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20th year reporting on civil liberties and the state in the European Union (updated 22.6.18) Editor: Tony Bunyan
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EU: Visegrad Four to shun EU's weekend mini-summit on migrant crisis (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday said leaders of the Visegrad Four countries Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will skip a European Union mini-summit on the migration crisis this weekend.
All four eastern EU states strongly oppose calls from western counterparts especially Germany for all member states to accept a quota of migrants who have streamed into the EU since 2015 in order to share the burden around the bloc."
EDRI: We can still win: Next steps for the Copyright Directive (link):
"On the 20th of June 2018, the European Parliaments Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) ignored all advice and voted for the chaotic Article 13 of the proposed Copyright Directive.
There are several steps for the EU institutions to go through before the Directive can finally be adopted. We can still win!"
Fair movement of people: equal treatment? (Part Two) (EU Law Analysis, link):
"A second element of our scheme would include possible restrictions on the principle of equal treatment in respect of both work and access to benefits. We suggest that the UK needs to utilise the restrictions on equal treatment that already exist in the Citizens Rights Directive 2004/38 while developing the restrictions on the equal treatment principle contained in the Brussels New Settlement Agreement negotiated by David Cameron in February 2016. We suggest that this may (eventually) be acceptable to the EU because it reflects both the origins of the free movement provisions in the EU and a political realisation that free movement is less popular than it was for Western EU states."
EU: Tensions build ahead of hastily prepared migration meeting (euractiv, link):
"Jean-Claude Junckers invitation to a handful of EU leaders for an informal mini-summit on Sunday (27 June) to discuss migration and asylum appears to have raised more issues than the meeting can solve."
"The heart is where the battle is": A celebration of Sivanandan's legacy, Saturday 23 June 2018. The Memorial event at Conway Hall. London will be live-streamed on the Institute of Race Relations News Youtube Channel from 1.30 to 5.00pm: https://www.youtube.com/user/IRRnews
CoE: CPT factsheet on transport of detainees (link):
"On a number of occasions, CPT delegations have inspected vehicles intended for the transport of detainees, such as road and railway vehicles. They frequently found that conditions were substandard or that basic safety requirements were not being met. The Committee has also come across practices which called for criticism (e.g. overreliance on means of restraint; unnecessarily long periods of confinement in prisoner transport vehicles)."
See: Factsheet (pdf)
Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of 'Eurodac' for the comparison of biometric data for the effective application.... Preparation for the trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 9848-18, pdf)
"It is of utmost importance to Member States that the European Parliament has accepted the possibility for Member States to use a proportionate degree of coercion as a last resort to ensure the compliance of minors with the obligation to provide biometric data."
UK-BREXT: Commission slide show: Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (pdf)
Eurojust: France, Germany, Belgium and Spain call for the creation of a European Judicial Counter Terrorism Register (link):
"A joint declaration by the Ministers of Justice of France, Germany, Belgium and Spain ... was distributed in the margins of the conference. It called for the reinforcement of the sharing of information on current investigations and convictions for terrorist offences with Eurojust."
EU countries prepare mini-summit as migration row festers (ekathimerini.com,link):
"Leaders from a group of European Union countries, led by Germany and France, will meet Sunday to thrash out possible solutions to a divisive row over migrants.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose own government is in crisis over the management of migrant arrivals, is expected to join the leaders of Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain for informal talks at European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday."
This unusual move just days before an European Council (Heads of State) meeting was unowned by the Commission in a minimal way see: Informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues (Press release, pdf). The text simply says:
"President Juncker is convening an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues in Brussels on Sunday, in order to work with a group of Heads of State or Government of Member States interested in finding European solutions ahead of the upcoming European Council."
Hungary approves STOP Soros law, prohibits resettlement of alien population (euractiv, link):
"Hungarys parliament yesterday (20 June) approved a package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, defying the European Union and human rights groups.
Parliament, where Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, also passed a constitutional amendment stating that an alien population cannot be settled in Hungary a swipe at Brussels over its resettlement quota plan.
The legislation narrows the scope for action by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), making their workers liable for jail terms for helping migrants to seek asylum when they are not entitled to it."
See also: Hungary: Draconian anti-NGO law will be resisted every step of the way (AI, link)
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (18.6.18-20.6.18) including: EU to consider migrant processing centres in north Africa; EU-Ethiopia returns: Council fails to answer three simple questions; "Stop Soros" legislative package to be voted on in Hungary
UK will be locked out of Europe's policing and security databases after Brexit, EUs chief negotiator says (The Independent, link):
"Britain will be locked out of EU policing and security databases after Brexit, the blocs chief negotiator has confirmed.
Michel Barnier said the UK would also lose access to the European arrest warrant and that UK representatives would no longer have a role in managing agencies such as Europol and Eurojust.
In a speech in Vienna Mr Barnier said the British government needed a dose of realism about what would be possible on security cooperation after the UK leaves the bloc."
EU-Ethiopia return procedures: Council fails to answer three simple questions
On 15 February 2018 Judith Sargentini MEP asked the Council of the EU three questions concerning procedures for returning Ethiopians to their country of origin, which were approved by the Council at the end of January. The Council's answer came over four months later, on 18 June, and fails to answer any of the questions effectively.
EU to consider plans for migrant processing centres in north Africa
"The EU is to consider the idea of building migrant processing centres in north Africa in an attempt to deter people from making life-threatening journeys to Europe across the Mediterranean, according to a leaked document.
The European council of EU leaders supports the development of the concept of regional disembarkation platforms, according to the draft conclusions of an EU summit due to take place next week (pdf).
Greece: Professor Vassilis Karidis has died
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "Vassilis was a very old friend and comrade. I knew him for over 20 years both through the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control and as a contributor to Statewatch. Over the years we spoke together on many platforms including in Komitini, Athens, Nafplion, Lesvos and Corinth. We had many hours of thoughful and compassionate discusions on Greek history, the future of the EU state and democracy and ongoing struggles."
EU: Press release: MEPs ignore expert advice and vote for mass internet censorship (EDRi, link):
"In a vote today, 20 June, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted for the a Copyright Directive, which includes measures to monitor and filter virtually all uploads to the internet.
The Copyright Directive includes the controversial Article 13, which mandates the mass monitoring and censorship of internet uploads. The vote comes after wide criticism of these measures and against the advice of civil society, of leading academics and universities, of research institutions , the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and even the inventors of the internet and of the world wide web."
EU: Resettlement of refugees: 11 Member States insist on using resettlement as "a tool for migration management and cooperation with third countries"
11 Member States are insistent on the need for a new scheme on the resettlement of refugees into the EU to be used as an instrument for trying to ensure that 'third countries' cooperate with EU policies on migration.
Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Greece, Malta, Austria and Ireland have "[stressed] the need to retain in the text the idea that resettlement is a tool for migration management and cooperation with third countries," according to a note distributed by COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives, made up of Member States' head officials in Brussels) in response to a Bulgarian Council Presidency note drafted at the beginning of this month.
EU: Council bypasses Parliament on Europol personal data exchange deals with Middle Eastern and North African states
The views of the European Parliament on proposed agreements that would allow the exchange of personal and other data between Europol and eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa are to be ignored by the Council of the EU and the European Commission.
At the beginning of June the Council of the EU approved negotiating mandates that will be used by the European Commission in talks with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.
Greece: A New Nightmare: Picked up in the Aegean and Returned to Syria (Samos Chronicles, link):
"For the past ten days I have been waiting for news from Mohammad. Like me he comes from Aleppo but for the past 6 years he has been with his mother and brother living in Istanbul. Mohammad is 18 years old.
We became friends through Facebook where he saw that I was involved with many refugees in Athens and in Samos. He had read my story in the Samos Chronicles. As a young gay man he turned to me for advice and help which I was happy to give. Over the past six months we have talked a lot and a good friendship has developed. I know that he trusts me...."
ECHR: In a "democratic society" you have to trust the state: Bulk interception of communications in Sweden meets Convention standards (Press release, pdf) Although the Court found that:
"The Court considered that the relevant legislation amounted to a system of secret surveillance that potentially affected all users of mobile telephones and the Internet, without their being notified. Also, there was no domestic remedy providing detailed grounds in response to a complainant who suspected that his or her communications had been intercepted (... and)
The courts [Foreign Intelligence Court] activities are in practice covered by complete secrecy.(... and)
while the Court found certain shortcomings in the system, notably the regulation of the communication of personal data to other States and international organisations and the practice of not giving public reasons following a review of individual complaints (... that the review system) (...) developed in such a way that it minimised the risk of interference with privacy and compensated for the lack of openness of the system". [emphasis added]
And see full text of the: Opinion (pdf)
European Union trains North African authorities to control the Internet (link)
"Under the neighbourhood policy the southern Mediterranean countries are supported with a police programme. Since 2004 measures in cyberspace are on the agenda. Once again, this is the surveillance of social networks, upload platforms and video telephony.
The European Union wants to train North African countries in Internet surveillance. This is what Johannes Hahn, Commissioner responsible for EU neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, writes in his reply to a question by MEP Sabine Lösing. In an unnamed partner country in the southern neighbourhood, training courses on social media investigations are to be held as part of the Euromed Police IV police programme. Further measures are to be taken in the areas of cyberspace and terrorism. These include financial investigations and digital forensics."
EU: European Asylum Support Office (EASO): Annual report 2017 (pdf):
"Importantly, recognition rates tend to vary across EU+ countries, at both relatively low and high values of the recognition rates, in particular for applicants from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, where the recognition rate ranged between 0 and 100 %. For others, there was relatively more convergence at higher (e.g. Eritrea and Syria) and lower (e.g. Albania and Nigeria) recognition rates."
See also: Sharp fall in number of people seeking asylum in EU (Guarsian, link): "Almost 730,000 applications were made in 2017, a 44% drop on the 1.3m made in 2016."
Italy: Salvini's Roma census abhorrent - Martina (ANSA, link):
"Caretaker Democratic Party (PD) leader Maurizio Martina on Monday described Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's proposal to conduct a census of ethnic Roma people in Italy as "abhorrent". "It is the latest act in an escalation of dangerous, unacceptable messages," Martina told ANSA. (...)
"Yesterday the refugees, today the Roma, tomorrow guns for all," Gentiloni said via Twitter. Matteo Orfini, the president of the centre-left party, proposed that: "if we really want to have a census, I'd start with racists and fascists"."
EU: The future of free movement of persons in the UK (Part 1) (EU Law Analysis, lnk):
"Concerns about immigration were a - no, probably the - main reason why many voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016. There was a strong perception that the UK had lost control of its borders; a Leave vote would enable the UK government to take back that control."
UK: Time 2 Listen consultation on mental health and policing (Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, link):
"The Time 2 Listen consultation, believed to be the first of its kind ever held in Northamptonshire, heard from 1,200 people in the county who have either mental illness, autism or ADHD, as well as more than 260 professionals working in health, policing, criminal justice and the voluntary sector.
The consultation aimed to understand their experiences in order to recommend improvements to service provision.
People with a mental health concern are much more likely to come into contact with the police, either as victims or offenders. It is estimated that at least 20% of all incidents dealt with by Northamptonshire Police each year are related in some way to mental health, although the real figure may be much higher. Up to 90 per cent of people in prison and two-fifths of people on community sentences have some sort of mental health concern.
The results of this major consultation revealed that people feel that services do not work together: that there are gaps in the support available and an inconsistent approach between organisations.
The Time 2 Listen report contains 34 recommendations for criminal justice and health agencies, along with an action plan to implement them through two existing, multi-agency groups the Mental Health Transformation Board Steering Group and the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Board."
See the report: Time 2 Listen Report 2018 (pdf)
UKRAINE: Human rights groups condemn Ukraine over its funding of nazi militias (Morning Star, link):
"HUMAN rights groups in Ukraine hit out today after it was revealed that nazi militias involved in brutal and violent attacks against minorities have received cash from the government.
A report published on YouTube by the Ministry of Youth and Sports showed officials voting to fund the far-right Svoboda party along with the violent neonazi C14 group via grants for national-patriotic education projects.
In a statement on its website the ministry admitted that, while it does not directly finance any public groups, including the far-right, it does fund the projects of those groups."
Nine countries unite against EU export controls on surveillance software (EurActiv, link)
"An EU proposal to impose export controls on technology products that can be used as spyware is at risk of being delayed as a group of nine countries have pushed back against the overhaul.
EU officials are concerned that a bill to regulate the export of so-called dual use products could be toppled ahead of next years European Parliament election. Dual use products can be used for either civilian or military purposes and fall under special export controls.
Nine countries, led by Sweden, have united against the proposals clampdown on exports of technology products that could be used to harm human rights.
Sweden, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom drafted a paper criticising the bill."
UK: New study of police stop and search within British Muslim communities (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link):
"The British Journal of Criminology has published a new study of police stop and search within British Muslim communities and the analysis of statistical data collected by the Crime Survey of England and Wales between 2006 and 2011.
The primary aim of the study was to determine the extent to which Crime Survey data support allegations of police discrimination against British Muslim communities. The study represents the first of its kind to model large-scale police stop and search data from British Muslim communities. Previous research has tended to use data pertaining to ethnicity or anecdotal evidence.
Analysis revealed that being Muslim increased the likelihood of being subjected to a foot stop by only a very small amount (around one per cent) and actually decreased the likelihood of being subjected to a vehicle stop. However, once stopped, being Muslim increased the likelihood of being searched on foot by a factor of eight - more than for any other ethnic or religious group analysed in the study. Overall, the study revealed a more complex picture of police stop and search practices within British Muslim communities than has been asserted by academics, politicians and campaign groups."
See: Police Stop and Search Within British Muslim Communities: Evidence From the Crime Survey 200611 (British Journal of Criminology, link)
UK: No officers to face prosecution or disciplinary action over taser death (ITV News, link):
"Granada reports can reveal that NO officers from Greater Manchester Police will face prosecution or disciplinary action over the death of a man after he'd been shot with a taser.
Jordon Begley, 23, died after being Tasered and restrained when Greater Manchester Police officers were called to his home in Gorton, Manchester, during a row with neighbours in July 2013.
An original report by police watchdog the IPCC into his death, which found no individual officer had a case to answer, was quashed by the High Court in 2016 after it was found to be inconsistent with a subsequent inquest."
Italy to compile 'register' of Roma people: Matteo Salvini (The Local, link):
"Italian authorities are to carry out a census of Roma people with a view to deporting those without papers, according to new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
Salvini, head of the anti-immigration League party that is the junior party in Italy's governing coalition, plans to order "a survey of Roma in Italy to find out who, how, how many", he told a northern Italian TV station on Monday, saying the information would be collected in a "register".
"Irregular [undocumented] foreigners will be deported via agreements with other countries, but Italian Roma unfortunately you have to keep at home," he was quoted as saying.
Salvini has a long history of targeting Italy's Roma and Sinti population, which numbers an estimated 130,000-170,000, around half of whom are believed to be Italian citizens.
The League has already proposed creating exceptional laws for Roma people that would make it easier for authorities to remove children from their families if they were found not to be attending school, while Salvini has called for Roma camps to be "bulldozed" and accused Romani of preferring crime to work."
EU: BARCA NOSTRA - A Monument to the European Union (link)
"BARCA NOSTRA, a migrant initiative, announces the launch of its petition for the procession March from Palermo to Brussels - A Monument to the European Union to bring the recovered refugee shipwreck from the 18th April 2015 from Italy to Brussels and install it as a permanent monument in the heart of the headquarters of European politics.
The procession through Europe with the recovered shipwreck of the refugee boat that sank in the Sicilian Channel in spring 2015, will start in Palermo in summer 2018 - referencing the Charter of Palermo and the freedom of movement as a human right, as well as the local tradition of the syncretic Santa Rosalia procession as a victory over the plague and a celebration of life.
The procession will move through Italy, crossing the borders of France, Germany and Belgium, to the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels. There the shipwreck will come to its final halt and be displayed permanently in front of the European Council and Commission as a reminder of and transnational monument to Europes failed migration policies and its legislative machine that creates illegality and social destruction."
POLICE COOPERATION: Despite tensions with Russia, World Cup countries pitch in for tournament safety (Reuters, link):
"As World Cup squads and their fans fly into Russia for the start of the tournament on Thursday, so do police officers from all the competing nations to help deter hooliganism and the threat of any militant attack.
The country has deployed thousands of police to the 11 host cities to deal with an influx of potentially rowdy soccer fans and other security threats.
But they will not be alone. Regardless of any political differences with Moscow, the 32 participating countries have sent officers to help Russian police spot troublemakers and prevent fans from having run-ins with the local authorities.
Housed in an Interior Ministry training facility outside Moscow, the police cooperation center bringing them all together was inaugurated on Tuesday and hailed by its head Colonel Roman Azyavin as a single family of international police forces."
ID4Africa survey shows near universal support for biometrics elections among African identity community (Biometric Update, link):
"This is the first of a four-part series summarizing the most important lessons from ID4Africa's 2018 survey (...)
Over 60 percent of Africans believe their country will either launch or refresh identity programs in the next 24 months, according to the results of ID4Africas annual survey for 2018. The results were announced as part of the final day of ID4Africa 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, and present a snapshot of the market for biometrics and strong identity across the continent.
The survey included responses from more than 300 members of Africas identity community, with a high proportion of government respondents.
The survey showed that over 97 percent of the African identity community believe that biometrics should be used for elections, despite a presentation earlier in the conference pointing out that biometric registration of voters often costs $20 per voter, and does not address such hindrances to free and fair elections as voter intimidation or suppression of the opposition. This indicates that effective democracy on the continent requires foundational identity or lasting voter registries, or both."
UK-NORTHERN IRELAND: Spycops infiltrated Bloody Sunday march organisers - renewed calls for NI inquiry
An undercover officer from a disgraced political policing unit infiltrated Northern Irish civil rights groups, including the Bloody Sunday march organisers.
Under the name Sean Lynch, the Metropolitan Polices Special Demonstration Squad undercover officer infiltrated several organisations from 1968-74. These included the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), Irish Civil Rights Solidarity Campaign and Sinn Féin (London). NICRA was the organiser of the Bloody Sunday march in 1972 when the British army shot dead 14 unarmed demonstrators.
Council of the European Union adopts its negotiating mandate on the interoperable Big Brother database - making clear that it will not just cover third-country nationals
On 14 June the Council of the European Union adopted its negotiating mandate on two separate Regulations - borders and visas and police and legal cooperation - on the creation of a centralised database run by euLISA: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament (LIMITE doc no: 9670-18, 8 June 2018, pdf).
EU: UK to build new computer to hold DNA records on convicted people only and exclude the innocent in bid to rejoin the Prüm data exchange system
The UK is seeking to rejoin the Prüm system which allows for the exchange of DNA data on individuals (and finger-prints anf vehicle data). A note from the UK Delegation dated 12 April 2018 offers: Clarification on DNA concerns raised at previous DAPIX meetings (LIMITE doc no: 7772-REV-1-18,12 April 2018, pdf) says:
"Delegations will find in Annex a note from the UK delegation providing clarification on concerns, which were raised by Member States during the discussion on the UK implementation of Prüm DNA data exchange."
The key area of "concern" raised is:"the inclusion of DNA profiles from "suspects", i.e. those who are not convicted of a criminal offence in the UK."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (11.6.18-17.6.18)
EU: Interoperability, centralised database: European Commission
Amended proposal on asylum and migration: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (COM 478, 13 June 2018, pdf):
"This proposal, under Chapter IX, seeks to amend the original proposal only insofar as it presents the further necessary amendments to other legal instruments that are required under the interoperability proposal. These amendments were identified as necessary in the original proposal but, because of ongoing negotiations between co-legislators on some of the systems concerned, it was not possible to include the necessary amendments in the original proposal."
Amended proposal on police cooperation: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (COM 480, 13 June 2018, pdf):
"This proposal, under Chapter VIIIa, seeks to amend the original proposal only insofar as it presents the further necessary amendments to other legal instruments that are required under the interoperability proposal. These amendments were identified as necessary in the original proposal but, because of ongoing negotiations between co-legislators on some of the systems concerned, it was not possible to include the necessary amendments in the original proposal."
French police cut soles off migrant children's shoes, claims Oxfam (Guardian, link)
"Charity accuses authorities of detaining minors without food before illegally returning them to Italy.
French border police have been accused of detaining migrant children as young as 12 in cells without food or water, cutting the soles off their shoes and stealing sim cards from their mobile phones, before illegally sending them back to Italy.
A report released on Friday by the charity Oxfam also cites the case of a very young Eritrean girl, who was forced to walk back to the Italian border town of Ventimiglia along a road with no pavement while carrying her 40-day-old baby."
See: Oxfam report (link)
European People's Party faces moment of truth over Hungary (euobserver, link):
"Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue.(...)
Hungary is on the verge of forcing the Central European University out of the country, only because Hungarian-born philanthropist and billionaire George Soros is funding it. And Hungary's parliament is now debating a new law that would make is virtually impossible for asylum-seekers to receive protection in Hungary, criminalise any assistance, research or advocacy on their situation, and make NGO and humanitarian workers face prison."
Fair trials under threat, as counter-terrorism policies restrict defence rights (link):
"There is no doubt about the threat posed by terrorism. In response, new counter-terrorism laws and policies are being adopted in response to heated public debate throughout Europe. At Fair Trials we have been observing some worrying threats to justice in the name of security. The European network of fair trial defenders, the Legal Experts Advisory Panel (LEAP), that we coordinate, are reporting three main ways in which counter-terrorism policies are impacting defence rights in Europe."
Uprooted and unprotected A multi-agency approach to safeguarding children forced into migration through northern France (NSPCC, link):
"This report highlights learning from CTACs work with the Refugee Youth Service (RYS), safeguarding children who had lived in the Calais 'Jungle'. RYS refers children to CTAC when it suspects they have moved from France to the UK. CTAC then shares child protection information with relevant UK agencies and tries to establish the childrens whereabouts."
"BIG BROTHER" LEGISLATIVE PROCESS GETS UNDERWAY: Council of the European Union: Improving security through information sharing: Council agrees negotiating mandate on interoperability (Press release, 14 June 2018, pdf):
On 14 June 2018, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council, a mandate for negotiations on two regulations establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. On the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament once the latter has adopted its position."
Brexit and EU27 citizens rights: a proposal for a Protocol (EU Law Analysis, link):
"Since the EU and UK presented a (partially) agreed draft version of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) in March 2018, many seem to assume that the post-Brexit status of the more than 3 million EU27 citizens in the UK (and more than a million British citizens in the EU) is resolved. The EU has indeed made an important effort to define and obtain a status for those citizens that comes close to their current rights."
And: Brexit: Some conceptual clarifications concerning EFTA and the EEA (EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: Massive funding increases proposed for internal security, border security and migration: full documentation
The European Commission has published its proposals for the EU home affairs budgets for the period 2021-2027, with the aim of increasing the internal security budget by 1.3 billion to 4.8 billion, and tripling the funding for border security and migration to 34.9 billion.
EU: Travel surveillance: 13 Member States have implemented the PNR Directive and 10 will apply it to intra-EU flights
The deadline for Member States to implement the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive, which mandates the surveillance and profiling of air passengers, was 25 May. So far 13 Member States have notified their implementing measures to the European Commission, and 10 of them will be making use of the option to monitor internal EU flights.
USA: The Next Frontier of Police Surveillance Is Drones (Slate, link):
"A company that makes stun guns and body cameras is teaming up with a company that makes drones to sell drones to police departments, and that might not even be the most worrisome part. The line of drones from Axon and DJI is called the Axon Air, and the devices will be linked to Axons cloud-based database for law enforcement, Evidence.com, which is used to process body-camera data too. And it could open a vast new frontier for police surveillance.
By working with a company that is already familiar with contracting with police departments, the Chinese-owned DJIthe worlds biggest consumer drone manufacturercould widen up a new, growing customer base: cops. Axon Air, which was announced Tuesday by Axon, is marketed as a way to help law enforcement with search-and-rescue operations, crowd monitoring, traffic-accident reconstruction, and evidence collection. It will make drone data the latest addition to Axons suite of tools for police, which include tasers, body cameras (of which Axon is the countrys biggest seller), and car cameras. Axon CEO Rick Smith recently said that his company is actively considering using facial recognition with its camera technology."
See also: Statewatch publications Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Eurodrones, Inc.
EU: European Court of Auditors: Special report n°13/2018: Tackling radicalisation that leads to terrorism: the Commission addressed the needs of Member States, but with some shortfalls in coordination and evaluation (pdf):
"I. European Union (EU) Member States are responsible for national security, including the fight against terrorism. They are in charge of designing and implementing measures at national level that aim to tackle radicalisation, i.e. the phenomenon of people embracing extremist ideologies and behaviours which could lead them to commit acts of terrorism. As radicalisation is caused by several factors, a wide range of preventive actions are generally deployed to address the problem. The Commissions role is to support Member States in their efforts and help to ensure that good practices are exchanged. To do so, the Commission draws on an increasingly wide range of EU funds.
II. Our audit examined whether the Commission manages this cross-cutting support well. In particular, we assessed whether:
(a) the Commission provides Member States with relevant support;
(b) the actions financed by the different EU funds are coordinated to make the most of any synergies;
(c) the Commission has put in place a framework to assess the effectiveness and value for money of its support.
III. Overall, we found that the Commission addressed the needs of Member States, but there were some shortfalls in coordination and evaluation."
News on a study undertaken in the UK: Vast majority of deradicalisation programmes ineffective (The Week, link). For more on the EU's role in counter-radicalisation, see: New report: The Globalisation of Countering Violent Extremism Policies: Undermining human rights, instrumentalising civil society (Statewatch News Online, 8 March 2018)
Council of Europe: Algorithms and human rights: Study on the human rights dimensions of automated data processing techniques and possible regulatory implications (pdf):
"What information is made available to users on their Facebook newsfeeds? On what basis is a persons risk profile determined and what profiles provide best chances for obtaining health insurance, or employment, or for being regarded a potential criminal or terrorist? Automated data processing techniques, such as algorithms, do not only enable internet users to seek and access information, they are also increasingly used in decision-making processes, that were previously entirely in the remit of human beings. Algorithms may be used to prepare human decisions or to take them immediately through automated means. In fact, boundaries between human and automated decision-making are often blurred, resulting in the notion of quasi- or semi-automated decision-making.
The use of algorithms raises considerable challenges not only for the specific policy area in which they are operated, but also for society as a whole. How to safeguard human rights and human dignity in the face of rapidly changing technologies? The right to life, the right to fair trial and the presumption of innocence, the right to privacy and freedom of expression, workers rights, the right to free elections, even the rule of law itself are all impacted. Responding to challenges associated with algorithms used by the public and private sector, in particular by internet platforms is currently one of the most hotly debated questions."
UK: Liberty's Second Reading Briefing on the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018 (link to pdf):
"The Governments Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018 poses several significant threats to civil liberties and human rights, symptomatic of a poorly conceived strategy that mistakes blind expansion of government power for evidence-driven responses to national security concerns. The Bill:
Creates new offences that criminalise information-seeking and the expression of opinion, divorced from intention to harm or any act in pursuit of actual terrorism, and expands penalties for those crimes.
Extends the time period for which invasive biometric data, including fingerprints and DNA, can be retained including biometric data of people who have never been convicted of any crime. This is proposed despite an ongoing, unresolved controversy over the Governments abject failure to comply with court declarations that existing police databases of custody images violate human rights laws.
Extends the PREVENT strategy by allowing local authorities, as well as police, to refer individuals to Channel panels.
Expands the power for suspicionless detentions, interrogations and searches of people crossing the UK border or taking a domestic or international flight as well as the seizure of biometric samples, private papers, and personal data adding a broad, new rationale for invasions of privacy unconnected to any individualised suspicion of wrongdoing."
See: New counter-terrorism bill makes "thoughtcrime a reality" and extends sentences, offences and powers
UK: Restraint and race: its time we listened to the evidence (Progress, link):
"We are suffering from decades-old problems when it comes to the use of excessive restraint in mental health services and police custody
This year marks 20 years since the death of David Rocky Bennett, who died following prolonged face down restraint whilst a patient in a mental health unit. His death sparked an independent inquiry, which was hailed by many as the Macpherson report of the mental health services. Concluding in 2004, the inquiry highlighted the institutional racism that had been present in mental health services, both NHS and private, for many years.
It was hoped that the inquiry would mark a turning point for mental health services, and go some way to addressing a pervasive view amongst many health professionals that black men with mental ill health were big, black and dangerous. However, numerous deaths since Rockys have confirmed that there is still a very long way to go."
USA: Gitmo commanders make pitch for new prison with hospice-care wing for ex-CIA captives (Miami Herald, link):
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba - The U.S. military's mission at Guantánamo is shifting to permanent detention for al-Qaida and other war-on-terror detainees, commanders told reporters this week in a rare public pitch for Congress to fund a new $69 million, wheelchair-accessible prison complete with a hospice-care cellblock for the five accused 9/11 plotters and 10 other captives who were in some instances tortured in secret overseas CIA prisons.
"Picture in your mind elderly detainees, brothers taking care of one another. That is the humane way ahead," said prison spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Anne Leanos.
Guantánamo detention center leaders said Tuesday that they are shifting their mission because President Donald Trump's January executive order canceled President Barack Obama's mandate to close the prison. During the Obama administration, the prison camp made few building improvements, "putting a Band-Aid" on structural problems, said prison operations commander Rear Adm. John Ring."
See: Statewatch Observatory on "rendition"
NORTHERN IRELAND: Political delays on dealing with the Troubles force legal move to protect evidence (The Detail, link):
"VICTIMS and human rights representatives have called for greater clarity on the retention of fingerprint and DNA records from the Troubles for future examination by the long-awaited Historical Investigations Unit (HIU).
The calls by WAVE Trauma Centre and the Human Rights Commission follow moves by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to extend temporary protections for Troubles-related fingerprint and DNA records up until October 2020.
The NIO has confirmed it laid legislation before Westminster on Monday to extend special protections preventing the destruction of biometric material fingerprint and DNA records that could prove vital in future investigations into Troubles-related killings.
The temporary protections put a stay on the roll out of the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) in Northern Ireland. The 2012 Act no longer allows police to retain biometric material indefinitely and introduced strict rules on the retention or destruction of such material."
Norway to spend 700 million kroner on new national ID cards (The Local, link):
"In 2007, it was estimated that providing new national ID cards to residents of Norway would cost 14 million kroner ($1.7 million, 1.5 million). Today, the price tag has ballooned to over 700 million kroner ($86 million, 73 million).
According to Aftenposten, new figures in the governments national budget estimated the cost of the project at 596 million kroner. On top of that, converting passport offices nationwide to handle the new cards will cost an additional 120 million kroner.
The national identification cards are expected to be ready by 2020 at the earliest. They were originally supposed to be completed by December 2016 but the project has been delayed five times. According to Aftenpostens report, the costs have steadily increased along the way due to a variety of problems and an increased project scope. "
European Parliament: EU-US Privacy Shield data exchange deal: US must comply by 1 September, say MEPs (link):
" EU-US deal on transfer of personal data does not provide enough protection
- MEPs say deal must be suspended if US fails to comply in full by 1 September 2018
- The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach showed limits in the protection
The Civil Liberties Committee calls on the Commission to suspend the EU-US Privacy Shield since it fails to provide enough data protection for EU citizens."
See: Draft EP report (link)
BREXIT: European Commission: Infographic on the EU's 'backstop' proposal on the Norther Ireland border (pdf):
"This infographic presents a visual summary of the 'Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland', which is part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19 March 2018."
EU: Council of the European Union: Schengen: Schengen information system: agreement between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament (Press release, pdf):
"On 12 June 2018, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament reached an informal agreement on three regulations on the use of the Schengen Information System:
- in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
- in the field of border checks
- for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals" (...)
The Schengen Information System is the most widely used and efficient IT system of the EU in the area of freedom, security and justice. The system contains more than 76 million alerts. In 2017 it was accessed more than 5.1 billion times by member states, triggering more than 240 000 hits on foreign alerts (alerts issued by another country)."
And see: SIS II - 2017 Statistics (pdf)
Spain 'will accept' disputed Aquarius migrant ship (BBC News, link):
"Spain's prime minister has said the country will take in a rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean, to help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
Pedro Sánchez said he would give "safe harbour" to the Aquarius and the 629 people on board, after Italy and Malta both refused to let the ship dock.
The UN refugee agency and the EU had both called for a swift end to the stand-off between the two countries.
Mr Sánchez has said the ship will dock in Valencia.
The migrants aboard the Aquarius were picked up in six different rescue operations off Libya's coast, according to the German charity SOS Méditerranée."
See: Migrant rescue boat waits to dock as Italy and Malta refuse to grant entry (Deutsche Welle, link)
Press release: EU plans to include fingerprints in identity cards are unjustified and unnecessary
Proposals for mandatory fingerprints in national ID cards to "facilitate free movement" will affect 370 million people
London, UK, 11 June 2018 - The European Commission has published a proposal calling for the mandatory inclusion of biometrics (two fingerprints and a facial image) in all EU Member States' identity cards. The demands to include fingerprints are an unnecessary and unjustified infringement on the right to privacy of almost 85% of EU citizens, as explained in a new analysis published today by civil liberties organisation Statewatch.
EU-AFRICA: Post-Cotonou agreement: Declaration by the Togolese civil society
Message to the Togolese Presidency of the Central Group for the Negotiations of ACP countries
"The lack of coherence between the policies deployed by European Union countries and their commitments in relation to development aid within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to an exacerbation of inequalities within and between ACP countries. Inclusive political dialogue, egalitarian partnership, respect for human rights, for the rule of law and for democracy, presented as the fundamental values of the Cotonou Agreements, have hardly enabled a change in the relations of dependence between ACP countries and their former colonising powers."
Migrant rescue boat waits to dock as Italy and Malta refuse to grant entry (Deutsche Welle, link):
"With 629 people on board, NGO rescue ship Aquarius has been waiting for a secure place to dock. Italy and Malta have refused to allow the migrant vessel into its ports.
A French NGO's rescue ship, the Aquarius, was waiting for a port to dock at on Monday as a diplomatic standoff played out over where it should go next. On Sunday, Italy had refused to allow the vessel to dock in its ports, demanding that Malta should take it in. Malta refused, and when Italy instructed the ship to stay at sea, Malta accused Italy of violating international norms.
The French organization SOS Mediterranee said the ship was carrying 629 migrants picked up in the Mediterranean on Saturday, including 123 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women. Among those on board are 400 migrants rescued by the Italian navy and merchant vessels before being transferred to the Aquarius."
And see: Southern mayors defy Italian coalition to offer safe port to migrants (The Guardian, link): "Mayors across the south of Italy have pledged to defy a move by the new Italian government an alliance of the far right and populists to prevent a rescue boat with 629 people on board from docking in the Sicilian capital.
But the mayors defiance appears unlikely to serve any practical purpose without the direct support of the Italian coastguard."
UK: After assessing MI5s files on my father, its clear that not all facts are created equal (The Independent, link) by Patrick Cockburn:
"MI5 had been much interested in my fathers activities in the 1930s, when he ran a newsletter similar to Private Eye. The security men had many sources of information, several of them well-informed and accurate (such as his former boss, the bureau chief of The Times in Berlin), but others were conspiracy theorists and crackpots.
One man was convinced that my father was the head of a Comintern sabotage ring in Western Europe, its counterpart in the US being The Time magazine office in New York.
Claud told one woman he had met at dinner (as a joke) that revolution was imminent, and would begin with a mutiny by the Brigade of Guards. She immediately wrote to MI5 in extreme alarm, warning them about the plot.
Looking through the MI5 reports, it becomes clear that their usefulness, like that of the great quantities of information transmitted by the internet, depended entirely on the quality of the person (in this case an MI5 officer) who reviewed them."
UK-EU: Britain must commit to upholding civil liberties if the EU is to agree on security co-operation after Brexit (The Conversation, link):
"...the government has repeatedly expressed its wish to retain many of the security measures that the EU offers which limit peoples freedoms, such as the European arrest warrant, Europol, European Criminal Records Information System. It is safe to say that the government is more interested in security than freedom.
The UK should now be doing its best to recover the trust of its EU partners by showing a strong and consistent position that human rights will be protected. To do this, the UK government should demonstrate an eagerness to retain all the EU measures which are protective of civil liberties."
USA: HART: Homeland Securitys Massive New Database Will Include Face Recognition, DNA, and Peoples Non-Obvious Relationships (EFF, link):
"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data on citizens and foreigners in the United States. The agencys new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometricsfrom face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people. It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments. And yet, we still know very little about it.
The records DHS plans to include in HART will chill and deter people from exercising their First Amendment protected rights to speak, assemble, and associate. Data like face recognition makes it possible to identify and track people in real time, including at lawful political protests and other gatherings. Other data DHS is planning to collectincluding information about peoples relationship patterns and from officer encounters with the publiccan be used to identify political affiliations, religious activities, and familial and friendly relationships. These data points are also frequently colored by conjecture and bias."
EU: Eurojust: The Principle of Ne Bis in Idem in Criminal Matters in the Case Law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (pdf):
"This document provides an overview of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding the ne bis in idem principle in criminal matters, and explains how this case law has helped shaping the scope and main features of the ne bis in idem principle in the EU legal order. It is aimed at providing guidance in the application of the ne bis in idem principle in a transnational context.
The table of contents and summaries of judgments have been prepared by Eurojust and do not bind the CJEU.1 They are not exhaustive and are meant to be used only for reference and as a supplementary tool for practitioners.
The text of the judgments of the CJEU can be found in all official languages of the EU at the CJEUs website here.
This document is updated until September 2017."
UK: Vast majority of deradicalisation programmes ineffective (The Week, link):
"The vast majority of deradicalisation programmes are ineffective and even counterproductive, a damning report commissioned by the Home Office has found.
Of the 33 government-funded programmes designed to safeguard vulnerable people from far-right and religious extremist threats which were analysed, only two were found to be effective, The Times reports.
The study by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), identified failures in approach to deradicalisation in schools, youth centres, sports clubs and English-language classes.
Participants in the study felt their freedom of expression had been restricted and teachers would refuse to engage in topics over fears of bringing up matters of race and religion without appearing discriminatory."
HUNGARY: Victory for freedom of information: police must release data on police-appointed lawyers (Atlatszo, link):
"Freedom of information won in an important case in Hungary at the end of May. A private citizen, József Dankó, wanted to know details about the court-appointed lawyers working in Budapests 19th district, but the local police said that compiling the data is a lot of work and wanted to charge 38,000 euros for the service. A Budapest court ruled that the 19th district police are obliged to give the data to the citizen for free."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5.6.18-10.6.18) including Lesvos, Greece: Persecuted Kurdish People in Lesvos Release Statement to Authorities and Danish PM proposes asylum camps outside the EU
BREXIIT: UK seeking to join interoperable "Big Brother" database
Sir Tim Barrow, Head of UK Representation to the EU in Brussels has sent a letter to the Council Presidency saying that the UK wants to opt into the proposed Regulation establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration): Letter to the Council (LIMITE doc no: 9238-18, pdf).
Police officer who infiltrated republican group had 'intimate relationship' with woman (Irish News, link):
"A major inquiry investigating the activities of a controversial covert British police unit that infiltrated republican groups heard one member had an intimate relationship with a woman while working under cover.
The officer, who used the cover name Rick Gibson and is now dead, operated inside the Troops Out Movement and a socialist feminist organisation known as Big Flame between 1974 and 1976."
See also: #spycops info (Facebook, link)
Turkey suspends migrant readmission deal with Greece (hurriyetdailynews.com, link):
"Turkey has suspended its bilateral migrant readmission deal with Greece in response to a decision by a Greek court to release eight former Turkish soldiers who fled the country a day after the July 2016 coup attempt, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu said on June 6.
We have a migrant deal with the EU. It is being implemented. We have a bilateral readmission deal with Greece. We have now suspended this agreement. The process is not fully over but our works towards Greece will continue, Çavusoglu told reporters in Antalya."
See: EU Council of the European Union: Council Decision of 23 March 2016 establishing the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Joint Readmission Committee on a Decision of the Joint Readmission Committee on implementing arrangements for the application of Articles 4 and 6 of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation from 1 June 2016 (pdf)
This Decision brings forward the starting date on the main Agreement adopted in 2014: AGREEMENT between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation (pdf) (Statewatch database)
See: Migrant deal with Turkey not having much effect anyway (ekathimerini.com, link) and Turkey's suspension of migrant deal with Greece doesn't affect EU, says Germany (ekathimerini.com, link).
European Parliament Study: Cross-Border Exchange and Comparison of Forensic DNA Data in the Context of the Prüm Decision (pdf):
"It first considers the background of the Prüm Convention and Prüm Decision. The subsequent two chapters summarize the Prüm regime in relation mainly to DNA data looking at value and shortcomings; and ethical, legal and social implications of forensic DNA typing and databasing in relation to the Prüm regime. Finally, based on the analysis, it provides the policy recommendations."
The Study finds that in DNA database sizes of England and Wales, the USA and China: China has 2.85% of its population, the USA has 4.97% and the UK has 9.14%.
EU: ePrivacy? Not when it comes to "national security"
Wire Taps on Your Apps? ePrivacy and Security: Striking a Balance (euractiv, link):
"Does the ePrivacy Regulation set a high standard for the confidentiality of electronic communications, or is it a far-reaching expansion of government surveillance authority?
While the ePR is intended to protect the confidentiality of calls, emails, texts and chats, the ePRs article 11 provides a public interest exception (the wiretap provisions) that allows member states to pass laws giving government investigators access to these communications.
EURACTIV and Microsoft organised a lively debate to discuss how to connect the dots of ePrivacy Regulation, government surveillance, encryption and e-Evidence." See: Conference (link) [emphasis added]
See: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications) - Progress report/Policy debate (LIMITE doc no: 9079-18, pdf): Council working on its negotiating position creates a massive loophole:
"Based on delegations comments, the Presidency has introduced several changes. The new text excludes activities concerning national security and defence from the scope of the Proposal. The proposed text adds new general public interests allowing for national or Union laws to restrict the rights and obligations laid down in the Proposal for the purpose of protecting data subjects or the rights and freedoms of others and the enforcement of civil law claims. Furthermore the Presidency has included a specific reference to safeguards offered by the GDPR." [emphasis added]
UK: Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land (IRR news, link):
Seventy years since the Empire Windrush carried hundreds of migrants to London, hear the Caribbean voices behind the 1940s headlines. Why did people come? What did they leave behind? And how did they shape Britain?
Friday 1 June Sunday 21 October 2018 - Entrance Hall, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
EU: Joint press release of the Public Prosecutor's Office Hamburg and the Police Hamburg: Enforcement measures of the special police unit Black Block in European countries (30 May 2018, pdf):
Pan-European police operation in connection with Hamburg G20 riots: "Since the early morning investigators of the special police unit Black Block, supported by numerous police stations and judicial authorities as well as EUROJUST located in The Hague, conducted enforcement measures in four European countries. They involved, in particular, the execution of search warrants issued by the district court of Hamburg, inter alia regarding the set of facts on the Elbchaussee. The measures were addressed to all in all seven male persons at the age of 22-32 who are suspected of having committed a variety of serious criminal offences acting from among a group."
European Parliament briefing: European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) (pdf):
"The European Union is facing new security threats amid growing uncertainty about the reliability of some of its allies. As a consequence, it has embarked on a general scaling-up of its defence capabilities. A European defence action plan has been agreed and a European Defence Fund created to provide financial support, ranging from the research phase to the acquisition phase of military equipment and technologies. The present legislative proposal for EDIDP, which would be part of that fund, is destined to provide the European defence industry with financial support during the development phase of new products and technologies in areas selected at European level. Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) decided to open trilogue negotiations; these have been ongoing since 15 March 2018."
The Council and EP reached agreement on the EDIDP on 23 May. See: EU offers up cash infusion to European defense industry (Defense News, link)
EU: Freedoms Fund: The EU Commission's Half-Hearted Plans to Support Civil Society Groups (Liberties, link):
"The Commission paid considerable lip service to better supporting rights and democracy groups in the next EU budget. But its proposed funding programme falls short on every count.
If approved in its current form, the Commission's proposed Justice, Rights and Values Fund will disappoint anyone hoping for a new cash injection to support NGOs fighting at national level for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
The EU Commission is promising a total of 947 million over the 2020-2027 period: 642 million for a 'Rights and Values' programme and 305 million for a 'Justice' programme. This represents a drop of over 50 million compared the three existing funding programmes that the new proposal will replace. While some of these funds will reach rights groups, they are also destined for a variety of organisations, such as national justice programs, public bodies, think tanks, universities and even private companies. As such, the budget falls far short of the 2 billion euros that Liberties and the European Parliament previously called to be dedicated to NGOs working to protect rights, democracy and the rule of law."
UK: New counter-terrorism bill makes "thoughtcrime a reality" and extends sentences, offences and powers
The government has published a new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that would criminalise a number of acts concerning expressions of support for banned organisations; extend the maximum sentences for a number of existing terrorist offences to 15 years; extending "notification requirements" so that individuals convicted of terrorist offences are subject to a regime similar to convicted sex offenders; and give local authorities - not just the police - the power to refer individuals to the counter-radicalisation Channel programme, amongst other proposals.
UK: Ex-wives of undercover police defend Lush 'spycops' campaign (The Guardian, link):
"Two former wives of undercover police officers who deceived other women into intimate relationships have defended the campaign by cosmetics retailer Lush to highlight the misconduct of the police spies.
While married with children, their husbands had sexual relationships with campaigners when they infiltrated political groups. The husbands kept these relationships secret from their wives, who say they now feel betrayed.
It is the first time the two wives have spoken out. Also coming to the defence of Lush is the son of an undercover police officer who abandoned him as a child. The officer kept his true identity secret from him and his mother for years."
See: Outrage over Lush ad campaign as cosmetics firm claims police are 'paid to lie' (Sky News, link) and: New campaign goes live at Lush (Police Spies Out of Lives, link)
EU: In battle for ePrivacy, Council of EU set to side with advertisers, telecoms and Big Data (Corporate Europe Observatory, link):
"Since the EUs new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into force, ePrivacy is now the new online data security frontier in the European Union. Corporate Europe Observatorys new research shows how proposed rules are being watered down by EU member state governments in the Council of the European Union, following a deluge of industry lobbying.
On the one side of the privacy rift there are citizens, the European Commission and Parliament, all in favour of tougher rules to protect peoples online privacy by default, rather than on request. On the other side are the telecoms industry, advertisers, publishers, Big Data companies and many others in the digital economy - as well as EU governments who appear to be caving in to coordinated industry lobbying efforts in Brussels and national capitals."
See: Shutting down ePrivacy: lobby bandwagon targets Council (link)
US companies also affected: EU to discuss direct access to all telecommunications (Matthias Monroy, link):
"A planned EU regulation on police investigations into cloud data should now include direct access and real-time interception. This would include user, traffic and content data. All companies offering "interpersonal communication services in the European Union would be concerned. The Austrian Presidency wants an agreement by the end of the year.
The European Union is planning to extend a planned legislation to allow direct access to data held by Internet service providers. This is stated in a document distributed by the Bulgarian Presidency to the representations of the Member States. The regulation is aimed in particular at US companies. EU Justice Ministers should give the green light as soon as possible to start negotiations with the US administration. They will also discuss whether the act could also apply to intercepted calls."
FRANCE: Macron Pushes Bill Aimed at Fake News as Critics Warn of Dangers (New York Times, link):
"Taking aim at so-called fake news, Frances Parliament on Thursday is set to begin debating a tough bill aimed at repressing phony news items, one pushed by President Emmanuel Macron amid criticism that it poses a potential threat to press freedom.
The measure would allow judges to block content deemed false during a three-month period preceding an election.
Mr. Macron, stung last year by a phony internet-spread story claiming he had an offshore account in the Bahamas, has made fighting fake news a priority. His opponent, the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, brought up the Bahamas story during a critical presidential debate. Now, she is attacking the proposed law as a liberty killer."
EU: Love wins in the CJEU: Same Sex Marriages and EU free movement law (EU Law Analysis, link):
"Todays CJEU judgment in Coman was the Courts first ruling on same-sex marriages for the purposes of EU free movement law. (For a discussion of the background, see the earlier blog post by Alina Tryfonidou). Mr Coman, a Romanian citizen, had married his husband, a US citizen, in Belgium while residing there. He tried to return to Romania with his husband, but Romania refused residence to the latter, as (like about half of the EU Member States) it does not recognise same-sex marriage. But did EU free movement law give Mr Coman the right to family reunion with his spouse nonetheless?
In the Courts view, which took a subtly different approach than the Advocate-Generals opinion, the answer was yes."
See: Judgment (Case C-673/16, pdf)
HUNGARY: The seventh amendment: Further restrictions on individual freedom and the rule of law (Hungarian Spectrum, link):
"The second part of legislative package is quite independent of the Stop Soros bill, which deals exclusively with NGOs and activists aiding illegal migrants in any way. Its official title is The Seventh Amendment of Hungarys Fundamental Laws. It was submitted to parliament today by Minister of Justice László Trócsányi. It is a typical omnibus bill in which several measures, quite independent of one another, are addressed. If the Stop Soros bill was a peace offering to the Christian Democrats in the European Parliament, the seventh amendment to the constitution is a declaration of war on the freedom of Hungarians."
UK: Police use of biometric technologies 'running ahead of the law' (Sky News, link):
"The police use of biometric technologies is "running ahead of the law", according to an independent commissioner.
Biometrics are any measurable biological feature which can be used to identity individuals, including the shape of people's fingerprints and the code of their DNA.
Scientific advancements mean that computers can now also differentiate the unique qualities in people's voices, their irises, their faces and even their gait.
There is a "worrying vacuum" of regulation covering how police are using new technologies to identify members of the public, biometrics commissioner Professor Paul Wiles has warned."
See: Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material: Annual Report 2017 (pdf) and: Government response (pdf)
Dutch CDA and Hungarys Fidesz in war of words over lies and Europe (Dutch News, link):
"The Dutch Christian Democratic party is involved in a war or words with its Hungarian counterpart after passing a motion at the weekend to have the party of Viktor Orbán potentially expelled from the EPP European parliamentary grouping.
Nationalist Orbán, who won a third term in office in April election, has a populist, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic message and has been criticised for his attacks on Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros.
The CDA conference in Den Bosch has now voted to throw the Fidesz party out of the EPP if it crosses red lines in other words, does not abide by European norms and values, Dutch media reported."
UK: How many innocent people are in prison after evidence was withheld from defence lawyers? (Metro, link):
"The disclosure of vital evidence could mean the difference between someone being jailed or walking free.
An urgent review into disclosure this week revealed that nearly 50 rape cases went to court without vital evidence being given to defence lawyers in January and February.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said 47 rape and serious sexual assault cases were dropped during the first six weeks of the year because of police or prosecutors failing to disclose evidence.
Of those, 14 people were kept in prison awaiting trial before their cases were dropped.
The review was called after a string of rape cases collapsed in January when it emerged vital evidence had not been passed to defence lawyers."
HUNGARY: Stand Against the Destruction of the Georg Lukács Archives (Verso, link):
"On 24 May 2018 the last research associate of the Georg Lukács Archives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was banned from the Archives after twenty-eight years of employment. Despite local and international protest, the Academy, with the assistance of its own library, closed the archives of the only world-renowned Hungarian philosopher, which has existed since 1972. The Archives ceased to exist as a resource for international researchers, by replacing the locks on its doors.
The Lukács Archives International Foundation (LANA) is working to preserve the philosophers legacy. We who have had the opportunity to work at the Archive, and/or who have enjoyed the support and help of the Archive in our research, and for whom access to the Archives holdings is essential to our future work, stand with them.
We therefore call on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and its library to reverse this decision, which will have a destructive impact on our work, and on the work of countless other researchers in many academic disciplines."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4-5 June 2018: documentation and coverage, including LIMITE documents on e-evidence and migration
On the link between visa policy and readmission, "most delegations expressed a preference for the negative incentives approach" - just the stick, as opposed to a combination of the carrot and the stick - while the Council also adopted conclusions on the development of European Integrated Border Management (EUIBM) and the use of the Schengen Information System for tracking suspected foreign fighters.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council (First reading) (LIMITE doc no: 9596-18, 4 June 2018, pdf):
Comment: This doc shows European Parliament backtracking on resettlement of refugees from non-EU countries in light of Council red lines
EU: Europe and nationalism: A country-by-country guide (BBC News, link):
"Across Europe, nationalist and far-right parties have made significant electoral gains.
Some have taken office, others have become the main opposition voice, and even those yet to gain a political foothold have forced centrist leaders to adapt.
In part, this can be seen as a backlash against the political establishment in the wake of the financial and migrant crises, but the wave of discontent also taps into long-standing fears about globalisation and a dilution of national identity.
Although the parties involved span a broad political spectrum, there are some common themes, such as hostility to immigration, anti-Islamic rhetoric and Euroscepticism.
So where does this leave Europe's political landscape?"
EU: Security Union: Strengthening Europol's cooperation with third countries to fight terrorism and serious organised crime (link):
"Today the Council approved the Commission's proposal to strengthen Europol's cooperation with third countries and fight terrorism and other serious transnational crime more effectively an important deliverable under the anti-terrorism package presented by the Commission in October 2017.
The negotiating mandates approved by the Council will allow the Commission to start talks with eight countries on behalf of the EU Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey on the exchange of information, including personal data, with Europol.(...)
The agreements will establish adequate safeguards with respect to the protection of privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. The Commission recommended the Council authorise the opening of negotiations for these eight agreements on 20 December 2017."
See: Warnings over proposed new Europol partners in Middle East and North Africa (14 May 2018)
Council of the European Union: Asylum Procedures and Visas
ASYLUM: Proposal for a Regulation establishing a common procedure for international protection in the Union and repealing Directive 2013/32/EU (First reading) (LIMITE doc no: 9560-18 , pdf): Council working on it negotiating position: 43 detailed Footnotes with Member State positions:
"This document contains compromise proposals suggested by the Presidency in relation to Articles 43a-50."
VISAS: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) - Presidency revised text (LIMITE doc no: 9540-18, pdf):
"With a view to the meeting of the JHA Counsellors (Visa) of 8 June 2018, delegations will find in the Annex a Presidency compromise suggestion on the abovementioned proposal."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.5.18-4.6.18)
UK: Home Office: CONTEST: The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism (90 pages, pdf)
See also: Terror strategy: MI5 to share information on UK suspects (Guardian, link):"Home Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed plans for MI5 to declassify and share information on UK citizens suspected of having terrorist sympathies. "Key" biographical data will be given to neighbourhood police, councils and the charity commission in London, Midlands and Manchester trial schemes."
Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture: Report on Greece reveals truly shameful situation
"The delegation received several consistent and credible allegations of informal forcible removals (push-backs) of foreign nationals by boat from Greece to Turkey at the Evros River border by masked Greek police and border guards or (para-)military commandos.""
EU: Interoperability: BIg Brother database: Latest documents from the European Parliament and the Council
European Parliament: Draft repport: Draft report on the proposal for a regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending... (29 May 2018, pdf)
Council: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Presidency revised text of provisions specific to this Regulation (LIMITE doc no: 9505-18, 1 June 2018, pdf):
"Changes to the Commission proposal are marked in bold italics and strikethrough.
- New changes to the Commission proposal compared to ST 7652/18 are marked in bold italics underline and strikethrough underline.
Delegations are invited to note that only provisions highlighted in yellow have been amended in this document. The provisions which are common to both interoperability Regulations and which have already been amended in the Regulation relating to borders and visa will be reproduced in this Regulation at a later stage."
Council: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (LIMITE doc no: 9504-18, 86 pages, 1 June 2018, pdf):
"Delegations will find hereafter the text of the proposal for the aforementioned Regulation, as revised by the Presidency, based on the outcome of discussions at the JHA Counsellors meeting on interoperability of EU information systems on 28 May 2018, as well as on delegations' written comments."
BREXIT: UK government: Technical Note: Exchange and Protection of Classified Information (pdf)
The UK wants to build a new, deep and special partnership with the EU. Both the UK and the EU agree that arrangements allowing the exchange of classified information will be key to building this partnership.(...)
When the EU needs to exchange classified information with Third Countries on a regular basis they negotiate and conclude arrangements for exchanging and protecting classified information with the EU through a Security of Information Agreement (SoIA). SoIAs are legally binding agreements between the EU and the Third Country."
And see: UK-EU SECURITY Partnership (39 pages, pdf)
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