Home | News Online | Publications | Analyses | Observatories | Database | SEMDOC | Journal | Support our work
Statewatch: News Digest: Round-up of news stories from across the EU

Archive 2015

Please see also Statewatch Observatory on: EU MED crisis - a humanitarian emergency: Updated daily
December 2015

News Digest 23.12.15

BELGIUM: Niqab incident results in 18 month jail sentence (Flanders News, link): "A court in Brussels has sentenced a 27-year-old woman to 18 months in prison after she resisted arrest when she refused to take off her niqab. The wearing of the Muslim full veil in public is banned in Belgium for security reasons."

BULGARIA: Palestinian facing extradition takes refuge in Bulgaria embassy (Electronic Intifada, link): "An escaped political prisoner whose extradition has been sought by Israel has taken refuge in the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Bulgaria."

BULGARIA-GREECE: Lives for Sale: Bulgaria’s Booming Black Market in Babies for Greeks (Balkan Insight, link): "Pregnant Bulgarians travel to Greece to sell their babies to couples desperate to adopt, a trade that is flourishing while efforts to counter it flounder"

FRANCE: Hollande may fail in bid for emergency powers (The Local, link): "Opposition MPs in France may scupper government plans to enshrine controversial emergency security powers in the constitution, which were to be presented on Wednesday. "

FRANCE: Terrorism: France 'to scrap plan to strip citizenships' (The Local, link): "The French president appears to have backtracked on a flagship plan to strip dual nationals convicted of terrorism of their French citizenship even if they are born in France- a move announced in the aftermath of the November terror attacks."

Greece allows civil partnership for same-sex couples (Reuters, link): "Greece late on Tuesday enacted a human-rights' bill which allows civil partnership agreements between same-sex couples despite protests and opposition from political parties and the powerful Orthodox Church. "

Human behaviour still the biggest threat to company security (Help Net Security, link): "Nuix, a security intelligence and information management technology company, had in-depth conversations with chief information security officers and directors from Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies about the dynamic nature of security and how their role is adapting...

"The report found that there’s a greater focus on insider threats since the first report was conducted in 2014. 71% of respondents reported that they have an insider threat program or policy, and 14% said that they allocate 40% or more of their budget to insider threats.

“Managing incident response and insider threats has received greater investment in the past year,” said one respondent. “There’s been a shift in allocation toward looking internally, rather than at the perimeter,” added another."

HUNGARY: From the Charlie Hebdo attack to Hungary’s moral panic (V4 Revue, link): "Since January 2015, the Hungarian government has been creating an atmosphere of fear against refugees and migrants that has quickly led to a moral panic, which in turn has served as justification for strong anti-immigrant measures. This is the conclusion of a scientific paper recently produced by two media researchers. V4Revue interviewed Vera Messing, one of the paper’s authors."

POLAND: Jewish community accuses prominent Polish politician of anti-Semitism (Radio Poland, link): "Poland’s Jewish community has condemned a claim by a prominent politician that a group which has organised anti-government street protests was financed by “a Jewish banker.” "

Poland's government carries through on threat to constitutional court (The Guardian, link): "Poland’s ruling conservative party has passed a law that top legal and opposition figures say will paralyse the country’s highest legislative court and remove important checks on the government’s power.

Following an avalanche of criticism at home and abroad, the approval of the new law raises the bar for constitutional court rulings from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority, while requiring 13 judges to be present instead of nine previously for the most contentious cases."

SERBIA: More Journalists Being Attacked in Serbia, Report (Balkan Insight, link): "A report by the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia, NUNS, on Tuesday says more attacks on journalists in Serbia were reported in 2015 - and too many cases go unsolved."

Totally unbalanced power (OpenDemocracy, link): ""I don’t want to live in a society where everyone can be controlled, their data collected and stored, and then used for whatever purposes private companies want." Interview."

UK: Bijan Ebrahimi murder: family accuse police of institutional racism (The Guardian, link): "PC and community support officer convicted of misconduct in case of man who was set on fire by his neighbour after being mistaken for paedophile"

UK: ‘Expand your range of targets’, says chief inspector in review of illegal working raids (Anti-Raids Network, link): "‘How the Home Office Tackles Illegal Working’ was published on 17th December by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI), David Bolt. ICIBI reports generally provide useful insight into the murky world of immigration enforcement.

Here are some of the report’s main findings and criticisms."

UK: Man arrested in south London on suspicion of terrorism offences (The Guardian, link): "A 31-year-old man has been arrested in south London on suspicion of preparing Islamist terrorist acts, Scotland Yard said."

UK: Resisting police militarisation and state repression (Netpol, link): "Netpol is delighted to co-host a planning meeting on 21 January with Campaign Against Arms Trade, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Stop The Arms Fair exploring resistance to the militarisation of policing.

The following briefing by Stop the Arms Fair explains more about next year’s “Security and Policing 2016” trade body event."

US stops British Muslim family from boarding flight to visit Disneyland (The Guardian, link): "A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles by US authorities at London’s Gatwick airport amid concerns of an American overreaction to the perceived terrorist threat."

USA: 1950s U.S. Nuclear Target List Offers Chilling Insight (New York Times, link): "WASHINGTON — Target category No. 275 from the nuclear target list for 1959 may be the most chilling. It is called simply “Population.”

For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration has released a detailed list of the United States’ potential targets for atomic bombers in the event of war with the Soviet Union, showing the number and the variety of targets on its territory, as well as in Eastern Europe and China."

News Digest 21.12.15

BELGIUM: Abdelslam not arrested despite rumours (New Europe, link): "Belgian authorities raided a home in connection with Paris attacks on Sunday evening, DW reports.

The raid was, once again, in the infamous Molenbeek quarter and makes part of an effort to stem out home grown terrorism.

Operations lasted for five hours until the early hours of Monday and there were five arrests, Salah Abdeslam was not one of them, the man believed to be the leader of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 130 people in Paris."

BELGIUM: VDAB to sanction claimants (Flanders News, link): "From next year the Flemish employment agency, the VDAB, will be able to check up on and sanction unemployment benefit claimants. Until now checks were only carried out by the federal authorities."

BULGARIA: War Gains: Bulgarian Arms Add Fuel to Middle East Conflicts (Balkan Insight, link): "Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals."

DENMARK: Denmark’s PET appoints new head (The Copenhagen Post, link): "The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has just appointed a new head.

Finn Borch Andersen, the former chief of police at North Zealand Police and Deputy Public Prosecutor for serious economic crime at Statsadvokaten, will assume the role from 1 January 2016."

EU: The New EU General Data Protection Regulation – A First Assessment (European Academy for Freedom of Information and Data Protection, link): "The results of the trilogue of the EU institutions (European Parliament, Commission and Council) on the data protection reform package is an important milestone on the way into the global information society. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace 28 different data protection laws of the Member States."

Fair Trials and REDRESS organise expert meeting of the UN Committee against Torture and INTERPOL (Fair Trials, link): "Countries rely increasingly on INTERPOL’s “wanted person” alerts system to fight serious cross-border crime by securing the arrest and extradition of fugitives. This important policing tool can, however, have serious implications for the human rights protected by the UN Convention Against Torture (the “Convention”). Despite INTERPOL’s constitutional commitment to respecting human rights, its “wanted person” alerts system can be used to seek a person’s extradition to countries where they face a real risk of torture or prosecutions based on torture evidence."

FRANCE: Ex-police officer 'held over Air France fake bomb' (The Guardian, link): "French police have detained a retired police officer over the discovery of a fake bomb on board an Air France flight which made an emergency landing in Kenya, a legal source has told Agence France-Presse."

FRANCE: Paris attacks suspect ‘got past three police checks’ (France 24, link): "Salah Abdeslam, the fugitive suspected of involvement in last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, got past three police checkpoints in France as he fled to Belgium, French media reported on Sunday."

GERMANY: After the gold rush: AfD loses state subsidies (Deutsche Welle, link): "The populist right-wing Alternative for Germany has lost an important revenue stream after the government closed a loophole it was exploiting to gain state subsidies. But few critics are shedding tears."

Montenegro Opposition Protest Calls for Free Elections (Balkan Insight, link): "Anti-government protesters gathered in the streets of the capital again on Sunday, calling for new elections and an interim government to replace Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic."

NETHERLANDS: Geert Wilders trial for inciting hatred to start on March 18 (Dutch News, link): "The trial of PVV leader Geert Wilders on charges of inciting racism and hatred will start on March 18 with a procedural hearing, The Hague’s district court said on Friday."

ROMANIA: NATO Set to Activate Missile Shield in Romania (Balkan Insight, link): "The new military base at Deveselu - set to form part of NATO's missile defence shield – is due to become active on Friday, despite continuing opposition from Russia."

SERBIA: Serbian Judge’s Removal ‘Threatens Judicial Independence’ (Balkan Insight, link): "The removal of judge Vladimir Vucinic from Belgrade’s Special Court was a political move aimed at curbing judicial independence and will set back an important case against interior ministry officers, experts alleged."

Slovenians vote against same-sex marriage in referendum (The Guardian, link): "Slovenians rejected same-sex marriage by a large margin in a referendum held on Sunday, a result that represents a victory for the conservatives backed by the Catholic Church."

UK immigration bill will play into hands of traffickers, anti-slavery experts warn (The Guardian, link): "The government’s proposed immigration bill, due to have its first reading in the House of Lords this week, will hand “unbelievable control to traffickers” and make it harder for people to escape slavery in the UK, campaigners have warned."

UK: ‘A major missed opportunity that will mean that many lives continue to be wasted’ (The Justice Gap, link): "You wait nearly nine months for the Government response to your review – then they issue 36 reports on the same day. The independent review I led into self-inflicted deaths of young people in prison was submitted to the Ministry of Justice on 2nd April 2015 and published as The Harris Review: Changing Prisons, Saving Lives on 1st July 2015. The Government’s response was finally issued on 17th December 2015.

So was the wait worth it?"

UK: Arun Kundnani on the Propaganda War Against British Muslims (Vice News, link): "The whole episode could have been a footnote from Kundnani's excellent book The Muslims Are Coming! (Verso) – a radical critique of the west's wilful misinterpretations of jihadist motivations and violence, and the different forms of anti-Muslim hysteria generated as a result.

Since the book was released in 2014, there's been an intensification of Islamophobic attacks in Britain and the United States, complicated and encouraged by changes in foreign and domestic policy and the attacks in Paris. Kundnani writes that this kind of Islamophobia is "sustained through a relationship with official thinking and the War on Terror" so now seemed like the perfect time to discuss that relationship, Britain's infamous "Prevent" anti-extremism programme, and the real meaning of multiculturalism with him."

UK: Channel 4’s Dispatches cleared over Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw sting (The Guardian, link): "Undercover investigation with the Daily Telegraph involving secret filming did not unfairly represent the MPs as ‘politicians for hire’, says Ofcom"

UK: Drone 'filled with drugs' crashes into prison yard in bid to smuggle contraband to inmates for Christmas (Mirror, link): "A drone carrying high-strength drugs crashed into a prison yard in a bid to smuggle contraband to inmates for Christmas, officials have confirmed."

UK: Triage scheme for mentally ill saves taxpayers £1.1m (Birmingham Post, link): "A mental health triage scheme has been praised for saving the taxpayer £1.1 million and halving the number of people detained by police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act"

News Digest 15.12.15

BELGIUM: Threat level 3 to remain until after festive season (Flanders News, link): "The Threat Analysis agency OCAD has said at a meeting on the National Security Council that the terror threat level in Belgium will remain at 3 until after the Christmas and New Year period. The news appears in Tuesday’s edition of the daily ‘De Tijd’."

Bosnian Serbs to Reinstate Cooperation With State Police (Balkan Insight, link): "Bosnia’s Serb-led entity Republika Srpska will sign a new agreement with the State Investigation and Protection Agency after controversially cutting ties with the state police body last week."

EU diplomats warn U.S. over threat to end visa-free entry (Al Jazeera, link): "Diplomats from the 28-member European Union on Monday warned they could respond in kind if the United States makes good on plans to end visa-free entry for some EU nationals."

FRANCE: French teacher admits inventing ISIL school 'attack' (Al Jazeera, link): "A French teacher who claimed he was attacked in his classroom by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) supporter admitted to prosecutors on Monday that he invented the story."

Montenegro to Boost Counter-Terrorism Operations (Balkan Insight, link): "According to a new national strategy for combating violent extremism in 2016-2018, which BIRN has seen, Montenegro will set up a new intelligence-gathering unit to fight radicalism and a special team for flagging up terrorist and violent extremist content on the Internet."

Polish PM rounds on European parliament head over 'coup' remark (The Guardian): "Parliament’s German president, MartinSchulz, likens events in Poland to ‘coup d’etat’ after new rightwing government altered make-up of constitutional court"

SPAIN: Parents of jailed Venezuelan dissident granted Spanish citizenship (El País, link): "The Cabinet on Friday agreed to grant Spanish citizenship to the parents of Venezuelan political dissident Leopoldo López, who is in prison following a trial whose fairness has been questioned by international observers."

UK: Ex-civil service chief criticises government for attempts to curb FoI legislation (The Guardian, link): "The UK government’s reasons for curbing freedom of information laws have been challenged by Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service.

In a hearing with MPs, Kerslake questioned the claim of Sir Jeremy Heywood that FoI legislation has a chilling effect on the government. “If people are experiencing a chilling effect, it’s largely in their own heads, not the reality,” he said."

UK: The new immigration rules for Adult Dependant Relatives: out with the old… (Free Movement, link): "Following on from the earlier posts on the July 2012 changes to the Immigration Rules, this post looks at the situation for adult dependent relatives. It will come as no surprise that the new rules raise the bar substantially for those seeking entry under this category."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Activists Demand Lambert’s Sacking (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, link): "Four prominent activists have written to the University of St Andrews demanding the sacking of lecturer Bob Lambert, former Special Demonstration Squad officer and manager."

News Digest 14.12.15

Backslash: Anti-surveillance gadgets for protesters (Ars Technica, link): "Oliveira and Chen hope to even the odds with an electronic arsenal of their own. At the Radical Networks conference in Brooklyn this past October, they presented the Backslash kit, a package of devices that help protesters stay safe and connected during demonstrations. Gadgets include everything from portable routers that create improvised communication networks in the event of an Internet blackout to a pendant that blocks radio signals (to prevent cell phone surveillance)."

EU: EU takes counter-terrorism campaign to the frontlines (Politico, link): "The EU has deployed eight security and intelligence experts to its missions in the Middle East, North Africa and Nigeria to boost its counter-terrorism efforts and take the fight to countries where many radicals are recruited."

EU: Transnational Seminar on Prosecuting Trafficking in Human Beings highlights new approaches and challenges for future (Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings, link): "Anti-trafficking stakeholders from the six THB/IFS/2 project countries, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Pakistan and Turkey, attended a transnational seminar on prosecuting trafficking in human beings on 24 - 25 November 2015. They were joined by experts from Austria, Belgium, Portugal and international organisations. The event provided a platform for practitioners with different professional backgrounds and expertise from different countries to learn from each other and work towards better transnational cooperation."

France forced to step up security at schools (The Local, link): "France's education minister announced on Monday that the government would be stepping up security at schools after a teacher was stabbed by a man shouting about the terror group Isis."

FRANCE: National Front fails to win any French regions (The Local, link): "According to provisional results Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party has failed to win control of any regions in Sunday's second round of elections. Here's how the results unfolded on Sunday"

UK: After the Fast Track: what next for the detention of asylum seekers? (Open Democracy, link): "UK courts have ruled the routine detention of asylum seekers undergoing accelerated claims to be ‘systemically unfair and unjust’. But faced with hostile politics, how much can strategic litigation deliver?"

UK: We're Stuck in a Dangerous and Vicious Cycle, Say Experts, as Islamophobia Soars in the UK (Vice News, link): "Britain is stuck in a vicious cycle of violence that will only get worse as long as communities are polarized and Muslims demonized by an unsophisticated government and media narrative, say experts on extremism, on a national day of action against the government's counter-terrorism strategy."

UK-EU: UK and EU ready to compromise on EU migration (EUobserver, link): "British prime minister David Cameron and the EU could find a middle ground on EU migration to the UK in order to secure a deal in February ahead of a EU memberhsip referendum in the UK net year."

News Digest 7.12.15

Albania Finally Debates Communist Punishment Rapes (Balkan Insight, link): "Over two decades since the fall of Communist regime, researchers and authors have started to speak openly about the use of rape as punishment, after revelations from an Albanian singer."

EU states could lose US visa waivers in wake of Paris attack (EUobserver, link): "US lawmakers are preparing to vote, this week, on a bill that could see select EU states lose visa waiver perks if they don’t comply with stricter security measures."

EU: 30th ACP-EU Assembly: terrorism and migration set to dominate debate (European Parliament, link): "Universal healthcare cover, notably aspects relating to healthcare in ACP countries, migration, human rights and humanitarian refugees and the post-election situation in Burundi will be among the topics debated at the 30th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Brussels on 7-9 December."

France considers restrictions on Tor and public Wi-Fi (The Daily Dot, link): "In the wake of the deadly Paris attacks, the French government is considering new legislation that would restrict access to the anonymizing network Tor and free Wi-Fi networks, according to a report in French newspaper Le Monde. "

FRANCE: Big gains for far-right in French election (Politic, link): "Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front is on course to make major gains in French regional elections Sunday, winning almost a third of the vote and coming out on top in six out of 13 regions, according to exit polls."

FRANCE: Far-right claims to be France's first party after elections (EUobserver, link): "The Front National has come first in half of the regions in a first round of local elections in France. Left and right are divided over a strategy to block it."

FRANCE: The key questions after French regional elections (The Local, link): "The first round of France’s regional elections delivered an almighty "shock" for the country, as one national newspaper's front page testified. Here's what we learned."

FRANCE: Undercover police crack down on freedom of speech in Paris (New International Facebook page, link): "Yesterday undercover police cracked down on anyone questioning the sponsors of a corporate “Solutions 21” event in Paris."

Macedonia MPs Launch Illegal Surveillance Probe (Balkan Insight, link): "Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski, finance minister Zoran Stavreski and former interior minister Gordana Jankuloska will be first to appear the parliamentary commission probing mass illegal wiretapping."

Spain rolls out new anti-jihadist plan that seeks citizen cooperation (El País, link): "The Spanish government is launching a nationwide plan to locate potential jihadists before they become fully radicalized, and is hoping to enlist the cooperation of citizens on this mission."

UK: Britain's new far-right movement has had an absolute nightmare start to life (The Independent, link): "A new far-right movement in Britain has had a nightmare start to life this week, with embarrassing television interviews and a high profile resignation."

UK: David Cameron to ban House of Lords from overturning legislation (The Telegraph, link): "The Tory grandee appointed by David Cameron to review the role of the House of Lords will propose that hostile peers should be banned from overturning legislation."

UK: High Court to rule on legal aid JR (Law Society Gazette, link): "The High Court will decide on Monday whether to grant permission for judicial review of the government’s tender for new legal aid contracts amid questions about whether the parties have sufficient standing to bring proceedings."

UK: Michael Gove scraps criminal courts charge (Law Society Gazette, link): "The controversial criminal courts charge for convicted defendants is to be scrapped from 24 December, lord chancellor Michael Gove announced today."

UK: Prevent programme 'spying on our young people', say east London imams (The Guardian, link): "Muslim religious leaders in Newham claim government’s Prevent anti-radicalisation strategy causing ‘breakdown of trust’"

Why ISIS Just Loves Profiling (The Daily Beast, link): "The terrorists of the so-called Islamic State can always stay two blood-soaked steps ahead of your religious and racial profiles. Watch behavior, not beards and burqas."

News Digest 4.12.15

COP 21: Anonymous Leaks Paris Climate Summit Officials’ Private Data (Wired, link): "Hackers have leaked the private login details of nearly 1,415 officials at the UN climate talks in Paris in an apparent act of protest against arrests of activists in the city."

EU: Parliament's response to terrorist threat: Europol, passenger records, need for common action (EP, link): "In the wake of the terrorists attacks in Paris on 13 November, the fight against terrorism remains at the top of the European Parliament's agenda. On Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December, the civil liberties committee discussed how the EU's strategy could be improved. "

EU: Terrorism’s Power Depends on Our Response (Human Rights Watch, link): "Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the armed extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), which has claimed credit for the Paris attacks, it feels like Europe has forgotten the central lesson from London in 2005 and the train bombings in Madrid the previous year. The power of these attacks lies in how society and -- above all -- the government responds."

Europe’s intelligence ‘black hole’ (Politico, link): "An obscure European agency called Europol launched a project in 2014 to store information about thousands of people suspected of traveling across borders to engage in terrorism, including Islamist “foreign fighters” in Syria and Iraq."

France wants Facebook and Twitter to launch an 'offensive' against ISIS propaganda (The Verge, link): "The French government is once again calling on major web companies to help combat jihadist propaganda online, following a string of deadly attacks last month that left 129 dead and more than 300 injured. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Axelle Lemaire, deputy minister for digital affairs, met with representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google, and Microsoft today to discuss plans to counter extremist propaganda and expand safety tools in the event of a future attack. A follow-up meeting will be held at the end of January."

German Intelligence Services Oversight Body Files Action Against Government (IP Watch, link): "For the first time in its history, the G10 Commission, an oversight body over the German Intelligence Services, will go to court to challenge decisions by the German government and the services, German Public Broadcasting and the Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed last night."

IRELAND: NGOs call for the International Protection Bill to be withdrawn and reconsidered (Irish Refugee Council, link): "Doras Luimní, the Irish Refugee Council, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and Nasc are calling for the International Protection Bill, currently before the Seanad, to be withdrawn so that it can be properly amended by the Government and full consideration must be given to concerns expressed by organisations that work directly with asylum seekers and refugees."

UK: Immigration centre firms face £10,000 fine if detainee dies from self-harm (The Guardian, link): "Companies that run immigration detention centres face a £10,000 fine if an incident of deliberate self-harm results in death, it has emerged.

The figure came to light during a Home Office appeal after it was ordered to release data on failures by commercial contractors at two centres. The appeal is being heard by the information tribunal, which considers appeals on freedom of information (FoI) or other information requests."

US adjusting tactics to intensify air war against Islamic State (Stars and Stripes, link): "The United States will adjust its tactics and risk more civilian casualties when launching airstrikes against high-value targets in Syria and Iraq as part of an effort to increase pressure on Islamic State militants."

News Digest 2.12.15

FRANCE: Marine Le Pen's Front National makes political gains after Paris attacks (The Guardian, link): "Looking out across hundreds of flag-waving supporters at a rally in the northern city of Lille, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen told the crowd that the Front National was the only party that could reassure France in this moment of “infinite sadness”.

The deaths of 130 people in the Paris terrorist attacks were, she claimed, the result of government inaction, lies, and, above all, its “crazy, undiscerning immigration policy”. The Socialist president, François Hollande, who had declared war on terrorism, was “a war chief who hasn’t even got the measure of the enemy!” she boomed. Only 10 months after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Paris kosher supermarket left 17 dead, the government had failed to protect French people from another attack and was “more than just responsible” she cried."

IRELAND: Gardaí will get access to international terrorist database (RTÉ, link): "Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has announced that she has secured additional capital funding of €4m to allow Ireland to participate in the Schengen Information System (SIS II)."

“Peak indifference”: Cory Doctorow on surveillance in education (OEB, link): "In 1989, the former “East Germany” had one informer for every sixty people. Now the NSA has the ability to “eavesdrop” on the whole planet, with one spy for every 10,000 people. This is the comparison given by activist, author, journalist and co-editor of Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow, when commenting on today’s ever-present surveillance. However, despite technology magnifying the power of the powerful, he contends he’s hopeful: “We haven’t yet reached peak surveillance, but we’ve certainly reached peak indifference to surveillance.”"

UK: More than 700,000 British children affected by VTech hack (The Telegraph, link): "Hong Kong toymaker VTech has admitted that more than 6.4 million children were exposed to hackers, with details including the kids' names, gender and birthdates. "

UK: The disastrous outsourcing of immigrant housing in the UK (Verso, link): ""The rooms were home to rats and cockroaches. Pregnant women were placed in poor housing with steep stairs. Food poisoning was common" - Antony Loewenstein visits G4S & Serco-run housing. and reports on the disasterous outsourcing of immigrant housing in the UK."

UK: Young people who question Government or media may be extremists, officials tell parents (The Independent, link): "Child protection officials been criticised after warning parents that young people who take issue with government policy or question what they are told in the media may have been radicalised by extremists."

USA: Man held at Guantanamo for 13 years 'case of mistaken identity', US admits (The Telegraph, link): "A Yemeni prisoner at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appears to have been the victim of mistaken identity.

US officials have determined that Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri was a low-level Islamic fighter and not an al-Qaeda courier and trainer as previously believed.

Al-Shamiri appeared Tuesday before a panel assessing whether he can be released. A report put out by the Pentagon says he fought in Afghanistan and associated with members of al-Qaeda. But in the report officials concede they wrongly thought he had a more significant role because he was confused with someone else with a similar name."

News Digest 1.12.15

FRANCE: Security major issue in French regional election campaigns after Paris attacks (RFI, link): "The 13 November terrorist attacks in Paris have put the issue of security into the campaign for the upcoming regional elections, even though regions technically have no control over security. Even before the attacks, the election was being seen as a national referendum on President Francois Hollande and the Socialist government, and a test for the rising popularity of the far-right Front National. Security issues have boosted the FN even more."

ROMANIA: A New Revolution? The Recent Governmental Crisis in Romania (Verfassungsblog, link): "As of November 2015, Romania faces its most important social, political and constitutional crisis in the last quarter-century. If the 1989 Revolution signified a break with a totalitarian communist regime, the widespread street protests of 2015, which led to the fall of the Government, gave a new message: global dissatisfaction towards the whole political class and institutions marked by serious inefficiency and corruption."

UK: Cabinet approves Syria airstrikes motion (The Guardian, link): "Twelve-point plan put forward by David Cameron is approved unanimously by cabinet at weekly meeting devoted entirely to Syria"

UK: Court documents reveal oversight body struggling to control GCHQ domestic hacking (Privacy International, link): "Documents released today confirm GCHQ, the UK intelligence agency, is hacking computers in the United Kingdom without individual warrants. The documents contain previously unknown details and defenses of GCHQ's use of "thematic warrants" to hack. The legal challenge in which these documents are being disclosed was brought by Privacy International and seven internet and communications service providers from around the world in response to disclosures made by Edward Snowden."

UK: New report finds Latin American migrants hard hit by low pay and 'practical exclusion' (Migrants' Rights Network, link): "A new report has been published on the situation of people from Latin America who have migrated on to the UK after a period of living in another EU country has found evidence of vulnerability in employment and ‘practical exclusion’ for information services provided by local authorities."


November 2015

News Digest 30.11.15

BALKANS: Kerry's Serbia-Kosovo Tour to Focus on Security (Balkan Insight, link): "John Kerry will visit Belgrade on December 3 to take part in the annual ministerial council of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, organized by Serbia, the country chairing the organisation in 2015.

"Serbia’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said the main topics during the two-day meeting will be security-related in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead."

CYPRUS: Fabricated news in the media stigmatise refugees and incite to racism in the Cypriot Society (KISA press release, pdf): "KISA is very saddened to realize that recently, and particularly following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13/11/15, a segment of the media internationally, rather than acting as a pressure lever on the states to safeguard human rights, they act apologetically and pave the way for violations of refugees and migrants' human rights. Unfortunately, the Cypriot media do not constitute an exception, a fact that is proven through some publications of the last few days, which refer to alleged connections of refugees who live in Cyprus with terrorist organizations."

DENMARK-EU: No-side in the lead ahead of Danish referendum (EUobserver, link): "The No-side has taken the lead ahead of Thursday's referendum in Denmark on joining EU’s justice and home affairs rules. A Gallup poll published on Saturday showed 38% intend to vote No, while only 34% Yes. When the referendum was called in October the Yes-side lead by a large margin."

EU: Criminalize websites that refuse to delete terrorist content, say MEPs (CIO, link): "Companies that host or operate websites should be held criminally liable if they fail to remove content that incites terrorism, members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday. But they also want these companies to voluntarily cooperate with governments to promote "anti-radicalization messages.""

FRANCE: Ebrahimian v France: headscarf ban upheld for entire public sector (Strasbourg Observers, link): "On 26 November, the Court added a new chapter to its ‘headscarf’ jurisprudence, upholding the non-renewal of a contract in a public hospital on the ground of the applicant’s refusal to take off her headscarf."

Germany to send 1,200 military to the Middle East (EUobserver, link): "France and Germany have opened the door to a cooperation with the Syrian army in the fight against Islamic State (IS), while Germany is to send 1,200 military in the Middle East."

GERMANY: Justice Minister: No link between Paris attacks and Germany (Deutsche Welle, link): "German Justice Minister Justice Heiko Maas has said German authorities were unable to prove any links between Germany and the Paris attacks. He also rejected the coalition's demands for more security measures."

Italy spies on Playstation chat amid terror threat (The Local, link): "Scrutinizing communication among users of the ‘chat’ feature on the popular gaming console, Playstation, is among the measures Italy has adopted to detect potential jihadists across technological platforms."

Italy to crack down on 'secret' mosques (The Local, link): "The Italian government intends to close down clandestine mosques in the country as part of the fight against terrorism, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced Friday."

NETHERLANDS: Police in court over shooting of ‘drugs courier’ (Dutch News, link): "Two police officers are appearing in court after a suspected drugs courier was shot and wounded as he tried to flee a car chase on foot."

NETHERLANDS: Somali tribesmen to sue Dutch state over US drone strike (Dutch News, link): "Two Somali shepherds who were caught in a drone strike aimed at a terrorist convoy are to sue the Dutch state for war crimes, their lawyers said."

SCOTLAND: Spycops in Scotland Exempt from Inquiry (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, link): "Five of the exposed undercover political police were in Scotland, yet they are excluded from the Pitchford inquiry and the Scottish government is uninterested."

The terrorist in the data (The Economist, link): "All this suggests that, rather than attacking encryption, Western governments would do better to deal with a related but distinct problem: anonymity. On the internet users can adopt any name they want when they open an e-mail or social-media account, write comments on a web page or set up a website. People can buy and use a smartphone while giving flimsy or false personal details, or none at all. These freedoms are convenient and cherished. They allow people living under authoritarian regimes to mask their activities from the authorities. They allow people to experiment and play in private. But they also allow criminals and terrorists to hide."

UK could be prosecuted for war crimes over missiles sold to Saudi Arabia that were used to kill civilians in Yemen (The Independent, link): "Britain is at risk of being prosecuted for war crimes because of growing evidence that missiles sold to Saudi Arabia have been used against civilian targets in Yemen’s brutal civil war, Foreign Office lawyers and diplomats have warned."

UK: Appeal judges back legal aid residence test (The Justice Gap, link): "The Court of Appeal has unanimously ruled that the government’s proposed residence test for civil legal aid is lawful, overturning a judgment by the High Court last year which found the measure to be discriminatory and unlawful. The test, if implemented, will restrict public funding for legal representation in civil cases to individuals who can prove that they are lawfully resident in the UK and have been so for a 12 month period at some time in the past."

News Digest 27.11.15

BELGIUM: After Paris, Brussels Seeks Morocco’s Help in Terror Control (Middle East Confidential, link): "Belgian police stage raid in Brussels suburb of MolenbeekAfter the precious help provided by Moroccan intelligence services that enabled French police locate mastermind of Paris attacks, Belgian officials have asked Morocco for help to track a key suspect in connection with the Paris terror massacre."

BELGIUM: Radicalisation of people of foreign descent to be probed (Flanders News, link): "The aim will be to bring experts on the issue of the radicalisation of foreigners together. The focus will not only be on asylum seekers, but all people in Belgium of foreign heritage. Incidents linked to radicalisation and immigration will be examined too... The taskforce will include representatives of the ministers of justice, the interior, defence and asylum and migration. The immigration department, the commissariat-general for refugees , the asylum agency, the interior ministry and its crisis centre, the body analysing the terror threat, Belgian jails, military and civilian intelligences services and the police will also be involved."

BELGIUM: Suspect powder arrives through mosque's letterbox (Flanders News, link): "Several envelopes containing a suspicious white powder have arrived through the letterbox of the Grand Mosque in Brussels. The fire brigade and civil protection officers have arrived at the scene to examine the substance and make sure it's not anthrax."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Former intelligence chief: We have known for a long time that terrorists use this country as a safe haven or transit state (Radio Praha, link): "Ever since the terrorist attacks in Paris, security issues have been at the forefront of public and media attention in the Czech Republic. Although the country’s intelligence says it has no indication of an imminent threat, security has been tightened around key institutions and will remain so at least until the end of the year. The need to consider security is affecting things like the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree on Old Town Square as well as people’s travel plans for the holidays. For this edition of Panorama I spoke to former military intelligence chief Andor Šandor about the security threat to this country, its emergency forces and the effectiveness of its public warning system."

EU: €5.4 million for grassroots projects to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance (European Commission press release, link): "As a direct follow-up of the 2015 Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights: "Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe", the European Commission has published a call for proposals under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme."

EU: Future of the Internet of things: What IoT means for me and EU (The Parliament, link): "The importance of funding in the development of the Internet of things(IoT) was front and centre during a conference in Brussels on Thursday"

FRANCE: The Fragile French Republic (The Atlantic, link): "France is now a top target of international jihad, having perhaps eclipsed even the “Great Satan” of the United States. It is easily accessible to jihadists with European passports—many hundreds of them French—and is a nation-symbol of secular enlightenment, with a notoriously fraught and, some would say, hostile approach to Islam. But its specific political culture and national mythology also make it particularly susceptible to the trap ISIS has laid for it. A history of political upheaval and collapse seems to have instilled in the country’s political leaders the conviction, even in times of political calm, that France’s Republican project is terribly fragile. This alleged fragility can impose a sort of permanent defensiveness, a siege mentality that treats criticism as treachery and the admission of failure as an “anti-Republican” threat to the nation’s very survival. As elsewhere, moments of crisis tend not to bring analysis and adaptation, but retrenchment; in France, that tendency is particularly pronounced, exacerbated and legitimated by a long political tradition."

FRANCE-ECHR: La France informe le Secrétaire Général de sa décision de déroger à la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme en application de son article 15 (Council of Europe, link): "Les autorités françaises ont informé le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l’Europe d’un certain nombre de mesures prises dans le cadre de l’état d’urgence instauré à la suite des attentats terroristes de grande ampleur perpétrés à Paris, mesures qui sont susceptibles de nécessiter une dérogation à certains droits garantis par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme."

German arms trader 'sold rifles for Paris attack' (The Local, link): "An arms dealer from southern Germany has been arrested on suspicion of supplying the weapons used in the Paris terrorist attacks, German media reported on Friday."

MALTA: 137 inmates still presumed innocent (Times of Malta, link): "A total of 137 prison inmates, including 47 foreigners, are being held in preventive custody in prison though they are still presumed innocent, according to figures given in Parliament."

Supreme Court Opens Door for Pirate Site Blockades in Germany (Torrent Freak, link): "Domain name blocking has become one of the entertainment industries’ go-to methods for reducing online copyright infringement.

"Blocking requests from both the music and movie sector are widespread around Europe, but until now Germany has been excluded.

"However, this may soon change. In a landmark ruling the Supreme Court has today opened the door to German pirate site blockades. "

MONTENEGRO: US and NATO Praise Montenegro's Progress (Balkan Insight, link): "US and NATO officials welcomed Montenegro’s security reforms ahead of a key meeting next week, when alliance foreign ministers will decide on whether to invite it to join the club."

UK ISP boss points out massive technical flaws in Investigatory Powers Bill (Ars Technica, link): "The head of the UK ISP Andrews & Arnold, Adrian Kennard, has pointed out a number of major technical issues with the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill (aka the Snooper's Charter). Kennard and other representatives of the UK Internet Service Provider’s Association (ISPA) met with the Home Office on Tuesday, where they presented a number of ethical, technical, and privacy related issues with the incoming new law. These issues, plus some of the Home Office's responses, can be found in written evidence (PDF) penned by Kennard."

UK: Benefit cap discriminated against disabled people, court rules (The Guardian, link): "The welfare secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, unlawfully discriminated against disabled people by failing to exempt their carers from the benefit cap, a high court judge has ruled."

UK: National Crime Agency reviews warrants after major trials collapse (The Guardian, link): "The National Crime Agency has launched an internal inquiry into its use of warrants and production orders after the collapse of major trials, amid warnings that other cases could be in jeopardy.

"The NCA and the Crown Prosecution Service were investigating every type of authorisation the organisation received to raid homes, seize property, and collect telephone and banking records, BuzzFeed News reported.

"The website reported that the NCA admitted to judges it used evidence that may have been gathered unlawfully in four major cases – three of which have collapsed at a cost of millions of pounds to the taxpayer. "

UK: Surveillance operation targeting sister of former paratrooper 'not properly authorised' (The Guardian, link): "The sister of a former paratrooper who was unlawfully killed in a police station has described how she felt “terrorised by the state” after it was revealed that up to 14 police officers were deployed to spy on her. The police operation targeting Janet Alder, which included surveillance and allegedly at least one attempt to eavesdrop on a conversation with her barrister, was not properly authorised, prosecutors said."

UK: The UK Wants to Store Every Citizen's Browsing Data. I Tried Collecting My Own (Motherboard, link): "My digital life sits in one 8.5 MB folder. It contains reams of logs, detailing the connections between my computer and the internet. Every website I've visited, every online service I've used. It shows when I logged in, how long I stayed for, and when I moved on—whether I was researching articles, talking to friends, shopping, or feeding my insatiable YouTube habit. Thousands of lines of data, squeezed into dozens of Excel spreadsheets."

UK: Theresa May accused of rushing surveillance bill through back door (The Guardian, link): "The home secretary, Theresa May, has been accused of fast-tracking her “snooper’s charter” legislation by the back door after giving a scrutiny committee of MPs and peers only three weeks to consider the 299-page bill."

UK: Time to listen to the experts: it’s time for a time-limit (Unlocking Detention, link): "You do not have to dig deep to discover the harm that indefinite detention does to people. This harm stays with people, and affects people’s relationships, families, and the community more widely. The damage of indefinite detention does not end when someone is released (and most people are released into the community and are not removed from the UK, begging the question of the point of detention in the first place). People who have experienced the lack of a time-limit are quick to remark on its impact on others."

USA: The CIA Paid This Contractor $40 Million to Review Torture Documents (Vice News, link): "One of the main criticisms leveled by Republicans and CIA supporters about the Senate Intelligence Committee's landmark five-year study into the CIA's torture program has been the cost to taxpayers: $40 million.

"The implication by these critics is that the Senate Democrats who led the investigation were responsible for the expenditures associated with the production of their voluminous report, which concluded that the CIA's use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" was not effective and did not produce "unique" and "valuable" intelligence. (...)

"But VICE News has exclusively obtained more than 100 pages of contracting documents [pdf below] that show it was CIA officials who insisted on outsourcing work related to the Senate's review — and that it was the CIA that paid more than $40 million to one of its longtime contractors for administrative support and other tasks related to the Senate's work. Those tasks included compiling, reviewing, redacting, and then posting to a server set up by the contractor the more than 6 million pages of highly classified CIA cables and other documents about the torture program Senate Intelligence Committee staffers pored through during the course of their probe."

News Digest 25.11.15

BOSNIA: US-Published Documents Show West’s Srebrenica Failure (Balkan Insight, link): "The US National Security Archive published documents detailing how the UN and international community failed to take action to prevent the Srebrenica massacres in July 1995."

EU: Shutting Down Jihadist Websites Won't Stop Terrorism (The Atlantic, link): "In the days since terror struck Paris, European officials have began to look more closely at websites like al-Fateh. French and Belgian lawmakers have already proposed laws to silence online hate speech, in an attempt to counter the widespread use of online-communication platforms by followers of the Islamic State for propaganda and incitement.

"The laws follow a European tradition of restrictive laws on hate speech, but with a 21st-century surveillance-state twist. Existing laws, which have been in place for decades, are designed to protect at-risk groups from harm. They target racism, hatred, defamation, the incitement of violence, and Holocaust denial. But the new proposals go further, restricting the entire citizenry’s civil liberties in the name of national security. And they may do little to make France and Blegium safer."

EU: Violence comes home: an interview with Arun Kundnani (Open Democracy, link): "ISIS’s recruits are not corrupted by ideology but by the end of ideology. More radicalisation, in the genuine sense of the word, is the solution, not the problem."

FINLAND: Lindström willing to consider sentencing terrorists to death (Helsinki Times, link): "Jari Lindström (PS), the Minister of Justice and Employment, has revealed in an interview on YLE Kioski that he is willing to consider employing capital punishment for terrorist acts."

FINLAND: Stubb: Finland to be able to provide military assistance also to Baltics (Helsinki Times, link): "Finland is currently not allowed to participate in military activities outside the European Union, but the legislative changes under consideration would according to Alexander Stubb (NCP), the Minister of Finance, allow it to provide military assistance also to the Baltic states."

FINLAND: Support for intelligence activities rises after attacks in Paris (Helsinki Times, link): "The terror attacks in Paris have reinstated a sense of urgency to the ongoing efforts to revise the intelligence laws of Finland."

FRANCE: Connecting Past and Present: Assessing French Emergency Powers in Historical Perspective (Just Security, link): "Reflecting on the horrific events of Friday, November 13, in Paris and the French governmental turn to emergency powers, it bears reminding that the resort to a state of emergency in a situation of crisis is not new. The French legal system incorporates three legal sources for conferring emergency powers on the government. Two of these sources are found in the French Constitution of 1958 and one has a statutory basis in a law passed on May 3, 1955. President Hollande invoked that statutory source when he declared a nationwide state of emergency throughout the Republic on November 13, 2015 which went into effect at midnight on November 14. All three legal structures derive from a shared history. This post addresses that history. We devote a separate post to discussing the substance of the new declaration of emergency in France and its extension by the French parliament last week."

Kosovo Cracks Down on Protesters Ahead of Rally (Balkan Insight, link): "While the opposition prepares a 'peaceful march' on Albania’s Independence Day in Pristina, the police have arrested a number of those involved in recent violent demonstrations."

LUXEMBOURG: No burka ban in Luxembourg (Luxemburger Wort, link): "Luxembourg will not adopt a law prohibiting the wearing of a full-body veil in public spaces. The decision was made on Friday evening by four government ministers and the leaders of the four largest parliamentary factions."

Macedonia Probes Claims About ‘Forged' IDs (Balkan Insight, link): "Macedonia's new opposition interim Interior Minister, Oliver Spasovski, said the police organized crime department was investigating allegations that at least 30,000 fake IDs had been produced in time for next year's early elections."

NETHERLANDS: Car computers pose a privacy risk, motoring body warns (Dutch News, link): "Car manufacturers are monitoring driver behaviour and personal information through software installed in their vehicles, Dutch motoring organisation ANWB said on Wednesday."

SCOTLAND: ‘Serious consideration’ to be given to holding inquiry into Sheku Bayoh death (The Guardian, link): "Assurance comes from Nicola Sturgeon during meeting with family of 31-year-old who died in police custody in May"

UK: Demands for Scottish Government to set up inquiry into undercover police operations amid allegations over secret Met cop Mark Kennedy (Herald Scotland, link): "CAMPAIGNERS have demanded that the Scottish Government launch an inquiry into the secret activities of an undercover Metropolitan police officer who infiltrated protest groups north of the border.

Activist Jason Kirkpatrick said notorious ex-Met officer Mark Kennedy’s spying on protesters at the G8 in Gleneagles was extensive and suspects he tampered with his group’s media work during the 2005 global summit.

However, he believes his concerns will be not heard at the Pitchford Inquiry – set up by the UK Government to investigate undercover policing – as the judge-led probe only relates to England and Wales. "

UK: Even when Britain's youth prisons improve, they fail (Politics.co.uk, link): " This is what improvement looks like in Britain's crumbling young offenders' estate: young boys not leaving their cells for 23 hours a day for fear of violence, widespread hunger and regular solitary confinement. Improvement is apparently a very low bar."

UK: Paris, jihadis, tech giants ... What is David Cameron's speechwriter banging on about now? (The Register, link): "An article by the UK Prime Minister's chief speechwriter suggests Silicon Valley is happily aiding "tech-savvy jihadists."

"It echoes demands we've heard since the killings in France this month. A UK law professor and an infosec academic have helped us dismantle the piece."

UK: Police cuts: chief constables tell officers to prepare for the worst (The Guardian, link): "George Osborne’s autumn statement could bring police officer numbers down to levels not seen since the 1970s"

News Digest 24.11.15

Belgian police arrest 16 in anti-terror raid (EUobserver, link): "The Belgian police arrested 16 suspects in a raid on Sunday evening (22 November), but fugitive terror suspect Salah Abdeslam was not among them."

BELGIUM: Terror alert level in Brussels to stay at four (Flanders News, link): "The terror threat level for the Brussels Capital Region is being kept at the maximum of 4. This means that the alert level is “serious”. The terror alert level for the rest of Belgium has been maintained at 3. The Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) made the announcement at a press conference held shortly after 7pm on Monday evening."

Bosnia Ponders Tougher Anti-Terrorism Measures (Balkan Insight, link): "After last week’s shooting of two soldiers in Sarajevo, Bosnian officials said the country needs new legislation to tackle the threat of terrorism."

CYPRUS: Greek-Cypriot Authorities on Alert for Six Suspected Jihadists (Greek Reporter, link): "Six people with French passports were interrogated by Cypriot police, since they were suspected to be involved with extreme Islamic organizations. The six men arrived in Cyprus from France on Sunday night and the officers at the airport control in Larnaca found that the five men were Turkish, while the sixth was Algerian."

Denmark tops EU in use of Europol database (The Copenhagen Post, link): "With the EU justice opt-out referendum coming up on December 3, DR Nyheder has revealed that the Danish police access Europol’s criminal database Europol Information System (EIS) far more than their other EU colleagues. "On average, the Danish police accesses EIS 200 times every day – or ten times more than other EU member states. In fact Denmark accounts for nearly every fifth EIS search."

DENMARK: Driver licences for drones on the horizon (The Copenhagen Post, link): "The traffic authority Traffikstyrelsen will next year unveil a new driver’s licence for drone operators in order to curb the increasing number of reports of illegal flying."

EU: European Commission refuses to uphold rule of law (EUobserver, link): "The European Parliament must be realising that the EU Commission has sold it a lemon.

"Back in July, the parliament asked the commission to activate the rule of law ‘framework’ in relation to Hungary. The commission’s reply, sent to MEPs on 12 November, is bound to taste bitter."

France installs sensors to prevent attack on water supply at climate summit (The Guardian, link): "Sensors should signal if there is any contamination of the water supply at the summit that begins 30 November, with up to 45,000 people attending"

French far-right sees popularity rise after Paris attacks (France 24, link): "A poll conducted just after the the November 13 Paris shootings has put far-right candidate Marion Maréchal Le Pen well in the lead to win the presidency of the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur region (PACA) in December's regional elections."

Germany discusses sending Bundeswehr troops to Mali (Deutsche Welle, link): "The Paris attacks completely unsettled France, prompting its leaders to ask for help from other EU countries for anti-terror operations abroad. Now Germany is considering sending its army to Mali to hunt terrorists."

ITALY: Cries of 'inquisition' as Vatican tries journalists (The Local, link): "Two journalists and three Vatican officials go on trial Tuesday over the publication of classified documents in a case critics have attacked as having a whiff of the inquisition."

Macedonia Considers Legalising Medical Marijuana (Balkan Insight, link): "Macedonian's health ministry says it is seriously listening to expert opinion about the possible legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes after a poll indicated widespread public support."

UK: Armed police called to reports of gunman at Stevenage station - but find man with sandwich (Evening Standard, link): "Armed police were called to reports of a gunman at a railway station in Hertfordshire - but discovered it was just a man with a sandwich. A commuter dialled 999 after spotting a man acting suspiciously at Stevenage station yesterday afternoon."

UK: Fit-for-work tests may have taken serious toll on mental health – study (The Guardian, link): "Research links additional 590 suicides and 725,000 antidepressant prescriptions over three years to impact of work capability assessment"

UK: Howard League responds to Feltham prison inspection report (Howard League, link): "Inspectors visited Feltham’s ‘A’ side, which holds boys aged 15 to 18, in July and August. They found that the prison had improved since its last inspection.

"There were, however, a number of concerns, particularly related to safety and the time prisoners spend out of their cells. The inspectors noted that “all too often the boys it holds have been written off by community agencies, and the resources and staff Feltham has to meet the needs of the boys held are insufficient for the task”."

UK: How do you prove you are gay? A culture of disbelief is traumatising asylum seekers (The Guardian, link): "A Ugandan man, Robert Kityo, was denied asylum last week on the basis that the Home Office wasn’t sufficiently convinced that he was gay. The question of evidence is the problem facing gay men and lesbians seeking protection in the UK because of persecution due to their sexuality. Often coming from one of the 80 countries where gay relationships are a criminal offence, they are faced with a culture of disbelief when they seek protection here."

UK: Is it lawful to detain immigration detainees in prisons? (Free Movement, link): "The Court of Appeal says “yes”, it is generally lawful to detain immigration detainees in prisons rather than detention centres. The case is R (On the Application Of Idira) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1187 and the Court rules that there is no principle that administrative immigration detention in prison generally breaches Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to liberty. In giving judgment, though, the Master of the Rolls acknowledges that “detention in an IRC is generally more appropriate for immigrant detainees than detention in prison”."

UK: 'Legal high' use in prison is 'getting worse by the day' (BBC, link): "'Legal highs' are causing an increase in violence in UK prisons, it's claimed."

UK: Mayor of London faces judicial review over Parliament Square fencing (Liberty, link): "Liberty’s client will tomorrow launch a legal challenge against the Mayor of London’s decision to fence off Parliament Square Gardens halfway through a 10-day peaceful protest in October 2014."

UK-EU: MPs to vote on joining European police DNA database (The Guardian, link): "Theresa May hopes Paris attacks will make case for joining Prüm scheme that would give fast-track access to Europe’s DNA and fingerprint records"

News Digest 23.11.15

BELGIUM: The Latest: Belgium in third day of lockdown (Associated Press, link): "The Belgian capital Brussels has entered its third day of lockdown, with schools and underground transport shut and more than 1,000 security personnel deployed across the country."

EU agrees on Schengen checks for all (EUobserver, link): "The EU will change the Schengen borders code to introduce systematic checks for EU citizens at the external borders of the EU free travel area."

EU to Revise Travel Ban Rules (Wall Street Journal, link): "The European Union will revise its rules on travel bans, making it mandatory for member states to share the names of people denied entry and wanted felons, so that they don’t slip unnoticed into another EU country."

EU: Democracy: the film that gets behind the scenes of the European privacy debate (The Guardian, link): "As nationalism sweeps Europe, a subtle cinematic triumph about an unlikely subject animates the hopes of transnational democracy"

EU: Yanis Varoufakis: Europe is being broken apart by refugee crisis (The Guardian, link): "Former Greek finance minister says the monetary union has ‘failed spectacularly’ leaving Europe too fragmented to respond to influx of refugees"

France awaits Spain’s proposal for supporting fight against Islamic State (El País, link): "The French government is waiting for Spain to explain how it plans to cooperate in the fight against the Islamic State, shortly after the European Union activated a mutual defense clause at France’s request."

NORTHERN IRELAND: Police ombudsman rejects concerns over police actions over Coleraine attack (BBC News, link): "The police ombudsman has found no evidence to support concerns that police did not intervene to stop a sectarian attack in Coleraine in which a man later died."

ROMANIA: Tighter Controls Cause Jams on Romanian Borders (Balkan Insight, link): "Security measures on Romania’s borders are being boosted in the wake of the attacks a week ago in Paris, causing long delays for drivers."

Serbian Security Agencies Join Forces for Anti-Terorrism Exercise (Balkan Insight, link): "In a display of force, a massive anti-terrorist exercise by all Serbian security agencies was held in Belgrade on Saturday as a joint effort by the Serbian army, the police anti-terrorist squad, the secret police and military security services."

SPAIN: Remnants of the Franco era (El País, link): "Neither the education system nor collective memory have done enough to help clarify Spain’s ideas about Francisco Franco, the dictator who died 40 years ago today."

UK: Paris attacks: Women targeted as hate crime against British Muslims soars following terrorist atrocity (The Independent, link): "Muslims living in Britain have suffered more than 100 racial attacks since the terrorist atrocities in Paris, figures prepared for ministers reveal."

UK: “Slavish” lodging of appeals against deportation determinations deplored by President of Upper Tribunal (Free Movement, link): "In Greenwood (No. 2) (para 398 considered) [2015] UKUT 629 (IAC), the “Empire Strikes Back” style sequel to Greenwood (Automatic Deportation: Order of Events) [2014] UKUT 342 (IAC), President McCloskey gives guidance on the correct approach to consideration of deportation appeals. This is a hotly contested and highly politicised area of work and his comments are interesting. The comments are all the more interesting when set alongside the contrasting approach adopted by the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for the Home Department v Boyd [2015] EWCA Civ 1190, a judgment which was to appear on BAILII on the very same day."

UK: Time for bold action to downsize criminal justice (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link): "An unquestioning defence of police budgets makes it harder to address the many real social challenges that currently receive an inadequate criminal justice response, argues Richard Garside"

USA: Government Compares NSA Whistleblower to Ft. Hood Shooter, Soviet Spies (The Daily Beast, link): "During a “webinar” on Tuesday, an official from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s National Insider Threat Task Force showed a PowerPoint slide with examples of “insider threats.” Thomas Drake, who exposed part of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program in 2005, is next to Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan, Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis, and FBI-agent-turned-Soviet-spy Robert Hanssen."

News Digest 20.11.15

Bulgaria to Stay Out of anti-IS Military Coalition, PM Says (Novinite, link): "Bulgaria will not be part of a military intervention targeting the Islamic State (IS) group, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has asserted. In his words at the opening of a swimming pool on Thursday, "when you send airplanes and missiles to the other side, you cannot expect peace from the other side.""

BULGARIA: Press Freedom NGO Urges Bulgaria PM to Stop 'Harassment of Journalists' (Novinite, link): "An international press freedom organization has sought to raise Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov's awareness of instances of harassment of journalists working with an independent investigative website."

France’s interior minister calls on EU to ‘wake up’ to terrorist threat (France 24, link): "French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned Thursday that the European Union must "wake up" to the threat posed by terrorists in the wake of the attacks in Paris last Friday."

Hungarian police detain suspected British terrorists (Politics.hu, link): "Hungarian police apprehended two British nationals who were terrorism supporters with prison records, the national police headquarters ORFK said. The arrest was made last Saturday on an international train at Lökösháza on the Romanian border, it said. "

HUNGARY: Prime minister and NATO Secretary-General hold talks in Budapest (Politics.hu, link): "The terrorist attacks against France highlight the need to take the arrival of migrants from war zones seriously, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said. European Union member states are, to varying degrees, at war with countries from where such migrants originate from, Orbán said after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg."

HUNGARY: The Budapest Beacon: Orbán is resorting to fascist rhetoric says Lajos Bokros (The Budapest Beacon, link): "Lajos Bokros, chairman of the center-right opposition party Movement for a Modern Hungary (MOMA), says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has resorted to using “fascist themes to illustrate how global conspiracies are causing Hungary’s suffering”."

Italy to ban drones amid Jubilee terror threat (The Local, link): "Airspace over Rome will be closed-off to drones during the upcoming Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, over fears that the remote-controlled aircraft could be used by the Isis militant group in a terror attack."

ITALY: Security toughened for Juventus vs AC Milan (The Local, link): "Authorities in Turin said tough new security measures will be introduced for the Juventus vs AC Milan Serie A fixture on Saturday following the failed attempt by suicide bombers to gain entry to Paris's Stade de France."

KOSOVO: Violence Flares Again in Renewed Kosovo Protests (Balkan Insight, link): "New protests erupted in Pristina for few hours on Wednesday evening with protesters throwing stones at the government building and burning cars after an opposition MP was detained for setting off tear gas in parliament."

NETHERLANDS: Defence ministry email accounts caught up in world's biggest data hack (The Amsterdam Herald, link): "Nearly 400 email addresses at the Dutch ministry of defence were compromised as part of a massive worldwide hack operation, the government has revealed."

NETHERLANDS: Police staff suspended over inquiry into €500 million squad cars contract (The Amsterdam Herald, link): "Five police personnel have been suspended from duty as part of a long-running corruption investigation into contracts to buy police cars."

Onlinecensorship.org Tracks Content Takedowns by Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Sites - New Project Will Gather Users' Stories of Censorship from Around the World (Electronic Frontier Foundation, link): "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Visualizing Impact launched Onlinecensorship.org today, a new platform to document the who, what, and why of content takedowns on social media sites. The project, made possible by a 2014 Knight News Challenge award, will address how social media sites moderate user-generated content and how free expression is affected across the globe."

Reimagining security by Celia McKeon (video, openDemocracy): "Does security mean defence: tanks and barbed-wire fences? Or can it mean building relationships, confronting inequalities and recognising each other's humanity?"

Romania Parliament Backs New Experts' Govt (Balkan Insight, link): "Romanian MPs have approved the formation of a new technocratic government under Dacian Ciolos, which will steer the country until elections take place next year."

Romania to Help France Counter Terrorist Threat (Balkan Insight, link): "As France seeks military support from EU allies in the war against Islamist terrorists, Bucharest has expressed willingness to help."

SPAIN: Civil War Legacy Continues to Divide Spain’s Politics and Its Streets (The New York Times, link): "In Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, the accuser and the accused of the Spanish Civil War are still honored side by side, at least on its street map."

UK: Axe 'grossly disproportionate' £150 court charges, Michael Gove told by MPs on Tory dominated committee (The Telegraph, link): "The new charges, unveiled by former Justice secretary Chris Grayling and introduced this year, force offenders to pay 'relevant court costs' ranging from between £150 and £1,200 to cover the costs of the proceedings "

UK: Police chiefs say cuts will severely affect UK's ability to fight terrorism (The Guardian, link): "Leaked letter from senior police chiefs to home secretary reveals security fears over reduction to officer numbers"

UK: Surveillance of MPs and the Wilson Doctrine: no inherent legal force but applies anyway (Covert Policing Law Blog, link): "The case of Caroline Lucas and others v Security Service and others [2015] UKIPTrib 14_79-CH in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal considered as a preliminary issue the status, meaning and effect of what is known as the Wilson Doctrine. The Doctrine originates in the statement to the House of Commons on 17 November 1966 by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson."

UK: Tory MP Philip Davies says more women should be sent to prison to achieve equality with men (The Independent, link): "During a parliamentary debate Philip Davies said men were being discriminated against in the British justice system because they tended to receive longer and more frequent custodial sentences than women for the same category of crimes."

UK: Understanding Staff in IRCs (University of Oxford Faculty of Law, link): "Professor Mary Bosworth and I recently completed two months of fieldwork in which we sought to understand the daily life of staff in immigration removal centres (IRCs). The two sites we visited had recently become one, at least in theory. IRCs Harmondsworth and Colnbrook, previously run by GEO and Serco respectively, came under the central management of Mitie in September 2014. They are now known as Heathrow IRC, though they are still physically separate buildings. Having done observations, much informal chatting, and formal interviews, what did we find? "

USA: Leaked NSA doc reveals ‘sheer luck’ needed to find useful info in sea of surveillance data (RT, link): "The NSA didn’t know it was already sitting on a “goldmine” of data on one of its targets until one of its analysts discovered it by “sheer luck,” according to an internal newsletter entry leaked by Edward Snowden."

News Digest 18.11.15

Bosnian Muslims Ponder Backlash After Paris Attacks (Balkan Insight, link): "Bosnian Muslims do not believe the attacks in Paris will impact much on community relations in Bosnia - but are concerned about the increasingly negative perception of Islam in Europe."

Bulgaria Nationalist Leader, MP Released on Bail after 'Unlawful Arrest' (Novinite, link): "The Sofia City Court (SCC) has ruled nationalist leader Volen Siderov and a party member Desislav Chukolov should be released on bail only several hours after having been detained on Tuesday."

EU: A map showing European jihadists’ countries of origin (VoxEurop, link): "This map, created by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty the day after attacks carried out by Islamic State which left at least 129 people dead in Paris and its inner suburbs, shows the countries of origin of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, in particularly from European countries."

EU: Vision-Box delivers biometric enrollment solution for EU employee travel documents (biometricupdate.com, link): "Vision-Box announced it is providing the entire biometric and biographic enrollment infrastructure for the first security eDocument being issued to European Union employees."

France to decide on Paris climate rally by Thursday (Reuters, link): " France will decide in the next couple of days whether to let climate change activists stage a rally in Paris on Nov. 29, the eve of a U.N. summit, amid worries about security after attacks that killed 129 people, an organiser said on Tuesday."

Francois Hollande's 'war' with Isis won't stand in the way of France's arms deals with Saudi Arabia (The Independent, link): "The country which lent its Sunni-Wahhabi creed to the Isis killers of Paris will care nothing for François Hollande’s huffing and puffing about war. The Saudis have heard it all before, this New World Order stuff, way back in 1991 when George W Bush dreamed up the sub-Hitlerian expression for the Middle East he thought he could produce: an oasis of peace, a place of weaponless wealth in which swords would be turned into ploughshares – or at least into bigger oil tankers and longer pipelines."

IRELAND: Paris attacks: EU defence clause ‘will not affect Irish neutrality’ (The Irish Times, link): "So far there is little indication of what the invocation of the Article might mean in practical terms, with some officials stressing that its import is more likely to be symbolic. "

France 'at war' inaugurates EU's mutual defence clause (EurActiv, link): "President François Hollande said he will invoke the European Union's ‘mutual defence clause’ for the first time to combat the perpetrators of the Paris attacks, betting on EU support over NATO in the country's fight against the Islamic State."

Kosovo Detains Three on Terrorism Charges (Balkan Insight, link): "A Kosovo court on Tuesday placed three Kosovars in custody for 30 days on suspicion that they intended to join Islamic militants in Syria."

Paris Terror Attacks: How Can We Combat the Threat of Further Attacks? (IFSEC Global, link): "So what can governments, intelligence agencies and the security industry do to reduce the risk of further attacks? I put this question to several security experts who offered suggestions that touched on intelligence sharing, data analytics, collaboration between relevant agencies and the role of the general public."

Spain investigating 301 people over links to jihadist terrorism (El País, link): "The judicial inquiries deal with every aspect of terrorist activity, including recruitment of combatants for Syria, glorification of terrorist activities, and criminal association."

UK: Flaws in universal credit system leaving vulnerable people penniless, says study (The Guardian, link): "Built-in delay of at least 42 days before claimants receive payments leaves people struggling to pay bills and buy food, says Citizens Advice"

UK: Jury identified serious failures by G4s at the inquest into the death of Mohamoud Ahmed Ali (Garden Court Chambers, link): "37-year-old Mohamoud died on 1 February 2014 in HMP Parc – a prison run by G4S. He died from ‘SUDEP’ (‘sudden unexpected death from epilepsy’). Despite having suffered several episodes of apparent seizures in December 2012, January 2013, and April 2013, he was never diagnosed with epilepsy. Although Mohamoud had been referred to hospital for assessment by specialist neurologists, the jury found that the prison repeatedly failed to transport him to appointments in May, June, and July, due to a lack of G4S staff to escort him there."

UK: Shoot to kill: what is the UK’s policy? (The Guardian, link): "In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the UK is debating how its security forces would respond in similar circumstances"

News Digest 17.11.15

Albania Warned to Take Islamist Threats Seriously (Balkan Insight, link): "Warnings about attacks by ISIS that were emailed to Albania’s interior minister and several media outlets should not be ignored by the Muslim-majority NATO member state, experts said."

Belgium and France announce extra measures in 4 areas (Flanders News, link): "Interior Minister Jan Jambon travelled to Paris on Sunday to meet his French colleague Bernard Cazeneuve, in order to discuss urgent measures to tackle terrorism and to avoid new attacks in the future. France and Belgium will intensify their cooperation, and are calling on other European member states to focus on 3 points of action: gunrunning, passenger lists for international flights and systematic border checks."

Belgium's heightens terror alert (Flanders News, link): "Belgium has increased the terror alert level from 2 to 3. The terrorist threat is now 'serious' instead of 'average'. The decision was taken by OCAD, the Belgian co-ordination team that analyses the threat of a terrorist attack."

EU: Europe’s response to the Paris attacks is different this time (The Economist, link): "The contrast was telling. In the aftermath of Friday’s attacks, which killed at least 129 people in locations around Paris, European leaders again issued statements of sympathy and outrage, while their citizens turned out en masse with flowers and candles to show solidarity. But where the “Je suis Charlie” demonstrators resisted linking terrorism to immigration or Islam, the mood this time has been more ambivalent. By targeting a well-known press outlet and a Jewish supermarket, the Charlie Hebdo killers allowed Europeans to frame their outrage around positive ideals: freedom of speech and of religion. But the latest attacks seemed to hit public spaces at random—a Cambodian restaurant, a football stadium, a concert hall. And some Europeans inevitably began linking the violence to the issue which has dominated their politics for the past six months: the wave of refugees streaming into their continent from the Middle East."

GERMANY: Trial opens against German intelligence officer who passed secrets to CIA, Russia (Deutsche Welle, link): "The trial against a German intelligence officer accused of passing secret information to the CIA and Russian consulate has begun in Munich. The defendant faces life in prison if convicted."

Hungarian Rightists’ Motives Remain Mysterious in Serbia (Balkan Insight, link): "Far-right Hungarian party Jobbik raised fears of extremist provocations by opening an office in Senta, a mainly ethnic Hungarian town in north Serbia, but locals know little about the party's agenda and local staff were reluctant to talk."

Ireland: Police back proposal decriminalising possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis (The Independent, link): "Aodhán Ó Ríordáin proposed a 'massive cultural shift' in moving towards decriminalising possession of small quantities of certain narcotics "

Kosovo Opposition Force MPs to Flee Parliament (Balkan Insight, link): "Ruling party MPs were forced to adopt the 2016 budget while barricaded in an alternative hall, after opposition MPs again threw tear gas in the main chamber."

NORTHERN IRELAND: How detention affects my community: the view from Belfast (Right to Remain, link): "This piece was written for Unlocking Detention by the Larne House Visitors Group. Larne House is a short-term holding facility near Belfast. People are detained there for short periods of time before being transferred to another detention centre (in England, or Dungavel in Scotland)."

Poland's new government against introduction of euro (Radio Poland, link): "Henryk Kowalczyk, a minister in the new government, has argued that current conditions are not favourable for introducing the euro to Poland at anytime in the foreseeable future."

Spain ‘issues arrest warrant’ for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over 2010 Gaza flotilla attack (The Independent, link): "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, after a Spanish judge effectively issued an arrest warrant for the group, it has been reported."

Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack (The Intercept, link): "The Paris attacks took place on Friday night. Since then, France’s president has vowed “war” on ISIS and today significantly escalated the country’s bombing campaign in Syria (France has been bombing ISIS in Iraq since last January, and began bombing the group in Syria in September).

"Already this morning, as Aaron Cantú noticed, the stocks of the leading weapons manufacturers — what is usually referred to as the “defense industry” — have soared"

UK: Couple 'attacked by mob' as they closed their takeaway shop (STV News, link): "The couple claim the men involved in the attack repeatedly cited the Paris terrorist incidents, Islamic State (IS), terrorism and subjected them to racist abuse."

UK: George Osborne: Isis is plotting cyber warfare to kill people in UK (The Independent, link): "The Government is to invest nearly £2bn to create the country’s first “cyber force” to combat online threats from states and terror groups, the Chancellor George Osborne will announce today."

UK: Lord Carlile calls for ‘speedy confirmation’ of the investigatory powers bill (The Justice Gap, link): "Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of anti-terror legislation, has called for the investigatory powers bill to be fast-tracked through Parliament in order to protect London from terrorist attacks."

UK: Met police chief calls for more armed officers following Paris attacks (The Guardian, link): "But he tried to reassure Londoners that the number of firearms officers was being reviewed as a result of the attacks in the French capital, in which 129 people were killed. He said the Metropolitan police was proud to be a mostly unarmed force, but the Paris attacks showed the need for change."

UK Trade Union Bill: Latest in line of global attacks on right to strike (Global Labour Column, link): "The Bill is an assault on British trade unions, containing a raft of draconian measures designed to stifle their ability to protect workers’ rights. Although a continuation of the anti-trade union legislation passed since the 1980s by Conservative governments, the Trade Union Bill goes further than anything that Margaret Thatcher introduced."

News Digest 11.11.15

BALKANS: Corruption, Justice Top Agenda in Commission Report (Balkan Insight, link): "The courts, corruption and organized crime remain the EU’s main concerns in the Western Balkans, the Commission’s latest progress report shows."

BELGIUM: Antwerp police in plastic bullet incident (Flanders News, link): "The Quick Response Team of the Antwerp local police shot a 14-year-old girl last week with a special rifle that makes use of minute plastic bullets. The incident is making waves in Belgium, although the girl only had a bruise."

BELGIUM: Court finds facebook is violating privacy laws (Flanders News, link): "A Belgian court has ordered the social networking website Facebook to stop recording the activities of Belgian internet users who have not given explicit authorisation for this. The judge made his ruling after Belgium's Privacy Commission went to court unhappy with facebook's practice of logging the web history of internet users in Belgium."

BULGARIA: Two Bulgarian Nationalist Ataka MPs Give Up Immunity from Criminal Prosecution (Novinite, link): "Two Bulgarian Nationalist Ataka MPs have given up their immunity from criminal prosecution, which would allow for proceedings into their alleged involvement in two incidents in downtown Sofia to take place."

DENMARK: Hundreds of accused remain absent from their trials (The Copenhagen Post, link): "Hundreds of trials in Denmark end up being postponed because the accused fail to show up, according to a new report from the courts authority Domstolsstyrelsen."

EU: Jobbik MEP immunity suspended (Budapest Times, link): "The European Parliament (EP) has suspended the immunity of Hungarian radical nationalist Jobbik MEP Béla Kovács in a plenary session. The Constitutional Protection Office raised charges of espionage against Kovács in May on suspicion that he had regularly met Russian diplomats covertly and paid monthly visits to Moscow."

GERMANY: 'For a neo-nazi drop-out everything collapses' (Deutsche Welle, link): "The neo-Nazi drop-out project "Nina NRW" works with people wanting to leave the right-wing extremist scene and return to a non-violent life. In an interview with DW a drop-out counselor describes how this can succeed."

GERMANY: Kristallnacht memorial leaves lessons to be learned for Germany's right-wing extremists (Deutsche Welle, link): "November 9-10, 1938, saw Jewish premises ransacked across Germany and thousands of men taken to concentration camps. A Kristallnacht memorial service in Leipzig has come with a warning to learn from history."

GERMANY: NSU trial suspended ahead of anticipated Beate Zschäpe testimony (Deutsche Welle, link): "The planned testimony of alleged terrorist Beate Zschäpe has been postponed. The member of a German neo-Nazi group accused of carrying out racial killings was expected to break her silence for the first time this week. "

Hungarian Woman Fined for Facebook Post About State Spending (Global Voices, link): "The local government of Tata, a town in Hungary, has filed a lawsuit against a resident because she shared a Facebook post that questioned government spending."

HUNGARY: Pro-gov’t think-tank denies allegations of looking at classified documents (Politics. hu, link): "The think-tank Századvég has said reports that it had access to state classified documents are unfounded. In a statement, the Századvég School of Politics Foundation said that it firmly rejected all the allegations, which it called “malevolent lies”. The press reports are “grossly ill-informed and contain numerous disingenuous claims”, the statement said, adding that the foundation abided by all regulations."

HUNGARY: Voices critical of government rare guests on state media news channel (Politics.hu, link): "There was not a single guest on state media news channel M1 voicing criticism of the government’s policies from early Monday to to midday Wednesday last week, reports 444.hu."

NETHERLANDS: Police investigate leak in parliament’s top security committee (Dutch News, link): "The police are investing a potential leak in parliament which led to secret information about national security issues being leaked to a journalist, the Telegraaf says on Tuesday."

Portugal’s leftist opposition topples government (EUobserver, link): "Left wing parties ousted Portugal’s ruling centre-right coalition on Tuesday (10 November), only 10 days after it came into power, paving the way for a Socialist-led government that could end years of austerity under the EU's bailout programme."

Privacy will hit tipping point in 2016 (CNBC, link): " Concerns about online privacy will reach a tipping point in 2016, prompting regulators to crack down on companies, and consumers to demand greater protection, a new study by Forrester Research predicts."

ROMANIA: New Technocrat-Led Govt Expected in Romania (Balkan Insight, link): "After PM Victor Ponta stepped down amid protests over a deadly nightclub fire, the next premier is likely to be an independent technocrat focused on maintaining growth, experts predicted."

Serbian Journalist ‘Shot After Surveillance Officers Stood Down’ (Balkan Insight, link): "A former Serbian state security officer told the Slavko Curuvija murder trial that the prominent journalists was killed minutes after a security team was told to stop following him."

SPAIN: State Council gives green light for PM to appeal Catalan self-rule action (El País, link): "The State Council gave the go-ahead on Tuesday for the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to file an appeal with the Constitutional Court against the Catalan parliament’s controversial self-rule resolution."

UK: Criminal justice 'transformation': a wolf in sheep's clothing? (Center for Crime and Justice Studies, link): "Rebecca Roberts offers a word of caution on recent calls for a prison building programme and expansion of electronic monitoring."

UK: David Cameron reported to statistics watchdog over questionable EU migrant benefit statistics (The Independent, link): "The Government has been reported to its statistics watchdog over figures referred to by David Cameron in his Tuesday speech about European Union reform."

UK: It’s time to consign joint enterprise to history (The Justice Gap, link): "Joint enterprise allows for several people to be prosecuted for an offence, without differentiating their roles and culpability, as long as it can be shown that all parties were in some way involved. The doctrine originally developed some 300 years ago, supposedly as a way of prosecuting duellers and their associates, but has seen a revival in recent years due to the increase in offences involving gangs. Supporters have advocated for the use of joint enterprise in cases involving paedophile rings and white collar crime and have argued that without it the killers of Stephen Lawrence would still roam free."

UK: Your access to Freedom of Information is under threat – here’s what to do (mySociety, link): "Proposed changes, currently under discussion by a cross-party government commission, could make it much harder for you to access information."

News Digest 9.11.15

Albania MPs Vote to Form Civil Society Council (Balkan Insight, link): "Albania's parliament has voted to set up a National Council for Civil Society in an attempt to create an organized structure that includes the voice of civil society in the policy-making process."

Croatia’s right wins vote, heading toward hung parliament (New Europe, link): "Croatia’s conservative opposition won the country’s first election since it joined the European Union in 2013, partial results from Sunday’s election showed, but its narrow victory meant lengthy coalition talks were likely to follow in the next days or weeks."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Court rules on ID checks (The Prague Post, link): "Czech police officers cannot demand that a person produce his identity documents during a routine check unless they have a clear and proper reason, and these reasons are clearly defined in the police law, according to verdict issued by the Regional Court in Brno and available to the Czech News Agency."

EU Plans To Step Up Fight Against Russian Propaganda (Radio Free Europe, link): "The European Union aims to counter Russian propaganda by boosting support for independent media in "Eastern Neighborhood" countries and increasing awareness of "disinformation activities by external actors," according to a strategic communications action plan seen by RFE/RL."

France inaugurates new defence ministry, the 'Hexagon' (France 24, link): "French President François Hollande inaugurated France's version of the Pentagon on Thursday, a massive new defence ministry complex with walls designed to withstand a missile strike and a highly secure operational room hidden underground."

FRANCE: French police raid home of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen (France 24, link): "French police and investigators raided the offices and home of far-right National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on Wednesday searching for evidence of alleged tax evasion through foreign bank accounts."

POLAND: 'Nazi gold train' hunters to begin excavating site in Poland (The Independent, link): "The hunt for a possible "Nazi gold train" will begin next week with experts inspecting the suspected site for the first time."

Russian Spies, Suspicious Books, and the New Cold War Emerging in Europe (Vice News, link): "On December 9, during a routine session of the European Parliament in Brussels, someone snuck into the building, probably through an inner parking garage, and quietly placed copies of the same thick paperback book into the private mailboxes of all 751 parliamentarians."

SLOVAKIA: Slovak far-right party sues NGO for anti-Nazi exhibition (Prague Post, link): "The far-right People's Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) of Marian Kotleba has filed a criminal complaint against an exhibition on resistance during World War II that took place in the town of Banská Bystrica in October, arguing that it promoted Zionism which was a crime."

SPAIN: Catalonia MPs to vote on secession plan in showdown with Spain's government (The Guardian, link): "Catalonia’s pro-independence regional parliament is expected to launch a secession process in Spain’s wealthiest region on Monday, in a showdown with the central government in Madrid."

UK: Former spy chiefs to meet financiers at Gleneagles (The Guardian, link): "The former heads of MI6 and GCHQ, Sir John Sawers and Sir Iain Lobban, are scheduled to appear together at an exclusive dinner at the luxury five-star Gleneagles estate in Scotland."

UK Home Secretary Says Don't Worry About Collection Of Metadata; FOIA Request Made For Her Metadata (TechDirt, link)

UK: Little Public Support For Abolishing The Human Rights Act (Welfare Weekly, link): "Only one in ten say scrapping the Human Rights Act should be a Government priority."

UK: Pressure in Scotland to adopt Irish 'radical shift' to decriminalisation of drugs (Herald Scotland, link): " SCOTLAND must start the debate on decriminalising drugs, campaigners, MSPs and former government advisers have said.

"The call follows an announcement by the Irish government that it plans a “radical culture shift” which will see possession of drugs decriminalised in ordered to focus on offering helping to addicts and users rather than punishing them with criminal convictions and prison. "

UK: Russian plane crash: Philip Hammond raises prospect of 'Belfast-style' security checks for airports (The Independent, link): "Airport security across the world will have to be overhauled – leading to higher fares and increased delays if it is proved the Sinai air crash was caused by a bomb, the Government has said."

UK: Strangeways prison smugglers crash drone delivering drugs and mobile phones (The Telegraph, link): " Investigation after four-propeller aircraft being used to smuggle contraband to inmates at HMP Manchester crashes in exercise yard"

News Digest 6.11.15

BULGARIA: Third Night of Bulgaria Police Protest Goes Peacefully (Balkan Insight, link): "Hundreds of police officers demonstrated on Thursday for a third night in a row against planned cuts of social benefits at Bulgaria's Interior Ministry."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czechs not for NATO presence (Prague Post, link): "he Czech Republic is not a NATO border country and it does not see any reason for the presence of Alliance units on its territory, but it respects the opinion of other member nations, Jan Hamácek told the Czech News Agency after a summit of nine NATO eastern member countries in Bucharest today."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Egg-citing development in Zeman protest case (Prague Post, link): "A state attorney has cancelled the prosecution over pelting Czech President Miloš Zeman with eggs at a ceremony marking the November 1989 Velvet Revolution in Prague last year as unlawful and returned the case to the police for completion, Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) writes."

GREECE: Students Hold Protests Across Greece Against Education Cuts (Greek Reporter, link): "High school and university students carried out demonstrations all around Greece against the Greek government’s reduction of funds in the educational system ‘s budget, and demanded increased funding to schools and universities as well as the addition of more teachers and professors."

NATO Urged to Strengthen its Eastern Flank (Balkan Insight, link): "Ahead of the NATO summit in Poland, members of the Alliance in Eastern Europe, meeting in Romania, have demanded a tougher response to Russia's 'posturing'."

Research reveals 9 of 10 websites leak user data to third parties (The Next Web, link): "The idea of websites tracking users without their knowledge or permission isn’t new, but you might be surprised at just how big a problem it really is."

SCOTLAND: Review on raising age of criminal responsibility to begin (Holyrood, link): "Senior figures from the criminal justice and children’s sectors will begin formal talks on raising the age of criminal responsibility in the next ten days."

SPAIN: Catalan riot officer says he batoned youth’s ear “by mistake” (El País, link): "A Catalan police officer standing trial for bodily injury told a judge on Wednesday that he had aimed his baton at the plaintiff’s legs, but was thrown off balance and hit his head instead."

SPAIN: Zaragoza hosts major NATO exercise to prepare for Mediterranean threat (El País, link): "After focusing almost obsessively on the Russian threat following the invasion of Ukraine, the North Atlantlic Alliance admits it cannot ignore the threats on its southern flank."

Spanish PM agrees to reform Constitution if he wins re-election (El País, link): "Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will accept discussing reforms to Spain’s 1978 Constitution if he wins a second term in office in the December 20 general election."

UK: Former head of GCHQ advising Shell and private intelligence firm (The Guardian, link): "A former head of GCHQ has become an adviser to Shell and an influential private intelligence company after retiring from the UK’s electronic eavesdropping agency late last year."

UK: Jury returns damning conclusions at inquest into death of Imran Douglas (Garden Court Chambers, link): "Imran took his life five days after being sent to HMP Belmarsh to begin his sentence. He had turned 18 the previous month. After three weeks of evidence and four days of deliberations, the jury at Southwark Coroner’s Court returned 17 pages of narrative conclusions on Tuesday 3 November, criticising the Ministry of Justice, Care UK, the Youth Justice Board and Tower Hamlets Youth Offending Team."

UK: Media law QC warns police could use Investigatory Powers Bill to 'routinely' identify journalistic sources (Press Gazette, link): "He said it is "good" that the IPB "gives explicit protection to journalists", an improvement on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

"But he said the Bill "would not bring our law into line with the requirements under Article 10" of the European Convention on Human Rights.

"And he added: "The worry is that the police will now start using these powers routinely to identify sources.""

UK: The map that shows huge regional variation in rape convictions across England and Wales (The Independent, link): "Alleged rape victims are three times more likely to see their attacker convicted in certain parts of the country compared to others, figures from the Crown Prosecution service have revealed."

UK: Thousands back child smuggler Leeds aid worker (Yorkshire Evening Post, link): "A CAMPAIGN has been launched to help an aid worker from Leeds who is facing jail for trying to smuggle an Afghan child out of the Jungle refugee camp in Calais."

UK: Union ban ex-student from talking about his experiences fighting ISIS (The Tab, link): "They said 'one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist' "The Union banned a YPG fighter from talking at the University – in case he influences others to go and fight."

News Digest 4.11.15

DENMARK: Rasmussen rules out offering asylum to Snowden (The Copenhagen Post, link)

EU accession to ECHR back on (Law Gazette, link)

France compensates US Holocaust victims (The Local, link): "France will pay $60 million to mainly American victims of the Holocaust who were transported by train from France to Nazi death camps during World War II, an affair that nearly cost French state rail company SNCF its US contracts."

Italy mulls 'love rooms' for prison inmates (The Local, link)

Macedonia Protesting Pupils Say Teachers Locked Them up (Balkan Insight, link): "Parents and pupils in Macedonia say teachers in some schools acted like ruling party militants, locking pupils in classes to stop them attending protests against education reforms."

Polish president renews calls for permanent NATO presence (The News, link)

SPAIN: Catalan opposition to file joint appeal against independence motion (El País, link)

UK demands treaty guarantees on relations with eurozone (EUobserver, link): "UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outlined on Tuesday (3 November) some of his government's demands ahead of the EU membership referendum."

UK: Bahar Mustafa: Charges dropped against student officer 'who tweeted #killallwhitemen' (The Independent, link)

UK: Foodbanks will lose credibility if they side with DWP (Third Force News, link): "Placing Jobcentre advisers in foodbanks is a retrograde step says anti-poverty campaigner Peter Savage "

UK: Former reviewer of anti-terror laws co-owns firm with ex-MI6 chief (The Guardian, link)

UK: Three Scenes from Campsfield IRC (Unlocking Detention, link)

UK: Welfare to work boss backs attack on disabled (Morning Star, link)

USA: NYPD Undercover "Converted" To Islam To Spy On Brooklyn College Students (Gothamist, link)

News Digest 3.11.15

Drug smuggling, death threats and child sex abuse images: UN staff members' worst crimes revealed (The Independent, link)

France warns US over Transatlantic treaty (The Local, link): "France says it is ready to pull out of talks over the controversial Transatlantic free-trade agreement between the EU and the US, because the "secretive" negotiations were favouring American interests over French ones."

EU: UNDERCOVER POLICING: The Fifteen Questions we work with (Undercover Research, link): "As we noted in a recent blogpost on how we work, we have a list of questions that we have developed from close study of the undercovers exposed so far. If someone comes to us with a suspicion about someone in their group, we put these questions to them, to see whether their suspicions are well founded. If many boxes are ticked, there are strong grounds for further investigation."

Montenegro Drops Probe Into Journalist's Brutal Assault (Balkan Insight, link): "The decision to drop the investigation into the assault on the journalist Tufik Softic has raised more concerns over the continuing impunity surrounding attacks on media professionals."

Orwell Estate Sends Copyright Takedown Over the Number “1984” (Torrent Freak, link)

UK: David Cameron: Don't threaten the right to strike (Going to Work, link)

UK: No 10 ridiculed after adding poppy to David Cameron Facebook picture (The Guardian, link)

UK: DWP's Priti Patel Rules Out Looking In To Whether Benefit Sanctions Damage Mental Health (Huffington Post, link)

UK: Extra security features boost new British passport (The Telegraph, link)

UK: Peaceful campaigners branded terrorist threats (The Ferret, link)

USA: A New Biography Traces the Pathology of Allen Dulles and His Appalling Cabal (The Intercept, link)

World's biggest tech companies get failing grade on data-privacy rights (The Guardian, link)

News Digest 2.11.15

AUSTRIA: Racism forces Erasmus student back to UK (The Local, link)

IRELAND: Crime boss who recruited garda murderer Adrian Crevan Mackin was informant (Irish Independent, link)

NATO Pushed to Deploy More Forces in East (Balkan Insight, link)

Polish kids shirk online presence over hate speech (Radio Poland, link)

Romanian prosecutors: Apa Nova ran its own „intelligence service” (Romania Insider, link)

Serbia in Confusion after Protest Law Terminated (Balkan Insight, link): "Ten days after Serbia's Constitutional Court Law terminated the Law on Public Gatherings on October 23, it remains unclear how to go about organising a protest as the legal situation remains in limbo."

Spain “a winner” with 2003 Iraq War, claims ex-PM Aznar in a letter (El País, link)

SPAIN: Majority of Catalans oppose the independence declaration bill — poll (El País, link)

Stealth Mode? Built-in Monitor? Not All Body Cameras Are Created Equal (NPR, link): "Amid the recent pressure on police to wear body cameras, one thing is often overlooked: Not all cameras are created equal. In fact, cameras vary a lot — and the variations — some contentious — can have a profound effect on how the cameras are used and who benefits from them."

SWEDEN: Supporters protest Roma migrant camp closure (The Local, link)

TURKEY: Erdogan triumphs in Turkey, wins absolute majority (ANSA Med, link)

UK: New Investigatory Powers Bill will reportedly include protections for journalists' sources (Press Gazette, link)

UK: Student protest over free education expected to draw thousands (The Guardian, link)

UK: The changing face of unions: meet the women on front line of strike law protests (The Guardian, link)


October 2015

News Digest 30.10.15

CZECH REPUBLIC: Half of Czech Romanies not integrated into society (Prague Post, link)

DENMARK: Government proposes tougher punishments for foreign fighters (The Copenhagen Post, link)

ESTONIA: An international counter-terrorism training ATHOS held in Estonia (Estonian Interior Ministry, link)

EU: Dutch far-right MEP in hot water after voting for Le Pen (EUobserver, link)

FRANCE: French court upholds acquittal of Femen topless protest at Notre Dame (France 24, link)

FRANCE: French police ban unsafe Halloween costumes (The Local, link): " Police officers in southern France who are still on heightened terror alert have banned locals from wearing "dangerous" costume accessories for Halloween. It comes after a boy dressed as Mr T sparked a terror scare."

Germany leads European police raid against spyware users (Deutsche Welle, link)

GERMANY: Report: Arms maker sued Germany over Saudi Arabia exports license (Deutsche Welle, link): " An investigation by German media has uncovered a lawsuit filed by Heckler & Koch against a subordinate office of the economy ministry. The arms maker complained about the lack of export licenses for Saudi Arabia. "

ITALY: Former civil protection head's L'Aquila trial starts Nov 20 (Gazzetta del Sud, link)

Montenegro Opposition Plans New Protest Rallies (Balkan Insight, link): "Although police have broken up anti-governments protests in Podgorica, the opposition has announced new street protests aimed at forcing out Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic."

NATO: Mini NATO summit in Bucharest will discuss security in the region (Romania Insider, link)

Tor Just Launched the Easiest App Yet for Anonymous, Encrypted IM (Wired, link)

UK: Freedom of Information Act misused by media to create stories, says Grayling (The Guardian, link)

UK: Manchester chief constable airs fears of ‘thought police’ over counter-extremism (The Guardian, link)

UK: Police to be granted powers to view your internet history (The Telegraph, link)

UK: ‘Wrongly accused’ Manchester bomb plotters take Theresa May to court over ban on re-entering UK (TBIJ, link)

UK: ‘You’d expect the police to get the law right at least’ (The Justice Gap, link): "The Metropolitan police has been sending out ‘potentially unlawful’ letters threatening alleged gang members with prosecution for ‘just being present when a serious crime is committed’ under the common law of joint enterprise."

News Digest 29.10.15

IRELAND: Spike in drugs and violence across all three prison estates (Irish News, link)

‘Minorities face discrimination at every turn’ in criminal justice systems – UN rights expert (UN News Centre, link)

UK government: We don’t want backdoors, just access to all communications (Ars Technica, link)

UK: Fight to stop Dover Immigration Removal Centre becoming an OPEN PRISON (Dover Express, link)

UK: Harmondsworth: story of those detained within the walls (Unlocking Detention, link)

UK: HMP Bullingdon violence caused by Spice drug, say inspectors (BBC News, link)

UK: Isis planning 'mass casualty' terror attacks in Britain, head of MI5 warns (The Independent, link): "Andrew Parker's speech comes just weeks before the Investigatory Powers Bill - or 'snooper's charter' - is to be published"

UK: Students are ever quicker to label offensive material as hate speech (The Economist, link)

UK: The spooks have come out of the shadows – for now (The Guardian, link)

UK: Transgender woman to be moved from violent all-male prison after petition attracts tens of thousands of signatures (The Independent, link)

News Digest 28.10.15

Danish woman who fought Isis in Iraq has passport confiscated in Copenhagen (IBTimes, link)

Fujitsu develops tech that turns biometric data into a cryptographic key (Digital Trends, link)

FRANCE: Anti-Israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of Charlie Hebdo and "Free Speech" (The Intercept, link)

IRELAND: New tendering competition for State legal services announced (Irish Times, link)

MONTENEGRO: Police fire teargas at journalists and Protesters attack journalists in four separate incidents (Mapping Media Freedom, link)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Stakeknife: Army's most high ranking agent within the IRA to be quizzed about 24 murders (BBC News, link) and see: DPP decision on Stakeknife a profound and welcome move (Irish News, link)

POLAND: Vote count confirms outright majority for Polish Eurosceptics (EurActiv, link)

Portugal’s new cabinet likely to be short-lived (EurActiv, link)

SPAIN: Catalan 'independence declaration' to trigger showdown with Madrid (The Guardian, link)

The Okinawa missiles of October (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, link): "John Bordne, a resident of Blakeslee, Penn., had to keep a personal history to himself for more than five decades. Only recently has the US Air Force given him permission to tell the tale, which, if borne out as true, would constitute a terrifying addition to the lengthy and already frightening list of mistakes and malfunctions that have nearly plunged the world into nuclear war."

UK: Why handcuff and chain 84 year old in hospital? ‘Home Office policy,’ inquest hears (OpenDemocracy, link)

UK-EU: EU referendum: PM Cameron makes reform case in Iceland (BBC News, link)

News Digest 27.10.15

EU: Closing the Loopholes in Europe's Net Neutrality Compromise (EFF, link)

FRANCE: Air France executive: shirt-shredding attack was 'price to pay for democracy' (The Guardian, link): "Xavier Broseta says he bears no grudges over Paris attack by airline workers but insists redundancy plans must go ahead"

HUNGARY: LMP calls for abolishing fake mentoring programs for Roma (Politics.hu, link)

ICELAND: Vietnamese Couple Considering Filing Charges (Reykjavík Grapevine, link): "The Vietnamese couple accused of having a sham marriage are considering filing charges against The National University Hospital of Iceland (Landspítali) for breach of confidentiality and violation of privacy."

NATO: 1000s march against NATO war games in Italy, Spain (Press TV, link)

Portugal faces political crisis as leftists vow to topple new government (The Guardian, link)

PORTUGAL: Profile: Is this another coup in Portugal? (The National, link)

ROMANIA: Media freedom in post-Soviet Romania remains elusive (Index, link): "Shaken profoundly by the financial crisis, the media in Romanian is struggling to manage its high debts and survive the continuous political scandals and high-profile prosecutions against its owners"

SPAIN: Spanish police detain treasurer of Catalan ruling party (Expatica, link)

Ultra-Long-Range Surveillance Camera LR325k Launched by Evve Surveillance (IFSEC Global, link)

UK: Bristol Prison is "unsafe, if not dangerous" watchdog states (Bristol Post, link)

UK: Court of Appeal gives judgment on the “deport first, appeal later” regime (Free Movement, link): "The short story is that the Court finds that the Home Office has been applying the wrong legal test in these cases but that it probably does not matter and removal while one attempts to pursue an appeal will generally be acceptable."

UK: Free speech isn't all about you (Little Atoms, link): "Free expression is too important to be used as a bludgeon in the fight between libertarianism and identity politics"

UK: It was a bad week for freedom of speech in the UK, here’s what you missed (The Canary, link)

UK: Scottish justice minister refuses to say whether police breached Save Our Sources law to view journalists' call records (Press Gazette, link)

UK: 'Spy in a bag' case: Gareth Williams was blackmailed with 'staged photos in Las Vegas hotel room' by Russian spies, claims former KGB agent (The Independent, link)

World Forum for Democracy: Freedom vs control: For a democratic response: Strasbourg, 18-20 November 2015 (link)

News Digest 26.10.15

EU: ELENA Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary (ECRE, link): "The European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA) was created in 1985 and now extends across most European states, involving over 500 lawyers and legal counsellors."

EU: Plan for European Manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Uncertain (National Defense, link)

Germany protests: Police use water cannon on counter-protesters at far-right rally (The Independent, link)

ITALY: More drivers dodge penalty points by donating to poor box (Irish Independent, link)

IRELAND: Second new development occupied by protesters to highlight homeless crisis (Irish Independent, link)

ITALY: ANM complains more attention to wiretaps than mafia (Gazzetta del Sud, link)

ITALY: League MEP waves gun around on TV (Gazzetta del Sud, link): "An MEP from the rightwing anti-immigrant Northern League party sparked an outcry Friday when he brandished a gun during a TV interview."

POLAND: Right-Wing Party Roars Back in Polish Elections (New York Times, link): "Poland’s chief right-wing opposition party, out of power for nearly a decade, came roaring back in parliamentary voting Sunday, apparently seizing control of the government with a platform that mixes calls for higher wages with appeals to traditional Catholic values."

PORTUGAL: Sephardic Jews given passports five centuries on (The Portugal News, link)

Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort (New York Times, link)

SPAIN: New signs go up in Burgos hamlet with offensive “Kill Jews” name (El País, link): "A year-and-a-half after they took a vote on it, the residents of Castrillo Matajudios (which literally means “Little Hill-Fort of Jew Killers”) officially changed the name of their Burgos village on Friday from the offensive designation."

UK: Blair, the Iraq War and me (Al Jazeera, link): "How my doctoral thesis was used by Tony Blair's government to concoct a credible public case to invade Iraq in 2003."

UK: Education Not Surveillance (Institute of Race Relations, link): "An edited version of a speech given by one of the UK’s most respected independent educational consultants at the joint IRR/CCIF seminar ‘Securitisation, Schools and Preventing Extremism’."

UK: Harmondsworth: story of those detained within the walls (Unlocking Detention, link)

UK: Homeless people of Newport angry at council plans to ban rough sleeping (The Guardian, link)

UK: Lawyers express concern over ministerial code rewrite (The Guardian, link): "Conservative ministers have been accused of quietly abandoning the longstanding principle that members of the government should be bound by international law."

UK: Less stop and search does not mean more knife crime (StopWatch, link)

UK: Police wanted Sheku Bayoh's body removed from Scotland just two days after he died (Daily Record, link)

UK: ‘The person who emerges from detention is never the same as the person who went in’ (The Justice Gap, link)

News Digest 23.10.15

Academics have found a way to access insanely expensive research papers—for free (Quartz, link)

BELGIUM-TURKEY: AK Party's Belgian campaign raises eyebrows (EurActiv, link): "Many Turks living in Belgium have received postal mail from the AK Party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inviting them to vote in the 1 November election, offering benefits in exchange."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Elite police accused of corruption (Prague Post, link)

France's migrant 'cemetery' in Africa (BBC News, link)

HUNGARY: NGOs welcome end of tax probe over Norway civil Fund grants (Politics.hu, link)

HUNGARY: Orbán said to have early knowledge of failed scheme to sell Hungarian citizenship for EUR 800,000 (Politics.hu, link)

HUNGARY: Third-party intervention in the case of O.M. v. Hungary - ECRE, ICJ, AIRE Centre and ILGA - Europe (EDAL, link): "The facts of the case relate to the administrative detention of an asylum seeker in Hungary, who had fled from his country of origin, Iran, on account of his homosexuality. He was detained for nearly two months before eventually being recognised as a refugee."

HUNGARY-NATO: Brave Warrior 2015: military exercise ends in Hungary (euronews, link)

ICELAND: Meanwhile, in Iceland, the 26th banker has been jailed for their role in the 2008 financial crisis (i100, link)

POLAND: Election puts Poland's ties with EU, Germany at risk (Reuters, link)

Swedish police say school sword attack 'a hate crime' (Al Jazeera, link): "Those killed or injured in stabbing all had foreign origins, leading police to investigate racist motives."

UK accused of doing China's bidding after police raid home of Tiananmen Square survivor over peaceful protest (The Independent, link)

UK: 'Administrative failings' kept refugee from family reunion (BBC News, link)

UK: Benefits sanction warning period to be introduced, Iain Duncan Smith announces (The Independent, link)

UK: Dover Immigration Removal Centre to close (Free Movement, link)

UK: Lawyers criticise decision to prosecute housing protester over sticker (The Guardian, link)

UK: MI5 and MI6 cover-up of Cambridge spy ring laid bare in archive papers (The Guardian, link)

UK: Officers face possible charges over death of teenager in police chase (The Guardian, link)

UK: Public has no right ‘not to be offended’ over religious matters (Solicitors Journal, link)

News Digest 22.10.15

EP Committee adopts short-sighted anti-”radicalisation” report (EDRi, link)

EU-US: The collapse of the US-EU Safe Harbor: Solving the new privacy Rubik’s Cube (Microsoft on the Issues, link)

Geert Wilders tells Australia to abandon multiculturalism or end up like the EU (The Guardian, link)

GERMANY: Weapons go to conflict zones, the money comes to Berlin (Deutsche Welle, link)

Pay No Attention to the Server Behind the Proxy: Mapping FinFisher’s Continuing Proliferation (The Citizen Lab, link): "This post describes the results of Internet scanning we recently conducted to identify the users of FinFisher, a sophisticated and user-friendly spyware suite sold exclusively to governments"

Polish Elections: Law and Justice Party Regains Credibility by Dialing Down Rhetoric (Spiegel Online, link): "Poland's parliamentary elections in late October look set to sweep the right-wing Law and Justice party into power. Its current popularity is partly due to leading candidate Beata Szydlo, who has helped tone down its strident, nationalistic image."

POLAND: Populists eye Poland power with migrant fears, welfare vows (EurActiv, link)

ROMANIA: Security service access to personal data? Sure, why not? says Romania (ZDNet, link)

Romanian court questions former President over 1990 protest crackdown (EurActiv, link)

UK: Anti-extremism drive puts British values at risk, says police chief (The Guardian, link)

UK: Class War protester cleared of criminal damage at ‘poor doors’ demonstration (The Guardian, link)

UK: Counting the human cost: where next for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards? (The Justice Gap, link)

UK: 'Fitness to work' assessments are brutal, says daughter of man who killed himself (The Guardian, link)

UK: ‘It’s like Burke and Hare reviewing Graveyard Security’ (The Justice Gap, link): "The Society of Editors earlier this week launched the ‘Hands Off FoI’ campaign to protect the Freedom of Information Act, following the appointment of an ‘unbalanced’ independent commission to review the legislation."

UK: Man dies after being shot by police officer in Cambridgeshire (The Independent) and see: IPCC investigation following fatal shooting of man in Cambridgeshire (IPCC, link)

UK: Theresa May says police knife crime claims are 'simply not true' (The Telegraph, link)

UK: Undercover police inquiry accidentally reveals witnesses’ data (The Guardian, link)

News Digest 21.10.15

CYPRUS: Access Info welcomes Cyprus’ commitment to strong FOI law (Access Info, link)

EU: Exposure to news about immigration and crime is positively associated with the likelihood to vote for an anti-immigrant party (LSE, link)

EU: Irish citizens lost most personal wealth in Eurozone during crash, Germans and Dutch gained the most (Irish Independent, link)

France makes amends for treatment of Spanish Civil War refugees (El País, link)

Italian priest 'preyed on asylum seekers for sex' (The Local, link)

MALTA: University to be used for secret 'national security matters' during CHOGM [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting] (Malta Today, link)

NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam tram workers to collect spit for dna testing (Dutch News, link)

Poland's hateful graffiti - Writing on the wall (The Economist, link)

Polish Episcopate condemns anti-semitism as 'a sin' (Radio Poland, link)

SPAIN-USA: Decontaminating Palomares 1966 nuclear accident site will cost €640m (El País, link)

SPAIN: How fall of ETA’s last “general” was key to the end of Basque terrorism (El País, link)

SPAIN: Supreme Court rejects claim to alter digital newspaper archives (El País, link): "Old stories on plaintiffs will have to be blocked from searches under right to be forgotten"

UK: Animals or slaves? Memories of a migrant detention centre (Open Democracy, link)

UK: Anti-drone protesters fined and given conditional discharge for breaking onto RAF Waddington (The Lincolnite, link)

UK: Carillion apologises for blacklisting – then chases blacklisted worker for legal costs (Blacklist blog, link)

UK: Charity Commission and terrorism suspect campaigners Cage in high court (The Guardian, link)

UK: Distressed, ashamed and hopeless: the experience of being ‘fit for work’ (The Guardian, link)

UK: Lady Hale joins chorus of concerns over criminal courts charge (The Guardian, link)

UK: Law-abiding activist faces deportation from UK (The Guardian, link)

UK: Policing the crisis - Sunday 15 November 2015 - SOAS, London (Defend the Right to Protest, link)

UK: The Tories are removing twice as many people from the electoral register in Britain's poorest areas as the richest (The Independent, link)

UK: Theresa May’s definition of an extremist probably includes you (The Canary, link)

UK-EU: CBI comes out strongly in favour of Britain staying in EU (The Guardian, link)

U.S. Bypasses ICANN Debates on Domain Privacy with Closed Room Deals at the OECD and TPP (Electronic Frontier Foundation, link)

News Digest 20.10.15

Albania's ‘News Correction Site’ Concerns Experts (Balkan Insight, link)

Australian AI expert Toby Walsh takes fight to ban 'killer robots' to United Nations after thousands sign petition (ABC, link)

Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA (Fusion, link)

DENMARK: Police need better firearms training, says report (The Copenhagen Post, link)

EU: Leinen: Parliament mulls 'first steps' to reform EU elections before 2019 (EurActiv, link)

FRANCE: Le Pen refuses to attend court to hear fraud charges (France 24, link)

HUNGARY: Budapest road named after Spanish diplomat who saved Jewish people during Holocaust (Politics.hu, link)

MACEDONIA: ‘Obstructions Won’t Stop’ Macedonia Prosecutor (Balkan Insight, link)

MONTENEGRO: More Clashes as Police Break-up Podgorica Protest (Balkan Insight, link)

Ombudsman: Commission's stand on Catalonia is not EU position (EUobserver, link)

UK: Britain's New Counter-Terrorism Plan Labeled 'McCarthyist' (Vice News, link)

UK: South Wales Police officers alleged to have changed statements and intimidated witnesses (South Wales Evening Post, link)

UK: How detention affects Devon: a looming dread (Unlocking Detention, link)

UK: ILG Conference on Coronial Reform (INQUEST, link): "INQUEST Lawyers Group warmly invites ILG members to an evening conference on the key themes and recent developments in inquest law, practice and procedure."

UK: ‘I thought the Human Rights Act was for other people.’ (The Independent, link)

UK: London bus rant video: Father with pram filmed in racist assault on elderly Turkish man (The Independent, link)

UK: PC Michael Graham: Serving police officer charged with seven counts of rape (The Independent, link)

UK: RAF Waddington protest 'to protect people' (BBC News, link)

UK: Some police forces 'too inefficient to cope with more cuts' (BBC News, link)

UN 'shelves report calling for decriminalisation of all drugs after pressure from one government' (The Independent, link)

News Digest 19.10.15

Europe is becoming an undemocratic continent where force matters more than law by Paul Mason (Guardian, link): "Only banks, global corporations and the superrich have any power against this faceless semi-superstate"

Belarus bookshop braves the state to publish Nobel winner's work (The Guardian, link)

EU: European institutions split over lobbying black list (EurActiv, link)

EU-USA: EDPS [European Data Protection Supervisor] reacts to landmark Safe Harbor ruling (vieuws, link)

EU-USA: TTIP negotiators meet for 11th round of talks (EurActiv, link)

Facebook appoints self world police, promises state attack warnings (The Register, link)

INTERPOL-Europol forum outlines steps against people smuggling (press release, pdf)

SPAIN: Spanish Civil War: Move to exhume victims from mass grave in Valle de los Caídos sparks anger (The Independent, link)

UK: David Cameron urged to reveal when MPs have been spied on (The Guardian, link)

UK: GMB Protest Over Police Intimidation- GMB Protest At Redcar And Cleveland Police Station On Mon 19th Oct Over Police Intimidation Of Protester At Wilton SITA Construction Site (GMB, link)

UK: Spies, Secrets and Lies: Index magazine launch at the Frontline Club (Index on Censorship, link)

UK-USA: Smoking gun emails reveal Blair's 'deal in blood' with George Bush over Iraq war was forged a YEAR before the invasion had even started (Mail on Sunday, link)

News Digest (16.10.15)

BULGARIA: Afghan refugee shot dead by police while trying to enter Bulgaria (The Guardian, link)

EUROPOL-INTERPOL forum targets migrant smuggling networks (press release, pdf)

FRANCE: Burqa ban five years on - 'We created a monster' (The Local, link)

REVEALED: The boom and bust of the CIA’s secret torture sites (TBIJ, link)

The Life and Death of Objective Peckham - Stripped of British citizenship and killed by an American drone (The Intercept, link)

UK: GCHQ can monitor MPs' communications, court rules (The Guardian, link)

UK: Grayling's court charge forces magistrates to punish the poor - it's time for reform (politics.co.uk, link)

UK: Large retailers must prepare to publish first Modern Slavery Act compliance statement, says expert (Out-Law.com, link)

UK: University of Sussex to pay student protester £20,000 in damages (The Guardian, link)

UK: University refuse to reveal their links with The Arms Trade (The Tab, link)

USA: Say welcome to the special anti-drone shoulder 'rifle' (CNet, link)

How is NSA breaking so much crypto? (freedom-to-tinker.com, link): " James Bamford published an article quoting anonymous former NSA officials stating that the agency had achieved a “computing breakthrough” that gave them “the ability to crack current public encryption.” The Snowden documents also hint at some extraordinary capabilities: they show that NSA has built extensive infrastructure to intercept and decrypt VPN traffic and suggest that the agency can decrypt at least some HTTPS and SSH connections on demand. However, the documents do not explain how these breakthroughs work, and speculation about possible backdoors or broken algorithms has been rampant in the technical community. Yesterday at ACM CCS, one of the leading security research venues, we and twelve coauthors presented a paper that we think solves this technical mystery."

EU: What Schrems, Delvigne and Celaj tell us about the state of fundamental rights in the EU (link)

EU doesn’t need a CIA - but better intelligence would help (euractiv, link)

IEMed Mediterranean Yearbook 2015 (link)

Hidden cameras and human rights: the ECHR clarifies the position (EU Law Analysis, link)

Germany: German parliament votes for new data retention law (DW, link): "Germany's lower house of parliament has voted to resume collecting and retaining metadata about phone calls and internet use. Berlin says the new legislation is a balanced compromise."

News Digest (13.10.15)

The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework Is Invalid: Now What? (Mondaq, link)

Obama Won’t Seek Access to Encrypted User Data (NYT, link): "it is not possible to give American law enforcement and intelligence agencies access to that information without also creating an opening that China, Russia, cybercriminals and terrorists could exploit."

News Digest (12.10.15)

EU transfer of data to third countries: Could the Schrems decision trigger a regulatory “race to the top”? (verfassungsblog.de, link)

UK: Theresa May to appoint Labour peer to scrutinise snooper's charter (Guardian, link): "Ann Taylor, a defence minister under Gordon Brown, is to chair joint committee on investigatory powers bill – but home secretary’s choice is controversial"

Police called to meeting of beard fans in Sweden after passer-by confuses them with Isis terrorists - The group was waving a black flag which, a member has admitted, looks a bit like the Isis emblem (Indepedent, link)

News Digest (8.10.15)

White House says EU court erred with privacy ruling (washingtonexaminer, link)

DRONES: Covert threat to privacy (Times, Malta, link): "Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAs) or drones as they are most commonly known, are remotely piloted aircraft devices which have gone from being military-grade technology to EBay-available gadgets in the span of a few years. The European Commission expects this industry to create some 150,000 new jobs in the EU alone by 2050."

Path cleared for judge to block NSA phone surveillance program (politico.com, link)

EU ministers to discuss 'smart borders' (euobserver, link): "Among the ideas is the future roll-out of a €1 billion digital dragnet known as 'smart borders'. Smart borders is a two-tiered system of biometric scans of visiting non-EU nationals – the registered travellers programme (RTP) and the entry-exit system (EES) The European Commission had presented the package in 2013 but it was temporarily shelved following concerns over projected costs and possible law enforcement access.An EU diplomat on Wednesday (7 October) said the Commission is set to make new smart border proposals before the end of year." and see: EASA proposals on new drone rules.(pdf) Put out for consultationt that closed on 25 September.

News Digest (9.10.15)

EU ministers agree no airport-style security on rail (Reuters, link)

News Digest (7.10.15)

UK: Pictured: Police SNIPERS spotted on roof at peaceful anti-austerity march sparked by Tory conference (Mirror, link)

UK: Theresa May announces drive to limit right to claim asylum in UK (Guardian, link): "Home secretary’s plan to reduce claims from those able to reach UK criticised by refugee groups, while business leaders attack overall immigration policy." and Theresa May speech marks new low in politics of migration (Guardian, link) "Home secretary portrays those who have made it to Calais or Britain as the ‘wealthiest and strongest’, implying they are in some way queue-jumpers"

USA: Law Enforcement Tech: A Civilian Oversight Primer (EFFI, link)

Europe's data authorities step into post-Safe Harbour spotlight (euractiv, link): "Data protection officials are assuming increasing prominence following Tuesday's (6 October) ECJ decision to outlaw Safe Harbour, which called them to take on a bigger role in Europe's privacy debacles. National data protection authorities from member states will convene on Thursday (8 October) in Brussels, in order to coordinate a response to the ECJ decision."

Analysis: What does Theresa May’s speech mean for immigrants and refugees? (Free Movement, link)

EU Ombudsman welcomes ECB's move towards greater speaking engagement transparency (link): "The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has welcomed new moves by the European Central Bank (ECB) towards ensuring that the public interest is better protected when members of the ECB Executive Board agree to external speaking engagements. She looks forward to further useful engagement on this, and on other transparency and ethical issues."

News Digest (6.10.15)

Unclear “net neutrality” proposal returns to European Parliament – civil society groups call for action (EDRI, link)

Edward Snowden: US has not offered me plea deal - Whistleblower says he has offered to do time in prison as part of a deal to return to US, but ‘we are still waiting for them to call us back’ (Guardian, link)

News Digest (5.10.15)

When Shaker Aamer is free from Guantánamo the slurs will start - Because they know they’ve done him wrong it’s likely the UK and US security services will start briefing against the man they tortured (Guardian, link)

UK: Keyword warning software in schools raises red flag - Education Pro enables teachers to monitor students' online activity and sends "violation" alerts over trigger terms. (aljazeera.com, link): "Schoolchildren in the UK who search for words such as "caliphate" and the names of Muslim political activists on classroom computers risk being flagged as potential supporters of terrorism by monitoring software being marketed to teachers to help them spot students at risk of radicalisation."

Drone Warfare: Boxed up, barely used and 4 years late: Watchkeeper, the Army’s ‘affordable’ £1.2bn drone programme (BIJ, link)

News Digest (2.10.15)

Mass surveillance in Germany rebuked by Council of Europe (euractiv, link): "The Council of Europe has issued a damning indictment of mass surveillance in Germany. In a recent report on Germany, Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, criticises the fact that democratic control of the intelligence services is practically impossible and that mass surveillance can be carried out virtually unchecked.."

UK: Police watchdog calls for Taser guidance after inquest into fire death - IPCC recommends that officers be given more comprehensive guidance about use of stun guns in the presence of flammable liquids (Guardian, link)

Germany: Pegida founder faces hate speech charges (The Local.de, link): "Lutz Bachmann, founder of Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West") has been charged by state prosecutors in Dresden with incitement to racial hatred. The charges by state prosecutors in Dresden go back to anti-immigration Facebook posts made by Bachmann in autumn 2014, which surfaced on the public internet in January."

Human rights are no longer a 'top priority' for the Government, says Foreign Office chief - Top official says 'prosperity agenda' now takes precedence over fighting injustice (Independent, link)

News Digest (1.10.15)

End of roaming charges: Council confirms agreement with EP (Council of the European Union, link)

GUE/NGL MEP denounces TiSA at the WTO in Geneva (link): "German GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz, who is attending a World Trade Organization Conference on TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) in Geneva today, denounces many aspects of this agreement. Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL coordinator on the International Trade Committee: "Many people are very concerned about the TTIP negotiations between the EU Commission and the U.S. Government. But fewer people are aware that there are parallel negotiations going on that address a number of the same issues as in the TTIP. Full liberalisation of all services is on the agenda in Geneva, Tokyo, Brasilia, Beijing and many more capitals where trade negotiators meet. In fact, for the EU Commission the exact same team is negotiating TiSA and the services aspects of TTIP.

Safe Harbor – No Future? How the General Data Protection Regulation and the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will influence transatlantic data transfers (EASFJ, link)

Don't look now, but there's another EU data protection court case about to bite - ECJ to decide on which privacy watchdog can fine whom (The Register, link): "The Weltimmo case involves a tricky legal question on jurisdiction for data protection issues when a company sells in one country, but is headquartered in another."

Hungarian startup offers encryption with no backdoor key (Politico, link)


September 2015

News Digest (24.9.15)

Met police compensates brothers caught up in protests (Channel 4 News, link): "The Metropolitan police is to pay out tens of thousands of pounds in compensation to two brothers caught up in the 2010 violent student protests at Westminster. The settlement came after they sued the force for malicious prosecution, assault and battery.".

Five things you should know about the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (Access Blog, link): "The text of the Umbrella Agreement has not yet been officially released, and we are only able to comment on it thanks to our friends at Statewatch, who published the text in full.. The agreed text of the Umbrella Agreement will have be ratified by the European Parliament. The vote will not take place until the US Congress passes the Judicial Redress Act, which could takes few months. ".

UK: Student accused of being a terrorist for reading book on terrorism -Staffordshire University apologises after counter-terrorism student Mohammed Umar Farooq was questioned under Prevent anti-extremism initiative (Guardian, link)

Automated "recognizing propaganda": Reporting Office Internet content at Europol to continue to grow [Automatisiertes „Erkennen von Propaganda“: Meldestelle für Internetinhalte bei Europol soll weiter wachsen] (netzpolitik.org, link): "The EU member states raise even more money and personnel for the development of the financial intelligence unit for Internet content ("EU Internet Referral Unit" EU IRU). It describes the EU anti-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove in a strategy paper that published the British civil rights organization Statewatch today."

News Digest (18.9.15)

UK: Strangeways, here we go again: prison protests in Manchester 25 years on (Guatdian, link) "In 1990, Strangeways in Manchester saw the biggest prison riots in UK history. When Stuart Horner scaled the same roof alone this week, it was an instant reminder. Eric Allison, who observed the original protests, asks how much has changed."

USA: When Is Assassination Not Assassination? When the Government Says So (The Intercept, link)

US report proves Lithuania hosted CIA 'black site': lawyer (news-republic.com, link)

News Digest (17.9.15)

UK: Government warns NUS to stop opposition to Prevent strategy Union passed motion to oppose Counter-Terrorism Act, which it says amounts to an Islamophobic witch-hunt (Guardian, link)

MI5 chief warns technology has put terrorists 'out of reach' (WIRED, link): "Rapid advances in technology are allowing terrorists to operate "out of the reach" of British spies, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker has claimed."

MEPs adopt report to help boost Europe's drones industry (euobserver, link): "New rules are needed to ensure safe use of drones, the European Parliament's transport committee has recommended in a new report. No-fly zones are considered, while no new privacy legislation needed,"

News Digest (15.09.15)

BELGIUM: Manifestation anti-raciste à Bruxelles: Emir Kir craint des débordements (Le Soir, link)

UK: Demand for free help almost doubles since cuts to legal aid (The Guardian, link)

UK: Inmate died after smoking legal high 'Spice' in Liverpool prison HMP Altcourse (Liverpool Echo, link)

UK: IMMIGRATION DETENTION: Not one dissenting voice … apart from James Brokenshire (Right to Remain, link)

UK: Protesting Strangeways prisoner in underwear scales fence as inmates chant 'we shall not be moved' (Mirror, link) and see: Strangeways prison: Gunman jailed for execution of uncle holds tense rooftop protest at Manchester jail (Manchester Evening News, link)

UK: Theresa May loses court battles against two failed asylum seekers (The Guardian, link)

UK: Two Belgian activists arrested during a protest at an arms fair in London (Brussels Times, link)

UK-EU: Some open questions in Britain’s EU referendum puzzle (EurActiv, link)

“WikiGate” raises questions about Wikipedia’s commitment to open access (Ars Technica, link)

News Digest (14.09.15)

AUSTRIA: Austria creates new agency with unprecedented surveillance powers (EDRi, link)

BORDERPOL newsletter: Border Security Matters, August 2015 edition (pdf, link)

FRANCE: The Banlieue Battleground: Designing the French Suburbs for Police/Military Interventions (The Funambulist, link)

FRANCE-SPAIN-BELGIUM: Intelligence agencies face questions over gunman security lapses (The Telegraph, link)

INTERPOL asked to clarify position on Clare Rewcastle Brown (Fair Trials, link)

LITHUANIA: When Pre-Trial Detention Becomes a Form of Retribution (Fair Trials, link)

Northern Ireland ceasefire monitoring body on agenda in crisis talks (The Guardian, link)

ROMANIA: Romania: After PNR, a proposal for retention of tourist data (EDRI, link)

SERBIA: New Videos Show Crime Boss Meeting Top Serbian Police (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, link)

SPAIN: Barcelona buzzing as region celebrates Catalonia’s national day (euronews, link): "More than one million people crammed the streets of Barcelona to celebrate Catalonia’s national day."

UK: Jeremy Corbyn wins landslide victory in Labour leadership contest (Wirral Globe, link) and see: Corbyn victory energises the alienated and alienates the establishment (The Guardian, link)

UK: Proposals on strike laws are a response to yesterday’s problems, says CIPD (CIPD, link)

UK: The Iraq Inquiry and the silent civil servant (New Internationalist, link): "John Chilcot has held back the release of his findings for nearly 5 years. Bereaved families have had enough, writes Felicity Arbuthnot."

UK: Youth, welfare and the legacy of structural racism (IRR, link): "Will those from BAME communities be disproportionately affected by the government’s intensive workfare programme for young people?"

USA: First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist (The Daily Beast, link)

USA-NSA: FAIRVIEW: Collecting foreign intelligence inside the US (Top Level Telecommunications, link): "Here we will combine these new and old documents to provide a detailed picture of this important collection program, that was previously misunderstood on various occasions."

News Digest (11.9.15)

UN rights chief blasts Paris for Roma evictions (The Local.fr, link): "France has once again been blasted for its treatment of Roma communities. This time its the UN's human right's chief who has taken Paris to task for forced evictions of Roma camps.... The UN rights chief on Friday condemned what he described as a "systematic national policy" in France to evict Roma, two weeks after more than 150 people were forced from a shantytown north of Paris."It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a systematic national policy to forcibly evict the Roma," Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement, attacking the policy as "punitive and destructive."

UK: Show solidarity with refugees this Saturday 12th September (Refugee Action, link):"IThis Saturday (12th September 2015) there are events and demonstrations taking place all across the UK in support of welcoming refugees. Refugee Action is a partner in the London march, but there are loads more events happening all over the country."

GREECE: Far-right Golden Dawn exploits darker side of Greece's discontent (ekathimerini.com, link): "Standing before them, a member of the European Parliament from Golden Dawn, the eurozone’s most extreme right-wing political party, roused the crowd with defiant denunciations of enemies at home and abroad ahead of a national election on Sept. 20. "The message of Leonidas - Molon Labe (Come and get it) – is as timely today as ever for everything tormenting Greece," the retired lieutenant general, Eleftherios Synadinos, told supporters waving flags bearing the party’s Swastika-like emblem."

News Digest (10.9.15)

Syria drone strike sets low threshold for killing people, says UN official - Prof Christof Heyns says UK’s killing of two British jihadis in Raqqa sets a dangerous precedent as other experts question whether attack was justified (Guardian, link)

UK: INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT: That Sir Alan Duncan, Mr Dominic Grieve, Mr George Howarth, Fiona Mactaggart, Angus Robertson, Mr Keith Simpson and Ms Gisela Stuart be appointed to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Section 1 of the Justice and Security Act 2013.

USA: Secret Warfare: U.S. Special Forces Expand Training to Allies With Histories of Abuse (The Intercept, link): "documents obtained by The Intercept demonstrate that from 2012 to 2014 some of America’s most elite troops — including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets — carried out 500 Joint Combined Exchange Training missions around the world."

Austria creates new agency with unprecedented surveillance powers (EDRI, link): "In the midst of the biggest surveillance scandal of mankind and after years of criticism about rogue secret agencies spying on politicians and the government bodies supposed to control them, Austria is planning to establish a new secret agency.Austria’s draft state security law, “Staatsschutzgesetz”, grants new, far reaching surveillance powers while reducing oversight and transparency of the planned ten state security agencies that are tasked with fighting threats to the state and its public institutions.


August 2015

News Digest (28-31.8.15)

In a dark corner of the Trans-Pacific Partnership lurks some pretty nasty copyright law (Washington Post, link)

UK: Clinton secrets hacked by spy in bag EXCLUSIVE: Shocking new twist to the mystery five years on (SUN, link): "THE MI6 spy found dead in a holdall had illegally hacked into secret data on Bill Clinton, The Sun on Sunday can reveal"

USA: FISC BR 15-99 NSA Metadata Collection Extended (pdf)

NGO: German firms mired in worst Greek corruption scandals since WWII (euractiv, link): "Siemens, Daimler, and Rheinmetall have been mired in cases of alleged corruption in Greece, the country that Berlin has repeatedly admonished for the parlous state of its economy. No date has been set yet for 19 former executives of German engineering group Siemens to appear in Greek court, but it is expected to be one of the biggest financial trials of the decade in Greece."

Portuguese Judges Blocks Bill That Allows Government Spying (hngn, link): "The Constitutional Court judges of Portugal have decided to block a legislation that would have allowed the government to access individuals' private data to fight against terrorism and organized crime"

EU's planned data protection legislation raises questions about the nature of privacy (Parliament magazine, link): "Colin Mackay asks whether the EU's new legislation on data privacy, the general data protection regulation, will still be relevant by the time of its introduction."

Editorial | Of militarisation and violence: borders and bordering (WRI, link): "Every day people try to cross into the minority world of the Global North. Wherever they are and attempt to cross, they are victims of surveillance, they are being analysed, digitised, and rendered “border offenders”.2 In the Arizona desert, the Mediterranean Sea, or the urban areas of Cape Town they become the “illegal immigrant” who has to be “resisted”, “deterred” and eventually troops will have to be deployed."

Justice in Europe (Fair Trials, link): "Across Europe, basic rights are being violated every day in police stations, court rooms and prisons. This is destroying the lives of innocent people, causing miscarriages of justice and undermining public faith in criminal justice systems."

France train attack: Europe 'to tighten rail security' (BBC News, link): "European ministers have agreed tighter controls at railway stations, the French interior minister has announced.Bernard Cazeneuve said there would be increased identity and baggage controls at stations and more police patrols on board international trains."

USA: Court: We Can’t Rule on NSA Bulk Data Collection Because We Don’t Know Whose Data Was Collected (The Intercept, link)

New Zealand: Former spy paid to infiltrate Greenpeace and unions *The National, link)

UK: Public Inquiry – Core Participant Status (COPS, link): "The public inquiry into undercover policing, chaired by Lord Pitchford, is being prepared. Some people who are particularly involved can be granted the status of ‘core participant’. This means that they are likely to have greater access to documents and that the costs of their legal representation may be covered."

West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror - US military academy official William Bradford argues that attacks on scholars’ home offices and media outlets – along with Islamic holy sites – are legitimate (Guardian, link)

News Digest (26.8.15)

Europe faces up to flight safety threat posed by drones (euractiv, link): "No-drone zones, software to block flights into sensitive areas and registration rules are among proposals from European regulators and aviation experts to ensure growing numbers of drones don't case dangerous run-ins with passenger aircraft."

GREECE: Golden Dawn MP, cell leader released from custody (ekathimerini.com, link): "Golden Dawn deputy Nikos Kouzilos has been released from custody where he had been awaiting trial on a number of criminal charges along with dozens of other MPs and members of the neofascist party. However, the council of appeals court judges banned Kouzilos from leaving the Attica region, while ordering him to report to his local police station twice a month."

Mass protest against TTIP and CETA to take place in Berlin (euractiv, link): "More than 30 organisations are teaming up for a major demonstration against TTIP and CETA, with concerns ranging from the end of cultural diversity in Europe to devastating effects the deals could have in developing countries. EurActiv Germany reports. Over 50,000 demonstrators are expected to gather in front of Berlin’s central train station on 10 October to protest the EU’s planned free trade agreements with the United States and Canada, TTIP and CETA. Special public transit lines and hundreds of buses are planned to meet the extra demand."

AUSTRIA: Austrian found guilty of Nazi Facebook post (The Local.at, link): "A 28-year-old Austrian man who called for Jews to be gassed in a Facebook post was sentenced to eight months in prison on Tuesday by Wels Provincial Court."

DENMARK: Danish Home Guard to rearm after terror attack (The Local.dk, link): "Six months after some 4,300 volunteer members of the Danish Home Guard were told to disassemble their rifles in the aftermath of the Copenhagen terror attacks, members will once again be allowed to keep functioning weapons at home."

GERMANY: MPs plan new close watch on spies (The Local.de, link): "MPs in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are planning to put Germany's security services on a much tighter leash in the future following a wave of scandals, media reported on Wednesday." and see: Prosecutors launch case against CIA double agent (The Local.de, link)

NSA-JAPAN: Obama Expresses Regret to Japan's Abe for Spying Charges (New York Times, link): "Japanese officials faced questioning from the media and in parliament after WikiLeaks posted online what appeared to be five U.S. National Security Agency reports on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change. They date from 2007 to 2009. WikiLeaks also posted what it says was an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts." See: "WikiLeaks published "Target Tokyo" 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy"

Czech intelligence powers widened (Prague Post, link): "The powers of Czech intelligence services will be widened as they will be allowed to breach the tax secret and to ask for information from telecommunications operators under the legislation signed into law by President Miloš Zeman, spokesman Jirí Ovcácek said today. The limitations on the data protected by the bank secret will be cancelled, too."

News Digest (25.8.15)

UK: Firms using illegal migrant labour face 48-hour closures - New powers to revoke trading licences also included in bill aimed at creating ‘hostile environment’ for unauthorised workers (Guardian, link)

NORWAY: Oslo police slammed for Roma discrimination (The Local.no, link): "The police in Oslo are often racist and discriminate against Roma and African homeless people, a damning new report from Norway's National Institute for Human Rights has found."

EU to review rail security after foiled Thalys attack (euractiv, link): "The European Union will review railway security on high-speed international lines after last week's foiled attack in France. But officials warned on Monday (24 August) against overreaction."

News Digest 24.8.15).

Digital surveillance 'worse than Orwell' says new UN privacy chief - Joseph Cannataci describes UK data protection as ‘a joke’ and says a Geneva convention for the internet is needed (Guardian, link)

After Delfi, the chilling effect on web site comments in Europe has begun (link): "what the verdict in Delfi v Estonia means for our profession. This case, which was heard in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), concerned the issue of liability for comments on web sites, and had huge implications for any web site in Europe that allows comments."

News Digest (22-23.8.15)

Danish prime minister announces date for EU referendum (euractiv, link): "On 3 December, Danes will vote on a 'flexible' opt-in approach to EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced on Friday (21 August)."

UK: Elderly man attacked in Rotherham dies in hospital (ITN News, link): "An 81-year-old man who was injured following an attack in Rotherham has died in hospital overnight. Mushin Ahmed was assaulted in an area just off Fitzwilliam Road in the early hours of Monday 10 August. He was understood to be on his way to a mosque for morning prayers."

ITALY: Italy arrests Algerian human rights lawyer (ANSA, link): "Mesli, who has defended Islamist torture victims, has been living as a refugee in Switzerland since 2000 after being arrested in his home country on charges of "abetting terrorism", according to Amnesty International human rights NGO. He was detained and tortured for three years, according to Amnesty."

UK: Data breach by holiday firm Thomson exposes hundreds of passengers (BBC News, link)

POLAND: Roma Camp in Wroclaw Cleared and Demolished (LibertiesEU, link): "The unannounced destruction of a Roma camp in Wroclaw is condemned by civil society, which warns that such an action raises serious doubt about human rights protections in Poland."

USA: Undercover Police Have Regularly Spied On Black Lives Matter Activists in New York (The Intercept, link)

News Digest (21.8.15)

N IRELAND: The dark history of British collusion with loyalist death squads (agreenwales.blogspot.ie, link)

AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale (International New York Times, link): "The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help."

News Digest (20.8.15)

Update on the status of data retention laws in Europe (http://mslods.com, link)

SWEDEN: Poll: Far-right party now biggest in Sweden (euractiv, link): "For the first time, the far-right Sweden Democrats are the biggest party in Sweden. According to a Yougov poll commisioned by Metro, the extremists would receive 25.2% of the vote if there was an election today, ahead of the governing centre-left Social Democrats, at 23.4%."

UK: Chilcot inquiry: Leading figures in British political Establishment accused of plotting to discredit investigation into Iraq war (Independent, link)

GREECE-TURKEY: Six Turkish jets chased out of Greek air space (ekathimerini.com, link):

GERMANY: In Berlin, probe into Netzpolitik inquiry drags on (DW, link): "This month, Germany's chief prosecutor scrapped a treason probe against bloggers who quoted leaked documents detailing plans to expand Internet surveillance. An inquiry into the case has left questions unanswered."

EU: Commission discloses documents on US tax agreements with EU Member States (http://sophieintveld.eu, link)

UK: Blind man Tasered by police paid undisclosed sum - Lancashire constabulary admits using excessive force after police officer mistook white stick for samurai sword (Guardian, link)

Study Finds ‘Supercookies’ Used Outside U.S. (WSJ, link)

IRELAND: Up to 150 anti-water charge protesters target garda station over Joan Burton charges (Independent.ie, link): " Anti-water charge protesters took their picket to the gates of Tallaght garda station last night in the wake of the possible charging of 23 people. It was revealed last week that more than 20 people would be charged over a blockade that saw Tanaiste Joan Burton trapped in her car for two hours."

News Digest (18.8.15)

UK: Northamptonshire police ban stop and search by officers who abuse powers - Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner says his force’s policy should be rolled out nationally to boost trust in policing (Guardian, link)

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace: The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push (NYT, link): "The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions." and see: Amazon: Devastating expose accuses internet retailer of oppressive and callous attitude to staff (Independent, link): "Working four days in a row without sleep; a woman with breast cancer being put on “performance-improvement plans” together with another who had just had a stillborn child; staff routinely bursting into tears; continual monitoring; workers encouraged to turn on each other to keep their jobs. Life at Amazon sounds bleak, according to a devastating, 5,900-word expose by The New York Times."

USA: NSA Spying Relies on AT&T’s ‘Extreme Willingness to Help’ (.propublica.org, link): "The National Security Agency’s ability to capture Internet traffic on United States soil has been based on an extraordinary, decadeslong partnership with a single company: AT&T."

Accountability on Drones Continues to Fall Short (OSF, link): "The lack of a clear policy today makes the future more dangerous: It means that other countries could claim a measure of justification for reckless targeted killings if and when they acquire similar technology. It means the public is kept in the dark about the legality of the program. It means that families of the victims don’t get justice. Finally, it means that Americans are left to wonder who their government is killing and why. "

UK: Police chiefs running covert operations accused of victimising officers - IPCC investigates claims by lower-ranking officers that they were victimised, threatened and subjected to racial discrimination from senior figures (Guardian, link)

News Digest (17.8.15)

UK: Unemployed young people will be sent to work boot camp, says minister - Matt Hancock says plan for jobseekers between 18 and 21 to be placed on intensive activity programme is not a form of punishment (Guardian, link)

UK: Swastika daubed outside Jewish school in London in second anti-Semitic incident in weeks (Independent, link)

USA: Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin? (The Intercept, link): "James Baldwin’s FBI file contains 1,884 pages of documents, collected from 1960 until the early 1970s. During that era of illegal surveillance of American writers, the FBI accumulated 276 pages on Richard Wright, 110 pages on Truman Capote, and just nine pages on Henry Miller. Baldwin’s file was closer in size to activists and radicals of the day — for example, it’s nearly half as thick as Malcolm X’s.":

UK: Britain’s ‘Twitter troops’ have ways of making you think… From Isis to Ukraine, life is busy for a section of Britain’s intelligence network specialising in stings, mind games and psychological ‘stage magic’ (Guardian, link)

GERMANY: Journalist stops blogging after threats from right-wing extremists (XIndex, link): "Blogger Heinrich Schmitz will stop blogging about right-wing extremism after receiving violent threats, he wrote in a column for the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel. Schmitz is a blogger for the website "The European" and recently wrote a column condemning right-wing extremist protests in front of refugee homes. Schmitz declared he received threats and that police entered his home in the western German town of Euskirchen after someone called a police station pretending to be Schmitz and claimed to have murdered his wife.

News Digest (15-16-8-15)

Migrant crisis: smuggling or trafficking? Politicians don't seem to know (Guardian, link): "Smugglers are paid by people to bring them across borders. After the border has been crossed, the transaction between smuggler and migrant ends. Trafficking is a very different crime. Trafficking means bringing people into an ongoing situation of exploitation and then profiting from their abuse in the form of forced labour or forced prostitution."

EU doubles down on TTIP secrecy as public resistance grows - Top national politicians must visit a special room in Brussels to read key TTIP documents (http://arstechnica.co.uk, link): "Member State governments that took the decision formally, but that the initial impulse came from elsewhere. The leaked notes obtained by Correct!v are quite clear about who was behind the move. They describe how the European Commissioner responsible for trade and thus TTIP, Cecilia Malmström, instructed officials to make the written report on the most recent round of TTIP negotiations available only in the reading room of the Commission in Brussels. As a result "transmission of negotiating reports to the Member States will no longer take place,"

U.K. (2008) Military protocol for counter-intelligence operations: On 2008 WikiLeaks released the UK military protocol for all security and counter-intelligence operations. The document includes instructions on dealing with leaks, investigative journalists, Parliamentarians, foreign agents, terrorists & criminals, sexual entrapments in Russia and China, diplomatic pouches, allies, classified documents & codewords, compromising radio and audio emissions, computer hackers—and many other related issues. (Wikileaks, link)

Twitter 'snooping' requests double in UK (BBC News, link): "equests for Twitter users' personal information more than doubled in the UK in 2015, according to the company's latest transparency report. Twitter said UK government agencies and the police made 299 requests for information between January and July, up from 116 in the previous six months. It makes UK law enforcement the biggest requester of Twitter data in the EU."

USA: Pentagon blocking Guantánamo deals to return Shaker Aamer and other cleared detainees - Exclusive: Pentagon chief and top officials playing ‘foot-dragging games’ despite 2013 agreement with UK diplomats and Obama’s promise to close facility (Guardian, link)

Art and the Law: Guides to the legal framework and its impact on artistic freedom of expression (XIndex, link)

How Germany’s Surveillance Scandals Echo Our Own (The Nation, link)

Launch of the EU Internet Forum – behind closed doors and without civil society (EDRI, link): "The European Commission has confirmed to EDRi that it is preparing to partner with US online companies in order to plan the arbitrary monitoring and censorship of European citizens and, contrary to previous assurances, will exclude civil society from these discussions. More disturbingly, this is happening at the same time as the US is preparing the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” (CISA), which grants US companies a “safe harbour” from liability for any damage they cause when enacting counter-measures against security risks."

What We Mean by "Civic Space" and Where We're Pushing Back (Huffington Post, link)

UK: FOI and policy advice: The Campaign has published this briefing explaining how the Information Commissioner and Tribunal have protected the ‘safe space’ and genuinely frank discussions from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.(Campaign for Freedom of Information, link)

News Digest (14.8.15)

6 Observations About Cybersecurity Based On Two New Surveys (Forbes, link)

Bin Laden’s death and the fairy tale of the War on Terror (ROARMAG, link)

EU-BULGARIA: Implementation of the Right to Information Directive in Bulgaria (Fair Trials International, link)

DIGITAL RIGHTS: Latest newsletter from EDRi (EDRi, link)

GREECE: The forgotten grassroots voices of Greece (Open Democracy, link)

IRELAND: Over 20 people to be charged over Burton car incident (RTÉ News, link): "More than 20 people are expected to appear in court in the coming weeks in connection with a water charge protest in Tallaght last year in which Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours."

POLAND: New Polish President commits to army modernisation, defence investment (Defence IQ, link)

SWITZERLAND: How a UN intern was forced to live in a tent in Geneva (BBC News, link)

UK: 11 Times The European Court of Human Rights Changed The UK (Rightsinfo, link)

UK: Banker who glassed fellow clubber spared jail because ‘it would ruin his career’ (Metro, link)

UK: IPCC proposes fundamental organisational change (Independent Police Complaints Commission, link)

UK: Police chiefs issue guide to policing anti-fracking protests (Netpol, link): "The biggest issue the guidance avoids addressing, however, is a critical one: amidst thirty pages of recommendations on how to prepare for briefings, communication, IT, officers’ welfare and for the prospects of arrests, why is there no specific advice for police commanders on how best to fulfil their positive duty to safeguard protesters’ right to assembly?"

USA: Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement Under New Charges, Lawyer Says (Buzzfeed, link)

USA: The Many Things Wrong With the Anti-Encryption Op-Ed in the New York Times (The Intercept, link)

News Digest (12.8.15)

5 Reasons Why Video Analytics is now the Big Focus in CCTV Surveillance (IFSEC Global, link): "In the analogue age, surveillance devices themselves were used purely as security solutions. Now that IP network cameras have become so popular and especially because of the edge analytics they offer, the humble camera has become a business intelligence tool."

CYPRUS: Abuse of a Palestinian refugee detained for deportation (KISA, link)

EU: TTIP: WikiLeaks goes after hyper-secret Euro-American trade pact (Wikileaks, link)

G4S confident on full-year growth as sales rise (The Telegraph, link)

IoT security is RUBBISH says IoT vendor collective (The Register, link): "A vendor group whose membership includes Microsoft, Symantec, Verisign, ADT and TRUSTe reckons the Internet of Things (IoT) market is being pushed with no regard to either security or consumer privacy."

The Russians Are Coming: NATO's Frontier (Vice News, link)

UK: Bradford stabbing prompts UK Asians to warn of racism towards black people (The Guardian, link)

UK: More parents in England prosecuted for taking children out of school (The Guardian, link)

USA: Apple and Google are KILLING KIDS with encryption, whine lawyers (The Register, link)

News Digest (10.8.15)

Bosnia’s survivors gather and grieve as the soil endlessly gives up its dead (The Guardian, link)

Dixons Carphone says cyber attack may have exposed customers' data (Reuters, link)

Lawmakers from US, EU and UK demand release of death-row Brit in Ethiopia (Reprieve, link)

SPAIN: Madrid mayor to cede municipal buildings to squatter groups (El País, link)

Spanish court paroles former ETA head who renounced violence (Expatica, link)

UK: Met faces investigation over teenager who died in canal (The Guardian, link): "Eyewitnesses claim police officers who had chased boy from his east London home refused to enter water until it was too late."

UK: The family behind the Iran is Great van: 'what happened to us was serendipity' (The Guardian, link)

UK: Thousands of Polish workers to take part in the first ever migrant workers strike in Britain (The Independent, link)

UK-USA: “Hard to think” UK wouldn’t have known about CIA torture, says former Executive Director (Reprieve, link): "The man who was third in command of the CIA between 2001-2004 has told the BBC that it’s “hard…to think” that UK intelligence would not have been aware of the US Agency’s torture programme."

UKRAINE: The ‘ceasefire’ in eastern Ukraine is unravelling fast (The Conversation, link)

USA: A year later, Ferguson quietly struggles forward (Los Angeles Times, link)

News Digest (7.8.15)

NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) hurdles higher than they appear (Defence iQ, link)

NORWAY: Fake bomb on Utoya anniversary clears Oslo university (euronews, link)

Spain’s Defense Ministry to spend €171 million on purchase of four drones (El País, link)

TURKEY: Erdogan sacrifices peace to entrench his own power (ROARMAG, link)

UK: Britain’s anti-terror strategy tested by move against prominent preacher (Washington Post, link)

UK: Campaigners slam new court fee system as South Shields man is ordered to pay £150 for stealing 99p can of pop (Chronicle Live, link)

UK: E-fits overtaken by newer technology in war on crime (The Telegraph, link)

UK: G4S paid author of 'independent' youth prison report as consultant (The Guardian, link)

UK: New tribunal cases on statutory human rights considerations and “integration” (Free Movement, link)

News Digest (5.8.15)

EU: Death toll for migrants crossing Mediterranean passes 2,000 (The Independent, link)

How your smartphone's battery life can be used to invade your privacy (The Guardian, link)

GERMANY: Netzpolitik case: support statement (netzpolitik.us, link): "The investigation against Netzpolitik.org for treason and their unknown sources is an attack against the free press. Charges of treason against journalists performing their essential work is a violation of the fifth article of the German constitution. We demand an end to the investigation into Netzpolitik.org and their unknown sources."

Greek bank shares plunge for a third day as Syriza rejects idea of second bridge loan (The Telegraph, link)

Internet Infrastructure & IP Censorship (IP Justice Journal, link): "Many scholars and other observers of developments in Internet governance, law, and policy have commented upon an unusual and important phenomenon that has become more widespread in recent years: using control over access to critical portions of the Internet’s technical infrastructure... to enforce private and public law."

IRELAND: Privacy issues persist with Eircode postcode system (The Irish Times, link)

It’s time to end the Eurosceptic illusions (Open Democracy, link): "The EU is inherently a transnational neoliberal project. It is unrealistic to expect, and disingenuous to suggest, that it can be transformed into anything else."

UK hauliers face fines over stowaway migrants – even if they alert police (The Guardian, link)

UK-FRANCE: How the Calais Migrant Crisis Is Affecting Dover's Roads and Residents (VICE, link)

UK: Change the law on joint enterprise (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association, link): "This is the first Supreme Court case to consider the question of the harm the concept of joint enterprise causes secondary parties. This is a real opportunity to change the law. "

UK: Howard League launches campaign for urgent Criminal Courts Charge review (Howard League for Penal Reform, link)

UK: LONDON: Virtual Control - Security and the Urban Imagination (Architecture.com, link): "Exhibition by artist/photographer Max Colson explores the hidden nature of security and control within contemporary urban space."

News Digest (4.8.15)

Hundreds of civilians killed in US-led air strikes on Isis targets – report: Airwars project details ‘credible reports’ of at least 459 non-combatant deaths, including 100 children, in 52 air strikes (Guardian, link) and see Airwars project (link)

LONDON: Posters branding force 'totally corrupt' appear near Scotland Yard headquarters (Independent, link)

GERMANY: Germany's Merkel backs justice minister over Netzpolitik treason probe - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined two of her ministers in casting doubt on a treason probe into two Internet journalists. She said authorities needed to be sensitive where press freedom was at stake. (DW, link)

UK: Mark Duggan: mother of man shot dead by police in 2011 calls for urgent inquiry - Call for new inquiry comes as demonstrators prepare to march to Tottenham police station close to where Duggan was shot by police four years ago (Guardian, link) and see Justice for Mark Duggan (link)

News Digest (3.8.15)

EU Kosovo mission accused of trying to silence whistleblower - Maria Bamieh says threat of prosecution by Eulex is attempt to stop her from publishing claims about culture of corruption (Guardian, link)

German Justice Ministry 'warned against Netzpolitik treason investigation' - The German Justice Ministry cautioned federal prosecutors against a treason probe into two journalists, a newspaper report has said. The affair has caused a heated row within the coalition government. (DW, link)

Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy - From personalised ads in Solitaire to an address book-reading personal assistant, some users are unhappy with Windows 10’s approach to privacy (Guardian, link) and see: GUIDE: How to disable data logging in W10.(reddit, link)

GCHQ and Me - My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers (Intercept, link)

News Digest (1-2.8.15)

UK: Church attacks David Cameron’s lack of compassion over asylum crisis - Bishop of Dover pleads for PM to ‘rediscover what it is to be human’ as No 10 reveals a joint plan with France to boost security around Eurotunnel (Observer, link)

America classifies way too much information - and we are all less safe for it (Washington Post, link) Tom Blanton:

Is it time for some facts about those migrants? Perhaps you'll think I'm naïve, but I still believe that when you have a debate, it's a good idea to have some facts readily to hand. (Lustig's Letter, link)

USA: Dylann Roof Is Not a “Terrorist” — But Animal Rights Activists Who Free Minks From Slaughter Are (Intercept, link)

UK: Magistrates resign over court charges that encourage innocent to plead guilty - Criminal court charge was meant to ensure offenders pay towards justice system, but majority of offenders will never be able to pay, say magistrates (Guardian, link)

Calais migrant crisis: French riot police use chemical spray on migrants trying to enter Channel Tunnel (Independent, link)

July 2015

News Digest (31.7.15)

EU cybersecurity agency lacks funds for research on major tech issues (euractiv, link): "EXCLUSIVE / Europe's cybersecurity agency has admitted it is unprepared for the advent of the internet of things, lacking the money and expertise to meet the challenges posed by the much hyped move towards digitally connected devices."

UK: British forces illegally detained Afghan suspect, court of appeal rules - Judges find that UK acted unlawfully in detaining Serdar Mohammed for four months in 2010 before handing him over to Afghan authorities (Guardian, link)

USA: Revealed: The private firms tracking terror targets at heart of US drone wars (BIJ, link): "The overstretched US military has hired hundreds of private sector contractors in the heart of its drone operations to analyse top secret video feeds and help track high value terror targets, an investigation has found."

NSA-JAPAN: Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST," WikiLeaks publishes "Target Tokyo", 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy".(Wikileaks, link)

GERMANY: German press, politicians criticize 'absurd' Netzpolitik inquiry - Markus Beckedahl has called a treason investigation into him and a fellow journalist "absurd." Authorities are looking into whether he and Andre Meister committed a crime by publishing state secrets. (DW, link)

France and the UK are on the edge of Kafkaesque surveillance - Surveillance laws being debated around the world should avoid the recent fate of the French – and the scorn of Franz Kafka (Guardian, link)

Who will benefit from more GPS surveillance? Despite claims of its potential to protect us from serious crime, we run risks if we get hooked on mass GPS tracking, argues Catherine Heard (CCJS, link)

UK: Mother of Ricky Reel disappointed with secret police 'spy reports' released (YLG, link): "A mother spied on by police after the death of her son in Kingston has expressed disappointment the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has not publicly apologised. "

Inquiring into police accountability and spying on family campaigns (IRR, link): "On 16 July, the Home Office announced an inquiry into undercover police spies and their activities monitoring family campaigns and spying on protestors.Below we produce a statement by The Monitoring Group[1] which has been supporting some of the families whose campaigns were infiltrated by the police."

Growing recognition of global problem of pre-trial detention (Fair Trials, link)

EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption (Intercept, link)

News Digest (30.7.15)

UK: Three-year-old child from London placed in government anti-extremism programme (Independent, link)

USA: Legislative Cyber Threats: CISA’s Not The Only One (Just Security, link)

UK: Government lifts remaining restrictions on arms sales to Israel after year-long review (Independent, link)

The Spanish export of arms in 2014: between illegality and joint arms programs (WRI, link)

Peace Activists Close Down Office of Arms Industry Lobby Group (WRI, link)

Calais migrant camps: seventeen years of shanty towns (Channel 4 News, link)

News Digest (29.7.15)

LONDON: Home Office immigration vans 'had tyres slashed as officials were egged by youths in east London' (Evening Standard, link)

UK: Court of Appeal agrees that Detained Fast Track appeals are inherently unfair (Garden Court Chambers, link)

GREECE: Golden Dawn trial adjourned to Sept. 8 (ekathimerini.com, link)

USA-NSA: Documents Published by WikiLeaks Reveal the NSA's Corporate Priorities (truthout, link)

'Killer robots' with AI must be banned, urge Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and thousands of others in open letter (Independent, link)

Terrorism, fines and money laundering: why banks say no to poor customers - The tightening of international banking standards is making it difficult for low-income people in the global south to get access to banking services (Guardian, link) and London mosque chairman demands removal from banks' terrorism blacklist - Mohammed Kozbar ‘astonished’ to see Finsbury Park mosque described as terrorism risk on World-Check database used by banks worldwide (Guardian, link): "Mohammed Kozbar said he was “shocked and astonished” to find the north London mosque described as a terrorism risk on a confidential database used by 49 out of the world’s biggest 50 banks. He made the discovery following a BBC Radio 4 documentary due to be aired on Tuesday night by the journalist Peter Oborne into why HSBC cancelled the accounts of several prominent Islamic bodies without explanation last year. The documentary concluded that Finsbury Park mosque, along with the Cordoba Foundation thinktank, have been classified under “terrorism” on World-Check, a risk-analysis database owned by the financial information giant Thomson Reuters." also: Why did HSBC shut down bank accounts? (BBC News, link)

UK: Undercover policing inquiry: officers giving evidence might receive immunity - Lord Justice Pitchford raises possibility of immunity from prosecution as he opens inquiry into covert infiltration of political groups (Guardian, link)

How America's psychologists ended up endorsing torture (Economist, link)

Germany shuts out refugees with 'safe' states list - With refugee numbers on the rise, German political parties have been wrangling once again over which Balkan states to add to its list of "safe countries of origin." But whether there is any point to it is another matter. (DW, link)

PM: Zeman tries to appeal to people hating refugees (Prague Monitor, link)

The heat is on: Surviving summer in an Iraqi camp (IRIN, link)

CES 2000 MIGRANTS FANTÔMES OFFERTS AU BRITISH TAXPAYER (passeursdhospitalites, link): ["What is the relationship between the "British taxpayer" and the announcement of spectacular figures for the increase in the number of pass attempts by the Channel Tunnel, 2000 in the night of Monday to Tuesday (2200 according to the BBC), nothing corroborates in the field?"]

News Digest (28.7.15)

USA: Amazon proposes drones-only airspace to facilitate high-speed delivery - The retail giant’s proposal carves out airspace from 200ft-400ft exclusively for autonomous drones, with a further 100ft above it declared a no-fly zone (Guardian, link)

UK: Relationships with undercover officers wreck lives. The lies must stop - Discovering Mark Kennedy’s true identity turned our lives upside down. The public inquiry into police spying must offer full and frank disclosure (Guardian, link)

Petition to pardon Edward Snowden rejected by Obama administration - The White House responded to 168,000 signatories with its unwavering position that the NSA whistleblower should return to US to face espionage charges (Guardian, link)

Human-rights breaches & serious issues of sovereignty in Swedish diplomatic manoeuvre versus Ecuador over ‘case Assange’ (SWEDHR, link)

GERMANY: Number of far-right killings in Germany since 1990 revised up - The number of murder cases with a far-right motive since 1990 is higher then previously thought, police data show. The Greens party requested a revision after the killings allegedly committed by the NSU came to light. (DW, link)

ITALY: Senate Speaker Grasso says no to wiretap limits (ANSA, link)

SYRIA: Two Conscientious Objectors, Polen Ünlü and Alper Sapan, were murdered in the Suruç massacre (War Resisters International, link)

News Digest (27.7.15)

UK: No place for the young: the towns where childhood is being criminalised (Open Democracy, link): "Across England, local councils are banning young people from public space." See: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (link). Public Space Protection Orders were introduced by this Act . Councils can introduce them to ban "activities carried on in a public place" that "have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality." For young people, this includes activities such as skateboarding, swimming and being in a group of three or more. Councils have also targeted the homeless: Chester rough sleeping ban plan criticised by homeless (BBC News, link) and Oxford City Council 'criminalising homelessness' (BBC News, link). And see: Hackney Council backs down on Public Space Protection Order after pressure from community groups (East London Lines, link) or how about this: Kensington and Chelsea council wants crackdown on rev count of supercar owners (Independent, link)

Is the NSA lying about its failure to prevent 9/11? by James Bamford (FP, link)

UK: Revealed: Secret plan to put 5,000 heavily-armed troops on streets of Britain to fight jihadis in event of a terror attack: Operation Temperer would see troops guard key targets with armed police - Plans drawn up by police chiefs and discussed by top Government officials - Would be triggered by Cobra committee in event of - simultaneous attacks - Paris attacks convinced authorities military would be needed if UK hit (Mail on Sunday, link): "The plan, codenamed Operation Temperer, would see troops guard key targets alongside armed police officers, providing ‘protective security’ against further attacks while counter-terror experts and MI5 officers hunted down the plotters." and see: Secret plans to deploy soldiers on UK streets in the aftermath of a terror attack are 'shocking' and 'provocative', says peer (Indpendent, link)

GREECE: Coast guards aided more than 1,500 migrants in Aegean since Friday (ekathimerini.com, link)

LESVOS-GREECE: These are refugees, not migrants, arriving in their thousands on Greek shores - As Europe turns its back, the compassionate crisis response of local Greek volunteers, despite harsh austerity, puts the international community to shame (Guardian, link)

Royal Mile’s Camera Obscura faces ‘spycams’ probe (The Scotsman, link)

News Digest (25-26.7.15)

EU referendum 'within a year': David Cameron fast-tracks vote on Britain's membership of European Union to June 2016 (Independent, link)

GERMANY: German far-right extremists clash with police in protest outside Dresden refugee camp (Independent, link)

SCOTLAND: Sheku Bayoh ‘may have asphyxiated after being held down by police’ - Evidence from postmortem into Sierra Leonean’s death in custody points at positional asphyxia as the cause, says his family’s lawyer (The Observer, link)

FRANCE-UN: France approves 'Big Brother' surveillance powers despite UN concern - UN says powers given to intelligence agencies, which include phone-tapping and computer-hacking, are ‘excessively broad’ and intrusive (Guardian, link):"France’s highest authority on constitutional matters has approved a controversial bill that gives the state sweeping new powers to spy on citizens... In a report published on Friday, the 18-strong United Nations committee for human rights warned that the surveillance powers granted to French intelligence agencies were “excessively broad”. It said the the bill “grants overly broad powers for very intrusive surveillance on the basis of vast and badly defined objectives” and called on France to “guarantee that any interference in private life must conform to principles of legality, proportionality and necessity”."

UK: Chilcot tells frustrated MPs: Iraq war inquiry making progress - Chair of inquiry begun almost six years ago says no witnesses are taking unreasonable time to respond (Guardian, link):

UK: Judge overrules Theresa May and allows convicted terror prisoner to be freed (Independent, link): "A man believed by police to pose a threat to the UK is to be released from prison after Theresa May lost a court case to keep him in jail until he can be deported. The man, a foreign national, has spent years in behind bars on terror-related offences and is still believed to pose a threat to the public."

GREECE: Official calls for crisis talks over Athens park migrant camp (ekathimerini.com)

N IRELAND: The torture centre and the ‘hooded men’ (Irish Times, link): "Weekend read: In 1971 the British army took 14 men to a secret location in rural Co Derry and subjected them to a horrific interrogation from which they have never recovered. Nine of the surviving ‘hooded men’ are still seeking justice for what they say was torture – and they have the human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney on their side."

UK: Teachers must take over classroom deradicalisation lessons, says top policewoman Sara Thornton (Daily Telegraph, link): "Exclusive: The head of the National Police Chiefs' Council says police should abandon classroom role in a key counter-terrorism strategy, and advocates significant reform of the police complaints watchdog."

News Digest (24.7.15)

Il dono del governo Monti fa strage in Libia [The Monti government's gift kills in Libya]: The "Puma" armoured cars Italy gave Libya as a gift to help restore its state apparatus two years ago, have been converted into rocket launchers by the Tripoli militias.

How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden - GCHQ days of form-filling and 'bulk' intercept (The Register, link)

New Data on NSA Spying on Germany Shows US Hypocrisy Toward Allies (sputniknews, link)

NGOs tell Germany to stop blocking anti-discrimination directive (euractive, link): "Almost all EU member states are in favour of a planned Union-wide directive against discrimination. Only Berlin objects, and has been targeted by human rights associations, demanding that it stop blocking the legislation." and Joint appeal for European discrimination protection Joint appeal for European discrimination protection (EU network, link)

French court backs mass surveillance (euobserver, link): "The constitutional court in France on Thursday (23 July) broadly approved a new law that gives the state wide-sweeping surveillance powers.... They will be able to use a so-called “IMSI Catcher”, which picks up and records all text messages, phone calls, and Internet communication in a given area. This includes people not suspected of any crime. Wireless phone taps, hidden cameras and microphones, and forcing Internet providers to monitor suspicious behaviour using special "black boxes" are also in store. A warrant or any other type of court approval is not needed."

Kiev's far-right problem (euobserver, link)

UK: May dodges questions about MI5 failure to act on MP paedophile fears - Home secretary refuses to say whether she asked security service about why it did not follow up suspicions that MP had ‘penchant for small boys’ (Guardian, link)

UK: The Government’s Freedom of Information commission tilts the political discussion towards damage and cost (Democratic Audit, link): See: Government Announcement (pdf)

UK: Fiasco at Blacklist Trial REELNEWS, link)

News Digest (23.7.15)

Preserving Britain’s Black heroes (IRR News Service, link) "Below we reproduce a review of a new exhibition, ‘No Colour Bar’, which was previously published in The Voice. A new exhibition breathes life into a story of struggle and activism that is truly home-grown."

EU: MED-CRISIS: Bavaria’s tough asylum policy gains support across Germany (euractiv, link): "Horst Seehofer’s confrontational policy against asylum seekers from Balkan states sparked protest in Berlin. But now a growing number of Germany states and municipalities are calling for a tougher approach." and The Latest: NYC mayor denounces EU over immigration (Yahoo News, link): "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has denounced the European Union for leaving Italy to deal with waves of immigrants coming from North Africa, saying the EU must come up with a Europe-wide immigration policy."

N IRELAND: Activists protest over abortion case in North (Irish Examiner, link): "Abortion activists held a demonstration in Dublin against the prosecution of a woman in Northern Ireland for procuring her daughter with abortion pills." and WSM statement on Garda arrest of pro-choice campaigners at our rally this evening (WSM, link): " In particular, we condemn the casual and unjustifiable use of pepper spray on pro choice protesters, one of whom was being held immobile on the ground as he was sprayed."

UK: Protect Freedom of Information (FOI) laws (38 Degrees, link): "Why is this important?

The government wants to restrict Freedom of Information laws - that help citizens expose dodgy lobbyists, poor government decisions and threats to public safety. They're desperate to water-down our right to hold them to account. While only a few of us may have ever made a request using Freedom of Information laws - they have the power to affect us all."

UK: Theresa May to launch independent review of deaths in police custody - Home secretary will state desire to rebuild public confidence in police in speech that comes after tensions between ministers and force under Tory-led coalition (Guardian, link): "Theresa May will announce plans on Thursday to launch an independent review of deaths in police custody as she vows to stamp out the “evasiveness and obstruction” suffered by families at the hands of the authorities."

Canada's anti-terrorism Bill C-51 faces charter challenge from civil society (IFEX, link): "The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) are initiating a Charter challenge today against key sections of Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. The legislation presents disturbing implications for free speech, privacy, the powers of government, including CSIS, and the protection of civil liberties in Canada."

News Digest (22.7.15)

ECHR rules Cyprus must pay Syrian deportees (Cyprus Mail, link): "The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday ordered Cyprus to pay three Syrian Kurds deported from the island almost €17,000 in total for violating their human rights. Filed in 2010, the cases concerned a total of 17 Syrian Kurds who applied for asylum on the island saying they were at risk of persecution and torture in their home country as they are a small minority. Cyprus deported them all in 2012."

UK: Met press office provided journalists' mobile numbers so police could view call records and find sources (Press Gazette, link): "The Metropolitan Police made a series of errors in secret applications to view the phone records of Sun journalists and showed a complete failure to consider issues around the confidentiality of sources, a court heard. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal yesterday also heard that the Met Police press office provided the mobile telephone numbers of Sun journalists who had called in to check stories and ask for comments to investigating officers. Their phone records and telephone location data were then secretly accessed by police in order to identify confidential sources."

Slovakian extradition case raises questions of state cooperation (Fair Trials, link)

Hackers remotely kill jeep with me in it (WIRED, link)/

Stifling freedom of expression in UK schools - The UK Prevent programme infiltrates schools, targeting students who express certain views (aljazeera.com, link): ""The boy, who was then 15 and attending school in a southern English town, said he was also told that "Free Palestine" badges that he wore were "extremist". Al Jazeera is not naming the student or the school to protect his identity."

Drone users face jail if they 'recklessly endanger an aircraft in flight' - Civil Aviation Authority issues ‘drone code’ after several near misses when drones buzzed passenger jets using British airports (Guardian, link)

LONDON: Boris Johnson considering buying 'sound cannons' to help Scotland Yard tackle riots (Independent, link): "Boris Johnson may consider buying controversial “sound weapons” for Scotland Yard to use when dealing with riots – despite the risk they can cause permanent hearing loss."

Chelsea Paris Metro racism: Former policeman labelled a 'menace' after being given five-year ban from all football matches (Independent, link)

News Digest (20-21.7.15)

EU finally begins making headway on march toward harmonised and regulated European RPAS air insertion gameplan (Security Europe, link): "The EU’s goal of framing a regulatory structure to enable remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), or drones, to safely move through Europe’s airspace is moving ahead, if slowly. A first decisive step was the European Commission’s March 205 “Riga declaration” where stakeholders committed themselves to a drone service market. However, for that ambition, “we are still very much at a vision stage”, said Koen de Vos, RPAS policy officer at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport."

UK: Cameron's extremism speech gets mixed response from Birmingham Muslims - Some in the city back PM’s highlighting of extremism as an issue needing to be addresssed, while others say large groups are being suffering stigmatisation (Guardian, link)

Turkey-funded mega-mosque in Bucharest sparks resistance (euobserver)

NSA-GERMANY: WikiLeaks: Steinmeier target of systematic NSA spying - WikiLeaks has published evidence that the NSA systematically spied on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as other officials. The alleged spying reportedly predates the September 11, 2001 attacks. (SW, link)

'Migration is not a security issue,' study says (euractiv, link): "The Federal Republic should apply new thinking to its development aid and asylum policy, says a new study from the University of Osnabrück, calling on decision-makers to see migration as an opportunity rather than a threat."

NSA Helped CIA Outmanoeuvre Europe on Torture (Wikileaks, link) and see:NSA Intercepts German Foreign Minister Steinmeier After Meeting US Secretary of State Rice Over CIA Renditions (link) also Document-1 (pdf): "Steinmeier described the mood during his talks with U.S. officials as very good, but feared that the most difficult part was still ahead. He seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press
reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."
And: CIA & Torture *pdf)

Spain causing concern on EU migrant relocation (euobserver, link)

Why appeasing governments over encryption will never work - David Cameron and the director of the FBI have both asked for ‘backdoors’ to be included in encryption software (Guardian, link)

News Digest (18-19.7.15)

CoE: Convention on Cybercrime Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism: Explanatory Reports and Guidance Notes (pdf)

Met Police to face racism probe after secret online Facebook page filled with abusive comments discovered (Independent, link): "Exclusive: Abusive comments about Gypsies and Travellers prompt human rights group’s intervention and an official investigation"

UK: Anti-apartheid heroes urge Cameron not to repeal Human Rights Act - South African activists urge David Cameron not to ditch the law in Mandela Day appeal (The Observer, link)

Teenage asylum seeker who confronted Merkel allowed to stay in Germany - German chancellor had said ‘Politics is sometimes hard’ after Palestinian teenager burst into tears over deportation fears during televised debate (Guardian, link). This followed: Angela Merkel attacked over crying refugee girl (BBC News, link)

UK: Freedom of Information Act review 'may curb access to government papers' - Conservatives announce cross-party commission, which will be asked to decide whether act is too expensive and overly intrusive (Guardian, link)

News Digest (17.7.15)

Joint enterprise in action (IRR News, link): "Below we reproduce an article written by law student, Josh Radcliffe, on a recent joint enterprise trial observed at Birmingham Crown Court."

CJEU: By prohibiting a male civil servant whose wife does not work from taking parental leave, Greek legislation is incompatible with EU law - Parental leave is an individual right which cannot depend on the situation of the spouse (Press release, pdf)

CJEU-EAW: The expiry of the time-limits to take a decision on the execution of a European arrest warrant does not free the competent court of its obligation to adopt a decision in that regard and does not preclude, in itself, the continued holding of the requested person in custody The release of the requested person, together with the measures necessary to prevent him from absconding must, however, be ordered if the duration of the custody is excessive (Press release, pdf)

CJEU: The installation of electricity meters at an inaccessible height in a district densely populated by Roma is liable to constitute discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin when such meters are installed in other districts at a normal height (Press release, pdf): "Even assuming that it is established that there has been abuse of the meters in that district, such a practice seems to be disproportionate to the dual objective consisting in ensuring the security of the electricity transmission network and the due recording of electricity consumption"

Meijers Committee: Summary Annual Report 2014 (link): "This summary of the annual report 2014 provides a brief overview of the activities of the Meijers Committee last year. A full report is available in Dutch here. With scholarly assessments of pending European legislative proposals regarding migration, security and justice cooperation, the Committee tried to clarify the overarching legal framework and to contribute to constitutional quality of new legislation. "

GREECE: Lagarde: No IMF in Greek bailout without debt relief (euobserver, link)

MEPs denounce EU funding of Israeli defence firms (euractiv, link): "MEPs have called for tighter controls on European financing of Israeli companies. Lax regulation currently allows weapons manufacturers access to EU funding. EurActiv France reports. The participation of certain Israeli companies in the EU's vast research and development programme Horizon 2020 has angered some European lawmakers."

Hundreds of Afghans who grew up in UK face deportation to country they 'barely remember' (Independent, link)

Europe a step closer to keeping records on all passengers flying in and out of the Continent - Privacy activists alarmed by profiling implications (The Register, link)

'Progress made' as EU aims to get new data protection laws ASAP - Brussels moves like striking cobra, looks to achieve October agreement (The Register, link)

News Digest (16.7.15)

CYPRUS: Intelligence Service chief steps down (in-cyprus, link)

NETHERLANDS: Dutch Minister reveals plans for dragnet surveillance (EDRi, link)

Study finds assessment of age based on physical development to be inaccurate (Medical Research Council, link)

UK: Margaret Thatcher's lobbying of Saudi royals over arms deal revealed (The Guardian, link)

UK: PETITION: COME CLEAN ON UNDERCOVER POLICING (38 Degrees, link): "We call for a transparent, robust and comprehensive public inquiry into undercover policing."

UK: Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate (Cyberleagle, link)

News Digest (15.7.15)

Chatting in Secret While We're All Being Watched (The Intercept, link): "if you take careful steps to protect yourself, it’s possible to communicate online in a way that’s private, secret and anonymous. Today I’m going to explain in precise terms how to do that."

EU: Eurodac fingerprint database under fire by human rights activists (EurActiv, link)

EU: IMF stuns Europe with call for massive Greek debt relief (The Telegraph, link)

French anti-terror squads march in Bastille Day parade (France 24, link)

GREECE: Greek bailout 'a new Versailles Treaty', says former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (ABC, link)

Hungary builds fence, Commission watches and waits (Politico, link)

Italian court orders recognition same-sex marriage conducted abroad (European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights, link)

Spain’s High Court to investigate ETA for crimes against humanity (El País, link)

The very French history of the word 'surveillance' (BBC Magazine Monitor, link)

UK: Brighton council rapped for attempt to charge £200 recording fee for interview (The Guardian, link)

UK: Police Taser shooting contributed to man's death, jury finds (The Guardian, link)

UK: Tories launch biggest crackdown on trade unions for 30 years (The Guardian, link)

UK: Budget 2015: Women who have been raped may have to prove assault for third child tax credits (The Independent, link)

USA: Filmmaker Laura Poitras files lawsuit against US government over years of border searches (Deutsche Welle, link)

News Digest (14.7.15)

AFGHANISTAN: Auditors praise EU work on Afghan police (EUobserver, link)

Council of Europe: PACE Rapporteur on Mass Surveillance calls on UK to investigate spying on human rights groups by UK secret services (CoE, link)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Police detain record number of illegal migrants (Prague Monitor, link)

EU: A German pirate just saved our right to take public selfies (Wired, link)

European Jewish group's head takes heat for meeting with far-right leader Marine Le Pen (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, link)

Germany confirms gaps in airport security monitoring (EurActiv.com, link)

ITALY: Six ex-HackingTeam staffers probed for cyber crime (ANSA, link)

UK: Apple Pay launches in the UK: boon or security nightmare? (Independent, link)

UK: London, 29 July: Roadmap Progress: Where are we now on pan European defence rights? (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, link)

USA: Judge orders US government to prepare Guantánamo force-feeding tapes for public release (Reprieve, link)

News Digest (12.7.15)

Greece wins euro debt deal – but democracy is the loser (Channel 4, Paul Mason, link): "After an all-night negotiation during which Greek prime minister was subjected, according to one observer, to “mental waterboarding”, there is the basis of a deal to keep Greece in the euro.... Ordinary people don’t know enough about the financial logic to understand why this was always likely to happen: bonds, haircuts and currency mechanisms are distant concepts. Democracy is not. Everybody on earth with a smartphone understands what happened to democracy last night." and see: #ThisIsACoup (link) also: Euro Summit Statement: Brussels, 12 July 2015 (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: French and British back closing EU's borders (The Local.fr, link) and West Europeans want end to open borders - French and other Europeans want to ditch Schengen Agreement, ending free movement of people across borders as the migrant crisis grows, a new poll shows" (Daily Telegraph, link)

POLAND: Polish criminal process after the Reform (Helsinki Foundation, pdf)

“(EU’s) Laws are like sausages. You should never watch them being made…” by Emilio De Capitani: "As denounced in several posts of this blog the distance between the daily practice of the EU institutions and the democratic principles enshrined in the Treaties is growing day by day." (EASFJ, link)

IRELAND: New laws could see people prosecuted over hate crimes - Irish Council for Civil Liberties says such attacks are currently not fully acknowledged (Irish Times, link): " Proposed legislation to combat hate crime will be published this morning by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). Crimes, including theft, rape and assault, motivated by “hate” such as racism or homophobia are neither recorded nor prosecuted as such in Ireland. The council says this means these types of crime are not being acknowledged, effectively disappearing from the criminal justice process and victims’ experiences are not acknowledged."

BULGARIA: 'Slow and Fragile' Progress on Human Rights in Bulgaria by Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Liberties.eu, link) "The latest report on Bulgaria by the Council of Europe shows slow and fragile progress in strengthening human rights protection of persons placed in institutions, migrants and media freedom."

Australia aims to silence workers who blow whistle on abuse in refugee centres with two years in prison (Independent, link)

News Digest (11-12.7.15)

French spying agency tapping Australia’s communications (Saturday Paper, link): "France’s intelligence agency is listening in on Australia’s communication networks, as submarine contracts and regional relations vital to both nations are negotiated."

NSA-GERMANY: Report: Evidence of 2011 US cyberattack on defense giant EADS in Germany - According to German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag," evidence linking an attack on European defense group EADS from American soil has surfaced. The news outlet claims it is the first of its kind. (DW, link) and More NSA keywords detected in German spy agency's computers - More than 400,000 new keywords have been found in German spy agency BND's computers, a German media report says. The findings would further undermine the organization, accused of helping the NSA with surveillance. (DW, link)

UK courts need to be educated about Islam, says Birmingham Six lawyer - Gareth Peirce warns of prejudice in British justice system, and highlights campaign to free Anis Sardar, who was found guilty of murder (Observer) by Gareth Peirce

What happens when policy is made by corporations? Your privacy is seen as a barrier to economic growth (Guardian, link): "The latest trade deal to be passed by the EU will see us sacrifice our commitment to data protection .... One overlooked aspect of the emerging legal architecture that they enact is that, barring a Greece-like rebellion from the citizens, Europe will eventually sacrifice its strong and much-cherished commitment to data protection. This protectionist stance – aimed, above all, at protecting citizens from excessive corporate and state intrusion – is increasingly at odds with the “grab everything” mentality of contemporary capitalism.... It won’t take long for American lawyers to find the privacy equivalent of waterboarding: some border-case scenario, which would greenlight horrible abuses."

Letter to Guardian: Inquiry needed into GCHQ’s spying on us (link): "One measure of a free society is how it treats its NGOs and campaign organisations. The recent revelation (Rights groups targeted by GCHQ spies, 23 June) that Amnesty International has been snooped on by the UK security services is the death of the canary in the coalmine."

Gateway to freedom: Migrants walk thousands of km for haven of Western Europe (Globe and Mail, link)

US govt now says 21.5 million people exposed by OPM hack – here's what you need to know - Security clearance dossiers on millions of citizens stolen (The Register, link)

NETHERLANDS: Na tip WikiLeaks: privacycommissie opent onderzoek naar Hacking Team (link) [After tip WikiLeaks: Privacy Commission opens investigation into Hacking Team - The Belgian privacy commission has opened an investigation into the Italian software company Hacking Team. That company would be in possession of devices that Belgian data interception.]

US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 'collusion' - Following repeated denials that its members were complicit in Bush administration-era torture, leading group of psychologists faces a reckoning (Guardian, link)

News Digest (10.7.15)

UK: Blacklisted : the secret war between big business and union activists - a book review - Book highlights toxic allegations of covert police involvement in the blacklisting of trade unionists (Guardian, link)

WhatsApp Ban Causes Social Media Outcry As Government Pushes Ahead With 'Snoopers Charter' (Huffington Post, link): "During the Queen's Speech, the Government unveiled plans for a new version of the controversial 'Snoopers Charter' bill which would potentially allow the Government to ban instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger."

CJEU: Learn Dutch or leave (New Europe, link) and see: CJEU Press release: Member States may require third country nationals to pass a civic integration examination prior to family reunification However, exercise of the right to reunification must not be made impossible or excessively difficult (pdf)

Syrian refugees: four million people forced to flee as crisis deepens - Largest exodus from a single conflict in a generation places humanitarian system under increasing financial strain (Guardian, link): "On Thursday, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the total number of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and other parts of north Africa stood at 4,013,000 people."

EU sets new deadline to reach deal on migration (euractiv, link): "The European Union failed on Thursday (9 July) to reach a deal to resolve a migration crisis in the Mediterranean, and instead set a deadline for July 20 to find agreement on how to share out 40,000 asylum seekers currently in Italy and Greece." and Germany and France volunteer to take Mediterranean refugees - Germany and France have voluntarily agreed to take in some 21,000 asylum-seekers to help the EU deal with the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Other European countries have failed to reach an agreement in Luxembourg. (DW, link)

Surveillance: Secret report urges treaty forcing US web firms' cooperation in data sharing - Exclusive: UK privacy campaigners say international treaty could provide legal alternative to government’s ‘snooper’s charter’ proposals (Guardian, link)

UK: Safety of Tasers to be investigated after death of man in Manchester - Independent review of advice on safety of Tasers comes as figures show their deployment has now been fully rolled out to police forces across England and Wales (Guardian, link): "An independent inquiry is to look into the continued use of Taser stun guns by police in England and Wales after an inquest verdict earlier this week linking their use to the death of a factory worker in Manchester." and see: Police Taser shooting contributed to man's death, jury finds - Jordon Begley, 23, died partly as result of being shot with 50,000-volt stun gun and restrained by police officers, inquest concludes (link)

Macedonia's uniformed border thugs wait for war-weary Arab migrants arriving at Europe's doorstep (Independent, link)

CoE: Greece: Court awards €132,000 to HIV-positive inmates after prison hospital human rights breaches (link)

News Digest (9.7.15)

Greek island refugee crisis: local people and tourists rally round migrants - Residents and even holidaymakers on Lesbos are exposing themselves to threats and possible legal action by helping newly arrived refugees (Guardian, link)

UK: Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Nick Gargan found guilty of misconduct (Bath Chronicle, link)

UK: Manchester: Police force sacks 21 officers for having sex on duty, lying and posting racist Facebook messages (Mirror, link)

N IRELAND: Secret report accused three MI5 officers of concealing evidence in police killing - Sampson report recommended that two officers in Northern Ireland be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice (Guardian, link)

HackingTeam admits attack, says spy software out of control - Firm says terrorists, extortionists can now use technology (ANSA, link) and see: Hacking Team: Oh great, good job, guys ... now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits (The Register, link) and Eight things we learned from the Hacking Team Hack (PI, link)

PM: Czechs have reservations about southern Schengen border (Prague Daily Monitor, link) and Lower house extends powers of intelligence services (link): "Agents will be able to ask telecommunication operators for data on their clients in fulfilling a specific task. They would be able to identify the owner of the telephone station or the telephone number of the phone from which the phone call is made. Now, the secret services have access to the call content and the number of the called person when applying wiretapping."

UK: Met police criticised for not suspending officer facing charges in Sean Rigg case - Sgt Paul White is on restricted duties having been charged with perjury, after Rigg’s family put pressure on prosecutors following his death in custody (Guardian, link)

IRELAND: Government considers proposal on undocumented migrants - Officials review programme aimed at regularising the status of up to 20,000 residents (Irish Times, link)

GREECE: Judge call recess at Golden Dawn trial to decide on media coverage (ekathimerini.com, link)

UK: How the British Government subjected thousands of people to chemical and biological warfare trials during Cold War (Independent, link)

European Parliament fails citizens in TTIP vote (STOP TTIP, link) and "It is very positive that the European Parliament repeated that TTIP could be endangered if US blanket mass surveillance activities are not 'completely abandoned'", said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights"

Latest news from Netpol: June-July 2015: 'Privacy Bloc' takes our campaign on protest anonymity to London's streets (link)

Watchdogs call for OGP investigation into crackdown on Hungarian civil society (link)

News Digest (7.7.15)

Edward Snowden plea deal with US a possibility, says Eric Holder - Attorney general Loretta Lynch says the Obama administration’s position has not changed despite her predecessor’s recent interview (Guardian, link)

Leaked Documents Show FBI, DEA and U.S. Army Buying Italian Spyware (Intercept, link): "The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Army have all bought controversial software that allows users to take remote control of suspects’ computers, recording their calls, emails, keystrokes and even activating their cameras, according to internal documents hacked from the software’s Italian manufacturer."

GERMANY: Right-wing extremist attacks in Germany on the rise, says new report - The number of attacks motivated by right-wing extremism in Germany has gone up, according to the country's 2014 Constitutional Protection Report. Refugee shelters were a frequent target. (DW, link)

News Digest (6.7.15)

The Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children (CoE, Parliamentary Assembly, link)

OECD: Discrimination and poor job prospects hit children of immigrants (link)

Head of EU data protection says trading privacy for security is a “false fad” - Greater security does not require the loss of privacy, according to Buttarelli.(Technica, link)

Wikileaks: US Bugs Germany Plotting BRICS Bailout for Greece (link) Date: 2011: "Classification: TOP SECRET//COMINT//ORCON/NOFORN: WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication by UK's Intelligence Services of German Chancellery Director-General for EU Affairs Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut reveals German negotiating positions ahead of a European Union Summit to discuss a joint German French response to the financial crisis in Greece. The report reveals that Germany had opposed tailored European solutions to the Greek crisis, instead supporting a special IMF bailout plan for Greece funded by the BRICS countries."

UK: Life for British Muslims since 7/7 – abuse, suspicion and constant apologies by Mehdi Hasan - The London bombings shocked us all. But in the decade since, our community has been unfairly demonised (Guardian, link)

Spain's 'gag' law comes into force (euobserver, link)

Hacking Team hacked, attackers claim 400GB in dumped data (CSO, link)

Minister: Anti-Islam rally violated law (Prague Post, link): "Police should have stepped in during Prague protest that featured gallows and noose"

News Digest (4-5.7.15)

UK: Anti-fracking Nanas: 'The government is all out for shale – we're all out to stop it' - How a headscarf-wearing group of women faced up to Cuadrilla and became the frontline against fracking in Lancashire (Guardian, link)

Agenda européen pour les migrations et protection des réfugiés : «l’Europe n’est pas à la hauteur» (EASFJ, link) [European Agenda for Migration and Refugee Protection: "Europe is not up to par"]

UK: Tourist arrested on terrorism charge for taking a selfie video at Churchill Square (The Argus, link): " A TOURIST was arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism after filming himself on his mobile phone outside Churchill Square shopping centre. Nasser Al-Ansari was taken to a police van for three hours before police decided “there was no immediate threat” but officers kept his mobile phone for further investigation. The 38-year-old is furious about the way he was treated after being stopped at the Brighton shopping centre and said it is “changing his perception of the U.K.”. Mr Al-Ansari said he had been recording a condolence message in Arabic for terrorist bombing victims in his native Kuwait in front of the shopping centre last Friday afternoon. He was ordered to delete the footage by a store security guard, but said he refused because he didn’t think he should or had to. He then complained about the request, at which point police were called."

USA-UK: Former UK ministers urge Obama to free Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo Bay - Tory and Labour MPs, writers and actors among signatories of open letter to Barack Obama calling for release of UK resident held without charge for 14 years (Guardian, link)

Schriftliche Anfrage: Menschenrechtsverletzungen an der bulgarisch-türkischen Grenze (Ska Keller MEP, link) [Written question: human rights violations on the Bulgarian-Turkish border]

Germany: Opinion: Reforming Germany's domestic intelligence service - A law to reform Germany's domestic security agency aims to shore up spies' ability to operate. At least that's the idea, but the changes don't go far enough, says DW's Marcel Fürstenau (DW, link)

News Digest (3.7.15)

Oxfam Germany director: 'TTIP would intensify inequality in developing countries' (euractiv, link): "Developing countries will be among the biggest losers if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is implemented, warns Marion Lieser, explaining what a socially and ecologically fair trade deal would look like."

EU: MED-CRISIS: Serbia receives assistance to stem illegal migrant flows (euractiv, link): "Police chiefs from Germany, Austria and Hungary have agreed to help Serbia crack down on waves of illegal migrants transiting its territory heading for the European Union. Meanwhile, Budapest said it will forge ahead with plans to erect a fence at its border with Serbia."

UK Information Commissioner’s Office reports rise in spam calls and texts - Watchdog says most nuisance communications related to accident claims, green energy, payday loans and lifestyle surveys (Guardian, link)

NSA: Germany summons US ambassador over new spying claims - Merkel’s chief of staff requests meeting after WikiLeaks publishes what it says is evidence of NSA eavesdropping on ministers (Guardian, link): "WikiLeaks said 69 telephone numbers of government ministries, including the economy and finance ministries, had been found in secret NSA files. Germany’s attorney general, Harald Range, said he would investigate the allegations and decide whether to prosecute the NSA, according to Spiegel Online."

GERMANY: Germany revises law on residency, expulsion - Up to 30,000 migrants living in Germany for years on suspended deportation orders are to be granted residency under a law amendment. Another parliament move to expel those unwanted has been slammed by asylum advocates. (DW, link)

News Digest (2.7.15)

UK: The Unseen March Questionning the militarisation of UK schools (Quakers in Britain, link): "Step by step, a military presence is entering schools across Britain. This is part of a conscious strategy to increase support for the armed forces in the wake of unpopular wars. Quakers in Britain have produced The Unseen March, a short film to start a public debate about the militarisation of education"

GS4 security guards granted limited powers - the ability to obtain the name and address of people breaking the law (Police Oracle, link)

UK: More than 100 asylum seekers to walk free after detention system quashed - About 800 cases to be reviewed after immigration minister orders system to be put on hold following court of appeal decision it was ‘structurally unfair’ (Guardian, link)

UK and Spain granted most EU citizenships (euobserver, link): "Spain and the UK issued almost half of all new EU citizenships in 2013. The figures, released on Wednesday (1 July) by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, show Spain accounted for around 23 percent (225,800) of all citizenships granted in the EU, while the UK accounted for 21 percent (207,500). In relative terms compared to population size, Ireland and Sweden come out top."

New code of conduct on data protection for cloud service providers being scrutinised by EU privacy watchdogs (Out-Law.com, link)

UK: CAGE publishes leaked PREVENT training DVD (link)

EU-GREECE: Syriza can’t just cave in. Europe’s elites want regime change in Greece - Greece’s confrontation with the euro overlords will shape resistance to austerity – and the future of the whole European Union (Guardian, Seumas Milne, link)

Guest Post: New Polish Criminal Procedure Code (Fair Trials, link): "The revised Polish Criminal Procedure Code enters into force today, and Malgorzata Maczka-Pacholak (from LEAP Advisory Board Member Mikolaj Pietrzak’s office) covers the key changes and talks about the current state of implementation of the EU Directive on Access to a Lawyer."

Owen Jones: The elites are determined to end the revolt against austerity in Greece - Europe's great powers won't be satisfied until they break Syriza, and stop an anti-austerity movement spreading across the continent. (New Statesman, link)

Council of Europe: Violence against women: Analytical study of the results of the 4th round of monitoring the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence in Council of Europe member states (pdf)

EU: EIGE: Gender Equality Index 2015: Measuring gender equality in the European Union 2005-2012 Country profiles (pdf)

EU: Roaming Regulation: Provisional agreement of 30 June 2015– subject to formal approval of the European Parliament and the Council Proposal for a REGULATION laying down measures concerning open internet and amending Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union (pdf)

News Digest (1.7.15)

Canadian Surveillance Agency Says Snowden Leaks Were Damaging, Because We Say So (The Intercept, link)

USA: Bulk Phone Surveillance Lives Again, to Die in a More Orderly Fashion in Five Months (The Intercept, link): "A federal judge with the top-secret surveillance court on Monday breezily reinstated the NSA bulk domestic surveillance program that was temporarily halted a month ago, allowing the agency to go back to hoovering up telephone metadata for five months while it unwinds the program for good."

Freedom of Panorama under threat (Julia Reda MEP, link): "Original proposal from my draft report: Calls on the EU legislator to ensure that the use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in public places is permitted

Amendment 421, adopted in committee with the votes of European People’s Party, Socialists & Cavada (Liberals):Calls on the EU legislator to ensure that the use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in public places is permitted; Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them"

GERMANY: BUNDESTAG NSA INQUIRY: Spionageaffäre: Union und SPD einigen sich auf NSA-Sonderermittler Graulich (Spiegel online, link) [ex-federal administrative judge, Zen Buddhist - and freshly retired - 65 year old Kurt Graulich is soon allowed to sift through the top secret US spy lists. Union and SPD back his apointment]

USA: New Pentagon manual declares journalists can be enemy combatants (Washington Times, link): ""The Pentagon's new thick book of instructions for waging war the legal way says that terrorists also can be journalists."

Justice for Mitch Henriquez: Black Lives Matter goes Dutch (roarmag.org, link): "Public opinion happily condemns systemic racism and excessive police
force in other countries, but racist police violence is far from limited to the US."

Data or it didn't happen (maneeshjuneja.com, link): "Today, there is incredible excitement, enthusiasm and euphoria about technology trends such as Wearables, Big Data and the Internet of Things. Listening to some speakers at conferences, it often sounds like the convergence of these technologies promises to solve every problem that humanity faces. Seemingly, all we need to do is let these new ideas, products and services emerge into society, and it will be happy ever after. Just like those fairy tales we read to our children. Except, life isn't a fairy tale, neither is it always fair and equal. In this post, I examine how these technologies are increasingly of interest to employers and insurers when it comes to determining risk, and how this may impact our future."


June 2015

News Digest (30.6.15)

NEW ZEALAND: Through the story of the Waihopai 3, New Zealand's role in the global Five Eyes spy alliance is examined (link and appeal)

EU: Blurry, ambiguous “net neutrality” deal is an abdication of responsibility (EDRI, link)

EU: Better Regulation Watchdog (link): "We are a group of organisations of European consumer, environmental, development, citizen and public health organisations, trade unions and organisations advancing social justice. We work to promote and defend the rights of citizens to high social, labour, environmental,
consumer and public health standards."

MEPs give TTIP proposal a second try (euractiv, link)

Joint police operation Amberlight: critics miss the real questions (Reshaping Europe, link)

This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and Europe’s cruel capitalism - On Sunday the people of Greece can hit back at the eurozone’s busted economic system that is slowly strangling them. Their battle is ours too (Guardian, link)

UK: Manchester council take homeless to court to clear city centre (Independent, link): "Homeless people campaigning for better treatment in the city of Manchester could be put in jail if an “oppressive” injunction to remove them from the city goes ahead. Manchester council are seeking a city centre-wide injunction against the campaigners, which would ban the group from entering, sleeping or setting up tents in the city centre." See: Homeless Rights of Justice Mcr (link)

UK: Scotland Yard creates SAS-style unit to counter threat of terrorist gun attack - 130 counter-terrorism specialist firearms officers equipped with new weapons and retrained in new tactics, including ‘fast-roping’ from helicopters (Guardian, link)

UK: Vulnerable children locked up in immigration detention centres for adults due to Home Office blunders (BIJ, link)

UK: Court suspends fast-track asylum appeal system - Appeal judges put process on hold until court hears government challenge against ruling that it is ‘structurally unfair’ and must be quashed (Guardian, link)

Facebook Can Even ID You in Photos Where Your Face Isn’t Showing (The Slate, link)

Is INTERPOL a reliable source? (GHERSON, link)

NATO Members’ Defense Spending, in Two Charts (Defense one, link)

UK: Britain's refusal to play its part in the Mediterranean migrant crisis will be a stain on our history (New Statesnan, link)

News Digest (29.6.15)

New Danish government calls referendum on EU Justice opt-out (euractiv, link)

ITALY: Polemics Over Italian Prison Reform Appointment (Liberties.eu, link)

News Digest (26-28.6.15)

General Data Protection Regulation: Document pool (EDRI, link)

The law of Grexit: What does EU law say about leaving economic and monetary union (EU Law Analyses, link)

How the NSA Started Investigating the New York Times’ Warrantless Wiretapping Story (Intercept, link): "Three days after the New York Times revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring the calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants, the National Security Agency issued a top-secret assessment of the damage done to intelligence efforts by the story. The conclusion: the information could lead terrorists to try to evade detection. Yet the agency gave no specific examples of investigations that had been jeopardized."

Cameron's EU reform plea sidelined at Brussels summit (euractiv, link)

French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum (Intercept, link)

Anti-refugee protests 'unacceptable,' says German Minister Heiko Maas (DW, link): "German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has sharply criticized the latest anti-refugee protests in the eastern town of Freital. He stressed that refugees were welcome and that xenophobia had no place in Germany."

News Digest (25.6.15)

Stephen Lawrence's best friend says police are holding vital information (MIrror, link): "Duwayne Brooks says Scotland Yard broke a pledge to hand over all material officers collated on him since the horrific 1993 racist killing"

GCHQ documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes - Details of 2012 Yemen drone strike prompt call for UK to reveal extent of involvement in US targeted killing programme outside recognised war zones (Guardian, link): "British intelligence agency GCHQ is facing fresh calls to reveal the extent of its involvement in the US targeted killing programme after details of a fatal drone strike in Yemen were included in a top secret memo circulated to agency staff." and see: Documents on 2012 Drone Strike Detail How Terrorists Are Targeted (International New York Timer, link): DOCUMENTS CITED BUT NOT RELEASED: GCHQ: Comet News (2-year span): A regular series of newsletters which are used to update GCHQ personnel on the work of Overhead, an operation based on satellite, radio and some phone collection of intelligence, GCHQ: 2009 legal briefing: Prepared for GCHQ personnel sharing target intelligence in Afghanistan which instructed them to refer to senior compliance staff before sharing information with the US if they believed it may be used for a “detention or cross-border operation”. GCHQ: October 2010 guide to targeting: Includes a reference to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, indicating that it was written to assist in strikes there (IC Of the Record).

USA: Has the CIA Asked the FISC to Restart Its Bulk Collection Program? (Just Security, link)

USA-FRANCE: If You Can’t Beat ’Em: France, Up In Arms Over NSA Spying, Passes New Surveillance Law (The Intercept, link)

Hungary reverses decision to suspend EU asylum rules (euractiv, link): "Hungary reversed its decision to suspend a key EU rule on processing asylum claims on Wednesday (24 June), a day after its announcement caused concern in Brussels and elsewhere."

UK-EU: Queen speaks of need for unity in Europe (BBC News, link): "The Queen has spoken of the need for unity in Europe in a speech to German and UK leaders.The UK monarch, who was at a state banquet in Berlin as part of a four-day visit to Germany, said that "division in Europe is dangerous"."

GREECE: Citizenship bill approved despite ANEL opposition (ekathimerini.com): "The junior partner in the governing coalition, Independent Greeks (ANEL), on Wednesday broke ranks with leftist SYRIZA on a bill that foresees second-generation migrants being eligible for citizenship once they have enrolled at elementary school, provided one of their parents has a residence permit."

EU: Juncker’s migration plan faces key test - The major sticking point for the European Council remains whether assistance to migrants is mandatory or voluntary (Poliyico, link)

Reports: Russia, China have files leaked by Snowden (CNN video interveiw with the Sunday Times, link) Worth watching.

News Digest (24.6.15)

Let Snowden return to US and plead ‘public interest’, says PACE (CoE, link)

AIDA: Legal Briefing on Detention under the Dublin Regulation (EDAL, link) and: The Legality of Detention of Asylum Seekers under the Dublin III Regulation (pdf)

3 Years in Embassy: Julian Assange’s third anniversary in embassy of Ecuador (Wiki, link)

CJEU, asylum law Residence permit can be withdrawn from refugee who actively supports terrorism: see Judgment (pdf)

Fair Trials calls on INTERPOL to clarify role in journalist’s arrest (link) and Letter to Interpol also Questions remain after Mansour's release in Berlin (DW, link):" Germany has said it's looking "intensively" into how it ended up arresting Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour, who was released on Monday in Berlin. The opposition Greens have said they want answers in parliament."

Calais crisis: How militancy and desperation collided to plunge Channel crossing into chaos after migrants took advantage of wildcat strike by port workers (Independent, link)

Europe spends 11.3 bn euros deporting migrants since 2000: study (AFP, link)

The Migrants Files: A database on the more than 29,000 migrants who died on their way to Europe since 2000 (link) and The Making of the Migration Crisis (Telesur, link) also: The World at War (UNHCR, link)

Eurojust supports the prosecution of football hooligans (link)

Hungary suspends EU asylum rules (euractiv, link): "Hungary said yesterday (23 June) it has indefinitely suspended the application of a key EU asylum rule in order "protect Hungarian interests", prompting Brussels to seek immediate clarification."

Pugno di ferro su espulsioni e "mini-prigioni" in Italia. Guardian svela piano Ue per mettere in "quarantena" i migranti (Huffington Post, link) [Iron fist of expulsions and "mini-prisons" in Italy. Guardian reveals EU plan to put in "quarantine" migrants] See: Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")"

Pushing Back Against Ethnic Profiling in the Netherlands (OSF, link): "With the help of Mohammed Anouar, a Dutch activist of Moroccan origin, my organization, Blikopeners, produced a documentary that examines this dynamic. With Mohammed Onderzoekt Etnisch Profileren (Mohammed Investigates Racial Profiling), we wanted to show how ethnic profiling can be detrimental to the cohesion of open societies, and mobilize young people in the Netherlands to advocate against ethnic profiling and promote effective and honest policing."

News Digest (23.6.15)

EU: Only a third of the EU is governed by the centre-left - Based on political positioning defined by affiliation in the European parliament, the eight countries on centre-left comprise about 32.5% of the EU’s population (Guardian, link): "Since last year’s European parliament elections, where the centre-right European People’s party (EPP) emerged as the largest bloc, there have been 13 parliamentary and presidential elections in the EU. Of these, the centre-left has won only one – in Sweden. Following the ousting of Denmark’s centre-left government last Thursday, only a third of the EU’s population of 503 million is now led by a centre-left head of government or state. Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Malta, Slovakia and Sweden are the only EU members that are on the centre-left." and see: EU national Elections Guide (link)

EU beginnt Militäreinsatz gegen Schleuser: Kaum ist der Weltflüchtlingstag vorbei, beginnt die EU mit ihrem geplanten Militäreinsatz gegen Schleuserbanden im Mittelmeer. Kritiker befürchten einer Verschärfung der Notlage von Flüchtlingen. EU-Minister wiederum versichern die Einhaltung humanitärer Rechte (migazin, link) [As soon as the World Refugee Day past, the EU begins its planned military operation against smugglers in the Mediterranean. Critics fear a worsening of the plight of refugees. EU ministers in turn assure compliance with humanitarian rights]

This Tool Lets You See Exactly Who’s Tracking What You’re Reading Online (OSF, link)

Yarl's Wood: Children fleeing warzones being locked up at detention centre, investigation finds (Independent, link)

UK: Deleted emails: The Cabinet Office has a policy of deleting all emails after 3 months, which recently featured in a front page Financial Times story on June 17 2015. Under the policy, all Cabinet Office emails are automatically deleted after 3 months – anything needed for permanent preservation must be printed out and stored before this happens.(CFOI, link)

Opinion: Military force against human traffickers (DW, link): "The EU intends to use military force against human traffickers in Northern Africa. However, they will end up fighting against the refugees, says DW's Christoph Hasselbach"

Jamaica Interested in Free Entry Pact to EU Countries (Prensa Latina, link)

Ensuring the EUs future as a security provider Five recommendations for the June European Council's session on CSDP (EPC, link)

News Digest (22.6.15)

Italy: Court set for CIA terror abduction human rights complaint (CoE, link): "the human rights spotlight will fall again on the ‘War on Terror,’ when judges hear legal arguments concerning Italy’s involvement in a CIA abduction. The European Court’s chamber hearing in case Nasr and Ghali v. Italy (no. 44883/09) will take place on 23 June. The application concerns a case of “extraordinary rendition”, that is to say the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian nationals, of an Egyptian imam (Abu Omar), who holds refugee status, and his transfer to Egypt, followed by his secret detention there for several months."

Five horsemen of the euro’s future - As Grexit looms, the EU pushes new proposals for deeper integration of the eurozone (Politico, link) and see document: Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (pdf): "The threat of an imminent Greek exit from the euro may be the talk of Brussels, but the EU is unveiling bold proposals this week to deepen political and financial integration inside the eurozone. A so-called “five presidents’ report” obtained by POLITICO includes calls for a eurozone finance minister and stricter controls over the budgets of the 19 countries, including Greece, that use the single currency."

EU-MED-CRISIS: Fallon: UK aid budget should be used to discourage mass migration from Africa - Defence secretary says Britain needs to spend more of its budget on helping stabilise countries so that it doesn’t have to ‘fish’ migrants out of Mediterranean (Guardian, link): "He said the next phase of the operation was about “building up better intelligence of who these gangs are” as well as “encouraging a policy of return”. "

Calais' migrant shanty town to be provided with water and electricity by French government (Independent, link)

EU: Europol web unit to hunt extremists behind Isis social media propaganda - Europe-wide police team aims to find key figures in campaign producing 100,000 tweets daily linked to terror group, seeking to recruit foreign fighters (Guardian, link): "Europol said it would not name the social media firms who have agreed to help the police. It will use network analytics to identify the most active accounts, such as those pumping out the most messages and those part of an established online community."

Police detain more refugees (Prague Post, link): "The Czech police detained 12 refugees within a night check of trains that stopped in Breclav, south Moravia, after crossing the border from Austria, police spokesman Pavel Šváb, told the media today, adding that the refugees came from Syria, Afghanistan and Gambia."

Pro-Greek demos in Brussels, Amsterdam before crunch summit (ekathimerini.com, link)

Dispatches: Hungary’s Anti-Migrant Fence Is an Insult to Its History (HRW, link)

Mark Thomas interview: The comedian has written a book about his year of 100 protests (Independent, link)

Al-Jazeera journalist detained in Germany denies 'false' charges - Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour has expressed surprise at his detention in Berlin while prosecutors decide whether he will be extradited. A Cairo court sentenced him to 15 years in prison over torture charges. (DW, link)

UK: Outrage after police keep identity and charges secret of Cambridge officer accused of crime (Cambridge News, link)

News Digest (18-21.6.15)

Controversial security firm Serco lobbies for US migrant detention contracts - UK contractor has faced allegations of abuse and sexual assault in Britain and Australia but documents obtained by Guardian show it boasting to US lawmakers of its record (Guardian, link)

Bradford sisters who left UK 'to join Isis' were radicalised by British police, relatives say (Independent on Sunday, link)

Delfi v Estonia: Curtailing online freedom of expression? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The Strasbourg court’s reasoning put Delfi in a position of effectively having to monitor user content."

UK: 'People have finally had enough': middle England marches against austerity - Placard-waving protesters from across the country join to make their frustrations known in largest protest against cuts since the Tory election victory (Guardian, link)

German parliament's NSA probe enters 'neutral' stage: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed that a third-party investigator be appointed to inspect a list of targets that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the US National Security Agency. (DW, link)

USA: The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. - Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (The Intercept, link)

Police crack down on illegal immigrants (Prague Post, link)

UK: Immigration Detention: Building Our Own Guantánamos (One Small Window, link)

UNITED: The Fatal Policies of Fortress Europe: More than 22.394 migrant deaths were documented up to now - No More Deaths – Time for Change! (link)

UK: Home Office told to publish confidential reports on migrant detention sites (Corporate Watch, link): "The Information Commissioner has ordered the Home Office to disclose confidential self-audit reports written by the companies that ran two controversial immigration detention centres. The decision follows a ten month freedom of information battle by Corporate Watch."

"Turkey’s example of dealing with Syrian refugees ‘puts rest of Europe to shame' " (CoE Parliamentary Assembly, link)

UK-MED: Britain to send intelligence officers to Sicily to 'disrupt' human traffickers - David Cameron promises Italian PM extra help in tackling gangs smuggling people in boats across Mediterranean (Guardian, link): "David Cameron has offered to deploy an extra six British officers from the National Crime Agency to a special Europol intelligence cell in Sicily to “disrupt the trafficking and smuggling gangs”" and British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that the UK will support Italy’s works to deal with the migration crisis (New Europe, link)

GERMANY: Commissioner slams data retention policies - Germany’s Commissioner for Data Protection has published her latest report criticizing government plans on mass data retention laws.A previous supporter of such practices, her new position came as a surprise.(DW, link)

Europeans could get data protection rights in U.S. (Politico, link)

University research on terrorism may never be free from interference - Government agencies are regular attendees at academic meetings on conflict and terrorism, but their influence may affect the transparency of research (Guardian, link)

Hungary to fence off border with Serbia to stop migrants (Reuters, link): "Hungary announced plans on Wednesday to build a four-meter-high fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of illegal migrants, a move that triggered a swift rebuke from the United Nations Refugee Agency."

Europol and CTED affirm closer partnership to address the foreign terrorist fighter threat (link): "On 11 June 2015, experts from the European Police Office (Europol) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) met in New York to discuss the next phase of cooperation. In light of emerging terrorist threats and challenges, both teams affirmed their eagerness and readiness to bring their cooperation closer in order to increase deliverables, in particular in the areas of addressing the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, preventing the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, effective border control, and enhancing capacity-building of Member States. " and Action against Threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters Must Be Ramped Up, Security Council Urges in High-Level Meeting (UN, link)

Trouble on Europe’s flanks lift interest in drones and military aircraft (euractiv, link)

France, Germany, and Italy outline migrant plan (euobserver, link)

Danish election: Opposition bloc wins (BBC News, link): "With all mainland votes counted, the centre-right group led by ex-PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen beat PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt's centre-left coalition, although her party is the largest. Ms Thorning-Schmidt has now stood down as Social Democratic Party leader. The right-wing, anti-immigration Danish People's Party will become the second-largest in parliament."

Hungary's anti-migrant fence draws rebuke (euobserver, link)

EU ministers back weaker data protection rules (euobserver, link)

News Digest 17.6.15

UK: Evidence of police complicity in blacklisting of trade unionists stretches back decades - Police are alleged to have been covertly helping companies to blacklist trade unionists since before the Second World War (Guardian, link)

EU: Ministers reject Commission’s immigrant quota proposal (euractiv, link): "Meeting in Luxembourg yesterday (16 June), EU interior ministers rejected a plan by the European Commission to distribute 40,000 immigrants from Italy and Greece to the other member countries, according to quotas proposed by the EU executive." and Syria refugees: Nowhere to go (euobserver, link)

ITALY: Premier says Italy will deal with migrants if EU can't - 'Temporary residency permits a reserve weapon' says premier (ANSA, link)

"Refugee crisis may endanger free travel within Europe' (DW, link): "German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has warned that failure to tackle refugees could make EU countries reintroduce border checks. This could have adverse effects on free travel within the Schengen region."

Reform of the EU’s Court System: Why a more accountable – not a larger – Court is the way forward (EU Law Analysis, link)

Libya: Widespread Torture in Detention - Government Should End Arbitrary Detentions, Ill-Treatment in Eastern Libya (HRW, link)

UK: Solicitor under investigation after advising police officers to alter statements on stop-and-search death (Independent, link)

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation: Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics: Read the document: ‘Human experimentation’ and the CIA (Guardian, link)

News Digest (16.5.15)

Harmony? What harmony! Disharmony extends to one-third of the Data Protection Regulation (Amberhawk, link), and: European Ministers Agree To Disagree On Data Protection Reform (Tech Crunch, link) also: Grumpy EU ministers agree shaky pact on new data protection law - Talks start this month with EU Parliament and Commish (The Register, link)

Italy threatens to give Schengen visas to migrants as EU ministers meet - Frustrated at infighting over sharing the migrant burden, Rome says it will issue temporary visas allowing travel beyond Italy if an equitable deal is not reached (Guardian, link)

World leaders’ neglect of refugees condemns millions to death and despair (AI, link)

UN says one million refugees should be no problem for EU (euractiv, link)

Translation of Süddeutsche Zeitung Article Calling for External Oversight of Data Protection at the EPO (Techrights, link)

Le Pen's new EU Parliament group to scoop €17.5 million of public money (euractiv, link)

Danish elections: A race to the bottom on immigration (euobserver, link)

News Digest (15.6.15)

Why Technology Hasn’t Delivered More Democracy - New technologies offer important tools for empowerment — yet democracy is stagnating. What’s up? (Foreign Policy, link)

EU states in ‘deals to shut Eritrean borders’ - UN raises concerns that secret deals are being brokered with ‘Africa’s North Korea’ in an effort to stop migrants coming to Europe (Observer, link): "UN officials and human rights organisations are increasingly concerned at what they believe are secret deals being drawn up between Eritrea and European Union nations, which may involve the regime being given money or having sanctions lifted in return for imposing tougher border controls."

Sniffer mice are being trained in Israel to detect explosives at airports (Independent, link): ""At present no UK airport has plans to recruit rodents to tail terrorists but they could be one element in the emerging "risk-based" approach to security, where individuals are profiled in advance and assigned a risk profile. A passenger with an unusual travel history is likely to arouse more interest than a family going on holiday."

Italy's Renzi warns EU on refugees as neighbors block border crossings (Reuters, link): "Italy stepped up calls for a change to European asylum rules on Sunday as neighboring states tightened border controls, turning back African migrants and leaving hundreds stranded at the frontier in northern Italy." and see: Tri-nation patrols at railway stations (Statewatch database, link)

Timing of claims that British spies were withdrawn over Edward Snowden documents is 'extremely convenient', say campaigners (Independent, link) and The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story is Journalism at its Worst - and Filled with Falsehoods (The Intercept, link). Also Snowden files 'read by Russia and China': five questions for UK government - The government has an obligation to respond to the Sunday Times report that MI6 has been forced to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries (Guardian, li nk)

UK: There is no real case for a snooper’s charter – but that won’t stop it - Anderson’s landmark report showed that mass storage of data had little justification. Yet ministers and Home Office officials are likely to plough on regardless (Guardian, link)

Italian police once again push back migrants at French border (Press TV, link): "Italian police have once again pushed back a group of African migrants who have been holding a sit-in at a border crossing to France"

EU-USA data protection: Besserer Schutz für europäische Daten in den USA: Große Konzerne wie Facebook oder Google können Daten ihrer europäischen Nutzer in die USA übertragen. Bisher war nicht ausgeschlossen, dass die Daten bei den US-Behörden landen. Das soll sich ändern (morgenpost.de, link) [Better protection for European data in the United States - Large corporations such as Facebook or Google can transfer data of their European users in the United States. So far not ruled out that the data end up with the US authorities. That should change]

Belgian privacy watchdog sues Facebook (euobserver, link)

As election nears, Danish parties vow tighter immigration rules (Reuters, link)

'Mind your own business!' UN official blasted for ordering Britain to take MORE refugees - BRITAIN should be forced to take in more of the flood of migrants making their way across the Mediterranean, according to a senior UN official. (Daily Express, link)

Portugal ranks second worldwide on integrating immigrants (portugalglobal.pt)

TTIP: EU trade bill threatens media freedom (euobserver, link): "NGOs and journalists’ associations warn that the legislation could endanger freedom of expression and information. The main reason for concern is an unreasonably broad definition of "trade secrets". Companies could sue anyone who "unlawfully acquires, uses or discloses" a secret business informations. Trade unions say that even informations about future mergers or redundancies could fall under the scope of the directive. "

News Digest (13-14.6.15)

ITALY: Clear out African migrants, Lega Nord governor orders in stand-off with Rome - Surge in support for rightwing party emboldens Northern League’s Luca Zaia as humanitarian crisis creates political upheaval (Observer, link)

Chilcot report into the Iraq war 'unlikely to be published for another year' (Independent on Sunday, link)

USA-NSA: Germany drops inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone - Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency (Guardian, link)

Italy complain after Swastika is found on turf in Croatia (Eurosport, link): "Croatia's 1-1 Euro 2016 qualifying draw at home to Italy was marred by a racist incident when a swastika cross appeared on the pitch in a match played behind closed doors on Friday. Imprinted into the grass of the Poljud stadium, the swastika was noticeable in the first half of the Group H fixture played without any fans present after the Croatians had been given a one-match ban for prior offences. "

Twitter 'endangering national security' says top cop - The micro-blogging site is slammed for policy of alerting customers who may be under surveillance, as it emerges two out of three requests are blocked (Daily Telegraph, link): "Twitter is endangering national security by tipping-off customers who may be under surveillance by the security services, one of Britain’s most senior policing figures has said, as it emerged the technology company blocks two-thirds of Government requests for information"

Hungary Considers Barrier to Stop Illegal Immigrants Entering the EU - Barrier would be erected on the nation’s southern border (WSJ, link)

Italy must fight to get migrant results, says Gentiloni - EU States working on plan B (ANSA, link)

ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War, U.S. Concludes (INYT, link)

Asylum seekers set for pay-outs after fast track appeals ruled 'structurally unfair' (Daily Telegraph, link): "Ian Macdonald QC, former chairman of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association, said the decision – if the Government’s appeal is unsuccessful – could cost thousands of pounds in compensation payments." See: High Court quashes Detained Fast Track asylum appeals process (Detention Action, link) and see: Judgment (pdf)

News Digest (12.6.15)

UK fast-track asylum system unlawful - High Court quashes Detained Fast Track asylum appeals process (Detention Action, link) and see: Judgment (pdf)

Ursula K. Le Guin Calls on Fantasy and Sci Fi Writers to Envision Alternatives to Capitalism - This award-winning author explains how fantasy and science fiction writers can stand up to the corporate system. (YES, link)

EU-MEXICO: "We agreed on the importance of discussing the issue of Passenger Name Records as a matter of priority. In this context, the EC has requested a mandate for negotiating a bilateral agreement with Mexico from the Council." See Statement (pdf) See: European Commission in a pickle over PNR - Mexico and Argentina about to implement PNR laws requiring "the transfer of passenger data from air carriers that operate in [their] countries" (Statewatch database)

FBI surveillance planes flying over US cities linked to fake companies (link) and FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities (Washington Post, link) also: How I tracked FBI aerial surveillance - Those mysterious planes overhead are actually government surveillance aircraft (AT, link)

Retain spot border checks, says German police union (DW, link): "Germany should retain spot checks at its borders despite Europe's Schengen policy on free travel, says the largest German police trade union. The GdP says "illegal entries" appeared rife during last week's G7 summit... German federal police detected 10,555 "illegal entrants" and 1,056 people sought on warrant during G7 summit-related spot checks."

Ex-Guantánamo prisoner stopped from boarding France to Canada flight - Airline says Mourad Benchellali is on the No Fly list and aircraft passes through US airspace. He addresses youth groups in Europe to dissuade them from jihad (Guardian, link)

The Special Rapporteur’s Study on Protection of Roma - Combatting Discrimination as a Root Cause of Roma Marginalisation (CoE, link)

UK: A question of trust? Anderson report lays out tests for surveillance laws - Analysis: Expert wants tougher hurdles for security services before snooping powers are extended but judicial warrant proposal is unlikely to succeed (Guardian, link)

USA: Patriot Act Reform Curbed NSA; Cybersecurity Bill Would Empower It (Intercept, link)

GREECE: Attica’s 17,700 homeless to get mobile showers, laundries (ekathimerini.com, link)

UK: Muslim students threaten to sue college after being suspended for complaining of Islamophobia (Independent, link): "Three Muslim A level students are threatening to sue their sixth form college after they were suspended shortly before sitting their exams for sending an email to students and staff complaining of Islamophobia."

UK: Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon denied compensation (BBC News,link): "Two men who served long sentences before their convictions were overturned have lost High Court actions in their fight for compensation" and see Full-text: Judgment (pdf)

SPAIN: Spanish Congress passes historic law granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews - Descendants of those expelled 500 years ago will not have to give up their own nationality (el pais, link)

UK-EU: Tory plans will destroy human rights across Europe, warns Dominic Grieve - Conservative MP says the government’s plan to leave Strasbourg court threatens to make the European convention on human rights inoperable (Guardian, link) See also: Statewatch Analysis: UK: The new government’s assault on civil liberties (pdf) by Chris Jones:

News Digest (11.6.15)

USA: TORTURE: Proposed Torture Ban Includes New Transparency and Oversight Mechanisms (Intercept, link): require the Pentagon and all federal agencies to conduct interrogations in accordance with the Army Field Manual, which forbids the worst of the Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” techniques documented last year by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the post-9/11 torture program."

GREECE: Lesvos mayor pleads for help with migrant influx (ekathimerini.com, link)

Fake mobile phone towers found to be ‘actively listening in’ on calls in UK (Independent, link): "The London Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering."

UK-ECHR: Jean Charles de Menezes arguments heard in Strasbourg - Case against Metropolitan police over killing of Brazilian electrician in 2005 reaches European court of human rights (Guardian, link): "De Menezes died on 22 July 2005; his death came a fortnight after four men detonated devices on London’s transport system, killing 52 other people, and a day after the further failed attacks of 21 July, when five bombs failed to explode at Tube stations and on a bus. Two members of the Met’s armed unit, CO19, opened fire centimetres away from De Menezes’s head as another officer pinned him into a seat on an underground train at Stockwell station."

German watchdog doubts constitutionality of data retention plans (euractiv, link): "Germany’s Federal Data Protection Commissioner issued clear criticism against the government’s bill on data retention, saying it not only amounts to a disproportionate violation of Germans’ basic civil rights, but also those of Europeans." See: Stellungnahme der Bundesbeauftragten für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit zum Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Einführung einer
Speicherpflicht und einer Höchstspeicherfrist für Verkehrsdaten
(pdf) [Comments by the Federal Commissioner for Privacy and Freedom of Information for Draft law on the introduction of a Memory requirement and a maximum storage period for traffic data]

Protect journalists from Trade Secrets Directive, French MPs say (euractiv, link): "French MPs have called on the European institutions to rework the Trade Secrets bill, which they say hampers the freedom of information and puts journalists' sources at risk."

Mastermind: The evil genius behind the migrant crisis (Newsweek, link)

EU: Comment: The case for radical change in Europe can’t be left to the nationalist right - by Seumas Milne (link): "Greece’s punishment and Cameron’s referendum games underline who really calls the shots in the EU...As things stand, however, voters in Britain will next year be offered the choice of a yet more corporate-controlled EU, shorn of social protections – or withdrawal on the terms of the nationalist right. In the interests of both Britain and Europe, that needs to change, and quickly." And see: The TTIP trade deal will throw equality before the law on the corporate bonfire by George Monbiot (link): "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a reckless destruction of democratic principles. But we can beat it."

Top Secret America investigation 2010 (Washington Post, link): "Washington Post identified 45 government organizations (for example, the FBI) engaged in top-secret work and determined that those 45 organizations could be broken down into 1,271 sub-units (for example, the Terrorist Screening Center of the FBI). One of the 45 organizations is represented as “unknown”; this category was created as a catchall for companies doing work for a government organization that could not be determined. At the private-sector level, The Post identified 1,931 companies engaged in top-secret work for the government."

News Digest (10.6.15)

EP-HUNGARY: Hungary: MEPs condemn Orbán’s death penalty statements and migration survey (Press release, pdf): "The European Parliament asks the European Commission to assess the situation in Hungary and to establish an EU mechanism to monitor democracy, the rule of law and human rights annually across the EU, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. Reinstating the death penalty in Hungary would breach the EU Treaties and Charter of fundamental rights, and the wording of the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration is "highly misleading, biased and unbalanced", it says."

Estonia: Court set for judgement on internet news portal’s liability for offensive online comments - A human rights court judgment on the liability of an Internet news portal for offensive online comments will be made public next week (CoE, link)

Divided EU Parliament postpones vote on TTIP (euractiv, link): "he European Parliament failed on Tuesday (9 June) to agree a unified stance on a proposed trade deal with the United States, postponing a vote that was meant to cement its support for the biggest accord of its kind."

EU Won’t Confirm Migrant Quota Until September: Delay seen as further setback in the bloc’s response to Mediterranean migration crisis (Wall Street Journal, link)

BRUSSELS: Hours before major summit, a bomb scare - The false alarm forced the closure late Tuesday of the area around the European Council building (Politico, link)

The Government’s case against the European Court of Human Rights is a smokescreen (Democratic Audit, link) and see: ActForTheAct (link)

UK: Violent crime against women massively understated, statistics agency told - Crime Survey of England and Wales fails to account for nearly half the attacks on women, particularly those where victim knows the attacker, warns professor (Guardian, link)

GREECE: Citizenship bill to apply to ‘fewer than 100,000,’ minister says (ekathimerini.com, link)

UK: Track the Act: European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 (House of Parliament, link)

TTIP: The obscure legal system that lets corporations sue countries - Fifty years ago, an international legal system was created to protect the rights of foreign investors. Today, as companies win billions in damages, insiders say it has got dangerously out of control (Guardian, link)

Know your enemy: How to break the EU’s gridlock on security measures (Centre for European Reform, link)

Jean-Marie Le Pen visé par une enquête pour blanchiment de fraude fiscale [Jean-Marie Le Pen under a tax fraud money laundering investigation] (Le Monde, link)

How just is the EU, or: is there a ‘new’ European deficit? (verfassungsblog.de, link)

News in Brief (9.6.15)

Migrant Rights Film Among Finalists for Top Italian Prize (Liberties.eu, link)

UK: Nazi sympathiser and former King the Duke of Windsor 'wanted England to be bombed', international archives reveal (Independent, link)

GREECE: Golden Dawn trial staggers along (ekathimerini.com, link)

The Computers Are Listening - NSA Won’t Say If It Automatically Transcribes American Phone Calls in Bulk (The Intercept, link)

Five false assumptions driving EU migration policy (IRIN, link) and see: Before the Boat: Understanding the Migrant Journey (MPI, link)

Read the TPP (link)

Italy PM Renzi attacks northern regions for refusing migrants (BBC News, link)

News Digest (8.6.15)

EDPS: Speech by: European Data Protection Supervisor: Brussels, 5 June 2015: European Anti-Fraud Congress: Anti-fraud investigations and data protection in the EU (pdf)

New Director General in the Council General Secretariat: "On 8 June 2015, the Council appointed Ms Christine Roger as Director General responsible for Justice and Home Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council as from 1 July 2015."

Many EU countries say “no” to immigration quotas (euractiv, link): "The European Commission has submitted a proposal to find a fairer way to admit and distribute asylum seekers in the EU. But it’s up to the member states to decide, and many don’t accept the proposed distribution of migrants."

SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines - The unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been converted into a global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.(International New York Times, link) Exclusive: Detainee Alleges CIA Sexual Abuse, Torture Beyond Senate Findings (INYT, link) and Link to US CIA torture report

News in Brief (6-7.6.15)

Mediterranean migrant crisis: number of arrivals in Italy in 2015 passes 50,000 (Guardian., link)

G7 protesters unite in opposition to TTIP under the alpine sun - A stroll in the alps with protesters at the G7 summit at Garmisch – and ‘the largest police operation in the history of Bavaria’ (Guardian, link)

International week of actions to close detention centres 15 - 21 June 2015 (link): "To all organizations and collectives that are working for the closure of migrant detention centres and against migration policies that criminalize migrants and refugees"

Greater Manchester Police officer sacked over 'offensive and racist' comments about Muslims on Facebook (Manchester Evening News, link)

G7: Protesters and police clash as G7 leaders prepare to discuss corruption and trade - Several people taken to hospital after scuffles in German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen as demonstrators, some throwing bottles, face off with riot police (Guardian link)

UK: Hundreds protest to demand closure of Yarl’s Wood immigration centre - Juliet Stevenson and Shami Chakrabarti speak out after abuse of women inmates is revealed in Channel 4 documentary (Guardian, link)

Trade treaty negotiations can remain secret, EU court rules (PC World, link)

Portugal decriminalised drugs 14 years ago – and now hardly anyone dies from overdosing (Independent, link)

Die Europol-Verordnung im Trilog [The Europol Regulation in the trilogue] (CILIP, link) by Eric Töpfer

UK: Nearly 1 million patients could be having confidential data shared against their wishes - Calls for an official investigation as it is disclosed that at least 700,000 patients opted out to having their GP data shared with third parties only to have their demands ignored. (Daily Telegraph, link)

Migrants turn to Greece-Turkey route to Europe (BBC News, link): "More migrants are trying to reach the EU via Turkey and Greece than taking the perilous sea crossing from Libya, the EU's border management agency says.So far this year around 46,000 migrants have used the eastern Mediterranean route, compared with 43,000 crossing between Libya and Italy, Frontex says." and UNHCR boosts presence in Greek islands to cope with soaring refugee arrivals (link)

News in Brief (5.6.15)

EU-MEXICO: EU - Mexico summit, Brussels, 12 June 2015 (pdf): "he summit should also provide an occasion for the leaders to take stock and welcome recent progress made in the field of Passenger Name Records (PNR). They will agree starting technical discussions on the use of such data by law enforcement agencies." See: Letter from Commissioner to Claude Moraes, Chair LIBE Committee (pdf) and Statewatch story filed on 8.3.15: European Commission in a pickle over PNR So far the EU has PNR agreements with the USA, Canada and Australia (close "Five Eyes" allies). Will the deal with Mexico open the door to dozens more?

EU: Integration requirements for third-country nationals: the first CJEU ruling (EU Law Analysis, link)

Privacy Is Not a Barrier to Trade - How a secretive trade agreement could change the global Internet (SLATE, link)

An Easy Target: Homophobia for Political Ends (HRW, link)

EU governments in disagreement over data breach liability rules (Outlaw, link): "EU governments are in disagreement over whether consumers should be able to sue businesses for damage they suffer as a result of a data breach even where those businesses are not responsible for the damage caused"

News Digest (4.6.15)

UK: Don't let the Snoopers' Charter Bounce Back! (Open Rights Group, link)

Hunting for Hackers, N.S.A. Secretly Expands Internet Spying at U.S. Border (New York Times, link)

SCOTLAND: Police statements row over death in custody (The National, link): "A MONTH after the death of Sheku Bayoh, police officers who were with him on the day he died in police custody in Kirkcaldy are to assist with the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner’s (PIRC) inquiry into his death. Sources tell The National that of the 11 police officers who had dealings with Bayoh on Sunday, May 3, only two officers have so far given statements to the inquiry. Unlike officers in England and Wales, Scottish police officers do not have to co-operate with investigators. The officers have not had to turn over their notebooks and are not banned from conferring with one another. Nor have they been taken off active duty." See also: Police reject Sheku Bayoh custody death criticism (BBC News, link) and BAYOH FAMILY HIT BACK (Glasgow lawyer, link)

Migrants in Greece: The struggle for a better life (.aljazeera, link): "On the streets there is fear and trepidation of far-right Golden Dawn party members known for their attacks on migrants."

Europe’s open border dilemma; is Schengen a success? (euronews, link)

US pledges to extend EU visa perks (euoberver, link) Extending "perks" for the few not the many.

What next after multiculturalism? (euobserver, link) "One possible approach is that of interculturalism, a concept developed by the Council of Europe." See also: Where monoculturalism leads (IRR News, link)

High Court to hear Liberty’s legal challenge to Government’s “emergency” surveillance law (link): " Liberty, David Davis and Tom Watson use Human Rights Act to challenge DRIP Act - Hearing comes as Government seeks to expand same data-gathering powers through Investigatory Powers Bill"

European Parliament’s TTIP vote in limbo (euractiv, link): "Thirteen parliamentary committees have given their opinion on TTIP, and all included ISDS, despite the growing public outcry against enabling corporations to use extra-juridical tribunals to challenge state authorities and national laws."

Berlin and Paris propose radical eurozone integration (euobserver, link): "he eurozone should have its own budget, an institution which can raise taxes, a separate body inside the European Parliament, and wage harmonisation, France and Germany have said."

CIA sex abuse and torture went beyond Senate report disclosures, detainee says - Majid Khan, who underwent ‘enhanced interrogation’, says authorities poured ice water on his genitals and hung him naked from a beam for days (Guardian, link)

Lampedusa in the Alps (euobserver, link): "in Bolzano, Italian policemen blocked all doors of the IC train to Munich, asking black passengers for passports. White people were waved through without having to show either passports or tickets. In the run-up to a G7 summit in Elmau on 7 and 8 June, Germany has reintroduced border controls. Passports will be checked over a three week period, from 26 May to 15 June. "


Frontex: Eastern European Borders: Annual Risk Analysis 2015 (pdf)

EU: European Commission: Seventh bi-annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area: 1 November 2014 - 30 April 2015 (pdf)

CoE-Internet: Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on ICANN, human rights and the rule of law (pdf)

News Digest (3.6.15)

UK: Police accused of 'breathtaking changes' to story of their search of man who died - Five Thames Valley officers removed details of interaction with Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, who died later the same evening, disciplinary hearing is told (GUardian, link)

Orban says migrants will change European civilisation (euobserver, link): "Hungarian leader Viktor Orban has warned that immigrants will alter “Europe’s civilisation”, amid ongoing EU debate on the Mediterranean crisis.... "There is no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to a world of national cultures”, he added."

Citizens of five more Caribbean countries get visa-free travel to Schengen area (Curacao Chronicle., link)

News Digest (2.6.15)

UNDER ATTACK WE FIGHT BACK: Sunday 7 June 2015, 3-5pm at North London Community House, Moorefield Road, Tottenham, London N17 6PY: "Since the publication of the whitewashed IPCC report into the killing of Mark Duggan, the justice for Mark Duggan Campaign have been busy conducting their own investigations into the police investigation. They are now ready to report back on a number of new revelations, some contained in David Rose's explosive article revealing previously unpublished details on the role of the Mets Operation Trident in Mark's death (please see link below) and the IPCC's role in fanning the flames that led to the riots of 2011." And see: Did gun crime conspiracy spark the 2011 inferno? Rioting. Bloodshed. A complete breakdown of the rule of law. But now a shocking new fact about a police operation before the riot poses a disturbing question (Mail Online, link)

EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Severe labour exploitation in the EU - 2/6/2015 - Press Pack (link)

EU-USA: Softer secrecy deal for TTIP group - The Commission backs down from requiring a strict confidentiality agreement for its trade expert panel. (Politico, link)

German Federal Prosecutor ‘investigating’ US actions on drones base (Reprieve, link): "The German Federal Prosecutor is reported to have begun investigating a US base in Germany that is used as a ‘hub’ for drone strikes, days after a Yemeni man testified in a Cologne court about the 2012 strike that killed his relatives." And US-Militärbasis: Bundesanwalt prüft Ramsteins Rolle im US-Drohnenkrieg (Spiegel Online, link) [Prosecutor probes Ramstein's role in US drone war]

Morris Beckman fought fascism, home and away (Camden New Journal, link): "Morris, who passed away this week aged 94, would not stand idly by as the far right made speeches and sold pamphlets that denied the Holocaust. Instead, he and other Jewish ex-servicemen set up the 43 Group – an organisation that fought fascists on post-war London’s streets." and another East End anti-fascist: Happy 100th Birthday, Max Levitas! (Spitalfields Life, link); "Today we salute Max Levitas, celebrated anti-Fascist campaigner & veteran of the Battle of Cable St who enjoyed his one hundredth birthday yesterday"

News Digest (1.6.15)

Kincora: calls for abuse to be included in UK inquiry (CHannel 4 News, link): "A man who was abused at Kincora children's home in Belfast is demanding that what happened there decades ago should be included in the UK-wide inquiry set up by the government."

How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA - A new cybersecurity elite moves between government and private practice, taking state secrets with them.(The Nation, link): "the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. INSA is a powerful but little-known coalition established in 2005 by companies working for the National Security Agency. In recent years, it has become the premier organization for the men and women who run the massive cyberintelligence-industrial complex that encircles Washington, DC."  

FRANCE: French Data Protection Authority Unveils Its Inspection Program for 2015 (WSGR, link)

ECRE: Publishes Information Note on Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (link): "It is foreseen that the wide range of actions that AMIF supports should better address the needs and challenges faced by asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Europe, and the note calls on Member States to make use of the possibilities offered by the fund, such as support to alternatives to detention and addressing identified needs"

UK: My dad, the undercover policeman - As a child in the 1970s, Clare Carson knew her father, with his bushy beard and secretive ways, was a funny sort of copper. But it was only as an adult that her memories of their strange suburban life began to make sense (Guardian, link)

EU-USA:"European Commissioner Jourova said that she was waiting for the United States to respond, by the end of June, to the concerns raised by the EU following the NSA scandal (see EUROPE 11294). In 2013, the Commission submitted 13 recommendations to improve this mechanism on the transfer of personal data to American commercial businesses such as Google and Facebook, but the United States have not yet set all of them in place" (Agence Europe)

Internet of Things: the Italian Data Protection Authority has launched a public consultation in order to collect contributions and comments (Lexology, link)

Germany licks lips, eyes new data gulp with revised retention law - Wrong in 2006, 2010 and 2014, but it's now fine (Register, link)

International effort rescues over 5,000 Mediterranean migrants (euractiv, link): "The corpses of 17 migrants were brought ashore in Sicily aboard an Italian naval vessel on Sunday along with 454 survivors as efforts intensified to rescue people fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East."

UK police requests to access phone calls or emails are granted 93% of the time Campaigners call for a curb on the scale of police access to private communications data as the Tories prepare to expand surveillance powers (Guardian, link): "Ministers are facing calls to curb the scale of police access to private phone and email records, after a report by privacy campaigners found officers were making a request every two minutes and getting access in 93% of cases."

EU referendum: David Cameron boosted by support from European politicians for a 'two-speed Europe' (Independent, link): "Two senior European politicians have sketched the outline of a possible pre-referendum deal with David Cameron that would allow Britain to become a kind of “low-definition” member of the European Union. Emmanuel Macron, the French Economy Minister, said that it was time to “accept the idea of a two-speed” Europe in which some countries would stand aside from progress towards greater unity and integration."


May 2015

ECHR: Italy : Court set for CIA terror abduction human rights complaint (CoE, link):

The European Court’s chamber hearing in case Nasr and Ghali v. Italy (no. 44883/09) will take place on 23 June.

"The application concerns a case of “extraordinary rendition”, that is to say the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian nationals, of an Egyptian imam (Abu Omar), who holds refugee status, and his transfer to Egypt, followed by his secret detention there for several months. The applicants, Osama Mustafa Hassn Nasr, alias Abu Omar, and Nabila Ghali, are a married couple. They are both Egyptian nationals who were born in 1963 and currently live in Alexandria (Egypt)."

News in Brief (30-31.5.15)

Boycott after Muslim woman claims discrimination on flight (Channel 4 News, link): "Muslim chaplain Tahera Ahmad claims she faced discrimination and verbal abuse while she was on board a United Airlines flight on Friday."

How the Human Rights Act escaped the Tory axe - David Cameron convinced voters with his pledge to scrap European human rights laws and bring in a British Bill of Rights but he could not persuade his own MPs (Daily Telegraph, link)

GERMANY: Heimliche SMS - NRW-Polizei zapft zehntausende Handys an [Secret SMS - NRW police taps into thousands Phones] (WAZ, link)

UK: Tim Berners-Lee urges Britain to fight 'snooper's charter' - Inventor of world wide web also advised developing world to ‘just say no’ to Facebook’s Internet.org scheme (Guardian, link): "Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has urged Britons to fight the government’s plans to extend the country’s surveillance powers, and act as a worldwide leader for promoting good governance on the web. Berners-Lee said Britain had “lost the moral leadership” on privacy and surveillance, following the revelations of the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden."

GERMANY-NSA: New details about the joint NSA-BND operation Eikonal (Techdirt, link): "This weblog first reported about the joint NSA-BND operation Eikonal on October 15, 2014, but meanwhile interesting new details became available from the hearings of the German parliamentary inquiry, and from recent disclosures by a politician from Austria. Under operation Eikonal, the NSA cooperated with the German foreign intelligence service BND for access to transit cables from Deutsche Telekom in Frankfurt"

SNOWDEN: Here's the Best Stuff from Edward Snowden's Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (Mother Jones, link)

UK: Broadcasters attack Theresa May's plan to vet TV programmes for extremism - Industry figures say powers proposed by home secretary for Ofcom to approve content prior to transmission are ‘completely impractical’ and ‘difficult to justify’ (Guardian, link): "[Ofcom] all of its regulatory powers are post-transmission. May’s plan, revealed in a pre-election document outlining an extremism strategy for a “stronger Britain”, would give Ofcom the power to approve programmes before transmission, a fundamental shift."

Despite Dutch protection, Azer is still trapped by INTERPOL (Fair Trials, link): "Azer Samadov, a former Azerbaijani political refugee who currently has Dutch citzenship, has been subject to an INTERPOL arrest warrant since 2009."

News in Brief (29.5.15)

European Commission: Take Swift Action Against Attacks on Core EU Values in Spain! (Liberties.eu, link)

Britain 'protected state-sponsored serial killers' on both sides during Irish Troubles, BBC documentary claims (Independent, link) and link to Video

Inside NSA, Officials Privately Criticize “Collect It All” Surveillance (The Intercept, link): "“The problem is that when you collect it all, when you monitor everyone, you understand nothing.” – Edward Snowden"

EU: ‘Nerds, techies and lobbyists’ - The Commission this week will unveil an overhaul of the extensive system of expert groups (Politico, link)

Marauders Map: the Chrome app that stalks Facebook Messenger users - Privacy concerns over app that allows you to pinpoint location of anyone who is part of same messaging thread, and track them via time stamps (Guardian, link)

UK: Fury after primary pupils are asked to complete radicalisation-seeking surveys - Parents complain after London council circulates questionnaire among year 6 pupils in schools with large Muslim intakes (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: MEPs give passing vote to TTIP (euractiv, link): "The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade has given its go-ahead to the European Commission on the EU-US trade agreement, conceding that a controversial arbitration clause, albeit reformed, needs to remain part of the deal." and Parliament Committee adopts a disappointing position on TTIP (EDRI, link)

Spare Rib goes digital: 21 years of radical feminist magazine put online (Guardian, link) and see Journal Archives (link)

GERMANY: Draft law could restrict protection of confidential sources, information in the public interest (IFEX, link)

USA: State Law Enforcement Body Camera Policies (EPIC, link)

News in Brief (28.5.15)

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy -The creator of PGP has moved his mobile-encryption firm Silent Circle to Switzerland to be free of US mass surveillance. Here he explains why (Guardan, link): "“Every dystopian society has excessive surveillance, but now we see even western democracies like the US and England moving that way,” he warns. “We have to roll this back. People who are not suspected of committing crimes should not have information collected and stored in a database. We don’t want to become like North Korea.”

Poland elects right-wing president who criticized predecessor’s apologies to Jews (Times of Israel, link)

The 43rd European Regional Conference of Interpol started in Bucharest (link) and INTERPOL Europe meeting develops regional collaboration against transnational crime (pdf)

INTERPOL training in Ghana aims to strengthen regional police capacity in border management (Interpol, link) See also: EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa (Statewatch database)

German court gives Yemeni man permission to continue case against Government over role in US drone strikes (Reprieve, link)

European Defence Agency: EDA Chief Executive briefs European Parliament (link) and see: INTERVENTION BY EDA CHIEF EXECUTIVE IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND DEFENCE (pdf)

UK: Hundreds sign up for Yarl’s Wood protest calling for an end to detention (Bradford Today, link)

Lawyers denied access to case file – LEAP Survey Report (Fair Trials, link) and Legal Experts Advisory Panel: Survey Report: Access to the Case File (pdf)

Lithuania's spy officially charged (New Europe, link): "The President neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of a swap "

Sanctions being finalised to crack down on disruptive TDs (Irish Times, link): "Tough new sanctions on TDs who behave in a disorderly and disruptive way in the Dáil chamber are close to being finalised."

News in Brief (27.5.15)

British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos (Independent, link)

EU: MED-CRISIS: Frontex expands its Joint Operation Triton (Frontex, link): "Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri signed the amended operational plan of the Joint Operation Triton, expanding its operational area and bringing in a number of additional experts, vessels and aircraft. The operational area will be extended to 138 NM south of Sicily. During the peak summer season, Triton will deploy 3 airplanes, 6 Offshore Patrol Vessels, 12 patrol boats, 2 helicopters, 9 debriefing and 6 screening teams.

Libya PM 'escapes assassination attempt' in Tobruk (BBC News, link): "Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni says he has survived an assassination attempt by gunmen who attacked his car in the city of Tobruk.....A government spokesman said the prime minister escaped unharmed but one of his bodyguards was wounded. Libya has been in turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power in 2011. Mr al-Thinni is trying to run the country from Tobruk after being expelled from the capital, Tripoli, by militias in 2014. His power has been challenged by the establishment of another body in Tripoli that claims to be the legitimate government."

Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey Move to Jointly Tackle Migration (Novinite, link): "Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, facing a surge in illegal migration, have signed an agreement to set up a joint contact centre for border and customs control, the Interior Ministry in Sofia announced on Monday. The joint contact center will start functioning on Bulgarian territory at Kapitan Andreevo crossing at the border with Turkey. The agreement needs parliamentary approval in Greece and Turkey to take effect , while in Bulgaria it only has to be endorsed by the government." Agreement (Bulgarian, link)

Commission promises cash for taking migrants - Under the proposal, member states would get a payment of €6,000 for each asylum-seeker coming from Italy or Greece (Politico, link)

UK: Government delays Human Rights Act repeal amid opposition from senior Tories (Independent, link): "Today’s Queen’s Speech will not include full legislation to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights in this session of parliament, it has emerged."

GERMANY-NSA: Aktenvermerk bringt Merkel in Bedrängnis (SZ.de, link): "Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the German chancellor knew in August 2013, at the peak of the NSA espionage affair and amid the national elections, that the US might not offer Germany a so-called "no-spy treaty" nevertheless the government announced that such an agreement would come. It never did."

EP: What if your shopping was delivered by drones? (pdf) and see: USA: H.R. 1646, the Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act (link)

CANADA: The Governance of Telecommunications Surveillance (Telecom Transparency Project, link)

News in Brief (26.5.15)

EU: Net neutrality faces unwilling Council negotiators (euractiv, link):"A European Council communication sent to the Parliament Friday (22 May) shows that it hasn't budged on net neutrality legislation. The Council is pushing back against the Parliament's earlier move towards net neutrality rules that would prevent telecommunications companies from giving some internet traffic special treatment."

German based FBI informer who runs fake WikiLeaks sites loses case to censor his photo (link)

LONDON: Thousands expected at anti-Tory protests as Queen opens parliament - Demonstrators to gather at Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, part of wave of planned protests since Conservatives’ election win (Guardian, link)

UK data watchdog: Massive fines won't keep data safe - We should be able to use threats though (The Register, link)

EU: Net neutrality – is the European Parliament ready to accept complete failure? (EDRI, link): "After an overwhelming vote in favour of net neutrality by the European Parliament in April 2014, this position in favour of free speech, competition and innovation is now in danger."

New Finnish Government Raises NATO Stakes (Politico, link): "In a move that is certain to further irritate Moscow, Finland's new center-right coalition has included the option of applying for NATO membership "at any time" in its government formation Joint Policy Position statement.... In a move that is certain to further irritate Moscow, Finland's new center-right coalition has included the option of applying for NATO membership "at any time" in its government formation Joint Policy Position statement."

Spain, Poland and Greece: shudders in Europe’s political foundations (Channel 4 News, link)

The second job you don’t know you have - How self-checkouts, ATMs and airport check-ins are changing our economy (Politico, link) ": Young people are 17 percent of the global population but 40 percent of the unemployed."

Edward Snowden: NSA reform in the US is only the beginning - In an exclusive interview from Moscow, Snowden cautions that more needs to be done to curb NSA surveillance two years after his disclosures (Guardian, link)

News in Brief (25.5.15)

Justice for Deepan - Born in Canada but currently STATELESS (link)

EU: Migration plans and UK top the bill this week (euobserver, link)

UK: Family of handcuffed student urge inquiry into deaths in police custody - Relatives of Kingsley Burrell say concern over issue is reaching boiling point, after 87 such deaths in England and Wales since 2010 (Guardian, link)

News in Brief (23-24-5-15)

UK: Jihadi threat requires move into 'private space' of UK Muslims, says police chief - Exclusive: Britain’s most senior Muslim officer says potency of Islamist propaganda means some five-year-olds believe Christmas is forbidden (Guardian, link): "Islamist propaganda is so potent it is influencing children as young as five and should be countered with intensified monitoring to detect the earliest signs of anti-western sentiment, Britain’s most senior Muslim police chief has warned."

GLOBAL ECONOMY: Borders are closing and banks are in retreat. Is globalisation dead? In the days before the Great Recession, the liberalisation of world trade seemed a certainty: now fears over ‘hot money’ and migration have changed the mood (Observer, link) "Obama has made it clear that a major rationale for the TPP is not promoting shared prosperity – the idealistic motivation that lay behind the birth of the Doha round – but creating a political and economic counterweight to the might of China".

Apple and Google Just Attended a Confidential Spy Summit in a Remote English Mansion (The Intercept, link): "At an 18th-century mansion in England’s countryside last week, current and former spy chiefs from seven countries faced off with representatives from tech giants Apple and Google to discuss government surveillance in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks. The three-day conference, which took place behind closed doors and under strict rules about confidentiality, was aimed at debating the line between privacy and security." See: Ditchley Foundation: Conference Note (pdf)

EU: DP REGULATION: No Food, No Drink, No Water: EU Ministers Agree on One-Stop Shop, Plan June Lock-In (Privacy Tracker, link): "EU ministers dramatically agreed to hold a marathon meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in June in order to finalize their version of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, having earlier reached agreement on the regulatory one-stop shop and the principles underpinning the regulation. Agreement in June would then allow trilogue discussions between the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission to commence in the summer"

How we’re fighting back against the UK surveillance state—and winning (Ars Technica, link)

UK: ‘The police didn’t see Deen as a victim despite blood pouring out of his head’ - Deen Taiwo’s ordeal at the hands of racists is being made into a documentary in an innovative attempt to improve police responses to hate crimes (Observer, link)

UK: Human Rights Act: If Michael Gove listens to Daniel Hannan’s honeyed polemic on Human Rights he really will get into a muddle (Barrister Blogger, link)

EU: Commission Drones policy: Question: European legislation on drones (EP, link) and Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the Commission (EP, link) See: Commission 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)

UK: David Cameron backs plans for Ofcom to block 'extremist messages' on TV - PM appears to support Theresa May’s proposals despite business secretary Sajid Javid’s statement that measures would amount to ‘state censorship’ (Guardian, link)

UK: CCTV cameras secretly being switched off by cash-strapped councils (Independent, link): "Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, told The Independent that a rising number of local authorities in England and Wales were shutting down CCTV networks to cope with the Government’s austerity cuts, raising the prospect of a “postcode lottery” for crime detection."

News in Brief (22.5.15)

Scotland Office memorandum leak: Cabinet Office inquiry statement (Cabinet Office, link) and see: Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael admits responsibility for anti-Sturgeon leak (Guardian, link) - He is currently the only Scottish MP representing the Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Commons.

Senate Expected to Act on NSA Collection of Phone Records (New York Times, link): "The fate of the bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency is now before the Senate, in what is increasingly looking like a game of legislative chicken. The Senate is expected to decide Friday what to do with the oft-debated measure.If the Senate doesn't act, the laws authorizing the programs will expire June 1"

Quiz: Just how Kafkaesque is the court that oversees NSA spying? (Washington Post, link)

Migrants in Tunisia: Detained and Deported - In the past few months, we witnessed the attempt to strengthen the project of European borders’ externalization.(storiemigranti.org, link)

Europe and “Whistleblowers” : still a bumpy road… (EASFJ, link)

Refugees to Sweden left in six-month limbo (The Local, link): " Asylum seekers arriving in Sweden are now likely to face a wait of up to six-months before they can have their cases heard, as migration officers struggle to cope with the workload."

Saving Macedonia: The European People's Party has repeatedly shielded the Balkan country's corrupt and undemocratic government (Politico, link)

UK: Conservative manifesto plan to reduce immigration is an 'aim' not a promise, says Theresa May (Independent, link) and Deport First, Appeal Later: Cameron Hardens Stance in New Immigration Bill (sputnik, link)

News in Brief (21.5.15)

Save William McNeilly, Trident whistleblower (COURAGE, link)

European Roma Institute launches online consultation (CoE link)

Brussels scrambles to salvage troubled migration plan (Politico, link): "Commission president's chief aide, Martin Selmayr, is on a mission to EU capitals to save 'Juncker's baby.'"

GERMANY: Cyberattacke auf Bundestag: Abgeordnete fühlen sich nach Hackerangriff alleingelassen (Spiegel Online, link): : MPs and their assistants fear that their confidential data might be compromised after a big hack by unknown attackers. Now they complain that there is almost no information shared by the administration about what happened and how they can protect themselves better. Some MPs say they have "a bad feeling," and some already stopped "sharing confidential informations via email."

UK: Cameron's immigration bill to include crackdown on illegal foreign workers - David Cameron to promise bill in Queen’s speech that will make ‘Britain a less attractive place to come and work illegally’ (Guardian, link) and see: What are the Member States doing regarding sanctions on employers of irregularly staying third country nationals? (EU Law Analysis, link). New UK rules on seizing wages of irregular migrants will contradict EU Directive (which UK opted out of.

EU: Don’t Endanger Lives at Sea or Deny Protection (HRW, link): "Migrants intercepted by EU vessels in the Mediterranean, including those participating in EUNAVFOR Med, should be taken to safe ports in the EU, where those asking for protection or indicating a fear of return should undergo asylum screening. Under no circumstances should the EU transfer boat migrants to the Libyan coast guard or disembark them in Libya, where they have no possibility of seeking asylum and where they risk being detained in appalling and abusive conditions and being harmed by the violence that is pervasive across the country"

Americans do not like NSA spying and want to reform the Patriot Act, new poll reveals (link)

News in Brief (20.5.15)

Migration: We need legal and save ways to enter Europe- Not the army (YouTube, link) Ska Keller MEP

No Borders protesters perform die-in at London St Pancras - video (Guardian, link)

EU plan for migrant quotas hits rocks after France and Spain object - French president François Hollande says quotas are ‘out of the question’ 24 hours after Spanish foreign minister flatly rejects proposal (Guardian, link)

EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Ansip denies ‘rumours’ of encryption backdoors in EU’s digital plan (euractiv, link): "European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, rejected suggestions on Tuesday (19 May) that the European executive was planning workarounds to crack encryption technologies, which ensure secure communications on the Internet."

LONDON: Police officer found guilty of assaulting student at tuition fees protest - PC Andrew Ott faces jail after breaking front tooth of William Horner with riot shield during 2010 demonstration in London (Guardian, link)

Outrage in Portugal over police beating of man in front of his children - Video footage of Jose Magalhaes being struck by police at Benfica football match has put family at centre of national scandal over alleged police brutality (Guardian, link)

CIA: Mission Unstoppable: From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of U.S. Foreign Policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the Middle East for years to come.(FP, link)

UK Government Counter-Terrorism Bill Would Criminalize Speech, Political Activity (GlobalReach, link)

Passenger Name Records and data protection issues: busting some myths (Media Poicy Project, LSE, link)

News in Brief (19.5.15)

The new tech changing airport security (BBC Future, link)

GERMANY: NDR reports Hanover federal police tortured migrants (DW, link): "German public radio has reported that federal police in the northern state of Lower Saxony are accused of attacking migrants in their custody for entertainment. Prosecutors are investigating the case. "

What happens to democracy in a cashless society? (Open Democracy, link): "New technology is transforming the way we pay for everything, but at what cost?"

Libya says EU boat-sinking operation 'not humane' (euobserver, link)

Denmark plans to collect all passenger data (The Local, link): "While the European parliament continues to wrestle with the privacy repercussions of a proposal on collecting passenger data, Denmark plans to move ahead with its own domestic plan. The Danish government plans to give the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) the ability to collect passenger data on all flights in and out of Denmark. PET would be given access to passengers’ names, passport information, travel patterns and travelling companions."

CoE: Ministers to green-light new legal measures against foreign terrorist fighters (link)

EP: Launch of the Historical Archives of the European Parliament website (link)

UK: Majority of whistleblowers left without legal representation (Law Society Gazette, link)

EU ministers back Mediterranean naval mission, reject migrant quotas (euractiv, link): "European Union foreign and defence ministers agreed on a naval mission on Monday (18 May) to target gangs smuggling migrants from Libya. But parts of a broader plan to deal with the influx began to unravel in a row over national quotas for housing asylum seekers."

And see: Italian coastguards: military action will not solve Mediterranean migrant crisis (Guardian, link): "The Italian coastguards leading migrant rescue missions in the southern Mediterranean have voiced concern about the EU’s migration strategy, arguing that military operations will not stop migration to Europe and calling instead for European navies to prioritise search-and-rescue missions. Speaking on Monday before EU defence and foreign ministers agreed to launch military operations against Libyan smugglers, coastguard captain Paolo Cafaro said a military campaign would not eradicate the root causes of the Mediterranean crisis....

Cafaro also questioned whether European navies would be able to target smugglers’ boats before they are used for migration missions, due to both the absence of a blessing from Libya’s official government and the UN, as well the complexities of the smuggling process. Smuggling boats are often simply fishing boats bought in the days prior to a trip, and kept in civilian harbours until the night of their departure."

News in Brief (18.5.15)

NSA surveillance opposed by American voters from all parties, poll finds - Poll taken as key aspect of Patriot Act is set to expire finds opposition to government surveillance across partisan, ideological, age and gender divides (Guardian, link)

French police cleared over teenagers' deaths that sparked riots - Two officers acquitted of failing to help boys who died in electricity substation in 2005, prompting fears of renewed unrest in France (Guardian, link)

Angela Merkel under pressure to reveal extent of German help for US spying - German chancellor called on to divulge a list of targets, including the IP addresses of individual computers, tracked on behalf of the NSA (Guardian, link)

Spain’s Gag Law: spectre of an authoritarian past (Equal Times, link)

Smart cities: Haven for tech geeks or hacker paradise? (Extremetech, link)

The Killing of Osama bin Laden (London Review of Books, link)

Lack of trust takes sting out of EU measures - Anglia Ruskin academic co-authors study on counter-terrorism law and policy (link) Press release about the book that came out of the SECILE:project

SPAIN: OSINT: Indra y Accenture pugnan por diseñar el sistema que buscará sospechosos en las redes sociales (eldiario.es, link). Spain has assigned 1.6M euros to the creation of a system to track social media and store nicknames, comments and metadata. The system will explicitly not delete any of the compiled data.The goal is to create a database of threatening profiles based on their social and demographic info

EU: Drone rules hover into view - European Commission package is expected to address safety, security, privacy and noise pollution (Politico, link) See: Concept of Operations for Drones - A risk based approach to regulation of unmanned aircraft (pdf)

VIDEO: 10 points to really end the deaths of migrants at sea (YouTube, link)

GCHQ’s Rainbow Lights: Exploiting Social Issues for Militarism and Imperialism (Intercept, link)

UK: Police warn big budget cuts will lead to 'paramilitary' force - Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, says service is ‘on its knees’, and predicts end of policing by consent and move towards more violent style (Guardian, link): "Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, said his 123,000 members, from police constables to inspectors, fear a move towards a more violent style of policing as they try to keep law and order with even fewer officers than now. White told the Guardian that more cuts would be devastating: “You get a style of policing where the first options are teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon, which are the last options in the UK.” White said cuts would see the bedrock principle of British law enforcement, policing by consent, ripped apart."

News in Brief (16-17.5.15)

UK: Royal Navy investigates Trident whistle-blower William McNeilly who claims nuclear programme is a 'disaster waiting to happen' (Independent on Sunday, link) and Navy probes leaked Trident safety claims (BBC News, link)

A.T. v Luxembourg: the start of the EU-ECHR story on criminal defence rights (EU Law Analysis, link): "The applicant, A.T. was questioned by police following surrender under a European Arrest Warrant (‘EAW’) (as to the cross-border aspect, see the post-script). On arrival, he demanded a lawyer. Police gave information (it is unclear what) which led him to accept to be questioned without one. He denied the offences. He was then questioned again before the investigating judge, with a lawyer present but (a) without having had the chance to talk with that lawyer beforehand and (b) without the lawyer having had sight of the case file prior to that questioning; again, he denied the offences."

WATCH: How the CIA Helped Make “Zero Dark Thirty” (PBS, link)

EU to open shelters in Niger in bid to keep illegal migrants out of Europe - Faced with increasing migratory pressures and human trafficking, the EU unveils plans to stem growing tide of illegal migration (The Observer, link): "Neither the nature of these programmes, nor their size, nor the key issue of funding has been decided. European funds could be mobilised, the source said."

EU: MED CRISIS: Small boats, choppy seas - A plan to deal with the boat people is ambitious, but the outcome will be woefully inadequate (Economist, link): "The bigger problem is that, until the EU works out how to end war and poverty, no proposal can match the scale of the problem... With delicious timing this week the commission also published a sobering demographic forecast. By 2060, it said, the EU’s population will be in absolute decline. There will be just two workers for every man or woman over 65, compared to four today. If Europeans want to continue to fund the generous health care and pensions they have awarded themselves, then in the absence of a hitherto concealed fondness for procreation they will have to attract more workers from abroad."

USA-NSA: Former NSA Lawyer Says Keeping Bulk Collection Secret Was a Mistake (The Intercept, link): "The Bush administration’s decision to keep bulk collection of domestic phone records a secret was a strategic mistake, former NSA Inspector General Joel Brenner told his former colleagues on Friday."

News in Brief (15.5.15)

EU: Non-refoulement, push-backs and the EU response to irregular migration (EPRS, link)

NATO moves closer to EU, Sweden, Finland (euractiv, link): "NATO will look at increasing cooperation with the European Union and its non-EU members Finland and Sweden through information-sharing and more military exercises, the alliance said on Thursday (14 May), a move likely to cause concern in Moscow."

EU Asylum Policy: In Search of Solidarity and Access to Protection (EASFJ, link)

Eurosceptic David Davis could oppose government on human rights reform - Tory MP’s comments show growing backbench rebellion over plan that could lead to withdrawal from European court of human rights (Guardian, link): "The Conservative MP David Davis, a prominent Eurosceptic, has threatened to oppose government proposals that could lead to the UK withdrawing from the European court of human rights. Davis’s reported comments are a sign of growing rebellion on the Tory backbenches as the complexity and political difficulties involved in seceding from the judicial authority of the Strasbourg court become increasingly apparent to the government."

UK: Young prisoner AJ Cracknell found dead in his cell in HMP Rochester (Kent Online, link): "A young man was found dead in his cell in HMP Rochester this week, the prison service has announced today. The inmate, named as AJ Cracknell, was 25 years old. On Tuesday at around 2pm prison officers entered his cell and found him to be unresponsive."

UK: ‘Systemic failures’ of prison service contributed to death of killer Simon Hall in Norfolk jail, inquest hears (Eastern Daily Press, link)

There is a threat to British values - the British government - The government's plans are among the greatest threats to our freedoms, spreading intolerance in the name of tolerance by Caroline Lucas MP (New Statesman. link)

Defence budgets in Europe: downturn or U-turn? (ISS, link to pdf)

News in Brief (14.5.15)

LONDON: Challenging state and corporate impunity: Is accountability possible? (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link): "Speakers include: Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) – What is the role of researchers in supporting movements for state accountability?, Suresh Grover (The Monitoring Group), Deborah Hargreaves (High Pay Centre) – How do we challenge corporate abuses of power when this power is increasingly concentrated in elites? Ewa Jasiewicz (Fuel Poverty Action) – How do we work for state and corporate accountability under conditions of austerity? Will McMahon (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies) and David Whyte (University of Liverpool) – Linking academic research to social movements."

EU removes 6 people from its Al-Qaida Sanctions Listing (European Sanctions, link)

CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: May 2015: Cover Up! to Defend Your Privacy (Netpol, link): "Help us raise £2500 to pay for 500 face coverings to distribute to protesters"

GERMANY: Berlin police powers strengthened (WSWS, link): "The changes agreed in late March to Berlin’s “General Security and Public Order Act” (ASOG), strengthen the powers of the police and undermine fundamental civil liberties. They are another step on the government’s road to a police state."

Belgium Starts Unannounced Home Visits to Fight Social Benefit Fraud (Liberties.eu, link): "To fight social benefit fraud, the Belgian government has announced that it will begin unannounced home inspections of jobseekers and use energy usage data to target suspicious homes."

UN experts: Secretive trade agreements threaten human rights (IFEX, link)

Campaigning to Save our Human Rights Act (LIBERTY, link)

UK: Cameron faces Tory backbench rebellion over plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (Independent, link)

: "current Tory proposals, that would allow the UK Parliament to opt out of rulings by the ECHR that it disagreed with, would be incompatible with its obligations under Convention of Human Rights. This could even lead to Britain’s expulsion from the organisation it helped found in the wake of the Second World War."

A.T. v Luxembourg: European Court of Human Rights follows EU law on access to lawyer (Fair Trials, link): "The European Court of Human Rights has given judgment in A.T. v Luxembourg, and it is the first time one of the Roadmap Directives has been relied upon in the interpretation of the ECHR. These Directives set minimum standards regarding access to a lawyer, the waiver of the right to a lawyer and remedies when that right is infringed."

Policeman accused of framing student at tuition fee riot (Channel 4 News, link): "PC Andrew Ott, who hit student William Horner with his riot shield, was recorded saying after the incident "he's going to have to have done something, coz I've put his tooth out".

Google wins first "right to be forgotten" case in Finland (YLE, link): "Internet and search giant Google has prevailed in a case involving a private individual looking to remove information about himself from search engine results. The case marks the first time the EU's controversial new "right to be forgotten" rule has been tested in Finland."

News in Brief (13.5.15)

UK: The Government's Plans for Union Ballots Will Make Legal Strikes Close to Impossible (Huffington Post, link): Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary

UK: Mediterranean migrant crisis: May wants some people returned (BBC News, link): "Economic migrants rescued from the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe should be returned home, Home Secretary Theresa May has suggested." Is someone fleeing from poverty an "economic" migrant?

UK: New laws to target radicalisation (BBC News, link): "David Cameron is to set out a string of new powers to tackle radicalisation, saying the UK has been a "passively tolerant society" for too long."

UK: Theresa May to revive her 'snooper's charter' now Lib Dem brakes are off - Election results were barely in when the home secretary indicated the Tories will increase state surveillance powers, to the alarm of privacy campaigners (Guardian, link)

UK: Michael Gove to proceed with Tories' plans to scrap human rights act - Newly appointed justice secretary to follow through with pledge which would remove European court of human rights’ leverage over UK’s supreme court (Guardian, link) See: Protecting Human Rights in the UK: The Conservatives' Proposals for changing Britain's Human Rgihts Laws (pdf)

EU member states fail to display solidarity over Mediterranean (EP, link)

Opt-outs to poke holes in EU migration policy (euobsever, link)

The Commission’s new EU Migration Strategy: Waiting for the Great Leap Forward (EU Law Analysis, link)

INFOGRAPHIC: The facts about asylum seekers in Europe (euractiv, link)

GREECE: UN urgently called the Greek government to implement anti-racism measures to address issues of hate speech and verbal abuse against vulnerable people (New Europe, link): "UN Special Rapporteur also underlined the need for the creation of an indepedent body investigating police violence "

News in Brief (12.5.15)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Chief Commissioner Responds to Human Rights Proposals (NIHRC, link): "he Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has commented: “It is deeply concerning that after 17 years of improving lives and protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in society that a newly elected Government should be indicating its intent to repeal the Human Rights Act. This is even more worrying during a time of austerity."

SCOTLAND: SACC Statement on the death of Sheku Bayoh (Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, link): "The death of Sheku Ahmed Tejan Bayoh while in police custody in Kirkcaldy on 3 May appears to have disturbing similarities to the deaths of black people at the hands of police in England and the USA. What happens next will be a litmus test for Scotland's legal and political institutions and for Scottish civil society."

IRELAND: Plan to give Ireland share of refugees ‘acceptable’ (Irish Examiner, link)

FRANCE: Police violence in Calais: Calais Violences Policieres vs Cazeneuve mai 2015 HD (YouTube, link)

Frequently Asked Questions on IP and TPP Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) (Infojustice.org, link)

EU-UK: Home secretary hardens refusal to accept EU resettlement programme - British refugee organisations criticise Theresa May’s decision to take no responsibility for refugees or migrants caught up in Mediterranean boat crisis (Guardian, link)

USA: NSA Ruling Is a Victory for Privacy (TIME, link)

EU: Controversial French Surveillance Regulation Should Re-Ignite EU Debate on Surveillance Reform (CDT, link)

News in Brief (11.05.15)

EU: Police disrupt organised criminal group smuggling people from Africa to the EU (Europol press release, link)

France’s Far-Right Family Implodes as National Front Founder Jean-Marie Le Pen Disowns His Daughter (Vice News, link)

GERMANY-USA: Documents: BND/NSA relationship; EU agreement which Germany flouts (UndercoverInfo, link)

NETHERLANDS: Dutch receive slightly more refugee requests than EU average (Expatica, link)

SPAIN: X-ray scan at Spanish border finds child stashed inside suitcase (The Guardian, link)

SWEDEN: Assange appeal rejected by Sweden's supreme court (The Guardian, link)

UK: Manchester council bans homeless people from using library (The Guardian, link)

USA: FBI admits to using surveillance planes above Baltimore protests (RT, link)

News in Brief (7.5.15)

FRANCE: Surveillance - FIDH and LDH challenge the decision of the Prosecution not to hold an inquiry (FIDH, link): "Today FIDH and LDH filed a request with the Paris General Prosecutor for an administrative review of the 13 April decision to refuse opening an inquiry following a complaint lodged in December 2014 against French intelligence services for illegal surveillance."

CYPRUS: Conditions in Cyprus for refugees ‘still a far cry from EU standards’(Cyprus Mail, link): "Around 65 per cent of people applying for asylum in Cyprus are granted subsidiary protection but conditions for refugees are “still a far cry from EU standards”, according to a new report."

Migrants rescued after 12 days at sea; EU eyes seizing boats (WRAL, link)

'Everyday racism' weaves its way into welcoming Germany (DW, link): "While the PEGIDA movement has lost much of its steam, a spate of attacks on asylum seekers' homes across Germany reveals a worrying trend. Is a greater police presence the answer to creating a more open society? "

Direct Provision system for asylum seekers 'not fit for purpose' (Breaking News.ie, link): "A new report into Direct Provision in Ireland has found it is "not fit for purpose" and residents are being "failed". The Public Service Oversight Committee is publishing the full report later, following a series of interviews with residents and staff at the centres in Galway, Foynes, Mosney and Clondalkin."

Turkish student sentenced for re-tweeting satirical news (EDRI, link): "Meral Tutcali, a student in Anadolu University, was sentenced by the provincial court of Adana to one year in jail for “insulting a public official”, after she re-tweeted Zaytung’s article, which reported satirically that former Adana governor Huseyin Avni Cos declared his autonomy. The article included an illustration showing the Governor in a military vehicle, surrounded by guards. The picture was taken during a national holiday during which it’s customary for governors to appear in such parades. Tutcali’s house was raided twice by police for her retweet."

EU-UAE visa waiver takes effect from May 7 - The UAE is the first Arab country to be granted this facility (Gulf News, link)

GERMANY: Four Held In German Right-Wing Extremist Raids - Prosecutors say the "Old School Society" group was planning to attack asylum-seeker housing, mosques and Islamic extremists (Sky News, link)

Deaths at Sea: ‘No more excuses’! (EHRN, link): "Amid public shock and anger at the tragic death of more than 900 people including refugees fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Libya, the EU Council held an ”emergency” summit on April 23rd. Following a moment of silence to mourn these preventable deaths, EU leaders went back to business as usual."

Libya Coastguard Intercepts 500 Illegal Immigrants (Outlook, link)

What it means when we call people illegal (LACUNA, link): "More than 60 years ago European leaders gathered to sign the European Convention on Human Rights; a landmark international treaty born out of the horrors of the Second World War, and championed by the then British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The Convention declares that human rights are “the foundation of peace and justice in the world” and that they are ‘universal’ – they apply to everyone."

UN calls for suspension of TTIP talks over fears of human rights abuses - UN lawyer says tactics used by multinationals in courts outside of public jurisdiction would undermine democracy and law (Guardian, link)

Navy Robots Test the Limits of Autonomy (New York Times, link)

Garda actions towards homeless man ‘justified’ (Irish Examiner, link): "A Garda Ombudsman report into the filmed arrest of a homeless man by a garda last March found the force used appeared to be “justified, lawful and proportionate”.

News in Brief (6.5.15)

France passes new surveillance law in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack - Controversial new bill that allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails without judicial permission sparks protests from civil liberties groups (Guardian, link) and see: France debates proposed surveillance laws amidst civil society opposition (Statewatch)

European Court of Justice to advise on legality of web links to unpublished content (electronista, link(

EU: MED CRISIS: Russia to oppose EU sinking of migrant smuggler boats (euobserver, link): "Russia has indicated it will block UN approval of EU plans to sink migrant smugglers’ boats, but says the disagreement isn’t linked to Ukraine. Vladimr Chizhov, its EU ambassador, told press in Brussels on Tuesday (5 May) that “apprehending human traffickers and arresting these vessels is one thing, but destroying them would be going too far”."

EU: JUSTICIA: Procedural Rights (link): "The most up-to-date and relevant documents, press releases, academic comment, legislation, and case-law is collated and organised here in this fully-searchable central storage space. Here you can get an overall sense of the information available in the area of procedural rights or quickly find a specific document." and see: Snapshot (link)

News in Brief (4.5.15)

Revealed: refugees at Dungavel paid just £1 an hour for work in detention centre (HeraldScotland, link)

Europe’s journalists face growing climate of fear (Xindex, link): "Journalists and media workers continue to confront relentless pressure as they do their jobs, according to a survey of the verified incidents reported to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project."

Pressure on Central Europe to Take More Asylum-Seekers (BalkanInsight, link): "Newer EU member states likely to face pressure to share the asylum burden, which is weighing on Germany on Sweden."

Congressman with computer science degree: Encryption back-doors are ‘technologically stupid’ (Washington Post, link):"law enforcement officials to urge Congress to mandate that companies create a way for them to access encrypted content. But encryption experts say building such back-doors would fundamentally undermine the security of people who rely on those products because it could create new vulnerabilities and give hackers a new target to attack."

News in Brief (2-3.5.15)

UK: Open letter condemns legal aid cuts, calls on new government to restore justice - More than 100 judges, peers, lawyers and doctors write open letter to the Guardian calling on new government to prevent ‘widespread miscarriages of justice’ (Guardian, link)

From laws to trade agreements – The uncertain future of the EU’s privacy framework (link)

The Returns Directive and the Expulsion of Migrants in an Irregular Situation in Spain (EU Law Analysis, link)

EU: Case C-192/15, Rease – secretly spied on, medical data leaked, and left unprotected by the Dutch regulator (EU Law Radar, link)

African migrants lost at sea recalled (Irish News, link): " he countless migrants who died trying to escape poverty and persecution in Africa have been remembered in Dublin. A wreath was laid for the countless mothers, fathers and children who have died after risking their lives on what have been dubbed modern day 'coffin ships'.... Their desperate flight and the many tragic deaths have been likened to the harsh experiences of the Irish people who died in coffin ships on the Atlantic, trying to escape the Great Famine of the 1840s."

UK: Action taken against hundreds of police officers for misconduct -Hundreds of misconduct notices have been served to police officers in the forces that cover Shropshire and Mid Wales, new figures reveal today. (Shropshire Star, link) and see: Over 3,000 police officers being investigated for alleged assault - and almost all of them are still on the beat (Independent, link)

News in Brief (1.5.15)

Is Gladio still alive in Turkey? (Todays Zaman, link): "A recent decision by a public prosecutor's office to drop a five-year case investigating top-secret documents found at a Turkish military headquarters has revived suspicions that now-defunct Gladio-type illegal structures from the Cold War years within NATO might still be alive in this member of the alliance."

Forgot your password? The SME Intrinsic-ID proposes a device fingerprint to authenticate your access (COM Digital Agenda, link)

HUNGARY-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Statement by the President after phone conversation with Prime Minister Orban (EP, link)

Juncker on Germany's BND scandal: 'It is very difficult to keep secret services under control' (euractiv, link): "ermany's intelligence agency, the BND, spied on French officials and the EU's headquarters on behalf of US intelligence, German media reported Thursday (30 April). Asked to comment, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that it is very difficult to keep secret services under control."

LSE takes legal action to evict occupying student protesters - London students took over university room in March to protest against tuition fees and privatisation, with support from Russell Brand (Guardian, link)


April 2015

UK: Open letter condemns legal aid cuts, calls on new government to restore justice - More than 100 judges, peers, lawyers and doctors write open letter to the Guardian calling on new government to prevent ‘widespread miscarriages of justice’ (Guardian, link)

From laws to trade agreements – The uncertain future of the EU’s privacy framework (link)

The Returns Directive and the Expulsion of Migrants in an Irregular Situation in Spain (EU Law Analysis, link)

EU: Case C-192/15, Rease – secretly spied on, medical data leaked, and left unprotected by the Dutch regulator (EU Law Radar, link)

African migrants lost at sea recalled (Irish News, link): " he countless migrants who died trying to escape poverty and persecution in Africa have been remembered in Dublin. A wreath was laid for the countless mothers, fathers and children who have died after risking their lives on what have been dubbed modern day 'coffin ships'.... Their desperate flight and the many tragic deaths have been likened to the harsh experiences of the Irish people who died in coffin ships on the Atlantic, trying to escape the Great Famine of the 1840s."

UK: Action taken against hundreds of police officers for misconduct -Hundreds of misconduct notices have been served to police officers in the forces that cover Shropshire and Mid Wales, new figures reveal today. (Shropshire Star, link) and see: Over 3,000 police officers being investigated for alleged assault - and almost all of them are still on the beat (Independent, link)

The internets dark corners cannot be without laws - The police are sometimes demonised as agents of digital repression, says Rob Wainwright (FT, link)

London: Reclaim Brixton march: Protesters smash up Foxtons shop front and storm Town Hall (Evening Standard, link)

US unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance (Washington Post, link): "With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans calls and emails. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence publicly released the redacted report following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the New York Times. The basics of the National Security Agency program had already been declassified, but the lengthy report includes some new details about the secrecy surrounding it."

USA: Surveillance reform bill returns with concessions to NSA on data collection - Exclusive: New modifications to USA Freedom Act permit agency to warrantlessly monitor foreign targets in US and track certain domestic targets (Guardian, link): "According to congressional sources, the architects of the USA Freedom Act, a bill that seeks to stop the NSAs bulk collection of Americans phone records, have agreed to grant the surveillance giant temporary abilities to continue monitoring foreign targets who enter the US while agents seek domestic warrants; and to permit the agency to do the same for domestic targets for whom it has a probable-cause warrant who subsequently travel overseas."

Is Gladio still alive in Turkey? (Todays Zaman, link): "A recent decision by a public prosecutor's office to drop a five-year case investigating top-secret documents found at a Turkish military headquarters has revived suspicions that now-defunct Gladio-type illegal structures from the Cold War years within NATO might still be alive in this member of the alliance."

Forgot your password? The SME Intrinsic-ID proposes a device fingerprint to authenticate your access (COM Digital Agenda, link)

HUNGARY-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Statement by the President after phone conversation with Prime Minister Orban (EP, link)

Juncker on Germany's BND scandal: 'It is very difficult to keep secret services under control' (euractiv, link): "ermany's intelligence agency, the BND, spied on French officials and the EU's headquarters on behalf of US intelligence, German media reported Thursday (30 April). Asked to comment, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that it is very difficult to keep secret services under control."

LSE takes legal action to evict occupying student protesters - London students took over university room in March to protest against tuition fees and privatisation, with support from Russell Brand (Guardian, link)

MEPs challenge Orban's 'horrible' migration survey (euobserver, link): "In a questionnaire to be sent out to 8 million citizens over 18 years of age, Hungarians are asked to answer 12 questions on whether “the mismanagement of the immigration question by Brussels may have something to do with increased terrorism”. They are also asked if they would support the Hungarian government in detaining illegal migrants who “themselves should cover the costs” of staying in Hungary."

Norway to send second ship to Mediterranean (The Local, link)

LEAP Report – Towards an EU Defence Rights Movement (Fair Trials, link)"Legal Experts Advisory Panel (*LEAP) ­ a pan-EU nnetwork of over 130 criminal justice and human rights experts representing all 28 EU Member States and coordinated by Fair Trials Europe ­ has llaunched its strategy for supporting the implementation of the EU Roadmap Directives. The LEAP report, *Towards an EU Defence Rights Movement sets out the various ways in which LEAP members hope to contribute to national implementation activities through litigation, practitioner training, the production of template pleadings with comparative and EU law arguments, and participation in national legislative discussions."

On Willems et al. v Burgemeester van Nuth and the processing of personal data by law enforcement agencies…If only the CJEU had been more prolix….(peepbeep!, link)

Joined Cases C-446/12 – 449/12 Willems: The CJEU washes its hands of Member States’ fingerprint retention (EU Law Blog)

Juncker calls for EU refugee quotas, legal migration to Europe (DW, link): The European Commission's president has called for refugee quotas for EU
countries ... "We must distribute refugees throughout the whole of Europe. "If we don't open the door, even partly, you can't act surprised when the unfortunate from across the planet break in through the window," he said."

UK: Labour promise full inquiry into 'odious' blacklisting of thousands of workers - Alleged role of covert police in passing information about workers to blacklisting agency could come under further scrutiny (Guardian, link)

Migration: Europe's wakeup call (euobserver, link)

MEPs call on member states to share asylum seeker burden (euractiv, link): "EU lawmakers Tuesday (28 April) demanded the bloc share the burden of accepting asylum seekers, as the pressure on southern European countries from migrants crossing the Mediterranean showed no sign of easing."

Press release Open Access Now - Closing of the 2014-2015 mobilization (migreurop, link) with documentation

UK intelligence tribunal to rule on surveillance case - Judgment could prove decisive in case involving Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj, returned to Gaddafi regime in UK-US rendition operation (Guardian, link)

EU to set up new counter-terrorism center (I24news, link)

Commission links security to development (euractiv, link) "The Juncker Commission presented Tuesday (28 April) new proposals to strengthen the link between security and development in the external actions of the European Union, two fields of action which were largely kept separate in the previous commission." See story below)

Collaborating across borders: European journalists band together to track the migrant crisis (NiemanLab, link)

Justice for Assange (link) and see: Submission the the Working Group on the Arbitrary Detention by Mr Julian Assange (pdf): "The applicant, Mr. Julian Assange, hereby submits an urgent request for relief to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) and for an opinion regarding the arbitrary nature of the detention of Mr. Assange."

IFJ Shocked by the Slaughter of Six Libyan journalists and Media Workers (link)

EVENT VIDEO Chomsky, Jay, Raza & Machon: Whistleblowers, Activism & the Alternative Media (acTVism, link): "An informational event was hosted by acTVism Munich at the Muffatwerk in Munich in which the significance and role of whistleblowers, the alternative media, activism and a host of other related issues were discussed. Guests: Prof. Noam Chomsky, Paul Jay und Annie Machon."

May 7&8: Conference 2015 - "Can We Have Some Privacy?" (Bard College, Berlin, link)

Voices: Unequal Assistance: How Criminal Legal Aid Varies across the European Union (OSF, link): "Since 2009, the member states of the European Union have been steadily trying to establish standard protections for the rights of people who find themselves under police investigation, or facing criminal charges. If citizens can move across the EU to live, work, and study - so the EU argues - should they not also expect to find the same level of fairness in the criminal justice system? As a result of this effort, recent EU legislation has required detainees to be given information about their rights in a language they can understand, and to be guaranteed early access to a lawyer. Now the member states are embarking upon the interconnected but thorny question of access and eligibility to legal aid"

No Interpol access to Schengen visa fingerprints of Belarusians (Belarusian News, link)

Euroboffins want EU to achieve techno-independence - EuroCrypto and EuroCloud needed to protect local data (The Register, link)

Former Romania president admits allowing CIA site - Ion Iliescu said he approved so-called CIA 'black sites' but would have refused had he known their purpose.(Aljazeera, link)

Bulgarias prosecutors office in Plovdiv weighs up evidence to press charges against Traffic Police Directorate employees (FIA, link)

Royal Navy to send drones to the Mediterranean to save migrants - Unarmed surveillance drones could be sent to search for dangerously overloaded boats packed with people making the perilous crossing from Libya to Europe (Daily Telegraph, link)

If the EU Attacks Migrant Boats in Zuwara, Libya, How Will It Select from Among the 100s of Boats? (Migrants at Sea, link): "There is no effective and safe (or legal) means by which a particular smuggling boat can be identified and destroyed without destroying multiple other boats."

EU rescue ships head for Libya, as migrants die also in Balkans (Reuters, link): ""Yet hours after European Union leaders agreed in Brussels on Thursday to treble funding for EU maritime missions and pledged more ships and aircraft, 14 clandestine migrants were killed when a train ploughed into dozens of Somalis and Afghans making their way in darkness along a rail track in a Macedonian gorge."

Italian judge keeps migrant disaster ship skipper behind bars (SUNdaily, link): "The Tunisian captain of a migrant boat in which at least 700 people
drowned is to remain behind bars as an Italian judge continues his inquiry into the deadly disaster."

'Africa's gendarme' France to seek UN approval for new military battlefront - this time in the sea (Mail & Guardian Africa, link): ""FRANCE and Britain agreed Thursday to seek United Nations approval for an EU military operation against people smugglers, in a bid to curb the soaring number of migrants dying as they seek a better life in Europe."

UN Security Council Working on Migrant Resolution (ABC News, link): "France's ambassador to the U.N. says Security Council members are already working on a council resolution to address the spiraling migrant crisis."

The EU’s ‘disappointing’ response to the migration crisis (IRIN, link): "A closer look at the list of commitments from Europe’s leaders after their hastily-arranged migrant crisis summit in Brussels reveals no substantial change in response and few measures likely to have any major impact on the flows of migrants and asylum-seekers trying to reach Europe" and Europe must stop exporting its migration fears – or face the consequences (link)

AIDA Update: France debates asylum reform and prompts more robust procedural guarantees (AIDA, link)

Euro accession a turn-off for Polish voters (Reuters, link)

UK refuses visa to Chechen political prisoner for Oxford University visit - Home Office accused of ‘punishing’ activist over trumped-up terrorism charge (Daily Telegraph, link): "Human rights advocates in Russia have condemned a Home Office decision to refuse a British visa to a former political prisoner who was invited to take part in a research project at Oxford University."

Clinks report highlights redundancies at criminal justice charities (Third Sector, link): "The umbrella body surveyed 62 of its 600-plus member organisations and found that nearly 400 jobs had been lost in three years"

London airport police to use surveillance drones (BBC News, link)

Summary of the Swedish Data retention law (DFI, link) and see: The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal has decided to refer data retention case to the CJEU (twitter)

Malawians seek compensation for Nyasaland massacre during British rule - Families of 33 pro-independence protesters killed in 1950s say decision to sue is inspired by success of legal action by Kenyan victims of Mau Mau crackdown (Guardian, link)

Mediterranean dreams, climate realities by Paul Rogers (Open Democracy, link): "The drowning of would-be migrants attempting to reach Europe is a humanitarian tragedy that reflects a growing crisis of environmental security."

Lawyers Take Dutch State to Court Over Eavesdropping (Liberties.eu)

People leaving flowers outside European Union House in remembrance of lives lost on Europe's shores Mediterranean (Irish Refugee Council, twitter)

From 'handouts' to 'hands on' - remodelling EU-Africa relations (euobserver, link)

Frontex director Klaus Roesler hit by paint bombs over refugee policy (DEMOTIX, link)

UK: SQUASH (Squatters' Action for Secure Homes): “Homes, Not Jails” – SQUASH’s latest report (link)

Some tech firms being 'friendly to terrorists' says UK police chief (Reuters, link)

New Danish PNR system will rival the EU PNR Directive (EDRI, link) and French surveillance bill pushed ahead despite massive criticism (EDRI)

Mediterranean Migration Tragedy Points to Long-Term Challenges (GMF, link)

Britain considers ways to assist in Mediterranean migrant rescues (Guardian, link): "“We’ve got one of the strongest and best-organised aid budgets anywhere in Europe and we can help stabilise some of these countries,” the prime minister said. “We’ve obviously got all sorts of resources at our disposal in terms of national criminal intelligence systems and intelligence services where we can go after the criminal gangs....”Options under consideration included the deployment of one of Britain’s biggest warships, the HMS Bulwark, or using the destroyer HMS Dauntless, or naval helicopters, to help with surveillance"

Will Europe make migrant crisis worse? (HRW, link): " ultimately, it would meaningfully address the root causes of forced displacement in a host of failed states that are hemorrhaging people: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan..."

The sea does not care’: the wretched history of migrant voyages - Thousands of migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life. From the horrors of slavery to the coffin ships of the Irish Famine, there are grim historical parallels to the latest disasters (Guardian, link)

Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column (Independent, link)

EU: New Commission proposal on banning GM foods: Proposed Regulation (pdf) and Communication (pdf)

This week: U.S. Congress tees up five cyber-surveillance proposals (Access, link): "These bills allow companies to “share” just about any type of information, including personal information such as your computer’s IP address and email content. As technologists explain in a letter to leaders in Congress, much of this information is of little use to cybersecurity, and sharing it may even pose a threat to network security."

USA: Thirty years in jail for a single hair: the FBI's 'mass disaster' of false conviction - A ‘dirty bomb’ of pseudo-science wrapped up nearly 268 cases – perhaps hundreds more. Now begins the ‘herculean effort to right the wrongs’ (Guardian, link)

Czechs, Germans to sign deal on extended police cooperation (Prague Post, link): "Rules for cross border pursuits and monitoring are expanded; drugs and theft are key problems"

Amnesty International puts 200 body bags on Brighton beach in EU migrant disaster protest (Independent, link)

UK-MALAYA: Supreme Court prepares to hear 1948 massacre survivors’ plea for British justice (Bindmans, link): "Tomorrow (22 April 2015) Britain's highest court will hear an extraordinary test case in which survivors of a 1948 massacre by British troops in colonial Malaya argue for a public inquiry into what happened and its six-decade long cover-up. The case has huge ramifications in Malaysia, where a campaign supported by 500 organisations has been pressing for justice for the survivors and their families, and in Northern Ireland, prompting an intervention in the litigation by its Attorney General and a response by the Pat Finnucane Centre and Rights Watch UK on behalf of families seeking accountability for British troops' actions during the Troubles."

Germany is the Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War (The Intercept, link): " TOP-SECRET U.S. intelligence document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the sprawling U.S. military base in Ramstein, Germany serves as the high-tech heart of America’s drone program. Ramstein is the site of a satellite relay station that enables drone operators in the American Southwest to communicate with their remote aircraft in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other targeted countries. The top-secret slide deck, dated July 2012, provides the most detailed blueprint seen to date of the technical architecture used to conduct strikes with Predator and Reaper drones."

Ombudsman: EU must interrogate US over TTIP transparency (euractiv, link): "The United States’ resistance to greater transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, poses a problem to a European Commission that must answer demands for more openness from civil society if it is to seal the trade deal, the European Ombudsman has told EurActiv in an exclusive interview."

Migrant crisis: good samaritans set sail in daring Mediterranean rescue mission - Philanthropists and activists launch private initiatives to distribute water, food and rafts to those in peril (Guardian, link)

EU: DP NGO letter (pdf)"The undersigned organisations, NGOs from the European Union and around the globe are deeply concerned at the changes to the data protection reform package being made in the Council of the European Union. Europe's data protection framework is not just important for the protection of European citizens, it is not just important for building trust in European businesses, it is also crucial as an international gold standard for data protection and privacy on a global level"

Mediterranean refugee crisis: EU reduced to impotent handwringing (Guardian, link) and UN says 800 migrants dead in boat disaster as Italy launches rescue of two more vessels - PM Matteo Renzi says Europe cannot ‘close our eyes and commemorate later’ the tragedy, as another migrant boat runs aground on Rhodes

London Radical Bookfair 2015 - presented by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (link): LONDON RADICAL BOOKFAIR 12 noon - 7pm, Saturday 9 May
47/49 Tanner Street, London SE1 3PL (tube: London Bridge)
https://londonradicalbookfair.wordpress.com FREE EVENT!

The Commission's failure to carry out a human rights impact assessment of the envisaged EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (link) and see: Draft recommendation of the European Ombudsman in the inquiry into complaint 1409/2014/JN against the European Commission (link) and also: EU Commission’s refusal to conduct a human rights impact assessment in the context of trade agreement negotiations constitutes maladministration, says EU Ombudsperson (FIDH, link)

Secret documents shine light on GCSB spying in Bangladesh (New Zealand Herald, link): "Secret files reveal the GCSB spies both on and for the South-East Asian nation" See: Document (pdf)

Fair Trials Launch Roadmap Practitioner Toolkit (link)

Pressure mounts as two more MEPs question Commission on postal addresses policy (Access-Info, link)

Special Branch collusion with Southampton University security (Undercover Research Group, link)

German government repackages data retention regulations (euractiv, link): "With their proposal to reintroduce data retention in Germany, Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière are planning a new law that opposition parties say is simply a scheme to “relabel” existing legislation"

EU under pressure over migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean - Human rights organisations call for collective European effort to prevent further disasters after 400 lives lost in latest incident (Guardian, link)

Data protection and privacy must be excluded from TTIP (LSE Media Policy Project, link)

'There Is No Limit to Jobbik's Expansion': Does Hungary's Future Belong to the Far Right? (VICE News, link): "It has been denounced by opponents as a stain on Hungary, an alarming reflection of rising nationalism and xenophobic sentiment. But to far right party Jobbik, the victory of its first ever directly elected parliamentarian is a sign that it is the movement of the future."

Yes voters ‘right to suspect MI5 of spying on them’ (The Scotsman, link)

Dutch Government Wants Carte Blanche to Link Data without Restrictions (liberties.eu, link): "A legislative proposal from the Dutch government would enable public authorities to link all available data of citizens for any purpose, partly suspending the Personal Data Protection Act."

USA: Counter-Terrorism Officials Helped Track Black Lives Matter Protesters (East Bay Express, link): "A cache of California Highway Patrol emails provides a glimpse into how anti-terrorism agents helped law enforcement officials monitor Black Lives Matter protesters on the web."

UK: Which of us are being watched? (Morning Star, link): "KEITH EWING, JOAN MAHONEY and ANDREW MORETTA probe the Special Branch files which destroyed an innocent man’s livelihood — and ask whether anyone on the left is safe from secretive state-sponsored sabotage."

EU Airlines Face Growing Demand for Passenger Data (Wall Street Journal, link) Statewatch story filed on 8.3.15: European Commission in a pickle over PNR

EU-USA: Joint Press Statement for the 2015 U.S.-European Union Information Society Dialogue (US State Department, link)

EU’s approach to migrants: humanitarian rhetoric, inhumane treatment (Open Democracy, link)

EU to accuse Google of abusing power (euobserver, link)

Outcry over French Intelligence Bill (euractiv, link)

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

Cameron hints at civil liberties crack-down after election (Politics.co.uk, link)

Writers demand greater protection for refugees in Europe - More than 1,100 authors sign a petition to the European parliament, calling on EU countries to create common, humane laws of asylum (Guardian, link)

Brussels vows to block Cameron on EU treaty (The Times, link): "The president of the European Commission has ruled out any treaty negotiations on Britain’s relationship with Europe until two years after the referendum promised by David Cameron yesterday... sources close to Jean-Claude Juncker told The Times that there was no prospect of formal plans for treaty change until the end of 2019 at the earliest, with negotiations beginning the following year."

Germany: Linke: Police instigated Frankfurt violence (The Local, link): "The head of Die Linke (The Left Party), Gregor Gysi, suggested on Monday that the security services were behind the violence which broke out at the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt in March"

USA: CBS4 Investigation: TSA Screeners At DIA Manipulated System To Grope Men’s Genitals (CBS Denver, link)

New French Data Transfer Rules Could be Sign of BCRs to Come (link): "On March 24, 2015 France’s Data Protection Authority (CNIL) issued a press release announcing the simplification of its data transfer policy. The new requirement will now allow companies to transfer data outside of the EU after going through just one authorization process. This change could anticipate a new strategy for regulating international data transfers on a global scale."

Italy picks up another 700 boat migrants (euractiv, link): "Italian ships have picked up almost 700 migrants in seven inflatable boats and further rescue operations are underway, as calm seas favoured departures from Libya for the Italian coast, the coast guard said on Sunday"

New Swiss vote on immigration 'inevitable', EU says (euobserver, link)

Brussels unaware Malta had outsourced border control software (Independent, link): "After German MEP Cornelia Ernst had recently taken issue over Malta's use of the PISCES border control software, which was donated to the country by the American government in 2004, claiming that Malta's use of the software could constitute a security risk for other EU member states, the European Commission has said that it is, "not aware that Malta has externalised such IT-services"." and see: MALTA-USA: MEP questions Malta's use of US-supplied border security technology (Statewatch database)

Italy rescues nearly 6,000 migrants in a single weekend - New arrivals, spurred on by warm weather and calm seas, bring the total number of migrants to have entered Italy this year to more than 15,000 (Guardian, link)

UK: Stephen Lawrence investigation: inquiry was not told of corrupt detective - Special unit concluded that John Davidson was corrupt but did not tell the public inquiry into the bungled investigation of teenager’s murder (Guardian, link)

EU: Tuesday 28 April: Commission to adopt European Agenda on Security (link)

USA: 2009 DHS Document Says Border Patrol Can Search/Copy The Contents Of Your Device Just Because It Wants To (Techdirt, link)

USA: Dispatches: No More Excuses on Patriot Act Surveillance Reform (HRW, link)

UK: What is a “reasonable period” for immigration detention? (Free Movement, link)

EU: Dublin III Regulation on asylum and unaccompanied minors (EASFJ, link)

GREECE: Golden Dawn Watch to shine a spotlight on upcoming trial - Greek anti-racism groups announced on Thursday an initiative to provide daily coverage and analysis of the upcoming trial of Greek far right party, Golden Dawn. (Press Project, link)

EU Politicians Say: Don't Undermine Data Protection Rules With TAFTA/TTIP -- And Stop The Mass Surveillance (Techdirt, link)

Google ordered by German authority to change privacy practices (NETWORKWORLD, link)

IRELAND: DirectProvision15: Legal Insights into the Direct Provision System (Human Rights in Ireland, link): "The Direct Provision system in Ireland to accommodate Asylum seekers is now 15 years old. It is a remarkable system and over the past 13 years I have visited almost every hostel at this point in different parts of the Country. All of them appear to have the same hallmarks. Direct provision hostels are institutions which are wholly unsuitable for the people and families who reside in them."

The ‘Killer Robots’ Accountability Gap (HRW, link): " Programmers, manufacturers, and military personnel could all escape liability for unlawful deaths and injuries caused by fully autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report was issued in advance of a multilateral meeting on the weapons at the United Nations in Geneva. The 38-page report, “Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots,”"

Spanish Citizens’ Security law: There is still some hope (EDRI, link)

French surveillance legislation is off to a bad start (euractiv, link): "The new French Intelligence Bill has provoked concern among many of the country’s lawmakers, as well as international NGOs. According to French Human Rights Defender Jacques Toubon, the legislation contravenes the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights."

German government blames Pegida for rise in crimes against refugees (euractiv, link): "Germany’s Ministry of Internal Affairs is blaming right-wing extremist demonstrations, aimed especially at asylum seekers, for the growing number of attacks on refugee shelters."

USA: DEA Global Surveillance Dragnet Exposed; Access to Data Likely Continues (The Intercept, link): "Secret mass surveillance conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration is falling under renewed scrutiny after fresh revelations about the broad scope of the agency’s electronic spying... The DEA’s data dragnet was apparently shut down by attorney general Eric Holder in September 2013. But on Wednesday, following USA Today‘s report, Human Rights Watch launched a lawsuit against the DEA over its bulk collection of phone records and is seeking a retrospective declaration that the surveillance was unlawful. And see: U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades (USA Today, link)

TTIP: Protect our privacy in EU-US trade deal or ELSE, snarl MEPs (The Register, link)

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Spring Session: mass surveillance, drones, situation in Ukraine (link)

Norway to pay reparations to Roma for racist policies and suffering under Nazis - Prime minister Erna Solberg apologises for discrimination which led to dozens of Roma dying in Nazi death camps after being denied re-entry into Norway (Guardian, link)

France accused of tabling 'Patriot Act' style surveillance law - No, it’s a completely different type of power expansion (The Register, link)

EU regrets Roma integration a long way off (euroactiv, link): "There is still a long way to go for Roma integration in the EU, the European Commission said on the eve of International Roma Day Wednesday (8 April)"

Malaysia uses specious terrorism threat to regress on human rights - New Prevention of Terrorism Act will give Najib Razak’s government powers to detain people without trial, and could usher in new wave of repression (Guardian, link)

Europe Steps Up Pressure on Tech Giants - Facebook’s privacy controls come under rising scrutiny; Apple faces competition queries (Wall Street Journal, link)

Not-so-private lives - Can America and Europe ever get over their differences on data protection? (The Economist, link)

UK: Court 'effectively strikes down' part of the Data Protection Act (Data Guidance, link)

TTIP: Trade agreements must not undermine EU data protection laws, say Civil Liberties MEPs (European Parliament, link)

PACE President calls for greater support for Italy in dealing with boat people (CoE, link)

Data privacy: the tide is turning in Europe – but is it too little, too late? (Guardian, link)

Boat sinks in Aegean Sea, 4 dead (World Bulletin, link): "At least four people have drowned after a boat illegally carrying migrants to the Greek islands sank in the Aegean Sea on Monday, Turkish officials said. Nine people were also rescued, governor of the southwestern province of Mugla, Amir Cicek, told.....The migrant boat was heading to Greece’s Kos Island when it capsized off the Datca Gulf, in Mugla province in southwestern Turkey,"

FRANCE-UK: 'At night it's like a horror movie' – inside Calais's official shanty town new jungle camp, which has no shelter for men and no running water, represents an alarming toughening in France’s treatment of UK-bound migrants (Guardian, link)

Poland to build watchtowers at Kaliningrad enclave border (euroactiv, link)

Opinion: Don't reintroduce Schengen border controls! - After last week's Germanwings crash, the German interior minister wants to examine reintroducing Schengen area border controls. It is a wrongly timed move playing on people's fear of terrorism, says DW's Nina Haase. (DW, link)

IRELAND: FoI restrictions on refugee issues ‘rushed’ through Oireachtas (Irish Times, link): "The Irish Refugee Council has expressed its “concern” at the manner in which restrictions to the Freedom of Information Act, as it applies to bodies dealing with asylum and refugee issues, were “rushed” through the Oireachtas before Easter. Both Houses debated and approved the restrictions on the date from which the records of two refugee bodies - Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Refugee Applications Commissioner - can be now be accessed under the Act."

UK: 40 illegal immigrants detained every day (The Times, link): " Forty illegal immigrants a day are being arrested in Britain as enforcement squads swoop on premises known for employing people in the black economy. Raids on Indian and Chinese restaurants, petrol stations and car washes have helped to boost the number of illegal immigrants being picked up by the authorities. "

UK: "Should we talk to terrorists?" is The Big Question at forthcoming debate (Coventry University, link)

UK: Returns Directorate: Detention services order 14/2012C: Home Office: Guidance: To provide instructions and guidance for Home Office staff operating in the detention estate on the correct process for dealing with individuals claiming to be under 18 (link) and Detention services order 02/2006 Release of detainees by IS 106 release orders Process: This order clarifies the procedures to be followed by staff on receipt of a form IS106 Release Order for a detainee in their custody (link)

Greece plan to release 3,500 immigrants from asylum centres sets it on a collision course with Europe (Independent, link)

France: Bill Opens Door to Surveillance Society - Short-Changes Rights Obligations; Bad Model for Other Countries (HRW, link): "Draft legislation authorizing sweeping powers of digital surveillance is inconsistent with France’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which has already won approval of the National Assembly’s Law Commission, would create a highly damaging model for other countries and should be reconsidered and revised, not rushed through the parliament."

Italian coastguard and navy rescue 1,500 migrants in less than 24 hours - Migrants rescued in five separate operations after three of the vessels carrying them got into difficulty off Libyan coast (Guardian, link)

UK: 100% passport checks will mean ferry port gridlock, say coach operators - Ministers hope last-minute decision to phase in exit checks for Eurotunnel and cross-Channel ferry passengers will prevent peak-time queues (Guardian, link)

EP-FRONTEX: Question for written answer to the Commission Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL) Subject: Asylum applications and Frontex operations (link) and Answer (link): "According to information provided by Frontex, the agency has so far assisted and coordinated 270 joint return operations in which 13 798 non-EU citizens have been returned to their home countries. Frontex is not in possession of any figures on how many people have applied for asylum during these operations..." [emphasis added]

ECRE has published an information note providing guidance to apply the recast Dublin Regulation from the perspective of the fundamental rights of the asylum seekers. The Dublin Regulation determines the Member State responsible for the examination of an asylum application in the EU (link)

ETHICAL JOURNALISM NETWORK: "This month we published a new report covering 18 countries and focusing on growing concerns inside media about newsroom bias and secret deals which undermine ethical values. Untold Stories: How Corruption and Conflicts of Interest Stalk the Newsroom" (link to pdf Report)

Record number of migrants expected to drown in Mediterranean this year - In the first quarter of 2015, nearly 500 migrants have drowned, ten times as many as in the same period of 2014, leading to fears of a record death rate this year (Guardian, link)

Germany eyes obligatory ID for Schengen flights (euobserver, link): "German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere has said the fact the air passengers in the EU's borderless region only need to present a ticket to board a plane is a "huge security problem"."

UK: Reforming laws on free movement will be a headache for any future government (Democratic Audit, link): "Immigration will be one of the defining issues of the General Election, with Labour and the Conservatives responding to UKIP’s hardline, anti-EU stance with tough and supposedly crowd-pleasing measures of their own. Here, Marley Morris argues that freedom of movement rules are something that any party is going to struggle to reform after the general election."

Roadmap Practitioner Toolkits: Using EU law in Criminal practice (Fair Trials, link)

From social media service to advertising network: A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms (EMSOC, link)

Spain to allow illegal immigrants to access free public healthcare - The Spanish government has done a u-turn on its policy of banning undocumented migrants from seeing GPs after A&E wards were "saturated" (Daily Telegraph, link): "It seems more sensible and reasonable that basic health care should be offered [to immigrants] at local centres so that, among other things, A&E wards are not collapsed", Mariano Rajoy, the Spainish Prime Minister said, admitting that "decisions taken in some regions" had affected the central government's policy. Catalonia and the Basque Country led a revolt of six regions which created their own regulatory framework permitting illegal immigrants to access free health care, while other regions largely ignored the ban."

UK: Kurds protest in support of British teenager at terrorism hearing - Two dozen protesters gathered outside London’s Old Bailey at the pre-trial hearing of Shilan Ozcelik, 18, charged in relation to activities in Syria and Iraq (Guardian, link): "A small but noisy group of Kurdish protesters gathered outside the Old Bailey in London on Wednesday to protest at terrorism charges brought against a British teenager. Shilan Ozcelik , an 18-year-old of Kurdish descent, was arrested earlier this year at Stansted airport. She is believed to be the first British citizen to be arrested for allegedly trying to join the campaign against Islamic State in eastern Syria and western Iraq."

Germany eyes obligatory ID for Schengen flights (euobserver, link): "German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere has said the fact the air passengers in the EU's borderless region only need to present a ticket to board a plane is a "huge security problem"."

Following Canada's Bad Example, Now UK Wants To Muzzle Scientists And Their Inconvenient Truths (Techdirt, link)

Amazon's clouds are da bomb, say EU data protection watchdogs (The Register, link)

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden (Pew Research Centre, link): "34% of those who are aware of the surveillance programs (30% of all adults) have taken at least one step to hide or shield their information from the government." and see: NSA Telephone Records Surveillance (EPIC, link)

EU:-ECHR: Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice on access of EU to the ECHR – One step ahead and two steps back (EASFJ, link)

Fundamental rights in the EU: Where to next? (euobserver, link): "Despite progress made, there continues to be serious gaps in both the EU fundamental rights and equality legislation and its enforcement. This is all the more worrying in the current context of austerity, which is having a disproportionate impact on groups at risk of discrimination as well as adverse effects on equality policies."

UK: Privacy, security and surveillance: tackling dilemmas and dangers in the digital realm (Wilton Park, link)

UK: Probation officers face redundancy in plan to replace them with machines - Sodexo, UK’s largest operator of privatised probation services, is to use cash-machine style kiosks for offenders to report in without seeing an officer (Guardian, link)

Big Data poses questions about human role in society (euobserver, link)

New Canadian Counterterrorism Law Threatens Environmental Groups (The Intercept, link): "Geraldine Thomas-Flurer, who campaigns for environmental protection on behalf of indigenous First Nations in Canada, wasn’t surprised when, in 2012, she found out that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been keeping tabs on her. The Toronto Star that year obtained documents showing that federal police had monitored private meetings held between her coalition and local environmental groups."

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on the Czech Republic (link) and see: Report (pdf): " Particular attention was paid to the situation of juveniles, high-security and life-sentenced prisoners. For the first time in the Czech Republic, the delegation examined the treatment of and legal safeguards offered to persons held under the court-ordered measure of “security detention” at Brno Prison. Further, the delegation visited a detention centre for foreigners as well as a psychiatric hospital where it examined the situation of involuntary patients. The report also deals with the issue of surgical castration of sex offenders which was the subject of consultations with representatives of the relevant national authorities."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Europe shocked by Copenhagen terror attack (euobserver, link)

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

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

Poverty spurs mass migration from Kosovo (euractiv, link)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK: Front-Line Police 'All Need Tasers' To Deal With Lee-Rigby Style Attacks, Claims Federation Chief (Huffinton Post, link): "All front-line police officers should be armed with a Taser because of the heightened security threat, the head of the Police Federation has said, but human rights charity Amnesty International says its ridiculous to think that Tasers will deter terrorists. Steve White, chairman of the body which represents front-line officers, said acts of terrorism could be carried out anywhere and police needed to be protected."

Challenges pending in Germany to EU/US Safe Harbour (article in DE) (Heise.de):

European Commission: Speech of Commissioner Jourova: Informal JHA council in Riga (pdf): "Our agency EUROJUST needs to work at its full potential and therefore be in a position to fully exchange information with EUROPOL and be associated to EUROPOL's Focal Points dealing with terrorism."

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

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


January 2015

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

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

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

UK broke law in fewer than 1% of European human rights cases in 2014 - Statistics published as Britain gears up for election that will feature Tory threats to withdraw from the European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)

How GCHQ prepares for interception of phone calls from satellite links (Techdirt, link): "Most of the Snowden-revelations are about spying on the internet, but NSA and GCHQ are also conducting the more traditional collection of telephone communications that go through satellite links." See also: GCHQ Bude (Wikipedia, link)

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

UK: Heavy opposition set to defeat key part of Theresa May’s terrorism bill - Peers, academics and senior Tories reject idea of placing legal duty on universities to prevent students from being drawn into extremism (Guardian, link)

An Artist’s Pioneering Masks Shield Us from Future Surveillance (GOOD, link)

Privacy: With a Few Bits of Data, Researchers Identify ‘Anonymous’ People (New York Times, link): "Even when real names and other personal information are stripped from big data sets, it is often possible to use just a few pieces of the information to identify a specific person, according to a study to be published Friday in the journal Science"

UK: Met Riot Police Could Get Firearms Training (Yahoo Ireland, link):"The Metropolitan Police is considering training public order officers to use firearms to create a "reserve capability" to cope with terrorist attacks."

Michael Hayden: “We Kill People Based on Metadata” (Just Security, link)

Facebook and Twitter are terrorist "accomplices" if they fail to remove extremist content, says French president (Daily Mirror, link)

French police question 8-year-old over terror comment (France24, link): "Reports that French police questioned an 8-year-old after he allegedly made comments in school in praise of terrorists have highlighted fears that the authorities may be going too far in their crackdown on hate speech."

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

EU air passenger database about to take flight, but critics want it grounded (PC World, link): "The new plan calls for a database with personal flight data such as travel dates, itineraries, ticket information and baggage information, according to a document published by Statewatch on Wednesday and described as a leaked and legitimate EC document....Critics say such a database could violate fundamental human rights, but the Commission argues that it would help law enforcement with the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offenses and serious transnational crime.

Brussels Calling on Communication Firms to Provide Encryption Keys (EU Bulletin, link): "In a document that was leaked by the UK-based civil liberties group Statewatch, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, says that the EU Commission ought to introduce rules that would require the companies to help national governments collect data on possible suspects."

UK: Children mistakenly detained at Campsfield & Dover detention centres last month (Home Office, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (Intercept, link): "British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies, according to a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." See: BADASS Angry Birds document (link)

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

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

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

EU officials consider pooling air passenger data after Paris attacks - ID checks could be reintroduced within Schengen zone as European governments race to tighten security measures (Guardian. link) Move long covered by NGOs, based on a UK government proposal to all track travel within EU..

Police officers could be charged for 'calling alleged domestic violence victim 'f*****g slag' and 'b***h' (Independent, link)

The missing link: Direct effect CETA/TTIP and investor-state dispute settlement (ASFJ, link): "International treaties have rarely received more attention than the proposed free trade deals between the EU and the US and Canada. This entails that many law students and practitioners are confronted with a theme that does not feature prominently in legal education."

UK: Call To Trial Gunfire Detectors At ‘Soft Targets’ In London (Londonist, link): ""Gunfire detection systems should be installed at hospitals, museums,
train stations and shopping centres to improve armed police response times to terror attacks, a leading City Hall Conservative says."

UK: Two more journalists emerge as police spying targets, Press Gazette says: 'We've been misled by Met' (Press Gazette, link)

Denmark: Call to Reject Bill Increasing Refugees’ Vulnerability (Euromedrights, link)

Terrorists and serious criminals beware ! Your travel data can tell everything about you (ASFJ, link): "After the last terrorist attacks the President of The European Council, the EU interior ministers, the EU anti-terrorism coordinator, the European Commission, some national parliaments and even the press have raised their voice against the European Parliament who is blocking since years a legislative measure on the access by law enforcement authorities to the passenger name record (PNR)which are managed by the airlines when you make a flight reservation."

UK: Family of man left in vegetative state hit out at IPCC over police brutality allegations - Family of Julian Cole speak out after 21-year-old left with broken neck after arrest by six officers in 2013 (Guardian, link)

President of the European Council Donald Tusk congratulates Alexis Tsipras on his appointment as Prime Minister of Greece On behalf of the European Union I wish to congratulate Alexis Tsipras on his appointment today as Prime Minister of Greece. The European Union has stood by Greece from the first day of the crisis and is committed to continue to support the country in its efforts to put its economy on a sustainable path. I look forward to working closely together with the new Prime Minister of Greece, and I look forward to welcoming him at the informal meeting of EU Heads of State or Government in Brussels on 12 February".(Council of the European Union Press Release)

Greece turns left: What next? (euobserver, link): "Across Greece people will tell you the country is a litmus test for the rest of the continent, that where Greece goes Europe will follow."

Peer defends attempt to introduce snooper’s charter - Lord King tells House of Lords that current legislation is not sufficient to meet threat and it is parliament’s duty to update it (Guardian, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (The Intercept, link)

French mayor ‘evicts’ first black Marianne statue (France24, link): ""The small town of Frémainville is one of the few in France where a black-skinned Marianne statue adorns city hall. But the city's new mayor is replacing the minority Marianne, claiming she does not represent the French republic."

Aesthetics of Migration - Street Art in the Mediterranean Border Zones (Ibraaz, link): ""Beyond the distant images of washed-up bodies on the shore or a
packed craft stranded at sea is the everyday theatre of migrant detentions and expulsions from the towns bordering the Mediterranean."

Liverpool win asylum seekers reprieve in last port of call row with Government (Liverpool Echo, link): ""Liverpool Council has won a temporary reprieve from becoming the last port of call for asylum seekers hoping to remain the in the UK."

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

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

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

Catharsis or catastrophe: what next for Greece and the Eurozone? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The better course for the EU is to take this opportunity to re-engage with the millions of EU citizens who are affected or angered by austerity, and re-orient the EU towards ending that austerity, instead of generating more of it. Although this is more easily said than done, it should never be forgotten that the initial rationale for the EU was not austerity, but economic growth which raised living standards for the population as a whole. So in voting for a party which promised the latter, Greeks have reaffirmed, not rejected, the Union’s traditional raison d’etre, reminding it that the Union cannot maintain its social or political legitimacy if it becomes no more than a mechanism for enforcing austerity."

Is Europe Overlooking the Far-Right 'Foreign Fighter' Issue in Ukraine? (Huffington Post, link): "Are extremist Islamist fighters the only foreign fighters Europe should be worrying about? The answer is no. The possibility of returning far-right fighters from Ukraine is a threat currently being overlooked. The conflict in Ukraine has provided an environment where the formation of foreign right-wing paramilitary groups can occur without any opposition. Both pro-Russian and Ukrainian Nationalists have operational paramilitary groups that hold right-wing extremist views, ties to neo-Nazism and welcome foreigners as fighters."

WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government (Guardian, link): - Search giant gave FBI emails and digital data belonging to three staffers - WikiLeaks told last month of warrants which were served in March 2012.

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

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

Le PNR européen à la croisée des chemins : protection des données et lutte contre le terrorisme (ASFJ, link)

EU: Council’s position on Visa Directive a step back for young people’s mobility (youthforum.org, link): "The European Youth Forum is extremely
disappointed to see that the European Council has taken a backward step from the aim of a better visa regime in its recently published position on the proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and of residence for third-country nationals. The Council's position limits mobility to certain groups and could mean that delays and barriers to moving into and within Europe will remain."

Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities - ‘Blunt tool’ approach is leading parents into false sense of security, insist campaigners (The Observer, link): "campaigners say that it is misleading to suggest these filters are just about blocking pornography, and that they block a range of content, such as drugs, sex, alcohol, tobacco and anorexia. The Metropolitan police are currently producing a list of websites for the filtering services which they regard as terror-related. A website discussing the legalisation of cannabis found itself blocked, as did several small wine dealers, said Pam Cowburn of the transparency campaign Open Rights Group. Last year research by the group found that 54 registered charities had their websites blocked by one or another of the filters. Several were offering support and services to young people escaping abuse or alcohol dependency. One such charity, Alcohol Support, based in Aberdeen, called it a “big brother” approach."

MegaChat Encrypted Service Launched (Fillhipo, link): "Kim Dotcom, the Internet entrepreneur, has just announced the release of an encrypted chat service, called MegaChat. The service is to compete with the widely used and Microsoft-owned, Skype...This news has come after it has emerged that the EU counter-terrorism coordinator wants all companies to be required by law to hand over encryption keys when asked for them...Gilles de Kerchove said, in a document leaked by the civil liberties group Statewatch,that encryption “increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible"

Leaked doc: Europe's justice chiefs forming plans to cosy up to ISPs - Yeah, and bring back PNR! (The Register, link)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)POLAND: Maverick MEP Korwin-Mikke launches new party (Radio Poland, link): "Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the recently ousted leader of fringe party the Congress of the New Right, has registered a new party, the abbreviated name of which is KORWiN." See: Polish far-right MEP blasted for use of 'racist' language (The Parliament, link)

GERMANY: Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder (The Local, link): "Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th."

UK: Met policeman cleared after kicking mother tending to her child in hospital (The Guardian, link): "A police officer who kicked and hit a mother as she sat by the hospital bed of her sick child, leaving her with more than 40 injuries, has been cleared of actual bodily harm."

UK: Saudi King Abdullah: Britain mourns a tyrant (The Independent, link): "The Government face demands to reassess Britain’s relationship with the Saudi Arabian regime amid fury over the reverential tributes paid to King Abdullah following his death."

GREECE: ECHR Condemns Greece for Inhumane Migrant Treatment (Greek Reporter, link)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)

EU anti-terrorism chief: Communications should be accessible to security services (euractiv, link): "De Kerchove said he expected governments to adopt an EU approach that would build on improving cooperation under systems already available, such as for Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone, and on existing institutions such as Europol and Interpol. The need for new legislation was limited, he said." [emphasis added]

UK: The day I found out I'm a 'Domestic Extremist' - When the police must use intrusive powers they should be focused on those individuals who pose a threat of serious harm and carry out serious criminal acts, writes Jenny Jones (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK: Strip-searched girl’s family sues Merseyside police (Guardian, link)

Austria's €290m plan to fight terror (The Local, link): "'The whole package is mainly designed for the furnishing of special forces and less on the prevention of terrorism' said Gert-Rena Polli,former head of the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism."

CALAIS: France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute (HRW, link) and see: Migrants describe police brutality in French city of Calais (France24, link)

Romania: The Big Brother Law 2 is unconstitutional (NineOclock, link): "The Constitutional Court (CCR) judges decided yesterday, with a majority of votes, that Romania’s cybernetic security law, nicknamed the Big Brother Law 2, was unconstitutional “in its entirety”."

Reaction to publication of: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf):

De Maizière will Verschlüsselung knacken - Der Kampf um Verschlüsselung wird härter: Sicherheitsbehörden in ganz Europa fordern einen Zugang zu verschlüsselten Daten. Deutschland will dabei offenbar mitspielen (Cracking encryption - The battle for encryption is harder: security authorities across Europe require access to encrypted data. Germany wants to play too obviously) (Zeit Online, link)

EU-Parlament will erneut über Fluggastdaten diskutieren (EU Parliament will discuss again on Passenger Name (Der Tag, link): " the civil rights organization Statewatch [published] a report of anti-terrorism co-ordinator of the EU"

Griff in die “Werkzeugkiste repressiver Regime wie China oder Bahrain” (SPREEZEITUNG.de, link): "The interior and justice policy spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, Jan Philipp Albrecht, has expressed shock over the demands of the EU anti-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove."

Wegen Snowden: EU-Beauftragter will IT-Anbieter zu Hintertüren für verschlüsselte Kommunikation verpflichten (MM News, link): "Snowden: EU commissioner wants to commit to a back door for encrypted communication IT vendors"

BMI: Behörden müssen Verschlüsselung knacken können (Futurezone, link): "BMI: authorities must be able to crack encryption"

De Kerchove navrhl vznik protiteroristického strediska u Europolu (Blesk.cz, link): "Establishing a European counter-terrorism center within Europol is proposed by CTC European Union Gilles de Kerchove. The option is part of the documentation for the meeting interior and justice ministers of EU countries next week in Riga. The document is now available online published NGO Statewatch"

EU: From bad to worse? On the Commission and the Council’s rule of law initiatives (EU Law Analysis, link): "To conclude, the Commission and the Council’s initiatives may leave one deeply disappointed considering the serious nature of the internal challenges faced on the rule of law front. When comparing the two initiatives, one may however argue that the Commission’s is much less half-hearted and, thus, at least less counter-productive, than the Council’s, which does not simply represent the triumph of empty rhetoric over genuine action but also unfortunately undermines the future legitimacy of any Commission attempt to trigger its new pre-Article 7 procedure."

For five years Greece has been like a patient slowly bleeding’ - The sick man of Europe is dying and Sunday’s elections may be the tipping point (Guardian, link)

Charlie Hebdo attack spurs EU anti-terror 'projects' (BBC News, link)

EU considers 'security agents' to counter terrorism (euractiv, link): "European Union foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad, as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on 7 January."

EU To counter terror, Europe's police reconsider their arms (New Europe, link)

Europe to Legislate Level Tech Playing Field, Says European MP Reding (WSJ Digits, link): "We have the impression that our American friends, every time they do not want to apply the laws, they bring up national security. It has nothing to do with national security. They would like to have this national security exemption all over the place. We would like to have the rule of law all over the place, she said"

Fortress mentality on EU migration creates xenophobia, warns Italian PM - Matteo Renzi says defensive attitude in debate about freedom of movement opens the door to right-wing nationalism (Guardian, link)

BBC Democracy Day: Europe 'faces political earthquakes' (BBC News, link)

EU ministers to discuss terrorism amid tightened security (euobserver, link)

EU: Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the decision to appeal the Judgment regarding Hamas (EAS, link)

European Parliament: Draft Report :on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (2014/2256(INI)) Committee on Legal Affairs Rapporteur: Julia Reda (link) and see: Julia Reda (link)

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

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: MI5 and MI6 are losing ground to terrorists (Sunday Telegraph, link)

Mass surveillance not effective for finding terrorists (New Scientist, link)

UK: Wrongly convicted men launch new case against the Justice Secretary (Independent on Sunday, link)

Greek elections: Syriza’s young radicals plot a political earthquake for Europe (Observer, link)

Man the Euro lifeboats – but not the Greeks (Channel 4 News, link):"There are credible reports that the European Central Bank’s long awaited programme of quantitative easing will be announced on Thursday – but with a sting in the tail. The ECB will, according to the Financial Times, force national central banks in the Eurozone to assume all the risk inherent in the project, and probably exclude Greece."

Mike Marqusee 1953-2015: The movement has lost a unique and inspiring campaigner for justice. (IRR News Service, link): "A campaigner who never flagged, a writer who never missed the meaning of an experience, his loss is immeasurable".

GERMANY:Nach Spontandemonstration: Erstmals massenhafte Beschlagnahme von Mobiltelefonen in Leipzig (After spontaneous demonstration: first mass confiscation of mobile phones in Leipzig) (link)

Guantanamo: America's Battle Lab (link): ""GTMO operated as a Battle Lab, a world where experimentation on the defenseless served to generate data with which to counsel and train interrogators at military facilities across the globe. These bases utilized the insight granted by intelligence officers from GTMO, most notably Bagram and Abu Ghraib." See also: Did Gitmo "Suicides" Cover Up Murder? U.S. Sgt. Speaks Out on Deaths & Prison’s Secret CIA Site (Democracy Now!, link)

UK: Islington Against Police Spies: "Sack Bob Lambert! Former Police Spy: Join us to demand the removal of Bob Lambert from London Metropolitan University. Picket London Met Friday January 30th 12.00 – 2.00pm LMU Tower, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB"

Germany's Merkel urges new EU law on data tracking (BBC News, link)

EU governments accused of 'Bermuda Triangle' approach to law-making (Parliament magazine, link)

Belgium on high alert after deadly anti-terror raid (BBC News, link)

Spain and "pushbacks" (ECRE, link)

Soldiers to guard Belgian Jewish sites as Europol warns of further attacks - Protection stepped up across Europe – with UK police on highest alert level ever – in wake of series of terrorist incidents (Guardian, link)

Je Suis Raif Badawi (Mat Carr's Infernal Machine, link): "If this punishment were to go ahead as planned and Badawi’s body were able to stand it, this ritual would be repeated for 19 more weeks. What was Badawi’s offence? He created the website Free Saudi Liberals, on which he posted things like this: .‘Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone … Secularism … is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.’'"

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

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings - Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability (The Nation, link)

The EU's giant and secretive deregulation blitz (Open Democracy, link): "It is not just TTIP, across the board the EU is bowing to business pressure to do away with 'burdensome' regulation - regulation that tends to save lives, protect consumers and ensure standards."

Over 50 anti-Muslim incidents registered in France after Charlie Hebdo shooting (RT, link)

Irish terror laws to counter jihadist threat (Irish Examiner, link): It's worth noting that the laws being passed are intended to implement the EU's 2008 Framework Decision amending the 2002 Framework Decision on combating terrorism - Ireland was supposed to implement these measures by 9 December 2010 (see Article 3)

• UK: A war on democracy: How statutory instruments replaced acts of parliament (Politics.co.uk, link): ""On present trends, the next parliament will pass 4,000 or more statutory instrument a year. They will, in aggregate, have a significant effect on how we conduct our daily lives. Some of this legislation will be debated. Much of it will not. The elephant in the room is the fact that this shift towards statutory instruments will itself take place without any debate."

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

Nazi camp row over German asylum homes (BBC News, link): "Refugee organisations have criticised plans to house asylum seekers in a former outpost of a Nazi concentration camp in western Germany."

Theresa May says 'lives at risk' without data surveillance (BBC News, link) and see: Commons Statement: Home Secretary Theresa May on the threat we face from terrorism in the UK (link)

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

Racial discrimination & collateral damage – Coleman revisited (EU Law Analysis, link)

UK: Proposals to expand Central NHS Register creates a national population register and significant data protection/privacy risks (Hawktalk, link)

USA: Role of FBI informant in eco-terrorism case probed after documents hint at entrapment - In the case of Eric McDavid, alleged to be ring-leader of eco-terrorist cell, ‘game-changing’ documents seen exclusively by the Guardian show informant may have entrapped him (Guardian, link)

As a Muslim, I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the free speech fundamentalists (New Statesman, link): "The response to the inexcusable murder of Charlie Hebdo’s staff has proved that many liberals are guilty of double standards when it comes to giving offence."

Up to 5,000 Europeans joined jihad, Europol chief says (euobserver, link): "The two attackers in Paris were on a US no-fly list, yet were able to carry out their attack, prompting one MP to ask Wainwright Tuesday whether it is possible to follow every suspect ever flagged. “It is exceptionally difficult, given the scale of the problem … for the security authorities to monitor all potential threats. That's the very painful reality that the attacks in Paris have shown,” said Wainwright."

Paris killings cement Danish referendum on EU justice opt-out (euractiv, link)

• UK: Cameron wants new 'comprehensive' communications surveillance laws (Outlaw, link)

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

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

EU and US Ministers discuss fight against terror, strengthening of external borders (EJP, link)

Back to border controls in fight against terrorism (Euro Weekly News, link) and EU hasn't moved on Schengen changes: PM (The Local, link): "European leaders have yet to decide whether to restore border controls within the Schengen zone, Spain's prime minister said Monday, after Madrid made a push for the visa-free treaty to be modified in the wake of France's terror attacks."

Germany’s debate over data retention flares following Paris attacks (euractiv, link): "n the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, calls for more intensive data surveillance to fight terror are gaining strength. But in France, data retention was neither able to prevent nor illuminate the attacks."

Wikileaks publishes CIA reports on travel ID checks (Papers please, link): These reports were published in December but Edward Hasbrouck has been
through them and makes some interesting points on the sometimes-illegal use of PNR/API data by European state agencies. See:
CIA Advice for US Government Operatives Infiltrating Schengen (pdf) and CIA Assessment on Surviving Secondary Screening at Airports While Maintaining Cover WikiLeaks release: December 21, 2014 (link)

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq (Open Democracy, link) and Court judgment (link)

• Germany-Greece:
Documents indicate bribe paid for tanks deal (ekathimerini, link): "German company Rheinmetall has admitted to paying a 127-million-euro bribe to Greek officials to secure the sale of 353 Leopard 2 battle tanks in a deal that was completed in 2009, according legal documents seen by Kathimerini and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung."

EU catches up, takes steps to control export of intrusion spyware, IP monitoring (Reporters without Borders, link) and see: The Review of export control policy: ensuring security and competitiveness in a changing world (European Commission, pdf)

• EU-PNR: Debate intensifies on stuck EU counter-terrorism bill (euobserver, link)

Spanish Judge Allows Criminal Complaint Against Satirist Facu Díaz For PP ETA Corruption Sketch (The Spain Report, link)

• UK: An insult to all the children who die in custody (Guardian, link): "Alex Kelly and the other 32 children who have died since 1990 deserve more than the state’s weasel words and a silence that shames the media"

Orban uses Paris march to demonise immigrants (euobserver, link)

French monitored Kouachi brothers but lost interest, despite red flags (CNN International, link)

De la surveillance de masse à la paranoïa généralisée (Le Monde Blog, link)

• European Parliament: Draft Opinion: TTIP (pdf)

Change Greece – Change Europe – Change4all (link)

If Europe is to overcome Islamist terror, it needs to fight for the values it holds dear - Paul Mason (Guardian, link)

• Spain: At least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners arrested in a Spanish police operation this morning. Three of them have been arrested in Madrid as they were on their way to Spanish Special Court for the first day of a new mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists.(link)

• UK: MI5 chief seeks new powers after Paris magazine attack (Guardian ,link)

Four hostages killed in bloody end to Paris sieges (Channel 4 News, link): " Three gunmen and four hostages have been killed as police storm two sieges in the Paris area. The hostages died at a kosher supermarket in the east of the French capital."

Syrian refugees told to decide as camp shuts down (Cyprus Mail, link): "THE Syrian refugees who were rescued off the coast of Cyprus in September and are temporarily housed at the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre, need to urgently make arrangements for their stay in the country, since the camp will close down in a few days, the Interior ministry announced yesterday."

Austria Detention Profile (Global Detention Project, link); "In early 2014, Austria opened its first specialized immigration detention facility. The development comes after more than two decades of criticism from national and international observers, who have pressed the country not to detain migrants and asylum seekers in prisons and other criminal facilities. The opening, however, was accompanied by controversy because of the decision to outsource security and other services at the facility to a heavily criticized private prison firm, G4S."

Recent curtailments of “freedom of expression” in Ireland (oireachtasretort, link)

Germany's right-wing populists join hands with anti-Islamist Pegida (euractiv, link)

No EU data protection deal 'before end of year' (Parliament magazine, link): "Rapporteur on the EU data protection regulation says parliament and council are 'heading in two different directions".

EU-US trade negotiations must be more transparent, as concerns are raised about clash with data protection rules (Out-Law, link)

• UK: A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – Angela Patrick (UK Human Rights blog, link)

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

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

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

Luxembourg drivers to be fined for offences abroad (link)

Demand Booming for ‘Smart’ Surveillance Cameras Among General Public (IFSECGlobal, link): "More than 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide in 2015, according to IHS."

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

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

Security is not a crime (riseup.net, link): "On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid."

Greece: New anti-discrimination report set for February launch (Coe Human Rights, link): "The February analysis from the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) will be the fifth Council of Europe examination of the country’s efforts to strengthen social cohesion and fight xenophobia, anti-semitism and bigotry."

• UK: Police forced to disclose more details of “ghoulish and heartless” spy tactic - Police have conceded some ground over the secrecy surrounding the theft of the identities of dead children by their undercover officers (Guardian, link)

• EU: Now online - EU negotiating texts in TTIP (DG Trade, link)

• UK: The 30-year rule documents they don’t want you to see (Guardian, link): "A sweeping escape clause to the release of UK government papers means files on nuclear tests, GCHQ and the Falklands remain hidden."

Counter-protests dwarf German anti-Islam rallies (euobserver, link)

British government lobbies to 'water down' consent requirements in EU data protection regulation (Computing, link)

EU to set up expert group to fight jihadist propaganda (euobserver, link)

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.