prism and phone surveillance (BBC News, link): "While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets "non-US persons", So that's OK is it? comments Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director. And: NSA taps in to systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and others, secret files reveal (Guardian, link)
See also: USA: NSA collecting phone records of millions daily, court order reveals Guardian (link) Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama. And Verizon court order (link) and NSA spying revelations leaves Europe silent (New Europe, link)
EU countries back pro-business data bill (euobserver, link)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Parliament: Working documents, draft report and amendments (link)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION:Council of the European Union: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Key issues of Chapters I-IV (pdf): This Council document says, in a change to the Commission draft Regulation, that it is intending to have different rules for EU institutions, bodies and agencies:
"14a) ( ) Regulation (EC) No 45/20014 ( ) applies to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. Regulation (EC)
No 45/2001 and other Union legal instruments applicable to such processing of personal data should be adapted to the principles and rules of this Regulation ( ).
See coverage below.
NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: EU institutions seek exclusion, extra time on data protection (euractiv, link):
"EU justice ministers meeting in Luxembourg today (6 June) are expected to consider giving EU institutions a sweeping exemption from new data protection rules....The Commission and other EU bodies would apply the new data protection measures after the adoption of the new regulation, using a special internal rule that has been criticised by the EUs own data protection watchdog, according to a proposal seen by EurActiv.
In a January 2011 opinion, the EDPS described such a method of regulating the institutions as "inferior," adding: It would be highly undesirable for the EDPS to supervise compliance of EU institutions and bodies with substantive rules which would be inferior to the rules supervised by his counterparts at national level."
UK: ANTI-SURVEILLANCE CAMPAIGNERS TO MARK ORWELL'S '1984 'PUBLICATION - and reject government's Orwellian 'surveillance by consent' Press release (link) Home Office: Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Government response to statutory consultation over the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (pdf) and Amended Code (pdf)
EU: Meijers Committee: Note Meijers Committee on the Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing (COM(2013) 151 final) (pdf) and Note on the proposal for a Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law (COM(2013) 42 final) (pdf)
USA: NSA collecting phone records of millions daily, court order reveals Guardian (link) Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama. And Verizon court order (link)
Jesuit Refugee Service: Europe: EU rules impede asylum protection (link)
"Asylum seekers in Europe are often faced with EU rules that hinder their ability to seek asylum in an EU country where they would feel most protected. This is according to a new JRS Europe report, Protection Interrupted, released today. The report is based on interviews with 257 asylum seekers and migrants in nine EU countries."
EU: JHA Council, 6-7 June 2013: European Commission Memo (5 June, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest [First reading] - Approval of the final compromise text (10190/13, pdf)
"On 28 May 2013, the negotiating parties reached agreement on a final compromise text on the draft Directive. This text is set out in the Annex...Coreper is invited:
a) to approve the final compromise text as set out in the Annex to this note;
b) to mandate the Presidency to inform the European Parliament that, should the European Parliament adopt its position at first reading in the exact form as set out in the final compromise text, the Council would approve the European Parliament's position and the Directive shall be adopted in the wording which corresponds to the European Parliament's position, subject to legal-linguist revision of the text."
EU: European Commission: Third biannual report on the functioning of the Schengen area, 1 November 2012 - 30 April 2013 (COM 2013 326, pdf)
"The Commission adopts biannual reports to the European Parliament and to the Council on the functioning of the Schengen area. This third report covers the period 1 November 2012 30 April 2013."
EU: Council of the European Union: processing of personal data:
Council Decision authorising the European Commission to participate on behalf of the European Union in the negotiations on the modernisation of the Council of European Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (EST 108) and the conditions and modalities of accession of the European Union to the modernised Convention (10169/13, pdf)
Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Key issues of Chapters I-IV (10227/13, pdf) and Annex (10227/13 ADD 1, pdf)
EU: Court of Justice: The essence of the reasons for a decision refusing entry into a Member State must be disclosed to the person concerned (press release, 4 June, pdf)
"However, a Member State may, so far as is strictly necessary, refuse to notify the person concerned of ground, the disclosure of which might compromise State security."
See: Judgment in Case C-300/11, ZZ v Secretary of State for the Home Department (link)
EU: JHA Council, 6-7 June 2013: Provisional agenda (pdf) Background note (pdf)
Drawing the line: Regulation of wide area riot control agent delivery mechanisms under the Chemical Weapons Convention (pdf)
"Whilst Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) States Parties are prohibited from developing riot control agent (RCA) munitions for use in armed conflict, they may manufacture, acquire and utilise delivery systems to disseminate appropriate types and quantities of RCAs for law enforcement. However, there is continuing ambiguity as to the type and specifications of those means of delivery that are prohibited under the Convention. This ambiguity has potentially dangerous consequences, allowing divergent interpretations, policy and practice amongst States Parties to emerge.
This report highlights the development, testing, production and promotion by State or commercial entities of a range of wide area RCA means of delivery including: large smoke generators, backpack or tank irritant sprayer devices; large calibre under-barrel and rifle grenade launchers; multiple munition launchers; automatic grenade launchers; rocket propelled grenades; mortar munitions; large calibre aerial munitions; heliborne munition dispensers; cluster munitions; unmanned aerial vehicles; unmanned ground vehicles; vehicle protection and area denial munitions."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Strong data protection to improve EU approach to serious crimes (press release, 3 June, pdf)
"Robust data protection considerations can strengthen the credibility of investigations into serious crimes in the EU. This is the message the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) sent in his opinion published today on the Commission proposal for a new legal framework for the EU Agency for Law Enforcement and Training (Europol). The EDPS fully supports the need for innovative and flexible approaches in preventing and combating serious crimes, but also insists on strong safeguards. The validity of a criminal investigation relies on the quality and integrity of the data collected. Respecting data protection principles can help reinforce the reliability of such evidence."
Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA (pdf)
EU data chief urges limits on joint police powers (euobserver, link)
UN: Human Rights Council: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue (pdf)
"The present report, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 16/4, analyses the implications of States surveillance of communications on the exercise of the human rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression. While considering the impact of significant technological advances in communications, the report underlines the urgent need to further study new modalities of surveillance and to revise national laws regulating these practices in line with human rights standards."
See: UN report: The link between State surveillance and freedom of expression (Privacy International, link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing (pdf)
Transnational Institute: Investor privileges in EU-US trade deal threaten public interest and democracy (link)
"This briefing analyses leaked proposals for so-called investor-state dispute settlement under the proposed EU-US deal and reveals a determined lobby campaign from industry lobby groups and law firms to grant unprecedented rights to corporations to sue governments for legislation and regulations that interfere with their profits."
Council of Europe: Venice Commission draft opinion on the fourth amendment to the fundamental law of Hungary (pdf)
A leaked copy of a draft report on democracy in Hungary by an advisory body of the Council of Europe.
EU: European Parliament reports:
On the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union (A7-0178/13, pdf)
On the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (A7-0150/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) - Discussion paper (10213/13, pdf)
EU: JHA Council, 6-7 June 2013, Lunch Item (Justice Ministers): The Charter of Fundamental Rights - three and a half years in force (10265/13, pdf)
"Questions for discussion:
1. Has the Charter had an impact on legislative activities in your Member State?
2. What can the Member States do to increase the visibility of the Charter in their day-to-day work?
3. How can the Member States better communicate the complexities relating to the scope of the Charter?
4. What role might National Human Rights Institutions play in making the Charter more effective at local level?"
UN: UK needs prompt action on human rights record, UN panel warns (Guardian, link)
"The British government's human rights record since the attacks of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is facing ferocious criticism from a United Nations panel, which warns that prompt action is needed to ensure the country meets its obligations under international law."
See: Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom, adopted by the Committee at its fiftieth session (31 May 2013, pdf)
Netherlands: Government moves to criminalise irregular migrants
As elsewhere in Europe, undocumented migrants in the Netherlands face tough conditions. They are frequently excluded from the most basic facilities and services and face the prospect of arrest, vreemdelingendetentie (foreigners' detention) and deportation. The conditions in Dutch immigration detention centres are so bad that Amnesty International has sounded the alarm and issued several reports to raise awareness of the issue. Now the government is attempting to clamp down further on the undocumented through criminalising their status, claiming that a proposed new law will have "a deterrent effect" by making it "less attractive" to residence irregularly.
EU: 'Freedom of movement is slowly being undermined' (Deutsche Welle, link)
"The countries in the Schengen border-free area will in future be able to impose border controls if they don't like how other countries control immigration. DW spoke to a Green member of the European parliament."
UK: Killer blows to justice (IRR, link)
"In the blizzard of coalition measures wreaking destruction on living standards, the justice ministrys proposals on legal aid will once again bear down hardest on poor BME, Muslim and migrant communities."
EU: Court of Justice of the European Union: Judgment in Case C-168/13 PPU, Jeremy F. v Premier ministre: EU law does not prevent Member States from providing for an appeal suspending execution of a decision extending the effects of a European arrest warrant (press release, pdf)
"EU law does, however, require that, in the case where the Member States choose to provide for such an appeal, the decision to extend should be taken within the time-limits provided for by EU law in cases concerning the European arrest warrant"
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis - Revised draft compromise text (9606/13, pdf)
"A revised compromise text, taking into account the outcome of the informal meetings with the European Parliament and the Commission, as well as the meeting of JHA Counsellors on 15 May 2013 and the outcome of the contacts, at a high-level, of the Legal Services of the three institutions, following a suggestion from the high-level trilogue which took place on 18 December 2012."
EU: Council of the European Union: EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2012 - Country Reports (9431/13 ADD 1 REV 1, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Text suggestions in view of the trilogue on 11 June 2013 (9747/13, pdf)
"In view of the Friends of the Presidency meeting on 31 May and on the basis of the trilogue on15 May 2013 delegations will find attached suggestions from the Presidency on some of the issues that will be discussed at the next trilogue."
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI): EU Policy Cycle: Implementation Monitoring (9996/13, pdf)
"As set out in the Council Conclusions on the creation and implementation of a EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime, COSI shall every 6 months monitor the progress of the implementation of the operational action plans."
EU: Member States want access to the proposed Entry/Exit System for law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies
Member States are pushing for one of the EUs proposed border control and migration management systems to be adapted for law enforcement and counter-terrorism purposes as well. If they are successful in their efforts, police and security agencies across the EU could gain access to a wealth of new personal and biometric data on third-country nationals.
Germany: "City of Frankfurt denies freedom of association"
In May last year, a series of protests "against the austerity dictatorship" were organised by the Blockupy network in Frankfurt. They were due to take place near the headquarters of the European Central Bank, but local authorities issued a near-complete ban on all protests for four days. The measures were heavily-criticised, and higher courts later ruled that some of them had been illegal. This week the protests are returning to the city.
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: 'Smart, sustainable, inclusive Europe': only with stronger and more effective data protection (press release, pdf)
"The lobbying surrounding the current review of the EU data protection law by organisations both from Europe and elsewhere has been exceptional. Following the presentation of his Annual Report of activities for 2012 to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) at the European Parliament today, the EDPS warned the EU legislator to guard against undue pressure from industry and third countries to lower the level of data protection that currently exists and instead seize the opportunity to ensure stronger and more effective protection to individuals across the EU."
See also: New data protection rules at risk, EU watchdog warns (euractiv, link)
"New EU data protection rules could collapse because of excessive lobbying, foot-dragging by MEPs, and entanglement in trade negotiations with the United States, Europes chief data protection watchdog warned yesterday (29 May)."
EU: Council of the European Union: Council and the European Parliament reach a provisional agreement on the Schengen Governance legislative package (30 May 2013, pdf)
"The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) today endorsed the agreement reached with the European Parliament on 29 May on the Schengen governance legislative proposals, namely a regulation on the establishment of an evaluation and monitoring mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis and an amendment to the Schengen Borders Code as regards the rules for the temporary reintroduction of border controls at internal borders in exceptional circumstances."
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Final Report on Action 5.10: To find and recommend best practice for customs cooperation in criminal matters (8253/13, pdf)
See also: 111-page Annex which includes a comparative study of legal instruments (8253/13 ADD 1, pdf)
EU: European Commission: The EU rights of victims of trafficking in human beings (pdf)
32 page report "addressed to victims and to practitioners seeking an overview of rights based on EU legislation, as well as to Member States developing similar overviews of rights of human traffi cking victims at national level."
EU: Council of the European Union: Paper on a permanent structure for Joint Customs Operations - Response of Customs Cooperation Working Party to discussion initiated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (pdf)
Provides an overview of an ongoing discussion on the possible establishment of an Operation Centre (OC), which could have responsibility for addressing ongoing practical issues in the management of [Joint Customs Operations].
EU: Council of the European Union: Declassified versions of mutual evaluations of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia and Slovakia with regard to two Council Decisions: 2002/187/JHA setting up Eurojust, and 2008/976/JHA on the European Judicial Network in criminal matters (pdfs)
The reports were all produced this year: on 7 February (Belgium), 17 February (Slovakia) and 22 April (Denmark and Estonia), and range from 47 to 80 pages in length. They include some limited information on cooperation between the national authorities and Eurojust on controlled deliveries and special investigative techniques, such as the use of undercover agents.
EU: Joint Eurojust-Europol Annual Report to the Council and the Commission for 2012 (9038/13, pdf)
This short report outlines the main work undertake by Eurojust and Europol to foster closer co-operation and operational complementarity in the fight against serious cross-border crime by increasing information exchange and improving their strategic and operational cooperation in supporting the Member States.
This work includes:
- Connecting Eurojust to SIENA (Secure Information Exchange Network Application), through which Europol, Member States and others exchange information and intelligence;
- The exploration of further association of Eurojust to AWFs [Analysis Work Files] (Focal Points) AWFs or Focal Points are pools of information in Europols computer system on a particular topic or group and Eurojust can now acess 17 of these;
- Increase in information on meetings including operational and coordination meetings and participation in respective meetings;
- Close cooperation as regards the European Cybercrime Centre, which opened in January this year and is managed by Europol;
- Full implementation of the joint exchange programme
UK: Anonymous-linked groups publish EDL supporters' personal information (Guardian, link) "Individuals claiming to be part of international hacktivist group Anonymous have published phone numbers and addresses for supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) as part of what they said was the first phase of a campaign to destroy the far-right street protest movement."
Background: EDL supporters march through central London - video (Channel 4 News): "Supporters of the far-right English Defence League march through central London, closely followed by anti-fascist protesters, after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday." EDL blames Islam for Woolwich attack at Downing Street protest (Guardian); Anti-Muslim protests over murdered British soldier (euronews); Far-right EDL supporters clash with police in Woolwich (Channel 4 News) and Ten attacks on mosques since Woolwich murder (Independent)
EU: Frontex: "optionally-piloted" aircraft tests, but no drones...yet
Statewatch reported last month that the EU's border agency Frontex is looking to buy a piloted plane to use for surveillance of the Greek-Turkish border during the summer. It has now emerged that the agency is also looking to enhance its border surveillance capabilities through the use of an "optionally-piloted vehicle" - a plane that can be flown with or without a pilot on board.
EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: European Data Protection Authorities argue for clear limits to profiling further input to the data protection reform discussions (press release, 28 May 2013, pdf)
"Profiling has found its way into many areas of life, for example in the form of consumer profiles, movem ent profiles, user profiles and social profiles. Due to the widespread availability of personal data on the internet, the increasing possibilities of linking such data and the fact that technical devices operating on the basis of processing personal data p ervade our everyday lives, profiling has become one of the biggest challenges to privacy.
Therefore the Working Party has adopted an advice paper on profiling giving some further input into the discussions on the European data protection reform."
Advice paper on essential elements of a definition and a provision on profiling within the EU General Data Protection Regulation (pdf)
United Nations: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau: Regional study: management of the external borders of the European Union and its impact on the human rights of migrants (pdf)
"The Special Rapporteur dedicated the first full year of his mandate to a study on the management of the external border of the European Union, and its impact on the human rights of migrants. He held consultations with the European Union in Brussels, and carried out visits to countries on both sides of the European Unions external border: Greece, Italy, Tunisia and Turkey. While welcoming the inclusion of migrants rights in the policy framework, the Special Rapporteur remains concerned that the protection of the human rights of migrants, and in particular irregular migrants, is often not implemented on the ground. The report further addresses challenges in relation to the securitization of migration and border control; the use of detention as a tool in border control; the externalization of border control; and insufficient responsibility-sharing with external border States."
See also: Press release: EU border management: "More attention must be given to the human rights of migrants" (link)
"The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, today warned that the increasing competence of the European Union in the field of migration has not always been accompanied by a corresponding guarantee of rights for migrants themselves, and in particular irregular migrants."
EU: Council of the European Union: Rules governing the treatment of confidential information by the European Parliament (9888/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council conclusions on fundamental rights and rule of law and on the Commission 2012 Report on the Application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (9614/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances - Revised draft compromise text (9604/13, pdf)
"Delegations will find below a revised compromise text, taking into account the outcome of the informal trilogue which took place on 20 February 2013 and other informal meetings with the European Parliament and the Commission, as well as the meeting of JHA Counsellors on 15 May 2013 and the outcome of the contacts, at a high-level, of the Legal Services of the three institutions, following a suggestion from the high-level trilogue which took place on 18 December 2012."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 6-7 June 2013: advance press release (pdf) provisional agenda (pdf)
EU: Speech by Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs: The rise of right-wing extremism in Europe (European Commission press release, link)
"It is my intention to adopt a European Counter Violent Extremism Programme before the end of the year. This will include a mix of hands-on proposals for all levels and policy recommendations to be fed into the revision of the EU radicalisation strategy."
EU: EP report hits bullseye on media freedom (New Europe, link)
"Earlier last week the European Parliament adopted a report drafted by Ms. Renate Weber on standard setting for media freedom across the EU. While most commentators maybe simply influenced by the headline posted on the website of the EP- mainly mentioned a call to set-up an EU media freedom monitoring system, we see in this report a much wider, solid and remarkable piece of work which may be considered as a cornerstone for the future."
EU: Notes on the Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón of 14 April 2013 in the case of Demirkan C-221/11 (pdf) by Kees Groenendijk, emeritus Professor of Sociology of Law at the University of Nijmegen.
Concerns whether Turkish recipients of services are required to have a short stay visa or whether the current EU visa requirement violates the standstill clause in the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement with Turkey.
UK: Mass surveillance wouldn't have saved the life of Drummer Rigby (Guardian, link) The introduction of a communications data bill wouldn't have prevented last week's shocking murder of Lee Rigby.
EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Proposal for a Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex (pdf)
"The Meijers Committee is of the opinion that the proposal fails to deal with several issues satisfactorily and recommends:
- in case of disembarkation in a third country, guarantees must be included pertaining to the presence of legal advisors and interpreters and the availability of a remedy before an independent authority with suspensive effect;
- interception measures should be brought in conformity with the provisions on entry conditions and refusals of entry in the Schengen Borders Code;
- the relationship with the recast of the Asylum Procedures Directive should be clarified;
- to align the interception competences in respect of vessels found in the contiguous zone which have not previously entered the territorial sea with those that apply to vessels found in the high seas;
- to include the provisions of the proposal on search and rescue, interception competences and fundamental rights in Annex VI of the Borders Code, so that they will apply to all maritime controls."
See also: European Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (COM 2013 197, pdf)
USA: Obama frames covert drone war as necessary evil (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link) Barack Obama has made it clear that the US will continue with its controversial targeted killing programme. In a major speech the US president also announced that he has signed into force a new and secret rule book for lethal action that provides clear guidelines, oversight and accountability for covert drone strikes.
Obama speech suggests possible expansion of drone killings (McClatchy, link) President Barack Obama on Thursday defended his administrations use of drone strikes to kill terrorists as effective, lawful and heavily constrained, but he also appeared to be laying groundwork for an expansion of the controversial targeted killings.
Sweden: Riots rock Sweden's immigrant suburbs for fourth night (USA Today, link)
"Suburbs of the Swedish capital were engulfed in a fourth night of rioting early Thursday in the country's worst civil unrest in years, leaving locals shaking their heads and wondering when calm would return to their usually tranquil city."
EU: Amnesty: EU states guilty of racism, homophobia (euobserver link) Several EU countries abuse the rights of migrants and ethnic minorities, while others are not doing enough to combat homophobia, Amnesty International has said. The British-based NGO named 24 EU states in its annual report on rights abusers, published on 23 May (pdf)
Germany/North Africa: German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to the Arab Spring
The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation instructed the authorities of multiple North African and Middle Eastern countries in internet surveillance in the years running up to the Arab Spring, according to information released by the German government following questioning by Die Linke (Left Party) in April 2013. Training in Tunisia and Egypt occurred shortly before the revolts in those countries, where control of the internet played a key role in allowing the government to undermine the uprisings.
CALEA II: Risks of wiretap modifications to endpoints (link) The FBI wants Congress to require that voice, video, and text communication tools be (re-)designed so that lawful wiretap orders can be executed quickly and silently. Twenty computer scientists have issued a report criticising the plans (pdf)
USA: Government Accountability Office: Immigration Enforcement - Preliminary Observations on the Department of Homeland Security's Overstay Enforcement Efforts (pdf)
This testimony discusses GAOs preliminary observations on DHSs efforts since April 2011 to review potential overstay records for national security and public safety concerns, improve data on potential overstays and report overstay rates, and plan for a biometric exit system.
UK: "The potential death of legal aid": lawyers protest against new government proposals
As Big Ben chimed for 11 o'clock on the morning of Wednesday 22nd May, hundreds of protesters stood outside parliament and held one minute's silence to mark "the potential death of legal aid." These were the words of the speaker on stage, a representative of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA). The crowd, largely made up of solicitors, barristers and others working in the criminal justice system, had come to make clear their opposition to new government proposals for "transforming legal aid" in criminal cases.
EU: EU policy on irregular migration is "fundamentally at odds with the human rights approach"
Last Thursday, the European Parliament's Human Rights Committee (DROI) heard from a number of speakers on the compliance of Frontex with its human rights responsibilities. A short video posted on the Parliament's website shows some of the key comments from the session, of which the most scathing came from a statement by François Crépeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.
Justice for Tivoli demonstration: organised by Caribbean Labour Solidarity on the third anniversary of the death of at least 73 Jamaican citizens to demand an independent international enquiry. Friday 24 May, 4.30-6.30 pm at the Jamaica High Commission in London.
EU: Statewatch JHA archive now contains 7,705 documents
The archive contains bibliographic records and full-text documents on EU Justice and Home Affairs policy dating back to 1976 when the Trevi Group was set up (Trevi was ad hoc intergovernmental cooperation on Terrorism, Radicalism and Violence, and grew into formal European political cooperation in the former Third Pillar after the Maastricht Treaty). It has been created to allow researchers to chart the historical development of EU JHA policy. The EU's public register of Council documents only dates back to 2000 (with some documents from 1999) while the Commission's incomplete public register started in 2002.
Recent additions to the archive include:
Report from the Spanish delegation relating to migratory fluxes in the area of the Mediterranean (4 September 1996, pdf)
Compilations of replies to the questionnaire on Somalia (17 October 1996, pdf)
Draft report on the situation in Iraq (4 December 1996, pdf)
Northern Ireland: Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) publishes three guides on making rights accessible (link)
Guide 1 looks at the Human Rights Act
Guide 2 looks at Stop and Search Powers
Guide 3 looks at Protesting and Parading
USA: EPIC Urges Investigation, Files FOIA on DoJ Surveillance of Press (link)
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, seeking documents explaining the DOJ's legal authority to search the electronic communications of reporters.
EU: State guidelines for the exchange of undercover police officers revealed
Statewatch can today publish a template 'Memorandum of Understanding for the use of undercover officers' produced by the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG) in February 2004. It outlines the generic structure and issues to be covered in agreements for the cross-border deployment of undercover police officers. This includes the legal framework; objectives of the deployment; management of the operation; "hard criteria" such as how evidence may be given in court and whether carrying a firearm is permitted; and communication with superiors. While it may simply be coincidence, it is notable that Mark Kennedy's overseas activities began in the months following the agreement.
EU: Frontex: Upholding the legitimacy of Frontex: European Parliamentary Oversight (isis europe report, pdf)
"The activities of the EU border control agency, Frontex, have increasingly drawn the attention of the public, as it is sometimes portrayed as a threat to the EU core principles of democracy, transparency and human rights. This review highlights the need for an oversight mechanism, which may restore public faith in Frontex to legitimately carry out its duties in manner conducive to EU core values. The prevailing challenges to fulfilling this need are reviewed, along with the related activity of the European Parliament and the way forward for Frontex in accordance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Conclusively, it is submitted that a greater level of European Parliamentary oversight as a means to improve transparency is a solution to the accountability issue linked to border control."
Caritas Europa comments on the second draft of the Joint Return Operation code of conduct (pdf)
"Caritas Europa welcomes the safeguards included in the draft code. Yet, the Human Rights clauses would be purely decorative without further strengthening the accountability mechanisms and clarification of the personal and material scope of the code. We have therefore provided some alternative language - based in particular on the Council of Europe Twenty Guidelines on Forced Return."
EU: Speech by Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, at the 4th European Civil Protection Forum in Brussels: The Internal Security Dimension and Perspectives (pdf)
Identifies three areas to develop: a coordinated response capability; the assessment of threats and hazards to their potential impact; cooperation in areas such as CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear] and critical infrastructure protection.
EU: EU ministers urge Reding to do more for gay rights (euobserver, link) "Fourteen member states on Thursday (16 May) backed a petition urging the European Commission to do more for the rights of sexual minorities, with the last major initiative several years ago."
EU LGBT Survey: Poll on homophobia sparks concern (BBC, link) "A quarter of gay people surveyed in a major EU poll say they have been subjected to attacks or violent threats in the past five years."
Survey shows widespread LGBT discrimination (Sarah Ludford, link) "A survey produced by Gallup Europe for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to mark the forthcoming International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) has revealed that almost half (47%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community in Europe has been personally discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their sexual orientation."
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the Schengen evaluation in 2013 - Programmes, participants, technical details - an overview (5147/13, pdf) "Delegations will find enclosed an overview of programmes, participants, technical details of each evaluation mission in the framework of the Schengen evaluation in 2013."
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions calling for an update of the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (9447/13, pdf) "Coreper is requested to invite the Council to agree on the conclusions as set out in Annex."
Northern Ireland: G8: New laws will allow government to shut down mobile phone network as security preparations step up a gear
As the G8 summit in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland draws nearer, it seems that the security operation surrounding the event will be even more stringent than those that normally accompany international political summits.
EU: Council of the European Union v Access Info Europe: Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón (link)
"In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court should:
(1) Dismiss the appeal;
(2) Order the Council to pay the costs."
EU: Implementing the "solidarity clause": EU secret service to be reinforced?
The "solidarity clause", known more formally as Article 222 of the Lisbon Treaty, regulates the use of police, secret service and military means in case of a crisis within the EU. The EU Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy issued a proposal in December for the legal implementation of the clause.
UK: Jimmy Mubenga inquest: he was asking for help and did not get it, wife says (Guardian, link)
Mubenga, who was being deported to Angola, died on a plane at Heathrow airport after being restrained by security guards.
Statement of Adrienne Makenda Kambana, wife of Jimmy Mubenga (pdf)
UK: Government talks to give Met Police water cannons (Scotsman, link)
"The Metropolitan Police wants to use two German-made water cannon vehicles, each capable of holding 9,000 litres of water...It is understood that the Met had hoped to have the vehicles by next month in case disorder arises from protests planned for London before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland."
UK: Pavement justice: On-the-spot fines & the rule of law (The Justice Gap, link)
"On-the-spot fines have become the penalty of choice for a range of public bodies - including police forces fining people for criminal offences, schools fining children for truancy, or local authorities fining people for unlicensed leafleting or dropping a cigarette butt. This is a shady and lawless area, lying on the one hand between the formal system of criminal justice and the court trial, and on the other, between administrative penalties such as parking fines, which have their own forms of regulation and appeal. There is urgent need for reform."
See also: "Belgian municipal fines cause growing dissent" article in new Statewatch Journal
Spain: Open Access Now: Access to the Detention centers for foreigners (CIE) of Aluche (Madrid) denied for NGOs and journalists as part of a delegation with Members of the European Parliament (link)
"The denial and the willingness of the government to limit access to only three MEPs and one parliamentarian of Madrid demonstrate the opacity surrounding the functioning of detention centers, repeatedly denounced by civil society, but also by international organizations and national institutions such as the Ombudsman, the Attorney General and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This opacity promotes the violation of the rights of detainees in these centers as these authorities, agencies and organisations have already shown and make them incompatible with democracy and the rule of law."
Canada: Troubling new anti-terror provisions pass into law (Muslim Link, link)
"In what some critics called an opportunistic move, the Harper government swiftly scheduled debate on, and passed, new anti-terrorism provisions (Bill S-7) in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent Canadian arrests of two men alleged to be involved in a plot against VIA Rail.
The most controversial of the provisions - involving preventive arrests (detention without charge for up to three days, followed by release under draconian bail conditions) and secretive investigative hearings, both part of the original Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001 - expired after five years due to a sunset clause. The federal Liberals, who joined with other opposition parties to reject an attempt to revive the provisions in 2007, voted in favour of S-7 under leader Justin Trudeau."
EU: Access Info Europe: New Guide on Access to EU Documents (link)
"The EU has recognised a fundamental right of access to EU documents, but the EU's freedom of information law - which goes by the catchy title of 'Regulation 1049/2001' - remains underused by the population at large. The new guide demystifies the process of asking for EU documents explaining step by step how to make a request."
EU: Field testing: CLOSEYE project puts drones over the Mediterranean
A multi-million euro border control project was launched in Spain at the end of April that will see drones, satellites and aerostats deployed over the southern Mediterranean in an attempt to provide the EU "with an operational and technical framework that increases situational awareness and improves the reaction capability of authorities surveying the external borders of the EU." 
EU: European Parliament resolution on the impact of the financial and economic crisis on human rights (pdf)
See: New Statewatch Journal: "Austerity, Civil Liberties & Democracy"
Sweden: We need to end racism now - period (Institute of Race Relations, link) A member of the Swedish anti-racist magazine MANA reflects on the challenges posed by Operation REVA.
UK: Queen's speech revives 'snooper's charter' legislation (Guardian, link) The government appears to have left open the door to the resurrection of the controversial "snooper's charter" bill to track everyone's email, internet and mobile text use.
UK: Tests near completion on new police weapon
On top of CS gas, rubber bullets and Tasers, another "less lethal weapon" that received renewed interest following the August 2011 riots is now in "the late stages of Home Office testing", according to a report in Police Oracle magazine. The Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP) can be fired up to 40 metres from a baton gun and releases a cloud of CS (tear gas) particles on impact.
From Countering Financial Crime to Criminalizing Civil Society: How the FATF Overstepped the Mark (Open Society Foundations, link)
"A powerful yet unaccountable global standardsetting body is helping repressive civil society regulations to spread and flourish across the globe. Ben Hayes lifts the lid on the Financial Action Task Force."
Italy: Hearings into abuse at G8 barracks start (Gazzetta del Sud, link)
"Protesters were subjected to "violence and abuse" and "unspeakable behaviour" while being held at a police detention centre in the Bolzaneto barracks during the 2001 Group of Eight (G8) summit in Genoa, a prosecutor said Wednesday. During the first day of proceedings before Italy's top court, Joseph Volpe asked the Court of Cassazione to uphold sentences against 44 defendants held to be civilly responsible for violence against protesters between July 20 and 22, 2001."
See also: Statewatch analysis: Ten years after the G8 Summit in Genoa by Salvatore Palidda, Genoa University (pdf)
INTERPOL: Police information collection and exchange mechanisms across West Africa focus of INTERPOL workshop (link)
Defining national mechanisms and procedures for collecting and exchanging police information for the development of national automated police databases was the focus of the fourth INTERPOL West African Police Information System workshop.
See also: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa
EU-USA: "Leaked" Commission EU Negotiating Mandate on EU-USA Trade Agreement (link) Apart from anything else, this presents possible problems for data protection.
EU: EU police agencies reject cost-cutting merger (euobserver, link)
"The European police college Cepol and the EU police agency Europol both formally rejected on Tuesday (7 May) a proposal by the European Commission to merge the two in a cost cutting measure."
See: CEPOL Position Paper: European Commission Package on the creation of a European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (pdf)
"First and foremost, the legal viability is not established. The financial benefits described are not substantiated and the costs of the proposal are inadequately quantified. The proposed governance would seem to be more costly and not in accordance with the requirement to streamline the governance of agencies. Key operational factors such as the likely loss of expertise and Member State engagement are not considered. The use of outdated information and the consequent disregard of more recent data and performance indicators do not provide a sound basis for consideration of the proposal."
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee [LIBE] makes it easier to confiscate crooks' assets EU wide (press release, pdf)
"Draft rules to make it easier for national authorities to freeze and confiscate criminals' assets across the EU were beefed up by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. However, MEPs also sought to safeguard the right to a fair trial. They also called upon member states to use confiscated assets to fight crime and for social projects. The draft law, which must still be negotiated with national governments, is part of a broader EU strategy to fight fraud and corruption."
Statewatch Journal (volume 23 no 1) now available to download
The Statewatch Journal has been redesigned and each issue will now have a thematic focus. This issue looks at the nexus between austerity, democracy and civil liberties in Europe.
EU: Meijers Committee note to the European Parliament on the Smart Borders proposals (pdf)
The Meijers Committee advises the members of the European Parliament to vote against the Smart Borders proposals and expresses deep concerns with respect to the:
- proportionality and practical feasibility of the proposals;
- coherence of the proposals with existing databases;
- applicable standards of data protection for the data subjects;
- conditions for transmission of personal data to third countries;
- broad discretion as regards the issuing of the registered traveler status;
- proposed amendments in the Schengen Borders Code;
- possible access to the Entry/Exit System for law enforcement purposes.
Smart Borders proposals:
Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (COM 2013 95, pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 (COM 2013 96, pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation establishing Registered Traveller Programme (COM 2013 97, pdf)
See also: Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation written by Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen.
EU: Council of Europe: Outcome report for Eurojust/Academy of European Law (ERA) conference "10 years of Eurojust - operational achievements and future challenges", The Hague, 12-13 November 2012 (8862/13, pdf)
"Introductory remarks were followed by five sessions devoted to specific topics. General conclusions on future perspectives closed the Conference. This report is intended to reflect the main points of the presentations delivered by the numerous speakers taking part in the event..."
EU: Council of Europe: Draft Council Conclusions on strengthening the internal security authorities' involvement in security-related research and industrial policy (8985/13, pdf) "Coreper is requested to invite the Council to adopt the draft Council conclusions as set out in annex."
See also: EU: Crystal balls: internal security authorities want "technology foresight"
EU: Council of Europe: DAPIX: Draft Council Conclusions following the Commission Communication on the European Information Exchange Model (7226/2/13, pdf)
"The Presidency submits herewith draft Council Conclusions on enhancing efficient cross-border information exchange in the area of law enforcement information."
EU: Council of Europe: EMCDDA-Europol 2012 Annual Report on the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA (8997/13, pdf)
"This report presents the activities implemented by the EMCDDA [European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction] and Europol in 2012 in support of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances."
EU: Council of the European Union: Data protection: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Specific issues (8825/13, pdf)
"This package comprises two legislative proposals based on Article 16 TFEU, the new legal basis for data protection measures introduced by the Lisbon Treaty...The following items are submitted to COREPER for consideration:
- Material scope
- Territorial scope
- Definition of consent
- Data processing principles
- Freedom of expression and access to public documents."
UK: Institute of Race Relations: This week, we publish a briefing paper on the future of human rights in Britain, written by the IRRs vice-chair, Frances Webber (press release, link)
"With nativism, racism and fascism on the rise throughout Europe, informing government policies towards migrants and other unpopular minorities as well as popular right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Roma movements, the European system of human rights is vital. But, since taking office in September 2012, Conservative justice minister Chris Grayling has made no secret of his desire to get rid of the Human Rights Act and to dramatically curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights Act in the UK."
EU: Is this what democracy looks like? Claiming democratic control over EU trade and investment policy-making (Alternative Trade Mandate working paper, pdf)
"As part of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance1, a working group2 has drafted the following paper, which addresses firstly, what we see as the problems with the EUs trade and investment policy-making process as it is now, and secondly, our vision for what a transparent, democratic and accountable alternative to this process could look like."
EU: Data Retention Directive: Request for a preliminary ruling from Austria lodged on 28 January 2013 (Case C-64/13, pdf)
Background: Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Crime Prevention Network: Annual Report of Activities in 2012 (7064/13, pdf) Work Programme 2013 (7065/13, pdf)
EU: Data protection: Interoperable police systems could be unlawfully accessed, warns EU privacy body (Out-law, link) European Data Protection Supervisor opinion on the European Information Exchange Model (full text, pdf)
"European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Peter Hustinx, who advises EU bodies on data privacy issues, said that making systems interoperable with one another could lead to police databases being used for different purposes for which they were originally established. This would run counter to EU data protection laws, he said."
EU: Commission rules out new law enforcement databases - but seeks more data for Europol
EU: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Strengthening law enforcement cooperation in the EU: the European Information Exchange Model (pdf)
Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies (IRISS): Call for contributions (pdf)
"IRISS is a European Commission funded research project involving 16 universities throughout Europe that seeks to question the impact of surveillance. The project aims to better understand attitudes toward surveillance and monitoring in contemporary Europe...We would like to hear some of your views on how surveillance may impact on your everyday life and how you feel about that."
EU: The EP Committee rejects the proposal for a European passenger name record system (EAFSJ blog, link)
"The LIBE negative vote, even if expected, has created some concerns on the Commission side. However Commissioner Cecilia Malmström still believes that a solution can be found before the plenary vote since it is the only way of avoiding the fragmentation of PNR systems and of effectively protecting personal data. In the coming weeks it will be clear if the Commissioner position is well founded or if supplementary work will be needed or a final negative vote will close the procedure"
Italy: Ex-police in Genoa G8 beatings assigned social work (Gazzetta del Sud, link) "Three policemen found guilty by Italy's highest appeals court in 2012 of grievous misconduct for beatings at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa have been assigned social-service duties by a tribunal in the northern Italian port city."
Germany: German police hope to use new spyware (Deutsche Welle, link) "German investigators are hoping to gain greater access to telecommunications data in order to combat terrorism. But there is controversy over the spyware they want to use to keep tabs on private computers."
See also: German surveillance is used against dissidents (Deutsche Welle, link) and Statewatch analysis: State Trojans: Germany exports "spyware with a badge" (pdf)
EU: Aerial surveillance at the Greece-Turkey border: Frontex wants to buy a plane
The EU border agency, Frontex, is looking to buy a plane that will allow it to undertake night-time surveillance of the land border between Greece and Turkey as part of a pilot project that will run from July until September. Aerial surveillance imagery will be used to guide the actions of border guards stationed on the ground, in a region where intensified border controls have already led to the death of migrants attempting to reach Europe by increasingly dangerous routes.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (8973/13, pdf) Four column table ahead of the meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Counsellors on 7 May 2013.
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR, 8944/13, pdf) The latest four-column table with Presidency drafting suggestions and comments on the different issues discussed so far with the European Parliament. The final trilogue with the EP is scheduled to take place on 29 May 2013.
EU: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes two reports on Spain (press release, link)
The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has today published the report on its sixth periodic visit to Spain, which took place in May-June 2011. It has also published the report on its follow-up visit to Barcelona Prison for Men (La Modelo) carried out in June 2012. Both reports have been published at the request of the Spanish authorities, together with their responses.
State of Civil Society report 2013: How international rules on countering the financing of terrorism impact civil society (by Ben Hayes, link)
"This chapter describes some of the ways in which the work of civil society organisations continues to be constrained by the global CFT [countering the financing of terrorism] framework. Although many of these effects may be described as unintended consequences, they are also the outcome of a culture of suspicion in which links between charities and terrorist organisations have been exaggerated while measures to protect freedom of association and expression have been disregarded."
See also: Full report (pdf)
EU: Article 29 data protection working party documents:
Explanatory Document on the Processor Binding Corporate Rules (00658/13, pdf)
Opinion 04/2013 on the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (DPIA Template) prepared by Expert Group 2 of the Commissions Smart Grid Task Force (00678/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Police College (CEPOL) Annual Report for the year 2012 (8890/13, pdf)
UK: Armed drones operated from RAF base in UK, says MoD (BBC, link) Armed drone aircraft have been operated remotely from Britain for the first time, the Ministry of Defence has said...The drones are mainly used for surveillance, but could use weapons if commanded to by their pilots in the UK.
EU: EU needs to stop multinationals 'blacklisting' workers (Public Service Europe, link) Corporations operating in the UK, France, Ireland and Sweden have been accused of 'blacklisting' so it is time for the EU to legislate to outlaw the practice - says MEP
EU: EURODAC: Asylum seeker database plan shows EU's hypocrisy on human rights (Public Service Europe, link) Plans to routinely share asylum seeker data - including finger prints - with police is a 'breach of EU law' but the proposal is a fait accompli - says MEP.
EU: Joint Supervisory Body of Europol: Implementation of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) Agreement: assessment of the follow-up of the JSB recommendations (pdf)
There is a clear tension between the idea of limiting the amount of data to be transmitted by tailoring and narrowing the requests and the nature of the TFTP...These are political issues and it is up to the legislators to balance the transfer of massive data sets - mostly of non-suspects - with proportionality
EU: Council of the European Union: Fifth Activity Report of the Joint Supervisory Body of Europol, October 2008 - October 2012 (8659/13, pdf) The Joint Supervisory Body is an independent body established to ensure the protection of citizens' data protection rights in relation to Europol's storage, processing and use of personal data.
EU: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the development of the Visa Information System (VIS) in 2012 (COM 232 2013, pdf) This is the ninth and final Commission report on the development of the Visa Information System and covers the work carried out by the Commission between January and December 2012.
UK: Britain and Germany join forces to demand curb on the 'burden' of benefits tourists that put 'considerable strain' on schools, healthcare and welfare (Daily Mail, link)
"The countries sent a joint letter to the Council of the European Union, arguing that the free movement directive a founding principle of the EU must not be unconditional. The letter...calls for action at a meeting of the EUs justice and home affairs council in June."
Update: Full text of letter from Austria, Netherland, Germany and UK governments to the EU Council Presidency (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: Formal oral questions by the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) regarding the Stockholm Programme and access to documents to be answered in the plenary session by the Council (pdf) and Commission (pdf)
UK: Thousands more Tasers issued to police in London
Police in London are being armed with an increasing number of "less lethal" weapons. Taser guns - electroshock weapons that deliver up to 1,200 volts into the body through metal probes that pierce the skin - are being made available to hundreds more police officers, leading to growing unease amongst politicians and the public. Concerns are being raised over the necessity and likely effectiveness of an increase in the use of the electroshock weapons, and an attempt is underway to have the legality of the decision-making process behind Taser use assessed by the courts.
EU: European police to gain access to visa database
Europol and national law enforcement authorities look likely to obtain access to asylum seekers' and irregular migrants' fingerprints held in the Eurodac database, following approval from the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee.
Europe's law enforcement databases are developing swiftly. The move to give police forces across Europe across to the VIS - which can hold up to 70 million records - coincides not just with the agreement between the Parliament and the Council on law enforcement access to the Eurodac database, but also with the launch of the Schengen Information System II, which became fully operational at the beginning of April.
See also: European Parliament: MEPs back deal with Council on police access to asylum seekers fingerprints (press release, pdf)
EU: Europol: EU terrorism situation and trend report 2013 (pdf)
"The TE-SAT is one of Europols most significant strategic analysis products. It offers law enforcement officials, policymakers and the general public facts and figures regarding terrorism in the EU while, at the same time, seeking to identify developing trends in this phenomenon. It is a public document produced annually and is based on information provided and verified by the competent authorities of the EU Member States."
See also: Rise in terrorist attacks in Europe in 2012 (Europol website, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Text suggestions in view of the trilogue on 14 May 2013 (8754/13, pdf)
"In view of the "Friends of the Presidency" Group meeting on 30 April 2013, and on the basis of the delegations' comments and the reaction of the EP at the trilogue on 16 April as well as the technical meeting on 17 April 2013, the Presidency is has [sic] amended the text."
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the upcoming end of the five year transitional period provided for in Article 10(1) to (3) of Protocol 36 on transitional provisions - Introductory note (8878/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council conclusions on the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joint Communication on the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace (8767/13, pdf)
UK: Nick Clegg kills off Tory hopes of swift deal on revised 'snooper's charter' (Guardian, link)
Nick Clegg has vetoed Theresa May's rewritten "web snooper's charter" plan, killing off the home secretary's last remaining hopes of getting any communications data legislation in the Queen's speech. The Liberal Democrat leader told David Cameron and Theresa May on Wednesday that he could not support the home secretary's latest proposals to monitor internet and social media use because they were unworkable and disproportionate.
See also: The "Snoopers' Charter" is dead... (Privacy International, link)
Statewatch analysis: If at first you dont succeed European Commission proposes new rules on interception and disembarkation during Frontex sea operations (pdf)
On 12 April 2013, the European Commission submitted a draft regulation establishing rules for sea border surveillance in the context of operations coordinated by Frontex. This proposal follows an ECJ (Court of Justice of the European Union) ruling in September 2012 which annulled the earlier Decision 2010/252 on the same matter after the European Parliament challenged the validity of the procedure adopted to pass the Decision.
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee rejects EU Passenger Name Record proposal (press release, link) A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25. MEPs vote down air passenger data scheme (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Portugal (press release, link) Full report (pdf)
"In the course of the 2012 visit, the CPTs delegation examined the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies and of the safeguards against ill-treatment in place. The report on the visit highlights several cases of alleged ill-treatment and stresses the importance of the authorities carrying out effective investigations into such allegations. Further, the report makes recommendations about the right of detained persons to have access to a lawyer (including the right to talk to a lawyer in private), to notify their detention to a third party and to be informed of their rights."
Statewatch analysis: Secrecy reigns at the EUs Intelligence Analysis Centre (pdf)
The Centre's reports are widely distributed within the EU and have a direct bearing on political decision-making despite an alarming lack of operational transparency and democratic accountability.
See also: European Parliament: EEAS could do much better, say MEPs in first major review (press release, link) Draft Report with a proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, to the Council and to the Commission on the 2013 review of the organisation and the functioning of the EEAS (pdf)
UK: House of Lords European Union Committee: EU police and criminal justice measures: The UKs 2014 opt-out decision (pdf)
"On the basis of the evidence we have received we do not consider that the Government have made a convincing case for exercising the opt-out. We are not persuaded by the arguments in favour of exercising the opt-out which some witnesses have made, and we find that the evidence supports the reasoning of those opposed to its exercise. Opting out of the police and criminal justice measures would have significant adverse negative repercussions for the internal security of the United Kingdom and the administration of criminal justice in the United Kingdom.
We do not believe that any possible alternative arrangements, which would involve a great deal of work to conceive, would be worth it simply to avoid the jurisdiction of the CJEU, which we do not believe poses an objective threat and whose jurisdiction in this area cannot be completely excluded in any event."
See also: EU crime optouts 'could damage UK crime fighting' (BBC, link)
EU: Justicia European Rights Network: NGO Joint briefing on the Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and the right to inform a third party upon deprivation of liberty (22 April 2013, pdf)
"After eight months of intensive discussions, the two legislators, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union, appear willing to conclude the negotiation of a new Directive that will set common minimum standards on the right of access to a lawyer and the right to communicate with third parties when detained, for persons suspected or accused of a crime in the EU.
Ahead of the next trilogue on 17 April 2013, we welcome the positive developments on a number of contentious points but wish to raise five remaining concerns that we believe deserve special attention from the co-legislators at this critical juncture in the negotiations, to ensure the Directive does not undermine human rights standards."
EU: Jesuit Refugee Service: Frontex must improve human rights performance (link) JRS joins the EU Ombudsman in calling upon Frontex to develop effective procedures to ensure that human rights are upheld at the borders.
Statewatch analysis: Expulsion of Roma: the French governments broken promise
Hopes that the Socialist Party's May 2012 electoral victory would lead to substantive changes in the treatment of Roma have faded quickly amid continued forced evictions and collective expulsions.
Statewatch analysis: Perfidious Albion: Cover-up and collusion in Northern Ireland (pdf), by Paddy Hillyard
The British government's dealings in Ireland have long been characterised by cover-ups, deceit and perfidiousness. This includes collaboration between British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries, the obstruction of legal investigations, the refusal to hold public enquiries, and the introduction of a new form of intelligence-led policing which, in many cases, allowed informers to act with impunity.
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Comparative table with amendments proposals by EP and Presidency suggestions (7805/13, pdf) The latest four-column text. The Council is not offering very much to meet the European Parliament's position, particularly on covert investigations and telephone tapping. The latest trilogue was 16 April, the last one has been set for 7 May.
EU: Migreurop press release: Launch of the campaign of parliamentary visits in migrant detention centers (link) Over the last decade or so, European asylum and immigration policies have led to a rise of the number of migrant detention centers. A round table will be organised on Wednesday the 24th of April 2013 from 1pm to 2.30pm at the European Parliament of Brussels (room PHS 1 C 51). Journalists, MPs and representatives of organizations will testify about their experiences during their visits in detention centers. Meeting programme (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR, 8086/13, pdf) The latest four-column text. Lots of compromises have been agreed or proposed.The next trilogue with the European Parliament is on 22 April.
EU: Multi-million euro research project aims to stop "non-cooperative vehicles" with microwaves and electromagnetic pulses
The EU is contributing over 3.3 million to a project which aims to give European security forces a way to ensure the "safe control and stopping at a distance of non-cooperative vehicles" on land and at sea through devices that make use of high power microwaves and electromagnetic pulses.
EU: European Ombudsman makes 13 recommendations to Frontex to strengthen its fundamental rights strategy: Draft recommendation and accompanying letter to the Executive Director of Frontex (pdfs)
The recommendation draws on analyses and suggestions by civil society organisations and individuals, including a joint submission by Statewatch and Migreurop.
According to the Ombudsman: The main concern is that the [Fundamental Rights] Strategy does not clarify Frontex's responsibility for possible infringements of fundamental rights which occur in the course of its operations and that the Strategy does not refer at all to the protection of personal data of intercepted migrants.
In September 2012, a Statewatch and Migreurop analysis stated: The fundamental rights strategy as it was presented by Frontex is inadequate. Safeguards and reporting mechanisms appear insufficient compared to Frontexs involvement and responsibilities in the initiation, coordination and conduct of border control at the EUs external borders. The absence of any redress mechanism for potential victims of human rights violations and the denial by Frontex of any direct responsibility if cases of violations were to be found reflect a disturbing misrepresentation of the Agencys mandate under the revised Regulation 2004/2007.
EU: Council of the European Union: Commissioner for Human Rights: Greece must curb hate crime and combat impunity (press release, link) Full report (pdf) Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime and a weak state response. Sustained and concerted action, notably by the police and the courts, is necessary to protect the rule of law and human rights in the country said today Nils Muinieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing a report based on the findings of his visit to Greece from 28 January to 1 February 2013.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (8303/13, pdf) The latest four-column text.
EU: Council of the European Union: Smart Borders Package (8018/13, pdf) The aim of the 'Smart Borders Package' is to simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the EU's external borders, enhance EU security and contribute to better monitoring of border crossings.
EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Opinion 03/2013 on purpose limitation (00569/13, pdf) Purpose limitation protects data subjects by setting limits on how data controllers are able to use their data while also offering some degree of flexibility for data controllers. This Opinion provides guidance for the principle's practical application under the current legal framework, and formulates policy recommendations for the future.
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Party on Sport: Draft Council Decision Authorising the European Commission to participate, on behalf of the EU, in the negotiations for an international convention of the Council of Europe to combat the manipulation of sports results (8346/13, pdf) and the manipulation of sports results as regards matters related to cooperation in criminal matters and police cooperation (8317/13, pdf)
EU: EU men with guns: a comedy of errors (euobserver, link) Catherine Ashton's EU foreign service recently gave its biggest security contract to a company with a dubious track record. Then they took it away again, posing questions on the professionalism of her staff.
Greece: Detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers (Aitima NGO, pdf) Hundreds of detainees protest for their detention by going on hunger strikes and there is information about suicide attempts that have occurred in detention centers.
Bulgaria: Access to Information in Bulgaria 2012 (pdf) The report was presented on 28 March 2013 at a press conference in the Bulgarian News Agency.
EU: Dublin III: Council of the European Union: Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast) - common guidelines (15605/12, pdf)
There was a deal between the European Parliament and the Council on the Dublin III Regulation last autumn, and the legislation was due to be adopted in December. However, this was delayed so that all the remaining asylum legislation could be adopted at the same time. There was a deal on the remaining asylum legislation just before Easter, so all the measures will probably be adopted officially in June, although this timing is not yet certain. The Regulation will apply six months after adoption, so probably from December 2013.
EU: Agency for Fundamental Rights report: Fundamental rights at the EUs southern sea borders: Deficiencies, promising practices and challenges (press release, link) Full report (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (COM 2013 197, pdf) The Commission has made its new proposal to replace the measure which the Court of Justice annulled in September.
See also: Statewatch analysis: Criticism of Frontexs operations at sea mounts (November 2012)
UK: Secret mission? UK "homeland security" firms were in India three weeks before David Cameron's February trade mission
In late January, Conservative MP and Minister for Security James Brokenshire led a delegation of nearly 25 "homeland security" firms to India on a trip which, in sharp contrast to the trade mission to India undertaken by David Cameron in February, received no coverage in the press whatsoever.
Greece: Statewatch visit to the Pikpa Centre for asylum-seekers in Mytilene
We visited the Pikpa Centre in early April 2013, an open facility run by volunteers in a building provided by the municipality. A significant number of the people in Pikpa today have been there for 17 or 18 days, not knowing if they will ever see a lawyer, be able to claim asylum, or move out of the Centre.
EU: EU military spending is 'elephant in the room' and key factor in European debt crisis, argues new report (TNI press release, link) Full report (pdf) At a time of harsh cuts in social services, it is morally unjustifiable to spend money on weapons that should be invested in creating jobs and tackling poverty. High levels of military spending played a key role in the unfolding European economic crisis and continues to undermine efforts to resolve it, alleges a new report by Transnational Institute and the Dutch Campaign against the Arms Trade.
UK: May we bring harmony? Thatchers legacy on race - Camerons nativist policies begin with Thatcher (IRR website, link) Thatchers New Right established what is today a commonsense nativism - which has stripped the political culture of group rights, internationalism, and history. It paved the way for Camerons landmark multiculturalism has failed speech of 2011 and Michael Goves whitening of the history curriculum, and the much more general acceptance of views, ranging from those of Andrew Green and Christopher Caldwell to David Goodhart, that the nation is under threat from cultural pluralism ie immigrants and we need a more assertive integration policy ie assimilation.
EU: Schengen stalls, Prüm ploughs on: fingerprint, DNA and vehicle registration data exchange networks continue to expand
Discussions on allowing Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area of border-free travel may have been postponed until December, but the EU's law enforcement authorities will soon start benefitting from easier access to fingerprint and vehicle registration data from the two countries as they move towards fully implementing the Prüm Decisions.
EU: Irish Presidency reaches breakthrough agreement on re-use of Public Sector Information (link) Public Sector Information refers to the wide variety of information held by Public bodies, ranging from demographic and economic data to historical documents or works of art. See also: Commission press release: Commission welcomes Member States' endorsement of EU Open Data rules (link)
Ireland: Self-regulation: Irish police database - some sort of social media (EDRi, link) Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister of Justice, has demanded an end to the abuse of the PULSE police database...he said that it was necessary to ensure that individuals who have done no wrong do not have their privacy violated and that in no circumstances should the database be used as some sort of social network to be accessed out of curiosity by members of the Force.
EU: Schengen Information System (SIS II) goes live
Commission press release (link) Commission memo: Questions and Answers: Schengen Information System (SIS II) (link) List of competent authorities which are authorised to search directly the data contained in the second generation Schengen Information System (2013/C103/01, pdf)
Today, the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) enters into operation to increase security and facilitate free movement within the Schengen area. The SIS II allows for an easy exchange of information between national border control authorities, customs and police authorities on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime. It also contains alerts on missing persons, in particular children, as well as information on certain property, such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms and identity documents that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.
Analysis of SIS II:
Statewatch analysis: From the Schengen Information System to SIS II and the Visa Information System (VIS): the proposals explained (May 2005)
Statewatch news online: Small steps to big brother: the development of the Visa Information System and the Schengen Information System II is back on track (August 2011)
Statewatch news online: Commission reports that SIS II is "on track" to come into operation in early 2013 (October 2012)
Centre for European Policy Studies report: The Difficult Road to the Schengen Information System II: The legacy of laboratories and the cost for fundamental rights and the rule of law (April 2011)
EU: European Commission press release: Internal security: What progress has been made? (link) Organised crime is still a major challenge for the internal security of the EU. Cybercrime, along with trafficking in human beings and the increase in violent extremism are also major security threats that the EU continues to face, together with money laundering and corruption. These threats are outlined in the Commission's annual report on the implementation of the EU's Internal Security Strategy, released today. It highlights areas under each of the objectives of the strategy (2011-2014) where Member States and EU agencies should pay particular attention. See: Second Report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy (COM 2013 179, pdf)
EU: European Parliament press release: EU must be enabled to enforce visa reciprocity, say Civil Liberties MEPs (link) Reimposing visa requirements on nationals of third countries that fail to remove them for EU citizens would be made easier by visa reciprocity rule changes voted in the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. The EU could also temporarily suspend its visa-free travel rules to halt "substantial and sudden increases" in irregular migrant numbers or unfounded asylum applications, but only as a last resort, MEPs added. But these changes have first to be agreed with EU member states.
EU: Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly report: Frontex: human rights responsibilities (Doc. 13161, 8 April 2013, pdf) ...steps are necessary to enhance democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament, human rights training activities for those involved in Frontex operations should be a priority, and it is necessary to ensure public accountability by putting in place an independent monitoring system and an effective complaints mechanism.
EU: Europol: Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2013 (pdf) This strategic report is Europols flagship product providing information to Europes law enforcement community and decision-makers about the threat of serious and organised crime to the EU.
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): Six Month Report on the EU Operations Centre, 22 September 2012 - 14 March 2013 (pdf)
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): Suggestions for crisis management procedures for CSDP crisis management operations (pdf)
Statewatch analysis: The second phase of the Common European Asylum System: A brave new world - or lipstick on a pig? (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex.
Several years ago, the EU set itself the deadline of 2010 - later postponed to 2012 - for completing the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Near the end of March 2013, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council (the Member States' interior ministers) finally agreed upon the texts of the two remaining legislative measures to this end. No further EU measures on asylum (other than a revision of the current European Refugee Fund) are currently under discussion or planned for the time being. So the recently agreed rules will likely govern the issue of asylum in the EU for a number of years to come.
EU: Council of Europe: Milestone reached in negotiations on accession of EU to the European Convention on Human Rights (link) Negotiators for the 47 Council of Europe Member States and the European Union have finalised the draft accession agreement of the European Union to the European Convention on Human rights. The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg will now be asked to give its opinion on the text.
See: Fifth negotiation meeting between the CDDH ad hoc negotiation group and the European Commission on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights: Final report to the CDDH (pdf)
UK: National Institute of Economic and Social Research: Potential impacts on the UK of future migration from Bulgaria and Romania (pdf) The report identifies a number of key gaps in evidence which could help inform future impacts of economic migration resulting from EU expansion.
EU: The spider's web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis: Part 3
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online will examine Europol's proposed new agreements. We start with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. Next week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE.
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Business concept for an Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Agencies (7843/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/98/EC on re-use of public sector information - Preparations for the informal trialogue with the European Parliament (7493/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Party on General Matters including Evaluations: Follow-up to mutual Evaluation Reports (6865/1/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Europol: Target information management architecture (IMS Action 10) - Draft vision on EU law enforcement information exchange (7903/13, pdf) Draft vision on EU law enforcement information exchange submitted by Europol as the outcome of the work done in the Working Group on IMS Action Point 10.
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Joint Declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility between India and the European Union and its Member States (7600/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Exchange of EU classified information (EUCI) with third States and international organisations (7791/13, pdf) Provides details of agreements concluded by the EU and of administrative arrangements entered into by the Secretary-General of the Council under which EUCI may be exchanged with third States and international organisations.
EU: Council of the European Union: Politico-Military Group: PMG recommendations on the CSDP aspects of the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union (7847/13, pdf) Following the agreement by the Politico-Military Group on 25 March 2013, the Political and Security Committee is invited to agree the PMG recommendations on the CSDP aspects of the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union.
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI): EU Policy Cycle: Implementation Monitoring (16014/12, pdf) Half year monitoring reports of the eight EMPACT Operational Action Plans for the second half of 2012.
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the Schengen evaluation in 2013 - Programmes, participants, technical details - an overview (5147/13, pdf)
EU: Council of Europe: Fifth negotiation meeting between the CDDH ad hoc negotiation group and the European Commission on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights: Revised chairperson's proposal on outstanding issues (pdf)
EU: AP leads as Media Finally Ditch Illegal Label for Migration (Ethical Journalism Network, link) The announcement this week by the Associated Press, the worlds biggest news media organisation, that it will no longer use the term "illegal immigrant" is welcome, but long overdue...The use of alternative terms undocumented or unauthorised, for instance will help, but the decisions now being taken by major media illustrate that it may be time for journalists and media at all levels to rethink their use of language and its potential impact on the individuals concerned.
EU: Council of the European Union: State of play of COSI project group implementing one of the "29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration": "Measure 4". FINAL REPORT (15906/1/12, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Council Directive on consular protection for citizens of the Union abroad - Delegations' comments to Chapters 3 and 4 (6493/13, pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision authorising Member States to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, 2011, of the International Labour Organisation (COM 2013 152, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Prüm Decisions documents:
Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions": overview of documents and procedures; overview of declarations; state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (5074/2/13, pdf)
Statistics and reports on automated data exchange for 2012 (7146/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Visa reciprocity: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (7990-13, 27 March 2013, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: EURODAC and Law Enforcement Agencies access: Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) - Report of the fourth informal trilogue (7713-13, pdf)
and Analysis of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement (pdf): "Following the informal trilogue held on 21 March 2013, the Presidency submits the consolidated text in the Annex to this note for endorsement by the Permanent Representatives Committee." Note "informal" trilogue.
EU: Council of the European Union: Right to a lawyer: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the
right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest [First reading] - Questions on selected issues (7564-13, 21 March 2013, pdf)
and see: DS 1193/13 (pdf):"In view of the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency on 13 and 14 March 2013, delegations will find in the Annex a revised version of the draft Directive, together with some explicative comments."
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Information Sharing: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure That Efforts to Share Terrorism-Related Suspicious Activity Reports Are Effective (link)
EU: EUROPOL: European Commission: Europol: The EU hub for support to law enforcement cooperation and training (Press Release, pdf), Regulation on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA (pdf)
And see: Communication: Establishing a European Law Enforcement Training Scheme (pdf)
EU: ROMA: Fundamental Rights Agency: FRA Brief: Data on discrimination of Roma and anti-Roma crime (pdf)
EUROCRISIS: After Cyprus: Ordinary citizens forced to accept losses (European Voice, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Analysis of final compromise text with a view to agreement (146 pages, 7695-13, pdf). Final compromise text between the Council and the European Parliament, after 8 trilogue meetings.
EU: The spiders web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis - Part 2:
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online examines Europol's proposed new agreements. We started with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. This week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE:
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS: Enormous energy put into reforming data protection rules must deliver strong and effective protection for EU citizens (Press release, pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "As a society, we are increasingly reliant on technology that processes huge amounts of our personal information. Electronic surveillance is commonplace with profiling and "big data" putting our privacy under strain. The reform of the data protection framework is a momentous opportunity to redress the balance and guarantee this fundamental right for all EU citizens for generations to come. It is vital that the outcome of the negotiations in the European Parliament and the Council is a reform package that delivers a high level of data protection."
and Additional EDPS comments on the Data Protection Reform Package (pdf).
ACTA: European Court of Justice judgment: Sophie in t Veld MEP v European Commission (pdf). See: Sophie in 't Veld (MEP) determined to step up efforts for more transparency in EU (link):
"Today's ruling unfortunately upholds the culture of discretion and confidentiality of diplomats that was common in the fifties", Dutch MEP Sophie In 't Veld (ALDE/D66) says in a reaction to the judgment of the European General Court in her case against the European Commission for the refusal to disclose documents on the negotiations on the anti-piracy treaty ACTA. The Court ruled, in favour of In 't Veld, that the Commission had classified too many documents confidential. However, the Court also supported the Commission by stating that a general confidentiality agreement with negotiating partners is allowed. In 't Veld: "This way diplomatic negotiations are routinely classified confidential while citizens are left in the dark."
EU: Council of the European Union: Eurosur, Asylum Procedures and Visa Reciprocity
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (86 pages, 7143-13, pdf) Multi-column document for the trilogue between the Council and the European Parliament
- Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Preparation of the eight informal trilogue (7434-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise
- Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries those nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (7524-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise
EU: SIS: Council of the European Union: Schengen information system database statistics 01/01/2013 (pdf)
EU: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACCESS TO EURODAC: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) - Preparation for the fourth informal trilogue (246 pages, 7476-12, dated 15 March 2013, pdf): This sets of the main points of a possible European Parliament/Council deal in the so-called fourth "informal" trilogue discussion and the Council's version on acceptable "compromises". And see earlier version: 7022-13 (249 pages, 12 March 2013, pdf) Multi-column documents
CYPRUS: Euro bail out plumbs new depths, bank accounts to be taxed: Cyprus heading for bank run after bailout deal (euobserver, link), EU leaders gamble in Cyprus bank bailout (BBC News, link) and Cyprus rescue breaks all the rules (Robert Peston, BBC News, link). If the Cypriot parliament fails to back the troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) deal technocratic rule may be imposed as it was in Greece and Italy.
And see: Cypriot president says he was forced to accept EU bailout (euractiv, link): ""Essentially parliament is called to legalise a decision to rob depositors blind, against every written and unwritten law," said Yiannakis Omirou, speaker of parliament and head of EDEK, the small Socialist party. "We refuse to subscribe to this."....Independent financial experts and governmental sources believe that the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank need a flawless execution of the bailout agreement, because the deal will likely serve as blueprint for future bailouts. Most likely recipients of such bailout packages are the so-called PIGS countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain."
FRONTEX: Statewatch Analysis: "Trust in Frontex: The 2013 work programme (pdf) by Marie Martin.
This analysis examines the main points of the EUs border management agency Frontexs 2013 work programme and the first work programme of the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights (hereafter the Consultative Forum).
See also: Frontex Consultative Forum, Work Programme 2013, January 2013
Human rights organisations file OECD complaints against surveillance firms Gamma International and Trovicor (ECCHR, link)
UK: Protester wins surveillance database fight - John Catt, who has no criminal record, wins legal action to have records deleted from police database of suspected extremists (Guardian, link)
EU: The spiders web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis:
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online will examine Europol's proposed new agreements. We start with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. Next week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE.
Part 2 next week
EU: Council of the European Union: Legal Migration - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals for the purpose of seasonal employment
= State of play (pdf) and Common European Asylum System - State of play (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Sahel / Maghreb (crisis in Mali, IN AMENAS) - implications for EU internal security : executive summary (pdf)
- Follow-up to the evaluation of the EU Policy Cycle 2011 - 2013 (pdf)
- Opinion of the Council Security Committee on the draft security rules for the European External Action Service (EEAS) (pdf)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Parliament amendments to be discussed in the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) later in March to the Commission's proposal: Ten documents: - 926396 (pdf) - 928599 (pdf) - 928600 (pdf) - 929498 (pdf) - 929505 (pdf) - 929511 (pdf) - 929512 (pdf) - 929519 (pdf) - 929533 (pdf) - 929832 (pdf)
EU: European Ombudsman to retire (pdf)
HUNGARY: NGOs: Main concerns regarding the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary (pdf)
EU: SHOCKING VIDEO: When border controls kill
Following the release on 11 March 2013 of a shocking video on the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser's website that shows a patrol boat striking and sinking a dinghy that carried 25 migrants on 13 December 2012 while it was pursuing it.
The Spanish and international organisations Andalucía Acoge, Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), Boats4People, Asociación Elin and the Federación estatal de SOS Racismo issued a press statement in which they noted that the video belies previous official versions of the incident and the interior ministry is "responsible for the death and disappearance of eight people in the waters off the Canary Islands' coast": Press statement: Concerning the video that belies the official version about a dinghy that was run over by the "Río Cabaleiro" patrol boat (English translation)
EU: Council of the European Union: Customs Internet Crime Units: Draft report of Action 5.2 "To examine the working/investigative techniques applied by customs and other law enforcement authorities to combat customs related crime, including organised crime, through the Internet, and to explore the current situation regarding the existence of Customs Internet Crime specialised units" (17225-rev1-12, pdf) and Earlier version (17225-12, pdf)
Hungary faces fresh criticism over constitutional changes (The Parliament, link)
USA-ISRAEL: Council of the European Union: Security Information Agreements
- Security of information agreement between the EU and the United States of America - Note verbale addressed by the General Secretariat of the Council to the United States of America (pdf)
- Security of information agreement between the EU and Israel - Note verbale addressed by the General Secretariat of the Council to the Israeli
Mission to the European Union (pdf)
EU-PRUM: Council of the European Union: Implementation of Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA ("Prüm Decisions") - Implementation guide - DNA Data Exchange (62 pages, pdf)
EU:JITS: Council of the European Union: Conclusions of the 8th Annual meeting of the National Experts on Joint Investigation Teams (18 - 19 October 2012, the Hague) (pdf)
EU: Meijers Committee: Update No.1 March 2013: In this update information on our recent comments and letters is given and the results of our work are shared (pdf)
UK's war on terror targets the vulnerable by Victoria Brittain (Asia Times Online, link)
HUNGARY: Proposed constitutional changes: Letter from NGOs to EU Commissioner (pdf)
USA-DRONES: EU must contest US legal justification of drone killings (link):
"LibDem European justice & human rights spokeswoman Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP has jointly with MEPs from other political groups condemned the United States targeted killing programme under which the CIA and the military hunt and kill individuals suspected of links to terrorism anywhere in the world. They are calling on the EU to contest the US attempt to pervert international law."
And see: European Parliament Members Speak Out Against U.S. Targeted Killing Program (ACLU, link)
UPDATE: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 7-8 March: Press release, 7-8 March 2013 (pdf): "B" Points agenda (pdf), "A" Points: legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) "A" Points: non-legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection: Opinion 01/2013 providing further input into the discussions on the draft Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive (WP 201, pdf)
"the Working Party stresses that the current exemptions and limitations to the data subjects rights are too broad. Without further explanation, it is in particular not justifiable why Member States should be allowed to exempt entire categories of personal data from the right of access."
"The evolution of law enforcement techniques and methods in the past decade clearly demonstrate that all these categories which fall under the broad category of non-suspects need specific protection. This is especially the case when the processing is not done in a specific criminal investigation or prosecution.It is the difference between information that the law enforcement authorities need to know and the information that is nice to have."
EU-Morocco: Political agreement on Mobility Partnership: Towards the first readmission agreement with an African country?
On 1 March 2013, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU's Commissioner on Home Affairs, Cecilia Malström, met with the Moroccan authorities in Rabat. In a press conference, Barroso and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane announced a "new step in the relations" between the EU and Morocco, including a political agreement on the signature of a Mobility Partnership which, some suggest, may finally lead to the conclusion of a readmission agreement which the Moroccan authorities have so far refused to sign.
UK: "Detention doesn't work for anyone"
The charity Detention Action is calling for an end to indefinite immigration detention in the UK, arguing that the system currently in place does not work "for anyone". "In the UK, migrants are deprived of their liberty without charge or trial," says the charity's campaign briefing. "The UK Border Agency detains migrants for longer than any other country in Europe. Asylum-seekers, foreign ex-offenders and other migrants are held in prison-like conditions without time limit."
EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa
At least 5 million is being spent by the EU on developing a series of interlinked national police databases in West Africa, that will eventually allow information and intelligence gathered in the region to be disseminated to law enforcement authorities across the world.
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 7-8 March: Press release, 7 March 2013 (pdf): "B" Points agenda (pdf), "A" Points: legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) "A" Points: non-legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) and Background Note (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): The nine Member State governments who proposed the EIO lobby the Council of the European Union for it to be quickly adopted: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters- Letters (6532-12, pdf)
See also Statewatch Analysis: The proposed European Investigation Order: Assault on human rights and national sovereignty (pdf)
UK: National Security Strategy: Report from Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2012 (pdf): "we are not yet convinced that the existence of the NSC is making the contribution that it should: enabling Government to work as a co-ordinated whole. In other words, we question how much extra value is derived from having the NSC as opposed to the preceding systems of Cabinet Committees."
European Parliament: Question to the Commission from ALDE group MEPs: Reform of the Constitution in Hungary (pdf) and See: Secretary General calls upon Hungarian government and parliament to postpone vote on constitutional amendments (CoE, link)
UK: House of Commons: Business, Innovation and Skills Committee: Too Little, Too Late: Committees observations on the Government Response to the Report on Overseas Students and Net Migration (pdf)
EU: FRONTEX: Work Programme for 2013 (pdf)
"Predictive policing" comes to the UK
In January last year, The Independent reported that "a pioneering technique to predict crime before it happens could be imported from the United States to this country." This prediction came true in December, when Kent police began "a trial of a predictive policing model from the USA that assesses several years' worth of crime data and human behaviour to predict the areas in which offences are likely to take place."
European Commission: Minutes of the Experts' Committee meeting on the implementation of the Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA
(Transfer of Prisoners), 2008/947/JHA (Probation and alternative sanctions) and 2009/829/JHA(European Supervision Order) (pdf)
GREECE & CoE Committee for the Prevention of Torture visit to Greece: Letter (pdf): "We assume that you are already aware of the numerous reports describing detention conditions in Greece, with our present letter we will not do the same but will focus on the weaknesses in the procedure regarding migrants treatment by the authorities."
EU: Videos of speech and questions: by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, at the 40th Annual Conference of the European Group on Deviancy and Social Control, held in Nicosia, Cyprus, September 2012: The EU state and civil liberties: Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3 (links)
EU: The democratic deficit in action (Matt Carr's Infernal Machine, link): "Ive always suspected that the European Commission was something of an elite outfit. But in the last two weeks, Ive been granted an unexpected firsthand insight into the Commissions commitment to democratic debate....Then, a few days ago, I got a call saying that my appearance had been definitively vetoed, and that the DG was not even willing to debate with the Jesuit Refugee Service either. So the upshot, last I heard, is that there will be a studio debate about the EUs new migration management policies in North Africa between the Home Affairs Director-General and a representative of the Moroccan government!"
EU: Complex EU law-making dubbed 'infernal, undemocratic' (euobserver, link): "Brussels is awash with stories about the unhealthy influence of lobbyists on law-makers but as big a scandal, say some experts, is the increasing amount of legislation made with little scrutiny at all. The lack of oversight - despite the EU capital's 754 MEPs and 1,000s of lobbyists - is down to the rising use of so-called secondary legislation coupled with a greater tendency to fast-track primary laws."
See also: Statewatch analysis: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit
EU: European Ombudsman: Ombudsman welcomes the Commissions disclosure of documents on UK opt-out from Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf):
"The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has welcomed the European Commissions decision to give access to documents drafted by its services on the UK opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This follows a complaint from the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), a Brussels-based NGO, which wanted to find out why UK citizens do not enjoy the same fundamental rights as other EU citizens. The Commission initially rejected the Ombudsmans recommendation to disclose the documents. After the Ombudsman addressed a critical remark to the Commission, ECAS again requested access to the documents. The Commission then reviewed its position and released all the documents."
ECAS: EU Rights Clinic and ECAS Secure Release of EU Charter Opt-Out Documents (Press release, pdf) and Background Note (pdf)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION CASE: European Court of Justice: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Austria) lodged on 19 December 2012 - Kärntner Landesregierung and Others (pdf)
See also: ROMANIA: EC drops case against Romania as data retention law passes (Telecompaper): "The European Commission (EC) dropped the infringement procedure on 21 February that it had opened against Romania in 2011 over the non-implementation in due time of the provisions of the directive 24/2006 concerning the storage of confidential data by communications operators as the Romanian parliament passed the so-called 'Big brother' law in May 2012"
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 March: Draft "B" Points" agenda (pdf)
Statewatch analysis: The rise of xenophobia and the migration crisis in Greece: The Council of Europes wake-up call: Europe cannot afford to look away (pdf)
On 23 January, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Council of Europes Parliamentary Assembly issued a draft Resolution and report calling on the EU and its Member States to take concrete solidarity measures in the field of migration and asylum (e.g. reception capacity, resettlement programmes in other Member States). The situation in Greece is seen as a "test case for European solidarity."
Because of "mounting tensions in the east Mediterranean" and Greeces failure "to respect the human rights and dignity of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees," the Committee warned about the rise of racist violence and far-right parties. It also argued that the EUs actions could contribute to the situation in the country. Rapporteur Tineke Strink stressed that the situation was very serious and that "Europe cannot afford to look away."
UK: Home Affairs Committee: Undercover Policing: Interim Report (pdf) The Committee calls for a fundamental review of the law governing undercover police operations, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Committee recommends the publication of a consultation paper before the next election, with a view to publishing draft legislation at the beginning of the next Parliament.
Statewatch analysis: EU: Secretive Frontex Working Group seeks to increase surveillance of travellers (pdf)
Frontex has been negotiating in secret to grant state agencies greater access to the personal data of travellers entering the EU. No hard evidence has been presented by EU institutions to support Frontex's claim that this will lead to more effective border management and critics have warned that the mandatory collection of passenger information is entirely unnecessary and a disproportionate infringement of individual privacy.
Statewatch analysis: TESAT report shows decrease in terrorist activity in 2011 but national police forces see a continuing threat (pdf)
Europol's report shows a significant decrease in terrorist incidents between 2009 and 2011 and its attempt to justify anti-terrorism initiatives. The lack of recent activity from established threats such as Al Qaeda and ETA has led anti-terrorist policing to increasingly focus on left-wing, anarchist and single issue groups.
EU: European Commission: 'Smart borders': enhancing mobility and security (press release): Commission press conference mainly focussed on the benefits of a Registered Traveller Programme. Legislative proposals:
Proposal for a Regulation establishing Registered Traveller Programme (pdf)
Staff working document detailed explanations (pdf)
Accompanying impact assessment (pdf) Summary (pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (pdf)
Staff working document detailed explanations (pdf)
Accompanying impact assessment (pdf) Summary (pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 (pdf)
Greens press release: EU border control plans: Big brother technologies not a smart plan for Europes borders (pdf)
See also: Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation written by Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen.
Italy: ASGI's pre-election proposals to reform immigration laws
In January 2013, looking ahead to the Italian general elections that were held on 24-25 February 2013, the Associazione di Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI) presented a ten-point document. It proposed reform to Italian legislation concerning immigration, foreigners, asylum and citizenship, to take place during the 2013-2018 legislature.
UK: Joint Committee on Human Rights: Legislative Scrutiny: Justice and Security Bill (second report) (pdf) We recommend that the Bill be amended to ensure that a full judicial balancing of interests always takes place within the CMP [closed material proceedings], weighing the public interest in the fair and open administration of justice against the likely degree of harm to the interests of national security when deciding which material should be heard in closed session and which in open session.
On 27 Februrary, 702 legal professionals, including 38 QCs, urged the government to scrap the Bill in a letter to the Daily Mail. They argue that were it to be introduced, the Bill would "fatally undermine the court room as an independent and objective forum in which allegations of wrongdoing can be fairly tested and where the Government can be transparently held to account." See: Guardian and Daily Mail coverage (links)
See also: Statewatch analysis: UK Governments secret justice Bill widely condemned (October 2012, pdf)
Statewatch analysis: The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility: the state of play (pdf)
GAMM has been promoted by the Commission as an "overarching framework of the EU external migration policy" but many member states remain sceptical of the value of dealing with migration issues at EU level. The approach has been much criticised for allowing member states to use migrants as disposable workers and for further restricting access to the EU.