16th year reporting on civil liberties in the European Union (updated 31.8.14) Editor: Tony Bunyan
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Job Vacancy: Researcher: civil liberties and justice and home affairs in the EU:
Deadline for applications Friday 5 September 2014 at 18.00 hours
Job description (pdf) EU CV form (Word) Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (Word)
EU: MEMBER STATES CALLS FOR SWIFT ADOPTION OF EU-PNR SCHEME: The EU summit (30 August 2014) demanded the proposed EU-PNR law be rushed through by the end of the year. See para 18 of the Summit Conclusions (pdf). As with 7/7 and 9/11, this is a response to tragedies perpetrated by a dangerous group of people but which allows for the surveillance of travel by all in and out of the EU and (following a UK demand in the Council and Council reaction) the possibility of travel between EU states as well.
The second proposal has been on the table since 2011: Commission proposal (pdf) See: Statewatch Observatory on the first attempt to introduce an EU-PNR scheme: EU surveillance of passengers (EU-PNR: 2003-2008 and Observatory on current EU-PNR proposal
See also: G6 meeting leads to renewed calls for travel surveillance: Interior ministers from the G6 group of states met at the end of June in Barcelona to discuss the structure of the G6; terrorism and radicalisation; drug trafficking in the Atlantic; irregular migration to Europe; and relations between the EU and US. Records of the meeting show continued enthusiasm for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the surveillance of transport.
April 2013: The EP Committee rejects the proposal for an european passenger name record system (PNR) (ASFJNews, link)
And UK government "spin":: Airlines To Give More Information On Passengers (Sky News, link)
SURVEILLANCE: "LAWFUL" INTERCEPTION: Lawful interception market worth $1,342.4 million by 2019 (WhaTech, link)
Dutch govt announces plan to fight jihadist internet use through sort-of-voluntary censorship (MRK Notebook, link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Letter to members of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Fundamental Rights Aspects of certain outstanding Justice and Home Affairs Files (pdf)
UK: Helen Steel on her relationship with an undercover policeman: I feel violated - Undercover police officers who had relationships with the women they spied on will not be prosecuted, it was announced last week. Helen Steel is still recovering from the discovery that the love of her life was a lie and not giving up the fight for justice (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: 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] (Doc no: 11439-14, Limite, 165 pages, pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position with over 300 Member State reservations.
USA: RENDITION: Ten CIA rendition victims urge Obama to name them in Senate torture report (Reprieve, link): "Ten victims of CIA rendition and torture have signed an open letter to President Obama asking him to declassify the upcoming Senate report into the program. Two of the signatories Abdel-Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi were rendered with their entire families, including a pregnant woman and four children between the ages of six and twelve."
UK: Undercover infiltration scandal - what's it all about ? Radio interview gives an overview of undercover controversy ranging from sexual relationships to undercover officers such as Mark Kennedy, Bob Lambert and Peter Francis (Guardian, link)
Mytilene, Greece, 28.08.14: W2EU: Press release: 73 refugees transferred from Moria to unknown destination on vessel of the Hellenic Navy
"On Wednesday night (27th August 2014) a group of 73 refugees most of which were Afghan was transferred from Moria first reception detention centre in Lesvos to the port of Mytilene. When the last load of people reached the port it was already dark. They were then brought on board discretely and in the shadow of one Greek officer at a time. During this seemingly secretive operation the port was full of civil police and coast guards."
See also: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control)
E-IDENTIFICATION: More convenient or a big problem? Glimpses into the Future the opportunities of e-Identification (Commission. link):
"Like many EU countries, Estonia has a single electronic identity for all citizens and residents. Most Estonians use their national ID card to access their e-ID. Other options include using bank-provided identities or my favorite, mobile-ID (which works with a special SIM card provided by Estonian telecom companies)."
See: Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (Official Journal with all EU languages, link) and Regulation (English, pdf)
Ross Anderson comments via EDRI: "This is just toxic - qualifying digital signatures were invented as a boondoggle for the smartcard industry, and harm consumers by dumping liability on them. If you accept a credential with a qualified certificate, then you are unconditionally liable to anyone in the world for any signature that appears to verify with that credential, regardless of whether or not you made it. It could have been made by the malware in your PC, and that could have been written by the guy who now claims you transferred your house to him; but no matter."
EU: Council of the European Union: Council weighted voting system, Draft Agendas, LEA access to entry-exit system, Presumption of innocence
NEW WEIGHTED VOTING FORMULA: Draft Council Decision amending the Council's Rules of procedure (Doc no: 12077-14, Limite, pdf): "From 1 November 2014, when an act is to be adopted by the Council acting by qualified majority, it must be verified that the Member States constituting the qualified majority represent at least 65 % of the total population of the Union."
Provisional agendas for Council meetings, during the second semester of 2014 (Italian Presidency) (see pages 22-32 for Justice and Home Affairs, pdf)
LEAs ACCESS: Access for law enforcement purposes to the Entry/Exit System (Doc no: 11337-14, Limite, pdf) See also Statewatch story: Smart borders: Member States seek to make law enforcement access compatible with data retention ruling
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Outcome of meeting of CATS on 2 July 2014 / Follow-up (Doc no: 11632-14 pdf) See also: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting on 15 July 2014 (Doc no: 12196-14, pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position: "As in CATS [Article 36 Committee], the NL delegation, supported by the DK, IE and UK delegations, voiced concerns regarding the added value of the proposed Directive."
European Commission: Traffic offences - cross-border exchange of information, EU-Australia PNR, National parliaments
TRAFFIC OFFENCES: Proposal for a Directive on facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (COM 476-14, pdf) and See: Annexes (pdf)
EU-AUSTRALIA PNR: Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (COM 458-14, pdf)
and see: Joint Review Report of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Accompanying (SWD 236-14, pdf)
NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS: Annual Report for 2013 on relations between the European Commission and national parliaments (COM 507-14, pdf)
Morocco: police violence against migrants (Vimeo, link)
UK Government urged to act on fresh evidence of BT drones link (Reprieve, link):"The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets."
USA-NSA: SURVEILLENCE: The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google (The Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a Google-like search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.
The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.
ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden."
See: ICREACH documents - full-text (4.5MB, pdf)
See: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance (June 2013 - ongoing)
EU: Unaccompanied children face difficulties in accessing legal assistance: Project coordinated by ECRE in partnership with Asylkoordination Austria, British Refugee Council, Danish Refugee Council, Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants in Bulgaria, Italian Council for Refugees, and Immigration Law Practitioners Association. UNHCR participated as an associate partner: Right to Justice: Quality Legal Assistance for Unaccompanied Children (link)
TED TALKS: Counterterrorism used to crackdown on civil society by Ben Hayes (YouTube link)
African Union adopts framework on cyber security and data protection (Access Now, link) Some"good" and some "plain ugly" See: Convention: full text (pdf)
EU and Member States plan "pilot project" to pressure countries to admit deportees
A document circulated by the Italian government to EU Member States in early July outlines plans for a "pilot project" that will see national and EU officials apply heavy diplomatic and economic pressure on selected countries in order to "improve the return rate in a number of specific countries of origin."
GERMANY-USA: SURVEILLANCE: Targeting Turkey: How Germany Spies on Its Friends (Der Spiegel, link):
"For more than a year now, German officials have criticized the US for the NSA's mass spying on Europeans and even Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now, embarrassing revelations show that Germany has inadvertently spied on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and has also deliberately targeted Turkey."
And see: Yes, Berlin has its own spying scandals, but dont expect Germany to forgive the NSA (Washington Post, link)
EU Council of the European Union: Terrorism "malicious mean/methods", Future of COSI, Terrorist financing, Civil-military ops & EU Charter
The use of malicious means/methods to carry out acts of terrorism (CM 3624/14, Limite, pdf)
Way forward on the future of COSI (11722-14, Limite, pdf)
Report on the implementation of the revised Strategy on Terrorist Financing (14423-14, Limite, pdf)
PMG Recommendations on the Note from the High Representative on options for improvement of the financing of civilian and military missions and operations (12269-14, Limite, pdf)
Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU - Presidency discussion paper (11415-14, Limite, pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Smart borders: fait accompli? (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"Critique of the smart borders proposals has been and still is extensive, but none of the arguments raised have so far been dealt with seriously by those in favour of the systems. It seems that the freedom in the EUs area of freedom, security and justice is little more than a buzzword when it comes to border control and policing. When it comes to dealing with increasing levels of human migration, the only proposals on the table involve increasing monitoring and control."
MOROCCO: Migreurop: Dirty war against immigrants in Morocco - The worsening dirty war against immigrants by the Moroccan government with cooperation by Spain (Statewatch translation, pdf) and Guerra sucia contra migrantes en Marruecos Recrudecimiento de la guerra sucia contra migrantes a cargo del gobierno de Marruecos con la colaboración de España (pdf)
UK: NO CHARGES TO BE BROUGHT AGAINST UNDERCOVER POLICE: Statement from: Birnberg Peirce and Partners (pdf) on behalf of women victims of police misconduct
See: Charging decision concerning MPS Special Demonstration Squad (CPS, link):
"The CPS received a file in relation to a number of police officers under Operation Aubusson, a subset of Operation Herne, which is an investigation into the activities of the Metropolitan Police Services Special Demonstration Squad. The evidence in this case relates to alleged sexual misconduct. In reviewing the case we have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
Having carefully considered all the available evidence, provided at the end of a thorough investigation, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers."
UK: NETPOL: Resisting Police Surveillance of Activists (link)
GERMANY-USA: WHAT A SURPRISE THEY ARE SPYING ON EACH OTHER: Germany 'spied' on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton Der Spiegel Magazine claims foreign intelligence agency BND collected the phone calls by accident within the context of other operations (Guardian, link)
UK: Chris Grayling insists prisons are 'not in crisis' (BBC News, link). See: Britain's prison overcrowding crisis surges 'close to the brink' (The Independent, link) and Statistics reveal prisons struggling to cope (Prison Reform Trust, link)
UK-NATO: 9,500 police drafted in for Nato summit in Wales - Officer in charge says operation is uncharted territory for UK policing, with 67 heads of state expected at Newport summit (Guardian, link):
"Nearly 10,000 police officers are being drafted in to cover next month's Nato summit in Wales, an event described by the officer in charge of the security operation as "completely uncharted territory" for UK policing.
The number of police officers involved in protecting the two-day event, based at the Celtic Manor resort outside Newport and attended by 67 heads of state, who will discuss crises ranging from Ukraine to Iraq, equates to almost 8% of the police strength in England and Wales."
UK-EU JHA OPT OUT: Council of the European Union to gather costs on other EU Member States of a UK opt-out of Justice and Home Affairs measures: Follow up to the meeting of the Friends of Presidency Group on the application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties (PROAPP) of 14 July 2014 (CM 3636-14, pdf):
"Financial Consequences of the UK Opt-out
Article 10(4) of Protocol 36 provides that the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, may "adopt a decision determining that the UK shall bear the direct financial consequences, if any, necessarily and unavoidably incurred as a result of the cessation of its participation in those acts". The Presidency invites delegates to notify the General Secretariat.... of any relevant financial consequences in this regard by 25 August 2014."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Arrest Warrant (EAW), European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), and EU: Libya (EUBAM)
- Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant - Year 2013 (doc no: 8414-2-14. Limite, pdf) and see Annex 1: Member State replies to the question: "Which were the grounds for refusal?"
- European Criminal Records Information System: ECRIS Non-Binding Manual for Practitioners doc no: 9061/2/1, (pdf)
- EU: LIBYA: Draft CivCom Advice on the Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya (EEAS, 1570/14, Limite, pdf): "CIVCOM noted the turbulent and dynamic political and security situation in Libya which has occurred during the reporting period."
UK taxpayer faces £220m bill over e-borders contract termination - Tribunal finds flaws in process by which UK Border Agency decided to scrap contract with US-based Raytheon in 2010 (Guardian, link)
UK: NSA-GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization (heise online, link): "In a new set of top secret documents seen by Heise, it is revealed that in 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a "standard tool" to be applied against entire nations" (emphasis added)
See: Original from GCHQs Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG): GCHQ: What is Hacienda? (pdf): All the results of country-wide scans are "stored in JTRIG's Internal database"
And see: Australia government pushing to expand surveillance, hacking powers (PI, link)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: WikiLeaks: Decades Long Proof Of Government, Corporate Surveillance Of Native Americans Revealed (Mint Press News, link) and see: and see: CAIR-MI to File Suit Challenging Placement of U.S. Muslims on Terror Watch Lists Without Due Process (CAIR, link)
EU-Canada trade deal leak ridicules TTIP consultation, campaigners say (euractiv, link): "The leaked text of an EU-Canada free trade deal confirms fears that multinationals may sue EU states in special tribunals for enacting laws that upset their profit forecasts, and now campaigners question the public consultation on a free trade deal with the US." see also: Leaked Doc Puts Spotlight on Corporate-Friendly Trade Deal - Text of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement shows how much power corporations could have over municipalities' water (CommonDreams, link)
See: Trade agreement: EU-Canada: Consolidated CETA Text (521 pages, 1.6 MB, pdf)
UK: RENDITION: UK ambassador 'lobbied senators to hide Diego Garcia role in rendition' - Rights groups claim that top-level talks were part of bid to redact link to Diego Garcia from report (The Guardian, link)
EU: Commission proposes military research programme
"The European Commission is to "prepare the ground" for an EU military research programme by launching a 'Preparatory Action' that will "illustrate the value added of an EU contribution in new research" and complement research being undertaken under the Horizon 2020 programme....
This will come on top of existing efforts by the EU to try and maximise "civil-military synergies" in research under the Horizon 2020 programme, despite an explicit provision in the Horizon 2020 legislation that projects "shall have an exclusive focus on civil applications.""
EU Smart borders: Member States seek to make law enforcement access compatible with data retention ruling
"EU Member States are coming closer to defining their position on giving law enforcement authorities access to information that will be stored in the proposed Entry/Exit System, using arguments based on the Court of Justice's ruling annulling the Data Retention Directive.
The Commission published the "smart borders package" in February 2013, and since then Member States have continually reasserted the need for law enforcement authorities to have access to data stored within the proposed Entry/Exit System (EES).
The battles of Calais: Matt Carr reflects on the complicity of Britain and France in the horrific situation for migrants in Calais (IRR News Service, link)
UK: Home Office: Proscribed Terrorist Organisations (pdf)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Police forced to name undercover officers who duped women Metropolitan police lose legal fight over keeping secret the names of officers who fathered children with their 'targets' (Guardian, link):
"Police chiefs have been forced to confirm for the first time the identities of two undercover police officers who fathered children with campaigners from groups they had been sent to infiltrate. A high court judge had ordered the Metropolitan police to make the disclosures after the force lost a legal battle. The Met had fought to keep secret the identities of the two undercover officers, Bob Lambert and Jim Boyling, since a group of women launched a lawsuit three years ago."
See also: Press release: Police Spies Out of Our lives (link)
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): New role for para-military police units? Cooperation with the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) under the Common Security and Defence Policy - Explanatory brief (pdf) See also:Strengthening Ties between CSDP and FSJ: Road Map implementation Second annual progress report (pdf)
and EU seeks more prominent international role for European para-military police force
USA: NSA: James Bamford interviews Edward Snowden (Wired, link): Long report including countering cyber attacks:
"When it detected an attack, MonsterMind would automatically block it from entering the country - a kill in cyber terminology.
Programs like this had existed for decades, but MonsterMind software would add a unique new capability: Instead of simply detecting and killing the malware at the point of entry, MonsterMind would automatically fire back, with no human involvement. Thats a problem, Snowden says, because the initial attacks are often routed through computers in innocent third countries. These attacks can be spoofed,"
and see: Press Release: Courage letters being delivered to governments call for the safe protection of Edward Snowden (Courage, link)
Also: GCHQ: OPA~TAS Covert Mobile Phones Policy (pdf)
NEW ZEALAND- "FIVE EYES": Anti-Bases Campaign: Call to close NZ spy base (pdf) and see: Whos Running The Show? And In Whose Interests? (link)
UPDATED: HUNGARY: ECHR proceedings: Surveillance application (pdf) and see: TEK surveillance law challenged at European Court (Politics.hu, link): "Hungarian citizens Dániel Máté Szabó and Beatrix Vissy, both lawyers, have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to challenge a Hungarian regulation that empowers the Anti-Terrorist Centre (TEK) to spy on anyone without a court order by citing national security interests."
And see: Ombudsman challenges Anti-Terrorist Center powers (Politics.hu, link)
UK: Leicestershire Police first in UK to use 'facial recognition' software to track down CCTV suspects (Leicester Mercury, link) and this is the software they are using: NeoFace Facial Recognition - Overview (link)
EU: Frontex presses on with aerial surveillance projects
EU border agency Frontex has made progress in its attempts to acquire and deploy aerial surveillance technology, with the completion of a pilot project at the Bulgaria-Turkey border in early July. According to the agency, the project has outlined "new approaches in Frontex policy for future acquisition of operational assets and services."
Italy-Tunisia: Tunisian authorities undertake border control for Italy
The Tunisian National Guard has 'rescued' many boats carrying migrants and refugees in the past few months. However, these vessels were not all in distress when they were 'rescued'. A colonel in the National Guard's maritime section explained in an interview with the authors of this article that the current bilateral agreement with Italy foresees that the Tunisian Navy and the Tunisian National Guard should block boats carrying migrants, even if they are not in distress.
UK: Predictive policing in London: commercial interests trump accountability
London's Metropolitan Police (Met) have adopted a "neither confirm nor deny" policy on their use of "predictive policing" technology, citing the need to protect the commercial interests of both the police and companies. This is despite the fact that the force admits that releasing relevant information "could potentially further the debate around the efficacy and ethics of using such technologies," and could improve "the accountability of decisions taken in relation to the research and development of such technologies."
UK: LONDON: Police get new power to clear Paternoster Square of protesters... with no order from court (Evening Standard, link): "the City of London Corporation has granted the square, which is home to the London Stock Exchange, the status of City walkway. It means police can close Paternoster Square, and six adjoining lanes and alleys, immediately in the case of imminent threat or force majeure, the civil law term for unforeseen events. The move is part of a deal between the City, the squares freeholders, and Canadian-owned Oxford Properties Group, which owns most of the buildings on the site. Oxford Properties Group requested extra powers that included the ability ... to restrict access to the estate in the case of demonstration or terrorist threat."
See also Belgian municipal fines cause growing dissent (Statewatch database) and Westminster Council proposes banning "tents and similar structures" and "noise equipment" in crackdown on political protest (Statewatch database)
EU: 267 migrants rescued from 29 boats in Strait of Gibraltar (El Pais, link): "The Spanish coastguard rescued 267 people from 29 small boats in the Strait of Gibraltar on Monday. All the men, women and children onboard were found to be in apparent good health and taken to Tarifa, in Cádiz province, to be treated."
EU: The Missed Opportunity of the Ypres Guidelines of the European Council Regarding Immigration and Asylum (link) by Philippe De Bruycker
Statewatch Analysis: Mass surveillance of communications in the EU: CJEU judgment and DRIPA 2014/RIPA 2000 in the UK (pdf) by Tony Bunyan:
"The CJEU ruled that mass surveillance under the EU Data Retention Directive entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population and is a clear breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Under DRIPA 2014 the UK is clearly ignoring the Court's ruling by maintaining the mass surveillance of communications and extending its reach, though permanent warrants, to service providers based in the EU, USA and elsewhere.
DRIPA 2014 amends RIPA 2000 but leaves untouched the power of the Foreign Secretary to sign limitless warrants for GCHQ to spy on the rest of the world under Section 8.4 of RIPA 2000."
EU-USA COOPERATION: Report from Congressional Research Service: US-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (pdf):
"Some U.S. officials are concerned that.... changes to EU data protection rules could call into question existing bilateral agreements governing the processing and sharing of personal data between U.S. law enforcement authorities and their counterparts in EU member states....
some observers note that U.S.-EU counterterrorism cooperation is complicated by different EU and member state competencies, and U.S. policy preferences. An increasing number of policy areas relevant to counterterrorism - including data protection, customs, and visasfall under the competence of the Union (i.e., EU members adopt a common policy, agree to abide by its terms, and negotiate collectively with other countries). However, at times, the United States continues to prefer to negotiate on some issues - such as the VWP - bilaterally, and observers assert that this disconnect can lead to frictions in the U.S.-EU relationship."
USA-NSA: Edward Snowden given permission to stay in Russia - video (Guardian, link): "dward Snowden has been granted permission to remain in Russia for the next three years, his lawyer says on Thursday. The NSA contractor turned whistleblower now has a three-year residence permit, with effect from 1 August 2014,.."
See: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EU: Data adrift on the high seas: work continues on connecting maritime surveillance systems
At the beginning of July the European Commission announced its proposed "next steps" for "enhancing information exchange between maritime surveillance authorities," in order to "increase the efficiency, quality, responsiveness and coordination of surveillance operations in the European maritime domain and to promote innovation, for the prosperity and security of the EU and its citizens."
UK: National Extremism Coordination Unit: Re-visiting NETCU - Police Collaboration with Industry (Corporate Watch, link) and See: January 19, 2011: Farewell to NETCU: A brief history of how protest movements have been targeted by political policing (Corporate Watch, link)
EU 2014 ELECTIONS: EU election turnout at record low after all (euobserver, link): "The definitive turnout for the elections is 42.5 percent, down from 43 percent at the 2009 EU elections and down from the estimated 43.09 percent announced on 25 May, shortly after polls closed"
A European Parliament spokesperson claimed that "The final figure, which is a little bit lower than in 2009, confirms that the big descending tendency of previous years has been stopped," which is not really much consolation - in 1979 61.99% of the electorate voted in the EU parliament elections and in every election since voter participation has fallen and is now at its lowest point ever.
UK: Government Wiki edits downplay high profile killings (Channel 4 News, link):
"A Channel 4 News investigation reveals Wikipedia edits to pages on Jean Charles de Menezes, Lee Rigby and Damilola Taylor made from government computers. The spokesman for the family of Jean Charles de Menezes today spoke of his shock after hearing that users on government computer networks were found to have altered key information in his Wikipedia entry and sought to cover up police failings.
The edits were all made from internet addresses that have in the past been confirmed as being on the Government Secure Intranet (GSI), the system through which government workers, including some police officers, connect to the internet."
And: Wikipedia edits made by government sought to minimise high-profile killings - Articles pertaining to Jean Charles de Menezes and Damilola Taylor were edited using devices on government internet (Guardian, link) and INTER-NETCU: As government agency caught infiltrating activist media outlet (SchNEWS, link): ""For years now, police have been using activist website Indymedia in attempts to sow mistrust, demoralise movements and to incite violence and illegality." and: Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé (Indymedia UK, link)
See also: Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world - Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from police (Guardian, link) and Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)
Gamma FinFisher hacked: 40 GB of internal documents and source code of government malware published (Netzpolitik, link):
"A hacker claims to have hacked a network of the surveillance technology company Gamma International and has published 40 gigabytes of internal data. A Twitter account has published release notes, price lists and source code. Malware researchers and human rights activists welcome the publication, Gamma itself refuses to comment."
See: Wiki: Finfisher (link) and also: German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to revolutions (Statewatch database) and Complaint lodged with OECD by Privacy International over spyware sales by UK and Germany to Bahrain (Statewatch database)
And: Bahrain Government Hacked Lawyers and Activists with UK Spyware (Bahrainwatch, link): "New evidence has emerged suggesting that the Bahraini government infected the computers of some of the countrys most prominent lawyers, activists and politicians with the malicious FinFisher spy software (also known as FinSpy). The infections would have enabled the government to steal passwords and files, and spy through an infected computers webcam and microphone. "
See also: Six things we know from the latest FinFisher documents (PI, link)
USA: WATCHLISTS: Barack Obamas Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers - Nearly half of the people on the U.S. governments widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group (The Intercept, link) and See: Watchlist document (pdf)
See also: More than 17,000 sign up to Austrian student's Facebook privacy class action - Max Schrems, 26, who accuses social network of data violations and supporting NSA spying, calls response to his appeal 'giant' (Guardian, link)
USA: CIA RENDITION-TORTURE: Senator Denounces Redactions of Report on C.I.A. Detention Program (New York Times, link): "The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday that heavy censorship by the Obama administration of her committees voluminous report on the C.I.A.s detention program eliminates or obscures key facts buttressing the documents conclusions, and pledged to fight for more of it to be declassified."
UK EXTENDS BIOMETRICS TO CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OLD: New biometrics rule set for young children (link) "What is the change? The U.K. is rolling out a new biometrics requirement for visa applicants under 5 years old." and UK Visas and Immigration (link):
"As of 07 July 2014, children under the age of five will be required to apply for their UK visa in person in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. New rules governing the collection of biometric data comes into effect at this time, requiring all applicants to provide a live-capture digital photograph."
See: Home Office guidance on Biometric Information (126 pages, pdf) does not seem to have been updated, it says: ""Children under the age of six (at the date of application, not at the date of enrolment). The requirement for fingerprints to be taken from the age of six comes from EU Regulation 380/2008. Up to the age of six the Home Office only requires a digitised image of the childs face, although the regulation does not prevent fingerprints being recorded from children aged less than six years. There is no upper age limit for biometric information to be taken."
African migrants injured in clashes in Calais as one asylum seeker shot in head (Evening Standard, link)
Paper delivered at the European Group Conference for the Study of Deviance and Social Control in Oslo in 2013 by Tony Bunyan, Director of Statewatch: The emerging EU state (podcast link). See all podcasts (link)
UK: Activists complain to IPCC over police efforts to recruit them as informers - Four campaigners lodge complaint with police watchdog that approaches left them feeling intimidated, stressed and paranoid (Guardian, link):
"Four campaigners have lodged a complaint with an official watchdog, alleging that they felt intimidated by covert police officers who were trying to persuade them to spy on their political colleagues.They say that coercive and at times repeated police approaches caused them to abandon their political campaigning, or left them stressed and paranoid. They also say that the clandestine manoeuvres to spy on students, environmentalists, anti-fascists and other campaigners erode free speech and the freedom to protest.
One of the quartet, a 23-year-old single mother, said she stopped campaigning against racism after police threatened to prosecute her if she told anyone, including her mother, about the attempt to recruit her as an informer."
EU: Council of the European Union: Agreed by the Council Security Committee: Information Assurance Security Guidelines on Data Separation (pdf)
"These guidelines describe minimum standards to be observed for the purpose of data separation methods in communication and information systems [CIS] for protecting EU classified information (EUCI) in terms of confidentiality, integrity, availability and, where appropriate, authenticity and non-repudiation, especially in consolidated systems where several CIS share common components. This document covers mainly the use of technical data separation methods inside common hardware used by one or different CIS or between different hardware components inside a contiguous secure area."
SPAIN: Mass protest as strike organisers face prison (Think Spain, link) and see: CCOO y UGT denuncian ante partidos la "ofensiva" contra el derecho de huelga (link): "In a joint statement, the unions said it is not acceptable that about 300 union members are subject to administrative and criminal proceedings for participating in the call for, extension and organisation of general strikes"
UK: POLICING STATISTICS: House of Commons: Public Administration Committee: Government Response on crime statistics (pdf) and Caught red-handed: Why we cant count on Police Recorded Crime statistics (pdf)
USA-ISRAEL: Wiretapped: Israel Eavesdropped on John Kerry in Mideast Talks (Spiegel Online, link): "New information indicates that Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on telephone conversations by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Sources told SPIEGEL the government then used the information obtained from the calls during negotiations in the Mideast conflict."
On the other hand see these documents: NSA Intelligence Relationship with Israel (pdf) and MOU between NSA and the Israeli Sigint National Unit (ISNU) (pdf)
GREECE: Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case (ekathimerini.com, link): "Europe's top human rights official has criticized a decision by a Greek prosecutor earlier this week to shelve the investigation into the deaths of 11 immigrants who drowned during a controversial coast guard operation near the eastern Aegean islet of Farmakonisi in January." See:
- Greek Council for Refugees, Hellenic League of Human Rights, Network of Social Support to Refugees and Migrants, Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees: Background briefing on the investigation into the Farmakonisi boat wreck of 20.1.2014 (pdf)
- Survivors' declaration (pdf)
UK: Revealed: Whitehall plans to share your private data - Driving licences, criminal records and energy use data could be shared under radical plans to link government databases (Daily Telegraph, link): "Driving licences, criminal records and energy use data could be shared under radical plans to link government databases "
See: Cabinet Office Initial Discussion document on data sharing policy for publication (pdf)
ITALY:G8: Thirty cops suspended for G8 brutality - Suspensions of up to 6 months for mistreatment of demonstrators (ANSA, link): "An appeals court on Friday suspended 30 police officers following disciplinary hearings into accusations of brutality during demonstrations at the G8 conference in Genoa in 2001."
NORWAY: Immediate temporary reintroduction of border control at Norway's internal borders (DG Home, link): "Norway has informed that due to a serious threat to public policy and internal security where unknown subjects on their way to Norway have the intention to commit targeted attacks to Norwegian interest, infrastructure and/or persons, border control has been reintroduced at the Norway's internal borders initially during the period from Thursday 24 July 2014 to Monday 28 July 2014, then prolonged until Tuesday 12 August 2014 12:00. During this period, border checks on persons will be carried out at Norwegian air, land and sea borders to the extent necessary to respond to the threats and will be flexible in time and location." [emphasis in original]
ITALY: Statewatch Analysis: ECtHR finds Italy guilty of degrading treatment without adequate judicial remedy in mass prison beatings case (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
"On 1 July 2014, the 2nd section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling in the Saba vs. Italy case (no. 36629/2010) found Italy guilty of contravening both the substantial and procedural aspects of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. The case concerned an operation undertaken on 3 April 2000 in Sassari prison in Sardinia, where the applicant was a prisoner, involving violence, blows resulting in injuries and humiliating treatment of prisoners. It resulted in 90 people being placed under investigation, ranging from prison officers and officials to prison police officers."
USA: CIA-TORTURE: Obama admits CIA 'tortured some folks' but stands by Brennan over spying: President says US crossed a line after 9/11 attacks - Obama supports CIA director under fire over Senate report (Guardian, link)
See also: Britain 'attempts to censor' US report on torture sites - US Senate report may confirm that Diego Garcia was used for extraordinary rendition after 9/11 (Guardian, link)
USA: CIA SPYING: Inquiry by CIA Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel (New York Times, link):
"An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.s detention and interrogation program.
The report by the agencys inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information, according to a summary of findings made public on Thursday. One official with knowledge of the reports conclusions said the investigation also discovered that the officers created a false online identity to gain access on more than one occasion to computers used by the committee staff."
See document: Summary of report: Prepared at the request of the Congressional Intelligence Committees (pdf) and See: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers (Guardian, link) also: Report: CIA officers read Senate emails (Washington Post, link)
EU: G6 meeting leads to renewed calls for travel surveillance
Interior ministers from the G6 group of states met at the end of June in Barcelona to discuss the structure of the G6; terrorism and radicalisation; drug trafficking in the Atlantic; irregular migration to Europe; and relations between the EU and US. Records of the meeting show continued enthusiasm for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the surveillance of transport.
UK: Police Federation wants continued use of "pain compliance" Taser method
A senior member of the professional body that represents police officers has said that they "must be able to continue to use their judgement and professional discretion in the use of a controversial mode of Taser" which involves pressing the weapon directly onto an individual's body and firing.
CAGE: Blowback - Foreign fighters and the threat they pose (link): ""In almost every single case of individuals having fought abroad, there
is little to suggest that such training or fighting had resulted directly in the decision to carry out an act of political violence in the UK. What, however, is clear, is the correlation between foreign and domestic grievances against the UK government, and the decision by these men to be involved in some form of plot."
See: Press release (link) and: British Jihadis' threat to UK is exaggerated, says report - British Jihadis are motivated by wanting to topple Bashar Assad dictatorship in Syria says group critical of British counterterrorism policy (Guardian, link)
GREECE: Welcome 2 Lesvos: Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria first reception detention centre in Lesvos (link)
See also: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control)
EU: PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting on 15 July 2014 (pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position: "As in CATS [Article 36 Committee], the NL delegation, supported by the DK, IE and UK delegations, voiced concerns regarding the added value of the proposed Directive."
A footnote says: "IE and UK decided not to make use of the possibility to "opt-in" in the adoption of the proposed Directive, as referred to in Article 3 of Protocol (nr. 21) to Treaties; DK does not participate in accordance with Article 1 of Protocol (nr. 22) to the Treaties."
See: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11235-14,(pdf)
EU: TTIP: Letter to the European Commission requesting an opinion in the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/10/2014/MMN concerning transparency and public participation in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations (link)
GREECE: FGM INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION:DECISION: Decision 419/2014 of the Administrative Court of Appeals, regarding international protection, on the grounds of fear of Female Genital Mutilation (pdf) by Eleni Koutroumpa Evangelia Markaki Senior Investigators, Greek Ombudsman, Department of Human Rights:
"The Administrative Court of Appeals has temporarily suspended the decision of return of a Kenyan woman along with her three minor children in her homeland, based on the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, "consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity."
The Administrative Court of Appeals stated that their return to Kenya contains the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity, thus temporarily suspended the decision of their return. Additionally, the Court ordered the state authorities to refrain from any action which would result in "forced return" of them back to their homeland.
Finally, the Court ordered the "particular asylum seeker's card" to be returned if it had been removed- and to be renewed, if it had been expired."
CoE: CIA RENDITION: The Council of Europe's investigation into illegal transfers and secret detentions in Europe: a chronology (pdf)
AUSTRIA: Riot police with water cannon evict squatters: Police in riot gear are currently attempting to evict a group of long-term squatters from a house in Viennas 2nd district (The Local, link) and see: 500,000 euro, 1,700 Cops, Helicopter, Tank, Water Cannon: The Eviction of Pizzeria Anarchia in Vienna (Revolution News, link)
ITALY: Italien plant zweiwöchige Polizeioperation gegen Migranten in der gesamten EU (Italy is planning a two-week, pan-EU police operation against migrants) (Telepolis, link):
"From 16 to 23 October at railway stations, motorways and airports "focused search measures" will be carried out. Several thousand police officers will be deployed.
The Italian government is preparing a large-scale police operation for the entire territory of the European Union, building upon earlier, similar measures organised by other countries during their EU presidencies. In this operation, police forces will be deployed at transport hubs to search for migrants without a residence permit. Such Joint Police Operations (JPOs) are usually organised by each of the six-month rotating presidencies." (translation)
See also: EU joint police operations target irregular migrants (Statewatch database)
Norway: Reintroduction of border control at Norwegian internal border (pdf):
"From Thursday 24 July 2014 until Monday 28 July 2014 border control measures will be carried out at the Norwegian internal borders along air-, land - and sea borders, as the situation requires in order to impede subjects/persons with deliberate intention to harm public policy and internal security."
See also: Norway Police Requires Passports or ID Cards for Even Norwegian and Schengen Area Citizens - As a result of the measures for terrorist threat, all must have their passport or ID card upon entry to Norway (The Nordic Page, link)
Statewatch FRONTEX Observatory updated, including Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights: Annual Report 2013
CoE: A new Convention for combating domestic violence (link):
".On 1 August 2014, a new stage will begin in the protection of human rights in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member States, the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Anne Brasseur, said today."
See: Links page (link) and Full-text Convention (pdf)
USA-NSA: Report by Human Rights Watch and ACLU: With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy (126 pages, link): "this report documents the effects of large-scale electronic surveillance on the practice of journalism and law, professions that enjoy special legal protections because they are integral to the safeguarding of rights and transparency in a democracy.."
See also: Top Journalists and Lawyers: NSA Surveillance Threatens Press Freedom and Right to Counsel (The Intercept, link)
UK: DRIPA 2014: Legal challenge lodged against new UK data retention laws (Out Law, link): "Civil rights campaigners Liberty said it will seek a judicial review of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Act on behalf of two MPs, David Davis and Tom Watson."
Information on nearly 71,000 people held in Europol Information System
The Europol Information System (EIS) contained information on 70,917 "suspected/convicted criminals" as of December 2013, an increase of 47% on 2012 and a near-100% increase since December 2010 when it held information on 35,585 people.
UK: British Regulator Leads On RPAS (AINonline, link): "Integrating remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) into civilian airspace in Europe is not going to be easy. Official programs are many, work is extensive, detailed and ongoing, but anyone expecting an early resolution is going to be disappointed."
See: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
METADATA SURVEILLANCE: From Bits of Freedom, Netherlands: How your innocent Smartphone passes on almost your entire life to the secret service (pdf): "Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesnt say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think."
UK: House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee report (pdf) See: Common Foreign and Security Policy, including Common Security and Defence Policy; the European Investigation Order; and The development of the second generation Schengen Information System - SIS II.
EU WHISTLEBLOWING: European Ombudsman: Letter to the European Commission requesting an opinion in the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/1/2014/PMC concerning whistleblowing (pdf) and Ombudsman: Background (link)
See also: EU institutions to be probed on whistleblower rules (euobserver, link)
USA-NSA-SAUDI ARABIA: The NSAs New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabias Brutal State Police (The Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the worlds most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agencys plans to provide direct analytic and technical support to the Saudis on internal security matters.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior - referred to in the document as MOI - has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse, specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOIs use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents."
See document: NSA-SAUDI ARABIA Cooperation (pdf):
And see: Privacy watchdogs next target: the least-known but biggest aspect of NSA surveillance (Washington Post, link): "An independent privacy watchdog agency announced Wednesday that it will turn its focus to the largest and most complex of U.S. electronic surveillance regimes: signals intelligence collection under Executive Order 12333. That highly technical name masks a constellation of complex surveillance activities carried out for foreign intelligence purposes by the National Security Agency under executive authority. But unlike two other major NSA collection programs that have been in the news lately, EO 12333 surveillance is conducted without court oversight and with comparatively little Congressional review."
See document: SIGINT Decision Tree (.jpg)
UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2013 (pdf): "The total number of warrants and authorisations approved across the intelligence services and the MOD in 2013 was 1887." This is said to cover warrants issued to: MI5, MI6 (SIS), GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence under RIPA 2000 and Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) - under the former the use of CHIS (Covert Human Information Sources) are included. And in addition the report says:
"The total number of cases where the Consolidate Guidance was applied during 2013 was 418. It is important to understand what this means. It means that there were 418 cases where consideration had to be given as to whether there was a serious risk of an individual being subject to unacceptable conduct either because they were in the detention of a liaison service, or if intelligence was supplied to solicit detention and they were then detained. This does not show the number of individuals subject to unacceptable conduct; only that proper consideration was being given to that risk in this number of cases." [emphasis added]
After numerous complaints of UK agents being present or knowing of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects around the world the Government published in 2010 the following Guidelines: Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees (pdf) and according to the Commissioner's report this covers:
Cases where a detainee is interviewed by UK personnel whilst under the custody of a third party
Cases where information is sought by HMG from a detainee in the custody of a third party
Cases where information is passed from HMG to a liaison service in relation to a detainee held by a third party
Cases where unsolicited intelligence related to a detainee is received from the third party
Soliciting the detention of an individual by a third party
And the Commissioner cites a reminder of GCHQ's function: "To monitor or interfere with electromagnetic, acoustic and other emissions and any equipment producing such emissions and to obtain and provide information derived from or related to such emissions or equipment and from encrypted material, but only in the interests of national security, with particular reference to the United Kingdom Government's defence and foreign policies, or in the interests of the UK's economic well.being in relation to the actions or intentions of persons outside the British Islands, or in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime" [emphasis added]
UPDATED: CoE: Commissioner expresses concern over NGOs in Hungary (link): The stigmatizing rhetoric used in Hungary against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of promoting human rights and democratic values, with politicians questioning the legitimacy of their work, is of great concern to me said today Nils Muinieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing a letter addressed to the Minister of the Prime Ministers Office, Mr János Lázár."
See: CoE letter to PM (pdf) and Reply to CoE (pdf)
UPDATED: UK: HOW LOW CAN THE POLICE STOOP?
Police chiefs were aware six years ago that undercover unit 'had lost moral compass' (Guardian, link)
SDS was regarded as out of control force within a force
Intelligence 'hoovered up' on campaigning families
Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world - Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from police (Guardian, link)
Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)
See: Undercover police spied on grieving families of De Menezes, Groce and Reel - Scotland Yard claims relatives were not the target of surveillance but that 'inappropriate' information about them was gathered (Guardian, link): "Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, Cherry Groce and Ricky Reel....Scotland Yard claimed that the families were not the target of the operations but information on them was gathered and wrongly retained as part of the covert infiltration of political groups."
Met Police spied on families campaigning for justice (Channel 4 News, link): "Families of those campaigning for justice against the Metropolitan Police such as the families of Cherry Groce, Ricky Reel and Jean Charles de Menezes were spied on by undercover officers from the SDS (Special Demonstrations Squad)."
See: Operation Herne report website into undercover police activities
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Welcome Pack for the Members of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) (pdf)
UK: Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 201314:
Government response to the First Report of the Committee, Session 201314 (pdf). See: First Report: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013-14 (pdf)
See also: Call for Evidence: Committee still pressing government for the next National Security Strategy to be radically different (pdf):
"The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy would welcome written submissions on the next National Security Strategy (NSS), which is expected to be published after the 2015 General Election. The Committee aims to publish a report at the end of the year in time for the Government to respond before the General Election."
EU Council of the European Union: eu-LISA Annual Activity Report 2013 (pdf)
"At the time of writing (January 2014), the Agency is mandated to provide operational management of SIS II (the largest information system for public security and law enforcement cooperation in Europe), VIS (a system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen area) and Eurodac (a large-scale fingerprint database that assists primarily in the processing of asylum applications). It manages these systems on behalf of its stakeholder, the European public through member states and European institutions."
Taking on the fraudulent anti-globalisation rhetoric of the Front National (IRR News, link): "A timely pamphlet aimed primarily at French trades unionists provides an opportunity to reflect on the FNs growing appeal to working-class voters."
CIA-POLAND: European Court of Human Rights: Secret rendition and detention by the CIA in Poland of two men suspected of terrorist acts (Press release, pdf):
"The cases Al Nashiri v. Poland (application no. 28761/11) and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland (no. 7511/13) concerned allegations of torture, ill-treatment and secret detention of two men suspected of terrorist acts. The applicants allege that they were held at a CIA black site in Poland. In todays Chamber judgments, which are not final1, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously: in both cases, that Poland had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights (obligation to furnish all necessary facilities for the effective conduct of an investigation);
in both cases, that there had been:
- a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, in both its substantive and procedural aspects;
- a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security);
- a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life);
- a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and,
- a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).
See: Judgments: Nashiri (pdf) and Husayn (pdf)
CIA ran secret torture jail in Poland, rules EU Court of Human Rights (euractiv, link)
USA-National Counterterrorism Center: Secret government rulebook for labelling you a terrorist (The Intercept, link): he Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither concrete facts nor irrefutable evidence to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept." See: document: Rulebook (link)
See also: Hill surveillance reform: Time is not on its side (Politico, link)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Commission sits on the fence: saying it is up to each of the 28 EU states to decide whether to change their national laws in the light of the CJEU judgment declaring the EU Directive on mandatory data retention "unlawful": European Parliament question (link) and Answer (link)
And see: Scrapped EU surveillance law throws doubt on US data agreements (euobserver, link): " A decision by the EU court earlier this year to scrap a controversial data retention directive may have implications for existing international data agreements and EU proposals under review. We will have a debate on the question of the compatibility of these international agreements with EU law here in the parliament, German Green Jan Phillip Albrecht said"
See: Green/EFA study: Data Retention after the Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (pdf)
Italy arrests 5 over migrant 'massacre' at sea (News 24, link)
ECHR Judgment: TEAR GAS: Death during a demonstration: Turkey must regulate the use of tear-gas grenades (pdf)
UK: WATER CANNON: Theresa May puts decision on use of water cannon in UK on hold - Medical and scientific issues must first be clarified, says home secretary, despite Boris Johnson £218k order of three vehicles (Guardian, link). See also: Home Secretary - Home Affairs Select Committee (p23, pdf)
RUSSIA: DATA RETENTION: Putin signs data retention law - Summary: Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a new law requiring internet companies to retain the personal data of their Russian customers, or face being blocked from access in the country.(ZDnet, link). Russia is in good company and as we say in the UK "people in glass houses should not throw stones" - see UK DRIPA below..
UK: Terrorism definition 'should be narrower' (BBC News, link): "In his annual report, David Anderson QC is focusing on crimes which he says should no longer be classed as terrorist offences. Journalists and bloggers should not be convicted under terror laws, he said."
See: UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation criticises too-broad definition of terrorism (Press release, pdf) and Full report by David Anderson QC: Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (143 pages, pdf)
EU: Eurodrones: too politically loaded a venture for Europe? (euractiv, link):
"Remotely piloted aircraft equipped for spying and fighting are politically charged across Europe, in part by the civilian toll taken by Americas use of armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other conflict areas. The European Parliament wants member states to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in extrajudicial killings and to set up ethical standards for their use. In a non-binding resolution earlier this year, lawmakers also called for greater transparency in the use of EU funding for research and development of drone technology."
See also: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
UK-EU: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) UK FAILS TO NOTIFY EU: NGO LETTER: Open Letter to Vice-President of the Commission Michel Barnier and Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom (pdf): "We, the undersigned organisations, would like to draw your attention to an infringement of EU law by the United Kingdom through its adoption on July 17 2014 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP)".
UK: DRIPA: David Davis and Tom Watson to sue government over new DRIP data laws (James Lansdale Tweet) and DRIP Bill legal challengeY(DODS Politics Home, link) EU and see: Liberty and MPs David Davis and Tom Watson launch urgent response to Governments emergency surveillance law (Liberty link)
Bulgaria's Euroroma Threatens Blockades on Major Roads (Novinite, link): "The Euroroma party posed an ultimatum to the Stara Zagora Mayor Zhivko Todorov the stop the demolition of illegal Roma houses in the city, reports news.bg. The party threatened that its supporters will block the major roads in the country, unless the demolition was stopped immediately. According to the party, the actions of the municipality were in violation of a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which was mandatory." and see: Clashes Erupt in Bulgarian Stara Zagora over Illegal Houses Demolition (link): "Clashes broke out between the Gendarmerie and the inhabitants of the Roma neighborhood in Bulgaria's city of Stara Zagora, Monday morning."
EU: Family Reunion for EU Citizens: a separated third country national family member of an EU citizen can acquire permanent residence status (EU Law Analysis, link)
USA: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion - Investigations, Trials of American Muslims Rife with Abuse (Human Rights Watch, link) and Government agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots (Guardian, link)
Human Rights Watch documents 'sting' operations
Report raises questions about post-9/11 civil rights
EU: MIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Parliament: For a European Strategy in the field of migration and asylum: Appeal to the European Parliament on occasion of the Italian Presidency Semester (pdf): Barbara Spinelli (MEP, GUE):
"Nowadays, refugees are the product, on an industrial scale, of that great war, immaterial and undeclared as it is, which is the war against the poor, with a stark border separating people who have a right to move from those who are denied that right. But a worldwide war, which sets apart subjects of the law from marginal bodies whose fate is at the mercy of events that are decided elsewhere, cannot turn Europe into a barbed wire fence. The Europe we want must be a place of welcome, of respect and of dignity."
GREECE: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control):
"The site is still under construction, but presents a chilling taste of what is to come and the claustrophobic conditions for migrants to be held there. For people who have committed no criminal offence, nor been charged with any, it is impossible to see why barred windows, prison-style lighting and surveillance towers and barbed wire are necessary on this island camp. One can only wonder at the horror they will feel and experience on being taken to this place after their arduous journeys."
Germany's deportees cannot be held in prisons, ECJ rules (euractiv, link) and see: CJEU ruling Press Release: A Member State cannot rely on the fact that there are no specialised facilities in a part of its territory to justify detaining third-country nationals in prison pending their removal - The same applies even if the third-country national concerned has given his consent to being accommodated in prison (pdf)
EU: Data protection rights and administrative proceedings (EU Law Analysis, link): "in the specific context of asylum proceedings, and more generally in many other areas of EU law, it is useful that the Court confirmed that applicants can still enforce (by a different means) the right to good administration against national authorities."
UK: GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails - Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material 'may be permissible', say human rights groups (Guardian, link):
"The intelligence services are constructing "vast databases" out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told. The claim emerged during a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT)."
See also: Merkel calls for 'sensible talks' over alleged US spying on Germany - German chancellor says talks on security and privacy needed to restore trust as US commentators defend surveillance of ally (Guardian, link)
EU: CJEU: Penalising Refugees: when should the CJEU have jurisdiction to interpret Article 31 of the Refugee Convention? (EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies (pdf)
UK: DRIPA: Terrorism laws watchdog issues warning over security services scrutiny David Anderson says privacy and civil liberties board that is planned to replace his job must have unfettered access (Guardian, link):
"The emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) requires internet and phone companies including US-based firms such as Google to store all personal communications data for 12 months so it can be accessed by police and security services. The new law has an expiry date of December 2016. This week's parliamentary debates demonstrated that there is now widespread consensus that the main surveillance law, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa), is a "broken and bleeding sore", as one ex-Home Office minister put it, and urgently needs replacing."
UK's Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy: Demonstrating the lack of knowledgeable leadership and the failure to engage in democratic debate, this 'data retention' surveillance law seeds distrust (Guardian, link)
See: DRIP Act 2014 as adopted (pdf)
EU-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement heading for troubled water? (IC, link): "There is a growing perception in Europe that U.S. enforcement of data privacy laws has been lax."
EU: FRONTEX: Migreurop-REMDH-FIDH: Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial - The deployment of Frontex is impairing the right of asylum (pdf):
"At the Greek-Turkish border, the European Agency for controlling the external borders, Frontex, is taking part in a process that prevents refugees from benefitting from international protection. The latest report of the FRONTEXIT Campaign, âFrontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial underlines the dramatic consequences of the intensification of surveillance at that border (push-backs, lack of access to the asylum procedure, physical and verbal violence, etc.), and also the Agency's lack of accountability."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution Report: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (pdf):
"The contrast between the time taken by the Government to consider their response and the time given to Parliament to scrutinise the bill is a matter of concern, not least because of suspicions that are naturally aroused when legislation is fast-tracked......It is not clear why these provisions need to be fast-tracked."
EU: STATE-BUILDING: EU POLICE TRAINING FOR JOINT OPERATIONS:European Commission: CEPOL: Commission proposes to improve training for EU law enforcement officials (Press release, pdf) and Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union agency for law enforcement training (Cepol), repealing and replacing the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA (COM 465-14, pdf) The aim is to ensure: "priorities for operational law enforcement cooperation": The proposed CEPOL Objectives (Article 3) are set as:
"in particular in the areas of the fight against serious crime affecting two or more Member States and terrorism, management of high-risk public order and sports events, planning and command of Union missions." [emphasis added]
EFJ Slams UK for Pushing through Data Retention Law (EFJ, link): "We are extremely concerned that such an intrusive law will violate the privacy of citizens as well as those of journalists whose duty to protect confidential sources could be compromised.
EU: European Commission: Re-use of documents: Commission Notice: Guidelines on recommended standard licences, datasets and charging for the re-use of documents (pdf)
USA: Congressional Research Service (CRS): Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration (pdf)
UK: DRONES: Farnborough: Europe's combat drone challenge (BBC News, link): "Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is easily BAE Systems' spookiest-looking aircraft. Sleek, with swept-back wings, the grey, wedge-shaped Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), or drone, is "the most advanced aircraft ever produced in the UK," says the firm. Taranis is designed to be the prototype for a combat drone - capable of carrying out long-range strikes in hostile territory."
UN HUMAN RIGHTS: Dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances - Pillay (link):
"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned Wednesday that studies by her office and others have revealed a disturbing lack of transparency about governmental surveillance policies and practices, including de facto coercion of private sector companies to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latters knowledge or consent.
See: Report: The right to privacy in the digital age: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (pdf)
"there is a clear and pressing need for vigilance in ensuring the compliance of any surveillance policy or practice with international human rights law, including the right to privacy, through the development of effective safeguards against abuses. As an immediate measure, States should review their own national laws, policies and practices to ensure full conformity with international human rights law. Where there are shortcomings, States should take steps to address them, including through the adoption of a clear, precise, accessible, comprehensive and non-discriminatory legislative framework. Steps should be taken to ensure that effective and independent oversight regimes and practices are in place, with attention to the right of victims to an effective remedy."
Statewatch Analyses online:
Secrets and lies: undercover police operations raise more questions than answers: "British police officers undercover in protest movements have been shown to have regularly operated outside the UK. Activists, lawyers and MPs have all called for an independent public inquiry in order to reveal the full extent of the practice."
Shining a light on deadly informers: The de Silva report on the murder of Pat Finucane: "Numerous flaws and oversights in de Silvas report highlight the need for a full scale independent public enquiry into the British states dealings in Northern Ireland. Security agencies tasked with keeping the peace acted beyond the law, lied to their political masters, leaked information to loyalists, told falsehoods in criminal trials, and recruited known murderers as agents."
A duty to inform? The outsourcing of state surveillance responsibilities to the British public: "The government is increasingly encouraging - and in some cases compelling - members of the public to monitor and report on each others behaviour. This practice disproportionately targets the poor, foreign nationals and the already marginalised, and contributes to the normalisation of surveillance within British society."
Belgian 'municipal fines' cause growing dissent : Fines have been issued for an array of bizarre offences and have been used to target individuals
involved in organising political protests."
See full list of Statewatch Analyses - resources for researchers (1999-ongoing)
SLOVENIA: DATA RETENTION: The Slovenian Constitutional Court has ruled data retention to be unconstitutional and ordered deletion of data collected under the law. (link)
UK: NETPOL: Network for Police Monitoring: Watching Them, Watching Us (link) and Counter-terror police contact parents of Birmingham student protester over alleged domestic extremism (link): "Counter-terrorism police have approached the parents of a student who was arrested during a protest earlier this year at Birmingham University, asking to discuss concerns about his behaviour."
GERMANY-USA-NSA-SURVEILLANCE: Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage NSA inquiry head Patrick Sensburg claims communications technology mistrusted in wake of US spying allegations (Guardian, link)
UK: GCHQ: SURVEILLANCE-DISRUPTION: Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet (The Intercept, link)
"The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, amplif[y] sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be extremist ...
The tools were created by GCHQs Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive.... Heres a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities:
Change outcome of online polls (UNDERPASS)
Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign (BADGER) and mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign (WARPARTH)
Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal. (SILVERLORD)
Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists. (MINIATURE HERO)
Find private photographs of targets on Facebook (SPRING BISHOP)
A tool that will permanently disable a targets account on their computer (ANGRY PIRATE)
Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website (GATEWAY) and ability to inflate page views on websites (SLIPSTREAM)
Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube) (GESTATOR)
Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers (PREDATORS FACE) and Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG (ROLLING THUNDER)
A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk) (ELATE)
Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity (CHANGELING)
For connecting two target phone together in a call (IMPERIAL BARGE)"
See documents: GCHQ JTRIG Tools and Techniques (pdf) and: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and: GCHQ/JTRIG: Art of deception (pdf)
EU: COMMISSION PRESIDENT - DESIGNATE'S PROGRAMME: Juncker: A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change: Political Guidelines for the next European Commission (pdf): It is well short on "Democratic Change", no mention of openness (access to documents) or transparency and Includes giving a Commissioner "special responsibility for Migration" - surely this is the job of the Commissioner for Home Affairs (which was first defined as "internal security and immigration" in 2009)?
UK: SURVEILLANCE LAW RUSHED THROUGH PARLIAMENT: Open letter on the UK's Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (EU Law Analysis, link):
"The legislation goes far beyond simply authorising data retention in the UK. In fact, DRIP attempts to extend the territorial reach of the British interception powers, expanding the UKs ability to mandate the interception of communications content across the globe. It introduces powers that are not only completely novel in the United Kingdom, they are some of the first of their kind globally.
Moreover, since mass data retention by the UK falls within the scope of EU law, as it entails a derogation from the EU's e-privacy Directive (Article 15, Directive 2002/58), the proposed Bill arguably breaches EU law to the extent that it falls within the scope of EU law, since such mass surveillance would still fall foul of the criteria set out by the Court of Justice of the EU in the Digital Rights and Seitlinger judgment."
EU-USA-TTIP: US and EU trade talks to resume (BBC News, link): "Officials from the European Union and the US will spend this week in Brussels trying to make progress negotiating a controversial trade deal" and Who wins, who loses? (DW, link): "The free trade agreement TTIP between the US and EU has entered a new round of negotiations. But no matter how long the process lasts, the winner of any deal has already been determined - as have the losers."
See excellent analysis: Rosa Luxembourg Foundation: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy (pdf): by John Hilary: "officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory barriers which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these barriers are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. The stakes, in other words, could not be higher."
And Statement of Concern about Planned Provisions on Investment Protection and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (Kent Law School, link)
UK-EU: Justice and Home Affairs: Statewatch Analysis: The UK opt in to pre-Lisbon EU criminal law (pdf) by Steve Peers Professor of EU Law and Human Rights Law, University of Essex:
"The United Kingdom (UK) has exercised its power to opt out of all of the EU measures on policing and criminal law adopted before the Treaty of Lisbon (pre-Lisbon third pillar measures), but has also sought to opt back into a number of these measures. That application to opt back in has recently been agreed in principle. What will be the impact of these changes for the UKs participation in EU policing and criminal law?"
EU: SAHEL-SAHARA and FOREIGN FIGHTERS: European External Action Service (EEAS): Options for CSDP Support to Sahel-Saharan Border Management (pdf)
The production of the 'Options' paper has come about following November 2013 Council Conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy. These called for "concrete steps" to "continue to develop CSDP support to border management as part of a wider and more joined-up EU approach to help third states and regions better manage their borders... The Council acknowledged the need to address the Sahel-Saharan region security challenges, including those in Libya. in this context, it invites the High Representatives to present by early 2014 an options paper with proposals for further action to support Sahel-Saharan border management, in response to local needs and requirements..."
See Statewatch: New "concept" drafted for EU border missions abroad (database link)
And also: Non-paper: Syria Foreign Fighters: strategic engagement plan (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Timeline for the EU Policy Cycle activities in 2014 (pdf):
The Policy Cycle is intended to allow the EU - in particular the Council - greater influence over operational police cooperation, primarily through setting priorities, monitoring the outcomes of operations, and suggesting alterations for future working methods and operations. The first policy cycle ran from 2011 to 2013; the current one is the first "full" cycle, running from 2014 to 2017. Its priorities are "illegal" immigration; human trafficking into and within the EU; counterfeit goods; Missing Trade Intra Community fraud; synthetic drugs; cocaine and heroin trafficking; cybercrime; and criminal use and illicit trafficking of firearms.
An explanation of how the policy cycle works (and explanations of the acronyms used in the document) can be found in the article 'Joint police operations target irregular migrants'
UK-USA RENDITION: Emails shed new light on UK link to CIA 'torture flights' - Police given crucial logs about Diego Garcia's role in rendition programme when it was allegedly used as a secret prison (Guardian, link): ""Crucial logs revealing flights to a British overseas territory when it was allegedly used as a secret US prison are in the possession of the police, the Observer has learned. "The revelation has raised concerns about why, despite repeated demands, details of the flights have not been shared with lawyers and MPs, who for years have been investigating the role played by Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian ocean, in the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme."
and see: Diego Garcia emails show UK Government is keeping renditions evidence from Parliament (Reprieve, link) and also: Flight plan showing planned landing in Diego Garcia (from March 2004) (link)
Austria and Italy have signed a bilateral agreement for cross-border police cooperation (Finland Times, link):
"The agreement is designed to allow police authorities in both countries unrestricted land and air access across their shared border, which had up to now been restricted to 20 km on the Autobahn and 10 km on other roads. This now means officers in hot pursuit of criminals are able to follow them well into the neighboring territory, whereas previously they would have contacted the local authorities instead."
And see: Austrian cops can nab suspects in Italy (The Local, link): "A new agreement between the governments of Italy and Austria was announced Friday in Vienna, allowing Austrian police in pursuit of criminals to more easily operate across the border in Italy."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): Unprecedented new powers in surveillance bill, campaigners warn - Prime minister insists fast-track legislation will do no more than confirm existing powers, but privacy groups say otherwise (Guardian, link) and Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill - Exclusive: NSA whistleblower says it 'defies belief' that bill must be rushed through after government ignored issue for a year (Guardian, link)
See also: Draft Statutory Instrument (pdf) and Impact Assessment (pdf). The latter states in Annex I on "consultation":
"The provisions contained within the proposed Bill have been consulted on across Government and with the intercepting agencies. They have also been shared with (a limited number of) Communications Service Providers). Given that this is fast-track legislation that has been brought forward to address a particular issue which seeks to continue the status quo, they have not been consulted upon more broadly."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): The DRIP myth list (Open Rights Group, link): "Here are some of the arguments that the Government is using to justify passing emergency data retention legislation - and the reasons why the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP) should not be rushed through Parliament. We are urging our supporters to call the House of Commons on 0207 219 3000 and demand that they vote against this legislation." and see:
Tom Hickman on the DRIP Bill: Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful? (UK Constitutional Law Association, link): "The DRIP Bill will be law by the end of the week. Its unveiling in draft form on Thursday came out of the blue. The use of emergency parliamentary procedure means that there is no time for any significant consultation or lobbying and parliamentary scrutiny will be minimal.... it does not bode well for the review of the legislation that the Government is so apparently unwilling to facilitate informed debate and understanding, even at a general level, of very intrusive powers that it asks society in general, and Parliament in particular, to grant it."
UK: SURVEILLANCE LAW RUSHED THROUGH PARLIAMENT: Legalising what the European court said was unlawful through mass retention of all communications: Top Tory's devastating attack on our loss of privacy: This data law has nothing to do with catching terrorists - and everything to do with a lust for power (Article by David Davies MP. Daily Mail, link):
"What this Government is chasing is not public security, it is protection from blame if anything goes wrong. Those are not the same thing. One persons loss of freedom is everybodys loss of freedom, one persons loss of privacy is everybodys loss of privacy. We must stand up for our rights and not succumb to the politics of fear. Otherwise we give those who hate our civilisation an easy victory, without a shot being fired."
DRONES IN YOUR STREET?: Amazon seeks US permission to test Prime Air delivery drones - Online retailer says in letter to FAA it has made 'advancements towards development of highly automated aerial vehicles' (Guardian, link) and see Amazon letter (pdf);
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Sophie in 't Veld MEP case: Council of the European Union try to find ways round the Court judgment: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-350/12 P - Council v. Sophie In t Veld (pdf)
Dutch liberal Sophie in 't Veld wins transparency lawsuit against the Council of Ministers (ALDE group, link) See Judgment full-text: Council appeal against the judgment of May 2012 (pdf) and Judgment: May 2012 (pdf): Lawyer Onno Brouwer who represented Sophie in 't Veld in this case and others in landmark transparency cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice, challenging EU institutions on openness and accountability, says: "the Court's view that a European institution must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest is of great practical importance for journalists, interest groups and all those who wish to obtain access to EU documents".
UK-NSA: GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER: Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction (The Intercept, link) see also Guardian e-mails (pdf)
BIG DATA: UK Parliament: POSTNOTE: Big Data, Crime and Security (pdf):
"Analysing big data could provide police and security agencies with additional tools to predict and detect crime; however there is little evidence on the effectiveness of particular applications. Big data technologies enable bulk collection and analysis of electronic communications data. There is debate about the legality, necessity and proportionality of this. Public support for the use of personal data is likely to vary depending on the specific use and the perceived risks and personal and social benefits associated with the use."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Black justice campaigns prepare for new inquiry into undercover policing (IRR News, link); "an edited version of the speech given by Suresh Grover, Director of The Monitoring Group and former coordinator of the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign, at the parliamentary meeting Police Corruption and racism: an endless legacy on 23 June 2014."
EU: Amnesty International: The Human Cost of Fortress Europe: Human Rights Violations against migrants and refugees at Europe's borders (pdf) also available in Bulgarian (link), Greek (link), Turkish (link) and Spanish (link)
UK: High Court finds operation of Detained Fast Track asylum system unlawful (Detention Action, link) See: Full-text judgment (pdf)
WATER CANNON: German Bundestag: Export of discarded water cannons and their use to combat European crisis protests (Kleine Anfrage des Abgeordneten Andrej Hunko u. a. und der Fraktion DIE LINKE, German, pdf)
GERMANY-USA: Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal (euractiv, link)
USA: NSA: The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control - At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney that's a 'totalitarian mentality' (Guardian, link)
And: They Have Seen the Future of the Internet, and It Is Dark (New York Times, link), Net Threats: Experts say liberty online is challenged by nation-state crackdowns, surveillance, and pressures of commercialization of the Internet (Pew Institute, link) and Full-report (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
Digest of LIMITE documents: Comitology, Researchers, SCIFA, e-Law, Eurojust-Europol, IMS, EUBAM RAFAH and e-Law
UK: Snooper's charter or justified safeguard? The security bill explained - The government's rush to push through the bill could prove an opportunity to bring surveillance laws under democratic control (Gurdian, link)
UK: Emergency law to be rushed through parliament: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (pdf) and Explanatory Memorandum (pdf) - Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed (BBC News, link) and see:
Does the UKs new data retention bill violate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights? (EU Law Analysis, link): " the governments intention, as manifested by the Bill, to reinstitute mass surveillance of telecoms traffic data is a clear breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights." and: What are Drip and Ripa - is the UK's 'emergency' new snooping law legal? (expert-reviews, link)
UK: Jury concludes multiple police failures led to 1985 shooting of Cherry Groce (Inquest, link):
" An inquest jury found today that the death of Mrs Dorothy Cherry Groce was the result of serious and multiple police failures on the part of officers across the ranks.The jury concluded that: Mrs. Groce was shot by police during a planned surprise, forced entry raid on her home and her subsequent death was contributed to by failures in the planning and implementation of that raid. See also: Questions for the jury (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Missing minors alerts, Legal Aid, Presumption of innocence, Previous Convictions & Eurojust-EJN
- MINORS: Categorisation of missing minors alerts in SIS II - Replies from Member States (EU doc no: 6015-14,pdf)
- LEGAL AID: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11237-14, pdf)
- PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11235-14,(pdf)
- Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) - Cooperation between Eurojust and the European Judicial Network (pdf)
-. MEETINGS DOCUMENTS: Meeting documents examined by the Council Security Committee during the first semester of 2014 (EU doc no: 11454-14,pdf)
- PRUM: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures (EU doc no: 5124-rev4-14, pdf)
and: European Commission: PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS: Report on the implementation by the Member States of Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA of 24 July 2008 on taking into account of convictions in the Member States of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings (COM 312-14, pdf)
UPDATED: EU-UK: JUSTICE & HOME AFFAIRS: Protocol 36 UK "opt-out-in": Key documents now includes:UK government: Decision pursuant to Article 10(5) of Protocol 36 to The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (252 pages, pdf)
and see: Explanatory Memorandum (EM) on Commission Staff Working Document: Revised preliminary list of the former third pillar acquis 9883/14-SWD (2014) 166 Final (pdf)
USA-NSA: National Insecurity Agency: How the NSA's Surveillance Programs Undermine Internet Security (New America Foundation, link), see video.
GERMANY-USA: Second German government worker suspected of spying for US - Accused reportedly works 'in military', as Berlin still reels after intelligence agent was accused of working for CIA last week (Guardian, link)
*Back from the Battlefield &SHY; Domestic Drones in the UK*: CAMPACC meeting *Tuesday, 22 July 7-9pm at the Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1 (near Kings Cross station):
Discussion on the new publication by Statewatch: *Back from the Battlefield &SHY; Domestic Drones in the UK* by Chris Jones, published by Statewatch and Drone Wars UK The report examines the use of drones use by both public and private bodies. The main body of the research examines the use of drones by police forces and border control authorities and argues that public discussion and debate is needed before the use of drones - in particular for surveillance purposes - becomes widespread. See also press release: The discussion will be introduced by *Chris Jones*, author of the Statewatch report.The report is available to download free the annexes are in a separate document and Hard copies are also available.
UK: CIA-RENDITION: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister - Rights groups say claim that records of Diego Garcia flights are missing due to water damage 'smacks of cover-up' (Guardian, link): "The British government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water."
Climate change threatens global security, UK and US military assert (The Climate Group, link). See also: UK Ministry of Defence report: Strategic Trends Programe: Global Strategic Trends - Out to 2045 (18 MB, link) and USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Climate Change Adaptation (link)
UK should keep Trident missiles, think tank urges (IHS Jane's 360, link), see: What are Britains nuclear weapons for? (Make Wealth History, link): ""Seriously? We should renew our nuclear weapons programme so that we can continue to lead the world in discussing how to give up nuclear weapons?" See also: BASIC Trident Commission Reports (link)
EU seeks more prominent international role for European para-military police force
The European External Action Service is seeking "strengthened cooperation" with the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), a paramilitary policing organisation made up of forces from seven EU countries, in the hope that it can play a bigger role in the EU's "crisis management" missions abroad and plug the gap left by a lack of commitments from individual Member States.
UK: Additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to and from the UK (Minister, link) and see: Britain follows US in banning powerless electronic devices from flights (Guardian, link)
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs meeting: Milan, 8-9 July 2014: Agenda (pdf)
See: EU states adopt new counter-terrorism plan (euobserver, link) and Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator in close consultation with the services of the Commission and the EEAS: Foreign fighters and returnees from a counter-terrorism perspective, in particular with regard to Syria: state of play and proposals for future work (pdf)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On (The Intercept, link): "The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans - including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers - under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research (Guardian, link)
Defense Department spent millions to research social networks
Studies focused on Occupy and Middle East protests
Projects also analysed memes, celebrities and disinformation:
"Several of the DoD-funded studies went further than merely monitoring what users were communicating on their own, instead messaging unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded....
The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behaviour (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit."
EU: European Parliament: Justice and home affairs after the Stockholm Programme (EPRS, link)
EU: JUNCKER & EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Strategic Documents of the EC Candidate President to be debated (Tuesday) with the political groups in the parliament: My Five Point Plan-on-immigration: During my mandate as Commission President, I will build Europe's immigration policy on five pillars (pdf), My foreign policy objectives (pdf) and As Commission President, I will set myself five priorities (pdf)
EU-UK: JUSTICE & HOME AFFAIRS: Protocol 36 UK "opt-out-in": Key documents
See also: 1st December 2014 is approaching: will the EUs creative ambiguity on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters finally draw to an end? (European ASFJ, link): "On 1st December 2014, in compliance with art. 10 of Protocol 36 to the Lisbon treaty and after five years of legal limbo all the EU measures dealing with police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty will be treated as all the other EU legislative measures."
GERMANY-USA: CIA SPY: Official: CIA recruited German intel officer to spy for U.S. (CBS News, link):
"A German intelligence employee is accused of spying on his own country for the United States. The man was arrested last week. A U.S. official tells CBS News the CIA was involved in recruiting a German intelligence officer for the purpose of spying on the German government. This was not a rogue operation but an authorized effort to learn more about the inner workings of the German government."
see also: The NSA, the silent chancellor, and the double agent: how German ignorance left us vulnerable to the US spy game - To credibly demand change from the Americans, Merkel's government must come clean about its own mass surveillance (Guardian, link): "The Americans may be contemplating their own NSA reform, but only when Germany's ends it own mass surveillance practices and escapes from the intense cooperation with the spy network of the Five Eyes nations...."
And: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance (June 2013 - ongoing)
Shocking Video from Immigrants Detention Centre in Symi (Greek Reporter, link): "A video posted on YouTube by the Panhellenic Coast Guards Officers Federation reveals the inhumane conditions in an immigrants detention center in the island of Symi, south-eastern Aegean Sea, Greece.
And see: Detention centre protest (Cyprus Mail, link): "Four men, 3 Iranians and 1 Afghan, climbed on the roof of Menoyia Detention Center in Larnaca and threatened to kill themselves unless their demands were met."
The big Serbian information shutdown (New Internationalist, link):
"The shutdown of news websites, the removal of articles and blog posts, and cyber-attacks against journalists and bloggers have become an everyday reality. Dunja Mijatovic, who is the representative for freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has already expressed her concerns about a worrying trend of online censorship during a week when the country was hit by severe and disastrous floods.
During that week, censorship reached its peak. The government declared a state of emergency, which gave the authorities the opportunity to censor media and arrest citizens accused of inciting panic during a state of emergency &SHY; merely because they were using Facebook to criticize the governments inefficiency in dealing with the floods. An article arguing that Vucic should resign has been removed, without any explanation, from the blog section of one of the most important daily newspapers, Blic. Other websites, such as Teleprompter, featuring similar content have been also blocked."
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Neo-Nazi takes seat on Parliament Civil Liberties Committee, Schulz furious (updated) (euractiv, link): "European Parliament President Martin Schulz, anti-racism campaigners and Jewish organisations are outraged that a neo-Nazi MEP has taken a seat on the Parliaments Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee."
EU: Council of the European Union: NO MENTION OF SEARCH & RESCUE: Draft European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EU doc no: 10914-14, pdf): The operational strategy of the Council is at odds with EU policy:
"Based on the EUs founding values of human rights, freedom and democracy, the purpose of this Strategy is to secure the maritime security interests of the EU and its Member States against a plethora of risks and threats in the global maritime domain."
Earlier version of proposal: Draft EU Maritime Security Strategy (9382/14, pdf) and see: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (EU Law Analysis, link)
This is contrary to the recently adopted: 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 Member States of the EU (pdf)
BULGARIA: Trapped in Europes Quagmire: The situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria (Bordermonitoring, pdf): "rapped in Europes Quagmire: The situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria is Bordermonitorings report on Bulgaria. The making of the report was undertaken by four independent researchers and follows structural conditions in the country which place asylum-seekers and refugees in an extremely vulnerable position as well as their current precarious situation."
EU: Search & Rescue: Italy pushes 'Frontex Plus' to tackle migration crisis (euractiv, link): "While tragedies at sea involving African and Arab refugees continue to shock Europeans, Italy intends to push the migratory issue up the political agenda during its presidency, as Rome feels alone in dealing with what it considers a European "emergency. We cannot let a boat full of people sink because we dont know whose competence is to rescue them, said Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, speaking in Rome on Friday (4 July) at the opening ceremony of the Italian presidency." [emphasis added]
See also: Italy: struggling to make itself heard on migration (euobserver, link)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Abusive use of the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards (link). See also: Further calls for INTERPOL safeguards (FTI, link)
Dutch Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) officially started (link)
UK: Ministers push for new legislation to track phone usage - Lib Dems and Labour warn they will not allow any new law to become backdoor route to reinstate wider 'snooper's charter' (Guardian, link):
"Ministers are poised to pass emergency laws to require phone companies to log records of phone calls, texts and internet usage, but Labour and Liberal Democrats are warning that they will not allow any new law to become a backdoor route to reinstating a wider "snooper's charter....
Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services feel forced to act as a result of a European court of justice (ECJ) ruling in April that an EU data directive, implemented by a Labour government in 2009, was too sweeping and invaded the privacy of EU citizens."
USA: NSA SURVEILLANCE: In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are - Files provided by Snowden show extent to which ordinary Web users are caught in the net (Washinton Post, link):
"Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.
Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.
Many ... files, described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless."
See also: Germans Demand U.S. Response to Spy Allegation (New York Times, link) and: German-US relations strained by new spy scandal (euobserver, link)
UKUSA: "FIVE-EYES" agreement: SMART TARGET: Non-targetable 2nd Party Countries, Territories & Individuals (pdf). Page 2 is the most interesting as this confirms what has been established in the UK and the USA, namely that they can both spy on the rest of the world. This document states that it is "Lawful without specific authorisation" to target "Foreign national(s) overseas" in all the Five-Eyes countries. In simple terms this means the UK can spy on people in Australia and the USA can spy on people in the UK "lawfully" and without authorisation. See:
- GCHQ evidence to Tribunal (pdf)
- UK intelligence forced to reveal secret policy for mass surveillance of residents Facebook and Google use (PI, link)
- Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf) by Tony Bunyan.
UK-EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS: "OPTING-IN" or "OUT": David Cameron in talks with EU leaders over international DNA database - Ministers pledge to compensate Brussels if Britain pulls out as part of decisions over Europe-wide policing measures (Guardian, link): This refers to the UK "opting-in" to the EU's law enforcement PRUM database by the end of the year. The Prüm Decisions mandate the exchange of DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data (VRD) amongst Member States of the European Union. The Decisions also permit the exchange of personal data for the prevention of terrorist offences and joint operations by police forces of different Member States. It has been operational since 2011.
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Full list of Members and Substitutes (pdf)
USA-GERMANY: German Man Arrested as Spy Implicates U.S.(New York Times, link):
"In the latest turn in the yearlong tensions with Germany over American spying, a German man was arrested this week on suspicion of passing secret documents to a foreign power, believed to be the United States. The American ambassador, John B. Emerson, was summoned to the Foreign Office here and urged to help with what German officials called a swift clarification of the case."
USA: WIRETAPS: Report on law enforcement agencies (LEAs) authorised electronic surveillance: Wiretap Report 2013 (link): Compared to the UK this is at least a start:
"Each Wiretap Report uses tables, text, and charts to report information provided by federal and state officials on orders authorizing or approving interceptions of wire, oral, or electronic communications for the calendar year ending December 31."
USA: NSA targets the privacy-conscious (DasErste.de, link) and see: Von der NSA als Extremist gebrandmarkt (link)
UPDATED: ECJ: Dutch liberal Sophie in 't Veld wins transparency lawsuit against the Council of Ministers (ALDE group, link) See Judgment full-text: Council appeal against the judgment of May 2012 (pdf) and Judgment: May 2012 (pdf)
In July 2009, Dutch liberal MEP Sophie In't Veld (D66) demanded access to a legal opinion to the Council regarding the legal base of the SWIFT-agreement. Access to her was denied and kept secret. In 't Veld then brought action before the General Court, and won. The Council appealed against the ruling. But the European Court of Justice has now judged that the request must again be dealt with appropriately by the Council and that enhanced transparency is needed.
In 't Veld: "This is a great victory. The Court clearly states that transparency is a prerequisite for a truly democratic Europe. The European Union must develop from a Europe of diplomats, discretion and confidentiality to a Europe of citizens, administrative transparency and trust. "
Lawyer Onno Brouwer who represented Sophie in 't Veld in this case and others in landmark transparency cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice, challenging EU institutions on openness and accountability, says: "the Court's view that a European institution must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest is of great practical importance for journalists, interest groups and all those who wish to obtain access to EU documents".
The CJEU increases public access to legal advice on international treaties (EU Law Analysis, link):
"It is true to say that this process is ultimately democratic, since all international treaties agreed by the EU and third States then have to be approved by the Council, and most have to be approved by the European Parliament and often also national parliaments. However, it is not democratic in the full sense of the term, since there is a very limited opportunity for an open and public debate (as compared to the legislative process) before the negotiations have concluded."
Court of Auditors: EU auditors slam Ashtons office for lack of efficiency (euractiv, link) and official Press release (pdf). The link to the full report does not work.
GERMANY: NSA: NSA 'totalitarian,' ex-staffer tells German parliament (DW, link): "A former NSA technical chief has told Germany's parliament that the US agency has become a "totalitarian" mass collector of data. German public broadcasters say the NSA targets individuals who use encryption services." and NSA Hacks TOR in Germany, Calls Users Extremists (Cryptome, link)
And see: A thumbs-up for NSA Internet spying on foreigners (Washngton Post, link) and see: Privacy and Civil Liber0es Oversight Board report (pdf)
GREECE: Austerity, ritualism and the rise of the Neo-Nazis in contemporary Greece: A short comment (pdf) by Stratos Georgoulas (Thanks to the European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control)
UK: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: arrests, outcomes and stops and searches, quarterly update to 31 December 2013, Great Britain (link) and Tables (link)
EU: EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS): Council of the European Union: The EDPS as an advisor to EU institutions on policy and legislation building on ten years of experience - Policy Paper (pdf)
UK: Failure to protect girls from FGM is 'ongoing national scandal', MPs say - Cross-party committee calls for schools to lose funding if headteachers ignore guidance on female genital mutilation (Guardian, link)
See Home Affairs Select Committee report: Female genital mutilation: the case for a national action plan (pdf)
UK: Government publishes response to consultation on whistleblowing framework. See: Whistleblowing Framework (pdf)
"Despite acknowledging that the consultation was prompted by an acknowledgement that there were weaknesses in the framework, so that the legislation has not always achieved its intended outcome, the Government is not planning any significant legislative amendments to the current framework, and has certainly fallen short of the expectations set by the Whistleblowing Commission."
From the government's paper: "The actions in response to this call for evidence are aimed at facilitating a cultural change. We hope that as a result, employers will start to embrace the role of whistleblowing and we will be identifying employers who have done this in order to show others what value it can bring."
INDIA: NSA SURVEILLANCE: India to lodge protest with US over NSA snooping on BJP - The Indian government will seek an assurance from the US that there won't be a repetition of the incident. (Yahoo News, link): " India on Wednesday summoned the US diplomats in the national capital after reports surfaced that the National Security Agency of America was allowed to spy on the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2010, NDTV reports."
UPDATED: UK: DENMARK: Unions launch legal challenge to blacklist compensation scheme (The Construction Index, link) and RMT DELEGATES gave their full backing yesterday to the vital fight against the national scandal of blacklisting (Morning Star, link)
Blacklisting discovered at international employment agency (UCATT, link):
"A former manager of Atlanco Rimec speaking anonymously on the programme, said: Atlanco Rimec does not tolerate workers who have dealings with unions. That is a complete no-no in the company because unions can cause a lot of problems.
"Construction union UCATT are demanding that the Government takes immediate action after an international employment agency, which operates in the UK, was discovered to be blacklisting workers who joined a trade union. The company Atlanco Rimec has an office in Northampton. A programme to be shown on Danish TV channel DR1 today (May 15), reveals that the company has a secret register of workers. Workers who complain about pay or join a trade union are not given further work.
Atlanco Rimec has thousands of construction workers on its books and operates internationally in England, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Poland, Norway and Australia."
UK: Women duped by Met undercover officers win high court ruling - Met cannot use 'neither confirm nor deny' in response to claims for damages by those tricked into forming sexual relationships (Guardian, link):
"Women claiming damages from the Metropolitan police after being tricked into forming sexual relationships with undercover officers have won a legal victory in the high court in their ongoing battle for compensation. Mr Justice Bean said on Wednesday that the London force could no longer relay on issuing a "neither confirm nor deny"
See: Judgment - Full-text (pdf) and NCND Statement (pdf)
See also Statewatch Journal: Informants, Spies and Subversion
UK: GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Global internet service and communications providers file complaint to end GCHQ attacks (PI, link) Lodged against the Foreign Secretary and GCHQ by Greenet, Riseup Networks, Mango email service, Korean Progressive Network (JINBONET), GREENHOST, MEDIA JUMPSTART, INC, CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB: see: Legal complaint filed (link)
FRANCE: Police evict migrants from main Calais camp (The Local, link): "Just a month after riot police cleared out several makeshift migrant camps in Calais, officers moved in early on Wednesday to shut down the main squat. Officials' tough stance on the migrants, most of whom hope to get to the UK, has drawn criticism from humanitarian groups."
and see: Activists and campaigners present in Calais (French, link):
""A political solution is necessary: since the closure of Sangatte in 2002, the only response of national and local authorities was police repression and to deny people the basics of life in order to discourage them from staying in Calais. Obviously, it does not work and produces a situation of suffering and violation of rights."
They have urged people to provide money and material support for the migrants: "They only get one meal a day, everyone is hungry all the time. There are no tents to give, no blankets, not enough clothes and shoes. The associations who supported the migrants for so many years were already in crisis and are unable to provide sufficiently. Please make a donation, it is an emergency. People who arrive are often sleeping with nothing."
SWITZERLAND: Successful first step in challenging Swiss data retention (link)
EU-USA: Europe Eyes Digital Agenda to Better Compete with the US (Spiegel Online, link)
USA: NSA-SURVEILLANCE: Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show (Washington Post, link): "Virtually no foreign government is off-limits for the National Security Agency, which has been authorized to intercept information concerning all but four countries, according to top-secret documents." and The N.S.A. Can Spy on These 193 Foreign Governments (New York Times, link): "Thats every single country except Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand" (ie: every country except Five-Eyes partners)
See: Court authorisation (pdf) and 193 countries list (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Opinion No 28 of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies: Ethics of Security and Surveillance Technologies (112 pages, pdf)
EU anti-discrimination law: Six years and (still) waiting (euobserver, link): "Today (2 July), the European Union 'celebrates' a sadly recurrent anniversary: six years ago, on 2 July 2008, the European Commission proposed a directive on equal treatment. "
EU: Council of the European Union: new Regulation on Data Protection:
- State of Play in the Council developing its "position" prior to meeting with the European Parliament: 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) (259 pages, doc no: 11028-14. 30 June 2014, pdf)
- State of Play: With Member States' positions: 606 reservations (145 pages, doc no: 110914, 30 June 2014, pdf)
EU: Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN): Violations of the Rights of Migrants and Refugees at Sea (pdf) by Marie Martin:
"As the European Council sets to adopt strategic guidelines for further legislative and operational planning in the area of freedom, security, and justice. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) warns that the security approach so far adopted not only undermines the rights of migrants and refugees, but also endangers their lives."
CZECH REPUBLIC: Torture and ill-treatment banned under international law still evident in Czech Republic psychiatric hospitals (MDAC, link):
"Despite international outcry ten years ago, people are still caged and strapped in psychiatric hospitals throughout the Czech Republic. Later today, MDAC launches a damning report calling for urgent action to stop these barbaric practices, in conjunction with our Czech partners the League of Human Rights."
See: Report (English, pdf) and Report (Czech, pdf)
Acknowledge and apologize for the wrongful imprisonment and torture of Abou ElKassim Britel (Change.org, link) Britel has since been released, this is an appeal. See also Statewatch coverage: Italy: Documents sent to European Parliament committee on renditions allege other renditions and details of Abu Omar cover-up and the Britel rendition
USA: SURVEILLANCE OF "FOREIGNERS": Under FISA Section 702 there was a single Order for gathering "foreign intelligence" which involved 89,138 "targets" As in the UK a "target" can be a single person or an organisation although data of this kind is never published in the UK:
"Within the Intelligence Community, the term target has multiple meanings. For example, target could be an individual person, a group, or an organization composed of multiple individuals or a foreign power that possesses or is likely to communicate foreign intelligence information that the U.S. government is authorized to acquire.....in the context of Section 702 the term target is generally used to refer to the act of intentionally directing intelligence collection at a particular person, a group, or organization."
See USA: IntelligenceTransparency report - full text (pdf) See also: U.S. releases data on sensitive surveillance programs for first time (Washington Post, link): "The U.S. government on Friday for the first time released data on the scope of some of its most sensitive foreign intelligence-gathering efforts, saying that it had targeted nearly 90,000 foreign persons or organizations for surveillance through U.S. companies last year."
Italy rescues migrants and finds 30 bodies in boat (euractiv, link):
"About 30 bodies have been found in a migrant boat which was stopped between Sicily and the North African coast, Italian news agencies reported this morning (30 June), citing the navy and coastguard.
The rescuers made the gruesome discovery when they boarded a fishing boat carrying around 590 refugees and migrants to evacuate those in most distress, including two pregnant women."
GERMANY: NSA: German government to drop Verizon over NSA spying fears (Washington Post, link): ""There are indications that Verizon is legally required to provide certain things to the NSA, and that's one of the reasons the cooperation with Verizon won't continue," German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told AP. Verizon has provided Internet service to a number of German government departments but not intelligence to agencies according to Plate."
EU COUNCIL: FROM A JHA "PROGRAMME" TO GENERAL "GUIDELINES": Guidelines for area of freedom, security and justice (pdf): "The European Council defined the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning for the coming years within the area of freedom, security and justice."
See: The new guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: some critical comments (link) and Presidency Trio programme: Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg (pages 47-60, pdf)
EU: "SOLIDARITY CLAUSE": The EU solidarity clause is leading to a militarisation of home-affairs policy (pdf) Press release: "On Tuesday, the representatives of the EU Member States in the Council adopted a decision on the so-called 'solidarity clause'. Were a disaster or a loosely defined crisis to occur, the organs of the European Union would be obliged to assist using all the instruments at their disposal. This includes military resources", warned Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko."
Implementation of the solidarity clause (Council Press release, pdf) and see: Statewatch coverage:
- EU police special forces network to become "more and more useful" and to receive increased financial support
- EU: Implementing the "solidarity clause": EU secret service to be reinforced?
- EU: Solidarity or militarisation? Proposed 'solidarity clause' legislation criticised for lack of clarity and "encouraging armament"
EU: European Commission: Internal security and European Defence industry:
- The final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014 (pdf)
- A New Deal for European Defence: Commission proposes industrial action plan (pdf): "measures to strengthen the Single Market for defence, to promote a more competitive defence industry and to foster synergies between civil and military research including details and timelines for the actions. "
EU: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (EU Law Analysis, link):
"the complex interplay of the provisions of this Regulation with EU asylum law has led to something of a dogs dinner of rules governing the asylum applications of people rescued or intercepted in the Mediterranean, and the rules on the accountability of Frontex are something of a red herring in light of the allegations of serious misconduct in some cases by national authorities."
See: 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 Member States of the EU (pdf)
BULGARIA: People & Power - Bulgaria: Wrestled to the Ground (link): "For over a year now Bulgaria, a modern EU member state, has been struggling with its troubled history and torn over where to go next. But what lies behind these divisions, and can they ever be reconciled? And are they really, as many Bulgarians seem to think, the consequence of a toxic legacy from its communist years?"
UK: Justice vanishes: the erosion of the rule of law (IRR News, link) by Frances Webber: "The ability to secure justice has been irrevocably damaged by the combination of secret trials, trials involving secret evidence, and the continuing legal aid cuts affecting the rule of law itself."
UK: Review into undercover policing convictions (BBC News, link):
" review into criminal convictions in cases involving undercover police officers has been announced by the government. Home Secretary Theresa May said that the review will initially focus on the undercover police activity of the Metropolitan Police's Special Demonstration Squad. The review will be conducted by Mark Ellison QC, who also probed the handling of the Stephen Lawrence investigation."
and see Written Statement by Home Secretary (link)
EU: COPYRIGHT: European Commission: White Paper (pdf)
CYPRUS: 25.06.2014 26 June, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: The United Nations Committee Against Torture published its concluding observations and recommendations on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Cyprus (KISA, link):
""In the context of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, KISA Action for Equality, Supporrt, Antiracism sounds the alarm and highlights the fact that during the past week there were three suicide attempts in the Mennogeia Detention Center."
See Committee Against Torture: Concluding observations on the fourth report on Cyprus (pdf)
EU-USA SURVEILLANCE: EU-U.S. Justice Ministerial in Athens: Vice-President Reding welcomes U.S. announcement on data protection umbrella agreement (pdf) and Fact sheet (pdf)
US to extend privacy protection rights to EU citizens - EU and human rights and privacy groups welcome pledge, which follows pressure in wake of Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)
UK: SURVEILLANCE: Home secretary denies security services engaged in mass surveillance - May uses Mansion House speech to make case for reviving 'snooper's charter' legislation, calling it matter of 'life and death' (Guardian, link) and see: Theresa May says the UK is not a surveillance state, but her proposed law might create one (The Conversation, link)
European Court of Justice: The CJEU ensures basic democratic and judicial accountability of the EUs foreign policy (EU Law Analysis, link) and see: Judgment (pdf)
European Parliament: Le Pen vows far-right EU Parliament group by end of the year (euractiv, link)
EU: IRISS Press Release Study finds 4 in 10 organisations obstruct our access to our own data (link) and see: Executive Summary and Data (link):
"An international study that examines the obstacles facing citizens in accessing their personal data will be presented at a conference in Sheffield this week. It finds serial malpractice and obfuscation on the part of public and private sector organisations when citizens seek clarification of what these organisations know about them. The study forms part of the IRISS (Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies) project, funded by the European Union. It documents the actual experience citizens have when trying to use the law to access their data."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): A modern internet governance model should be universal and respectful of fundamental freedoms (Press release, pdf):
"The efforts of the European Union (EU) to build an integrated model of internet governance and data protection should be complemented by an effective reform of the EUs own legal framework and the swift adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation, said the European Data Protection Supervisor ,,,
Given the increasingly dominant role of the internet in our everyday lives and its importance in driving economic growth, it is essential that the EUs efforts to build a model of internet governance that respects the individual's rights to privacy and data protection are not made in isolation. The EDPS supports a broad representation of groups and organisations from civil society and industry with particular attention being paid to balance the representation of internet giants. Data protection is essential to restoring users confidence in the internet so the protection of fundamental rights on the internet cannot be left to self-regulation alone"
EU lawyers tell Member States: Blanket communications data retention "no longer possible" (German Working Group on Data Retention: The Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (AK Vorrat), link):
"Denmark, the UK, and many other EU governments have so far refused to follow April's landmark ruling by the EU Court of Justice annulling the Data Retention Directive, which required Telecommunications and Internet Service Providers to store detailed records about all of their customers' communications and Internet use. But civil liberties campaigners AK Vorrat have now obtained internal documents showing that at a recent closed meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers the Council's Legal Services stated that paragraph 59 of the European Court of Justice's ruling on the Data Retention Directive "suggests that general and blanket data retention is no longer possible". "
And see: NGO Letter (link)
EU-UKRAINE: European External Action Service: Revised Crisis Management Concept for a civilian CSDP mission in support of Security Sector Reform in Ukraine (55 pages, pdf) and Council of the European Union: Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management: Draft CivCom advice on the Crisis Management Concept for a civilian CSDP Mission in support of Security Sector Reform in Ukraine (pdf)
UK: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: The Rights of European Citizens and their Spouses to Come to the UK: Inspecting the Application Process and the Tackling of Abuse (70 pages, pdf)
EU: Meijers Committee: Letter to Commissioner Reding: Note on Commission's Communication: "A New EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law" (pdf)
USA-NSA: EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say (link): "Classified files leaked to Danish media suggest some EU states are allowing US spies to install surveillance equipment on cables in order to intercept the emails, private phone calls, and Internet chats of their citizens." and see:
How Secret Partners Expand NSAs Surveillance Dragnet (The Intercept, link): It has already been widely reported that the NSA works closely with eavesdropping agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as part of the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance. But the latest Snowden documents show that a number of other countries, described by the NSA as third-party partners, are playing an increasingly important role by secretly allowing the NSA to install surveillance equipment on their fiber-optic cables."
See documents: Special Source Operations: The Cryptologic Provider of Intelligence from Global High-Capacity Telecommunications Systems (pdf), RAMPART: Project overview (pdf), Danish cooperation with NSA (pdf) and Foreign Partner access (pdf): Includes RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP: "RAMPART-A has access to over 3 Terabits per second..." and WINDSTOP, including second partners, covering e-mails, web, internet chat and VOIP:: "to develop a well-integrated, over-arching architecture to utilize unprecedented access to communications into and out of Europe and the Middle East."
Google must remove list of websites around the world, Canadian court rules (Gigaon, link): "A court in Canada just told Google it must delete search results from around the world. The ruling is the latest in a troubling series of cases ordering search engines to remove information."
In the USA: House of Representatives moves to ban NSA's 'backdoor search' provision (Guardian, link): "Members vote 293 to 121 to stop NSA performing warrantless searches of data collected under foreign surveillance program" and what will happen now? Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it (Guardian, link): " the real hurdle remains in the Senate, where these strengthened provisions will still have to be adopted and passed on to Obama's desk if they have any chance of having an affect. That is still a long shot, but the pressure's not going away."
UNHCR: World Refugee Day: Global forced displacement tops 50 million for first time in post-World War II era (Press release, link) Se full: Global Trends Report (link)
GERMANY-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New NSA Revelations: Inside Snowden's Germany File (Spiegel Online, link)
"An analysis of secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden demonstrates that the NSA is more active in Germany than anywhere else in Europe -- and that data collected here may have helped kill suspected terrorists."
The NSA in Germany: Snowden's Documents Available for Download (Spiegel Online, link)
"In Edward Snowden's archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency's operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files."
See: documents on Tempora and Fornsat collection operations (pdfs)
IRELAND-EU: High Court refers Facebook privacy case to Europe (Irish Times, link) Judgment (18 June, pdf)
"The High Court has referred questions raised by a case taken by an Austrian privacy activist over the alleged mass transfer of personal data to US intelligence services to the European Court of Justice. Privacy campaigner Max Schrems had argued that the Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, wrongly refused to investigate whistleblower Edward Snowdens claims that Dublin-based Facebook International had passed on its EU users data to the US National Security Agency as part of its Prism surveillance programme. While the judge did not find in Mr Schremss favour today, he adjourned the case pending a reference to the European court."
UK: Government's defence of surveillance unconvincing, says ex-watchdog (Guardian, link)
"The government's arguments for justifying the mass monitoring of the internet are "unconvincing" and based on exploiting "loopholes" in legislation, the former chief surveillance inspector has said. Sam Lincoln, who served for seven years as the head of the Office of Surveillance Commissioners, said the revelations by Edward Snowden had damaged public confidence, and security establishment arguments were not being accepted by sections of the public."
GREECE-GERMANY: Greece is 1 of 196 Countries Monitored by Germany (Greek Reporter, link)
"According to Greek news, Greece is among the 196 countries that are currently being monitored by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Considering Germanys strong opposition when Snowden revealed the U.S. spying activities, this came as a surprise."
EU-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Europe v Facebook: the beginning of the end for NSA spying on EU citizens? (EU Law Analysis blog, link)
"Todays decision by the Irish High Court to send questions in the Europe v Facebook case to the CJEU raises the possibility that the NSAs access to EU citizens personal data might soon come to an end. But its not clear if the CJEU will address the most essential issues directly, because the case raises a number of complex legal issues that need to be examined in more detail."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Council (26 and 27 June 2014) - Draft Conclusions (8284/14, pdf)
"In accordance with Article 2(3)(a) of the Council's Rules of Procedure, delegations will find attached the draft conclusions prepared by the President of the European Council, in close cooperation with the member of the European Council representing the Member State holding the six-monthly Presidency of the Council and with the President of the Commission."
Statewatch analysis: Border security exports: dividing lands across the globe, by April Humble (pdf)
Border control has become big business in recent years. European and North American companies dominate the international security industry, within which border security technologies play a key role. Border security capabilities now flow out of the west and have facilitated a heightening of border controls across national state borders around the globe. Western governments work alongside their favoured companies to expand the industry. The growth of global border security sales and systems has a huge impact on mobility dynamics, local politics and human rights across the world.
EU: The new guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: some critical comments (EU Law Analysis blog, link)
"In the coming days the European Council will debate and adopt the long awaited Guidelines which will shape the future of the EU's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice for forthcoming years. These guidelines follow the end of the current Stockholm Programme (2009-2014) and come near the end of the last transitional period for the measures adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (what remains of the former intergovernmental 'third pillar' cooperation)."
IRELAND: GSOC's culture of paranoia has cast cloud over garda watchdog (independent.ie, link) Inquiry into Reports of Unlawful Surveillance of Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, by Judge John D. Cooke (pdf)
"When it comes to enjoying the confidence of the people, credibility is crucial. But in the aftermath of the Cooke Report, credibility is something the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission is sorely lacking."
EU: The reform of Europol: modern EU agency, or intergovernmental dinosaur? (EU Law Analysis blog, link)
"With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament (EP) now has joint powers with the Council as regards the adoption of a Regulation governing Europol, and the Treaty now refers expressly to the importance of ensuring accountability to both national parliaments and the EP. Furthermore, the EU institutions agreed in 2012 a Common Understanding on standard rules which would apply to the governance of EU agencies. To expand Europols powers further, while addressing the issues of governance, accountability and data protection, the Commission proposed a new Regulation reconstituting Europol in 2013.
At the most recent Justice and Home Affairs Council, ministers agreed the Councils position on the Commissions proposal. Since the European Parliament also recently agreed its own position, this clears the way for negotiations to take place between the two institutions for a final deal, once the EP is fully operational again following the recent elections. This is therefore a good time to examine the progress of discussions on the proposed Regulation so far."
EU: Council of the European Union documents:
18 month programme of the Council (1 July 2014 - 31 December 2015) (10948/1/14, pdf) Prepared by the future Italian, Latvian and Luxembourg Presidencies and the High Representative, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council.
Draft European Union Maritime Security Strategy (10915/14, pdf)
Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties - Transmission of a document of the Services of the Commission (10168/14, pdf)
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK intelligence forced to reveal secret policy for mass surveillance of residents Facebook and Google use (Privacy International, link)
"Britains top counter-terrorism official has been forced to reveal a secret Government policy justifying the mass surveillance of every Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google user in the UK. This disturbing policy was made public due to a legal challenge brought by Privacy International, Liberty, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, Pakistani organisation Bytes for All, and five other national civil liberties organisations. The statement, from Charles Farr, the Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, claims that the indiscriminate interception of UK residents Facebook and Google communications would be permitted under law because they are defined as external communications."
See: Social media mass surveillance is permitted by law, says top UK official (Guardian, link) Charles Farr witness statement (pdf)
For background: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf)
EU: Police forces get ready for multi-billion euro policing and security funds
Europe's police forces are preparing to take advantage of the billions of euros available in EU funding over the next few years. Member States' representatives unveiled plans to coordinate their work and cooperate on funding bids at a recent meeting of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS). They are hoping to access funding from the EU's 77 billion research programme Horizon 2020, which has a security theme worth 1.6 billion, as well as the Internal Security Fund, which will make just over 1 billion available to police forces for projects aimed at enhancing cooperation.
EU: Council of the European Union: 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 (5831/14, 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."
EU: Council of the European Union: Annual report on the 2013 activities of the Central Unit of Eurodac pursuant to Article 24(1) of Regulation (EC) No 2725/2000 (10898/14, pdf) "A letter from Executive Director of eu-LISA and the above report."
UK-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How much is too much - did Edward Snowden expose the dark side of our 'surveillance society'? (The Courier, link) "Are our personal freedoms being eroded in the name of safety and national security? Helen Brown talked to Tony Bunyan of Statewatch, which monitors state activities and civil liberties in the EU."
EU: STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Council of the European Union: Future development of the JHA area - Letter of the Hellenic Presidency to the President of the European Council (doc no: 10753-14, 10 June, pdf) Note: the European Parliament is not in session and won't be until at least the middle of July.
"The Hellenic Presidency believes that the debate in the Council demonstrated the importance of consolidating the progress achieved so far in the JHA area and of creating greater trust and closer links between different stakeholders. Member States were equally affirmative on the need to improve the link between the EU's internal and external policies, in order to create synergies and adopt a comprehensive approach to tackling the complex geo-political neighbourhood of the EU, the ever-evolving security challenges and the consequences of the global economic crisis."
See also: Council of the European Union: Future development of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice (doc no: 9531-14, 16 May 2014, pdf) Council Presidency paper for COREPER (the high-level committee of permanent national representatives based in Brussels) to discuss. The first full draft of the Programme to be adopted under the Italian Presidency. See: The next Justice and Home Affairs Programme: everything changed, so nothing can change? (link) by Henri Labayle and Emilio De Capitani
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: European Conference of Data Protection Authorities: Resolution on the revision of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108) (pdf)
"Aware of the major challenges and the risks posed by technological developments, and by the increasing tendency on the part of governments to carry out mass surveillance of individuals, the Conference confirms the need to modernise and strengthen the various legal frameworks for data protection, drawing on existing principles...the Conference calls on Council of Europe member states and the States Parties to Convention 108 to preserve and, where possible, increase the current level of protection afforded by the Convention..."
US: BIG DATA: Report to the President from the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology: Big data and privacy: a technological perspective (pdf)
"In light of the continuing proliferation of ways to collect and use information about people, PCAST recommends that policy focus primarily on whether specific uses of information about people affect privacy adversely. It also recommends that policy focus on outcomes, on the what rather than the how, to avoid becoming obsolete as technology advances. The policy framework should accelerate the development and commercialization of technologies that can help to contain adverse impacts on privacy, including research into new technological options. By using technology more effectively, the Nation can lead internationally in making the most of big datas benefits while limiting the concerns it poses for privacy. Finally, PCAST calls for efforts to assure that there is enough talent available with the expertise needed to develop and use big data in a privacy-sensitive way."
Report from the Executive Office of the President: Big data: seizing opportunities, preserving values (pdf)
"Big data technologies will be transformative in every sphere of life. The knowledge discovery they make possible raises considerable questions about how our framework for privacy protec-tion applies in a big data ecosystem. Big data also raises other concerns. A significant finding of this report is that big data analytics have the potential to eclipse longstanding civil rights protec-tions in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education, and the marketplace. Americans relationship with data should expand, not diminish, their opportuni-ties and potential."
See: NTIA Leads Privacy Bill of Rights Review in Light of `Big Data' Trend (Bloomberg BNA, link) "National Telecommunications and Information Administration unveils effort to review administration's 2012 consumer 'privacy bill of rights' in light of 'big data' developments."
EU: "Foreign fighters" phenomenon spurs dozens of new counter-terrorism policies
At last week's meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, EU Member States' interior ministers adopted two documents related to counter-terrorism: the Revised EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism and Council Conclusions on Terrorism and Border Security. Neither is binding on the Member States but they represent a commitment towards particular policy goals. The ongoing "foreign fighter" phenomenon is leading to the development of a vast new array of counter-terrorism policies and initiatives.
UK: Boris Johnson to buy three water cannon for Metropolitan police (Guardian, link) Document from the mayor's policing and crime website authorising the purchase (pdf)
"London mayor justifies the speed of the £218,000 purchase by saying the machines are needed in case of disorder this summer...The purchase from the German federal police is the first by a force in Great Britain. Critics say the decision smacks of "arrogance". It comes before Theresa May, the home secretary, has reached a decision on whether to sanction their use."
Background: UK: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting
UK-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Big Brother gone mad? Expert talks state surveillance (STV Dundee, link) Tony Bunyan, Director of Statewatch, will be speaking at a free event Spying on us all: Snowden, UK-GCHQ and USA-NSA, at Dundee University this weekend.
DATA SURVEILLANCE: Global security analysis reveals widespread government apathy following Snowden disclosures (The Privacy Surgeon, link) Full report: A Crisis of Accountability: A global analysis of the impact of the Snowden revelations (pdf)
"A global analysis published today reveals that the overwhelming majority of the worlds governments have failed to take any meaningful action in the wake of the disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The report, A Crisis of Accountability, has been published by the Privacy Surgeon and is based on collaboration with expert contributors from eighteen countries. The analysis determined that a large majority of governments have not responded in any tangible, measurable way to the disclosures that began in June 2013."
GREECE: Hunger strike against 18+ detention in Corinth detention centre (Infomobile, link)
"On June 9th, 2014 refugees detained in Corinth detention centre began a hunger strike to protest against indefinite detention. In February 2014, the Greek authorities had announced a policy of indefinite detention until repatriation, based on an opinion of the Legal Council of the Greek State. Only recently Athens court considered in an appeal-case of an Afghan refugee that the detention of more than 18 months is against national and European legislation and asked for it to be revoked."
Letter from the detainees
"Today on 9.6.2014 we people detained in the detention centre of Corinth have started a hunger strike. We feel an immense pressure due to our unknown destinies. We protest against the illegal extension of the detention duration to more than 18 months!"
See also: Amigdaleza: When the Great Wolves eat the Light (Infomobile, link)
And: Statewatch Journal, February 2014: Borders, deaths and resistance (link)
UN: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai (pdf)
"In sections I and II of the report, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of the activities he carried out between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014. In section III, he assesses the threats to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for groups most at risk. The Special Rapporteur outlines his conclusions and recommendations in section IV."
UK: Met Police urge Londoners to be vigilant to potential terror attacks (Evening Standard, link)
"Londoners are being urged to be vigilant to the threat of terror attacks in a week long initiative launched today. Hundreds of officers will be deployed on patrols at Tube and rail stations and in crowded areas such as shopping centres across the capital. Counter terror officials said the operation was routine but it comes amid increasing fears about the threat posed by British jihadist fighters returning from the Syrian civil war."
Odysseus network Summer School on "Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy of the European Union", 30 June - 11 July (link)
"The aim of the Summer School is to provide its participants with an comprehensive understanding of the immigration and asylum policy of the European Union from a legal point of view."
UK: Predictive policing: mapping the future of policing? (Open Democracy, link)
"New predictive policing technologies seem to promise crime reduction. But predictive policing also threatens the extension of policing biases; risks to privacy emergent from the data gathering required; and neglect of alternative interventions tackling the root causes of crime. Are the trade offs too large?"
Human Rights Watch: Keep Killer Robots Out of Policing (press release, link)
"Fully autonomous weapons, or killer robots, would jeopardize basic human rights, whether used in wartime or for law enforcement..."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 5-6 June 2014, Luxembourg: Final press release (both days, pdf)
See also: Background note (pdf) Agenda (pdf) "B" Points agenda (for discussion, pdf) "A" Points agenda non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) First day press release (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Foreign fighter and returnees from a counter-terrorism perspective (11928/13, pdf)
"At its meeting on 7 and 8 June 2013, the Council agreed to instruct the Working Party for Schengen Matters to make suggestions by November 2013 for an increased and harmonised use of the SIS alert system in the context of jihadists travelling from Europe in great numbers to Syria and other hotspots, which constitutes a serious problem for European internal security."
UK: Vodafone reveals direct government wiretaps (BBC, link)
"Vodafone has said that a small number of governments have direct access to communications flowing over its networks. Most countries Vodafone operates in need a warrant to intercept communications, the firm said. However, in some countries police have a direct link to customer's phone calls and web communications."
EU: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE): 'Crucial gaps' in the legal framework on search and rescue in the Mediterranean (link) Full report (pdf)
"Important efforts by member states, Italy in particular, have been engaged towards saving more lives at sea. However, a number of concerns still remain including failures to cooperate, define and admit responsibility and learn lessons from the latest tragic events, emphasises Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) in her second report on the left-to-die boat which will be debated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at its next plenary session in Strasbourg (23-27 June 2014)."
See also: Human Rights Watch: Make Saving Lives at Sea Top Priority (link)
"European Union ministers meeting in Luxembourg on June 5, 2014, should back stronger action to save migrant and refugee lives at sea. The ministers should also improve access to protection in Europe for refugees fleeing Syria and others fleeing persecution and abuse."
EU-INTERPOL-WEST AFRICA: Creating the West African Police Information System (WAPIS): Improving responses to organised crime and drug trafficking along the cocaine route" (INTERPOL presentation, 28-30 May, Rome, pdf)
WAPIS was invented and paid for by the EU and Interpol and launched its "Programme Office" in Abuja in January: ECOWAS, INTERPOL, EU move against transnational organized crime in West Africa (link)
See also: EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa
EU: Agency for Fundamental Rights: National intelligence authorities and surveillance in the EU: Fundamental rights safeguards and remedies (link)
See also: Four ways Edward Snowden changed the world and why the fight's not over (Guardian, link)
"But along with the changes Snowden sparked, vital questions remain about how and if the National Security Agency and its global spy apparatus will truly be reformed. Many wheels are finally in motion, but will the US Congress and the courts actually respond in a meaningful way? In truth, the second year of Snowden may be more important than the first. It's when we'll see if global privacy rights get protected for the better or if mass surveillance becomes more entrenched in our laws than ever before. For now, it's important to take stock in looking ahead to the next chapter."
Edward Snowden, a year on: reformers frustrated as NSA preserves its power (Guardian, link)
"For two weeks in May, it looked as though privacy advocates had scored a tenuous victory against the widespread surveillance practices exposed by Edward Snowden a year ago. Then came a resurgent intelligence community, armed with pens, and dry, legislative language."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 5-6 June 2014, Luxembourg: Background note (pdf) Agenda (pdf) "B" Points agenda (for discussion, pdf) "A" Points agenda non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) First day press release (pdf)
GERMANY-US-NSA: Germany Begins Inquiry of U.S. in Surveillance Case (New York Times, link) Germany opens inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone (Guardian, link)
"Germany's federal prosecutor has defied public expectations by opening an investigation into the alleged tapping of Angela Merkel's mobile phone by the US's National Security Agency...Merkel had complained to Barack Obama in person about the alleged tapping of her phone last October, but the federal court's investigation, which will be against unnamed persons, would constitute the first formal response to the affair. The German government has reportedly announced its support for the investigation."
EU: Court of Justice: Judgment in Case C-146/14 PPU, Bashir Mohamed Ali Mahdi: A courts review of an extension of detention must permit it to substitute its own decision for that of the authority which ordered the initial detention of an illegally staying third-country national (press release, pdf)
UK: Court to hear issues against Met police over SDS deployments, as women issue legal challenge to NCND (Police Spies Out of Lives, press release)
"On Thursday 5 June and Friday 6 June 2014, the main issues in a case against the Metropolitan Police over undercover relationships will be laid out for the first time in open court. The High Court will hear an application to require the Metropolitan police to drop their neither confirm nor deny (NCND) stance. NCND has been one of many delaying tactics used by the Met to maintain secrecy over the legal action against them, despite the very serious allegations that have been made by the Claimants."
UK: Major terrorism trial could be held in secret for first time in UK legal history (Guardian, link)
"A major terrorism trial is set to be held entirely in secret for the first time in British legal history in an unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice, the court of appeal has heard. The identities of the two defendants charged with serious terror offences are being withheld from the public, and the media are banned from being present in court to report the forthcoming trial against the two men, known only as AB and CD."
ITALY: European elections: incumbent pro-EU government wins despite appeal of Eurosceptic forces
Italy's European elections saw Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's staunchly pro-EU Democratic party (DP, Partito Democratico) win 40.8% of the vote and 31 of Italy's 73 seats in the European Parliament, where it sits as part of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) bloc. Despite this clear victory for pro-EU forces, there are also signs of the Eurosceptic and far-right support that has been the main talking point of the elections across the continent.
GCHQ-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Expert opinion from Douwe Korff, Emeritus Professor of International Law, prepared for the Committee of Inquiry of the Bundestag
into the 5EYES global surveillance systems revealed by Edward Snowden: Full text (pdf) Summary (pdf)
"This paper seeks to provide answers to the questions put to me by the Committee of Inquiry, under the heading Leitfragen für die Sachverständigengutachten Anhörung 3, Teil 2 Rechtslage Völker- und Europarecht...In addressing the questions, I have tried to be systematic, distinguishing between different areas of (international) law, and between subjects of the law involved, substantive standards and remedies (both individual and inter-state)."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: The EU should ensure an area of freedom, security and justice with the rights of individuals at its core: Press release (pdf) Opinion (pdf)
"The EDPS today called on the European Council to place the rights of individuals at the core of justice and security policies in the years to come. The intention of the European Council to define strategic guidelines under the current treaties, for further legislative and operational planning in the area of freedom, security and justice is an opportunity to revitalise the EU's approach in these areas and to repair the loss of trust resulting from the revelations about mass surveillance."
GCHQ-NSA: There's No Good Reason for Spy Agencies to Snoop on Humanitarian Groups (Slate, link)
"The news that the CIA is no longer using vaccination programs as a front for spying operations may come as a relief to many humanitarian workers. Yet their fears should not be completely assuaged, because the CIAs activitieswhich undoubtedly threatened the safety of humanitarian workers and those they seek to helppale in comparison to the surveillance that the NSA is conducting on humanitarian organizations across the globe."
BULGARIA: Human Rights Watch: Bulgarias Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and Other Asylum Seekers and Migrants (press release, link) Full report (pdf)
"Bulgaria has embarked on a Containment Plan to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others as they irregularly cross the border from Turkey.
The 76-page report, Containment Plan: Bulgarias Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and other Asylum Seekers and Migrants, documents how in recent months Bulgarian border police, often using excessive force, have summarily returned people who appear to be asylum seekers to Turkey. The people have been forced back across the border without proper procedures and with no opportunity to lodge asylum claims. Bulgaria should end summary expulsions at the Turkish border, stop the excessive use of force by border guards, and improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention in police stations and migrant detention centers."
UK-GCHQ: GCHQ's beyond top secret Middle Eastern internet spy base (Register, link)
"Above-top-secret details of Britains covert surveillance programme - including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East - have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by fugitive NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden. Government pressure has meant that some media organisations, despite being in possession of these facts, have declined to reveal them. Today, however, the Register publishes them in full."
EU: Council of the European Union: Criminal Justice documents:
- on taking into account of convictions in the Member States of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings (COM 2014 312, pdf)
- on prevention and settlement of conflicts of exercise of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings (COM 2014 313, pdf)
Europe faces 'colossal humanitarian catastrophe' of refugees dying at sea (Guardian, link)
"The United Nations has been forced to consider establishing refugee holding centres in north Africa and the Middle East due to the spiralling numbers of migrants attempting perilous journeys across the Mediterranean in a desperate effort to reach Europe."
HUNGARY-NORWAY: Hungary raids NGOs, accuses Norway of political meddling (Reuters, link)
"Hungarian government agents on Monday raided the offices of three non-government organizations that help distribute Norwegian grants in a conflict that has soured bilateral relations."
CYPRUS: Arrest and imprisonment of the Executive Director of KISA by the Administration of the Mennogeia Detention Centre (KISA, link)
"On Thursday, May 29, the Executive Director of KISA went to visit unaccompanied minors, held unlawfully in the Mennogeia Detention Center. On arrival, Polykarpou was arrested for an unpaid parking fine of 160 Euro . After being arrested at Mennogeia, he was initially transferred to Kofinou Police Station and then to the Central Prison in Nicosia, where he was placed in a wing with convicted prisoners. During the whole procedure, from his arrest at Mennogeia to his transfer to the Central Prison, Polykarpou was held handcuffed and not even allowed to drink water. Moreover, although he asked to take his personal belongings with him, he was not allowed to do so. He was also denied his right to call his lawyer. Under these circumstances, KISA notes that its Executive Director suffered an unacceptable and humiliating treatment, as well as violation of his basic human rights."
See also: Despite criticism by NGOs and UNHCR, Cyprus amends its refugee law, leaving people fleeing generalised violence unprotected (ECRE, link)
"ECREs member organisation Future Worlds Center and the Cyprus Office of UNHCR have expressed concern about amendments to Cyprus refugee legislation that exclude beneficiaries of subsidiary protection from protection against expulsion and the right to family reunification."
US: Supreme Court refuses to take reporters case on revealing confidential source (Washington Post, link)
"The Supreme Court declined Monday to intervene on behalf of a New York Times reporter who has been subpoenaed and could face jail time for not identifying a confidential source. The court turned down requests from reporter James Risen and a host of media organizations, including The Washington Post, that it overturn a lower courts order and find that reporters are protected by the Constitution from testifying about their sources. The justices offered no reason for turning down the case."
EU: If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ Judgment? (HawkTalk blog, link)
"Google has received all kinds of plaudits for quickly introducing its right to be forgotten procedure; however from what I have read in the press, its procedure for the removal of URLs is not fit for purpose. In this blog, I explain why Googles procedure appears to be so defective."
US-NSA: Identity Intelligence: Image Is Everything (New York Times, link)
"Top secret documents show that the National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs. An excerpt of one of the documents, a presentation, is below. The documents were obtained by Edward J. Snowden, a former contractor with the agency."
See: document excerpt (pdf)
N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images (New York Times, link)
"The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents."
ISRAEL: Israeli firm Verint patents system to target spying via facial recognition of photos sifted from data intercepts (link)
INTERPOL misused as international debt collectors (Fair Trials International, link)
"Fair Trials International has this month written to Ronald K Noble, the Secretary General of INTERPOL, to highlight the misuse of its international wanted person alerts to enforce civil debts and bounced cheques by countries in the Middle East. The letter urges INTERPOL to put in place safeguards so that its Red Notice system focuses on bringing serious international criminals to justice rather than wrecking the lives of normal people who have provided blank cheques as security, a common practice in a number of countries across the region."
When the state is complicit in hate: Racist violence in Europe is sustained by cultures of impunity, as reports by Amnesty International, and Médecins du Monde and the Greek Council for Refugees make clear (IRR, link)
"Two reports published last month document in harrowing detail the reality and impact of racist violence across Europe, as well as its intensification against a backdrop of economic turmoil and the growing influence of far-right movements. In the process they show how criminal justice systems, through a combination of mendacity and inertia, are frequently complicit in attacks ranging from sporadic assaults to those committed by organised far-right terror squads."
EU: Europol lists lock-ons, blockades, demonstrations and parades under "violent extremism"
TE-SAT 2014: European Union terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2014 (Large pdf). Alongside reports on terroriism the following is included:
"Violent extremist activities" [emphasis in original, p36]
Violent left-wing and anarchist extremist groups exploit traditional left-wing causes, such as anti-fascism and antiracism (particularly as regards asylum issues), to engage in violent protest. During such protests, criminal damage, blockades and lock-ons [footnote 32] are typical tactics and, on occasion, more serious offences such as arson have occurred.
In Italy, the ongoing economic crisis has been exploited by left-wing extremists and used as an opportunity to carry out significant recruitment activities. In particular, they have focused on issues connected to housing and evictions and intensified their efforts to attract immigrants. Demonstrations, parades and anti-eviction sit-ins, to draw attention to issues relating to the occupation of empty public and private buildings, were held in several Italian cities."
Footnote 32 states: "32 Lock-ons refer to instances in which protesters lock themselves to the location of their protest, using handcuffs, chains, padlocks or bicycle locks, in an effort to make it difficult to remove them."
EU: European Commission: Commission Staff Working Document: Implementation of the Communication on the Work of the Task Force Mediterranean (pdf) and Part 2 (pdf)
UK: Officer involved in restraint of Sean Rigg resigns ahead of disciplinary investigation (Inquest, link):
" Family calls on Metropolitan Police Commissioner to withdraw acceptance of resignation: The family of Sean Rigg, who died in Brixton police station in August 2008 following prolonged restraint by police, have called on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe to urgently withdraw his acceptance of the resignation of PC Andrew Birks, the senior arresting officer involved in the restraint."
UK: No one is listening to us: Britains Migrant Rebellion (Ceasefire, link):
"This month, Britains immigrant detention estate has been rocked by one of the largest protests to date, yet another consequence of the climate of hatred, fear and racism so deeply embedded in Britains squalid current debate about immigration, argues Matt Carr in his latest column."
Calais: Riot police expel migrants from camps (The Local, link):
"Police cleared out improvised camps in the port city of Calais on Wednesday morning, which migrants use as a base in their effort to reach the UK. Its the latest chapter in a long-running humanitarian and political struggle."
Council of Europe: Committee of Ministers to examine implementation of human rights judgments (COE, link)
Council of the European Union: EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline (46 pages, pdf) Drawn up by the Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM) for the Political and Security Committee (PSC). Tony Bunyan Statewatch Director, comments: "Interesting principles set out for the rest of the world which it would be good to see in operation at "home" in the EU"
"The right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek and receive information. It is a key component of democratic governance as the promotion of participatory decision-making processes is unattainable without adequate access to information." [emphasis added]
"Every individual should have the right to ascertain in an intelligible form, whether, and if so what, personal data is held and stored about them and for what purposes." [emphasis added]
EU: Council of the European Union: Digest of LIMITE documents: COSI, Maritime Security, EUBAM Libya, e-Justice, Foreign fighters, Radicalisation, LEWP, Interpol, UK-SIS II, ENLETS, EP-CFSP, FGM, EU Charter, EPPO, Exit-Entry
Spain: Human Rights at the southern border - the events in Ceuta and Melilla are not an isolated event
On 22 April 2014, the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA) presented its annual "Report on Human Rights at the southern border" for 2014, which focuses on the situation at the borders in the Spanish north African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, where at least 15 people died in controversial circumstances, including the firing of rubber bullets and teargas as they swam, on 6 February 2014.
EU: European Commission: Report: Fifth bi-annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area 1 November 2013 - 30 April 2014 (COM-292-14, pdf)
New report: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK (link)
This new report from Statewatch and Drone Wars UK aims to contribute to the public debate on the use of drones within the UK. The main body of the research examines the use of drones by police forces and border control authorities and argues that public discussion and debate is needed before the use of drones - in particular for surveillance purposes - becomes widespread.
- Press release: National Crime Agency may be flying drones in secret, says new report (pdf)
- Drones Campaign Network: Resisting the drone wars: a day gathering for campaigners, 14 June 2014
EU: European Elections: 9 Scariest Far-Right Parties Now In The European Parliament (Huff Post, link)
EU: Right-wing MEPs to form new constellations in EU parliament (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions on EU Return Policy - Adoption (20 May 2014, pdf): "the Council recognises that voluntary return is not always a viable solution and that a potential resort to forced return is an equally important element of a credible return policy. In that respect the Council acknowledges that national forced-return monitoring systems can contribute to correctly executed returns and transparency."
Earlier version of the: Draft Council Conclusions on EU Return Policy (14 May 2014, pdf) and Draft Council Conclusions on EU Return Policy (7 May 2014, pdf)
See also: A highly inappropriately titled Council document: "An effective EU return policy": Presidency's food for thought paper for the lunch discussion (pdf):
"The term 'voluntary return' includes different types of programmes, from those that are genuinely voluntary to those that are options of last resort, meaning that illegally resident migrants facing the possibility of forced removal prefer the 'voluntary' return instead... only few third country nationals in an illegal situation accept to return voluntarily to their country of origin or transit. Voluntary return programmes, including the pay-to-go return programmes implemented since the 1970's, have persistently failed to attract a substantive number of participants."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "When I was in the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament on 1 April 2014 a Commission official was reporting on its "Returns Policy" report. He told the Committee that the problem was that "most people do not want to voluntary return to the countries they have come from". It was not raised that the fundamental flaw with the EU's returns policy is that that people fleeing from persecution or hunger do not want to go back to the countries they have fled from."
EU: Commission Staff Working Document: Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) (SWD-164-14, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Legislative measures: Developing the Council's negotiating position:: Europol, Children suspects' rights & Discrimination
- 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 (First reading) = Preparation of a General Approach (126 pages, pdf) 121 Footnotes with comments and Member State positions.
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings - General approach (pdf): "The text as it results from the DROIPEN meeting on 5 May 2014 is set out in the Annex. The Presidency considers that this text is ripe for reaching a general approach, which will then constitute the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament in the context of the ordinary legislative procedure of Article 294 TFEU."
- Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (pdf) 118 Footnotes and Member State positions and general summary of Member State views. As this is a Council Directive only the consent of the European Parliament is required.
EP ELECTIONS: EU citizens stopped from voting in UK after confusion over registration forms - Complaints about 'complicated' declaration with 'no purpose' as foreign residents of UK are turned away from polling stations (Guardian, link)
ECJ: GOOGLE: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Press release (pdf): "The European data protection authorities assembled in the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) welcome the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling of 13 May 2014 which sets a milestone for EU data protection in respect of search engines and, more generally, in the online world."
See also: EU Right to Be Forgotten Ruling Sets Wheels in Motion (Freedominfo.org, link)
GERMANY-BELARUS: Measures by the European Union and the Federal Government on migration control and police cooperation in Belarus (pdf): Answer of the Federal Government to the Minor questions tabled by the Members of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko, Wolfgang Gehrcke, Annette Groth, Inge Höger, Ulla Jelpke, Petra Pau, Kathrin Vogler, Halina Wawzvniak and the Left Party parliamentary group
USA: NSA:DATA SURVEILLANCE: FISA Amendment Bill 2014 as it stands in May 2014 (pdf) amending Foreign Intelligence Security Act 2008 (pdf) amending FISA 1978 (pdf) See also: A Surveillance Bill That Falls Short (New York Times, link) and The NSA reform bill now shuts down a secret database. Will that fix anything? (Guardian, link)
And: What does GCHQ know about our devices that we don't? (PI, link)
UK: Lessons from history: British State Collection, collation and use of information and intelligence on the British Peace Movement and its members: 1987 (pdf) by Jan Rockett
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Border guards, planes, thermal vision vans and heartbeat detectors who is equipping Frontex? (pdf) by Chris Jones
Total number of national border guards available to Frontex increases by over 30% from 1,885 in 2013 to 2,484 in 2014
Amount of technical equipment Member States make available - including boats, planes, "thermal vision vans", heartbeat detectors and dogs - also grows
Frontex's "response capacity will be strengthened"¨ in 2014 through "further development" of European Border Guard Teams and the Technical Equipment Pool
EU Data Protection: Council of the European Union:
- DIRECTIVE ON LEAs EXCHANGING PERSONAL DATA INCLUDING PUBLIC ORDER: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 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 (First reading) - State of play (pdf)
The Member States in the Council are discussing the scope of this Directive to also include: "the concept of "maintenance of public order for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences."" [emphasis added]
- DP REGULATION: 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) - Chapter V (pdf)
EU-LIBYA BUDGET: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Decision amending Decision 2013/233/CFSP on the European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) - Adoption (22 pages, pdf)
EU-eu-LISA: Report on the technical functioning of the Visa Information System (VIS) (33 pages, pdf)
Report from the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) on the "technical functioning of the Visa Information System (VIS)".
"For the time being, Poland has proven to be the major user of the VIS together with France, executing about 20% of all VIS operations in each case. Spain is the third highest user of the system with 13% of the operations, closely followed by Lithuania (10%), Finland (10%) and Germany (8%)."
"By 31 August 2013, VIS has been used to process a 4,380,582 visa application, of which 3,681,377 culminated in the issue of a visa while 535, 261 applications were eventually refused."
And: "approximately 25.4% of the all [sic] applications do not have fingerprints attached. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the proportion of registered applications with fingerprints compared to the total amount of registered applications over the reporting period. In 2011, registered applications with fingerprints represented 62% of the total amount of registered applications. In 2012 the amount increased to 69% whereas in 2013, registered applications with fingerprints represented 77% of all registered applications."
EU: IMMIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Commission: Commission Staff Working Document: Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) (SWD 165-14, 141 pages, pdf)
USA: NSA: The Bahamas Government Responds to Spying (link) See: The Bahamas Wants to Know Why the NSA is Recording Its Phone Calls (The Intercept, link) and and also: Fine Line Seen in U.S. Spying on Companies (New York Times, link)
And Restrictions placed on NSA's data store after intense talks over surveillance bill - USA Freedom Act heads to the House with government required to 'promptly' purge phone records that do not contain 'foreign intelligence information' (Guardian, link)
EU: INTERNAL-EXTERNAL JHA INTERFACE: European External Action Service: Strengthening Ties between CSDP and FSJ: Road Map implementation Second annual progress report (59 pages with detailed Annex, pdf)
Covers everything from crisis management, Intelligence-Led Policing, Intelligence sharing between Frontex and EEAS/Intelligence Centre/INTCEN as part of the EUROSUR Common Pre-Frontier Intelligence Picture, cooperation between the EEAS and ICPO-INTERPOL, FRONTEX has already been involved in the strategic (FFM) and operational planning (TAM) of the CSDP mission EUBAM Libya.
It also refers to the role of EUROGENDFOR (link) the European Gendarmerie Force of para-military police which says:"Membership can be obtained by a EU Member state possessing a police force with military status." EEAS comments: "Though it is a good example of Member States' improved cooperation in providing capabilities for CSDP, it cannot be considered within the Road Map implementation because it can only deploy a Multinational Police Force outside the EU. (link)
See also: EU: Plans emerge for the collection of personal data outside European borders to obtain "comprehensive situational awareness and intelligence support" (Statewatch database)
EU expression guidelines fail to recognise the right to information (Index on Censorship, link)
See Background on the long struggle for openness: FOI in the EU: Reporting on openness and secrecy in the EU since 1992 and Statewatch Observatory: the Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-ongoing:
EU: SIS II: The ECA report on the development of SIS II has been published (pdf) See also: European Commission: Replies of the Commission to the special report of the European Court of Auditors: "Lessons learned from the European Commission's development of the second generation Schengen II Information System (SIS II)" (COM 2014 251, pdf): "The EC can only regret the overall poor recognition by many stakeholders of the decision-making arrangement" and: ECA: Schengen IT system six years late and eight times over budget (Public Finance International, link)
EU: NSA SPYING & MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Letters from Sophie in 't Veld MEP to: Commissioner Reding: USA spying on EU (pdf) and to: Commissoiner Malmstrom: Mandatory Data Retention (pdf)
EU: CJEU: The Court annuls the directive on cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (pdf) and Judgment (pdf): "Taking the view that the directive had been adopted on the incorrect legal basis, the Commission brought annulment proceedings before the Court of Justice." and "The effects of the directive are nevertheless maintained for a maximum one-year period"
EU-USA: Civil society call for full transparency in EU-US trade negotiations (Corporate Observatory Europe, link) and see: Call (link):
""More than 250 civil society organisations and networks have today called on the European Commission to open up the EU-US trade negotiations for public scrutiny. The fifth round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) begins today in Washington amid growing frustration at the secrecy of the process. Corporate Europe Observatory is one of the groups endorsing the call for openness."
UK: Institute of Race Relations (IRR): Deaths in immigration detention: 1989-2014 (link): "We list all deaths that have taken place in immigration removal and short-term holding centres since 1989; we also list those who have died shortly after release from immigration detention."
EU: Updated: Access to documents: the Council might not implement a key CJEU judgment (link) by Steve Peers
Council of the European Union: COUNCIL SEEKS TO AVOID OBLIGATION TO MAKE MEMBERS STATES' POSITIONS PUBLIC FOLLOWING COURT RULING and to include MEMBER STATE NAMES ONLY "WHERE IT IS DEEMED APPROPRIATE": Drafting of documents relating to legislative activities (doc no: 8662-rev 1-14, 13 May 2014, pdf)
In reaction of the ECJ decision on the Access-Info judgment (pdf) stating that on legislative measures the positions of EU Member States (governments) should be made public with some very limited exceptions the current proposal of the General Secretariat of the Council to be discussed by COREPER (the high-level committee of permanent national representatives based in Brussels) is that: Member State' names should be made public regarding on-going legislation "where it is deemed appropriate". The General Secretariat (full-time Council officials) argue that this its preferred option is:
"Option 3 appears to be a more suitable option as it allows striking a good balance between the interest in receiving full information and keeping complete records and the interest in protecting the Member States' negotiating flexibility and thus the effectiveness of the Council's decision-making process." [emphasis added]
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The Council has been deliberating since November last year on how to get around the Court's judgment and is now proposing to continue its existing practice of deciding for itself when and if to make public the interventions taken by national governments on new measures. At the same time in Footnote 6 it is seeking to further entrench the secrecy of its decision-making by emphasising that LIMITE documents (which are not classified documents) are for internal circulation only and should not be made public. The three documents here are LIMITE documents and are made available in the public interest, namely that the public have a right to know what is being decided in their name by their governments." .
Previous documents: Public access to documents (LIMITE, 17177/13, 29 November 2013, pdf) and Document no: 7356-14 (6 March 2014, pdf)
UK: Police push ahead with remote vehicle stopping technology despite "Big Brother" concerns
British police and government officials are pushing ahead with plans to deploy technology that would allow vehicles to be stopped at a distance, although the idea is widely disliked - nearly half of all respondents to a recent poll felt that it could potentially "lead to a Big Brother state" and that "remote stopping technology could be abused by the police."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas (The Intercept, link):
"SOMALGET is part of a broader NSA program called MYSTIC, which The Intercept has learned is being used to secretly monitor the telecommunications systems of the Bahamas and several other countries, including Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya. But while MYSTIC scrapes mobile networks for so-called metadata information that reveals the time, source, and destination of calls SOMALGET is a cutting-edge tool that enables the NSA to vacuum up and store the actual content of every conversation in an entire country."
And see: NSA to test legal limits on surveillance if USA Freedom Act becomes law (Guardian, link)
Aides and lawyers contend over terms of surveillance bill
Authors of first realistic reform seek to avoid loopholes
Updated: EU: UK OPT-OUT of JHA MEASURES: Council of the European Union: Documents dated 19 May 2014:
- Draft Council Decision (Schengen acquis) (pdf)
- Updated list of "lisbonised" ex-third pillar acquis (pdf)
- List of Schengen acquis concerning the United Kingdom (pdf)
"Annex I contains a list of ex-third pillar Schengen acquis to which the UK will seek to re-opt in pursuant to Article 10(5) of Protocol 36 and Article 4 of the Schengen Protocol, as from 1 December 2014.
Annex II contains a list of ex-third pillar Schengen acquis from which the UK will opt-out as a result of the block opt-out provided for in Article 10(4) of Protocol 36, and which will therefore "cease to apply" to the UK as from 1 December 2014.
Annex III contains two tables about pre-Lisbon Schengen acquis. The first table (A) is on ex-third pillar Schengen acquis and the second table (B) is on Schengen acquis by which the UK will continue to be bound because this is not ex-third pillar. Annex III therefore gives an overview of the pre-Lisbon Schengen acquis:
(a) by which the UK will remain bound (either because this has been "lisbonised" or because this is not ex-third pillar acquis)
(b) to which the UK will seek to re-opt in; and
(c) from which the UK will opt-out as a result of the block opt-out."
Council of the European Union: Application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 - Work of the Friends of Presidency Group - Report on the state of play and follow up (doc no: 9868-14, 16 May 2014, pdf) Concerns UK "opt-out" then "opt-back-into-some" of the old Justice and Home Affairs acquis which are to be brought under full EU competence. And see: European Commission: Commission Staff Working Document: Revised preliminary list of the former third pillar acquis (SWD 166-2014, 14 May 2014, pdf)
EU-POST-STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: COUNCIL DECIDING NEXT FIVE-YEAR PROGRAMME WHILE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IS RECESSED FOR ELECTIONS AND THEIR AFTERMATH: Council of the European Union: Future development of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice (doc no: 9531-14, 16 May 2014, pdf) Council Presidency paper for COREPER (the high-level committee of permanent national representatives based in Brussels) to discuss. The first full draft of the Programme to be adopted under the Italian Presidency. See: The next Justice and Home Affairs Programme: everything changed, so nothing can change? (link) by Henri Labayle and Emilio De Capitani
UK: The Killing of Blair Peach by David Renton (London Review of Books, link): "Officers E, F and H Murray, White and Bint should be placed before a jury and required to explain the discrepancies between the accounts they gave."
USA-NSA: Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas (The Intercept, link):
"OMALGET is part of a broader NSA program called MYSTIC, which The Intercept has learned is being used to secretly monitor the telecommunications systems of the Bahamas and several other countries, including Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya. But while MYSTIC scrapes mobile networks for so-called metadata information that reveals the time, source, and destination of calls SOMALGET is a cutting-edge tool that enables the NSA to vacuum up and store the actual content of every conversation in an entire country.
All told, the NSA is using MYSTIC to gather personal data on mobile calls placed in countries with a combined population of more than 250 million people. "
UK-USA: Washington spends £200m creating intelligence hub in Britain (Independent, link):
"Washington is to spend almost £200m to turn one of its British military bases already implicated in mass surveillance and drone strikes into one of its largest intelligence hubs outside the mainland United States. RAF Croughton, a US Air Force (USAF) base near Milton Keynes, which has a direct cable link to Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham, is to be the site for an ultra-secure intelligence centre staffed by up to 1,250 personnel and covering operations in Africa, a current focus for US counterterrorism activities.....
Once complete in 2017, the facility will be comparable in number of personnel and operational importance to RAF Menwith Hill, the National Security Agency (NSA) listening station in North Yorkshire. Like Menwith Hill, it is likely to be co-staffed with representatives of British intelligence, including GCHQ."
EU-USA: "UMBRELLA" DATA PROTECTION AGREEMENT: State of play: The Council of the European Union has made public a "Partial Declassified" version: EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement" - Commission Services Non-Paper on state of play of negotiations (dated 30 April 2014, pdf) This contains just over three pages of general background, all the detail is censored. The full version, 16 pages long, is here: EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement" - Commission Services Non-Paper on state of play of negotiations (link to secret RESTRICTED Document): "Delegations will find in Annex Commission Services Non-Paper on state of play of negotiations on EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement""
Includes: The two sides agree that: ""the agreement will be without prejudice to transfers or other forms of cooperation between US and Member State's competent authorities responsible for safeguarding national security" and in addition in relation to the whole agreement: "Directive n. 12 specifies that the agreement shall be without prejudice to the activities in the field of national security" - this alone should undermine any acceptable agreement.
EU: Frontex report (2014): Annual Information on the Commitments of the Member States to the European Border Guard Teams and the Technical Equipment Pool (pdf)
Immigration debate masks benefits to EU's top economies (Reuters, link)
EU: EUROSUR WILL NOT HELP RESCUES AT SEA: EU border surveillance system not helping to save lives (euobserver, link):
"Launched in December to help prevent boat migrants from drowning, the EUs border surveillance system, Eurosur, has yet to deliver amid a sharp increase in the number of sea-crossing attempts.... Eurosur is also set to accept satellite images in the near future, but will not offer any additional help when it comes to rescue missions, said Fernandez. This would not be even useful for preventing tragedies because the satellite images will be available to the border authorities hours or even days after, he said."
ITALY: Migrants revolt at Rome detention centre (The Local, link): "Clashes erupted at an immigration detention centre in Rome on Thursday as around 250 people barricaded themselves inside the building, described as a place of "desperate detention" by one rights group. The protest comes in the same week a Tunisian man sewed his mouth shut in protest at a nearby facility."
EU: European Ombudsman: Ombudsman to investigate EU expert groups (euobserver, link). See: Ombudsman Press release (pdf):"it is of utmost importance for these groups to be balanced and to work as transparently as possible so that the public can trust and scrutinise their work."
EU: EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: LIBE Committee Inquiry: Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens: Proceedings, Outcome and Background documents: (140 pages, pdf) Full summary and documents of the Inquiry. And see: Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power - One year after Snowden, the government is defending in not-so-plain sight the 'paramount' power to spy on every call and email between you and your friends abroad (Guardian, link) by Jameel Jaffer:
"That law [Fisa Amendments Act 2008] permits the government to monitor Americans' international communications without first obtaining individualized court orders or establishing any suspicion of wrongdoing.It's hardly surprising that the government believes the 2008 law is constitutional government officials advocated for its passage six years ago, and they have been vigorously defending the law ever since. Documents made public over the last eleven-and-a-half months by the Guardian and others show that the NSA has been using the law aggressively.
What's surprising even remarkable is what the government says on the way to its conclusion. It says, in essence, that the Constitution is utterly indifferent to the NSA's large-scale surveillance of Americans' international telephone calls and emails:
The privacy rights of US persons in international communications are significantly diminished, if not completely eliminated, when those communications have been transmitted to or obtained from non-US persons located outside the United States. That phrase "if not completely eliminated" is unusually revealing. Think of it as the Justice Department's twin to the NSA's "collect it all".
See Court documents (pdf). And background: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: GCHQ's spy malware operation faces legal challenge - Privacy International claims development of programs that remotely hijack computer cameras and microphones is illegal (Guardian, link). See: Privacy International challenges GCHQ's unlawful hacking of computers, mobile phones (PI link) and Full-text of complaint (link)
And: David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention - Partner of former Guardian reporter to challenge high court ruling on legality of his detention under counter-terrorism powers (Guardian, link)
UK: Prisoners caught with more than 200 phones after jail bosses launch blitz using new detection technology (Daily Record, link)
"The Scottish Prison Service targeted around 1000 inmates in two jails and found that one in five had smuggled mobiles into their cells."
See also: Prison mobile phone signal blocking technology to go live (BBC, link)
None of the stories are very clear on the technology itself but in October 2013 the Scottish Prison Service signed a one-year, £60,000 contract with Tate Security Technology Limited that offers "mobile detection and prevention" services. Tate's website says (take note of the final sentence):
"Mobiles are a convenient means of communication; however, we are all too aware that with in a prison environment these are not permitted within the ground of any establishment. Tate Security Technology has acknowledged this by linking up with a technology independent partner to bring to the UK latest in mobile phone detection systems.
The unit can be placed in a central position within any area and can be installed as a single unit or a multiple installation to cover a wider area. This system picks up on the mobile phone being used or in standby by detecting the network signal this includes the short auto-registration signal sent out by the mobile phone. This once detected by the unit signals either a local indication to the house block officers or by an Ethernet I/O collector for remote alarm indication with-in the control room. Each unit can then pinpoint to a particular area the mobile phone has been utilised.
The unit can also be placed within the vehicle lock, visitor and the staff pedestrian entrances to stop any accidental entry to the prison of mobiles. The system is also available with a Jamming circuit; this is currently illegal within the UK."
UK: You are not allowed to read this blog (Axe of Reason, link)
"I was disturbed by a police officer peering through my lounge window...They wondered if I was the Michael Abberton on Twitter and I said yes. Then they said this was in relation to a complaint that had been made by a certain political party in relation to tweets I had published about them..."
IRELAND: Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Data Protection Commissioner 2013 (full-text, pdf)
Interestingly, there is no mention of Edward Snowden other than in the introduction for general context.
See also: ODPC report: 'Scant regard' for data protection in some State bodies (RTE, link)
Senior management in some State organisations show "scant regard" for their duty to safeguard personal data entrusted to them, according to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner."
EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU court backs 'right to be forgotten': Google must amend results on request (Guardian, link)
"A European court has backed the "right to be forgotten" and said Google must delete "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" data from its results when a member of the public requests it. The test case ruling by the European Union's court of justice against Google Spain was brought by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja González, after he failed to secure the deletion of an auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on the website of a mass circulation newspaper in Catalonia."
See: Full-text of Judgment (link)
And: The CJEU's Google Spain judgment: failing to balance privacy and freedom of expression (Steve Peers EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Council adopts intra-corporate transferees directive (press release, pdf)
"This directive will make it easier and quicker for multinational companie s to temporarily assign highly skilled employees to subsidiaries situated in the EU. Moreove r, the directive will facilitate mobility of intra-corporate transferees bet ween member states during their assignments. The directive also lays down a common set of rights for intra-corp orate transferees when working in the EU in order to avoid their exploitation and distor tion of competition."
EU: Council of the European Union: Council adopts new rules for the surveillance of the EU external sea borders (press release, pdf)
"The regulation provides member states participating in FRONTEX op erations with clearer, updated and binding rules to be applied in the course of these operations. This w ill result in greater effectiveness and legal certainty in operations at the exter nal sea borders."
See: Statewatch Analysis: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? by Steve Peers (February 2014, pdf)
France: Far-right gains ground in French municipal elections ahead of elections to the European Parliament
The municipal election results of 23 March 2014 saw Francois Hollande's ruling Parti Socialiste lose control of more than 150 towns and cities, mostly to the opposition right with Marine Le Pen's Front National winning control of 11 cities of more than 9,000 inhabitants. The FN's success comes ahead of elections to the European Parliament at the end of May.
EU: MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing - 4th Presidency compromise (9752/14, pdf)
Fourth compromise text with changes marked by comparison to the revised version of the third Presidency compromise.
UK: MPs: Snowden files are 'embarrassing indictment' of British spying oversight (Guardian, link) MPs' verdict on spying oversight: a system fit for Smiley, not 21st century (Guardian, link)
"Edward Snowden's disclosures of the scale of mass surveillance are "an embarrassing indictment" of the weak nature of the oversight and legal accountability of Britain's security and intelligence agencies, MPs have concluded."
See: House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report on Counter-terrorism (9 May 2014, pdf)
And: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
EU: Full text of the Draft Impact Assessment on the "modernisation of the EU copyright acquis" (large file - 15mb, pdf)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Council of the European Union note to COREPER on: Invalidation of Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC (the Data Retention Directive) (9009/14, pdf)
Paragraphs 19 and 20 are of interest, but do not reveal a great deal. They note that Passenger Name Retention (PNR) and the Visa Information System (VIS) potentially raise issues, but there is no commitment to reviewing them in light of these principles. This is particularly relevant with regard to PNR, which is still before the Council (as far as the legislative proposal for an EU system is concerned).
US: Newly released documents shed light on CIAs African rendition network (Reprieve press release, link)
"Documents released by Reprieve and New York Universitys Global Justice Clinic have shed new light on the CIAs African rendition network. The documents show how planes contracted by the US government for rendition missions used Djibouti as a hub."
UK: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
This analysis finds that UK law allows security and intelligence agencies to lawfully spy on the world, a problem compounded by the agencies use of new technologies to act outside of their legal powers. This analysis also questions whether the Interception Commissioner is capable of providing effective oversight of state surveillance activities.
See: New Statewatch Study Discloses GCHQ Spying Proxy (everythingpr, link)
EU: More from the Draft Impact Assessment on the "modernisation of the EU copyright acquis": (1) Enforcement, with EU to clarify the extent to which intermediaries can be involved to help putting an end to copyright infringements on the Internet (2) Private copying, including levies and downloading (pdfs)
Today also happens to be International Day Against Digital Rights Management
Previous Leaked documents:
Text and data mining, including licensing of subscription based content (pdf)
Disabilities, including impact of WIPO Treaty (pdf)
Legislative scenarios, including an ambitious and much deeper level of harmonisation (pdf)
The role of copyright, the economic dimension, new technologies and the internet value chain (pdf)
Copyright and user generated content (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT STATISTICS: Council of the European Union: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant - Year 2013 (8414/14, pdf)
UK-EU: EU ties 'vital' to UK's national security, say MPs (Guardian, link)
"Two British parliamentary reports were published this week. They received scant attention, though they deal with most important matters relating to Britain's role in the world, its national security, and how much money should be spent on defence and why."
See reports by:
House of Commons Defence Committee Intervention: Why, When and How? (pdf)
Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 201314 (pdf)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Everyone is under surveillance now, says whistleblower Edward Snowden (Guardian, link)
"The US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance. 'It's no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,' he said. 'It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.'"
GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: U.S. and Germany Fail to Reach a Deal on Spying (New York Times, link)
"The effort to remake the intelligence relationship between the United States and Germany after it was disclosed last year that the National Security Agency was tapping Chancellor Angela Merkels cellphone has collapsed, according to German officials, who say there will be no broad intelligence sharing or no-spy agreement between the two countries when Ms. Merkel visits the White House on Friday."
UK: New acoustic weapon for police to undergo Home Office tests
The UK Home Office is to undertake an evaluation of an acoustic weapon which fires "a highly directional beam of sound towards targeted individuals or small groups" from a distance of up to 400 feet. The purpose of the device, called the A-WASP, is to "disrupt perpetrators of violence or crime and make them aware that they are individually the subject of asserted police attention," according to the manufacturers.
EU: CLOUD COMPUTING:
- Letter from Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Chairman of European Parliament LIBE Committee to Neelie Kroes on the FP7-funded CoCo (Confidential and Compliant) Cloud project (pdf) and Response from Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda (pdf)
López Aguilar seeks more information on certain aspects of the CoCo Cloud project, funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme, fearing that the project may involve the transfer of EU citizens' personal data to the US. Kroes confirms in her response that only "synthetic fictional or fabricated data, which does not relate to real existing data subjects" will be used, and that "only servers located in the EU will be used" during the project.
However, there are wider questions about the EU's cloud computing strategy, particularly in relation to data transfers to the US, which are not raised in López Aguilar's letter and which are yet to be addressed by the Commission. See: sections 2.2.4 and 2.3 in 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)
PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers (The Independent, link)
Coco Cloud website
Coco Cloud on CORDIS
UK: UK forces in Afghanistan detaining prisoners illegally, High Court rules (The Independent, link)
"The detention policy adopted by the UK's armed forces in Afghanistan is unlawful, the High Court has ruled. Justice George Leggatt examined the case of Serdar Mohammed, an Afghan farmer who was held without charge for over three months. He found that the farmer was fairly captured and held for four days but his continued imprisonment in UK military bases for 106 more days violated Afghan, British and international law."
See: Full text of judgment (pdf)
US: BIG DATA: White House report: Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values (pdf) And: Fact sheet: Big Data and Privacy Working Group Review (link)
"In January, President Obama asked his Counselor John Podesta to lead a 90-day review of big data and privacy...Today, Podesta and the big data working group presented their findings and recommendations to the President... by evaluating the opportunities and challenges presented by big data, the working group was able to draw important conclusions and make concrete recommendations to the President for Administration attention and policy development."
SWITZERLAND: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Data retention in Switzerland - the monitored life of National Councillor Balthasar Glättli (link)
"Balthasar Glättli, member of the National Council for The Green Party, has provided OpenDataCity with parts of his retained data of six month for this visualization. As a result, these retained data reveal what secret services and law inforcement call "profile" - a comprehensive picture of the entire life of the monitored person."
ITALY: Italian police conference applauds officers convicted of manslaughter (Guardian, link) "A major police union in Italy has provoked outrage after giving a five-minute standing ovation to three officers convicted of the manslaughter of an 18-year-old."
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New 'revealed documents' from freesnowden.is on 2012 London Olympics:
PRISM Operations Highlight: Olympics Support GCHQ Using PRISM Access (pdf) This slide from a presentation on PRISM describes access granted to GCHQ employees during the 2012 London Olympics.
Identifier Lead Triage with ECHOBASE (pdf) This SIGDEV presentation dated June 2012 describes techniques for filtering very large datasets through the cloud-based GHOSTMACHINE framework. Cooperation between NSA and GCHQ during the 2012 London Olympics the Olympic Option is used as a case study (as covered in The Intercept article below).
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged to Play in NSAs Data Pools (The Intercept, link)
"Britains electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Headquarters, has long presented its collaboration with the National Security Agencys massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. But according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSAs vast troves of private communications and sought unsupervised access to its data as recently as last year essentially begging to feast at the NSAs table while insisting that it only nibbles on the occasional crumb."
See: Visit précis: Sir Iain Lobban, KCMG, CB Director, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) 30 April 2013 - 1 May 2013 (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Another secret FISA opinion disclosed, and a question for Stewart Baker (Washington Post, link)
"...Another secret opinion by a FISA court judge has been published, upholding the constitutionality of the NSAs bulk data seizure program. The good news is that, apparently for the first time, a telecom companyreportedly Verizonhas challenged the legality of a seizure order, making this apparently the first adversarial proceeding in the FISA court on this program. The difference is highlighted by the FISA judges discussion of the standing of the telecom company that would create a case or controversy within the jurisdiction of an Article III court. The previously declassified opinion required no such discussion since the ruling was entirely ex parte."
European Court of Human Rights judgment: Disclosure of medical records breached patients human rights Strasbourg (UK human rights blog, link)
"The release of confidential patient details to a state medical institution in the course of her negotiations with a hospital over a lawsuit was an unjustified interference with her right to respect for private life under Article 8."
See: judgment in case of L.H. v Latvia  ECHR 453 (29 April 2014)
EU: Court of Justice of the European Union press releases:
Advocate General Mengozzi considers that the age limit laid down by EU law for those seeking family reunification with their spouse may also be reached after the relevant application has been submitted (press release No 67/14, pdf)
"EU law identifies the group of family members of third country nationals residing in a Member State who may be entitled to a residence permit on the ground of family reunification. With regard to spouses, in order to ensure better integration and to prevent forced marriages, Directive 2003/86/EC provides that Member States may impose a minimum age (no more than 21 years) for the purpose of family reunification. The directive does not, however, specify the point at which the sponsor and his or her spouse must have reached that minimum age limit."
According to Advocate General Bot, a Member State may not, except in exceptional circumstances, rely on the lack of specialised centres in part of its territory in order to detain in prison a third-country national awaiting his removal, even with the consent of that third-country national (press release No 68/14, pdf)
"The Returns Directive provides that, where third-country nationals are awaiting removal, the Member States must use the least coercive measures possible, according to a gradation which goes from the granting of a period for voluntary departure to detention. Where the authorities opt for detention, this must take place in a specialised facility and can only take place on an exceptional basis in a prison, the Member State then having to ensure that the third-country national is separated from ordinary prisoners."
EU: More excerpts from Draft Impact Assessment on the "modernisation of the EU copyright acquis": (1) Text and data mining, including licensing of subscription based content (2) Disabilities, including impact of WIPO Treaty and (3) Legislative scenarios, including an ambitious and much deeper level of harmonisation (pdfs)
See also: Previous leaked documents: (1) The role of copyright, the economic dimension, new technologies and the internet value chain (pdf) and (2) Copyright and user generated content (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Replies of the Commission to the special report of the European Court of Auditors: "Lessons learned from the European Commission's development of the second generation Schengen II Information System (SIS II)" (COM 2014 251, pdf)
"The EC can only regret the overall poor recognition by many stakeholders of the decision-making arrangement"
Council of Europe: Prison overcrowding persists in Europe, says Council of Europe report (link)
"European states are failing to significantly reduce overcrowding in prisons despite the increasing number of offenders monitored by probation agencies, according to the 2012 Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics (known as the SPACE I and SPACE II reports), which were published today.
From 2011 to 2012 the number of inmates detained in Europe´s prisons fell from 99.5 to 98 inmates for every 100 places available. Despite a reduction of nearly 90,000 individuals in the prison population (a 5% decrease from 1,825,000 in 2011 to 1,737,000 in 2012), overcrowding remained a serious problem in 21 prison administrations across Europe. Serbia, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary and Belgium continued to be states where the situation was most acute."
Six problems faced by the European prison system (ampp3d, link)
Italy's crowded prisons among worst in Europe (The Local, link)
1.7 Million people behind bars in Europe; Theft tops offences (The New Age, link)
EU: Secret justice inside the EU courts: Proposed changes will allow EU judges to use secret intelligence as evidence and protect sanctions from legal challenge (Al Jazeera, link)
"In March it was revealed that the European General Court (EGC) is seeking to rewrite its own rules to allow the use of intelligence as evidence in legal proceedings. While the executive and judiciary will be able to see secret material, people targeted by intelligence who bring legal challenges will not... If approved by EU Member States, they will weaken due process rights, strengthen executive power and radically transform the way justice is done in Europe."
GREECE: Amnesty International report: Frontier of hope and fear: migrants and refugees pushed back at Europe's border (pdf)
"The sheer volume of credible allegations of push-backs that Amnesty International has been able to document in the last nine months, very much suggests that they are routine: of the 67 people interviewed by Amnesty International over half provided convincing allegations of being push-backed at least once.
Greek migration and asylum policies are intimately tied to processes and policies decided in Brussels. In the last few years the EU has set about constructing an increasingly impenetrable wall around its external borders both physically, through fences and heightened border surveillance, and legislatively, through migration policies that render legal entry into the EU increasingly difficult for economic migrants and refugees alike. The sealing of the Greece-Turkey border is central to the construction of this new Fortress Europe and its strict policing is very much expected and encouraged by the northern EU member states that are typically the destination of choice for those crossing this border irregularly."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data: The interplay between data protection, competition law and consumer protection in the Digital Economy (pdf)
"EU approaches to data protection, competition and consumer protection share common goals, including the promotion of growth, innovation and the welfare of individual consumers. In practice, however, collaboration between policy-makers in these respective fields is limited.
Online services are driving the huge growth in the digital economy. Many of those services are marketed as free but in effect require payment in the form of personal information from customers. An investigation into the costs and benefits of these exchanges for both consumers and businesses is now overdue.
Closer dialogue between regulators and experts across policy boundaries can not only aid enforcement of rules on competition and consumer protection, but also stimulate the market for privacy-enhancing services."
UK: Never ever, never ever give up: A reflection on deaths that took place on 15 April 1989 and the states response (IRR, link)
EU: European Commission: Draft Impact Assessment on the "modernisation of the EU copyright acquis": (1) The role of copyright, the economic dimension, new technologies and the internet value chain (pdf) and (2) Copyright and user generated content (pdf)
U.S. judge rules search warrants extend to overseas email accounts (Reuters, link): "Internet service providers must turn over customer emails and other digital content sought by U.S. government search warrants even when the information is stored overseas, a federal judge ruled on Friday."
NORWAY: INTELLIGENCE GATHERING: NIS aquires supercomputer: It´s codenamed Steelwinter and is part of a 100 million dollar investment program. The supercomputer will crack heavy cryptology and analyze the vast amounts of data Norwegian Inteligence Service (NIS) collects (Dagbladet Nyheter, link):
"The Norwegian military intelligence service collects vast amounts of signal intelligence, known as «sigint». In Afghanistan alone NIS collected 33 million registrations from telecommunication during 30 days around Christmas 2012, according to their own revelations. Additionally they listen to satellites and radio communication in our own region. The listening post in Vardø, close to the Russian-Norwegian border at the top of Europe, is basically a giant ear eastward.
NIS sources states that the purpose of the acquisition is to analyze large amounts of data and find the needles they're looking for in the haystacks. They also want to do more of this work in Norway. As it is now, and has been in the past, large amounts of data is being sent to the NSA to be analyzed there."
See also: NSA Intelligence relationship with Norway (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance court rejected Verizon challenge to NSA calls program (Washington Post, link): "Verizon in January filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the National Security Agencys program that collects billions of Americans call-detail records, but a surveillance court rejected it..."
See: Seven telcos named as providing fiber optic cable access to UK spies - New Snowden leaks show Verizon, Vodafone, and BT share direct data (Statewatch News Online, August 2013)
and also: (Microsoft) moves to quash a search warrant to the extent that it directs Microsoft to produce the contents of one of its customers e-mails where that information is stored on a server located in Dublin, Ireland: Microsoft contends that courts in the United States are not authorized to issue warrants for extraterritorial search and seizure, and that this is such a warrant. For the reasons that follow, Microsofts motion is denied.." (Judgment, pdf)
USA: No-fly list used by FBI to coerce Muslims into informing, lawsuit claims - Case highlights plight of people wrongfully added to database who face lengthy, secretive process to clear their names (Guardian, link) and See Case document - full-text (pdf):
"In retaliation for the exercise of their constitutional rights, the United States government has deprived Plaintiffs Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah, Naveed Shinwari and Awais Sajjad of their right to travel freely and wrongly stigmatized them without justification and without due process of law by placing them on the No Fly List.
2. The No Fly List is supposed to be limited to individuals who are determined to be such significant threats to aviation safety that it is too dangerous to allow them on any commercial flight to, from or over the United States regardless of the extent of preboarding searches.
3. Instead, shielded from public and, to a large extent, judicial scrutiny, and lacking effective controls and supervision, the No Fly List has swelled to approximately 21,000 names as of February 2012, including approximately 500 United States citizens and an unknown number of lawful permanent residents. On information and belief, the number of people on the No Fly List is even larger today.
4. Plaintiffs are among the many innocent people who find themselves swept up in the United States governments secretive watch list dragnet. Defendants have used the No Fly List to punish and retaliate against Plaintiffs for exercising their constitutional rights. Plaintiffs declined to act as informants for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and to spy on their own American Muslim communities and other innocent people.
5. Inclusion on the No Fly List severely burdens Plaintiffs and significantly interferes with their constitutional right to travel freely."
Slovak Constitutional Court Suspends Data Retention Legislation (EISI, link) also: Court Press Release (Slovakian, link). See also: Slovakian data retention law faces challenge before Constitutional Court (Statewatch database)
And: European Information Society Institute opinion on the scope of application of the decision of the CJEU in Digital Rights Ireland (link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS comments on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a European Terrorist Finance Tracking System (TFTS) and on the Commission Staff Working Document - Impact Assessment accompanying the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a European Terrorist Finance Tracking System (TFTS) (pdf)
See also Europol Joint Supervisory Board: Inspection Reports (link)
UK: So who exactly IS now classified as a Domestic Extremist? (Netpol, link): The Metropolitan Police responded to a Freedom of Information request asking for the total number of individuals currently classified as potential domestic extremists and having their own records on the database of the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU). The information they supplied was intriguing: they said:
"There are currently 2627 individuals on the database that have their own record. However I would like to explain that there is no legal definition of Domestic Extremists and so these individuals may not be classified as potential domestic extremists. However a new definition was recently agreed and publicised by the Commissioner at a MOPAC challenge panel.
The new working definition of Domestic Extremism is therefore; Domestic Extremism relates to the activity of groups or individuals who commit or plan serious criminal activity motivated by a political or ideological viewpoint"
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION AGREEMENT: NEGOTIATING AWAY OUR RIGHTS IN SECRET? EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement" - Commission Services Non-Paper on state of play of negotiations (link to secret RESTRICTED Document): "Delegations will find in Annex Commission Services Non-Paper on state of play of negotiations on EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement""
Includes: The two sides agree that: ""the agreement will be without prejudice to transfers or other forms of cooperation between US and Member State's competent authorities responsible for safeguarding national security" and in addition in relation to the whole agreement: "Directive n. 12 specifies that the agreement shall be without prejudice to the activities in the field of national security" - this alone should undermine any acceptable agreement.
UK: HMIC Report: The Strategic Policing Requirement: An inspection of the arrangements that police forces have in place to meet the Strategic Policing Requirement (pdf)
This report "examines how well police forces have established the arrangements that the SPR [Strategic Policing Requirement] requires them to have in place to counter a number of specified threats to national security and public safety." Those "threats" are terrorism, civil emergencies, organised crime, public order threats, and large-scale cyber incidents. The chief recommendation is that: "Chief constables should, immediately, establish a collective leadership approach that is committed to securing the requirement level of preparedness to respond to the national threats - in a way that is consistent across England and Wales."
News articles focused on the report's findings that UK police forces are woefully underprepared for large-scale cyber attacks, but HMIC also found other failings. In relation to civil emergencies, "across all 43 forces, only 16 submitted documents that demonstrated forces had any understanding of the threat, risk and harm." With regard to public order: "Only a third of the 18 forces visited could respond effectively to a test scenario that required them to identify and muster the required trainned and equipped public order personnel."
See also: Strategic Policing Requirement (pdf) on which HMIC's inspection is based.
EU: Statewatch Analysis: EU Justice and Home affairs legislation under the 2009-14 term of the European Parliament (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, Law School, University of Essex:
The following lists present in turn (a) legislation formally adopted during the 2009-14 term; (b) legislation agreed in principle, which will be adopted in spring; and (c) legislation which was not agreed.
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Are national data retention laws within the scope of the Charter? (EU Law Analysis, link)
Following the annulment of the EUs data retention Directive by the CJEU, an obvious important question arises: are national data retention laws subject to the same ruling of the Court? The purpose of this post is to set out the reasons why they are.
UK: Privacy in peril: Vast network of roadside cameras pose 'very real risk' says surveillance regulator (The Independent, link):
"Members of the public face a very real risk to their privacy from the huge roadside surveillance network that captures millions of motorists every day, the Governments Surveillance Commissioner has warned. In an interview with The Independent, Tony Porter urges that clear guidance be provided to ensure innocent people do not fall victim to roadside automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which have been the centre of concerns over the rise of surveillance in Britain....
Local authorities control more than 50,000 cameras while thousands of roadside cameras collect owner information on more than 18 million car journeys every day, in a swift and unregulated expansion over the past 30 years."
EU: Council of the European Union: Regulation on Data Protection, LEAs Directive on exchange of personal data & UK access to SIS II
One-Stop Shop: 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) - One-stop-shop mechanism (109 pages, pdf): Council discussions including Member State positions on agreeing common position.
As above: Data Protection Impact and Prior Checks (pdf)
LEAs Directive on exchange of personal data: Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 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 - Chapters VII-X (60 pages, pdf) Including Member State positions.
UK access to SIS II: Preparation for the accession of the UK to the SIS II - Report of discussions of the Working Party for Schengen Matters (pdf) Member States are not too keen on giving access. With the UK government intending to opt-out of a long list of JHA measures: "Several Member States (AT, BE, CZ, ES, FR) stated that for reasons of legal certainty, it is not possible for UK to accede to SIS before UK makes a formal re-opt in notification."
EU: Council of the European Union: Border Control ID Technology, Researchers. UK Evaluation, Europol & EUCI
Presidency's initiative on updating the minimum technical equipment required at the Border Crossing Points for Travel Document Control (161` pages, pdf) Detailed Survey of Member States' border control passport/ID card checking technologies
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) Council internal discussion in trying to reach a common position - still huge differences between Member States - 245 footnotes/positions.
UK: Declassified document: Evaluation report on the sixth round of mutual evaluations: "The practical implementation and operation of the Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime and of the Council Decision 2008/976/JHA on the European Judicial Network in criminal matters." Report on UK (pdf)
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 - Presidency compromise text (98 pages, pdf) Council position with highly detailed data gathering set out. For the purpose of : "cross-checking aimed at identifying connections between information" information can be gathered (24.1.a) from: "References to other information systems in which information on the person is stored: (i) Europol; (ii) Police/customs agencies; (iii) Other enforcement agencies; (iv) International organisations; (v) Public entities; (vi) Private entities."
Classified document exchanges: Report on access to EUCI under exceptional circumstances (pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Article 29 Working Party: Opinion 04/2014 on surveillance of electronic communications for intelligence and national security purposes (WP 215, pdf): "the Working Party concludes that secret, massive and indiscriminate surveillance programs are incompatible with our fundamental laws and cannot be justified by the fight against terrorism or other important threats to national security. Restrictions to the fundamental rights of all citizens could only be accepted if the measure is strictly necessary and proportionate in a democratic society."
and Opinion 05/2014 on Anonymisation Techniques (WP 216, pdf): "The Opinion concludes that anonymisation techniques can provide privacy guarantees and may be used to generate efficient anonymisation processes, but only if their application is engineered appropriately"
CoE: Report: Secretary-General: State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe (pdf) and see: Europe faces worst human rights 'crisis' in decades (euobserver, link)
EU: FRONTEX: New rules on Frontex operations at sea (pdf) from Ska Keller (Green Group, pdf):
"The regulation on Frontex operations at sea sets new rules for intercepting and pushing back migrants at sea as well as for rescuing them. It replaces the current Council decision of 2010, which was struck down by the European Court of Justice because the European Parliament was unlawfully excluded from co-decision-making."
and see: Regulation on the maritime surveillance by Frontex: lives in danger at the external borders of Europe (Frontexexit, link)
EU: European Parliament studies: Review of Security Measures in the 7th Research Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 (pdf) and Evaluation of EU measures to combat terrorist financing (pdf)
FRANCE: Paris police order 'systematic eviction' of Roma gypsies - Row erupts over leaked note ordering police in Paris' chic sixth arrondissement to 'systematically evict' Roma gypsies (Daily Telegraph, link) and Paris police ordered to drive Roma off streets (rfi, link): "France's government was on the defensive this week after a police note ordering the systematic removal of Roma people from one of Paris's wealthiest neighbourhoods was leaked to the media."
Also: France: They said they would have killed us if we stayed (AI, link), Europe: We ask for justice: Europes failure to protect Roma from racist violence (AI, link including report in French, Greek and Czech) and: European Parliament LIBE Committee: Roma discrimination: end illegal expulsions and ethnic profiling, MEPs say (Statewatch database)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: HEARTBLEED: NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years (Bloomberg, link) and Heartbleed hacks hit Mumsnet and Canada's tax agency (BBC News, link) also: Parenting website Mumsnet hit by Heartbleed hacking bug - Mumsnet says data of all 1.5m members may be compromised as co-founder admits message was posted using her own password (Guardian, link). And Heartbleed und die NSA: Ohne Hose im Netz (Spiegel Online, link)
EU: POST-STOCKHOLM JHA PROGRAMME: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the EU: Strategic guidelines for the EUs next Justice and Home Affairs programme: steady as she goes (pdf)
UNHCR: Mediterranean crossings rise in first months of 2014 many fleeing war and persecution (link):
"UNHCR estimates some 6,000 people have been rescued by the Italian Navy from over forty overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean off the shores of Sicily and Calabria in the past four days. They have disembarked in the ports of Augusta, Catania, Porto Empedocle, Messina and Pozzallo in Sicily and Roccella Jonica in Calabria.
Large numbers of women and children, including newborns and unaccompanied children, were amongst those rescued. They had set off from Zwara in Libya, and many were fleeing violence, conflict and persecution. Main countries of origin include Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Gambia, Mali and Senegal."
EU: European Commission: 2013 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (COM 224-14, pdf) and see: Staff Working Document - 1 of 2 (SWD 141-14, pdf) and Staff Working Document - 2 of 2 (SWD 142-14, pdf)
USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations - Pair awarded highest accolade in US journalism, winning Pulitzer prize for public service for stories on NSA surveillance (Guardian. link)
USA: Congressional Research Service:
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions (pdf)
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview (pdf)
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments (pdf)
UPDATED: USA-CIA-UK: UK urged to admit that CIA used island as secret 'black site' prison - Human rights group representing Gaddafi opponent rendered to Libya via Diego Garcia says Britain must 'come clean' over role (The Observer, link)
Revealed: Senate report contains new details on CIA black sites (aljazeera, link): "The Senate report, according to Al Jazeeras sources, says that the CIA detained some high-value suspects on Diego Garcia, an Indian Ocean island controlled by the United Kingdom and leased to the United States. The classified CIA documents say the black site arrangement at Diego Garcia was made with the full cooperation of the British government. That would confirm long-standing claims by human rights investigators and journalists, whose allegations - based on flight logs and unnamed government sources - have routinely been denied by the CIA." And see: Document (pdf)
AFRICA: Migreurop: 4th EU-Africa summit EU-Africa Migration policies: the deadly obliviousness of heads of state (link) and in French (link)
"On both shores of the Mediterranean, a securitarian view of migrations is shared. The externalisation of border management, the strengthening of surveillance systems through Frontex and Eurosur, as well as the instrumental use of public development aid to try to keep populations in their home countries, remain the key means for its implementation."
Background, official press release: Fourth EU-Africa Summit, 2-3 April 2014, Brussels: EU-Africa Declaration on migration and mobility (pdf)
EU: European Commission: New visa package:
A Smarter Visa Policy for Economic Growth (COM 165-14, pdf) and Accompanying SWD (SWD 101-14, pdf)
Proposal for Regulation: Union Code on Visas (Visa Code) COM 164-14, (pdf) and Accompanying SWD (SWD 67-14, pdf)
Union Code on Visas (Visa Code) (COM 163-14, pdf) and Annexes (pdf)
Impact Assessment (84 pages, pdf)
NETHERLANDS: Meijers Committee: Bill tabled by André Bosman (VVD) to regulate the right of Dutch nationals from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten to settle in the Netherlands (pdf):
"the Committee considers that a bill which draws a direct distinction between Dutch nationals on the basis of their decent and which deprives Antillean Dutch of certain rights which European Dutch do enjoy, is incompatible with the international obligations of the Netherlands, does not contribute to a solution for the problems experienced and may in itself cause new problems with the integration of Dutch nationals of immigrant origin."
EU: CEN/CENELEC/ETSI: Cyber Security Coordination Group (CSCG): Recommendations for a Strategy on European Cyber Security Standardisation (pdf)
USA-CIA: Senate Intelligence Committee Summary of CIA Torture (2 pages, pdf): Including
- The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.
- The CIA manipulated the media by coordinating the release of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency's enhanced
Al Jazeera Head to Head programme (link). We have just broadcast a very interesting programme on whether Wikipedia degrades our knowledge and how to protect our online freedom and privacy, with Internet guru and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as our main guest. The programme features a panel of four people including Isabella Sankey Head of Policy at Liberty and former US intelligence officer Bob Ayer.
Update: Spain: Detention centre medical staff to be charged for Samba Martine's death
On 10 April 2014, Cadena Ser radio station reported that six members of the medical staff of the company that runs the medical service in Madrid's detention centre (CIE, Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros) in the Aluche neighbourhood will be charged in relation to the death of a Congolese woman, Samba Martine, on 19 December 2011 after spending 38 days in detention.
Italy: Appeal for the liberation of bodies and of political dissent
The "Effimera" discussion list has issued an appeal that is open to signatures concerning the intimidation and repression deployed against social movement in Europe, with particular reference to four young "NO TAV" activists who are currently subjected to imprisonment in a regime of isolation.
GERMANY-USA: NSA: Angela Merkel denied access to her NSA file - Frustration with US government rises over failure to clear up questions about surveillance of German chancellor's phone (Guardian, link)
ITALY: Ongoing calls for the closure of immigration detention centres
On 15 February 2014 in Rome there was a large demonstration calling for the closure of the city's Ponte Galeria migrant detention centre and Italy's other identification and expulsion centres (CIEs, centri di identificazione ed espulsione). The demonstration, called by Rome's movements for housing rights and the city's network of anti-racist associations, was made up of some 5,000 people and marched from Parco Leonardo to the Ponte Galeria CIE, shouting slogans in different languages.
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Parliament: Legal Service Opinion on the ECJ judgment (pdf) and see: Swedish ISP deletes all retained customer data in wake of EU court ruling (PC World, link) and: Finland must revise its data protection laws (Helsinki Times, link)
Also: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Press Statement: The CJEU rules that Data Retention Directive is invalid (pdf): "The judgment also means that the EU should take a firm position in discussions with third countries, particularly the U.S.A. on the access and use of communications data of EU residents."
UK: Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy (Open Democracy, link): "Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?"
UK: Home Office: Post-legislative Scrutiny of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (pdf) and Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (pdf)
UK: Police officers could face criminal charges over Sean Rigg inquest (Guardian, Local, link): "Two police officers could face criminal charges over evidence given at the inquest into the death of musician Sean Rigg, a watchdog announced today." See: Analysis: Police force more than minimally contributed to Sean Riggs death (pdf) by Trevor Hemmings
UK: PC Keith Blakelock: Nicholas Jacobs cleared of killing officer (BBC News, link): "A man has been cleared of killing police officer Keith Blakelock during riots in north London in 1985. Nicholas Jacobs, 45, denied murdering the officer, who was stabbed 43 times at Broadwater Farm in Tottenham. The Old Bailey jury heard from three witnesses who said they saw Mr Jacobs take part, but his defence team questioned their credibility. On Wednesday, after four hours of deliberations, Mr Jacobs was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter."
UK:The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism: Pursue Prevent Protect Prepare: Home Office publish: CONTEST: The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism Annual Report (pdf) and Statement by Home Secretary (link). See: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatchs findings for SECILE project (pdf)
EU: Claiming asylum after interception is "abuse" of procedure, claims joint police operation report
A formal report produced by the Lithuanian Council Presidency argues that migrants who submit applications for international protection after they have been "intercepted" (apprehended) by national authorities are abusing the asylum procedure.
A large-scale joint police operation, codenamed PERKUNAS , was organised by the Lithuanian Presidency and carried out in September 2013. It aimed at "identifying the link between illegal EU external border crossings and secondary movements of irregular migrants within the EU and the Schengen Area," and the final report said that:
"Considering that the largest proportion (72.94%) of irregular migrants submitted applications for international protection after interception, this could be assessed as a definite quantitative indication of abuse of asylum procedure."
EU: PASSENGER NAME RECORD: Sophie in 't Veld MEP: Letter to Commission and Council (pdf) Poses seven unresolved questions concerning PNR.
Hungary breaches EU data protection law (European Voice, link): "Hungary's conservative government breached European Union law when it sacked the country's data protection officer in 2011, the EU's highest court ruled today (8 April). The European Court of Justice held that allowing the officers of supervisory authorities to serve a full term in office is an integral part of ensuring the independence of those bodies." See Full-text of judgment (pdf)
USA-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US fires warning shot over Europes plans for protectionist Schengen cloud (Diginomica, link)
"But this idea has been shot down in flames by the US Trade Representative in its latest annual report where it states: "Recent proposals from countries within the European Union to create a Europe-only electronic network (dubbed a Schengen cloud by advocates) or to create national-only electronic networks could potentially lead to effective exclusion or discrimination against foreign service suppliers that are directly offering network services, or dependent on them."
The USTR report makes clear that the US government regards the Schengen cloud argument as a front for naked protectionism by the EU"
ECJ-DATA RETENTION JUDGMENT: European Court of Justice: The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid (Press release, pdf) and Judgment (pdf): "It entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being limited to what is strictly necessary" and Commission 2011: Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) (pdf). See Digital Rights Ireland (link) and :
The data retention judgment: The CJEU prohibits mass surveillance (EU Law Analysis, link):
"The Courts judgment can be seen in the broader context of continued revelations about mass surveillance. Its reference to the retention of data by third States is a thinly-disguised allusion to the spying scandals emanating from the United States. It also responds, sotto voce, to the very great concerns of national constitutional courts about this Directive, discussed in detail in Chris Jones post on this issue.
More broadly, the CJEU has seized the chance to give an iconic judgment on the protection of human rights in the EU legal order. Time will deal whether the Digital Rights judgment is seen as the EUs equivalent of classic civil rights judgments of the US Supreme Court, on the desegregation of schools (Brown) or criminal suspects rights (Miranda). If the Charter ultimately contributes to the development of a constitutional patriotism in the European Union, this judgment will be one of its foundations."
See also Chris Jones post : National legal challenges to the Data Retention Directive (link) and What does the death of the EU data directive mean? (euobserver, link).and Commission 2011 evaluation (pdf)
ECJ-DATA RETENTION JUDGMENT: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The CJEU rules that Data Retention Directive is invalid (Press statement, pdf):
"We anticipate that the Commission, taking into account the Court's judgment will now reflect on the need for a new Directive, which will also prevent member states from keeping or imposing the same legal obligations nationally as laid out in the now invalid Data Retention Directive.
The judgment also means that the EU should take a firm position in discussions with third countries, particularly the U.S.A. on the access and use of communications data of EU residents."
EU: CIVIL DRONES: European Commission: European Commission calls for tough standards to regulate civil drones (Press release, pdf) and Communication: A new era for aviation: Opening the aviation market to the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems in a safe and sustainable manner (pdf)
See also: Statewatch/TNI report: Eurodrones, Inc. by Ben Hayes, Chris Jones & Eric Töpfer: Full report (pdf)
COE: USA-NSA-DATA SURVEILLANCE: Parliamentary Assembly: Podcast: Edward Snowdens testimony to Parliamentary Assembly hearing on mass state surveillance (link) and Video (link)
And see: Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers - Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (Guardian, link)
See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EUROPOL & THIRD STATES: Council of the European Union: Council Implementing Decision amending Decision 2009/935/JHA as regards the list of third States and organisations with which Europol shall conclude agreements (pdf): concerning: Brazil, Georgia, Mexico and United Arab Emirates and Note: Strike-through (deletion) of: "Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament".
And see: Statewatch coverage: 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)."
EU-ROMANIA-LEA-DATA-EXCHANGE: Romanian law enforcement databases opened up to other EU Member States
Romania's law enforcement databases have become more readily accessible to the authorities of other Member States after the country submitted to the General Secretariat of the Council its declarations in line with the 'Swedish Framework Decision', under which the rules applying to cross-border exchange of information and intelligence amongst EU Member States' law enforcement authorities cannot be any stricter than the rules applying to the exchange of information and intelligence amongst authorities within a Member State. The intention is to introduce the "principle of availability" to cross-border law enforcement information exchange.
EU: SECRET TRILOGUES MEETINGS: Secret EU lawmaking: the triumph of the trilogue (euobserver, link) Interesting article which explores the secret trilogue process between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament - which is effectively the European Legislature meeting in secret and which decides over 80% of new laws in the EU. The article says that: " if trilogue meetings and their minutes were opened up to the public, lawmakers would just find another way of negotiating in secret" .
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The argument that if law-making in the EU meant all the documents, a transcript of the discussions and the minutes were public then the power elite in Brussels would find a way to by-pass the system is the traditional argument used to perpetuate secret decision-making. It has no place in a democracy worthy of the name."
See: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit (pdf) and European Parliament: Abolish 1st [and 2nd] reading secret deals - bring back democracy warts and all (pdf)
UK-CIA: TORTURE: Tony Blair 'knew all about CIA secret kidnap programme - Former British PM was 'fully briefed' on CIA's interrogation programme after Sept 11 attacks (The Daily Telegraph, link):
" Tony Blair knew in detail about the CIAs secret kidnap and interrogation programme after the September 11 attacks and was kept informed every step of the way by MI6, a security source has told The Telegraph. Mr Blair, the then prime minister, and Jack Straw, his foreign secretary, were fully briefed on CIA activities and were shown now infamous Bush administration legal opinions that declared enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding and stress positions to be legal, the source said."
See also: NGO Letter calling for independent inquiry (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Historical document with some lessons for the present: The Complete, Unofficial TEMPEST Information Page (last updated in 2004, pdf):
"Across the darkened street, a windowless van is parked. Inside, an antenna is pointed out through a fiberglass panel. It's aimed at an office window on the third floor. As the CEO works on a word processing document, outlining his strategy for a hostile take-over of a competitor, he never knows what appears on his monitor is being captured, displayed, and recorded in the van below." (The graphic on the right is the logo for the US Army Blacktail Canyon TEMPEST Test Facility.)
USA-NSA-CUBA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Cuban Twitter Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket (The Intercept, link):
"This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create a Twitter-like Cuban communications network run through secret shell companies in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the services Cuban users was the fact that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposesspecifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government."
Documents: Sigdev Conference (pdf) and GCHQ: Full-Spectrum Cyber Effects (19 pages, pdf) also earlier: GCHQ: Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV (48 pages, pdf)
PORTUGAL: Judicial proceedings as a means of undermining scrutiny of abuse in prisons
On 19 March 2014, SOS Prisões and the Associacão contra a Exclusão e para o Desenvolvemento (ACED, association against exclusion and for development) released a document concerning freedom of expression in the context of torture allegations after the acquittal of two ACED members, António Pedro Andrade Dores and José Preto, by the sixth criminal court in Lisbon. They had been charged of defamation following allegations by two officers from the judicial police in Braga in December 2009 about events dating back to August 2008.
GREECE: ROSA LUXEMBURG STIFTUNG: Mapping Ultra-Right Extremism, Xenophobia and Racism within the Greek State Apparatus (100 pages, link):
"As long as Greece continues as a stigmatized country along a socially painful path of neoliberal restructuring, the threat of fascistization cannot be considered to have been repulsed just because of the current effort to dismantle Golden Dawn. The Greek Republic degenerates along with the dismantlement of organized labour in a society that suffers. Let the following pages be read not just as evidence for mapping the ultra-right within the Greek State, but primarily as evidence of the pressing need to develop a different strategy for resetting the country."
GERMANY: USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Germany opens hearings on U.S. spying (Washington Post, link):
"Revelations of large-scale U.S. spying on Germans, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompted an initial wave of outrage here last year. But now, the lengthy committee investigations could keep the spotlight on leaks by the former National Security Agency contractor for a year or two to come.
The hearings also have the potential to provoke further anti&SHY;pathy. Indeed, a number of lawmakers here are demanding safe passage to Berlin for Snowden who is living in self-imposed exile in Moscow to testify before the eight-member committee. Any such move would likely outrage the United States, which is seeking to take Snowden into custody."
EU: Motorists say no to remote stopping in cars (Recombu, link):
"A survey by insurance comparison website Comparethemarket.com found 47 per cent of respondents felt the measure would 'lead to a Big Brother state'. 46 per cent said they were concerned police could abuse their new powers, while 29 per cent believed such a device 'could lead to more accidents than it prevents'. 24 per cent of those surveyed said any form of remote stopping device would actually dissuade them from buying a car"
Statewatch broke this story at the end of January:
New police cooperation plan includes surveillance, intelligence-gathering and remote vehicle stopping technology
EU-AFRICA: Fourth EU-Africa Summit, 2-3 April 2014, Brussels: EU-Africa Declaration on migration and mobility (pdf) and see: EU-African migration action plan (New Europe, link)
Also: Historic EU-Africa Summit overshadowed by anti-LGBT laws (Intergroup on LGBT rights, link)
SWEDEN-GREECE: "Ericsson bribed Greek policymakers": Ericsson, the large telecommunications corporation has paid over 10 million euros to an agent in connection with a large defense deal in Greece (pdf):
"According to Liss Olof Nenzell a former Ericsson employe who handled many of Ericssons trade agents at the time the money was used to bribe Greek policymakers. For the first time he tells the story about Ericsson's shady business."
DATA SURVEILLANCE : Launch of CAUSE: Coalition Against the Unlawful Surveillance Exports (link): "Civil society groups (FIDH, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Reporters without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, Open Technology Institute) join together to launch CAUSE. The main goal of the coalition will be to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression."
see also Launch of CAUSE : Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (Mediapart.limk)
GREECE-GOLDEN DAWN: Gov't general secretary resigns over video (ekathimerini, link): "Government general secretary Takis Baltakos, a close aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, resigned on Wednesday following the release of a video recording showing him in conversation with Golden Dawn spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris."
EU: Frontex: Code of Conduct for joint return operations coordinated by Frontex (pdf)
and see: Annual Information on the Commitments of the Member States to the European Border Guard Teams (EBGT) and the Technical Equipment Pool (pdf):
"The EBGT consists of border guards from the national border authorities of the Member States.....At the end of 2013, the overall number of border guards in the EBGT stood at almost 2,500 and is still growing as Member States make their contributions. With this number of border guards in the EBGT, Frontex is in the comfortable position of having more officers available for possible deployment on operational activities.
Equipment for border control: - mobile laboratories, i.e. vehicles equipped with communications systems, computers, printers or other equipment for document checks; -.heart-beat detectors -.carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors - Hand-held surveillance equipment: night vision goggles (NVG); -.hand-held thermal cameras.- Dogs (95)"
EU-UK: CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: House of Commons: European Scrutiny Committee: The application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the UK: a state of confusion (pdf):
"This Report arises from the state of confusion which exists in the UK about the applicability of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It was prompted by the comments of a High Court judge in November last year, which the Government sought to correct in the press, and which were debated on the floor of the House of Commons. In the first chapter of the Report we conclude that both this and the previous Government bear some responsibility for this confusion."
See also: In defence of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU Law Analysis, link)
UK: Numerous reports criticise immigration detention
The UK's system of immigration detention has been criticised by a number of high-level reports that have found individuals detained for years at a time, the continued use of "disproportionate force and restraint", and "rude behaviour and verbal abuse" by detention centre staff. The Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of torture has called for the government to reconsider the UK's system of indefinite immigration detention.
UK: Yashika Bageerathi's final appeal against deportation rejected by judge - Lord Justice Richards refuses to grant emergency injunction as Mauritian student, 19, is taken to airport (Guardian, link) See also: Letter from Home Affairs Select Committee: Letter (pdf)
SPAIN: No Excuse for Muzzling Protests (Human Rights Watch, link) "The violence of a few cannot justify trampling the rights of many...Limiting the rights of all in Spain to raise their voices in peaceful protest...is anything but a proportionate response."
Spanish police attack and injure seven journalists (roarmag, link) "After a demonstration in Madrid on Saturday night, seven photographers were assaulted, beaten and injured by police as they tried to cover an arrest."
US: CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says (Washington Post, link) "A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques."
EU: The Migrants' Files: surveying migrants' deaths at Europe's door (euobserver, link) "A tide of humanity people on the run from Africa, the Middle East and Asia is washing over Europes boundaries, and many dont survive the journey."
See: new Statewatch Journal: Borders, deaths and resistance
UK: Police use of Tasers rises sharply in 2013 (Guardian, link) "Police in England and Wales used Tasers on more than 10,000 occasions for the first time in 2013, an increase of 27% over the previous year, according to Home Office figures." Police use of taser statistics, England and Wales, 2012 to 2013 (gov.uk, link)
STATEWATCH: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: Calling the agencies to account: Frontex, Europol & Eurojust: Statewatch complaints & Ombudsman's own initiative Inquiry
"Access to documents is the lifeblood of accountability and democratic standards so why has it taken nine, seven and ten years respectively for these Agencies to start coming into line with EU law on public access to documents? Who is responsible for the failure to ensure compliance with EU law? Is it the European Commission which, since December 2009, has been charged under Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty with ensuring the application of EU law?
It is high-time that these three agencies were made fully accountable to EU law and to the public by adopting and fully implementing the right of access to documents. I look forward to the Ombudsman re-visiting these complaints."
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: European Parliament: Conference: Transparency will save the EU: Restoring trust through public access to documents: principles, practice and challenges (pdf) EP: Tuesday 1 April 2014, 14.00-16.00, Room: ASP 1 G2.
A frequent criticism leveled at the EU is that it is still a bureaucratic and diplomatic construction where procedures are opaque and culture secretive. This conference will examine why the Reform initiated thirteen years ago is still blocked and what can be done to ensure that the EU is open and transparent.
EU: The Migrants' Files: surveying migrants' deaths at Europe's door (euobserver, link): "A tide of humanity people on the run from Africa, the Middle East and Asia is washing over Europes boundaries, and many dont survive the journey."
"Thanks to The Migrants' Files, compiled by a consortium of more than 10 European journalists, the most comprehensive and rigorous database on migrant fatalities ever assembled is now up and running. Their assessment is shocking: since the beginning of the century more than 23,000 people have died or vanished attempting to enter Europe."
GERMANY: UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: 'A' for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies (Der Spiegel, link):
"Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?" See: nsa-gchq document (pdf)
And also: Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders (Intercept, link) and See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EU: Europol: Restructured Analysis Work Files (pdf) Answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group and see also: EUROPOL: New AWF Concept: Guide for MS and Third Parties (pdf)
EU-LIBYA: Development of the EUBAM mission in Libya (pdf) Answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group:
"roughly 8,000 detainees, most of them held without due process, still remain in detention centres, some of which are operated by militias. There have been reports of torture and ill treatment predominantly in non-governmental detention centres, in some instances resulting in death."
"The Federal Government is aware that some illegal migrants are arbitrarily arrested and detained indefinitely, in some cases under very bad conditions. Others are arbitrarily deported from Libya to third countries.There is no possibility of applying for asylum in Libya."
UK: Police spies still get free rein to have sexual liaisons, say women suing Met - Group of eight women behind lawsuit criticise government for failing to ban relationships, attacking 'institutional sexism' (Guardian, link):
"We note that despite the controversy over the issue of undercover relationships in the past couple of years, the codes of practice fail to make any mention of intimate and sexual relationships.
"Having had our privacy intruded upon to a huge and damaging degree we feel that these guidelines fail to address the issues raised by our claims and fail to offer any increased protection to the public." They added: "The situation as it stands currently gives free rein to officers and their handlers."
UN: Human Rights Committee (Advanced uncorrected version): NSA surveillance (pdf)
"The Committee is concerned that the current system of oversight of the activities of the NSA fails to effectively protect the rights of those affected. While welcoming the recent Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-28) that will now extend some safeguards to non-US persons to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the national security, the Committee remains concerned that such persons enjoy only limited protection against excessive surveillance."
See: Dispatch from Geneva: EFF Responds to Concluding Observations from UN Human Rights Committee on NSA Pervasive Surveillance (link):
"the Committee criticized Obamas policy directive (PPD-28) because it offers only limited protection against excessive surveillance for non-US persons. The Committee correctly pointed out that those affected have no access to adequate remedies in case of abuse."
EU: UK: The House of Lords European Union Committee has published its latest report, entitled: The Role of National Parliaments in the European Union.(pdf)
"The Committee has called for a greater role for national parliaments in EU decision making including the introduction of a Green Card procedure to enable a group of national parliaments to work together to propose new EU legislation or amend existing European law."
EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Constructing the secret EU state: Restricted and Limite documents hidden from view by the Council (pdf)
Over 117,000 RESTRICTED documents produced or handled by the Council since 2001 but only 13,184 are listed in its public register of documents
103,839 RESTRICTED documents not listed in the Councils public register due to the originators right of veto?
The Council seeks to stop the publication of unreleased LIMITE documents, which are defined as sensitive unclassified documents
The Commission has failed to implement the Lisbon Treaty to ensure that all legislative documents are made public as they are produced - this means that 60% of Council documents relating to legislative decision-making are made public after the final adoption of measures
The Council uses Article 4.3, the space to think, to refuse access to 50% of requests for access to legislative documents under discussion
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
The Council have constructed a two-tier system of secrecy to keep from public view thousands and thousands of documents. This has been compounded by the failure of the European Commission to put forward proposals to implement the provision in the Lisbon Treaty to make all documents concerning the legislative procedure public.
In place of the need to deepen democratic openness and accountability in EU the Council has entrenched a system of secrecy based on its discretion to decide whether and when to make documents public.
The result is that the European legislature the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament meet in secret trilogues to decide over 80% of new laws going through the EU.
EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Statewatch, the European Commission and the Dutch Senate (pdf)
Parliamentary sovereignty in the EU under threat?
The EU-USA agreement on the exchange of personal data, the later US intervention on draft new EU Data Protection Regulation and the Snowden revelations
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
Subsequent events have shown that it was clearly in the public interest to make public the inadequate EU negotiating position back in 2010. The USAs hostile reaction to the draft new EU Regulation on data protection in 2011 and the Snowden revelations from June 2013 demonstrate the need for binding privacy rights in the EU that cannot be negotiated away in secret meetings.
This case highlights the limits that have been put in place to try and restrict the sovereignty of national parliaments to decide for themselves what documents can be placed in the public domain in order that the people can understand what is being decided in their name.
EU: Secrecy: Secret rules despite Court judgment (Wobbing.eu): by Staffan Dahllöf:
"EU-ministers have postponed implementing a judgment on transparency and rejects to disclose alternatives discussed and leaked. Six member states vote against secrecy. The European Ombudsman is asked to step in."
EU: Frontex Work Programme for 2014 (pdf) Note that on p96 there is still no commitment by Frontex to revise its Decision on public access to documents and provide a register of documents produced and handled.
EU: When can Internet service providers be required to block access to websites? (EU Law Analysis, link)
UK: Supreme Court ruling could give journalists common law right to information outside of FoI (Press Gazette, link) and Full-text of judgment (pdf)
UK-EU: OPT-OUT: Statewatch Analysis: The UK opt-out from Justice and Home Affairs law: the other Member States finally lose patience (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"It is clear that the UKs decision to exercise the block opt out from pre-Lisbon third pillar measures, along with simultaneous demands to opt back in to 35 measures, to participate in SIS II five weeks beforehand, to check all other Member States EAWs for proportionality, and to insist that all EAWs be transmitted separately to the UK authorities, topped off by the Conservative partys plan to hold an in/out referendum, has pushed some other Member States patience to the breaking point."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama: US must 'win back the trust of ordinary citizens' over data collection - President confirms plans to end NSA bulk telephone collection as House committee says it is close to reform bill deal (Guardian, link): The US proposals concern US citizens where data collection is based on: "reasonable articulable suspicion" - it is silent on the rights of everyone else in the world, including the EU. The claim is that EU citizens will have the same protection as US citizens - but is this the same as EU citizens will have under EU law?
And: Obama is canceling the NSA dragnet. So why did all three branches sign off? Well, at least the phone part of the dragnet. Here's hoping it's the end of laws of the spies, by the spies and for the spies (Guardian, link) by Jameel Jaffer. And see: The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Congress' serial fabricator has the audacity to call his new law the 'End Bulk Collection Act'. Obama's proposal isn't much better (link)
EU: FREEZING and CONFISCATION: European Criminal Bar Association: Statement on the proposal for a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime in the EU (pdf):
"Since the events of 9/11 there has been an increase in security legislation both on an EU and national level which provide many examples of broad powers being expansively interpreted by policy makers, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and the courts. This so called practice of gold plating whereby domestic measures in purported reliance on a Directive, greatly exceed what is in fact required has in the past seriously compromised fundamental rights, as for example in the anti-money laundering field."
See: Adopted text by EP and the Council on Freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime (pdf)
ETHIOPA: SURVEILLANCE: They Know Everything We Do - Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia (HRW, link)
"The 137 page report details the technologies the Ethiopian government has acquired from several countries and uses to facilitate surveillance of perceived political opponents inside the country and among the diaspora. The governments surveillance practices violate the rights to freedom of expression, association, and access to information. The governments monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers."
USA: NSA-SURVEILLANCE: NSA: House bill would lower standards for collecting individuals' data - Draft bill would allow collection of electronic communications records based only on 'reasonable articulable suspicion' Guardian, link): "The House intelligence committee is circulating a draft bill that would permit the government to acquire the phone or email records of an "individual or facility" inside the US for up to a year. The move by the House intelligence committee's leadership the Republican chairman Michael Rogers of Michigan and Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland would significantly prohibit mass surveillance of all Americans' phone data."
EU-USA SUMMIT: WISHFUL THINKING? EU-US Summit (Brussels, 26 March 2014) and EU-US relations Press release, pdf). Near the end of the press release, under the heading: "Rebuilding trust" it says:
"the negotiations on the "umbrella agreement" on data protection in the area of law enforcement cooperation should be completed by summer 2014 as jointly agreed at the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial in November. After 18 negotiating rounds the main issue which remains is the right of judicial redress that should be granted by the US to EU citizens not resident in the US. The Umbrella Agreement should provide a high level of protection including an opportunity for EU citizens to have recourse to judicial redress and enforceable rights with regard to their personal data when it has been transferred to the US in a law enforcement context. US citizens have such judicial redress rights in the EU."
It is hard to see how the EU-USA "umbrella agreement" on data protection covering law enforcement could be "completed by summer 2014" when the EU is unlikely to adopt the new Regulation on data protection before the end of 2014 (or the Directive on LEA personal data exchanges within the EU) if then and when there has been no resolution of the myriad of unanswered questions arising from ongoing Snowden revelations.
GREECE: Golden Dawn: courage of two women stems the rise of Greece's neo-Nazis - Under armed guard, the judges investigating the far-right party's criminal activities have brought it down: but it is far from out (The Observer, link)
EU: European Parliament: Working document (no 1): Strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings (pdf) and Working document (no 2) (pdf): Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: Rapporteur: Renate Weber.
Updated: USA-NSA: NSA surveillance program reaches into the past to retrieve, replay phone calls (Washington Post, link)
"The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording 100 percent of a foreign countrys telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden."
See documents: Mystic (2 pages, pdf) and Scalwag/Retro (pdf)
This follows the revelation last year (October 2013) about the NSA mass collection of e-mail addresses: See: NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (Washington Post, link)
FINLAND: SMART BORDERS: European Parliament: Draft: Report from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Delegation on "Smart Borders" to Finland 18-20 December 2013: Head of Delegation: Renate Sommer (pdf)
FRANCE-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: French spy software targeted Canada: report (The Globe and Mail, link): "The document leaked to Le Monde is a slide presentation with the logo of Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), the secretive Ottawa-based agency that tracks foreign computer, radio and telephone communications. It is classified top secret." See also: Quand les Canadiens partent en chasse de "Babar"." (Le Monde, link)
See: Stormglobe document (pdf)
STATEWATCH: New issue of Journal: Borders, deaths and resistance and Link for free download
"So detached has the official rhetoric about migrants' rights and saving lives become from the realities of the detention centres, the razor wire, the intensive surveillance, the military patrols, the forced expulsions and the 20,000 documented deaths, that people bearing the brunt of the economic crisis and austerity measures may be forgiven for thinking that over-generous migration policies are indeed the source of all their woe - a message that is rammed home by opportunist politicians and xenophobic media at every opportunity.
This new edition of the Statewatch Journal examines the latest European policy and practice vis-a-vis border control, immigration and asylum."
CoE: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee announces visits to ten states in 2015 (link): "The Committee intends to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the following ten countries: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland: Persons in possession of information concerning deprivation of liberty in any of these countries which they believe could assist the CPT are invited to bring it to the Committees attention."
UK: Jimmy Mubenga: G4S guards face plane death charges (BBC News, link):
"Three G4S custody officers will face manslaughter charges over the death of Jimmy Mubenga who died on a plane as he was deported from the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig would be charged. Previously, an inquest jury found Mr Mubenga was unlawfully killed by G4S guards who were restraining him."
UK-GCHQ: British intelligence watchdog is like Yes Prime Minister, says MP - Spy services' monitor has staff of just two and was bewildered by Snowden affair (Guardian, link)
Spain/Catalunya: Catalan government's IT security service drew up dossiers on activists' use of Twitter
On 24 January 2014, following earlier denials, the Catalan councillor for business and employment, Felip Puig, acknowledged that Cesicat [Centro de Seguridad de las Informaciones de Cataluña], a body set up in 2010 and tasked with guaranteeing the Generalitat's [the Catalan government] IT security, had drawn up 50 dossiers on activists and social movements based on its monitoring of Twitter accounts in 2012 and 2013 on behalf of the Catalan police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra:
Security expert Gemma Galdón said that: "it is quite clear, it is forbidden for public authorities to set up ideological databases" and that, regardless of the information coming from "open sources... intervention by state and the police must be motivated by a clear, identifiable risk".
EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Package of Fair Trial Rights (pdf)
EU justice scoreboard upsets some member states (euobserver, link): "some of the scoreboard data sets on the charts dated 2010 from Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Romania, Cyprus, and Hungary are missing for 2012. The UK is the only the member state that refuses to provide any data on its justice system to the Council of Europe [which collects much of the data]. "We have no intention of the UK becoming part of a one-size-fits-all EU justice system, said UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in a statement on Monday."
EU Justice Scoreboard (Press release, pdf) and Report (pdf)
EU POLICE COOPERATION: This document was prepared by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group: Cooperative activities and projects conducted by European police forces in the second six months of 2013 (pdf).
Despite lots of answers stating that: ""After weighing up the rights to investigate and obtain information enjoyed by Members of the German Bundestag against the protection of fundamental rights, the German Federal Government has come to the conclusion that, in view of the reasons that have been set out and the high-ranking nature of the legally protected rights that are at stake, the publication of the information relevant in this respect must be ruled out, even if there is no more than a minor risk of undesirable consequences." the document is a mine of information on dozens and dozens of largely hidden EU police cooperation working groups and serves to emphasise the key operational role played the Council of the European Union in coordinatng EU Member States' agencies.
EU-JHA: European Commission: Preliminary list of the former third pillar acquis (SWD 109-14, pdf):
"Article 10 (1) of Protocol 36 attached to the Treaty on the European Union provides for a transitional period before the full powers of the Commission and of the Court of Justice apply to the acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (former third pillar acquis") adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. As of 1 December 2014, the transitional phase will come to an end. This will lift current limitations to the judicial control by the European Court of Justice and to the Commission's power to launch infringement proceedings, as the guardian of the Treaty over the area of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters."
EU: Proceeds of crime Directive adopted: Council adopts directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime (Council Press release, pdf) and Full-text: Directive on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: If GCHQ wants to improve national security it must fix our technology - Our security is better served by protecting us against online threats than it is by giving cops and spies an easier time attacking bad guys (Guardian, link) and Public apathy over GCHQ snooping is a recipe for disaster - The lack of public alarm at government internet surveillance is frightening, but perhaps it's because the problem is difficult to convey in everyday terms (The Observer, link)
NETHERLANDS: SCHENGEN Border Controls: The Netherlands: European Commission: DG Home: Temporary reintroduction of border controls: At the occasion of the Nuclear Security Summit, the Netherlands temporarily reintroduces border controls at its internal borders during the period from 14 to 28 March 2014.
Safety measures for Nuclear Security Summit: The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) will take place in the World Forum in The Hague on 24 and 25 March. To ensure that this conference proceeds safely and smoothly, a number of measures are being taken. One of these measures is a temporary reintroduction of controls at the Netherlands borders with other Schengen countries under articles 23 (1) and 24 of the Schengen Borders Code (Regulation (EC) No. 562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council). Nuclear Security Summit (link)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Europe lags behind in its efforts to resettle refugees (link): "Europe is lagging behind in its efforts to resettle refugees with only 20 Council of Europe member states resettling only 5,500 people in 2013 and should do a great deal more, according to PACEs Migration Committee." And see report: Resettlement of refugees, towards greater solidarity (pdf)
UK: Alleged victims' fury at failure to ban undercover police seduction tactics - New code of conduct does not rule out forming relationships with suspects or associates if justified by likely disclosures (The Observer, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Investigation Order: Council adopts the "European Investigation Order" directive (Council Press release, pdf) and Full-text: Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: As adopted by plenary on: Report on public access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2011-2013 (pdf): Rapporteur: Sophia in t Veld
UK: Police drop attempt to block action over undercover officers - Five women bringing action say they were duped into having long-term relationships with undercover officers (Guardian, link)
UK: We are our own educators!: Buzz Johnson, peoples publisher by Chris Searle (IRR News, link): "A tribute to Buzz Johnson (19512014), who created in the UK one of the most important and prolific black publishing houses on and for Caribbean peoples."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly Resolution: Improving user protection and security in cyberspace (pdf): "The Parliamentary Assembly is concerned that the further development and exploitation of cyberspace is still taking place without an adequate protection of the rights and interests of the weakest stakeholder in this process: the individual user."
European Parliament Study: The impacts of visa liberalisation on trans-border mobility (pdf): "this study examines the Schengen Visa liberalisation in the Eastern Partnership countries, Russia and Turkey which has proven to have a huge transformative potential across the justice, liberty and security policies of the countries where it has been deployed."
European Parliament: Transparency is an essential element of a lively democracy (pdf). Record of a discussion between Rapporteurs on access to EU documents. Renate Sommer is parliament's EPP group shadow rapporteur says: "In order to avoid outside influence on the legislative process at this stage trilogues should not be public and documents relating to them should not be disclosed." while Michael Cashman is parliament's S&D group shadow rapporteur says: "the European commission and the European council, with the help of some elements of the European People's Party and, rather contradictorily to their continuous attack on the EU, the UK Independence Party, continue to think that we should legislate behind closed doors." and Cornelis de Jong is parliament's GUE/NGL group shadow rapporteur: "If it is already difficult for MEPs to grasp what decisions are made on the internal arrangements in the EP, for the ordinary citizen this is a complete black box."
See Statewatch Observatories: Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-ongoing and Reporting on openness and secrecy in the EU since 1992
UK: Home Office: Impacts of migration on UK native employment: An analytical review of the evidence (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware (The Intercept. link):
"Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware implants. The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks."
"Top-secret documents show that the British base referred to by the NSA as MHS for Menwith Hill Station is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant exploitation attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."
"MENWITH HILL: GCHQ, the British agency, has taken on a particularly important role in helping to develop the malware tactics. The Menwith Hill satellite eavesdropping base that is part of the TURMOIL network, located in a rural part of Northern England, is operated by the NSA in close cooperation with GCHQ. Top-secret documents show that the British base referred to by the NSA as MHS for Menwith Hill Station is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant exploitation attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."
See: The NSA and GCHQs QUANTUMTHEORY Hacking Tactics (link), TURBINE and TURMOIL: (pdf) another Menwith Hill ("MHS") connection.
And see: Foreign Officials In the Dark About Their Own Spy Agencies Cooperation with NSA (The Intercept, link): "One of the more bizarre aspects of the last nine months of Snowden revelations is how top political officials in other nations have repeatedly demonstrated, or even explicitly claimed, wholesale ignorance about their nations cooperation with the National Security Agency, as well as their own spying activities. This has led to widespread speculation about the authenticity of these reactions: Were these top officials truly unaware, or were they pretending to be, in order to distance themselves from surveillance operations that became highly controversial once disclosed?" See: Third Party Relationships (pdf)
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Phone call metadata does betray sensitive details about your life study Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata (Guardian, link):
"Warnings that phone call metadata can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls. Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs want to scrap US data agreements (euobserver, link): "MEPs want the EU to scrap data protection agreements with the US as they increase pressure on member states to start negotiations on reforming data protection rules in the EU."
European Parliament: US NSA: stop mass surveillance now or face consequences, MEPs say (Press release, pdf) : The resolution, in which MEPs set out their findings and recommendations to boost EU citizens' privacy, was backed by 544 votes to 78, with 60 abstentions:
"Parliament's consent to the EU-US trade deal "could be endangered" if blanket mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) does not stop, MEPs said on Wednesday, in a resolution wrapping up their six-month inquiry into US mass surveillance schemes. The text also calls on the EU to suspend its bank data deal with the US and the Safe Harbour agreement on data privacy. The fight against terrorism can never justify secret and illegal mass surveillance, it adds"
"The Snowden revelations gave us a chance to react. I hope we will turn those reactions into something positive and lasting into the next mandate of this Parliament, a data protection bill of rights that we can all be proud of", said Civil Liberties inquiry rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D,"
European Parliament: MEPs tighten up rules to protect personal data in the digital era (Press release, pdf): approved by 621 votes to 10, with 22 abstentions:
"MEPs inserted stronger safeguards for EU citizens personal data that gets transferred to non-EU countries in a major overhaul of the EUs data protection laws voted on Wednesday. The new rules aim both to give people more control over their personal data and to make it easier for firms to work across borders, by ensuring that the same rules apply in all EU member states."
""I have a clear message to the Council: any further postponement would be irresponsible. The citizens of Europe expect us to delivera strong EU wide data protection regulation. If there are some member states which do not want to deliver after two years of negotiations, the majority should go ahead without them", explained rapporteur for the general data protection regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE)."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies Reach (New York Times, link):
"Previously, with narrow exceptions, an intelligence agency was permitted to disseminate information gathered from court-approved wiretaps only after deleting irrelevant private details and masking the names of innocent Americans who came into contact with a terrorism suspect. The Raw Take order significantly changed that system, documents show, allowing counterterrorism analysts at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share unfiltered personal information."
Background documents: Stellarwind (pdf) NSA-FISA: Classifications Guide (pdf) NSA/CSS: Classification Guide (pdf)
EU:POST-STOCKHOLM JHA PROGRAMME: Statewatch Analysis: The next multi-year EU Justice and Home Affairs programme Views of the Commission and the Member States (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"Overall, the suggestions on the table would in part be useful and practical (on asylum, legal migration, civil justice and suspects rights, subject to concerns about the details of any rules on the offshore processing of asylum-seekers), and in part raise some concerns about civil liberties protection (as regards PNR and smart borders in particular). But there are no specific overriding themes that would bring together the EUs future JHA plans into a coherent system."
See also: European Commission: "The effect of publishing two sets of communications is that there is no single Commission vision of the future of JHA in the EU, with the three Cs in the Justice paper as compared to a subject-based approach in the Home Affairs paper." (Steve Peers):
The EU Justice Agenda for 2020 - Strengthening Trust, Mobility and Growth within the Union (COM 144-14, pdf)
An open and secure Europe: making it happen (COM 154, pdf)
A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law (COM 158-14, pdf)
Annexes: A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law (COM 158-Annexes-14, pdf)
EU: POST STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Two letters from Commissioner Malmstrom (Home Affairs: Internal security and immigration) and Commissioner Reding (Justice Affairs) to the Council of the European Union: Text of the two letters (pdf)
It is intended to agree the new Post-Stockholm Programme (2105-2020) at the European Council on 26-27 June 2014 - it will be formally adopted under the Italian Council Presidency (July-December 2014, and may be called the "Rome Programme"). The European Parliament is not at all happy with the Council's timetable as it will have little time to consider the five-year plan with elections at the end of May and most of June taken up with constituting the new parliament (new MEPs, agreeing Committee Chairs etc).
The new Programme adopted by the European Council (EU Prime Ministers) will set out the agenda for the European Commission to put forward proposals which are then discussed and agreed by the Council of the Ministers (Justice and Home Affairs Council) and the European Parliament acting as co-legislators.
And see: The JHA Agencies Contribution on the new multiannual Justice and Home Affairs programme (10 March 2014, pdf)
EU officials seek new powers to protect rule of law (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Presidency to: Delegations of the Friends of Presidency Group: Subject: Application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties (10 March 2014, pdf) Concerns the 5 year transition period for pre-Lisbon Justice and Home Affairs measures: (i.e. so-called ex-third pillar acts) and to look at whether any of these acts are such that it can be unequivocally considered that they are obsolete and concerning the UK opt-in and opt-outs.
DRONES: UN report calls for independent investigations of drone attacks - Special rapporteur on human rights says states have obligation to launch inquiries into attacks that kill civilians (Guardian, link). And: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson (pdf) See Chapter III.
Greeces biggest prison is boiling: The countrys health system is collapsing. Nowhere is this more obvious than inside its prisons.(link)
Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: 'I would do it again' (Guardian, link)
Whistleblower patches in to Texas conference from Russia
Snowden insists leaks have strengthened national security
Spain admits use of rubber bullets on migrants was wrong (BBC News, link)
UNHCR: UKRAINE: International Protection Considerations related to developments in Ukraine (Press release, pdf): "In the current circumstances, UNHCR considers a designation of Ukraine as a "safe country of origin" not appropriate, and recommends States to remove Ukraine from "safe country of origin" lists."
EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden's testimony to the European Parliament inquiry and Q & A session transcript (pdf)
"I believe that suspicionless surveillance not only fails to make us safe, but it actually makes us less safe. By squandering precious, limited resources on "collecting it all," we end up with more analysts trying to make sense of harmless political dissent and fewer investigators running down real leads. I believe investing in mass surveillance at the expense of traditional, proven methods can cost lives, and history has shown my concerns are justified."
"One of the foremost activities of the NSA's FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance. Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK's GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers. These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers insistence that legal limits be respected, effects the GCHQ internally described in its own documents as "damaging public debate
Snowden: NSA pressures EU members to change laws (New Europe, link) and Edward Snowden wants asylum in EU (euobserver, link)
The EP plenary session will discuss (Tuesday) and consider amendments (vote Wednesday): Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP
See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: HERNE Report: Operation HERNE: Operation Trinity: Report 2: Allegations of Peter Francis by Mike Creedon Chief Constable Derbyshire Constabulary (80 pages, pdf):
"The detail contained within this report is deliberately and specifically limited to the allegations made by Peter Francis and the report does not seek to fully address the wider covert policing implications including the supervision, management and executive oversight of the SDS between 1968 and 2008. At a later stage Operation
Herne will provide further reporting in relation to how the unit was tasked, the relationships with other agencies and the nature, extent and justification of the covert infiltrations carried out over the 40 years."
See: Police Spies Out of Lives - Support group for women's legal action against undercover policing (link) And see Stephen Lawrence Review below
And: Scotland Yard in new undercover police row - Force accused over attempts to block claims by women allegedly deceived into sexual relationships (The Observer, link)
UK: CCTV: ICO ruling replaces Royston "Ring of Steel" with mass surveillance roulette (pdf) No CCTV:
Charles Farrier of No CCTV said: "We find increasingly that we live in a state in which the police or the government know more about you than you know about yourself. This is not a healthy society in which to live. The network of mass surveillance number plate cameras that are used in Royston and throughout the UK was constructed without any public debate.
It is still the biggest surveillance network that most people have never heard of. The ICO might think it's okay to turn freedoms into a game of roulette 'pick your route and guess whether you're under surveillance' we do not. We will continue to contest these cameras that should have no place in a free country.
UKRAINE: Whose sniper in Kiev? (link) 94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month: Who killed them?
The link below is a partial transcript of an intercepted phone call between Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, and European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, which seems to have taken place about 1 March 2014. Paet had visited Kiev briefly, and Ashton asked for his impressions. Paet remarked how low public trust is in the new Ukrainian government. These people have dirty pasts, he said. Then he talked about Olga, who is a medical doctor. Ashton had also met her. Olga told Paet how the same snipers killed both civilians and policemen in Kiev. To Ashtons evident surprise, Paet says behind the snipers it was not Yanukovitch but it was somebody from the new coalition. This transcript, which the Russell Foundation has compiled, is taken from the last three minutes or so of the conversation. The web link to the intercept itself is above.
UK: Stephen Lawrence police 'spy' prompts public inquiry (BBC News, link): Revelations that a police officer spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence will lead to a judge-led public inquiry into undercover policing.
and see Full Report: The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Possible corruption and the role of undercover policing in the Stephen Lawrence case: Summary of Findings: Author: Mark Ellison QC (pdf)
USA: The Inverse of Oversight: CIA Spies On Congress (The Intercept, link): "In the wake of an explosive new allegation that the CIA spied on Senate intelligence committee staffers". See: Senator's Press release (link), plus: Yes, The CIA Spied On Congress (The Dish, link) and Probe: Did the CIA spy on the U.S. Senate? (link):
"The CIA Inspector Generals Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIAs secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned. The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study."
NORWAY: Detention of Asylum Seekers (pdf): Analysis of Norways international obligations, domestic law and practice.(Norsk Organisasjon for Asylsøkere)
UK: New campaign calls for inquiry into undercover policing
The fight for justice by those affected by undercover police operations has been stepped up with a number of individuals and groups coming together to launch the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), which is demanding a full-scale public inquiry into the infiltration of a whole host of campaigns and protest groups by undercover police officers.
European Parliament reports going to plenary session: Stockholm and Access to EU documents :
- Report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme (pdf): Rapporteurs: Luigi Berlinguer, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Carlo Casini
- Report on public access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2011-2013 (pdf) Sophia in 't Veld
EU: Report reveals 'extensive' violence against women in EU - One in three women report physical or sexual abuse since age of 15, with largest number of victims in Denmark (Guardian, link) and see: Full report (link)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 3-4 March 2014, Brussels: Final Press release: 3-4 March 2014 (pdf):
"B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and "A" Points non-legislative (adopted without discussion). See: Background Note (pdf)
Documents: A highly inappropriate title: "An effective EU return policy": Presidency's food for thought paper for the lunch discussion (pdf) and Preparation for the accession of the UK to the SIS II (pdf) Detailed discussion of UK access in the light of its proposed JHA opt-out with Member States reactions
See Statewatch Observatory: Proceedings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 1993 - present
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Investigatory Powers:the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Relevant Sources) Order 2013 (pdf) The Home Office has announced a "consultation" on new Codes of Practice:
- No 1: Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources Codes of Practice
- No 2: Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice
- No 3: Covert Surveillance and Property Interference Code of Practice
"The majority of the proposals to update the codes of practice are as a consequence of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Relevant Sources) Order 2013 which I laid on 31 October 2013 and came into force on 1 January 2014."
UK: Sun, sand...and indefinite detention (Open Democracy, link): "The UKs second largest immigration detention centre is about to open in Weymouth. Jennifer Allsopp reports on local responses to the imminent presence of hundreds of foreigners, locked up off the coast of this small and friendly town."
EU and Tunisia sign Mobility Partnership - Italy among the 10 Partnership member States (AnsaMed, link) and: EU and Tunisia establish their Mobility Partnership (Commission press release, pdf)
See also: Extension of Mobility Partnerships with Euro-Mediterranean Partners (link) by Marie Martin
EU: Council of the European Union: COSI, ITCs and Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for cross-border information exchange
- Future role of COSI (pdf) from the following delegations: AT, BG, CZ, ES, FI, FR, HU, HR (Croatia), IT, PL, RO, SE, SI, SK
- ITC: 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 [First reading] - Analysis of the final draft compromise text with a view to agreement
- Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Draft SPOC Guidelines for cross-border law enforcement information exchange (pdf) Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for cross-border information exchange.
EU: European Commission: Borders, GAMM & Free movement
- Smart Borders: The scope of the study on the Smart Borders Package (pdf)
- GAMM: Report on the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility 2012-2013 (pdf)
- Free movement: Addressing the consequences of disenfranchisement of Union citizens exercising their rights to free movement (pdf)
UK: GCHQ: Labour to overhaul spy agency controls in response to Snowden files - Yvette Cooper says debate over privacy, civil liberties and the role of the intelligence agencies has barely started in Britain (Guardian, link).and Nick Clegg orders review into data gathering by spy agencies - Deputy PM commissions independent report after failing to persuade David Cameron of need for reform of oversight (Guardian, link)
Databases and data-mining: a favoured method for security and law enforcement agencies (Breaking the Frame, link)
UK-GCHQ: Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ (Guardian, link)
Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
Yahoo: 'A whole new level of violation of our users' privacy'
Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images
See Full document: Optic Nerve (pdf)
and: GCHQ's cover for Optic Nerve provided by legislation introduced in 2000 - Section 8 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act permits GCHQ to perform indiscriminate trawls of external data (Guardian, link) and se also: Statewatch coverage: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK: Water cannon: Met Police 'does not have convincing case' (BBC News, link) and Statewatch story: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting And see: London Assembly: Police and Crime Committee: Water cannon: Why the Met's case doesn't wash (pdf)
EU: ARMED DRONES: MEPs vote in landslide for ban on covert drone strikes (Reprieve, press release, link) and see European Parliament: Resolution (pdf)
European Parliament: Parliament backs EU-Turkey deal to return clandestine migrants (pdf):
"Clandestine migrants from the EU to Turkey or Turkey to the EU would have to be returned under an EU-Turkey readmission agreement signed by both parties in December and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The return rule would apply not only to EU nationals and Turks, but also to third-country nationals who enter either the EU or Turkey via the other."
See also: European Parliament: do not vote in favour of a EU/Turkey readmission agreement! (Migreurop, link)
EU: European Parliament and CEPOL trilogue: Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision 2005/681/JHA establishing the European Police College (CEPOL) (pdf). Multicolumn document with positions of MS Proposal, Parliament, Council and "compromise" for discussion on Monday 3 March 2014
and see: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) report (pdf) and Council discussion paper (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Evaluations: Italy & Cybercrime
- Evaluation report on the sixth round of mutual evaluations: "The practical implementation and operation of Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime and of Council Decision 2008/976/JHA on the European Judicial Network in criminal matters" REPORT ON ITALY (pdf) Declassified version of "Restricted" document of 18 November 2013 - begs the question: are other country evaluation reports also going to be declassified, and hence made accessible, after 3 months?
- Seventh round of mutual evaluations - Questionnaire: 7th round of Mutual Evaluations: The practical implementation and operation of European policies on prevention and combating Cybercrime (pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, Law School, University of Essex
"the complex interplay of the provisions of this Regulation with EU asylum law has led to something of a dogs dinner of rules governing the asylum applications of people rescued or intercepted in the Mediterranean, and the rules on the accountability of Frontex are something of a red herring in light of the allegations of serious misconduct in some cases by national authorities.
Finally, the Commissions continued unwillingness to bring infringement proceedings in this area (and in the face of its own documented breaches of other EU immigration and asylum law) is undermining the letter and spirit of the Charter by allowing Member States authorities to think that they can violate the Charter with impunity."
European Parliament: MEPs boost transparency in committee votes (euobserver, link)
UK: Ex-Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg held in Birmingham terror raids Begg, released from Guantánamo without charge, arrested with two men and a woman on suspicion of Syria-related offences (Guardian, link):
"The former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, who became a vocal campaigner against the alleged excesses of the war on terror, is back in detention after being arrested for alleged terrorism offences linked to Syria. Supporters of Begg, 45, claimed his arrest at his Birmingham home was politically motivated and aimed at halting his work trying to expose injustices committed by the west."
See: Moazzam Begg arrested for uncovering Western complicity in rendition and torture? (Cage, link):
" CAGE is outraged by the arrest of our Outreach Director, Moazzam Begg. A former Guantanamo Bay detainee, he has been campaigning for due process and the human rights of victims, despite suffering over three years of torture and abuse by the US government with the complicity of the British security services."
And: Release Moazzam Begg Now! National Protest: Saturday 1 March 2014 at 12 noon: Outside West Midlands Police HQ, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway, Birmingham B4 6NQ. Supported by CAGE UK, Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign, South Asian Alliance.
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations (The Intercept, link): "One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction".
"These GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls false flag operations and emails to peoples families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?"
and see: Western spy agencies build cyber magicians to manipulate online discourse (RT, link)
See document: GCHQ: The ART of DECEPTION: Training for a new generation of online covert operations (3MB, pdf)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: EDPS Guidelines on the Rights of Individuals: data protection is essential to good public administration (Press release, pdf) and Guidelines (pdf):
Giovanni Buttarelli, Assistant EDPS, said: "EU institutions and bodies are accountable for compliance with data protection rules and our objective is to promote a data protection culture amongst them to help implement this obligation. The Guidelines contribute to this strategic objective and will help to build awareness that data protection as a fundamental right is a vital part of good public policy and administration."
Council of Europe: Committee of Ministers to examine implementation of human rights judgments (link)
Belgium temporarily suspends Dublin transfers to Bulgaria (Asylum Information Database, link). See: UNHCR: Bulgaria As a Country of Asylum (pdf)
TURKEY: European Parliament: do not vote in favour of a EU/Turkey readmission agreement! (Migreurop, link): "On 26 February, the European Parliament will vote on the EU-Turkey agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and Migreurop call upon the European Parliament to vote against this agreement until the full respect of rights of migrants and refugees can be guaranteed at all stages of the readmission procedure." and French (link)
UK: Jimmy Mubenga's family urges CPS to make decision about criminal charges - Mubenga's son Roland says 'lives are on hold' as family waits for CPS to decide whether to prosecute three G4S guards (Guardian, link)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MIRANDA DETENTION: Heres David Mirandas application to the Court of Appeal drafted by Matthew Ryder QC and Edward Craven of Matrix Chambers for permission to appeal against todays Administrative Court judgment. The court today dismissed his judicial review challenge to his questioning and detention last August under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law (The Intercept, link): "A British lower court has ruled that London police acted lawfully in employing an anti-terror statute to detain and interrogate David Miranda for nearly nine hours at Heathrow Airport last summer, even while recognizing that the detention was an indirect interference with press freedom. Miranda said his suit will continue. I will appeal this ruling, and keep appealing until the end, not because I care about what the British government calls me, but because the values of press freedom that are at stake are too important to do anything but fight until the end, he said in a statement to The Intercept." Full-text of court decision (pdf)
GREECE: Refugees describe dire conditions in migrant detention centres (EnetEnglish, link): "Granted political asylum in December, Farhad, detained for 14 months at the detention centre in Corinth, said detainees were packed scores to a room and often beaten by police. In protest at the appalling conditions, he and others sowed their mouths together and went on hunger strike
See also: GlobalPost documentary shows footage recorded inside Corinth camp
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS: Enforcing EU data protection law essential for rebuilding trust between EU-US (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: "The rights of EU citizens to the protection of their privacy and personal information are enshrined in EU law. The mass surveillance of EU citizens by US and other intelligence agencies disregards these rights. As well as supporting a privacy act in the USA, Europe must insist on the strict enforcement of existing EU legislation, promote international privacy standards and swiftly adopt the reform of the EU data protection Regulation. A concerted effort to restore trust is required. " who also comments:
"It is... essential that progress is made quickly to thwart the attempts serving political and economic interests to restrict the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection."
See also: DP Regulation: EDPS letter to the Council of the European Union (pdf): raises "three crucial outstanding issues"
EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Consolidated report after the vote in the LIBE Committee on 12 February 2014: Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP. The full Parliament will vote on the resolution on 12 March in Strasbourg.
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Why Have You Gone to Russia Two Times in Three Months?Heathrow Customs Agent Interrogates Snowden Lawyer (The Dissenter, link)
UK: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting
High-ranking Metropolitan Police officers faced an angry crowd at a public meeting on Monday night as they attempted to justify their attempts to acquire water cannons for use in public order situations. Over 200 hundred people packed into City Hall, which houses the offices of the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly, to demand that the police abandon their plans to purchase three of the weapons before the summer.
EU-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Germany Considers Counterespionage Against US (Speigel Online, link): "Unsatisfied with the lack of answers provided by Washington in the NSA spying scandal, officials in Berlin are considering a new approach. Germany might begin counterespionage measures aimed at allies."
See also: U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel - report (Reuers, 23-2-14, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Further discussions on the future development of the Justice and Home Affairs area in relation to Justice (6199/14, pdf) and Home Affairs (6420/14, pdf)
These documents "summarise the work undertaken under the Lithuanian Presidency and the discussions at the JHA informal ministerial meeting in Athens on 23 and 24 January 2014 on the future development of JHA and to initiate a debate in COREPER outlining the Member States' contribution to the future of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice."
EU: Council of the European Union: Approach for the way forward on the Smart Borders Package (5828/14, pdf)
"The Commission has stated its intention to proceed with a proof of concept which would test both a detailed design of the technical architecture and the underlying operational processes. The purpose would be to ensure that the best possible choices are made both from a technical and cost-benefit point of view. The proof of concept will schematically consist of two main phases: a study to be conducted by the Commission and a pilot project to be entrusted to eu-LISA."
GCHQ-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters (The Intercept, link)
"The system used by GCHQ to monitor the WikiLeaks website codenamed ANTICRISIS GIRL is described in a classified PowerPoint presentation prepared by the British agency and distributed at the 2012 SIGDEV Conference. At the annual gathering, each member of the Five Eyes alliance the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand describes the prior years surveillance successes and challenges.
In a top-secret presentation at the conference, two GCHQ spies outlined how ANTICRISIS GIRL was used to enable targeted website monitoring of WikiLeaks (See slides 33 and 34). The agency logged data showing hundreds of users from around the world, including the United States, as they were visiting a WikiLeaks site contradicting claims by American officials that a deal between the U.K. and the U.S. prevents each country from spying on the others citizens." : Document: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and:
"A third document, from July 2011, contains a summary of an internal discussion in which officials from two NSA offices including the agencys general counsel and an arm of its Threat Operations Center considered designating WikiLeaks as a malicious foreign actor for the purpose of targeting. Such a designation would have allowed the group to be targeted with extensive electronic surveillance without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.": Document: SIGINT targeting scenarios (pdf)
EU: ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles), CEAR and Accem: Death and Summary Returns at Europes Doorstep: European Commission Must Investigate Border Practices in Ceuta and Melilla (pdf): "The EU cannot turn a blind eye to these allegations of serious human rights violations and has to do everything in its power to ensure the respect of fundamental rights at its external borders" and in Spanish (link) See also: Death of at least 12 people (link) And: Spain says police fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to swim to enclave (Reuters, link)
UK: Could Jimmy Mubengas death have been prevented? (IRR News Service, link): "As we await the publication of a new Home Office manual on deportations, IRR News has gleaned evidence from a number of Freedom of Information requests suggesting that the death of Jimmy Mubenga during deportation could have been prevented."
INTERPOL: Consensus builds for INTERPOL reform (Fair Trials International, link). See also: INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report (Statewatch News Online)
EU: Migreurop: A Critical Chronology of European Migration Policies (link) and Chronology pdf (link)
"This chronology seeks to make it easier to understand European migration and asylum policies through a time-framed comparison of the evolution of the legal framework (columns A1 to A3), the public discourse (B1) and the facts (B2). The table is updated twice a year.
The aim is to picture the way in which the EU policy of closing the borders, apart from the sequence of tragedies that it causes, leads to human rights violations and to absurd situations that are sometimes impossible to manage by the very people who implement them, in an escalation whose effects sometimes appear to escape the grasp of its protagonists, and bargaining among states in which migrants, refugees and displaced people represent a form of exchange currency."
EU-SWITZERLAND: Switzerland gets first penalty for immigration vote (euractiv, link): "The European Union said yesterday (16 February) it had postponed negotiations with Switzerland on its participation in multibillion-dollar research and educational schemes, after Berne said it could not sign in its present form an agreement to extend the free movement of people to Croatia, the newest EU member." And see: EU suspends research talks with Switzerland (European Voice, link)
EU: SEASONAL WORKERS: Council of the European Union: Council adopts directive on third-country seasonal workers (Press release, pdf) and see: Full-text (pdf)
EU: APPOINTMENT OF NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS): European Parliament: Opinion of the Legal Service (pdf) See also: Pressure grows over EU data watchdog replacement (euractiv, link)
USA-NSA: Germany, France to discuss plan to avoid US spying (Press TV, link):
"Germany and France have planned to discuss building up a European communication network to avoid data passing through the United States... Merkel has been pushing for greater email and data protection following reports about Washingtons mass surveillance program....She also added, "Above all, we'll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe."
See also: Germany and France to hold talks on protecting EU data from NSA (euobserver, link)
Mauritian personalities bravely stand up against new compulsory biometric ID Card system (Spokesman Books, link) See: Morpho wins Mauritania bid (Securitydocument world.com, link) and EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa (Statewatch News Online)
UK: Playwright David Edgar discusses the importance of Stuart Hall (IRR News, link) and Buzz Johnson, peoples educator and the founder of Karia Press, died this week (IRR News, link):
"Two giants of the Caribbean diaspora died this week Stuart Hall, academic and cultural theorist; Buzz Johnson, publisher and peoples educator. They represented two ends of a black left spectrum of politics the one an acclaimed theoretician and eminent wordsmith who influenced a phalanx of students with his ideas, the other a practical man who single-handedly ran a black publishing venture, Karia Press, which uncovered/discovered and publicised a whole range of Caribbean writers and thinkers. Stuart Hall has been rightly claimed and acclaimed for his massive contribution. But Buzz, in the shadows till the last, has never had his due recognition."
G6 meeting, Poland: European Union Discusses Privacy Protection with USA
G6 is a secretive meeting on Interior MInisters from Poland, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain who discuss Justice and Home Affairs issues - it should really be called G6+1 because the USA always attends.
See also: Bundesinnenminister bauchpinselt US-Heimatschutzminister und US-Generalbundesanwalt bei informellem Treffen in Krakau (Netzpolitik.org, link): "the British civil liberties organization Statewatch has strongly criticized the meeting in the hidden G6 : There are no provisions for the publication of the agenda or of minutes. Even parliamentarians do not have access to the documents distributed there."
EU-Morocco Mobility Partnership: Border Control at the Expense of Human Lives? (pdf) The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) is today publishing its analysis of the Mobility Partnership signed between the European Union (EU) and Morocco. While the Mobility Partnership is presented by the EU as a tool to promote mobility, the EMHRNs analysis highlights the serious risks it poses to the rights of refugees and migrants.
See also: EU-MOROCCO: Political agreement on Mobility Partnership: Towards the first readmission agreement with an African country? (Statewatch database) and EU and Morocco establish Mobility Partnership (Statewatch database).
EU: Seeing through trees: Frontex commissions study on "solutions for under-foliage detection"
A study that will examine "solutions for under-foliage detection and their potential impact on border surveillance" has been awarded to Spanish company Isdefe by the EU's border agency, Frontex. According to a contract award notice posted on the EU's Tenders Electronic Daily website on 21st January, the study aims: "To provide technical, operational and market information concerning advanced solutions for under-foliage detection and to provide an insight into the future developments of advanced solutions for under-foliage detection."
EU: Frontex: Parliament demands greater scrutiny of "financial management and internal controls"
The EU's border agency Frontex has been criticised on numerous grounds by the European Court of Auditors, the institution responsible for "improving EU financial management, promot[ing] accountability and transparency, and act[ing] as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union." The European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee has echoed the Court's complaints.
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE AT SEA: Council of the European Union: Final "compromise" proposal agreed between the Council and the European Parliament: 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 - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (pdf) See: Safety at sea p12, Interception p16 and Search and Rescue p21.
USA: The NSAs Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program (Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."
UK: DONT SPY ON US launch (link)
"The UK's intelligence services can process 21 petabytes of data per day - that's 39 billion pieces of information that could be the private data of any citizen. This mass surveillance violates your privacy and chills free speech across the globe. The current law offers little protection. We are calling for reform of the legal framework so the intelligence agencies stop spying on us."
UPDATED: EU: FRONTEX REJECTS OMBUDSMAN RECOMMENDATION: European Ombudsman: Full Summary on Frontex Inquiry (pdf)
Short Summary of the Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex (pdf):
"Frontex has rejected a recommendation made by the European Ombudsman following an investigation of its compliance with human rights standards and, in particular, with the requirements of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, is sending this special report to the European Parliament seeking its support on the matter....
The Ombudsman recommended to Frontex that it should set up a mechanism whereby it could deal directly with complaints from people claiming to have had their fundamental rights breached by Frontex. Regrettably, Frontex decided not to accept this recommendation....
The Ombudsman does not accept that Frontex does not carry responsibility for the actions of staff operating under the Frontex banner. That responsibility may sometimes be shared with the individual Member State, but it is not tenable that Frontex has no responsibility and that, thus, it should not deal with complaints arising from actions in which it is involved... The Ombudsman seeks the support of the European Parliament in prevailing upon Frontex to act on the recommendation to establish its own complaints mechanism."
UPDATED: EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: NSA inquiry: what experts revealed to MEPs (Press release, pdf): Report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): "The text, passed by 33 votes to 7 with 17 abstentions, condemns the vast, systemic, blanket collection of personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information, adding that the fight against terrorism can never be a justification for untargeted, secret or even illegal mass surveillance programmes.
The following amendment was adopted: "Compromise Amendment No 16 '20a. Calls on all EU Member States and in particular, with regard to its Resolution of 04/07/2013 and Inquiry Hearings, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland to ensure that their current or future legislative frameworks and oversight mechanisms governing the activities of intelligence agencies are in line of the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union data protection legislation; calls on these Member States to clarify these allegations of mass surveillance activities , including mass surveillance of cross border telecommunications, untargeted surveillance on cable-bound communications, potential agreements between intelligence services ans telecommunication companies as regards access and exchange of personal data and access to transatlantic cables, US intelligence personnel and equipment on EU territory without oversight on surveillance operations, and their compatibility with European Union legislation: invites these National Parliaments to intensify cooperation of their intelligence oversight bodies of their national parliaments at a European level.' .
and NSA snooping: MEPs table proposals to protect EU citizens' privacy (pdf) The report will go before the plenary session on 12 March 2014. See also: LIBE: No EU-US trade deal unless fundamental rights ensured (New Europe, link) and MEPs say No to Snowden asylum in Europe (euobserver, link)
Statewatch/TNI report: Eurodrones, Inc. by Ben Hayes, Chris Jones & Eric Töpfer
Full report (pdf)
Executive summary (pdf)
Press release: English | German | Italian | Spanish (pdfs)
Eurodrones, Inc. tells the story of how European citizens are unknowingly subsidising through their taxes a controversial drone industry yet are systematically excluded from any debates about their use. Behind empty promises of consultation, EU officials have turned over much of drone policy development to the European defence and security corporations which seek to profit from it. The current trajectory points in the direction of an increasingly militarised and repressive use of drones that will have far-reaching implications for the privacy and human rights for citizens of Europe and beyond.
EU 'secretly spent £320 million on surveillance drone development' (The Telegraph)
EU gibt mindestens 315 Millionen Euro für Drohnenforschung aus (Telepolis)
Una ONG critica la falta de transparencia en el uso civil de los drones (El Pais)
Europa investeert half miljard in droneprojecten (nrc.nl)
EU spending over $400m on secret drone project - Civil rights group (RT)
Where is the democratic control of EU Drone Policy? (Quaker Council for European Affairs)
EU-Drohnenprogramme werden ausgebaut (FM4 ORF.at)
LUe ha speso 350 milioni di euro per sviluppare droni segreti (eunews.it)
EU steps up funding for drone research (euobserver)
UK: Number of data interception requests to GCHQ 'possibly too large', says official (Guardian, link) "Interception communications commissioner Sir Anthony May says requests amount to 570,000 a year...[and that] legislation governing the collection of communication data by Britain's eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, is complex."
EU-NSA: Today, February 11th, 2014 is The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance (link) International Community Unites to Protest Big Brother (EFF, link)
"Governments worldwide need to know that mass surveillance, like that conducted by the NSA, is always a violation of our inalienable human rights.
Over the past year, more than 360 organizations in over 70 countries have come together to support the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.
These thirteen Principles establish the human rights obligations of any government conducting surveillance. They are the core of an international movement to compel all states to stop the mass spying of the innocent. The Principles are already being used in national campaigns and international pressure to reign in spies including the NSA.
By signing the Principles, you will show that you're part of a movement that knows mass surveillance is a violation of international human rights law. We'll use your signature, with thousands of others, to pressure governments and international institutions to forbid mass surveillance anywhere in the world."
EU: European Commission: European Cybercrime Centre - one year on (press release, 10 February, link)
"What are the main future cybercrime threats on the horizon? And how has the European Cybercrime Center (EC3) contributed to protect European citizens and businesses since its launch in January 2013? These questions are at the core of an EC3 report presented today."
European Cybercrime Centre first year report (pdf)
Statement by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström: An Intense first year for the European Cybercrime Centre (link) Video of speech (euractiv, link)
Frequently asked questions: The European Cybercrime Center (link)
EU: European Migration Network Study: The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member States (pdf)
"The organisation of reception facilities differs greatly amongst (Member) States. Differences exist in the type of facilities and in the actors involved in the provision of reception. Such differences are not only apparent between (Member) States but also occur within some (Member) States at sub-state level. Unequal treatment between and within (Member) States may result, in some cases, in sub-standard reception conditions."
EU-Switzerland: EU warns Switzerland of consequences after anti-immigration referendum (euractiv, link) "Brussels warned Switzerland on Monday that all their bilateral agreements will be revised, after the Swiss on Sunday narrowly backed a curb on EU immigration."
DRONES: REPRIEVE: Drone victim set to testify before European parliaments disappears after being seized by men in police uniforms (link)
"A drone victim who was due to travel to Europe this week to give evidence to parliamentarians was detained on 5 February by unknown elements of the Pakistani police and has not been seen since, according to his family."
EU: Council obstructs ruling on transparency (Wobbing, link) by Staffan Dahllöf: "The Council of the EU has classified its own reaction to a landmark ruling on transparency by the EU-court in Luxembourg. The Court said citizens have a right to know. The Council refuses to disclose how this requirement will be met." See: Public access to documents (pdf): "Partial access" censors nearly all the content.
But see here the full document: Public acess to documents (LIMITE, 17177/13, 29 November 2013, pdf)
UK: Statement by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, Roj Women, MAF-DAD & Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC): Outrage as Kurds held up for hours at Dover crossing (pdf): Kurdish families bound for Paris protest on anniversary of killings were stopped and searched under Schedule 7 of Terrorism Act 2000.
NETHERLANDS: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Netherlands, not USA, gathered info from 1.8 million phone calls (Dutch News.nl, link):
"The Dutch security service was responsible for collecting information from about 1.8 million telephone calls and text messages at the end of 2012 and in early 2013, ministers have told parliament. Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told MPs in October the Americans were behind the tapping, after the revelations were first published in German magazine Spiegel.
However, in a two paragraph briefing on Wednesday, Plasterk and defence minister Jeanine Hennis said the information had been gathered by the Netherlands itself....the information was gathered from satellite and radio-based phone calls, messages and emails"
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and 'Dirty Tricks' (NBC News) and See: Set of GCHQ slides - JTRIG (pdf) which suggest a wider list of targets and ways of disrupting their activities: The Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) focused on cyber forensics, espionage and covert operations including: the 4D's: Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive. Techniques employed are: bombarding their phones with calls, deleting their online presence, email/text friends and colleagues, blogging pretending to be a victim, "stop someones computer from working.
USA: Court Says FBI Agent's Wrong Checkmark Put Woman On No Fly List, Barred Her From The US For 10 Years (Techdirt, link). Link to court Decision
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Amending the EUs visa list legislation - February 2014 version (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
The EUs legislation defining the countries and territories whose nationals are (and are not) subject to a visa requirement to enter the EU is a crucial part of the EUs immigration policy, and has a further significant impact on the EUs external relations.
A new amendment to the visa list rules was adopted in December 2013, and the European Parliament and the Council have also agreed on two further amendments to the rules, which will be officially adopted early in 2014. This analysis examines all of these recent changes, and presents an informally codified version of the text of what the Regulation will look like after they all take effect.
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: The Council working on its negotiating position:
- 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) - Data portability (pdf)
- Data Protection Impact and Prior Checks (pdf)
- Article 26 (pdf): The processor
- One-stop-shop mechanism (pdf)
EU: European Parliament study: Space sovereignty and European security building European capabilities in an advanced institutional framework (pdf)
"The study aims to offer a comprehensive analysis of the role of space-based capabilities in supporting the security and defence policies of the European Union and of its Member States. Moving from the description of the current and future space-based systems developed at the national, intergovernmental and European level, the study tries in first place to point out the contribution of these assets to the security initiatives undertaken in Europe.
UK: Cabinet Office: Government Security Classifications April 2014 (pdf)
The state security classification system is to be changed from TOP SECRET, SECRET, CONFIDENTIAL and RESTRICTED to TOP SECRET, SECRET and OFFICIAL (with a sub-category of OFFICIALSENSITIVE). As the UK is bound by NATO and EU Treaties to follow the old classifications will current CONFIDENTIAL and RESTRICTED documents be bumped up to SECRET?
"National Caveats may be used to designate assets of particular sensitivity to the UK or where dissemination must be restricted to individuals from specific foreign nations. Unless explicitly named, information bearing a national caveat must not be sent to foreign governments, overseas contractors, international organisations or released to any foreign nationals (either overseas or in the UK) without the originator.s consent. Information should be marked in the format .CLASSIFICATION . CAVEAT., e.g: TOP SECRET . UK / US EYES ONLY"
The Official Secrets Act 1989 still applies: "Principle Two: EVERYONE who works with government (including staff, contractors and service providers) has a duty of confidentiality and a responsibility to safeguard any HMG information or data that they access, irrespective of whether it is marked or not, and must be provided with appropriate training."
UK: Police will have 'backdoor' access to health records despite opt-out, says MP - David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust (Guardian, link)
EU: WHEN WILL WE HAVE AN OPEN EU? The 2012 Annual Report of the Council of he European Union for public access to documents (pdf) reminds us that despite the Lisbon Treaty (in force since December 2009) Article 15.3 which says that all documents concerning the legislative process should be made publicly available that only: "40% of the documents relating to the legislative process is made public" and: "The remaining documents were or will be made public in the register upon final adoption of the legislative act." (p10)
EU: Council of the European Union: ITC, Search & Rescue & Researchers
- Intra-corporate transferees: 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 [First reading] (pdf) Nearly agreed "compromise" between the Council and the European Parliament. This contains Council's response to the sixth trilogue. Multi-column document.
- Sea surveillance: Search & Rescue: 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 (74 pages, (pdf) Multi-column document showing proposal by Commission, the Council and European Parliament positions and draft "compromises"
- Researchers: 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] (172 pages, pdf) Council discussion on its position with over 300 Member State positions.
UK: Should national security certificates exclude the Data Protection Principles? (Hawktalk, link) with eight examples of Security Certificates. See also: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
Spain: Case into Martine Samba's detention centre death to be reopened
On 14 January 2014, the Madrid provincial court ruled in favour of the appeals submitted by Ferrocarril Clandestino and her mother Clementine Samba [assisted by SOS Racismo Madrid], and the Asociación de Letrados por un Turno de Oficio Digno [ALTODO] to overturn the decision to shelve investigations into the death of Martine Samba. The Congolese woman was detained in Madrid's detention centre foreigners in the Aluche neighbourhood for 38 days, until she died in the 12 de Octubre hospital on 19 December 2011. The key focus of the case is whether inadequate medical care provided to Martine Samba in the detention centre [CIE, centro de internamiento para extranjeros] had a role in her death and may result in charges of manslaughter being brought against the centre's medical staff.
EU: European Commission: Detention: Commission calls on Member States to implement commonly agreed rules for people sentenced or awaiting trial in another EU country (pdf)
- Report on the implementation by the Member States of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA on the mutual recognition of judicial decisions on custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty, on probation decisions and alternative sanctions and on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention (COM 57-14, pdf)
- and Commission Staff Working Document: Tables "State of play" and "Declarations" (SWD 34-14, pdf)
UK: Justice and Security Act 2013: Investigating State Secrecy: The Justice and Security Act 2013: Presentation: Eric Metcalfe Monckton Chambers (pdf) and see: NUJ meeting: Podcast (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Coreper confirms agreement on list of non-EU countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa requirement (Press release, pdf) and Regulation (EU) No 1289/2013 of 11 December 2013 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 (pdf)
EU/Italy: A breath of fresh air, the "Lampedusa Charter"
On the weekend from 31 January to 2 February 2014, a process that began with the shipwrecks that cost 600 people their lives in early October 2013 was completed in an assembly to discuss the final details of a document produced from below, by civil society, migrant support associations and interested individuals from around Europe and beyond, including migrants themselves and citizens of Lampedusa, that calls for a radical overhaul of the EU's migration policies.
EU gives US six months to come clean on visa policy (euractiv, link):
"EXCLUSIVE / The European Commission has told the United States to lift visa requirements on Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia, whose citizens still need an entry permit to travel to the country.
A regulation which entered into force on 20 December requires EU countries to "react in common" on visa matters, especially in cases where foreign countries "subjects [EU] citizens to differing treatment."
See: Regulation of 11 December 2013 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 (pdf)
POLAND: The Invisible: Stateless persons in Poland, summary (link):
""Anna Strama and Anna Pilaszek authored this piece. This report concludes an 11-month long research project by the Halina Niec Legal Aid Center carried out within the framework of The Invisible Stateless Persons in Poland project funded by the Stefan Batory Foundation. The full report is available in Polish."
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: War on Anonymous: British Spies Attacked Hackers, Snowden Docs Show (NBC News, link):
"secret British spy unit created to mount cyber attacks on Britains enemies has waged war on the hacktivists of Anonymous and LulzSec, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News.
The blunt instrument the spy unit used to target hackers, however, also interrupted the web communications of political dissidents who did not engage in any illegal hacking. It may also have shut down websites with no connection to Anonymous."
See: Document (pdf)
And: German authorities sued over illegal spying allegations (euractiv, link)
UK: Five of six largest police forces do not want water cannon - Controversial water cannon plans 'as much use as a chocolate teapot', according to one police chief (Guardian, link)
EU: Jailing the bankers: the new EU Directive on criminal penalties for market abuse (EU Law analysis, link)
EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: AT THE LIMEN: The implementation of the return directive in Italy, Cyprus and Spain (pdf)
"Over the last few years, the use of two different forms of immigration control has increased: there are more centres (detention centres, or reception centres) and there has been a proliferation of different forms of temporary legal status. In both cases, these new immigration management and control measures are both characterised by their seemingly temporary nature and by the fact that both present immigration as an entirely temporary phenomenon."
EU: RACISM & XENOPHOBIA: European Commission: Report on the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (pdf): Covers the transposition into national law of the 2008 Framework Decision:
"At present it appears that a number of Member States have not transposed fully and/or correctly all the provisions of the Framework Decision, namely in relation to the offences of denying, condoning and grossly trivialising certain crimes. The majority of Member States have provisions on incitement to racist and xenophobic violence and hatred but these do not always seem to fully transpose the offences covered by the Framework Decision. Some gaps have also been observed in relation to the racist and xenophobic motivation of crimes, the liability of legal persons and jurisdiction."
and see: Council Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (2008, pdf)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Yahoo release US surveillance requests (Guardian, link)
Tech giants turn over data from tens of thousands of accounts
Limited disclosure part of transparency deal made last month
And: Making Surveillance a Little Less Opaque (New York Times, link): "The new rules will now allow companies to disclose the FISA orders as well as the national security letters but, again, only in broad ranges. They can also disclose how many users were affected but not the nature of the information they turned over to the government. Simply put, the new rules will not appreciably improve the publics understanding of the surveillance system or its ability to push back. What is clear is that government officials have not budged from their belief that Americans should simply trust them to do the right thing."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: International organisations must be accountable for human rights violations (Press release, CoE, link) and see: Resolution: Resolution 1979 (2014)1: Provisional version: Accountability of international organisations for human rights violations (pdf) and Recommendation 2037 (2014): Provisional version: Accountability of international organisations for human rights violations (pdf)
GREECE: Greece's Golden Dawn vows to run in EU elections despite crackdown (euractiv, link)
Ahead of Obamas visit, will the EU finally address its complicity in CIA-led renditions and secret detention programmes? (New Europe, link)
EU-USA: Move On Data Protection Or Fail On TTIP, EU Parliament Chair Says (Intellectual Property Watch, link) and EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE Reding: Sort it out soon or Safe Harbor framework is toast (The Register, link)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda's detention: a chilling attack on journalism - When the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald was detained at Heathrow airport last August under the Terrorism Act, MI5 were pulling the strings and knew full well that he wasn't a terrorist (Guardian, link)
And: Hackers sue German government over NSA spying (Washington Post, link)
UPDATED: EU: Council of the European Union: New Justice and Home Affairs Programme: German government position: The future development of the JHA area: Written contributions from MSs: Position paper of the German Federal Government on the future development of EU Justice and Home Affairs policy (pdf)
See: Document setting out Member State positions: Letter from the LT Presidency to the incoming EL [Greek] Presidency on the future development of the JHA area (249 pages, pdf)
UK: Secret hearings could allow police to seize journalists' notes if bill passes - Requests for notebooks and files must currently be made in open court but clause in deregulation bill could change that (Guardian, link)
Updated: EU: DELAY IN APPOINTING NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISORS (EDPS): European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) Chair asks Legal Service for an Opinion: Letter (pdf) See also: Letter from EDPS, Peter Hustinx, to LIBE Chair (pdf). See: Pressure grows over EU data watchdog replacement (euractiv, link)
UPDATED: Canada's WiFi Surveillance and CSEC's Non-Denial Denials (notes jrgallagher, link)
USA-NSA-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: CSEC used airport Wi-Fi to track Canadian travellers: Edward Snowden documents - Electronic snooping was part of a trial run for U.S. NSA and other foreign services (CBC News, link):
" top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by CBC News shows that Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.
After reviewing the document, one of Canada's foremost authorities on cyber-security says the clandestine operation by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was almost certainly illegal."
See document: IP Profiling Analytics & Mission Impacts (pdf)
Canadas spy chief dodges questions about G20 eavesdropping (Canada.com, link)
UK: GUARDIAN: Footage released of Guardian editors destroying Snowden hard drives - GCHQ technicians watched as journalists took angle grinders and drills to computers after weeks of tense negotiations (link)
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties MEPs oppose merging Europol with police training college (Press release, pdf):
"Europol should not be merged with the European Police College (CEPOL) because the two EU bodies should work separately, said the civil liberties committee on Thursday in a vote on new operating rules for Europol. It also strengthened Europol's data protection obligations and suggested setting up a body of MEPs and national MPs to monitor Europol's activities and its respect for fundamental rights.
The committee rejected the Commission's proposal to merge Europol with the European Police College (CEPOL). MEPs adopted their set of amendments to this draft law by 45 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions. "The Europol I defend strikes the right balance between police action and a robust data protection architecture, with stronger parliamentary oversight," said the rapporteur, Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES)."
CEPOL to move to Budapest from Bramshill in UK: Letter from UK Home Office (pdf)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2012: Government Response to the Committees Second Report of Session 201213 (pdf) and The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security
Strategy in 2012 (pdf)
and see: Home Affairs Select Committee report on Home Office: The work of the Permanent Secretary (pdf): "It is unacceptable that the Home Office is still over-reliant on a very small number of large providers to deliver its major projects, many of whom appear to have a track-record of underperformance, from the lamentable saga of e-Borders, through the absent Olympic security staff, to the placement of asylum-seekers in sub-standard housing under the COMPASS
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: A strategy to prevent racism and intolerance in Europe (Press release, pdf) and Resolution: Tackling racism in the police (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK: Cameron says he failed to make case for mass surveillance after Snowden leaks - Files from analyst showed need to update communication laws, says PM, also claiming civil liberties must be held 'in proportion' (Guardian, link) and see: Spy agency lawyers agree not to read intercepted emails in torture case - Assurance given in court that communications between two Libyan rendition victims and their UK legal team will not be read (Guardian, link) and NSA said to have spied on leaders at Danish climate summit (euobserver, link)
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UK: Amendment to Immigration Bill allows Home Secretary to make people stateless (Free Movement, link) see: Bill's progress (link). And see: ILPA briefing to Government New Clause 18 Deprivation of citizenship: conduct seriously prejudicial to vital interests of the UK (link)
EU: PAIX ET SECURITE INTERNATIONALES: Study: Irregular migration across the mediterranean sea: Problematic issues concerning the international rules on safeguard of life at sea (pdf)
UPDATED: UK-GCHQ: Huge swathe of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link). See Full-text of legal opinion (pdf)
GREECE-BULGARIA-GIBRALTAR: Greek coastguard accused of drowning 12 refugees (Roarmag, link) and see: Bulgaria Begins Construction of Border Fence with Turkey (Novinite, link) and see: Frontier set for robot checks to meet Commission remit (Gibraltar Chronicle, link)
EU-USA: EU justice chief attacks European "hypocrisy" on spying (Reuters, link): ""If the EU wants to be credible in its efforts to rebuild trust, if it wants to act as an example for other continents, it also has to get its own house in order."
Angela Merkel says US and UK snooping sows distrust (BBC News, link): "She used her inaugural address to parliament after her re-election to warn that such surveillance ultimately undermined mutual security. She also accused the UK and US of using spy agencies to gain economic advantage rather than just for security."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Committee to invite Edward Snowden to debate mass surveillance with US officials (CoE, link)
NSA said to have spied on leaders at Danish climate summit (euobserver, link)
European Parliament: Report on follow-up on the delegation of legislative powers and control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (pdf). A much ignored area of EU decision-making covering implementing measures following the adoption of Directives and Regulations: See page 39 for Civil Liberties Committee
"Draws attention to the fact that the Council continues to adopt legal acts on the basis of provisions of the former third pillar, long after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, such that Parliament has been required to bring legal action before the Court of Justice."
UK-GCHQ: Huge swathe of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link)
GCHQ head Sir Iain Lobban stands down - Foreign Office claims 53-year-old spy chief's departure part of long-planned move and nothing to do with Edward Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)
EU threatens suspension of data deal with US (euractiv, link)
EU: Annual reports on EU arms exports
EU Member States' arms exports are regulated by a set of common rules, set out in Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP. Under the Common Position, the Council is obliged to produce an annual report based on statistics from each Member State. The report and its associated statistical data was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 21 January, covering the calendar year 2012 for conventional arms exports. Statewatch has reproduced the report and the data tables here separately for ease of access.
UK: Revealed: Rape victims abused in British detention centres (Politics.co.uk, link) and see: Report (link)
UK: Lobbying bill passes through House of Lords - Charities and voluntary groups raise concerns for civil society as controversial bill limits groups' spending ahead of an election (Guardian, link) and Legislative process (link). See also: Tory MP calls police on handful of retired constituents delivering petition against lobbying bill 'gagging law' (Independent, link)
EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: State of surveillance: the NSA files and the global fightback (pdf) by Ben Hayes
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Tackling racism in the police (Press release, link) and Text of the Resolution (pdf). See also: A European strategy needed to combat increasing racism and intolerance (Press release, pdf) and Resolution (pdf)
EU: DATA PRIVACY DAY: NGO Letter, signed by 18 groups including Statewatch, to the Council Presidency: Europe Needs Strong Data Protection - Europeans mark anniversary by demanding rules protecting their privacy (pdf)
"This years International Data Privacy Day takes place in the context of increased concern among European citizens about their online privacy, following the 2013 revelation about mass government surveillance. Europeans today are increasingly demanding stronger protection of their personal data. "
UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NBC News: Snowden docs reveal British spies snooped on YouTube and Facebook (link) with 48 page slideshow constructed by GCHQ revealing a pilot programme called "Squeaky Dolphin":
See: GCHQ slides (48 slides, pdf) and another GCHQ document: The mobile challenge (pdf): "By 2015 up to 90% of internet traffic will be accessed on mobile devices...Predicted that in 2011 mobile broadband will overtake fixed-line internet connections in the UK"
and: Angry Birds and 'leaky' phone apps targeted by NSA and GCHQ for user data (Guardian, link using different documents): US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data Details can include age, location and sexual orientation Documents also reveal targeted tools against individual phones: "GCHQ documents use Angry Birds reportedly downloaded more than 1.7bn times as a case study for app data collection."
See also: Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps (New York Times, link) and slides: Analysis of Smartphones Devices - "All in a day's work" (pdf)
plus: Obama advisor: Pipeline deals could see US spy on EU leaders (euobserver, link)
ITALY: ASGI clarifies the issues involved in repealing the criminal offence of illegal entry and residence
A recent development in Italy has been the response to the tragic shipwreck in Lampedusa in October 2013 that cost over 360 people their lives and other scandals concerning the treatment of migrants, which have resulted in parliamentary scrutiny of a proposal to abrogate [repeal] the criminal offence of illegal entry and residence, turning it into an administrative offence, approved by the Senate in its first reading vote on 21 January 2014.
GREECE: Migrants saved in Greek boat accident mourn relatives and dispute claims - Survivors say coastguards refused to help them as vessel sank and stamped on hands of those clinging to Greek boat (Guardian, link)
CoE and FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY (FRA): Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency launch handbook on European data protection law (Press release, pdf) and Handbook (210 pages, pdf)
UPDATE: UK-USA-BASES: Unknown territory: Americas secret archipelago of UK bases (Independent, link)
See: Exclusive: Peers call for proper scrutiny of American military bases in UK used for drone strikes and mass spying (Independent, link):
"Scrutiny of American military bases in Britain could be increased dramatically for the first time in more than 60 years under cross-party proposals provoked by evidence that the installations are being used for drone strikes and mass spying activities.
Draft proposals tabled by peers from all three major parties demand that the Government overhaul the outdated rules under which the Pentagons network of UK outposts operate following claims of British complicity in US drone missions in the Middle East and eavesdropping on European allies."
See: Agreement: regarding the Status of Forces of Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty: UK ratification (pdf)
See also: Campaign for the Accountability of American bases (link)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Big Data and the Future of Privacy (White House Blog, link), EU justice ministers seek data security reform (DW, link), Edward Snowden tells German TV that NSA is involved in industrial espionage - Public broadcaster ARD airs interview in which whistleblower says National Security Agency is involved in industrial espionage (Guardian, link). And see: NSAs' Upstream Collection (electrospaces.net, link)
EU: European Parliament: Final report to be considered by plenary: Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012) (pdf)
EU: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY (FRA): Access to data protection remedies in EU Member States (link):
"Technological advances make it ever more important to safeguard the right to personal data, which is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Data protection violations arise principally from internet-based activities, direct marketing and video surveillance, perpetrated by, for example, government bodies or financial and health institutions, research by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows."
POLAND-CIA: The hidden history of the CIAs prison in Poland (Washington Post, link):
"On a cold day in early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch.
The men put the boxes in a van and weaved through the Polish capital until coming to the headquarters of Polish intelligence. They were met by Col. &SHY;Andrzej Derlatka, deputy chief of the intelligence service, and two of his associates.
The Americans and Poles then sealed an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison a remote villa in the Polish lake district to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects."
UK: Hundreds of children 'detained in police cells' (BBC News, link):
"Hundreds of children in England and Wales have been held under the Mental Health Act and locked in police cells because officers did not have anywhere else to take them, the BBC has learned. There were 305 detentions of under-18s in the first 11 months of 2013, Radio 4's the World This Weekend found. Some were detained for more than 24 hours, according to data released under Freedom of Information laws."
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament question to the Commission on USA "spying" on EU citizens: Question and answer given by High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission (pdf): The answer from the High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission presents the permanent contradiction for the EU: the Lisbon Treaty guarantees the right of protection of personal data while at the same time it gives each Member State the sole responsibility for national security. So unless they all agree, and the UK for one will not, a "no spying on citizens" agreement is not possible - and the USA knows this.
"according to Article 16(1) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, every European citizen has the right to the protection of personal data concerning them. However, pursuant to Article 4(2) of the Treaty on the European Union, national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State. As a consequence, it seems difficult at the stake to find appropriate measures concerning the protection of personal data in a case concerning a third country like the United States. At the moment, the EU does not intend to undertake negotiations on a no-spy agreement with the United States."
See also: Germany probes intel agencies: Germany's Parliamentary Control Panel (PKGr) meets to determine who will oversee the country's three intelligence agencies. Left party politician Andre Hahn hopes the panel's influence will grow. (DW, link)
THE EU SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COOPERATION MECHANISM: Under Article 73 of the Lisbon Treaty (included in the Treaty but not in the proposed Constitution) it states:
"It shall be open to Member States to organise between themselves and under their responsibility such forms of cooperation and coordination as they deem appropriate between the competent departments of their administrations responsible for safeguarding national security "
Are EU security and intelligence agencies using the Treaty cooperation and coordination provision and if so how? Have they jointly discussed the "problems" created by the Snowden revelations?
A rare hint at the linkage between the "gatherers" (NSA, GCHQ etc) and the "users" (the security, intelligence and .law enforcement agencies) was given in a Guardian article: 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: A document cited by the Guardian revealed 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:
"We [GCHQ] 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,"
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OVERSIGHT BOARD: Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (238 pages, pdf)
Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End (New York Times, link): "An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agencys program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only minimal benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down."
See Statewatch's Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data Surveillance (from 6 June 2013, ongoing)
UK-GCHQ-ECHR: Justify GCHQ mass surveillance, European court tells ministers - Judges order government to provide submission about whether spying activities violated European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)
"Ministers have been ordered to justify GCHQ's mass surveillance programmes by judges at the European court of human rights who have fast-tracked a case brought by privacy and human rights campaigners. The court in Strasbourg has told the government to provide submissions by the beginning of May about whether GCHQ's spying activities could be a violation of the right to privacy under article 8 of the European convention. Marking the case a priority, campaigners are hopeful the court will bring a ruling before the end of the year."
See: Full-text: Statement of Facts in Application no: 51870/13: Big Brother Watch and Others against the United Kingdom lodged on 4 September 2013 (pdf)
UK: Use of Tasers by Metropolitan Police doubles over two years
The number of times that officers from London's Metropolitan Police used Tasers increased sharply between 2011 and 2012, and figures covering the first three months of 2013 indicate that usage is likely to increase further.
Tasers are electroshock weapons that deliver a 50,000 volt charge into the body through metal barbs. According to figures released at the end of last year in response to a Freedom of Information request, in 2011 officers used them 378 times. The total for 2012 was 713, an increase of 188%.
EU data bill to be delayed until after May elections (euobserver, link)
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, Greece: Agenda (pdf):
- Future of Home Affairs (pdf)
- Future of Justice issues (pdf)
- Data Protection: International Transfers (pdf)
EU: New police cooperation plan includes surveillance, intelligence-gathering and remote vehicle stopping technology
- European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS) sets out six year plan to increase cooperation on technology research and procurement
- Suggestion that Council sub-group may become a "single legal entity"
- Group wants nearly 1 million in funding to support long-term work programme
GREECE: 16 SURVIVORS FROM 28 PASSENGERS: Inquiry calls after migrants die under tow in Greece (BBC News, link) and see: UNHCR - Statement on boat incident off Greece coast (link):
"UNHCR is dismayed to have learned of a boat cap-sizing off the coast of Greece in the early hours of this morning, which has left a woman and a child dead and 10 other people missing, among them infants and children.
According to accounts from some of the 16 survivors and Greek Coast Guard, the vessel was carrying 26 Afghans and two Syrians. It was intercepted in the southern Aegean Sea shortly after midnight following a mechanical breakdown and while apparently en route from Turkey to Greece. The boat, with all 28 passengers still aboard, was being towed by a Coast Guard vessel when it capsized. The survivors, now on the island of Leros, told UNHCR they were being towed in the direction of Turkey at the time of the accident."
USA-EU-UK-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Swedish FM to head new inquiry into NSA revelations (euobserver, link): "An new commission to be headed by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is set to investigate the implications of the US snooping affair for the future of the internet.....The Global Commission on Internet Governance - launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Swizterland, this week....The project is the brainchild of two think tanks: the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in the US and the UKs Royal Institute of International Affairs, better known as Chatham House."
And: Independent commission to investigate future of internet after NSA revelations - Two-year inquiry headed by Swedish foreign minister, set up by Chatham House and CIGI thinktanks, is announced at Davos (Guardian, link)
Also: Mobile phone networks challenge government over text message trawling - EE, O2, Vodafone and Three demand answers on how spies can allegedly get around UK laws using NSA's Dishfire program (Guardian, link)
UK: Police to ask home secretary to approve use of water cannon across country - Police chiefs say water cannon are needed because 'austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest' (Guardian, link): "Chief constables are to press the home secretary, Theresa May, to authorise the use of water cannon by any police force across England and Wales to deal with anticipated street protests. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says that the need to control continued protests "from ongoing and potential future austerity measures" justifies the introduction of water cannon in Britain for the first time."
- Greater London Authority - Public Engagement on Police Use of Water Cannon (link)
- College of Policing: Water cannon (link)
- College of Policing: Public Order Index ((link)
- ACPO/College of Policing: National Water Cannon Asset (pdf)
UK counter-terrorism powers need urgent review, says watchdog - Parliament's joint committee on human rights says almost all current terror prevention orders are due to expire (Guardian, link) See Report by the parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Multi-column documents: Search & rescue, TCN visas and Space surveillance
- Sea Surveillance: search and rescue: 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 Member States of the European Union (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, "Compromise" text
- TCN visas: Draft Regulation 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 (amendment to Annexes) (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, "Compromise" text
- SPACE Tracking: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council, Establishing a Space Surveillance and Tracking Support Programme (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, possible "Compromise" text
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection: Profiling and Prum data exchange
- DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Profiling: 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) - Profiling (16 January 2014, pdf) Council Presidency proposals including: "DE, DK, NL and UK doubted whether the redraft would allow for a sufficient risk-based approach and warned against excessive administrative burdens/compliance costs."
- PRUM: DNA, Vehicles, Fingerprint data exchange: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures (pdf)
EU: NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS) delay: Secretary General of the Commission letter (pdf) and Commission Vice-President to European Parliament letter (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US withholding Fisa court orders on NSA bulk collection of Americans' data - Justice Department refuses to turn over 'certain other' documents in ACLU lawsuit meant to shed light on surveillance practices (Guardian) and See: Letter to ACLU (pdf) Also: Human Rights Watch calls for legislation against surveillance (DW, link)
Spain/France: NGOs demand inquiries into immigration deaths in Barcelona and Marseilles
Two statements, one by the Catalan section of SOS Racismo and the other one jointly issued by French association Anafé alongside the international networks Migreurop and Boats 4 People, demanded official inquiries into the deaths of an Armenian man in the Catalan detention centre (Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros, CIE) in Zona Franca on 3 December 2013 and of a young Guinean man who drowned on 10 January 2014 near to the port of Marseilles. The French authorities attempted to return him to his point of departure by putting him back on board of the ship that carried him and a fellow Guinean man to Marseilles from Dakar, after their request to lodge an asylum application was refused.
UK: UPDATE: Drax protesters' undercover police case convictions quashed (BBC News, link)
Exposed: Role of undercover police in a coal train hijack
Climate campaigners who stopped and occupied a train carrying 42,000 tonnes of coal into the UKs largest power station, Drax, will have their appeal heard on Tuesday by the UKs top criminal judge following revelations that an undercover Metropolitan police office, Mark Kennedy, had played a role in the protest. The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer was forced to agree with an investigation by campaigners that there was an overwhelming case that the Drax 29 convictions were unsafe, and invited them to appeal their convictions.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Top German Prosecutor Considers NSA Investigation (Der Spiegel, link) and see European Parliament press release: Moraes on NSA reform: Obama speech may not suffice to restore EU citizens trust (pdf)
UK: Government bill threatens extradition reform (FTI, link): "Next week Government reforms which would remove an important safeguard against unjust extradition will be challenged in the House of Lords. Despite the Governments explicit commitment to extradition reform, the new Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill proposes removing the automatic right to appeal in extradition cases requiring people contesting extradition to the US or other EU countries to obtain the leave of the court."
EU: New "concept" drafted for EU border missions abroad
The European Union's guidelines for "border management" missions abroad are being updated "in view of the increasing demand for CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] to tackle border management tasks" and in order to "integrate the know-how acquired since 2006, and to translate the principles of Integrated Border Management (IBM) into the strategic and operational processes for the planning and conduct of CSDP missions."
An evaluation report published in April 2013 that examined the EU's "support to Integrated Border Management and the fight against Organised Crime" across the globe found it: "[H]ighly influential in the comprehension and implementation of IBM principles in partner countries, although the levels of take up became less noticeable the further geographically from the EU the intervention was."
USA-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: "DISHFIRE" programme retains messages for future use: NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep (Guardian, link): NSA extracts location, contacts and financial transactions 'Dishfire' program sweeps up 'pretty much everything it can' GCHQ using database to search metadata from UK numbers:
"The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of "untargeted and unwarranted" communications belonging to people in the UK. The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects "pretty much everything it can", according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets."
"The GCHQ memo sets out in clear terms what the agency's access to Dishfire allows it to do, before handling how UK communications should be treated. .."In contrast to [most] GCHQ equivalents, DISHFIRE contains a large volume of unselected SMS traffic," it states (emphasis original). "This makes it particularly useful for the development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest."" [emphasis added] See: DISHFIRE: SMS document (8 pages, pdf)
In a "separate document", not released, concerning GCHQ Channel 4 News added that:
"A separate document reveals the extent to which GCHQ staff used Dishfire to gain information which, under British law, they would need permission to request from telecoms companies within the UK. Under American law, the NSA must delete all US-related texts from the Dishfire database, but does not do the same for UK numbers.
This gives GCHQ a vital store of information, and the documents encourage staff to use it to scope out numbers to see if they might be of interest. "You can... run queries prior to targeting a number, as the content may give you an idea of how useful the number will be," states the document."
"It also offers GCHQ the chance to pull in mobile phone data from years ago - before the person ever became a suspect: "This makes it particularly useful for development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest," the document states." [emphasis added]
EU-LIBYA: Libya is boycotting an EU project relating to asylum, while the development of the police and the military continues apace (Andrej Hunko, link):
"The European Unions activities relating to the restructuring of the Libyan security apparatus must be halted without delay. This applies to training projects for the military and for the police, said Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Bundestag, in response to the Federal Governments answer to a Minor Interpellation about the EUROSUR border surveillance system."
Andrej Hunko went on: Italy is establishing facilities to monitor Libyas sea and land borders. These facilities are connected to Italian command and control centres. The aim is to prevent refugees from making the crossing to Europe. If they are detected while still in Libyan waters, the EU Member States can avoid having to deal with asylum applications. However, the protection of refugees is not guaranteed in Libya. There are reports of serious abuses by the police and militias."
and Answer to the Minor Interpellation entitled The launch of the EUROSUR border surveillance network (pdf)
See: 340 Libyan military personnel coming to be trained in italy, and the press release also talks of training that is being carried out by italians in Libya, "to support the transition": Libia, 340 militari in Italia per addestramento (link)
And also: Italy/Libya: Documents unveil post-Gaddafi cooperation agreement on immigration (Statewatch database)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama Speech on NSA Reform (pdf) and: 17 January 2014: PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-28 SUBJECT: Signals Intelligence Activities (pdf)
See also: Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data (Guardian, link)
President stops short of ending controversial bulk collection
Obama assures allied foreign leaders on NSA surveillance
Reforms also include added Fisa court safeguards
and: ACLU Comment on Presidents NSA Speech (link) and Where Does the President Stand on NSA Reform? (Quick Guide, link)
Different perspectives on proposals: New York Times (link): "even as Mr. Obama spoke eloquently of the need to balance the nations security with personal privacy and civil liberties, many of his reforms were frustratingly short on specifics and vague on implementation." , Washington Post (link) and Guardian (link): "NSA surveillance: American debate, British denial - Barack Obama's speech on NSA reform has paved the way for a proper evaluation of security and privacy. The UK must do the same"; Obama NSA reform proposals receive mixed reaction in Berlin (DW, link); Obama's NSA speech as an important first step. But many have expressed skepticism that Washington will follow through with broad surveillance reform." (Guardian, link): "Europeans were largely underwhelmed by Barack Obama's speech on limited reform of US espionage practices, saying the measures did not go far enough to address concerns over American snooping on its European allies."
CoE-GREECE: Investigation into alleged Greek coastguard abuse of migrants - Probe follows letter from Europe's top human rights watchdog (EnetEnglish, link): "Ministers tell Nils Muinieks, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, that investigations have been launched into claims that Greek coastguard officials ill-treated migrants last year " See also: Letter from Nils Muinieks, Commissioner for Human Rights to Greek Ministers (pdf):
UK: Newham Monitoring Project (NMP): Monitoring Olympics policing during the 2012 'Security Games': A report on community-based legal observing organised by NMP (pdf):
""This report documents the experiences of local people, particularly in relation to policing, as witnessed by our team of volunteers. It also sets out our experiences over the course of the Olympics and Paralympics during the summer of 2012 and what lessons others can draw for organising community-based monitoring of the policing of major events."
See also: Statewattch Analysis: A clean city: the Olympic Games and civil liberties (pdf) by Chris Jones
EU: Radicalism on the rise in Europe, says EU commissioner (euobserver, link): "The European Commission has said preventive action is needed to stop what it sees as spreading radicalism across the EU. We see that extremism, xenophobia and nationalism keeps growing in Europe [and] we see worrying signals that these groups act as breeding grounds of ideology motivated by violence and extremist views, EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (15 January). See: Strengthening the EU's response to radicalisation and violent extremism (Press release, pdf) and Preventing Radicalisation to Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Strengthening the EU's Response (Communication, pdf)
And see: 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 documents summarises three of Statewatch's four reports..
EU-UK: JHA OPT-OUT: Government response to report by the Home Affairs Select Committee (pdf) and Pre-Lisbon Treaty EU police and criminal justice measures: the UKs opt-in decision (pdf)
UK: Police accused of botched counter-terror operation (IRR News Service, link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Urgent reform of EU data protection framework is essential for a connected continent (pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: "Germany claims a special responsibility and role in the area of data protection. The new German government can tackle this subject with the necessary drive and energy and thereby gain acceptance of the German position at European level and lead Europe to a higher level of data protection. However, this will require a constructive and proactive approach in the European debate."
The reformed EU rules on data protection will provide for clearer responsibilities for organisations and more consistency and uniformity in data protection across European online and traditional markets. It is, therefore, essential that progress is made quickly to thwart the attempts serving political and economic interests to restrict the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection."
UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK rejects German 'no spy' pact, report says (euobserver, link): "The UK is reportedly opposed to a no-spy pact being crafted by EU states, despite months of German-led negotiations."
And see: N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers (New York Times, link)
UK: Detention centre castigated over death of elderly man - Terminally ill Canadian man, 84, was kept in handcuffs by staff at Harmondsworth removal centre until after his heart stopped (Guardian, link)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: 11 years of Eurodac (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"On 15 January 2003 Eurodac, the EU-wide database of asylum-seekers and irregular migrants fingerprints, came into use. Eleven years on, it holds the personal data of nearly 2.3 million individuals and has been transformed into a policing as well as migration database."
CoE: GREECE: COLLECTIVE EXPULSIONS: Letter from Nils Muinieks, Commissioner for Human Rights to Greek Ministers (pdf):
""I am worried by a number of reports that I have received from expert refugee organisations that provide consistent and substantiated information about a large number of collective expulsions from Greece to Turkey of irregular migrants, including a large number of Syrians who are fleeing the armed conflict in their country and are, at least prima facie, in need of international protection...
Collective expulsions of migrants are not only incompatible with international human rights and refugee law but also ineffective, since many of these migrants, including asylum seekers, face such a desperate situation in their country of origin that they usually re-enter after their first expulsion."
EU: EPIM report: Point of no return - The futile detention of unreturnable migrants (pdf)
""Unreturnable migrants cannot go back to their country of origin for reasons beyond their control. At the same time, they cannot obtain a residence permit in the country where they live. Without documents or status, they can be detained for a forced return that never becomes possible."
"With this report and the related campaign, we hope to increase momentum amongst policy-makers at national and EU levels to reduce detention and find solutions for unreturnable migrants. Besides informing decision-makers, this report is also intended to stimulate civil societies to give special attention to this group of migrants, who are often living under the radar."
Research Finds Banking Apps Leaking Info Through Phones (Circle ID, link)
UK: Police demand notes from Channel 4 on Lawrence spying whistleblower - Chief constable wants broadcaster to hand over material about revelations that undercover officers spied on Lawrence family (Guardian, link):
"The police say that they need the material as they are investigating whether a breach of the Official Secrets Act and other offences have taken place months after the high-profile claims by Francis were aired on Channel 4's Dispatches and published in the Guardian."
USA-NSA: NSA phone record collection does little to prevent terrorist attacks, group says (Washington Post, link)
UK: Exclusive: Scotland Yards rotten core: Police failed to address Met's endemic corruption (Independent, link)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA makes final push to retain most mass surveillance powers (Guardian, link)
Deputy director: bulk data collection is an 'insurance policy'
President Obama set to announce future scope of operations and
Privacy oversight board briefed Obama on NSA surveillance reform
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board met president
Obama to announce results of NSA review next Friday
UK: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The government claims that GCHQ's interception of fibre-optic cable telecommunications traffic (and of satellite communications) is lawful under under RIPA 2000 Section 8(4) certificates issued by the Foreign Secretary. These certificates grant sweeping general powers which are meant to be overseen by the Interception Commissioner who is responsible reporting on Sections 1-11 of RIPA 2000. His Report is silent on this crucial issue - this is yet another reason for a wholesale review of the role and accountability of the security and intelligence agencies in a democratic society."
Interception warrants and modifications at all-time high Collection of communications data ("metadata") at all-time high Surveillance Commissioner unable to monitor all undercover police as Home Office fails to provide details of exactly which units are to be overseen
USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary inquiry - Civil liberties committee report demands end to indiscriminate collection of personal data by British and US agencies (Guardian, link)
See: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)
Also: Snowden set for EU parliament video link (euobserver, link)
BULGARIA: UNHCR: all transfers to Bulgaria should be halted due to a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment (UNHCR, link) and see: UNHCR Report (pdf)
UK: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to inquest verdict of lawful killing - Jury decides Duggan was lawfully killed despite concluding he was not holding gun when police shot him (Guardian, link): "The family of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked the worst riots in modern British history, reacted with fury when an inquest jury ruled on Wednesday that police acted lawfully when they shot him, even though he had not been carrying a gun when he was killed." and: JURY IN MARK DUGGAN INQUEST CONCLUDES HE DID NOT HAVE A GUN IN HIS HAND WHEN HE WAS SHOT (INQUEST, link):
" In a statement, the family of Mark Duggan said: We are shocked by the jurys conclusion given the evidence we have heard over the past few months. We will continue to fight for justice for Mark.
Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said: The jurys conclusion is both perverse and incomprehensible. We cannot have a situation where unarmed citizens are shot dead on the streets of London and no-one is held to account."
See: Inquest jury verdict - full-text (pdf)
Italy: RAI 3 programme lifts the veil on police beatings leading to deaths and their aftermath
On 6 January, Rai 3 television channel broadcast the first episode of Presa Diretta, an information programme directed by Riccardo Iacona, for 2014. Its title was Morti di Stato (State Deaths) and it recounts a catalogue of cases (many of them well known) in which police officers attacked people with whom they came into contact, generally in the exercise in their duties, several of whom died as a result of these encounters and the beatings that followed. Statewatch has reported on several of these cases over the years (including Stefano Cucchi, Federico Aldrovandi and others). The programme is in Italian, lasts for two hours, and is visible on the RAI Replay service until Monday 12 January 2014.
EU-UK-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)
"Condemns in the strongest possible terms the vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information; emphasises that the systems of mass, indiscriminate surveillance by intelligence services constitute a serious interference with the fundamental rights of citizens; stresses that privacy is not a luxury right, but that it is the foundation stone of a free and democratic society; points out, furthermore, that mass surveillance has potentially severe effects on the freedom of the press, thought and speech, as well as a significant potential for abuse of the information gathered against political adversaries; emphasises that these mass surveillance activities appear also to entail illegal actions by intelligence services and raise questions regarding the extra-territoriality of national laws"
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: EU anti-terror law puts German coalition to the test (euractiv, link)
EU recognises need for INTERPOL talks (Fair Trials International, link): "The EU Commission has acknowledged Fair Trials report on INTERPOL, committing to raise with the international policing organisation the existing procedures for issuing INTERPOL notices and to consider whether further action is needed to strengthen the organisations mechanisms to avoid politically-motivated cases." and: Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission (link). See also: Letter from MEPs to Commission: Political abuse of INTERPOL systems (pdf) and INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report (Statewatch)
CYPRUS: Refugees say death is their only option now (Cyprus Mail, link): "TWO Iranian-born citizens, who have been on a hunger strike for 46 days, informed Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos in an open letter that as of Tuesday they would stop taking liquids, unless they are granted citizenship so they can leave Cyprus." and See: Open Letter to the Minister of Interior (KISA, link)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Legislative Scrutiny: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill (second Report) (pdf) : "Intrusive powers over travellers at ports and airports require greater safeguards, says Human Rights Committee": Dr Hywel Francis MP, the Chair of the Committee, said concerning Schedule 7 detentions:
"We understand that there is a need for a without suspicion power to stop, question and search travellers at ports and airports. We have considered the Independent Reviewers recommendation that a subjective suspicion threshold be required to be met before the powers to detain and to download data from mobile phones and laptops can be exercised. However , we believe that reasonable suspicion is the absolute minimum that is required to qualify as a safeguard because it opens up the possibility of independent scrutiny and review."
See also: At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything - Protesters, buskers, preachers, the young: all could end up with 'ipnas'. Of course, if you're rich, you have nothing to fear (Guardian, link)
USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal (Guardian, link)
Appeal is against verdict by New York federal judge
Federal appeals courts drawn into controversy
And see: NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress
Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders
Statement cites 'same privacy protections as all US persons'
UK: Thatcher had secret plan to use army at height of miners' strike - Papers released to the National Archives reveal that in 1984 the prime minister made preparations to use troops to move coal to power stations (Guardian, link)
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