Statewatch In the News - Archive 2012

News online | Join Statewatch news e-mail list

News Online Archives:  2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

December 2012

SPAIN: DNA tests for illegal immigrant children arriving in North African enclave of Melilla (Washington Post, link)

Land border sealed, Greek police chief says (euobserver, links) and see: Fortress Europe: a Greek wall close up

Statewatch News Digest:
21 December 2012 (31 items)

EU-USA: Terrorist data oversight tainted by potential conflict of interest (euobserver, link): "A high-ranking European commission official says there is a conflict of interest in a review board tasked to ensure personal data on suspected terrorists shared with the Americans is secured and properly handled."

Statewatch News Digest, 18 December 2012 (21 items)

Statewatch News Digest, 14 December 2012 (42 items)

EU plans border security help for Libya (Yahoo News, link)

Systematic Government Access to Private-Sector Data
(link) Covers Canada, China, UK, Japan, USA and Australia

GREECE: Syrian refugees 'turned back from Greek border by police' - Asylum seekers crossing from Turkey say they have been illegally deported by Greek police or blocked from entering (Guardian, link)

Overcrowding still major problem in Bulgarian prisons CPT says (link)

Spain: Commissioner concerned about the pardon of police officers condemned for torture (CoE, Commissioner for Human Rights, link)

24% of EU population 'at risk of poverty or social exclusion' Eurostat (euractiv, link)

MEP sends request to French government over presumed spies (New Europe, link)

France's freedom of movement compliance needs EU monitoring (New Europe, link). On AI report

WALES: Racism is still a 'significant issue' in Wales, warns new report (Wales Online, link)

The end of the internet as we know it? (euractiv, link)

The jury is out on nationwide DNA database (Copenhagen Post, link)

November 2012

Statewatch News Digest: 29 November 2012 (37 items)

Migrants set fire to Greek detention centre (euoberver, link)

EU countries consider sanctions on Israeli settlers (euobserver, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
23 November 2012 (45 items)

Spotting Deception: Man against Machine (Frontex, link)

PES President calls for European Parliament vigilance on new internet governance regulations: “We must make sure that rules don’t allow ACTA by the back door” says Stanishev (link)

Secret courts plans savaged in House of Lords (Guardian, link) See also Statewatch Analysis: UK: Government’s “secret justice” Bill widely condemned

Greece – a crime is being committed before our very eyes
(Russ Europe, link): "The Greek agency of statistics (EL.STAT) has just published its latest data (Grèce PIB trimestriel) and it begs to differ with the “observers” who are betting on the situation getting better in this unfortunate country. In fact, the economy is continuing its collapse, on an ever steeper downward curve. In constant value, GDP has gone from 211 billion euros to 171 billion euros, that is a cumulated decrease of 19% since the first quarter of 2009. We are being spectators to a true disaster."

Japan’s Unmanned Flying Ball – Official Launch (UAS Vision, link)

Footage of French police deporting Tunisian man sparks outrage (France 24, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
14 November 2012 (35 items)

Judges declare Romania human rights breach after anti-Roma revenge murders (CoE Human Rights Europe, link): "Judges have made awards totalling €42,000 after finding Romania in breach of huma rights laws after police joined a mob attacking Roma villagers. The revenge assault saw two men beaten to death, whilst another was burnt alive in his hiding place shelter."

HUNGARY: Victory press release (pdf) "The rule of law has prevailed! The Hungarian Constitutional Court struck down on the criminalization of homelessness" See also: Criminalisation of homeless (link): "On 17 October, The City is for All (AVM) held a major demonstration against a government proposal to impose a €500 fine or imprisonment on people who are found “residing in public places” twice over the course of 6 months. According to AVM, the proposal is unconstitutional and inhumane, since it punishes homeless people for not having appropriate housing."

Investigation into Dubious EADS Austria Deal Intensifies (Speigel Online, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 12 November 2012 (31 items)

UK: Netpol Launches New Resource Helping Protesters Find Decent Lawyers (Netpol, link)

ID cards renewal ‘intentionally delayed’ until after the election (Times of Malta, link)

Egyptian immigrant attacked in Greece (Daily News Egypt, link)

UK: NMP publishes disturbing findings on Olympic policing (Netpol, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 8 November 2012 (20 items)

Migrant ship sinks in Mediterranean killing 10 (CNN, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 2 November 2012 (22 items)

Czech Roma Education: Time to Deliver on Promises (OSF, link)

GERMANY: Politicians, migrant community reflect on NSU murders - A year after a scandal involving murders allegedly committed by a neo-Nazi terror cell came to light, politicians and immigrant group leaders say much needs to be done to make sure this never happens again (DW, link)

Eulex special police - firing blanks? Corruption reigns in Kosovo despite EU millions (euobserver, link)

UK: MPs call communications data bill 'honeypot for hackers and criminals - 'Select committee attacks home secretary over proposals to make internet and mobile phone companies track and store all users' activity on their networks (Guardian, link)

Usages des drones et protection des données personnelles (CNIL, link): France’s data protection body announces the launch of a “prospective” thinking on the legal and ethical aspects of the use of drones in civil airspaces

GREECE: Migration situation in Greece: improvements made but more needs to be done (ALDE. link)

October 2012

Statewatch News Digest: 30 October 2012 (27 items)

POLAND: Polish environmentalists allege state-backed ‘climate of fear’ (euractiv, link)

GREECE: Greek journalist faces court for publishing tax evaders’ list (euractiv, link)

GREECE: Document - Greek authorities must send a strong message against cases of police abuse (Amnesty, link)

EU: EU countries have not accounted for their complicity in CIA secret detention and torture (link)

Statewatch News Digest: 25 October 2012 (28 items)

EU: Lockheed Martin in Pursuit of Border Surveillance Market (link)

GERMANY: Gmail, Skype, Facebook & Use Snooping Malware (Techdirt, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
23 October 2012 (18 items)

UK: English Defence Leader remanded, may be facing extradition to US (New Europe, link)

Campaigners raise concerns over increased police Taser use - Mistaken deployment of Taser on Chorley blind man and other incidents spark calls for more police control and restraint (Guardian, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
19 October 2012 (29 items)

HUNGARY: March by far right raises concern for Hungary's Roma (BBC, link)

EU: EU health commissioner resigns over anti-fraud case (link)

EU: EASO's 2nd Consultative Forum: where is Civil Society? (link)

Statewatch News Digest: 16 October 2012 (27 items)

GREECE: Evros Anti-Immigrant Fence “Ready in Weeks” (Greek Reporter, link)

Bruxelles: 100 personnes arrêtées lors d’une manifestation contre l’austérité (Le Soir, link): 200 people demonstrated against austerity outside a dinner attended by Mario Monti, and José Manuel Barroso - 100 were arrested and held in "administrative detention".

UK: Iraq abuse inquiry little more than a whitewash, says official - Ministry of Defence says investigation will be launched into whistleblower's claims (Guardian, link)

UK: Met's mental illness custody cases reviewed (BBC News, link)

EU border chief: 23,000 lives saved last year (euobserver, link): ""Seventy-two people are [sic] dying in front of me," Ethiopian boat survivor Abu Kurke told EUobserver. Kurke is one of the nine people out of 72 who survived a tragic attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat in April last year. Infants as young as one perished. Nobody came to help them despite having been spotted by warships, a helicopter and fishing boats." Contrary to the statement that the newly-created "Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights" will also give instructions to Frontex' management board on best practice - the Forum is only "consultative".

Greek police accused of using protester as human shield - Witnesses say the young woman was frogmarched in handcuffs ahead of riot police as protesters threw stones at officers (Guardian, link)

UK: Exclusive:
Police secretly handed the FBI evidence on Babar Ahmad while claiming their own case against him was collapsing due to lack of evidence (Independent, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 11 October 2012 (42 items)

U.S. Justice official hits EU data protection proposals: New directive would greatly hinder law enforcement, says deputy assistant attorney general (Computerworld, link)

IOM's dubious mission in Morocco (link)

Data Retention before the Slovak Constitutional Court (EISI link)

ECHR: Human rights violations in EU courts double in five years - Independent analysis of criminal justice in European Union finds Greece, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania are worst offenders (Guardian, link)

Illegal immigrant dies trying to flee police (Cyprus Mail, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
9 October 2012 (23 items)

DENMARK: Government limits freedom of information with new law (Copenhagen Post, link): "The new public access law will limit what the public can demand to know about how political decisions were made "

National 'virtual ID card' scheme set for launch (Independent, link) and National 'virtual ID card' scheme set for launch (Is there anything that could possibly go wrong?): Central online identity scheme 'will be a target for criminals' (link)

Statewatch News Digest, 5 October 2012 (17 items)

The secrets of Fortress Europe: (Presseurop, link): The EU is constantly looking to strengthen surveillance of its external borders, using increasingly expensive technologies. But are they effective? And in a democracy, who control the controller? asks the Groene Amsterdammer.

EU :Is the European Union Taking Human Rights Seriously? (Open Society Foundations, link)

EU: Why is a company involved in racial profiling part of a European Union team dedicated to monitoring “terrorist content” on the internet? (New Europe Online, link)

GREECE: Clashes Outside Immigrant Detention Center (Greek Reporter, link)

Metropolitan police want secret court to hear police spy cases - Move to tribunal would limit rights of women who allege undercover officers tricked them into relationships (Guardian, link)

Statewatch News Digest, 3 October 2012 (29 items)

September 2012

EU-USA: European Parliament: S&D Group reacts to unlimited transfer of flight passengers' data (link)

EU: Frontex and European Asylum Support Office Sign Working Arrangement (link)

UK; 'Bounty hunters' hired to track down illegal immigrants - More than 170,000 immigrants refused leave to stay in Britain are to be tracked down by private-sector “bounty hunters”. (Daily Telegraph, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 26 September 2012 (22 items)

GERMANY: More and more Roma moving to Germany (DW, link): "They are pursued, marginalized and discriminated against in many countries. And many Roma end up in Germany - but few are allowed to remain."

EU: MEPs unblock funds for EU expert groups (euobserver, link), see also: MEPs threaten to block commission funding over transparency

Sri Lankan asylum seekers removed from deportation flight at last minute after judge accepts there is risk of torture (Independent, link)

Accused had 31 bite marks caused by victim - Migrant suffered such intense pain, he died of a heart attack (Times of Malta, link)

DENMARK: Police arrest 14 anarchists for vandalism (Copenhagen Post, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
20 September 2012 (20 items)

EU cyber-crime chief fears massive proliferation (euobserver, link)

UK: Communities and campaigners to start fightback over agressive "stop and search" hackney (link)

Statewatch News Digest:
17 September 2012 (14 items)

UK: Act now to stop this pernicious spying by the state (Observer, link) Next weekend, the Liberal Democrats will gather for their conference. Here, in an open letter, John Naughton writes to delegates about the dangers lurking in the Communications Data bill

Europe failing to tackle boat tragedies in Mediterranean (Public Service Europe, link)

Statewatch News Digest 13 September 2012 (29 items)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Ombudsman: CzechRep breaches EU law over foreigners' stay (Prague Daily Monitor, link)

EU components used in Belarus spy drones, NGO says (euobserver, link)

UK: Riot officer to face perverting course of justice charge in probe into policing of EDL demo in Bolton (Manchester Evening News, link)

Home Office Detention: Figures (link): The figures in this topic brief relate to the number of people entering, leaving or in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers, at immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and pre-departure accommodation

August 2012

Statewatch News Digest:
29 August 2012 (17 items)

Statewatch News Digest: 28 August 2012 (26 items)

Statewatch News Digest: 22 August 2012 (18 items)

Statewatch News Digest: 20 August 2012 (18 items)

Statewatch News Digest: 16 August 2012 (10 items)

Statewatch News Digest: 15 August 2012 (13 items)

USA: Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak - Papers released by WikiLeaks show US department of homeland security paid $832,000 to deploy system in two cities (Guardian, link)

French cabinet under fire over Roma expulsions (euractiv, link)

Statewatch News Digest:
13 August 2012 (22 items)

MALTA: AFM ‘interested’ in EU-sponsored drones for migrant surveillance at sea (Malta Today, link)

Statewatch News Digest: 8 August 2012 (13 items)

Greece to deport undocumented migrants (euobserver, link): " Authorities in Greece rounded up 6,030 undocumented migrants in Athens over the weekend and arrested 1,525 of them for not meeting the legal conditions for residency in Greece.

July 2012

GREECE: Migrant group says there have been 300 race attacks since April (Ekathimerini, link) and Racists attack migrants, trash seven homes (Athens News, link)

GERMANY: Neo-Nazi Terror: Interior Ministry Ordered Destruction of Intelligence Files (Speigel Online, link)

Estonia fends off Russian accusations of ‘Nazi glorification’ (euractiv, link)

Romania’s democracy in reverse gear – en garde, EU! (EPC, link)

UK: Civil servant admits British police grabbing location data of thousands of innocent people (PI Blog, link)

More Demands on Cell Carriers in Surveillance (New York Times, link): "In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations. "

Italy trampling on asylum seekers' rights, NGOs say (euobserver, link)

David Cameron 'prepared to halt immigration of Greeks into UK - 'Prime minister says it would be in UK's interests to impose stringent border controls if Greece is forced to leave euro (Guardian, link)

June 2012

UK: Quadcopter drone group held in London airport on suspicion of terrorism (Silicon republic, link)

Police may have to destroy photos of innocent people after court ruling - High court rules Met police breached human rights of two people by keeping pictures after they were freed without charge (Guardian, link)

UK: Met Police uses 'quick' mobile data extraction system against suspects (Computerwordl, link)

Mass deportations and police abuses on asylum seekers mark 2012 World Refugee Day in Ireland (Anti Racism - Ireland, link)

UK: Police up to 28 times more likely to stop and search black people – study - Human rights watchdog warns of 'racial profiling' as data reveals under 3% of stop and searches leads to an arrest (Guardian, link)

UK: London 2012 security operation investigating 500,000 people - Home Office refuses 100 applications for accreditation in biggest vetting process since second world war (Guardian, link)

"United States of Europe" (USE): EUROZONE - POLITICAL UNION? Germany weighs up federal Europe plan to end debt crisis (Guardian, link): "The plan could see vast national debt and banking liabilities pooled – and then backed by the financial strength of Germany – in return for eurozone governments surrendering sovereignty over their budgets and fiscal policies to a central eurozone authority.... In return for yielding to the pressure to pay to save the euro, Berlin will insist on major steps towards a eurozone federation or political union with budgetary, fiscal, and scrutiny powers vested in Brussels and in the European Court of Justice, meaning vast transfers of sovereignty from member states." and "The current perennially cited "democratic deficit" in how the EU is run would widen exponentially without a radical overhaul of the electoral underpinning of eurozone government. What would be the point in voting for a government in, say, Slovenia, when in a eurozone political union the tax, spending, pensions, or labour policies are decided in Brussels?"

GREECE: Second foreigner beaten on train In the second racially motivated attack to take place on the ISAP electrical railway in Athens in as many days, a 32-year-old Pakistani man was ambushed by a group of around a dozen men on Tuesday night. (ekathimerini, link)

May 2012

Opening of a judicial inquiry targeting Amesys for complicity in acts of torture in Libya (FIDH, link)

EU: Save us from the saviours - Slavoj Žižek on Europe and the Greeks (London Review of Books, link)

Quebec erupts (link) "A draconian law passed to quell student protests against tuition fee rises has provoked an unprecedented backlash amongst the population of Quebec. Protests and arrests are escalating nightly, as faith in the police is tested."

America's murderous drone campaign is fuelling terror - Hi-tech drone death squads are creating a dangerous global precedent, which will do nothing for US security (Guardian, link)

Inquest finds immigration staff contributed to the death of Mohammed Shukat (Detentionaction, link) and Detention centre failures contributed to death of asylum seeker, inquest finds (Guardian. link)

Copyright takedown requests made in a week now number more than those made during whole of 2009, Google says (Outlaw, link)

Report finds immigrants suffer discrimination (Copoenhagen Post, links) and Asylum seekers stage hunger strikes throughout nation

EU-funded consortium unveils border-control robot
(euobserver, link)

GREECE: Press freedom alarm over Greek party's treatment of journalists (Guardian, link)

April 2012

The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK ISPs, court rules (BBC News, (link)

I spy, with my big eye - Face recognition is good news for the police, but bad news for privacy lovers (The Economist, link)

Western allies of MI6 'kept in dark’ over mosque sting plan - MI6 and Col Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan intelligence service set up a radical mosque in a Western European city in order to lure in al-Qaeda terrorists, it can be revealed. (Daily Telegraph, link)

Weaponized Data: A New Front in Global Capital’s Control Grid (Dissident Voice, link)

Fascist salutes return to Greece as anti-immigrants chase voters (link)

EU: Spain restores border checks for Barcelona ECB meeting (BBC News, link): "Spain will reimpose border checks for a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting in Barcelona next month, suspending the EU's passport-free travel treaty. The Spanish interior ministry believes anti-austerity protesters could try to disrupt the 3 May ECB summit."

EU: EU Commissioner refuses to consider making blanket data retention optional (link)

UK: Put your camera away: security guards offer glimpse of Olympic enforcers (Independent, link)

EU: The complicated rise of the electronic identity card in Europe (, link)

UK: Britain destroyed records of colonial crimes - Review finds thousands of papers detailing shameful acts were culled, while others were kept secret illegally (Guardian, link) and Colonial Office files detail 'eliminations' to choke Malayan insurgency and The colonial papers: FCO transparency is a carefully cultivated myth - Professor of history Caroline Elkins, who has worked on historic Kenya files released by the British government, analyses its record of scrubbing and concealing embarrassing information

UK: Tim Berners-Lee urges government to stop the snooping bill - Exclusive: Extension of surveillance powers 'a destruction of human rights' (Guardian, link)

EU parliament launches new committee to tackle organised crime (link)

USA: Obama's NSA: Close to knowing all about us (link)

LONDON: Out-Law Breakfast Seminar: The Proposed New EU Data Protection Regulation: regulating information privacy in the twenty first century? Tuesday 22nd May

LONDON: Scrambling for Safety Conference: On April 1st, the Sunday Times reported that the Home Office was planning to implement mass nationwide interception of communications in the UK. Security minister James Brokenshire confirmed the following day that this was no April Fool - the Communications Capabilities Development Programme would require ISPs and mobile network providers to collect everyone's communications, all of the time. A flood of media coverage ensued; here is a more detailed historical timeline. This will be the ninth Scrambling for Safety conference. The goal is to bring together a variety of stakeholders interested in surveillance policy for an open exchange of views. The conference is open to the public, please register if you would like to attend

Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protests (Daily Telegraph, link): “Jorge Fernandez Diaz, the Spanish interior minister announced in Congress on Wednesday that a reform of the penal code was planned to criminalise those involved in organising street protests that "seriously disturb the public peace".”

Spain slashes funds for integration of immigrants (link): "The Support Fund for the Integration of Immigrants in Spain has been drained of resources, and as a result there is no funding for social insertion, employment and education programmes for the immigrant community”

Swiss magazine defends picture of Roma boy holding a toy gun after complaints from Gypsies that it’s like ‘Nazi propaganda’ (Daily Mail, link)

Croatian government bans nationalist rally (Balkan Insight, link): “Croatia has banned a planned "international nationalist conference" planned by the extreme right Croatian Pure Party of Rights, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic announced on Thursday”

UK/LIBYA: Tony Blair has ‘no recollection’ of Libyan dissident’s rendition (Guardian, link): “Blair, who was PM when Abdel Hakim Belhaj was handed to Gaddafi's regime, defends Britain's co-operation with Libya“ See also: Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials "In 2004, Fatima Bouchar and her husband, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, were detained en route to the UK, and rendered to Libya. This is the story of their imprisonment, and the trail of evidence that reveals the involvement of the British government”

March 2012

DENMARK: Police criticised over Swedish resident’s jailing “A decision to by the Copenhagen Police and a city court to detain a Serbian national for six days because he didn’t have a work permit was illegal, the Eastern High Court has ruled.”

DENMARK/AFGHANISTAN: Danish prisoners being tortured, report claims “Danish forces in Afghanistan deliver prisoners to a detention facility where torture is applied to get confessions, a new report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) concludes.” See also: Torture, transfers and denial of due process: The treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan (pdf)

SERBIA: Women in black win court case in Serbia “According to the ruling of the Constitutional Court, by banning the gathering of the Association of Women in Black in 2008, the Serbian authorities have violated their right to freedom of assembly, right to a fair trial within reasonable time and the right to an effective remedy.”

BULGARIA: Bulgaria’s constitutional court in key ruling on former state security agents – report "Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court has issued a ruling allowing the Dossier Commission – the body charged by law with identifying and disclosing the names of former communist-era secret agents – to make such disclosures solely on the basis of circumstantial evidence.”

GERMANY: Rapidshare ordered to pro-actively prevent users linking to identified pirate content "A Higher Regional Court in Hamburg said Rapidshare had not done enough to tackle piracy and said the company should delete "infringing download links" and search for others "selectively in link resources" online and prevent them be made publicly available on its site.”

NETHERLANDS: Serious criminals to be put under life-long supervision “Junior justice minister Fred Teeven on Tuesday will introduce a new law that will keep those found guilty of serious violent or sex crimes under life-long supervision after they have served their sentence in prison or psychiatric hospital.”

PORTUGAL: General strike escalates into violence See also: Police officer allegedly attacks photojournalist covering Portuguese strike

UK: Fury at threat to inquest into police killing "The family of the man whose shooting by police triggered last summer's riots has condemned the watchdog investigating the pre-planned operation for withholding details that could scupper a full inquest. The family's solicitor said its confidence in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was disappearing after learning that material about police decision-making on the day Mark Duggan was shot could not be provided to the coroner in charge of his inquest.”

DENMARK: Police use batons and pepper spray against anti-fascist protestors "The decision by Venstres Ungdom (VU) – the youth wing of the largest opposition party – to invite holocaust denier Daniel Carlsen for a debate at their Copenhagen headquarters led to a confrontation between police and over 100 agitated anti-fascist activists last night.”

FRANCE: French Muslims fear stigmatisation after killings "The murderer is gone, and now it’s us who will have to live with the consequences." That’s how a Muslim shopkeeper summed up for IPS the death and legacy of the man suspected of murdering seven people in three separate attacks in France.

NETHERLANDS: More council criticise illegal immigrant deportation quota (link) "An increasing number of city councils are refusing to cooperate with the government's new quota for deporting illegal immigrants, the Telegraaf reported at the weekend

GREECE: Citizens’ protection minister heralds 30 migrant centers (link) “Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Monday heralded the creation of 30 detention centers for illegal immigrants across the country by 2013, saying it was imperative that central and local government authorities cooperate to tackle illegal immigration, which he described as 'a national problem' and 'a ticking time bomb for public health'.”

EU: More than 300,000 claim asylum in EU in 2011 (link) and See also: Eurostat: Asylum statistics and: Asylum statistics: tables and figures (Excel spreadsheet)

BULGARIA: Three suffer smoke inhalation after arson incident at Bousmantsi foreigner detention centre – report (link) "Three people – a police officer and two Moroccans – suffered smoke inhalation at Bulgaria’s Bousmantsi detention centre for foreigners after one of the Moroccans set fire to his mattress in protest at slow processing of his refugee status application documents”

NETHERLANDS: Schipol starts tests of do-it-yourself biometric passport checks (link)

Greek protesters disrupt national day parades (ALERTNEWS, link): "Greek police fired tear gas on Sunday to disperse anti-austerity protesters at national day parades to mark Greece's independence from Ottoman rule in three cities."

UK: A green light to oppressive policing - By sanctioning coercive police tactics, the courts are robbing us all of the right to voice dissent (Guardian, link)

Wiretap scandal being investigated (Prague Post, link)

CROATIA: Racism widespread in Croatia: Discrimination against Roma, Serbian and other minorities is still a problem in Croatian society, the ombudsman said on Tuesday, the UN's anti-discrimination day (Balkan Insight, link)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Lower house passes bill to enable banishment of petty criminals - Controversial law would give municipalities powers to ban prostitutes, beggars and petty criminals for three months (Czech Position, link)

GERMANY: An Immigrant Tells His Story - The Daily Racism of Life in an East German Town (Speigel Online, link)

French militant case shows need for travel tracking (EUbusiness, link)

EU commission admits mistake on Acta (euobserver, link)

EU: Racism entering the European mainstream once again (Public Service Europe, link)

UK: Olympics: Benjamin Zephaniah - Put the Number in Your Phone! (Newham Monitoring Project, link); "Poet, writer and patron of Newham Monitoring Project Benjamin Zephaniah explains why it is important for young people in east London to know their rights on stop & search, especially during the 2012 Olympics."

UK-EU: PRUM TREATY: The DNA of Britons could be passed on in EU data-sharing scheme - Police could be required to hand over the DNA of potentially innocent Britons to European countries after the Coalition agreed to enforce a controversial EU treaty (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK Gathering intelligence on the recruitment and use of informers - The problem with doing research on informers is that much of the information is kept secret (Guardian, link)

UK: Train stations are no place for armed police (Guardian, link)

UK: CCTV at petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured cars being filled with fuel (Daily Mirror, link)

German Finance Minister vs. PIIGS: ‘Europe is not for sale!’ (link): "German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was treated to an indignant welcome today as he arrived at the European University Institute in Florence to give a lecture on Europe’s future. Organized through the Collettivo Prezzemolo, some 60 PhD researchers and university workers confronted Schäuble - one of the key architects of the punitive austerity measures being imposed on Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain - before, during and after his speech."

‘Too Many Foreigners’ in France, Sarkozy Says (New York Times, link)

EU justice chief warns Google over 'sneaking' citizens' privacy away - Viviane Reding says there are 'doubts' over legality of internet giant's move as French authorities open EU-wide investigation (Guardian, link)

UK: Police, magistrates and prisons by G4S. Is this what the British people want? (Open Democracy, link)

February 2012

Ikea 'paid French police for secret files on staff' (BBC News, link): "A French newspaper has claimed that Swedish furniture giant Ikea paid for illegal access to police files on its staff and customers."

EU: Spying on Europe’s farms with satellites and drones (BBC News, link)

EU FISCAL TREATY: Irish to vote as treaty is outside normal EU structures (euobserver, link)

Dutch PM refuses to denounce anti-immigrant website (euobserver, link)

NETHERLANDS: Xenophobic website ignites internet forums (euractiv, link)

CIA in Greenland: story about a polar whodunit
(cafebabel, link): "What’s aboard the CIA aeroplanes that have been illegally flying over Greenland since 2001? That is what the Greenland government wants the Danish authorities to tell them. They, however, seem oddly reluctant to answer."

Greece lies bankrupt, humiliated and ablaze: is cradle of democracy finished? The violence, looting and chaos engulfing the country underlines growing rift between the Greek people and their politicians (Guardian, link)

EU slams Dutch website for instigating intolerance (euractiv, link)

Outgoing European rights commissioner issues dire warning (The National, link)

EU: ACTA is “wrong in both content and process”, says PES in strongly worded declaration (PES, link): "The Party of European Socialists (PES) has today adopted a text which condemns the democratic shortcomings of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and warns against its potential threat to the fundamental rights of the citizens. The text calls the agreement; “wrong in both content and process”.

USA: Congress Passes Bill That Opens US Skies To Unmanned Drones (Business Insider, link): "A bill to speed the nation's switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, and to open U.S. skies to unmanned drone flights within four years, received final congressional approval Monday

UK: Protester sues police over surveillance database - Spy unit kept detailed record of 86-year-old John Catt's presence at more than 55 demonstrations over four-year period (Guardian, link)

January 2012

Greece stepping up security on border with Turkey (Mercury News, link)

Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds - Neuroscience breakthroughs could be harnessed by military and law enforcers, says Royal Society report (Guardian, link)

Greece vexed by German demand for 'budget commissioner' (euobserver, link)

UN: Arms Trade Treaty May Bypass Anti-Riot Weapons (IPS, link)

UK: Satellite tracking could monitor offenders around the clock (Daily Telegraph, link)

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free (Washington Post, link)

GERMANY: Berlin police hooked on mobile phones (presseurop, link): "Since 2008, the Berlin police has collected data on 4.2 million mobile phone connections"

Swiss Plan to Gag Refugees (IPS, link): "Only two years after its last revision, the Swiss Asylum Act is about to be 'reformed' again. The changes include a gag order on political activism for asylum-seekers and a modification of the concept of a refugee."

Danish National Court rules mass arrest to be illegal! (Climate Collective, link)

SPAIN: Trials of Judge Garzón Called Scandalous by Rights Groups (IPS, link): "Another trial opened Tuesday with Spain's best-known judge, Baltasar Garzón, in the dock for attempting to investigate crimes against humanity committed during the 36-year dictatorship of Francisco Franco"

Europe's Conservatives Fail to Criticize Hungary (Speigel Online, link): "Many European politicians feel that democracy is in acute danger in Hungary, where Viktor Orbán's government has pushed through a series of controversial laws. But the European People's Party, to which Orbán's Fidesz party belongs, doesn't want to take action against its Hungarian colleagues."

Unrest Spreads Eastwards (IPS, link): "Protests in Hungary and Romania are the first signs of anti-systemic mobilisation in the Eastern half of the continent. While protests in both countries indicate dissatisfaction with their governments’ authoritarian turn, their origins differ, as does the European Union’s reaction to them."

ITALY: Conciatori eviction: crackdown on the commons continues (Roarmag, link): "The eviction of the oldest social center in Florence this morning is yet another instance of a worldwide crackdown on public space and civil liberties."

EU becoming less tolerant, NGO says
(euobserver, link): "Racist mobs in Greece and Hungary, mistreatment of Roma, Arab migrants and Muslim terrorist suspects and a feeble reaction by EU institutions point to a worrying right-wing shift inside the European Union, according to US-based NGO Human Rights Watch." See: HRW report (link)

UK: Nicolas Bratza: Britain should be defending European justice, not attacking it (Independent, link): Sir Nicolas Bratza is President of the European Court of Human Rights

Concern Over Attacks on Reporters in Romania (Balkan Insight, link)

UK: Undercover police had children with activists - Disclosure likely to intensify controversy over long-running police operation to infiltrate and sabotage protest groups (Guardian, link)

Norway security chief quits in Pakistan agents row
(Alertnet, link)

Immigration update: Finland issues biometric identity cards (Relocate, link)

Greek protesters take to Athens streets as creditors arrive for debt talks (Guardian, link)

ITALY: Strikes, Protests Paralyze Sicily (The Epoch Times, link)

UK: Biometric chaos at new prison (Daily Telegraph, link): "The first new public prison in two decades comes to a standstill on a daily basis because of failings in a new biometric monitoring system"

Encryption and globalisation (63 page article, link)

Debate swirls as Paris embraces video surveillance (France24, link)

Nestlégate: Nestlé in court for surveillance of ATTAC (Multiwatch, link)

Rioting in the UK and France: driving factors (France 24, link)

Hungary's media crackdown slips off EU radar (euobserver, link)

440,783 "Silent SMS" Used to Track German Suspects in 2010 (f-secure, link): "basically, various German law enforcement agencies have been "pinging" mobile phones. Such pings only reply whether or not the targeted resource is online or not, just like an IP network ping from a computer would. But then after making their pings, the agencies have been requesting network logs from mobile network operators. The logs don't reveal information from the mobile phones themselves, but they can be used to locate the cell towers through which the pings traveled. And thus, can be used to track the mobile targeted. Requesting such network logs was a legal gray area until 2007, when Germany amended its telecommunications surveillance act. And now we are left to wonder, just how many other countries consider this type of tracking to be a gray area?

UK: Civilian snooping army doubles in four years (Daily Telegraph, link) "An army of official "snoopers" is being created after the number of civilians handed police-style powers almost doubled in the past four years, The Daily Telegraph can disclose."

SWEDEN: Family believes Swedish police abused Turkish immigrant before death (Today's Zaman, link)

UK funds new UCAS research effort
(flightglobal, link): “BAE Systems and the UK's Defence Science & Technology Laboratory are to work together on technology requirements for a future class of unmanned combat air systems, under the terms of a new research effort funded by the nation's Ministry of Defence”

GERMANY: Paybacks are hell: Parental spying prompts infiltration of German police system (Naked Security, link): "“The Patras system is used by the police to track suspects using so-called "silent" SMSs and GPS tracking devices planted on automobiles. It appears that a senior policeman from Frankfurt am Main installed spyware onto his daughter's computer to keep an eye on her online activities”

UK: GUNNING FOR GOLD: Olympic rings of steel as UK prepares for military lockdown (Schnews, link)

HUNGARY: Curtain comes down on liberal Hungary (Independent, link)

UK: Spy watchdog seeks curbs on UK court access to intelligence material (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link)

AUSTRIA: Racist youth check causes controversy (Austrian Times, link): "A sociologist has questioned the results of a disputed study on Austrian teens' attitudes." See: Austrian teens exposed as xenophobic by study

AUSTRIA: Right-wingers on the rise (Austrian Times, link): "The Freedom Party (FPÖ) would come second in a general election these days, according to a new survey." See also: Strache plans stronger right-wing alliances: "Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) chief Heinz-Christian Strache discussed immigration issues with high-ranking representatives of Italy’s rightists" and FPÖ politician receives pig heart in post

DENMARK: Government to act faster on children facing deportation (Copenhagen Post, link): "In light of the many recent high-profile cases of children who have been threatened with being separated from their families and kicked out of Denmark, the government has now decided to speed up the process of relaxing the rules for family reunification regarding children"

HUNGARY: 'Democracy is being trampled on in Hungary' (Spiegel Online, link)

GERMANY: Neo-Nazi radio presenters sentenced (The Local, link): "Eleven employees of a Neo-Nazi internet radio station were handed suspended sentences in the western German town of Koblenz Thursday. A twelfth worker was imprisoned for two years because he carried previous offences"

GREECE: Young migrant dies of suffocation (Ekathimerini, link): "A young Afghan man, one of a group of three believed to be aged 15-20, died on Tuesday after suffocating in the cab of an abandoned truck in the western port city of Patra." See also: Migrants abandoned in truck

HUNGARY: Hungarian state TV report downplays protest (, link)

MEDITERRANEAN: Probe starts into the migrants' sea of death (Times of Malta, link): "Grey areas in maritime search and rescue legislation must be ironed out if tragic deaths of migrants at sea are to be avoided, says a Council of Europe investigator. An intriguing picture of the events that led to tragedy on the seas between Libya and Italy, has been pieced together by Tineke Strik, the Dutch Senate member appointed to head an investigation"

NORWAY: Opposition to stricter rules for asylum seekers (The Norway Post, link): "Several politicians in Stavanger strongly disagree with the Government’s tightened restrictions for rejected asylum seekers, who under new rules will not be allowed to work in Norway while waiting to leave the country"

ROMANIA: National anthem gets 'boost' in Romania (Balkan Insight, link): "Romania's parliament has adopted new legislation on 'national identity' that will require students to sing the country's anthem at school... Furthermore, schools will be obliged to hang the national flag in every

FRANCE: French crack down on Roma gangs (BBC News, link): "On the platforms of the Gare du Nord in Paris, the French and Romanian police are now patrolling together"

UK: Government hits pause button on CCTV regulations (The Grocer, link)

Terrorists picked out in a crowd by cameras that can beat human eye (Evening Standard, link)

UK: Police face new questions over approach to protest groups (Independent, link)

The ECJ on Aslyum, Greece; the UK Protocol on the EU Charter (Human Rights in Ireland, link) by Dr Cian Murphy

Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement.

© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.