What's New on the Statewatch website: 2014
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SPAIN: Fines to punish participation in demonstrations. Resisting the administrative criminalisation of activists
The Comisión Legal Sol has been providing legal support to participants in social movements and demonstrations and reporting on developments regarding judicial and legislative initiatives to counter widespread resistance to evictions, austerity and political reforms, since the 15 M[ay 2011] camp that was set up, occupying the central Puerta del Sol square in Madrid... The Comisión Legal Sol's administrative law working group has produced a guide to detail how successful appeals against administrative fines imposed in relation to arrests during demonstrations may be filed, because "countless" sanctions and fines are being imposed and their ability to act is limited. Thus, this guide on 'burorresistencia" was produced because "a tool that would be at everyone's service was necessary, so that anyone may defend themselves from 'burorrepresión'".
See also: Spain: Organic Law for the Protection of Public Security: A Threat to Civil Liberties in Spain (OMCT, link)
EU-ECHR: Accession on the CJEU's terms would reduce the level of human rights protection, particularly in JHA matters: The CJEU and the EUs accession to the ECHR: a clear and present danger to human rights protection (EU Law Analysis, link):
"At long last, the CJEU has today delivered its ruling regarding the EUs accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Its a complex judgment that raises many legal questions. For now, this post seeks to provide: a summary of the ruling; an assessment of the consequences of the ruling; and an initial critique of the Courts reasoning. On the latter point, the Courts ruling is fundamentally flawed. In short, the Court is seeking to protect the basic elements of EU law by disregarding the fundamental values upon which the Union was founded."
See: The Court of Justice delivers its opinion on the draft agreement on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and identifies problems with regard to its compatibility with EU law (Press Release, pdf) and Full-text Opinion (pdf) See also: Court crushes EU plan to join human rights convention (euobserver, link)
News in Brief (19.12.14)
UK: Justice blindfolded? The case of Jimmy Mubenga (IRR News Service, link): "Following the acquittal on 16 December of the G4S guards charged with the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, IRR vice-chair Frances Webber focuses on the judges decision to rule inadmissible evidence pointing to endemic racism within G4S."
EU leaders skip second day of summit and escape protests (euractiv, link): "EU leaders finished their summit in the early hours of 19 December, avoiding major protests that have completely blocked the centre of Brussels Friday."
Thousands protest in Brussels against EU-US trade ageement (euobserver, link)
Journalists stage protest outside Downing Street for press freedom in Turkey (European Federation of Journalists, link)
Kenya 'deregisters' NGOs in anti-terror clampdown (BBC News, link): " Kenya has deregistered 510 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including 15 accused of links with terrorism, an official has said. The government has also frozen their bank accounts and revoked the work permits of foreign employees. "
UK: Disabled man threatened with arrest after handing out food to the homeless in Brighton (The Argus, link)
USA: Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch over Maryland (The Intercept, link): "In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles. And while the blimps may never stave off a barrage of enemy missiles, their ability to spot and track cars, trucks and boats hundreds of miles away is raising serious privacy concerns."
EU: David Cameron says Europe's block on sharing passenger data is 'frankly ridiculous' (Daily Telegraph, link)
UK government defines 'big data' and is advised to take lead on harnessing 'internet of things' opportunities (Outlaw, link) and see: HM Government: Horizon Scanning Programme: Emerging Technologies: Big Data (pdf link)
On 10 December Europol went live with its access to SIS II. (Europol, link)
Dutch far right politician Wilders to be tried for anti-Moroccan comments (DW, link)
EU nations face mounting pressure over CIA black sites (euobserver, link): "At least 54 governments reportedly participated in the CIAs secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme. Among them those said to be involved are Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK."
UK: Update on the IPCC investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Thomas Orchard (IPCC, link) and see: Thomas Orchard custody death: Three police staff charged with killing mentally-ill church caretaker (Daily Mirror, link)
UK: Senior public order police commanders train for future anti-fracking protests (Netpol, link): "A Freedom of Information request submitted by Netpol has confirmed that training for senior police officers on public order strategy now uses a fictional anti-fracking protest based specifically on camps at Balcombe in West Sussex and Barton Moss in Salford." and see: Facilitators Guide (link)
EU-USA-UK: Surveillance: Spying on all of us: UK-GCHQ, USA-NSA, 'Five Eyes' and the EU (link): Speech by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, at the Annual Conference of the European Group on Deviancy and Social Control, September 2014:
This paper argues that data protection and privacy abuses by the USA-NSA and UK-GCHQ concerns the "gatherers" (the surveillance agencies) of personal data. What urgently needs to be investigated, studied and exposed are the "users" of mass data surveillance (CIA and FBI in the USA, MI5, MI6, Special Branch and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the "targets" of the "users" (who and why are people or groups targeted). Account also has to be taken of the "suppliers" to the "users" (multinational companies) - the "suppliers" are part of the security-industrial complex in the EU who develop and provide the technology for surveillance and enforcement.
It argues that our attention should be centred on what is happening in the EU, rather than on the USA - some reforms may happen there but there is as yet no impetus or attention to the ensure openness and accountability of national internal and external agencies and LEAs in EU Member States. What is required is a holistic approach which will take many years of diligent research by academics, journalists and civil society groups."
UK: Home Office: Intercept as Evidence (CM 8989, pdf):
"Interception of communications is one of the most important techniques used in the investigation of terrorism and serious and organised crime. But interception is an intrusive power and is therefore only used by a small number of UK security and law enforcement agencies for a specified range of purposes. While interception supports criminal investigations by providing vital intelligence, the law currently prohibits the use of intercept material as evidence in criminal proceedings."
EU-USA: TISA: Il documento della trattativa segreta TISA su privacy e dati (R.it, link): "This was revealed in a leak from the ongoing international negotiations among 23 countries for an agreement on trade in services. The document reveals US demands to break down the national rules relating to the movement, storage, exchange of personal data, e-commerce, net-neutrality" [Google tranlsation)
See document: Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA): New Provisions Applicable to All Services (April 25, 2014): Annex on Professional Services [as at 5 September 2014] (pdf)
European Parliament: Press releases: Torture: MEPs call for investigation into EU countries' role in CIA practices (pdf):
"Waterboarding, chaining people to walls, rectal feeding: the recently published US Senates report on CIA interrogation methods makes serious allegations about the agency using torture to extract information from detainees. In a plenary debate about the report on 17 December, MEPs said that trampling fundamental values in the fight against terrorism is unacceptable and that the possible complicity of EU member states in this should be investigated. "
And European Parliament Resolution on recognition of Palestinian statehood (pdf):
"The resolution was drawn up by five political groups and passed by Parliament as a whole, by 498 votes to 88, with 111 abstentions."
CJEU: EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list (BBC News, link): "A top court of the European Union has annulled the bloc's decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on a list of terrorist groups. The decision had been based not on an examination of Hamas' actions, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet", judges found. The court said the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas' classification as a terrorist group. It said a funding freeze on the group would continue for the time being."
Press release: The Court annuls, on procedural grounds, the Council measures maintaining Hamas on the European list of terrorist organisations (pdf) and Judgment (French, pdf)
NORWAY: SPYING: Aftenposten Discovers Spying Equipments outside Norway Parliament and Prime Minister Residence (Afterposten, link): "Aftenposten reports they have detected a number of false base stations placed around central Oslo, which can monitor the movements of top politicians and flood of data from mobile phones." And see: Norway seeks answers over mobile bugging (The Local, link)
UK: Jimmy Mubengas widow shocked as security guards cleared of manslaughter - Trial ends in not-guilty verdicts over death of man who cried out I cant breathe while being restrained on deportation flight (Guardian, link)
Stop Aid for Executions (Reprieve, link) and see: European Aid for Executions: How European counternarcotics aid enables death sentences and executions in Iran and Pakistan (pdf): "UK taxpayers money has enabled as many as 2,917 brutal executions in Iran and more than 112 pending death sentences in Pakistan, a report from legal action charity Reprieve has shown. Many of the sentences have been handed down to women and children, as well as a number of
British nationals.... The research confirms that over the last ten years Britain has given more money than any other European country to drug police in Iran and
Pakistan; countries which aggressively pursue the death penalty for drug offences and boast the world's highest per capita execution rate (Iran) and the world's largest death row population (Pakistan)."
News in Brief (17.12.14)
EU: Removal orders and the right to be heard: the CJEU fails to understand the dysfunctional French asylum system (EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: European Parliament study: The data protection regime applying to the inter-agency cooperation and future architecture of the EU criminal justice and law enforcement area (pdf):
"Upon request by the LIBE Committee, this study aims at identifying data protection shortcomings in the inter-agency cooperation in the EU criminal justice and law enforcement area. Its objective is also to outline, under six possible scenarios, the interplay among the data protection legal instruments currently being discussed, as well as the response each scenario could provide to such shortcomings."
EU: European Commission: Draft Work Programme for 2015 (pdf) and Annex (pdf) and: A new Start (COM 910, pdf). See also: Is it different this time? The Commissions 2015 work programme (EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: Juncker Commission breaks promise to create a mandatory lobby register, say transparency campaigners (ALTER-EU, link)
UK: Police asked university for list of attendees at fracking debate - Canterbury Christ Church University says it refused to hand over list, and Green party councillor criticises police request (Guardian, link):
"Asked why it had requested the list, the force said: Kent police assesses the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety and appropriately allocate resources. Police attendance was not required during the meeting, but the Dover district chief inspector did attend the event as an interested stakeholder.
They declined to explain why the inspector would be an interested stakeholder."
News in Brief (15.12.14)
The report on CIA's use of torture: "continued silence of EU member states (New Europe, link)
GREECE: Juncker: Greece should avoid 'wrong outcome' in elections (euobserver, link)
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on passenger screening: AVIATION SECURITY: Rapid Growth in Expedited Passenger Screening Highlights Need to Plan Effective Security Assessments (pdf):
"Since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented its expedited screening program¡Xknown as TSA PreTM To assess whether a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, TSA considers (1) inclusion on an approved TSA PreÏ¡Xin 2011, the number of passengers receiving expedited screening grew slowly, and then increased about 300 percent in October 2013 when TSA expanded its use of methods to increase passenger participation, such as conducting automated risk assessments of all passengers.
In conducting these assessments, TSA assigns passenger scores based upon information available to TSA to identify low risk passengers eligible for expedited screening for a specific flight prior to the passengers' arrival at the airport." [emphasis added]
IRR News Service: Selling the tolerant nation (link) "The emphasis in British Futures recent report on How to talk about immigration appears to take us back to outmoded and discredited arguments about measuring tolerance and attitudes." and Patriot games and culture wars: the politics of national identity in Europe (link): "Muslims, those of African and African-Caribbean descent and white women speaking out against racism are being targeted in a new culture war now distorting and degrading Europes electoral politics."
CIA-UK (MI6): Come clean on British links to CIA torture, MPs tell US Senate - Malcolm Rifkind to demand unredacted report on Britains role in CIAs abduction and torture programm (The Observer, link) and CIA torture report: at least the Americans came clean. In Britain, no one is held to account - This is a cross-party conspiracy to hide the truth about British agents and torture (link)
See also: Spy messages could finally solve mystery of UN chiefs death crash - US urged to hand over intercepts to establish truth of 1961 plane accident in Zambia in which Dag Hammarskjöld died (The Observer, link)
EU: Study proposes giving EU complete control over Schengen borders
Study carried out for the European Commission has proposed that powers for the management and control of the external borders of the Schengen area should be "exercised at EU level on a permanent basis."
News in Brief (14.12.14)
NSA, CIA reform efforts doomed by GOP leadership of Senate Intel Committee (AL Jazeera, link)
Detention Site Blues: Poles are not happy about CIA torture, but they need America too much to start a row (The Economist, link)
CVRIA clarifies camera use for security purposes in individual property (New Europe, link) and see: CJEU Press release (pdf) and Full-text judgment (pdf)
EU commission bans public scrutiny on US data talks (euobserver, link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Council General Approach on the Directive on the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial (pdf): "In reference to the Council General Approach on the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on strengthening certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings.."
EU: National security and secret evidence in legislation and before the courts: exploring the challenges (EU ASFJ, link) See European Parliament study: National security and secret evidence in legislation and before the courts: Exploring the challenges (pdf): "The study argues that national and transnational intelligence community practices and cooperation need to be subject to more independent and effective judicial accountability and be brought into line with EU 'rule of law' standards."
EU: Key European terrorism legislation may be revised
Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of the EU's Member States have "agreed to assess the need to update" the EU's 2002 Framework Decision on combating terrorism, in order to take into account the requirements of a recent UN Security Council Resolution on "foreign terrorist fighters".
CIA torture report
Not-so-magnificent 7: Nations named & shamed in CIA torture report (RT, link): "Fifty-four countries were named in the Senate report into US terror activities around the world. Here are seven governments whose leaders will be having sleepless nights trying to come up with excuses to explain their actions."
Torture report: CIA interrogations chief was involved in Latin American torture camps (The Telegraph, link): "The CIA officer tasked with interrogating the most important prisoners in America's secret detention programme allegedly abused captives during the agency's covert operations in Latin America in the 1980s, it has emerged."
Italy complicit in US torture programme (The Local, link): "Italy is among the many countries that was complicit in the US government torture programme, according to a report released on Tuesday, although it is also the only country where officials involved in the CIA programme have been convicted." For an in-depth examination of one aspect of Italy's involvement, see: State secrets in the Abu Omar case: the transatlantic relationship undermines the rule of law in cases involving human rights abuses by intelligence services (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico
CIA torture report: British spy agencies discussed redactions (The Guardian, link): "Britain's spying agencies did discuss redactions to the CIA torture report on the grounds of national security but not to cover up their own actions, David Cameron's deputy official spokesman has said."
Five Torturous Steps to Hell by Martin Scheinin (Just Security, link): "In a short and early section of the SSCI's redacted summary of its torture report, we can read about the step-by-step descent from humanity to inhumanity, from the 20th century ideals of constitutionalism and human rights to 21st century reality, the reduction of living human beings to mere means in the hands of those who behave as if possessing absolute power. This descent was fast and short, just five steps in eleven months."
See previous news items (below) for further links and documentation.
EU: CJEU: Press release: The Court clarifies the extent of the right of illegally staying third-country nationals to be heard (pdf):
"The purpose therefore of the right to be heard before the adoption of a return decision is to enable the person concerned to express his point of view on the legality of his stay and on whether any of the exceptions to the general rule are applicable. Similarly, under EU law, national authorities must take due account of the best interests of the child, family life and the state of health of the third-country national concerned and respect the principle of non-refoulement, so that the person concerned must be heard on that subject. Last, the right to be heard implies that the competent national authorities are under an obligation to enable the person concerned to express his point of view on the detailed arrangements for his return (Such as the period allowed for departure and whether return is to be voluntary or coerced)..." [emphasis in original]
Full-text of judgment: Case C-249/13, Khaled Boudjlila v Préfet des Pyrénés-Atlantiques (pdf)
UK: Will the Supreme Court give police the 'right' to mass surveillance? (Corporate Watch, link):
"The Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), with the backing of the Secretary of State, have been fighting a case in the Supreme Court, defending their 'right' to store data on protesters. They are appealing against a 2013 judgement, which said that they were obliged to destroy data about an anti-war protester called John Catt. The ruling has implications for the police's right to store data on everyone. The court has now heard legal arguments and a judgement is expected soon." See: Court of Appeal judgement from March 2013 (pdf)
UK: 'Alternative Provision with a Military Ethos' receives more funding - our response (ForcesWatch, link): "On 7 December 2014, Michael Gove's successor as Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan continued her support for the Military Ethos in Schools programme by pledging a further £4.8 million to eight 'alternative provision with a military ethos' schemes. This follows previous funding between 2012 and 2014 that amounted to £8.2 million." See also: Measures to help schools instil character in pupils announced (gov.uk, link)
News in Brief (12.12.14)
UK: 76 people arrested in Eric Garner protest at Westfield shopping centre (The Guardian, link): "Police have arrested 76 people at a die-in protest at Westfield shopping centre in west London, staged after the decision in New York not to indict a police officer over the death of Eric Garner."
HUNGARY: Fidesz support continues dropping, Jobbik strengthens (Politics.hu, link): "Support for governing Fidesz continued to wane in the past weeks while radical nationalist Jobbik has added to its camp, a recent poll by Ipsos, released on Thursday, showed."
UK: Philip Hammond confused about extent of UK surveillance powers (The Guardian, link): "Philip Hammond has been criticised for not understanding the legislation surrounding government powers to sweep up and analyse huge volumes of electronic communications such as email."
CYPRUS: The tents of the stateless Kurds from Syria, who are protesting outside the Ministry of Interior, have flooded Urgent appeal for their support (KISA, link)
NETHERLANDS: Fines scrapped to stop freedom of information scams (Dutch News, link): "Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk is to amend freedom of information legislation by scrapping the fine for public bodies which dont provide requested paperwork in time."
NETHERLANDS: Lawyers, journalists take Dutch state to court over internet privacy (Dutch News, link): "Dutch lawyers, journalists, privacy organisations and publishers are taking legal action against the state to stop telecom firms storing phone and email information via what is described by critics as a snoopers charter."
BULGARIA: Missing Bulgaria Ex Security Head 'Spotted' near Petrich (Novinite, link): "The automobile of Petko Sertov, the former head of state security agency DANS who disappeared last Friday, was reportedly spotted near the town of Petrich, kilometers away from the Bulgaria-Greece Border."
EU: European Commission working on new mass surveillance directive
EU: Telecommunications Data Retention: EU Commission is working on new Data Retention Directive (Update) (Netzpolitik, link): "The new EU Commission plans to re-introduce Telecommunications Data Retention, as we learned in Brussels yesterday. A spokesperson of the Commissioner for Home Affairs confirms that it is no longer a question "if" there will be a directive, only "how". But the European Court of Justice ruled: suspicionless mass surveillance is disproportionate and violates fundamental rights."
The 2006 Data Retention Directive was annulled by the Court of Justice of the European Union in April this year. See: ECJ-DATA RETENTION JUDGMENT: European Court of Justice (Statewatch database). For historical context and background see the Statewatch report for the SECILE project: The EU Data Retention Directive: a case study in the legitimacy and effectiveness of EU counter-terrorism policy (pdf)
CIA torture report: Poland admits black site, human rights groups demand justice
CIA torture report: Poland admits US used black site on its territory (The Independent, link): "Poland has acknowledged for the first time that there was a CIA "black site" on its soil."
The Money Behind The CIA's Torture Program (Forbes, link): "In total, the report claims that the CIA's detention and interrogation program cost "well over $300 million in non-personnel costs." One individual associated with the CIA program on the ground level told U.S. government investigators that the program had "more money than we could possibly spend we thought, and it turned out to be accurate.""
CIA torture report a 'good start,' but child victims of rendition absent (Reprieve, link): "We are still a long way from acknowledging the horrors of the CIA's torture programme, and achieving real accountability"
CIA report: 'Torture is a crime and those responsible must be brought to justice' (The Guardian, link): "The UN, human rights activists and legal experts have renewed calls for the Obama administration to prosecute US officials responsible for the CIA torture programme revealed in extensive detail following the release of a damning report by the Senate intelligence committee."
Report: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program (10 MB, link)
On accountability for the CIA's activities in Europe, see: Piecing together the puzzle: making US torturers in Europe accountable (pdf) by Andreas Schüller and Morenike Fajana
GREECE: Blackmail, protection, money laundering: funding Golden Dawn (Channel 4 News, link): "In the run up to the trials of some of the leaders of Golden Dawn, information showing that the party funded itself through protection rings, blackmail, trafficking and off-shore money laundering has come to light in a series of documents unearthed by prosecutors in their investigation and seen by Channel 4 News."
EU: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria prioritised for "pilot initiative on return"
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria will be the first targets of a "pilot initiative" on deportations that will see national and EU officials apply heavy pressure on selected countries in order to "improve the return rate in a number of specific countries of origin."
EU: Draft Guidelines for the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (LIMITE,13469/1/14 REV 1): This 14-page document contains the what', 'how' and 'who' of the EU's radicalisation and recruitment strategy: "The responsibility for combating radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism lies primarily with the Member States. EU efforts may add value to national and local efforts and provide an important framework for cooperation on appropriate responses to be prompted across the EU to effectively respond to radicalisation at both local, national, European and international level.
"Means and patterns of radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism are constantly evolving. In order to ensure that new and emerging threats are effectively addressed, it is necessary to monitor these guidelines"
The Guidelines are intended to complement the EU Revised EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (pdf). See also: "Call it intercontinental collaboration": radicalisation, violent extremism and fusion centres (pdf) by Chris Jones, one of a collection of essays on 'The EU and Uncle Sam'
News in Brief (11.12.14)
United Kingdom: Human rights news file 2014 (Council of Europe, link): "A month by month review of the key events in Strasbourg and in the United Kingdom which have helped to shape this years human rights news."
EU intelligence chief: No way of checking if information came from torture (EUobserver, link): "Ilkka Salmi, the head of the EUs intelligence-sharing bureau, IntCen, has said he has no way of checking if its information was obtained using torture."
Spanish government launches first transparency website (El Pais, link): "The Spanish government will on Wednesday launch a new transparency website that will make over 500,000 details of public interest freely accessible to all citizens."
UK: Westfield White City taken over by Eric Garner die-in protest (London 24, link): "Parts of the Shepherds Bush shopping centre came to a standstill tonight as protesters held a mass die-in in solidarity with Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after he was held in a chokehold by police in New York City."
Greece prepares for snap elections (EurActiv, link): "In a sudden move and under pressure from international lenders, Greek PM Antonis Samaras decided yesterday to hold elections on 17 December, with a new wave of political instability expected to hit the country."
Snap election in Greece reignites fears for eurozone (Financial Times, link): "Greeces political woes re-erupted as a threat to global financial stability on Tuesday, triggering the biggest drop on the Athens stock exchange since the 1980s and sending reverberations through world markets."
UK: Manchester police involved in Taser death seek anonymity at inquest (The Guardian, link): "Five police officers involved in the fatal Tasering of a young man in Manchester have asked to remain anonymous at his inquest, claiming their lives would be in danger were they identified."
ITALY: Immigration centres are new cash cow for Italian mafia (EUobserver, link): "Italian police on Wednesday (3 December) uncovered a mafia network in Rome said to have extorted millions of euros from programmes designed to help the citys most vulnerable."
USA: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program (10 MB, link).
See Senate report on CIA program details brutality, dishonesty (Washington Post (link), Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about 'ineffective' program Report released by Senate after four-year, $40m investigation concludes CIA repeatedly lied about brutal techniques in years after 9/11 (Guardian, link) and Waterboarding and sleep deprivation: how the CIA tortured its detainees - Waterboarding, confinement, sleep deprivation Oliver Laughland takes a look at some of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the agency (Guardian, link)
International Committee of the Red Cross:Children and Detention (pdf, link):
"Detention can be stressful and dangerous.It entails physical, emotional and intellectual deprivation, and even resilient adults find it hard to cope with. For children therefore, detention is likely to have a particularly severe and lasting effect. That is why they should be detained only as a last resort and for the shortest possible time."
EU-USA: NSA's surveillance a 'trade barrier' for EU companies (euractiv, link):
"The US National Security Agency's mass surveillance is a trade barrier for European Internet companies trying to provide services in the United States, a top EU official said yesterday (8 December). US citizens are deterred from using European email providers because they do not get the same protection as they would by using US providers, said Paul Nemitz, a director in the European Commission's justice department.
"The law [...] which empowers the NSA to basically grab everything which comes from outside the United States, is a real trade barrier to a European digital company to provide services to Americans inside America," Nemitz, who is overseeing an overhaul of the EU's 20-year-old data protection rules, said at a conference on data protection in Paris."
See also: France Wants EU Data Privacy Rules to Balance U.S. Web Giants Power (Digits, link)
EU and Greece turn their backs on refugees arriving at Greek islands (Medecins sans Frontieres, link):
"Thousands of refugees arriving on the shores of Greeces Aegean islands are being welcomed with a dysfunctional reception system and inhumane living conditions, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Greece and the European Union (EU) must urgently improve living conditions for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and offer them adequate medical assistance and protection."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS Guidelines on conflicts of interest: data protection strengthens good public administration (Press release, pdf) and Guidelines (pdf)
"Of the EDPS Guidelines on the collection and publication of Personal Data with regard to the management of conflicts of interest in EU institutions and bodies,
Giovanni Buttarelli, Supervisor, said: "By taking data protection fully into account, EU institutions can ensure openness and transparency and better manage declarations of interests in a fair way, demonstrating the independence of those working for them as well as exercising a duty of care towards them".
USA: CIA braces for impact of torture report inquiry as release date nears - Public airing of post-9/11 practices, coming after months of negotiation, is likely to attract attention worldwide and could come as early as Tuesday (Guardin, link)
EU: DP REGULATION: COUNCIL CONSOLIDATED TEXT: Statewatch Analysis: The Proposed Data Protection Regulation: What has the Council agreed so far? (85 pages with 145 footnotes on Member State positions, pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"EU Council (which consists of Member States justice ministers) has been adopting its position on the proposed Regulation in several pieces.... For the benefit of those interested in the details of these developments, the following analysis presents a consolidated text of the three pieces of the proposed Regulation which the Council has agreed to date, including the parts of the preamble which have already been agreed. I have left intact the footnotes appearing in the agreed texts, which set out Member States comments."
CoE: Mass surveillance exposed by Snowden not justified by fight against terrorism - Report by Nils Muinieks, commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, says secret, massive and indiscriminate intelligence work is contrary to rule of law (Guardian, link):
"Muinieks [the Commissoiner] wrote: In connection with the debate on the practices of intelligence and security services prompted by Edward Snowdens revelations, it is becoming increasingly clear that secret, massive and indiscriminate surveillance programmes are not in conformity with European human rights law and cannot be justified by the fight against terrorism or other important threats to national security. Such interferences can only be accepted if they are strictly necessary and proportionate to a legitimate aim.
See: CoE: Commissioner for Human Rights: Report: The Rule of Law on the Internet in the Wider Digital World.(124 pages, pdf), Summary (pdf) and Infographic (pdf)
EU looks to African dictators for migration solutions (euobserver, link): "The Italian EU presidency had organised and launched the so-called Khartoum Process to try and prevent asylum seekers from going via countries such as Libya to get to the EU."
See: The Khartoum Process (pdf) agreed in Rome on 28 November 2014 agreed by: "Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia and United Kingdom, and the European and African Union (AU) Commissioners in charge of migration and development, as well as the EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission."
News in Brief (8.12.14)
DRIPA 2014: UK court to review legality of web snooping law (GIGACOM,link)
Privacy concerns stall cybersecurity cooperation (Washington Examiner, link)
TTIP fears well founded (Law Society Gazette, link)
France accused of giving 'Nazi style' badges to homeless (New Europe, link)
EU: How to regulate data protection across EU borders remains main sticking point to reform (Outlaw, link)
Take in Syrian refugees, aid agencies tell rich countries - Organisations including Oxfam and Amnesty International call on rich countries to resettle tens of thousands of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes (Guardian, link)
Merkel coalition partners want immigrants to speak German at home (euractiv, link)
ECHR: HOON v UK government: The publication of a parliamentary investigation into a politician allegedly seeking financial reward in exchange for his influence was justified (Press release, pdf)
ECHR: Suspects of piracy against French vessels, apprehended in Somalia by the French authorities, should have been brought before a legal authority as soon as they arrived in France (Press release, pdf)
EU-USA: Congressional Research Service: USA-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (pdf)
"In the negotiation of several U.S.-EU informationsharing agreements, some EU officials have been concerned about whether the United States could guarantee a sufficient level of protection for European citizens personal data. In particular, some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and many European civil liberty groups have long argued that elements of U.S.-EU information-sharing agreements violate the privacy rights of EU citizens."
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4-5 December 2014 in Brussels: Final press release (pdf)
See: "B" Points agenda (for discussion, pdf) and "A" Points agenda: non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and: Background Note (pdf) and Council Conclusions: Development of a renewed European Union: Internal Security Strategy (pdf)
News in Brief (7.12.14)
Jailed Greek student Nikos Romanoss family fear son will be martyr - Amid bitter clashes in Athens, the father of a young anarchist on hunger strike speaks of his sons transformation from model student to figurehead for the protesters (The Obserber, link)
German government plans source prosecution as Greens push new whistleblower protection law (Courage, link)
Irregular Migration as a Response to Geopolitical Shocks: The Long - Term Effects of Short - term Policies (EUI, link)
UK: Drone near miss with passenger plane close to Heathrow airport investigated - Air safety investigators due to release report into incident, which took place in July and involved an Airbus A320 (Guardian, link)
Britain accused of complicity in Kenyan death squad terrorism suspect killings - Kenyan intelligence members also claim they receive training and intelligence from Britains military and officials (Guardian, link)
EU: THE LEGALITY of SURVEILLANCE by NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY AGENCIES: EU Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Working Document on surveillance of electronic communications for intelligence and national security purposes (52 pages, pdf):
"This Working Document contains the legal analysis behind the WP29 Opinion on surveillance of electronic communications for intelligence and national security purposes that was adopted on 10 April 2014. The focus of this Opinion lies with the follow up that is needed after the Snowden revelations. To this end, it contains several recommendations on how to restore respect for the fundamental rights of privacy and data protection by the intelligence and security services, and on how to improve supervision of these entities activities while maintaining national security....
none of these instruments contains a provision that would allow for massive, structural or unlimited data transfers. In as far as third country public authorities wish to obtain direct access to personal data under EU jurisdiction, they should make use of the formal means of cooperation, since no explicit possibilities are foreseen in the EU legislation to transfer personal data held by private sector data controllers to third country law enforcement authorities or security services."
UK: Chief constable warns against drift towards police state - Greater Manchesters Sir Peter Fahy says it is not the polices job to define what counts as extremism (Guardian, link):
"The battle against extremism could lead to a drift towards a police state in which officers are turned into thought police, one of Britains most senior chief constables has warned.
Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester, said police were being left to decide what is acceptable free speech as the efforts against radicalisation and a severe threat of terrorist attack intensify.... Fahy serves as chief constable of Greater Manchester police and also has national counter-terrorism roles. He is vice-chair of the polices terrorism committee and national lead on Prevent, the counter radicalisation strategy."
UK: Surveillance law allows police to act in an unacceptable way, say MPs - Select committee chairman Keith Vaz says using Ripa to access journalist phone records must cease (Guardian, link):
"Britains surveillance laws, which have recently been used by the police to seize journalistss phone records in the Plebgate and Huhne cases, are not fit for purpose and need urgent reform, a Commons inquiry has found. The Commons home affairs select committee says that the level of secrecy surrounding use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) allows the police to engage in acts which would be unacceptable in a democracy.
The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, said the surveillance law was not fit for purpose: Using Ripa to access telephone records of journalists is wrong and this practice must cease. The inevitable consequence is that this deters whistleblowers from coming forward. In response Home Office ministers have said they will revise the Ripa rules on communications data requests involving sensitive professions such as journalists and lawyers, and they will launch a consultation on the move before Christmas.
The inquiry found the law enforcement agencies routinely fail to record the professions of those whose communications data records they access under Ripa."
See: Ful-text: Home Affairs Select Committee: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (pdf)
EU: eCall system: MEPs back deal with Council on automatic emergency call system for cars (Press release, pdf) and Final-4-col-doc as agreed in trilogue meetings (with Council negotiating position deleted, pdf)
The deal will "require all new car models to be equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018" and "preclude tracking of eCallequipped vehicle before the accident occurs" and that "ensure that data gathered by emergency centres or their service partners must not be transferred to third parties without explicit consent of the person concerned, the data subject.
The data protection clauses sound good now. But how long will it be before another "reason" emerges and demands are made to track and retain data and hand it over to "third parties"?
USA-UK:"FIVE EYES": SURVEILLANCE: ECHELON STUDY: European Parliament: The ECHELON Affair: The European Parliament and the Global Interception System (pdf):
"Fifteen years after the events, The Echelon Affair draws on the European Parliaments archives to describe and analyse a worldwide scandal which had an impact on the history of Parliament and which today is echoed in the revelations of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange and in other cases of spying on a grand scale."
UK: GCHQ does not breach human rights, judges rule (BBC, News, link):
"The current system of UK intelligence collection does not currently breach the European Convention of Human Rights, a panel of judges has ruled. A case claiming various systems of interception by GCHQ constituted a breach had been brought by Amnesty, Privacy International and others.
It followed revelations by the former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden about UK and US surveillance practices. But the judges said questions remained about GCHQ's previous activities. Some of the organisations who brought the case, including Amnesty UK and Privacy International, say they intend to appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights."
See Judgment: Full-text (pdf)
and PI comments: Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules GCHQ mass surveillance programme TEMPORA is legal in principle (link) and UK mass surveillance laws do not breach human rights, tribunal rules - Rights groups brought case against GCHQ after Snowden revelations on extent of electronic surveillance in UK and US (Guardian, link)
USA-NSA: SURVEILLANCE: Operation Auroragold - How the NSA Hacks Cellphone Networks Worldwide (The Intercept, link):
"The documents also reveal how the NSA plans to secretly introduce new flaws into communication systems so that they can be tapped intoa controversial tactic that security experts say could be exposing the general population to criminal hackers. Codenamed AURORAGOLD, the covert operation has monitored the content of messages sent and received by more than 1,200 email accounts associated with major cellphone network operators, intercepting confidential company planning papers that help the NSA hack into phone networks.,,, The operation appears aimed at ensuring virtually every cellphone network in the world is NSA accessible."
See document: AURORAGOLD overview (pdf)
UK: Undercover police spy accused of encouraging activist to crime - Animal rights campaigner aims to overturn conviction on grounds of undisclosed role of Met officer who encouraged illegal acts (Guardian, link)
European Commission: Prposed Decision: repealing certain acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (COM 714-14, pdf)
EU: Immigration detention in Europe: What are the facts? A new European Migration Network Study (EU Law Analysis, link) and see EMN Study (pdf):
"Placing migrant in detention may aim at compelling him to collaborate with authorities in view of obtaining travel documents or agreeing to return voluntarily. The use of detention for such criminal-like purposes appears to be beneficial for States, while at the same time makes non-citizens more vulnerable to abuses. "
Eurosur extended: all participating states now connected to border surveillance system
All 30 Schengen states are now connected to Eurosur, the European Border Surveillance System, which officially began operating in December 2013 with the participation of the 19 Schengen states at the EU's southern and eastern borders. The development was noted in the European Commission's recent report on the functioning of the Schengen area, which says: "Frontex was scheduled to connect the remaining 11 centres to the Eurosur communication network by the end of November 2014."
News in Brief (4-5.12.14)
When data gets creepy: the secrets we dont realise were giving away (Guardian, link): "We all worry about digital spies stealing our data but now even the things we thought we were happy to share are being used in ways we dont like. Why arent we making more of a fuss? "
EU Commission wants to wipe out citizens involvement in TTIP and CETA (STOP TTIP, link) and see STOP TTIP (link):" In its rejection of the ECI, the European Commission claims that the negotiating mandates on TTIP and CETA are not legal acts but internal preparatory acts between EU institutions and therefore not contestable via an ECI. The Commissions view that only acts with an effect on third parties are permissible for an ECI is obviously a legal error. The negotiating mandate of the Commission is a formal decision of the Council and therefore a legal act. If the Commissions legal opinion had any substance, then in plain English this would mean that Europes population is excluded from participation in the development of any kind of international agreements information that is as frightening as it is scandalous, according to Efler [ contact person of the ECI]"
IRELAND: Government asks European court to revise Hooded Men ruling - Court ruled in 1978 that treatment of 12 men was inhumane but not torture (Irish Times, link) and Ireland: Decision to reopen 'Hooded Men' court case a triumph of justice after four decades of waiting (AI, link)
UK: Is the Charity Commission targeting Muslims? (Spinwatch, link)
EU: 'Yellow cards' from national EU parliaments not very effective (euobserver, link): New tools national parliaments received five years ago this month to influence EU lawmaking are not very effective, a research requested by the Dutch national assembly found. The report - "Engaging with Europe" - by Radboud University in Nijmegen was presented in The Hague on Wednesday (3 December).... However, according to the researchers, national parliaments think Brussels does not reply quickly enough. And when they get the reply, it often simply comes down to repeating the argumentation from the original draft legislative act.
Danish court orders a UK company to block Danish IP addresses (EDRI, link)
At Global Climate Conferences, Spying Is Just Part of the Woodwork (The Intercept, link)
UK: Shocking video: Police CS spray protesting Warwick University students (Coventry Telegraph, link)
France: ASSFAM, Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, France terre d'asile, La Cimade, Ordre de Malte France (Press release) Detention centres: associations demand the modification of the immigration bill (pdf): "The fourt joint report by the five associations which are present in the centres de rétention administrative (CRAs, administrative detention centres) note the persistence of serious violations of detainees fundamental rights."
EU: AN EXAMPLE OF NEO-COLONIALISM? FRONTEX: Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community Joint Report (AFIC) - 2014 (4MB, pdf) This version has a different designation (unlike those for 2012 and 2013 which were censored): "Non-classified" This version has 59 pages, the previous ones were 64 and 76 pages which probably means the "sensitive" bits have been left out..
And see: Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community Joint Report (AFIC) - 2013 (4MB, pdf) and 2012 Report (pdf) Parts have been censored. Frontex, the EU Border Agency, under the hat of the external role of internal security, extends its role outside the EU. Is this an example of the EU Member States' post-colonial role in Africa?
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4-5 December 2014 in Brussels: Background Note (pdf)
EU: Court of Justice (CJEU): Judgment: EU Court: verification sexual orientation asylum seeker must not infringe fundamental rights (link). See Full-text: Judgment (pdf): "Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that authorities, when verifying the sexual orientation of an asylum seeker, should always comply with the EUs Charter of Fundamental Rights."
EU: Meijers Committee: Unaccompanied minors: the Meijers Committee criticizes the Council Presidency amendments to the Dublin III Regulation: Note on the proposal of the European Commission of 26 June 2014 to amend Regulation (EU) 604/2013 (the Dublin III Regulation) (pdf):
"The Meijers Committee is of the opinion that the judgment in case C-646/11 on the position of unaccompanied minors should be implemented fully. This would be in conformity with both the political agreement reached by the co-legislators upon the adoption of the Dublin III regulation and the requirements of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Accordingly, the original Commission proposal should be adopted, without the changes made in the Council Presidency compromise text. In addition, the Meijers Committee believes that it is in the best interest of the child to extend these provisions to unaccompanied minors who do not lodge an application for international protection. Finally, the Meijers Committee suggests that effective remedies should also be ensured against decisions not to transfer an asylum applicant."
News in Brief (3.12.14)
Artificial intelligence could spell end of human race Stephen Hawking Technology will eventually become self-aware and supersede humanity, says astrophysicist (Guardian, link)
Doctors Without Borders Hits Greece on Refugees (ABC News, link)
UK: Police try to overturn ruling they broke law while monitoring octogenarian - Supreme court hears that Met unit tracking John Catt, 89, did not violate campaigners privacy when logging his activities (Guardian, link)
See also: Netpol urges Supreme Court to uphold illegality of protesters domestic extremist record (link), Last March's Court of Appeal judgement against the police's retention of Catt's information (pdf) and Files on politicians, journalists and peace protestors held by police in "domestic extremist" database (Statewatch database)
UK-EU: JHA OPT-OUT: The UK opts back in to the European Arrest Warrant - and other EU criminal law (EU Law Analyses, link): "After much controversy, the UK today completed the process of opting out of EU criminal law measures adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, and opting back in to some of them. This blog post looks as the legal framework for this process and the consequences of opting back in. Its an updated version of a previous Statewatch analysis written this summer"
See: Official Journal: Consolidated texts (pdf)
News in Brief (5.12.14)
UK: Prison book ban overturned: The one stat which shows why it was the RIGHT decision (DAily Mirror, link)
UK: Protests in Campsfield IRC after detainee is beaten up by Mitie security guards (Close Campsfield, link)
EU: Tusk takes over from Van Rompuy this WEEK (euobserver, link): Including "the commission has requested a closed-door presentation when its officials brief MEPs on an EU-US agreement which lays out rules on handing over EU citizens data among other issues."
Edward Snowden wins Swedish human rights award for NSA revelations - Whistleblower receives several standing ovations in Swedish parliament as he wins Right Livelihood award (Guardian, link): "Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance. Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person."
and see: INCENSER, or how NSA and GCHQ are tapping internet cables (link): Recently disclosed documents show that the NSA's fourth-largest cable tapping program, codenamed INCENSER, pulls its data from just one single source: a submarine fiber optic cable linking Asia with Europe. Until now, it was only known that INCENSER was a sub-program of WINDSTOP and that it collected some 14 billion pieces of internet data a month. The latest revelations now say that these data were collected with the help of the British company Cable & Wireless (codenamed GERONTIC, now part of Vodafone) at a location in Cornwall in the UK, codenamed NIGELLA. For the first time, this gives us a view on the whole interception chain, from the parent program all the way down to the physical interception facility. Here we will piece together what is known about these different stages and programs from recent and earlier publications."
EU: Council of the European Union: Friends of the Presidency and CJEU Rules of Procedure
FOP: Friends of the Presidency Group "Improving the functioning of the EU": Fourth meeting (1 December 2014) : Other and pending issues1592 (LIMITE doc no: 15925-14, pdf) Including the following question: "Do you consider that inter-governmental agreements signed beyond the existing legal framework are answers to the challenges Europe is facing, or should the EU objectives be pursued within the limits of the Treaties?"
Draft Rules of Procedure of the General Court of the European Union (EU doc no:15628-14, pdf)
News in Brief (1.12.14)
GCHQ's 'jihad on tech firms' can only fail (Guardian, link): "Bullying the US tech firms could disrupt constructive ways to track terrorism - and force companies to channel requests through lengthy international legal processes."
Swiss voters reject immigration cap (euobserver, link): "Switzerland has rejected a plan to cut net immigration to no more than 0.2 percent of the population, following a referendum on Sunday (30 November)."
Europes next privacy war is with websites silently tracking users - European data protection watchdogs publish guidance on web tracking using device fingerprinting that could result in more I agree forms (Guardian, link)
Greeces plans to purchase drones from Israel pose a moral dilemma (Press project, link)
The EU's charter of fundamental rights - five years on (euobserver, link)
The UK's Real Intelligence Failure - Time for a global debate about the limits of surveillance (Computerworld, link)
Young, Syrian and on hunger strike: 150 Syrians are staging a hunger strike, protesting destitution and lack of hope, as Europe keeps them stuck in Greece. (Precarioueurope, link). See also: Refugee protests in Europe: fighting for the right to stay (Statewatch database)
UK's block opt-out and partial re-opt-in to the ex-third pillar acquis (Council press release, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Foreign Fighters and returnees: Implementation of the measures decided by the JHA Council on 9-10 October 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 16002-14, pdf) and EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator To: Council: Foreign fighters and returnees: discussion paper (LIMITE doc no: 15795-14, pdf)
News in Brief (30.11.14)
GREECE: Athens 1944: Britains dirty secret - When 28 civilians were killed in Athens, it wasnt the Nazis who were to blame, it was the British. Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith reveal how Churchills shameful decision to turn on the partisans who had fought on our side in the war sowed the seeds for the rise of the far right in Greece today (The Observer, link)
UK-EU: David Camerons timetable for reform in Europe impossible - EU experts cast doubt over prime ministers ability to secure changes to European law before referendum on membership (The Observer, link)
UK: PM is accelerating a race to the bottom on immigration - Cameron could have risen to the occasion, like Obama, and tried to change the entire political tone of the debate over immigration (Guardian, link): "It is barely a week since Barack Obama broke the political mould on immigration by demonstrating that it is possible to do the morally right thing to rise above narrow partisan advantage and still be an elected politician....Camerons latest contribution is simply accelerating a race to the bottom between the three main parties over how swiftly they are prepared to push for the removal of the welfare safety net from a marginal number of low-paid and jobless European migrants in Britain."
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation:
ONE-STOP SHOP: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - The one-stop-shop mechanism = Orientation debate (EU doc no: 15656/14, pdf)
Public sector and Chapter IX (LIMITE doc no: 15655-rev1-14, pdf)
And Directive on LEAs data exchange:
State of play (15730-14, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: EU-USA TTIP: Draft Council Conclusions on EU-US TTIP negotiations - Adoption (LIMITE doc no: 15555-14, pdf) and public version: Adopted version (pdf)
IRR News Service: Home Office contractors expected to lie, inspection reveals (link): "Phil Miller of Corporate Watch examines a recent report from the prison inspectorate on charter deportations from the UK", Landlord penalties and the right to housing (link): "Forcing private landlords to police undocumented migrants will exacerbate inequality and deflect blame for the housing shortage"
EU: DEVICE FINGERPRINTING: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion 9/2014 on the application of Directive 2002/58/EC to device fingerprinting (pdf) The A29WP report asks whether using ways other than cookies to uniquely identify web users for the purposes of tracking comes within the scope of the e-privacy Directive - the short answer: yes, if such 'device fingerprinting' is used for the purposes of advertising:
See also: Guidelines on implementing CJEU judgment: Google Spain (pdf) "In the terms of the Court, in the light of the potential seriousness of the impact of this processing on the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection, the rights of the data subject prevail, as a general rule, over the economic interest of the search engine and that of internet users to have access to the personal information through the search engine."
News in Brief (29.11.14)
Investigator into attacks on EU, Belgacom points finger - US, UK accused of cyberwarfare against EU (New Europe, link)
UK-EU: The nine labours of Cameron: Analysis of the plans to change EU free movement law (EU Law Analysis, link)
Civil Liberties in Peril Down Under (New York Times, link): "Australia and New Zealand are not among the usual suspects when it comes to state suppression of civil liberties. But both countries, stung by Edward J. Snowdens revelations last year about their intelligence-gathering efforts, have been cracking down on the press: Australia has passed sweeping secrecy laws, while police officers in New Zealand recently raided the home of a reporter who had published information regarding a government scandal."
Progress Slow on Talks Over Revision Of U.S.-EU Safe Harbor, Officials Say (Bloomberg BNA, link)
MEP vote ups pressure on EU to break up Google (euobserver, link): "MEPs in Strasbourg on Thursday (27 November) are targeting Google in a vote to pressure EU anti-trust regulators to unbundle the company in a move contested by the United States." and see: European Parliament press release: MEPs zero in on nternet search companies and clouds (pdf)
More support needed for British nationals abroad, Select Committee finds (FTI, link): "A new report released by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which followed evidence provided by Fair Trials, has criticised the inconsistent support received by British nationals abroad from consular services. The report, published on 23rd November,"
USA: Dear America, I Saw You Naked: And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.(Politico, link)
UK: NEW POWER IN COUNTER TERRORISM BILL TO GATHER IP ADDRESSES IS NOT LIMITED TO TERRORISM, IT WILL COVER ALL CRIME: Counter-Terrorism and Security: Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill - Full-text (pdf) The Bill amends the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA 2014) which in turn amended RIPA 2000. This means that although the Foreword refers to "terrorism" there is no such limitation in the text of the Bill. The new power in Clause 17 for the retention of IP addresses (covering internet usage and VOIP) is not limited to combating terrorism as DRIPA 2014 and RIPA 2000 cover all crime. This is confirmed by the Impact Assessment on: IProtocol Address Resolution (pdf) which makes it crystal clear that this new power will cover all cime, not just terrorism.
See also: Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill (pdf) and: Impact Assessments on: Passport Seizure (pdf), Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (pdf), Temporary Exclusion Orders (pdf), Border Security (pdf), Prevent (pdf), Kidnap and Ransom (pdf) and Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (pdf)
Germany, Austria and Italy launch "trilateral controls" to deal with "the increasing numbers of refugees"
On 13 November the German Interior Ministry announced the start of what it calls "trilateral patrolling" - police patrols in border regions involving officers from Germany, Austria and Italy. Controls, primarily focused on trains, will be "significantly boosted" by the operation. Thomas de Maizière, German's Federal Interior Minister, said: "Stronger action against illegal migration is urgently required in view of the increasing numbers of refugees." The new measures have been advertised as "trilateral" in nature. However, it seems that the controls will mostly take place on Italian territory.
EU: NSA-GCHQ: SURVEILLANCE: Secret Malware in European Union Attack Linked to U.S. and British Intelligence (Intercept, link):
"Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept."
New Frontex Director: Statement by Commissioner Avramopoulos on the appointment of the new Executive Director of Frontex (pdf) and see his "Motivation" (link)
EU: SCHENGEN: European Commission: Sixth bi-annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area 1 May - 31 October 2014 (COM 711-14, pdf)
Spain: repressive laws that also concern Europe (pdf), French (pdf) and Spanish (pdf):
"On 17 October, Members of Parliament from the Peoples Party, party in government in Spain, have adopted the draft Organic Law on the Protection of Citizens Security and have rejected all the amendments presented by the various opposition parties...
The Organic Law on the Protection of Citizens Security provides for the introduction of 21 new offences and severe penalties for actions linked to social protest, and increases the discretionary power of the police to implement measures such as the identification of persons, body search, the possibility to enter in private homes and to record data, or the limitation of the freedom of movement. Moreover, the power of security forces would be strengthened as taking photographs of police actions during demonstrations would be sanctioned... The bill has been launched by the Peoples Party with the obvious aim to fight mobilisation against policies of economic austerity and their consequences on rights."
See also: European Parliament Press release: Debates on EU approach to migration and the expulsion of migrants from Spain (pdf): "MEPs discussed planned changes to Spanish law which would enable the country to expel clandestine migrants caught entering its North African enclaves Ceuta and Melilla without providing legal or procedural safeguards for them. Most speakers questioned whether these hot returns are consistent with EU law and values and asked whether the Commission is planning to take any action to address the practice."
EU: RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN: EU regulators want right-to-be forgotten to go global (euobserver, link) and see: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Statement (pdf)
News in Brief (27.11.14)
UK: Protest: Austerity Has Failed - Sack George Osborne - 2 Dec (Peoples Assembly, link)
Violence against journalists on the rise, climate of impunity prevails, says UNESCO (IFEX, link)
European Parliament fights back hard on net neutrality (EDRI, link)
UK: MOJ hell-bent on forcing through cuts despite warnings (LCCSA, link): "The MOJ has this morning confirmed that it will pursue its overhaul of legal aid representation in police stations and magistrates courts despite widespread opposition from both the profession and outside justice campaigners who have repeatedly warned it will undermine justice and the right to a fair defence."
Greeces Investment in Migration Control Yields No Returns (Open Society Foundations, link) See Midas report (link)
EU asks Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Slovenia to apply EU rules on exchange of information on traffic offences (Balkans.com, link)
UK: It isnt Facebook that feeds terror. Its war and tyranny - The refusal to accept Britains role in a violent campaign without end fosters fear and racism (Guardian, link) and Editorial: The Guardian view on terror: keep calm and carry on - The new advice to run, hide and tell is out of tune with British history
Bulgaria links US visa treatment to TTIP (euractiv, link)
UK: Sir Nigel Sheinwald appointed Special Envoy on intelligence and law enforcement data sharing (Cabinet Office, link_
EU Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 as regards determining the Member State responsible for examining the application for international protection of unaccompanied minors with no family member, sibling or relative legally present in a Member State (LIMITE doc no: 15567-14, pdf)
UK: SCOPE OF NEW CT BILL NOT LIMITED TO TERRORISM?: Counter-Terrorism and Security: Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill - Full-text (pdf) This Bill amends the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA 2014) which in turn amended RIPA 2000.On first reading this means that although the Foreword refers to "terrorism" there is no such limitation in the text of the Bill so its scope is not limited to combating terrorism as neither DRIPA 2014 and RIPA 2000 contain such a provision. Clause 17 of the Bill covers the: "Retention of relevant internet data" (such as everyone's IP address). If this is the case it would appear the new CTS Bill could cover any crime. It is also worthy of note that reference to a "person" includes: "an organisation and any association or combination of persons"
See also: Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill (pdf) which does not cast any light on the above question.
Concerns raised over anti-terror bill (BBC News, link): Powers to stop some British fighters returning from Syria and Iraq was an "announcement waiting for a policy", the reviewer of terrorism laws says. David Anderson QC said his "central concern" about the proposals first unveiled by David Cameron in early September was: "Where are the courts?"
UK: Lee Rigby murder: Facebook could have picked up killers message - report - Intelligence committee chair calls Facebook a safe haven for terrorists but rights groups warn of creeping state surveillance (Guardian, link): "Isabella Sankey, director of policy for the civil rights group Liberty, said: The ISC shamefully spins the facts seeking to blame the communications companies for not doing the agencies work for them.
See Report from the Intelligence and Security Committee: Report on the intelligence relating to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby (pdf)
Why its dangerous to blame internet firms for Lee Rigbys murder - Outrageous claims by the intelligence and security committee threaten goodwill that exists among internet firms and UK police (Guardian, link): "The claim by parliaments intelligence and security committee that an unnamed internet company should entirely shoulder the blame for failing to prevent the terrorist murder of soldier Lee Rigby is as outrageous as it is wrong-headed. It really is a case of shooting the messenger. The accusation by the ISC chairman, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, that the company is providing a haven for terrorists because it is not routinely monitoring the content of every exchange that takes place over its networks is not far off a 1920s home secretary blaming the telephone for spreading Soviet Bolshevism.... if US companies are not prepared to hand over their customers data by the front door, the British government in the shape of GCHQ, are quite prepared to grab it by the back door."
News in Brief (26.11.14)
Dutch govt response to ECJs April 2014 ruling on the EU Data Retention Directive (Matthijs R. Koot's notebook, link): " the Dutch government upholds the existing Dutch implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive and proceeds with its proposal for ANPR data retention. The Dutch government does, however, does try and meet the ECJs ruling through some cosmetic changes."
How journalists can protect their sources from the snoopers (Guardian, link)
Vodafone sent 1,000 News UK workers' data to police (BBC News, link)
UK: An artist tried to photograph every CCTV camera around the edge of Londons congestion zone (link): " On 30 October of this year, security guards outside the Grosvenor House Hotel in London saw a man taking photos of CCTV cameras on the hotels outer walls. They performed a citizens arrest, then called the police. Once the police arrived, they asked for ID and conducted a search, before telling the offending artist that carrying a camera in central London was automatic grounds for suspicion. Under the 1968 Theft Act, they said, carrying a camera could be seen as going equipped: casing a joint for burglary."
National security: a concept in search of a meaning? (Matt Carr, link)
La Policía Militar entrena a soldados para actuar como antidisturbios ante población civil (Publico.es, link): Troops from an armoured military regiment received a two-week training course in Valencia on "crowd control", but have not received an explanation why. Soldiers from the regiment said that "we must be prepared for everything and more in these times." and see: Spanish military prepares for domestic repression (WSW, link)
Riot police attack student protesters in Athens (Roarmag, link): "Schools in Greece have been occupied for a week. After todays student protest, riot police blocked access to the university and attacked the students."
UK police leaflets advise people to run, hide and tell in event of terrorist attack (The Guardian, link)
EU is 'aged and weary', pope says (euobserver, link): "In a highly anticipated speech attended by almost all members of the European Parliament, pope Francis on Tuesday (25 November) criticised the EU's treatment of migrants, its institutions, and its focus on growth and consumerism..... We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast graveyard, Francis said, referring to the thousands who die each year trying to reach the EU."
Freighter with 700 migrants being towed to Crete (New Europe, link): "Hampered by gale-force winds and high waves, a Greek navy frigate was slowly towing a crippled freighter crammed with hundreds of migrants to safety on the southern island of Crete Wednesday."
EU funds airline data-sharing despite legal concerns (euobserver, link): "The European Commission has awarded 50 million to member states to set up airline passenger data sharing systems, despite an upcoming EU Court analysis on the probity of similar schemes." and Travel surveillance: PNR by the back door.(Statewatch News Online)
EU: The European Migration Policy violates human rights (pdf): "Strasbourg. On Wednesday 26 November, the Collective for another migration policy*, composed of around 50 human rights associations, is organising, for the second consecutive year, a demonstration in front of the European Parliament to bring back to the fore the debate about the migration policy, and to present a campaign FRONTEXIT. This demonstration, supported by the European deputies Marie-Christine Vergiat, Malin Björk, Eva Joly, Barbara Spinelli and Cornelia Ernst, was proposed during a press conference held in the heart of the European institutions."
HUNGARY: Report: Disrespect for European Values in Hungary 2010-2014 (pdf)
"Hungarian NGOs have prepared a report about the (dis)respect of European Union values (as enshrined in the EU treaties) in Hungary in recent years. The report is an easy to follow, concise summary of the legal analysis carried out in several earlier reports. The report was prepared by 4 Hungarian human rights NGOs and supported by 18 other NGOs in Hungary, including the Hungarian LGBT Alliance, Háttér Society and Budapest Pride"
EP: The European Parliament has just voted, Tuesday 25 November, to refer the EU-CANADA PNR agreement to the Court of European Justice (CJEU). See Press release: MEPs refer EU-Canada air passenger data deal to the EU Court of Justice (pdf):
"The EU-Canada agreement on the transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) should be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion on whether it is in line with the EU treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights, MEPs said in a vote on Tuesday. This is the first time that Parliament has asked that a PNR
agreement be given a preliminary check by the Court before the final vote on the deal.
The resolution was approved by 383 votes to 271, with 47 abstentions. Before voting on the resolution, MEPs rejected a proposal to postpone it by 307 votes in favour, 380 against and 14 abstentions."
See: Draft Motion for a Resolution pursuant to Rule 108(6) of the Rules of Procedure on seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility with the Treaties of the Agreement between Canada and the European Union on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (pdf)
News in Brief (25.1.14)
Excellent article: Migration, Fisheries, and the Supremacy of European Interests in Mauritania (Jadaliyya, link)
Met's journalist files include details of sexual orientation, childhood and family medical history (Press Gazette, link)
Calls for Data Protection Commissioner to investigate spy bug (Breaking News.ie, link)
Irish priest barred from centre for asylum seekers by owner over comments (Irish Examiner, link)
How Militarizing Police Can Increase Violence (Science of US, link)
System needed to allow positive decisions on asylum to be recognised across EU - see ECRE's new discussion paper here (link) and Discussion Paper (link)
GCHQ: SURVEILLANCE: Snowden-Leaks: How Vodafone-Subsidiary Cable & Wireless Aided GCHQs Spying Efforts (SZ International, link) With set of documents.
UK: Terror bill requires universities to ban extremist speakers - Home Secretary Theresa May says Britain is facing struggle that will go on for many years (Guardian, link): "Theresa May announced that the legislation would also place a statutory duty on schools, colleges, prisons and local councils to help prevent people from being drawn into terrorism." See: Speech in full: Home Secretary Theresa May on counter-terrorism (pdf)
UK-G6: At last the Home Office publishes a statement on the G6 meeting in Paris on 6 November: The informal G6 group of Ministers of the Interior (link) from the six largest European Union countries held its most recent meeting in Paris on 6 November 2014. Representatives of the United States of America, Canada, Turkey and the European Commission attended for part of the meeting.
EU: LEAs personal data exchange between Member States: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data - Chapters I, II and V (LIMITE doc no: 15659-rev1-14, 71 pages, pdf): Major revisions to the Council's negotiating position.with 264 Member State reservations and comments. Including trying to define what role the police and their specialist units play in "internal security" which is the province of internal security and intelligence agencies::
"This Directive lays down the rules relating to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent ( ) authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties as well as by the police or other law-enforcement services for the purposes of maintaining law and order and the safeguarding of internal security." (14105/14).[emphasis in original] and
"take on board the above-mentioned German suggestion, with the need to better clarify what the wording "law and order" is meant to include/exclude and in particular, as far as the concept of "internal security" is concerned, in order to avoid overlapping with tasks assigned to intelligence services in order to protect the security of the State from internal threats."
EU: Council of the European Union: Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, 1112 November 2014 (pdf): Including:
""Enhancing police cooperation of Salzburg Forum members in the form of police chief meetings
"The Ministers took note of the proposal to organize regular meetings of Salzburg Forum Chiefs of Police, in order to establish a close link between politics and operational police work. The Ministers agreed that a strong link and close interaction between the political/strategic and the operational police level is necessary to
create an added value in the area of public security and to further enhance the cooperation in the framework of the Salzburg Forum...The Ministers welcomed Austria's willingness to organize the first meeting of the Salzburg Forum Chiefs of Police in the first half of 2015, under the Austrian Presidency of the Salzburg Forum."
The Salzburg Forum, based on an Austrian initiative taken in 2000, is a platform for multilateral dialogue and cooperation on issues of internal security. Its member states are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
EU: STOP spying on air travellers! (EDRI, link): "Tomorrow, the European Parliament will make an important decision on your right to privacy. The European Commission wants to collect, store and transfer all your flight passenger data to Canada. A resolution will be presented in the European Parliament to ask the Court of Justice (CJEU) if this agreement respects our fundamental rights. This is an important vote to stop air passenger data retention once and for all."
See: Draft Motion for a Resolution pursuant to Rule 108(6) of the Rules of Procedure on seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility with the Treaties of the Agreement between Canada and the European Union on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (pdf). The parliament's plenary session will vote on this resolution on Tuesday afternoon.
UK: NO MORE DETENTION! 21st anniversary demo Saturday 29 November 2014 (Campaign to Close Campsfield, link)
SPYWARE: Regin: Top-tier espionage tool enables stealthy surveillance (Symantec, Press release, link):
"An advanced spying tool, Regin displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen and has been used in spying operations against governments, infrastructure operators, businesses, researchers, and private individuals." plus Technical Paper (pdf, link)
Regin, new computer spyware, discovered by Symantec (BBC News, link): "A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen. Symantec says the bug, named Regin, was probably created by a government and has been used for six years against a range of targets around the world. Once installed on a computer, it can do things like capture screenshots, steal passwords or recover deleted files"
EU: PRESUMPTION of INNOCENCE: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - General approach (EU doc no: 15837-14, pdf): "The Council is invited to reach a general approach on the text, which will constitute the basis for future negotiations with the European Parliament in the context of the ordinary legislative procedure."
UK: Theresa May moves to give police powers to identify internet users: Lib Dems welcome plan to force internet service providers to keep details linking IP addresses to individuals (Guardian, link), Internet data plan back on political agenda (BBC News, link) and New Security Bill will force online service providers to keep log of users' activity (The Independent, link). The government is to add clauses to this effect to the Anti-Terrorism and Security Bill before parliament.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The government yet again, as it did over DRIPA 2014, is openly ignoring the judgment of the Court of the European Union (CJEU) in April that the mass surveillance of communications, including the internet and mobile phones, is "unlawful".
See Judgment (pdf)
See for background: Statewatch Analyses: Mass surveillance of communications in the EU: CJEU judgment and DRIPA 2014/RIPA 2000 in the UK (pdf) and GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf). The latter includes a statement by GCHQ to the Intelligence and Secuirty Committee in 2013, The reason much of GCHQs trawling is overseas is because:
A complete call or message between two individuals may involve a large number of overseas CSPs and network providers Overseas CSPs, especially those based outside the EU, may not be obliged to retain the CD of most relevance to the authorities. Even if they hold the relevant data, they cannot be obliged to provide it to UK authorities, and may be unwilling to do so voluntarily. (emphasis added, p.11)
EU: Building the EU Judicial System: Politicians 1, (Judicial) Architects 0 (EU Law Analysis, link): "The Court of Justice has recently proposed that the EU should double the number of judges on the General Court, and abolish the EUs Civil Service Tribunal. Why did the Court propose such a dramatic change to the EU judicial system? And is it a good idea? "
Regin, new computer spyware, discovered by Symantec (BBC News, link): "A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen. Symantec says the bug, named Regin, was probably created by a government and has been used for six years against a range of targets around the world. Once installed on a computer, it can do things like capture screenshots, steal passwords or recover deleted files....It has been used to spy on government organisations, businesses and private individuals, they say."
News in Brief (23.1.14)
Victims of INTERPOL abuse to speak at European Parliament event (FTI, link): "On 8th December, Fair Trials will host an event at the European Parliament, which will feature speakers who have been victims of abusive INTERPOL wanted alerts. The event is an opportunity to consider how EU institutions can work to prevent these political abuses."
UK: Suicide, murder, despair. Coalition government makes its mark on prisons (Open Democrcy, link) by Clare Sambroo: "Justice minister Chris Grayling is imposing a more Spartan prison regime, with deadly consequences 88 prisoner suicides in one year in England and Wales Spending on food cut to £1.96 per prisoner per day (thats £1.96 in total, breakfast, lunch and dinner)"
More than 600 migrants rescued in Mediterranean, says Italian coastguard - People pulled from sea in incidents near Strait of Sicily, while 270 Syrian refugees were rescued off northern Cyprus (Guardian, link)
UK: Destitution, intimidation . . . How Britain shirks its obligations to asylum-seekers (Open Democracy, link)
European Parliament study: The End of the Transitional Period for Police and Criminal Justice Measures Adopted before the Lisbon Treaty.
Who Monitors Trust in the European Justice Area? (pdf): "The Study argues that in light of Article 82 TFEU the rights of the defence are now inextricably linked to the coherency and effective operation of the principle of mutual recognition of criminal decisions, and calls the European Parliament to request the UK to opt in EU Directives on suspects procedural rights as condition for the UK to opt back in measures like the European Arrest Warrant."
UK-EU JHA OPT-OUT: Final list of measures the UK will opt-out of and the list of measures still applicable to it:
OPT-OUTs: List of Union acts adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters which cease to apply to the United Kingdom as from 1 December 2014 pursuant to Article 10(4), second sentence, of Protocol (No 36) on transitional provisions (LIMITE doc no: 15780-14, pdf)
ACTS STILL APPLICABLE TO UK: List of Union acts adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters which have been amended by an act applicable to the United Kingdom adopted after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and which therefore remain applicable to the United Kingdom as amended or replaced (LIMITE doc no: 15781-14, pdf)
REFERENCE TO COREPER: Protocol 36 to the Lisbon Treaty - draft Schengen Decision: political agreement and use of the written procedure for adopting it - draft texts for publication in the OJ in C part, for information (LIMITE doc no: 15780-14, pdf)
EP: EU-CANADA PNR AGREEMENT to be REFERRED TO COURT? Draft Motion for a Resolution pursuant to Rule 108(6) of the Rules of Procedure
on seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility with the Treaties of the Agreement between Canada and the European Union on the
transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (pdf). The parliament's plenary session will vote on this resolution on Tuesday afternoon.
SURVEILLANCE: VODAFONE & GCHQ: Spy cable revealed: how telecoms firm worked with GCHQ (Channel 4 News, link):
"One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed. Cable and Wireless even went as far as providing traffic from a rival foreign communications company, handing information sent by millions of internet users worldwide over to spies.
The firm, which was bought by Vodafone in July 2012, was part of a programme called Mastering the Internet, under which British spies used private companies to help them gather and store swathes of internet traffic; a quarter of which passes through the UK. Top secret documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by Channel 4 News show that GCHQ developed what it called "partnerships" with private companies under codenames. Cable and Wireless was called Gerontic."
See also: USA-Vodaphone: Vodafone-Firma soll für Spähauftrag kassiert haben (sueddeutsche.de/digital, link) [New Snowden documents show how Vodafone aided spying mission] and Vodafone der lange Arm des britischen Geheimdienstes? (Vodafone - the long arm of British intelligence?) see video.
UK: NUJ members under police surveillance mount collective legal challenge (NUJ, link): Six NUJ members have discovered that their lawful journalistic and union activities are being monitored and recorded by the Metropolitan Police. They are now taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Home Secretary to challenge this ongoing police surveillance. The NUJ members involved in the legal challenge include Jules Mattsson, Mark Thomas, Jason Parkinson, Jess Hurd, David Hoffman and Adrian Arbib:
"Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "It is outrageous that the police are using their resources and wide-ranging powers to put journalists under surveillance and to compile information about their movements and work on secret databases. There is no justification for treating journalists as criminals or enemies of the state, and it raises serious questions for our democracy when the NUJ is forced to launch a legal challenge to compel the police to reveal the secret evidence they have collected about media workers.
The union will continue to give its full support to the members involved in the case and we are committed to putting a stop to this unacceptable state interference and monitoring that labels our members as domestic extremists."
EU: Supra-national border guard system on EU radar (euobserver, link):
"The final phase is the most far-reaching. Also known as full integration at EU level, it entails setting up an entirely new agency - the committee on Schengen border management (CSBM). The new body would be composed of border guards under a EU-level command structure.
The study notes that all border guards, previously acting under the command and control of national authorities, would now form part of the European border guard corps."
and see European Commission: DH Home: Study: Study on the feasibility of the creation of a European System of Border Guards to control the external borders of the Union ESBG (pdf)
News in Brief (21.11.14)
NETHERLANDS: NL Secret Documents Leaked by Police (link)
Some details on Dutch govt seeking bulk cable-interception for intelligence and security services AIVD and MIVD (link)
Amnesty releases anti-spying program for activists (BBC News, link)
GREECE: Statement by immigrants on hunger strike in Amygdaleza (MUTE, link)
UK-SWEDEN: Julian Assange: Swedish court rejects appeal to lift arrest warrant - Ruling means WikiLeaks founder still faces extradition to Sweden if he leaves Ecuador embassy in London (Guardian, link)
Netherlands accountable for inadequate investigation into fatal shooting of civilian in Iraq during multinational military occupation in 2004 (ECHR, link) and Judgment (pdf)
Tracking American Counterterrorism Money to Dark Places (OSI Foundations, link)
UK: Counter-terrorism bill will enable internal exile of UK suspects (The Guardian, link)
EU: G6 meeting in Paris, 6 November 2014: EU ministers discuss jihadist travel to Syria, border security (ALMONITOR, link), Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in the G6 Ministerial meeting in Paris (Press release, link), G6 Treffen der Innen minister in Paris (German Interior Ministry, link) and: Un G6 à Paris contre le terrorisme (Direct Martin.fr, link). While in the UK the Guardian reported:
"Her [Theresa May's] reluctance to discuss her leading role on the European stage was evident again last Thursday when she met other interior ministers in Paris at a G6 meeting to discuss wider data sharing within Europe on internal flights to tackle the problem of jihadi fighters.
"While her French and German counterparts were only too willing to discuss the meeting, it was left to her department's permanent secretary, Mark Sedwill, to disclose at an obscure Commons committee that Britain had warned Germany that it would not allow its planes to land in Britain unless it watered down its data protection laws to allow passenger lists to be handed over in advance."
The G6 meetings are comprised of Interior Minsters from: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, UK and the USA always attends.
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection:
DP Regulation:The one-stop-shop mechanism (LIMITE doc no: 14788-rev1-14, 68 pages, pdf)
DP Directive on LEAs exchange of personal data between member states: DIRECTIVE processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data - Chapters I, II and V (LIMITE doc no: 15659-14, 71 pages, pdf) Here one option for the Council is to extend the scope from policing and law and order to include "internal security" as well - which could embrace internal security agencies too.
Council of the European Union: Cyber Defence Policy and Presumption of Innocence
EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework (LIMITE doc no: 15193-14, pdf):
"Cyberspace is often described as the fifth domain of military activity, equally critical to European Union (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) implementation as the domains of land, sea, air, and space. The successful implementation of CSDP has been increasingly dependent on the availability of, and access to, a secure cyberspace. Robust and resilient cyber defence capabilities are now required to support CSDP structures and CSDP missions and operations."
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - General approach (EU doc no: 15325-14, pdf) "This general approach will then constitute the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament."
USA: Senate Blocks NSA Phone Records Measure (ABC News, link): "The Senate on Tuesday blocked a bill to end bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's primary proposal to rein in domestic surveillance."
And: NSA Reform Bill Dies As Republicans Hype Threats From Islamic State (The Intercept, link)
ITALY: Sì all'Istituzione di una Commissione d'inchiesta sul sistema di accoglienza e di identificazione dei migranti (link)
Italy's Chamber of Deputies has approved on 17 November, the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry in order to examine and assess migrants conditions in reception centres, both centres for asylum seekers (CARA) and centres of identification and expulsions (CIE) where undocumented migrants are held.
News in Brief (19.11.14)
How CETAs Investor Protection Rules threaten the Public Good in Canada and the EU (TNI, link): ""The Investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in the far-reaching economic integration agreement between Canada and the European Union prevents governments from acting in the public interest."
EU: Towards a Declaration of Internet Rights (ASFJ, link) by Professor Stefano RODOTA
Cashless payment hopes pinned on developing nations (euractiv, link)
Open access now to detention centres for migrants (link)
EU: WELCOME TO "1984": European Parliament: Automated taxis and delivery by drone: welcome to Europe's high-tech future (Press release, pdf):
"New technologies such as wearable computers and face recognition promise to change the way we work, shop and entertain. Creating a digital single market could help boost Europes high-tech businesses and create more jobs. At a workshop organised by the EP's internal market committee on Thursday 13 November, MEPs and experts looked at ways how to achieve this....
The event, opened by R Thun, a Polish member of the EPP group, started with a glimpse into the future. Using smart glasses, you can hail a driverless taxi with a simple wink of the eye. Once you are in the car, it recognises you and plays your favourite song. It drives you to a shop where you pick what you want and walk out. The money is deducted automatically using face recognition technology. Or you shop online and your purchase is delivered by a drone."
UK: NETPOL: Police hide behind neither confirm or deny in the face of protester data requests (link): "Increasingly, police will neither confirm nor deny that they hold personal data on activists. Netpol believes there is a policy of deliberately avoiding data protection responsibilities until after a Supreme Court hearing in December."
Council of the European Union developing its negotiating position on: Anti-discrimination Directive, European Public Prosecutors Office and Eurojust
Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (LIMITE doc no: 14862-14, 35 pages, pdf)
Proposal for a regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (LIMITE doc no: 14710-14, 47 pages, pdf): "After having discussed the file during 7 working days in COPEN/Friends of Presidency, three times in CATS, as well as at the informal ministerial meeting in Milan in July and in JHA Council of 10 October, the Italian Presidency now proposes a consolidated redraft of the first 33 Articles of the Regulation."
Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) - Revised text for Partial General Approach (LIMITE doc no: 15260-14, 83 pages, pdf): "Delegates will find attached in the Annex a further revision of the Commission's proposal which the Presidency considers to constitute the basis for the partial general approach at the forthcoming JHA Council."
"They want to see us drown" Survivors of a push back operation in the Aegean Sea report to the Watch The Med Alarm Phone (Watch the MED, link):
"Witness Mr D. reports of a push-back operation by the Greek coastguard when he and 32 other passengers, all of Syrian nationality and including a pregnant woman, were leaving Cesme in Turkey to reach the Greek island of Chios on a rubber vessel in the night of the 25th-26th of October 2014. The Greek coastguard intercepted the vessel and later boarded it, then took away the gas tank of the engine and punctured the vessel. The coastguard left the vessel behind in Turkish waters, without an engine and a hole in the vessel. The passengers were able to call the Turkish coastguard which rescued them and brought them back to Cesme."
And: Safety at sea (link) and The sea as frontier (link). See also: On board the tiny fleet saving terrified migrants from an angry Mediterranean (Guardian, link)
EU: Mapping of migrant camps (Close the Camps, link):
""A dynamic and interactive mapping of migrant detention in Europe and beyond. This site aims to: Record the sites, forms and conditions of migrant detention and their serious human consequences; Enable access to information concerning migrant detention sites and contact with detained persons; Mobilise all those who oppose migrant detention and removal measures to protect migrants human rights"
HUMAN RIGHTS: European Parliament: Draft Report: on the Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2013, and the European Unions policy on the matter - Committee on Foreign Affairs (pdf):
"previous Annual Reports and on the review of the EU human rights strategy, has stressed the need for a continued reflection on its own practices related to the mainstreaming of human rights in its activities and to the followup of its urgency resolutions on breaches of democracy, human rights and the rule of law"
USA: Next Generation ID: EPIC Prevails in Case Against FBI re: Next Generation ID (EPIC link):
"A federal court has ruled that EPIC "substantially prevailed" in an open government lawsuit against the FBI for information on the agency's massive biometric database. The court also awarded attorneys' fees to EPIC, finding that "There can be little dispute that the general public has a genuine, tangible interest in a system designed to store and manipulate significant quantities of its own biometric data, particularly given the great numbers of people from whom such data will be gathered."
EPIC's lawsuit led to the disclosure of hundreds of pages about "Next Generation Identification," a vast FBI database program including fingerprints, DNA profiles, iris scans, palm prints, voice identification profiles and photographs of millions of Americans suspected of no crime. The documents received through EPIC's lawsuit revealed the FBI's acceptance of a 20% error rate for the NGI database's facial recognition software. Technical specifications for another facial recognition project revealed that the FBI extended access to the biometric database to state and local law enforcement for the purpose of running facial recognition queries."
EU: INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 as regards determining the Member State responsible for examining the application for international protection of unaccompanied minors with no family member, sibling or relative legally present in a Member State (LIMITE doc no: 15120-14, , pdf)
EU: Red Cross EU: Press release: Position paper on the Right to Access to International Protection: Recommendations of the National Red Cross Societies of the Member States of the European Union and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Press release, pdf) See also: Position Paper: Recommendations (pdf) and Legal avenue to protection (pdf) This position paper sets forth the following six recommendations:
"1. Ensure that people fleeing Syria have access to asylum procedures in the EU
2. Consider visa applications from people fleeing Syria in a protection sensitive way
3. Facilitate family unity in Europe for people fleeing Syria.
4. Offer emergency resettlement to the most vulnerable people fleeing Syria.
5. Review refugee status determination procedures and reception conditions for people fleeing Syria.
6. Do not return people to Syria and its neighbouring countries."
SPAIN: Statewatch Viewpoint: Life imprisonment in Spain: An inhuman and unlawful punishment (pdf) by Julián Carlos Ríos Martín (Professor of Penal Law at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid):
"In Spain, there are eternal prison sentences. They are the ones that are longer than the maximum limits set by the penal code that is in force. These sentences should be the legislators target to resolve this unfair and disproportionate situation experienced by dozens of prisoners. At present, there are over 200 people in the Spanish state who have been convicted for several crimes whose outstanding prison terms are longer, if we add them up, than the limit set by the penal code for prison sentences."
UK: Police covered up links with union blacklisting - Leaked minutes show senior officer met group targeting union activists (Guardian, link):
"Scotland Yard has been accused of seeking to cover up its involvement in the blacklisting of more than 3,200 construction workers following the emergence of minutes of a meeting between a senior officer in its anti-extremism unit and the organisation running the list.
The leaked document proves that as late as 2008 a detective chief inspector in the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Netcu) briefed members of the Consulting Association, the secretive organisation that ran the blacklist keeping people out of work for decades."
News in Brief (16.11.14)
GREECE: Sun Sets on Golden Dawn: Greek Party Accused in Killings and Racist Attacks (Spiegel Online, link)
Racism, segregation, and rejection: the reality for Romani children in the Czech Republic (New Europe, link)
Across Europe disillusioned voters turn to outsiders for solutions - Our correspondents in the European capitals report on the rise of insurgent parties across the continent (The Observer, link)
The centre is falling apart across Europe - For decades, European nations have been ruled by two-party systems. Not any more: fragmentation is the new normal as the economic crisis has led to a surge in popular, maverick parties that appeal to the young (The Observer, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council developing its negotiating positions:
Public sector - Partial General approach (LIMITE doc no: 15389-14, 13.11.14, pdf)
"The proper functioning of the internal market requires that the free movement of personal data within the Union should not be restricted or prohibited
for reasons connected with the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data." [emphasis added]
Chapter IX: Provisions relating to specific data processing situations (LIMITE doc no 15544-14, 14.11.14, pdf): With Member State positions.
German delegation: To: Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Subject: General Data Protection Regulation
- Processing for purposes of social protection (LIMITE doc no: 15106-14, 5-11.14, pdf) and German delegation: Subject: General Data Protection Regulation
- Processing in the employment context (LIMITE doc no:15108-14, 5-11-114, pdf)
See also: EU mulls conferring binding powers on body of data privacy regulators (Reuters, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: NIS, Migratory Pressures, CT internal-external, ISS, Law Enforcement Working Party and CSDP missions
NIS TRILOGUE: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union - Preparations for the 2nd informal trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 14850-14, 4-11-14, , pdf) Multi-column documents showing different positions of Commission, Council and the European Parliament
MIGRATORY PRESSURES: EU Action on Migratory Pressures - A Strategic Response 5th Biannual Update (43 pages, LIMITE doc no: 15248-14, 10-11-14, pdf): Detailed operational plans.
Overview of expert groups and networks related to the LEWP and the provisional planning of their meetings (LIMITE doc no: 8709-14, 3-11-14, pdf) Future plans:including: "2 Action Days in autumn 2014 (counter terrorism action day and metal/copper theft)"
Discussion paper on further enhancing the links between internal and external aspects of counter-terrorism: strengthening the synergies between TWP and COTER (LIMITE doc no: 14081-14, 13-11-14, pdf):
"The Council Secretariat, EEAS, EU CTC, CION and IntCen should continue to highlight the relevance of specific cross-cutting topics to groups, ensuring that coordination is enhanced and duplication avoided where possible. This will also further encourage a comprehensive approach to CT in the EU, ensuring that links are made between relevant working groups, documents shared and consultation given where relevant."
Draft Council conclusions on the development of a renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy (11 pages, LIMITE doc no 14186-rev6-14, 13-11-14, pdf):
"A European PNR is one of several important tools in this field as well as the full implementation of the Prüm decision. Interoperability of different systems, enhancing and simplifying existing tools should be ensured to allow a more efficient and proportionate exchange of information and subsequently, to enable joint operations as well as to gather evidence for prosecution. The possible introduction of a European Police Record Index System (EPRIS) could be explored. A framework, respecting fundamental rights, for swift cooperation by investigating and prosecuting authorities in access to electronic evidence across jurisdictions held by players in industry is required," [emphasis added]
European External Action Service (EEAS): CivOpsCdr Operational Guidelines for Monitoring, Mentoring and Advising in Civilian CSDP missions (41 pages, LIMITE doc no: 15272-14, 7-11-14, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Public sector - Partial General approach (LIMITE doc no: 15389-14, 13.11.14, pdf). Council developing its negotiating position.
UK-Australia: Ministers sign agreement to share crime scene DNA (pdf): ""Australia has joined the International DNA Search Request Network
(SRN), which makes it easier to check DNA from unsolved cases against profiles held in another country.... Australia will join the UK, USA and Canada in the SRN. This will give UK police access to around 20 million profiles on three continents via a secure Interpol network."
And see: Interpol Factsheet: DNA Profiling (pdf)
EU: Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU): According to Advocate General Sharpston, non-combat military personnel may claim asylum if they consider themselves to be at risk of prosecution or punishment for refusal to perform military service where so doing might involve commission of war crimes (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf)
see also: Military deserters may claim EU asylum (euobserver, link)
Is Free Movement in Europe an Anomaly? The New Open Borders Policy in South America (EU Law Analysis, link):
"Free movement of people in the European Union (EU) is currently under attack by certain political and media sectors across Europe, with proposals arising on how to limit its scope. At the same time, other regions in the world are adopting free movement regimes. This is important to highlight as it allows us to demonstrate that the EUs free movement regime is not an anomaly as its opponents often argue. It also enables us to compare how different regions function which can lead to ideas and proposals for refining legislation and policies. As such, current debates on the construction of a South American citizenship as well as the MERCOSUR Residence Agreement, effectively establishing an open border area in the region, deserve our attention in Europe."
UK: All 43 police forces update HOLMES system for major enquiries - Unisys to continue 18-year run as supplier for system after G-Cloud procurement (Computer World, link): "Each individual police force signed a separate contract for the system, which includes new functions such as GIS mapping and visualisation. The system gives senior officers a real time view of live operations to help them decide how best to deploy police resources, Unisys said."
And: Cross-police intelligence to be accessed by all forces (Police Oracle, link)
"'It can consume any file format meaning that, for example, flight manifests or telephone bills can be ingested into the system where they can be indexed automatically and immediately displayed on our visualiser capability and plotted onto mapping systems. This will help to demonstrate the links between people and people, people and objects, people and locations or any mix of these - all of which can help during a major incident.'" [emphasis added]
See also: Future of police HOLMES system driven by Cabinet Office buying influence (Government Computing, link)
News in Brief (14-11.14)
Art in a Time of Surveillance (The Intercept, link)
Oxford University dons in immigration removal centre plea (BBC News, link): "Oxford University academics are calling on David Cameron to release detainees at a local immigration removal centre. Nine college heads are among 70 signatories of an open letter to the Prime Minister against Campsfield House in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Prof Danny Dorling said he opposed "the need to lock people up" when "they have broken no laws"."
The United States Admits It Crossed a Line. Thats the Least of It. (ACLU, link): "On Wednesday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture began its review of the United States record on torturenot only at the infamous Guantánamo Bay but closer to home, in our prisons, police forces, and immigration facilities."
UK: Plan to refuse jihadis re-entry to UK breaches citizenship laws, say critics - Civil liberties groups say ban would be counter-productive, as PM praises work of security services in foiling terror plots (Guardian, link)
WSJ: A Secret U.S. Spy Program Is Using Planes to Target Cell Phones (link)
Trilaterale Streifen gegen illegale Migration (link): The German Ministry of the Interior announced this week what they call "trilateral patrolling" in border regions with police from germany (Federal and Bavaria), Austria and Italy. the aim of fighting "illegal migration". Existing controls would be "significately boosted" and the controls are taking place in Italy.
Dispatches: US Needs To Recognize Privacy Rights For Everyone (HRW, link): ""A hypocritical game is being played by the United States at the
United Nations General Assembly this week, as Germany and Brazil put forward another resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age. Just like last year, the US is all for itprovided it can strong arm other countries to cut out any provision that suggests its own practice of mass interception of communications is a human rights problem."
Banning begging in super-wealthy Norway (Aljazeera, link)
The immigrant democratic deficit and the rising far-right (euobserver, link)
UK: All Cameras Are Police Cameras (link)
UNSC Resolution 2178: Compromising Democratic Values? Analysis (eurasia-review, link)
Garda Inspectorate report finds 'systemic failures' and poor management practices (RTE, link) and: Press Release (link) and Report (link)
Data retention issue stymies EU air passenger bill (euobserver, link)
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Mediterranean migrants: EU rescue policy criticised (BBC News, link):
"UN officials have criticised Operation Triton, the EU's new policy towards migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe. Vincent Cochetel of the UN refugee agency said it put the onus on merchant ships to rescue those in trouble, but that ships might avoid responding. A UN special envoy told the BBC it was outrageous that some states, including the UK, had opted out of Triton."
See also: Council of the European Union: Taking action to better manage migratory flows (LIMITE doc no: 13747-14, pdf) which makes no mention of search & rescue nor did: Council of the European Union: Draft European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EU doc no: 10914-14, pdf) And: Frontex: Concept of reinforced joint operation tackling the migratory flows towards Italy: JO EPN-Triton to better control irregular migration and contribute to SAR in the Mediterranean Sea (pdf): "It is has to be stressed that the withdrawal of navel assets from the area, if not properly planned and announced well in advance, would likely result in a higher number of fatalities." (p6)
EU: Roma fascisms first victims, again (IRR News, link): "Anti-Roma violence draws strength from fascist ideas that linger on in mainstream European thought"
And: "On 15 September, a Roma man from Romania, homeless in Sweden, died of injuries sustained on 31 August, when a fire broke out at a Roma temporary tent camp in Högdalen, southern Stockholm. We will probably never know whether the man, who has not been named, was the victim of a tragic accident, or whether his tent was deliberately set on fire by racists who, in months previous, had been very vocal on social media disseminating information on the location of Swedens temporary Roma encampments. The reason why the truth may prove elusive rests with police officers who, on arriving at the scene of the fire, assumed that it had been caused by the carelessness of the Roma themselves. The Roma had other views, but by the time they persuaded the police to act like investigators and keep an open mind, the damage had been done. As it took the police several hours to cordon off the charred campsite for a forensic examination, what might have been a murder scene was compromised, and vital forensic evidence lost."
Down the slippery slope? A Study of contemporary dual-use chemical and life science research potentially applicable to incapacitating chemical agent weapons (pdf) Biochemical Security 2030 Project: Bradford non-lethal weapons research project.
"Analysis of open source information concerning both historical ICA development programmes and contemporary research potentially applicable to the study or development of ICA [incapacitating chemical agents] weapons, indicates that such activities have been undertaken either by scientists operating within State research establishments principally linked to defence, security or law enforcement bodies, or by scientists working in civilian research institutions who are funded or controlled by such bodies.
SWEDEN-DATA RETENTION: Complaint against Sweden: Receipt from EU (5 July Foundation, link) and We urge EU to act against Swedens illegal data retention! (link):
"5th of July Foundation has now received a written and signed confirmation that EU has registered our complaint against the Kingdom of Sweden for enforcing data retention, thereby being in breach of The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, articles 7 and 8, Respect for private and family life and Protection of personal data."
News in Brief (13.11.14)
Pew Privacy Study Finds Huge Concern About Control Of Personal Data Online (link)
Lord chief justice attacks secret trials (BBC News, link)
EU Scrutinizes Spyware Exports To Sketchy Regimes (The Intercept, link)
UK: Met Police anti-terrorism database holds more than 2,000 records relating to journalists (Press Gazette, link): "The Metropolitan Police holds more than 2,000 records relating to journalists and photographers on a confidential anti-extemist database, it has been reported today. The records are held by the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit, and the figure of 2,000 was released by the Met under the Freedom of Information Act."
and see: Met chief Hogan-Howe denies journalist phone records 'routinely' sought - and says he is open to judicial approval (Press Gazette, link)
EU-PNR: EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law - Cops want your name, number, email, credit card data, itinerary (The Register, link): "Law enforcement agencies just want all the data they can get their hands on, regardless of justification - so said disgruntled MEPs at the European Parliaments hearing on PNR on Tuesday...
German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht said there was no justification for storing the private information (PNR data includes name, phone number, email address, credit card details as well as itinerary information) and it may even be illegal. He pointed to the European Court of Justice ruling against blanket data retention on 8 April...
Dutch MEP Sophie Int Veld said: If EU PNR is really urgent, then member states should get their act together and adopt Data Protection Directive first. They are not sincere. They want unlimited powers, they dont want to be bound by rules or data protection authorities and thats the reality. Of course police and security services should get the instruments they need to fight crime, but not more, she said.
See also: European Parliament press release: MEPs debate plans to use EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to fight terrorism (link)
UK: MPs confidential phone calls with prisoners were monitored - Chris Grayling apologises for monitoring of at least 32 MPs calls, along with some between prisoners and lawyers (Guardian, link)
"Confidential telephone calls between prisoners and at least 32 current MPs or their staff have been recorded, and in some cases listened to, by prison staff, the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has revealed.
He also disclosed that confidential calls between prisoners and their lawyers have been monitored in at least a handful of cases.
The chief of inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, has been asked to investigate the scale and extent of the problem. At least one phone call to the office of the current Liberal Democrat justice minister, Simon Hughes, has been monitored as well as five or six calls to the office of Jack Straw when he was justice secretary.
Grayling said he was only told late last week about the problem, which he said stretched from 2006 to autumn 2012 when changes were made to tighten up the system of monitoring prisoners phone calls."
See also: Oral Statement on prisoner communications by the Secretary of State for Justice, 11 November 2015.(link)
UK: Blacklisting: this looks like another British establishment cover-up - Are the security services spying on anti-blacklisting unionists like me to avoid exposure of a systematic conspiracy involving the state? (Guardian, link):
"The UKs secret political police are spying on me. I know this because the Metropolitan police have refused to provide a copy of my police file. The reason? To do so would be likely to prejudice the prevention and detection of crime. My crime is being a trade unionist, campaigning to expose the scandal that led to more than 3,200 people being blacklisted by building contractors.
The police will also neither confirm nor deny whether the Blacklist Support Group, the organisation for which I work, is under investigation. That catch-all policy of national security was quoted after direct advice from the Association of Chief Police Officers. The blacklisting justice campaign now finds itself in the same situation as families of race murder victims: spied on by police who seem incapable of investigating the real criminals.
UK: Special branch exercise their own unique right to silence on records held on former Hackney community campaign group (Fighting Talk by Mike Metcalf, link and with thanks Letter, pdf): "Please could you confirm whether the Metropolitan Police holds or has ever held:(a) a Special Branch file on Hackney Community Defence Association and/or the Colin Roach Centre, Hackney (b) a separate Special Branch file on the following campaigns coordinated by the Colin Roach Centre": Reply:
"In accordance with the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for this particular request. The Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you requested as the duty in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemptions:
Section 23(5) - Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security bodies
Section 24(2) - National Security
Section 30(3) - Criminal Investigations
Section 31(3) - Law Enforcement
Section 40(5) - Personal Information"
News in Brief (11.11.14)
Longer ISP Lock-In Will Increase Investment, Says New EU Commissioner For Digital Economy (Op-Ed) (Tom's Hardware, link): "Günther Oettinger, the new EU Commissioner for Digital Economy, said in a recent interview just days after he took his new job, that ISPs need longer customer lock-ins to increase investments. Unlike his predecessor, Neelie Kroes, who fought to give EU a strong net neutrality law, much lower roaming fees, and many other consumer protections, it seems Mr. Oettinger is more preoccupied with ISPs making more money."
UK Govt admits defeat over claim renditions court case will damage UK-US relations Reprieve, link)
German spy agency seeks millions to monitor social networks outside Germany - The prototype real time social media monitor will only look at publicly available data though, according to the plans (Tech World, link):
"Germany's foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend 300 million (about US$375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic.
The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) wants the funds for a program called "Strategische Initiative Technik" (SIT, Strategic Technology Initiative), according to a report by German daily the Süddeutsche Zeitung and television stations NDR and WDR.
The report is based on a confidential document in which the BND asked the Confidential Committee of the Bundestag's Budget Committee to approve a sum of 28 million for the program in 2015."
EU: Member States offer political support for domestic drones
The EU has spent years working with industry to try and pave the way for the widespread use of drones in civilian airspace, offering millions of euros for technological and regulatory research and development. Plans to allow regular flights of domestic drones of all shapes and sizes finally received formal political backing from the Member States last month, during a policy debate organised by the Italian Presidency of the Council of EU.
Behind the Bars: Guantánamo Bay (VICE, link)
EU: Fundamental Rights Agency reports: Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected European Union border crossing points (pdf) and Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the European Union (pdf):
"The EUs borders are its first point of contact with the external world. This is where the EUs fundamental rights obligation begins, said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. Any action taken by the EU to help manage its external borders must comply with fundamental rights. Making fundamental rights part of the Schengen border control evaluations is already a step in the right direction. Security concerns at the borders must not overrule fundamental rights, which must be at the core of modern and integrated border management.
UK-EU: EAW: House of Lords Select Committee: Despite flaws, European Arrest Warrant provides vital extradition arrangements, says Lords: Report (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: SIS II (Schengen Information System): EU doc no: 14219-14 (pdf) call to set up:
"a central Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) integrated into the SIS II central system... " which would: "provide for fingerprints to be used not only to confirm the result of an alphanumeric identity search but also to identify a person on the basis of the biometric data alone.... in order to store fingerprints attached to SIS II alerts on persons, particularly for refusal of entry or law enforcement purposes. According to the concept, the new SIS II - AFIS would function as a 10-print identification AFIS behind the Central SIS II" [emphasis added]
Should research by academics whose institutions receive EU money be discredited? (EU Law Analysis, link): by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
"At one conference, Sir Francis Jacobs (a former Advocate-General of the CJEU) introduced me as one of the Courts severest critics. At another conference, a former Council official described how during his time at the Council, its fiercest enemies were myself and Tony Bunyan, the director of Statewatch.
More broadly, my general impression, based on two decades working in the field, is that other specialists in EU law and politics, like me, start from a broadly pro-European perspective but have no compunction about criticising the EU institutions whenever they think its justifiable."
UK rights groups reject official inquiry into post-September 11 rendition - Government-led inquiry into alleged British involvement in rendition and torture will be a whitewash, say rights groups (The Observer, link):
"Britains leading human rights groups are to boycott the official investigation into the UKs involvement in torture and rendition in the years after 9/11, grievously undermining the controversial inquiry. Nine organisations have announced that they want nothing to do with the parliamentary inquiry by the intelligence and security committee (ISC) into Britains alleged role in the ill-treatment of detainees.
A strongly worded letter to the committee team investigating detainee allegations says that, despite raising concerns with the government more than six months ago over whether its decision to allow the ISC to lead the inquiry was lawful or appropriate, their concerns of an establishment cover-up remained unanswered."
News in Brief 10.11.14)
UK: Theresa May downgrades Cameron pledge to reduce net migration - Home secretary makes clear government is preparing for public admission of failure to cut net migration to tens of thousands (Guardian, link)
GERMANY: BND will Informationen über Software-Sicherheitslücken einkaufen (Der Spiegel, link): German BND wants to start own version of Bullrun, break SSL encryption and buy Vulnerabilities".
USA: GAO: DHS Is Assessing Fusion Center Capabilities and Results, but Needs to More Accurately Account for Federal Funding Provided to Centers (pdf): "GAO recommends that FEMA develop a mechanism to verify that states act in accordance with proposed guidance, when implemented, to help ensure that data on fusion center projects are sufficiently accurate to provide a reliable accounting of the total amount of federal grant funding provided to centers. DHS concurred."
Berlins digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA - With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks (The Observer, link)
Yes, Isis exploits technology. But thats no reason to compromise our privacy - GCHQs new chief would do well to remember that sending encrypted emails doesnt make you a criminal (The Observer, link)
French government on high alert after unexplained drone flights over nuclear power stations (The Independent, link)
News in Brief 08.11.14)
EU-Africa free trade agreement 'destroys' development policy, says Merkel advisor (euractiv, link)
UK: Theresa May and her worrying enthusiasm for so-called not-spots - The home secretarys argument that not being able to get a phone signal is in the interests of national security is truly disturbing (The Observer, link)
Britain, France launch feasibility study for joint military drones (AFP, link)
ECB Releases Letter at Urging of EU Ombudsman (Freedominfo.org, link)
Internet of Things Will Transform Life as We Know It (SCiTechToday, link)
Bulgarian Secretary General of Interior opens meeting of Police Cooperation Convention for SEE (iFocus, link): "Bulgaria is hosting the first meeting of the Directors of the criminal police of the Contracting Parties to the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe".
UK: Angela Patrick: Suing the state: judicial competence, restraint and redress in Belhadj (UK Consitutional Law Association, link) and Judgment (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Presumption of Innocence & Libya: Crisis Approach
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Proposal for a Directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency on 27 October (pdf): The Council developing its negotiating position: "Delegations will find attached a revised version of the draft Directive, taking account of the comments made during the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency and of the Working Party on Substantive Criminal Law on Monday 27 October 2015."
LIBYA: Libya, a Political Framework for a Crisis Approach (LIMITE doc no: 13829-14, pdf): From the European External Action Service: "three possible scenarios for the near future; a stalemate, with no clear winner; an escalation of violence, in which one side might overcome the other following a full-scale civil war; or a cessation of hostilities and the resumption of the political process. What these scenarios demonstrate is that the possibility for the EU to define its strategy and programme its activities depends highly on the outcome. The first 2 scenarios are clearly not conducive to any major EU footprint and/or support programme. Only a ceasefire agreement could eventually allow for a resumption of EU support." [emphasis in original]
PROFILING: Reports from UNICR Profiling Project:: Working Paper: Defining Profiling (pdf) and The impact of profiling on fundamental rights (pdf)
EU catches up, takes steps to control export of intrusion spyware, IP monitoring (PI, link): "Privacy International, Reporters Without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, FIDH, and Human Rights Watch welcome news that the European Commission will move ahead and add specific forms of surveillance technology to the EU control list on dual use items, thus taking steps to finally hold companies to account who sell spy equipment and enable human rights abuses."
SYRIA: Recommendations of the National Red Cross Societies of the Member States of the European Union and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Access to International Protection in the EU for People Fleeing Syria (pdf)
UPDATE: UK: Submission regarding MI5, MI6 & GCHQ access to lawyer-clients relationships: Guidance submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT): concerning LLP (Legal Professional Privilege) Full-text (pdf) in : Case No. IPT/13/132-9/H BETWEEN: (1) ABDEL HAKIM BELHADJ, (2) FATIMA BOUDCHAR, (3) SAMI AL SAADI, (4) KARIMA AIT BAAZIZ, (5) KHADIJA SAADI, (6) MUSTAFA AL SAADI, (7) ANAS AL SAADI, (8) ARWA AL SAADI: Claimants
and (1) SECURITY SERVICE (2) SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (3) GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS HEADQUARTERS (4) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (5) THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS: Respondents
Government forced to release secret policies on surveillance of lawyers (Reprieve, link): "The Government has been forced to release secret policies which show that GCHQ and MI5 have for years advised staff that they may target the communications of lawyers, and use legally privileged material just like any other item of intelligence. and see: MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers' (BBC News, link), also: UK intelligence agencies spying on lawyers in sensitive security cases - Internal MI5, MI6 and GCHQ documents reveal routine interception of legally privileged communications (Guardian, link): "The intelligence services have routinely been intercepting legally privileged communications between lawyers and their clients in sensitive security cases, according to internal MI5, MI6 and GCHQ documents. The information obtained may even have been exploited unlawfully and used by the agencies in the fighting of court cases in which they themselves are involved, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has been told, resulting in miscarriages of justice. Exchanges between lawyers and their clients enjoy a special protected status under the law."
INTERNET: Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe in warning over internet safe-haven for terrorists and paedophiles (Evening Standard, link), whereas see Press Release from Europol: Global action against dark markets on Tor network (pdf)
EU: MEDITERRANEAN: SEARCH & RESCUE: Apps and social media to assist refugees crossing the Mediterranean? We need more of these! (pdf) Press release from: Andrej Hunko, The Left Party parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
"The Federal Government is participating in rumours about apps which inform refugees of available boats and conditions in various destination countries prior to an attempted crossing of the Mediterranean. Social media is also said to be used for this purpose. I view this as attempt to criminalise the assistance of refugees. I am only aware of such websites from human rights and humanitarian initiatives, said Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko, in reaction to a reply from the Federal Ministry of the Interior..."
EU-UK OPT-OUT: UK will have to repay 1,508,855 euro if, by the emd of 2015, the UK PRUM data exchange exit goes ahead (PRUM covers Member State access to each other's databases of nationally-held: DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration data)
- LIMITE doc no: 14018-14, pdf): Council Decision determining certain direct financial consequences incurred as a result of the cessation of the participation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in certain acts of the Union in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon - Revised Draft: This concludes that as a result of withdrawing from::
"the Prüm Decisions, it shall repay to the budget of the European Union the sums received under the Programme 'Prevention of and Fight against Crime' up to EUR 1 508 855."
- LIMITE doc no: 14021-14, pdf): including: "Until such time as a decision confirming the United Kingdom's participation in Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA and Framework Decision 2009/905/JHA takes effect, the United Kingdom shall be prevented from accessing for law enforcement purposes the Eurodac database." [emphasis added]
- AGENDA 7 November 2014: doc no: 4812-14, pdf): Friends of Presidency Group on the application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties (PROAPP) MIXED COMMITTEE (EU - Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway/Switzerland.
EU: Council of the European Union: LIMITE documents: The cost of policing football matches, GAMM Update & Migratory flows
FOOTBALL MATCHES: Results of a study on the costs of hosting and deploying visiting police delegations in connections with football matches (and other sports events) with an international dimension ((LIMITE doc no: 13649-14, pdf): Apparently there is:
"increasing tendency on the part of some police and other authorities to decline to send or to host police delegations as a means of making budgetary savings in a challenging financial climate. The impact of this tendency on levels of European football violence and misbehaviour and on the effectiveness of international police cooperation in this important area has generated widespread concern among both European policy makers and front-line policing practitioners....
Even though: "the average policing cost for hosting and deploying a visiting police delegation for the home and away legs of, say, a UEFA Champions League or Europa League match, is only around EUR 1 100 for each police authority." [emphasis added] and see:
Draft Council Conclusions adopting the 2014-2016 EU work programme on minimising risks to safety, security and public order in connection with sports events, in particular football matches, with an international dimension - Progress update - October 2014 Delegations will find in annex the progress update of the above Council Conclusions (doc. 16373/13) (LIMITE doc no: 13929-14, pdf)
GAMM: High Level Working Party on Asylum and Migration: Summary of discussions (LIMITE, doc no 13605-14, pdf). Contains detailed GAMM Update: "The Commission presented the state of play of dialogues and processes under the Global Approach. The GAMM update is set out in the Annex to this Note."
Taking action to better manage migratory flows (LIMITE doc no: 13747-14, pdf)
DRIVING OFFENCES: Opinion of EDPS: Proposal for a directive facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences. Delegations will find attached formal comments by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the above-mentioned proposal.
European Parliament Hearing with papers: Challenges in constitutional affairs in the new term: taking stock and looking forward (124 pages, pdf) including "Trends in differentiation of the EU Law and lessons for the future" by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex.
And Study: How to create a Transnational Party System (pdf):
"This study has been prepared by the Observatory on Political Parties and Representation (OPPR), part of the European Democracy Observatory (EUDO) at the European University Institute (EUI). It covers four aspects: 1) An analysis of the political doctrine and programme of major political parties in several Member States. 2) An examination of current procedures applied to political parties to choose leaders for European Office. 3) The development of proposals on how to help a European political party system evolve from national structures strongly influenced by historical traditions and cultural factors. 4) Suggestions regarding the extent to which the European electoral system and different systems of party financing would have to be revised in order to facilitate the above objectives."
UN: Your rights on one page: Special Rapporteur releases best practices fact sheet on assembly rights (link) and The Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Best Practices Fact Sheet (pdf)
UK: Government forced to release secret policies on surveillance of lawyers (Reprieve, link):
"The Government has been forced to release secret policies which show that GCHQ and MI5 have for years advised staff that they may target the communications of lawyers, and use legally privileged material just like any other item of intelligence.
The disclosure comes in response to a case brought in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by the al Saadi and Belhadj families, who were subjected to rendition and torture in a joint CIA-MI6 operation. Both families assisted by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day have brought litigation about the kidnappings. The families allege that, by intercepting their privileged communications with Reprieve and Leigh Day, the Government has infringed their right to a fair trial.
Legal privilege is a central principle of British law, which protects confidential communication between a lawyer and their client. If the Government is able to access such communications, it hands itself an unfair advantage in court."
See: MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers' (BBC News, link)
European Parliament Briefing: Commitments made at the hearing of VÌRA JOUROVÁ Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (pdf):
"In her answers to the questionnaires and during the hearing on 1 October 2014 before the Committees on Legal Affairs, on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, the Commissionerdesignate Vìra Jourová made a number of commitments"
News in Brief (6.11.14)
INTERPOL member countries endorse expansion of I-Checkit (Interpol, link): "Through I-Checkit, authorized companies such as airlines, banks and hotels can send customer passport information to be screened against INTERPOLs Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. The aim is to detect individuals attempting to use stolen or fraudulent travel documents in everyday transactions and prevent possible criminal activity from occurring."
Surveillance = Killing (Huffington Post, link): "Did you know that BT has a code name in the international spy community? This ubiquitous British company that provides your flat with phone and Internet services has an alter-ego named REMEDY. Under this code name, BT has worked closely with UK and US intelligence to tap the communications cables that run through Britain, and to give access to customers' private data. While BT has never discussed its role, the company has been named as one of the "two top earners of secret GCHQ payments running into tens of millions of pounds annually"."
EU: European Parliament: MEPs clash with EU officials over foreign fighters (euobserver, link):
"The European Commissions director for internal security told MEPs in the civil liberties committee on Wednesday (5 November) that the fatal attack at the Belgian Jewish museum in May of this year shows the EU needs to finalise a new PNR agreement with Canada. The lead negotiator on the file Dutch liberal Sophie Int Veld said the reference was disingenuous because the EU has been exchanging PNR data with Canada for the past five years already.
Suggesting that with this agreement you can use PNR to identify foreign fighters and that we will all be safe, you even made the connection with the attacks in Brussels, which underlines that your justification is false, she said."
EUs biggest foreign mission in turmoil over corruption row - Allegations of cover-up as UK prosecutor is dismissed after finding evidence of possible bribe-taking in Kosovo mission (Guardian, link)
UK-GERMANY: API-PNR: German airlines face ban on UK landings without passenger lists - Home Office in discussions with EU countries over data protection legislation and British security screening requirements (Guardian, link):
"German airlines face being banned from landing in Britain unless they hand over their passenger lists in advance for security screening, senior Whitehall officials have confirmed. Urgent talks are now underway between London and Berlin to pressure the German government to drop their data protection laws that prevent advanced passenger lists being provided on privacy grounds."
UK: Million Mask March Activists Clash With Police In London, Russell Brand Joins Crowds (Huffington Post, link):
"Thousands of anti-capitalist activists took to the streets of central London on Bonfire night to protest against "political oppression", with ten people arrested as masked marchers clashed with police.
Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks and carrying banners and placards descended on Trafalgar Square before marching towards Parliament Square at 6.30pm. Protesters chanted anti-establishment slogans as they milled around, and some who had climbed on to the base of Nelson's Column let off fireworks.
UPDATE: EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" (13-26 October 2014): Statewatch Summary of coverage: (5.11.14): Media and Web coverage: no 7 (pdf)
(24.10.14): Media and Web coverage no 6 (pdf), (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 5 (pdf), (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 4 (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 3 (pdf), 13.10.14: : Media and Web coverage: no 2 (pdf) and 13.10.14:same day Web-media coverage: no 1 (pdf) and see: "Mos Maiorum": Images and photos of protests (pdf)
Poland: New project on public institutions surveillance practices (EDRIgram, link):
"Every year more and more public money is invested in surveillance technologies everything from drones and video surveillance to data mining software for public administration. Recently, the Polish government announced a new programme of co-financing surveillance cameras in the schools.
Why do governments spends public funds on surveillance without justifying such investments or evaluating their effects? Governments stick to standard excuses, like public security, regardless of the lack of evidence proving that more surveillance can bring more safety. Not only there is little public debate around such decisions, but also almost no information available about the companies that provide surveillance technologies. In its new project, EDRi-member Panoptykon Foundation will take a closer look at public investments In this particular area."
EU: DUBLIN: ECHR: Tarakhel v Switzerland: Another nail in the coffin of the Dublin system? (EU Law Analysis, link). See also ECHR Press Release (pdf):"Sending Afghan family of asylum seekers back to Italy under the Dublin Regulation without individual guarantees concerning their care would be in violation of the Convention" and Full-text of judgment ([pdf)
European Parliament Studies:
- The immunity of Members of the European Parliament (pdf): "Upon request by the JURI Committee, this in-depth analysis examines the immunity of Members of the European Parliament. It describes the scope of their immunity, as clarified by the Court of Justice of the European Union, together with the procedures followed by Parliament in cases of waiver or defence of parliamentary immunities. Lastly, it looks at the practice of the competent committee in order to infer the general principles underlying its decisions."
- New approaches, alterantive avenues and means of access to asylum procedures for persons seeking international protection (pdf): "Upon request by the LIBE committee, this study examines the workings of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), in order to assess the need and potential for new approaches to ensure access to protection for people seeking it in the EU, including joint processing and distribution of asylum seekers. Rather than advocating the addition of further complexity and coercion to the CEAS, the study proposes a focus on front-line reception and streamlined refugee status determination, in order to mitigate the asylum challenges facing Member States, and guarantee the rights of asylum seekers and refugees according to the EU acquis and international legal standards."
And see LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties): Protocol 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon on transitional provision: the position of the United Kingdom (pdf)
European Parliament: L' affaire: ECHELON: Les travaux du Parlement européen sur le système global d'interception, 1998 - 2002 (pdf):
The European Parliament has published a Study that discusses concerns on the security and confidentiality of telecommunications and the violation by the interception system, Echelon. The system had been developed and managed by the signatories of the UK-USA Treaty.
Although the Echelon affair is no longer subject of debate in the press the EU is launching a reform on access to data of its citizens, its institutions and enterprises. It is important to put in place a global approach on data protection, enforce the rights guaranteeing the protection of privacy online, and to have 28 uniform national laws on this issue. Viviane Reding, former European Commissioner of Justice, said that "after the spying scandal of data by the US, the protection of data is no longer just an a competitive advantage. Europa needs strong and uniform legislation on data protection, which will provide more guarantees to enterprises and a stronger protection to citizens". This debate is more than current with the revelations of Edward Snowden and recent targets of phone tapping of German Chancelor Angela Markel and French diplomats stationed in the US.
News in Brief (05.11.14)
UK: Madhumita Venkataramanan: My identity for sale (Wired, link): "Earlier this year, Cambridge University security engineer Ross Anderson found that NHS hospital data had been sold to, among others, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which has used the information to calculate patients' risk of developing critical illnesses, and so "improve the accuracy of pricing" (read: increase insurance cost). "The Department of Health was selling off every NHS hospital patient's records for insurance purposes," says Anderson. "They claimed it was non-sensitive because it had been anonymised, but that's false."
French parliament adopts 'anti-terrorism' law (World Bulletin, link)
UK: G4S guards ignored deportee Jimmy Mubengas cries for help, court hears - Passengers on plane at Heathrow heard Mubenga shout I cant breathe as three guards pinned him in his seat, jury told (Guardian, link)
Statelessness is an evil that has been hidden for too long - The UN refugee agency is at last grappling with the problem. But eradicating it requires an international movement (The Guardian, link)
UK: Alternative media: Facebook killed the internet star: reflections on radical media (SchNews, link) and Time to move on: IMC London signing off (Indymedia London, link)
UK: Police misuse of Ripa powers to spy on journalists is systemic, MPs told - National Union of Journalists says police routinely bypass need for judicial scrutiny to discover journalistic sources with Ripa (Guardian, link)
UK: Drones 'could be used to send election leaflets' (BBC News, link)
REMOTE ACCESS-ENCRYPTION SURVEILLANCE: Secret Manuals Show the Spyware Sold to Despots and Cops Worldwide (The Intercept, link):
"When Apple and Google unveiled new encryption schemes last month, law enforcement officials complained that they wouldnt be able to unlock evidence on criminals digital devices. What they didnt say is that there are already methods to bypass encryption, thanks to off-the-shelf digital implants readily available to the smallest national agencies and the largest city police forces easy-to-use software that takes over and monitors digital devices in real time, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Were publishing in full, for the first time, manuals explaining the prominent commercial implant software Remote Control System, manufactured by the Italian company Hacking Team...
The manuals describe Hacking Teams software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers."
See: Document: The hacking suite for governmental interception (link)
BERLIN WALL CROSSES TAKEN TO MELILLA: Stolen Berlin Wall memorial taken to Spain (The Local, link):
"Crosses in Berlin honouring those who died while trying to cross the German capital's Wall have been taken by a refugee rights group to the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa to highlight the desperate situation on Europe's southern borders.
The seven white crosses, on the bank of the Spree river by the German parliament, were removed by activists and brought to the EU-African border at the Spanish enclave of Melilla to signify the "new walls" in Europe.
"While the whole of Germany is preparing to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, there are new walls around Europe, where at least 30,000 people have capsized," the group wrote on its website on Monday.
The group calls itself the Centre for Political Beauty (Zentrum für politische Schönheit) and posted pictures on its website of African refugees holding the memorials."
EU: FOREIGN FIGHTERS ROADMAP: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Subject: Foreign Fighters: follow-up on the Conclusions of the European Council of 30 August 2014 - Roadmap (LIMITE, DS doc no 1461-14,: pdf). Includes on the proposed EU-PNR Directive:
"- contact President of the EP: IT [Council] Presidency: Oct 2014
- brief LIBE, CTC, COM and Europol: Nov 2014
- brief national MEPs, Member States, by Dec 2014"
and: "Consider whether to prepare a draft legislation amending the Schengen Borders Code to allow for systematic checks on persons enjoying the right of free movement at external borders" [emphasis added]
GERMANY: "Tear down European walls" (link) and see: Erster Europäischer Mauerfall (link)
The Zentrum fuer Politische Schoenheit (Centre for Political Beauty) has organised a protest with the slogan "tear down European walls" on the day of the commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 7th, 13:00). Buses will be organised that are then scheduled to leave from Berlin to various EU external borders in order to "tear down EU's wall".
"While Germnay will be remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago the EU is constructing walls at its EU borders, which has already lead to the death of more than 30,000 persons". They have furthermore, removed white crosses remembering the dead of the Berlin Wall and have placed them at various locations at EU's borders in order to honour the deaths of those that have risked their lives to reach the territory of the EU
Germany: Berlin's police use brute force with refugee sympathisers (YouTube, link)
DENMARK: Snowden documents show systematic British climate spying against COP 15 and COP 16. The British intelligence service GCHQ has systematically spied against the international climate negotiations, writes the Danish daily newspaper Information: Disguised as Climate Negotiators in it Saturday edition 1 November 2014.
According to leaked Snowden document, which Information has published, the climate negotiations back in 2007 were "serious intelligence priority" for the service and at both COP15 in Copenhagen and COP 16 in Cancun the service sent an intelligence officer, a so called GCO, who was especially was responsible for distributing the intelligence which the service got hold of to the British negotiators and politicians.
UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon has since criticized the espionage against the negotiations. In a comment to the newspaper Tuesday 4 November the head of the Danish Police Intelligence Service (PET), Mr. Jens Madsen, writes, that PET has no reason to believe that British intelligence activities had been in an unlawful way directed toward Denmark or Danish interest.
And see: GCHQ document (Pdf)
UK: DWP orders man to work without pay for company that let him go - John McArthur is sanctioned by jobcentre after refusing forced labour at firm where he was previously paid minimum wage (Guardian, link) For background see: Discipline and discontent: coalition government extends "slave labour" welfare policy, by Chris Jones (Statewatch database)
EU: Council of the European Union: LIMITE documents: Directive on LEA personal data exchange & Regulation on Data Protection - Public Sector
- LEAs PERSONAL DATA EXCHANGE: Transfers to non-EU states and agencies: Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data - Chapter V (LIMITE doc no: 14356-14, pdf) Highlights the divergent purposes of this Directive: is it for "the protection of individuals" or to ensure the widest possible access for law enforcement agencies?
- REGULATION ON DATA PROTECTION: The public sector: Proposal for a regulation the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Member States comments on Public sector and Chapter IX (LIMITE doc no: 14098-rev1-14, 50 pages, pdf) Member States' comments from: Bulgaria, Ireland, Spain, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and UK. See also previous document: 13355-14,pdf)
GERMANY: BND-Chef Schindler: Internationale Geheimdienstkooperation ausbauen (Heise Online, link): [The Director of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Gerhard Schindler, wants to expand international cooperation of intelligence]
In the framework of the NSA affair, critique were voiced in relation to German cooperation with the US agency. However, the German Intelligence Service wants to expand international cooperation and exchange of data between intelligence services around the world in order to combat current terrorist threats. "We need to work closer together", Schindler says in relation to current crisis and conflicts in the world.
"We need to protect German soldiers during missions abroad as well as to ensure domestic security", he adds. According to Schindler, the German Intelligence Service has currently contacts with 451 foreign intelligence services. The decision to seek cooperation with an intelligence service is based on the willingness of cooperation, reliability, efficiency and the expected value of cooperation. An expansiion in cooperation and exchange of data will certainly stir up further debates."
And see: German security law could lock out U.S. tech companies (The Hill, link): "U.S. tech companies are worried a German law under debate could bar them from doing business in that country if it is approved. The bill could require companies to turn over source code and proprietary data to the German government or to private critical infrastructure companies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. U.S. companies see the language as a way to exclude them from government contracts, given German fears over the National Surveillance Agencys (NSA) ability to access U.S. companies data."
UK: GCHQ chief accuses US tech giants of becoming terrorists' 'networks of choice' - New director of UK eavesdropping agency accuses US tech firms of becoming networks of choice for terrorists (Guardian, link) and New GCHQ chief spouts fiery rhetoric but spying agenda is same as before - Robert Hannigans response to the terror threat is an all too familiar one: spies need ever greater access to information (link)
EU: The European Arrest Warrant: the case for the UK to stay in (EU Law Analysis, link): " The UK government is currently making its final decision on which EU laws on criminal law and policing adopted before December 2009 that it wishes to opt back in to, as from 1 December 2014. The most controversial decision it has to make is whether to opt back in to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). In this blog post, we set out the case for opting back in to this law."
EU: Meijers Committee: Note to members of the LIBE Committee: Draft amendments to the Proposal on the Visa Code (recast, COM(2014) 164 final) in order to safeguard the right to an effective remedy in cases of representation (pdf):
"Under the present Visa Code (Regulation 810/2009), the possibility for Member States to authorize other Member States to take a final decision on their behalf on visa applications has created serious obstacles to effectively remedy wrongful refusal decisions. The proposal for the recast (COM(2014) 164 final) does not address this problem. In fact, if the present text is adopted without the amendments proposed in this note, things may become even worse, as the number of problematic cases is very likely to increase once representation becomes mandatory."
London police trial gang violence 'predicting' software (BBC News, link), includes quote from Statewatch:
""It is clear that harnessing and analysing vast data sets may simplify the work of the police," said European human rights group Statewatch earlier this year
"However, this in itself is not a justification for their use. There are all sorts of powers that could be given to law enforcement agencies, but which are not, due to the need to protect individual rights and the rule of law - effectiveness should never be the only yardstick by which law enforcement powers are assessed.
"The ends of crime detection, prevention and reduction cannot in themselves justify the means of indiscriminate data-gathering and processing."
See also: Met Police trials analytics to fight gang crime (ComputerWeekly.com, link), London Metropolitan Police Service and Accenture Complete Analytics Pilot Program to Fight Gang Crime (Accenture, link), Met chief with huge pension to work for firm advising police (Daily Mail, link), Accenture and the outsourcers (Police Market report, link) and Next Generation Policing: Accenture Police Center of Excellence (link)
USA: Congressional Research Service (RS) reports: Intelligence Whistleblower Protections: In Brief (pdf):
"Intelligence whistleblowers are generally Intelligence Community (IC) employees or contractors who bring to light allegations of agency wrongdoings by, for example, disclosing information on such wrongdoings to congressional intelligence committees. Such disclosures can aid oversight of, or help curb misconduct within, intelligence agencies. However, intelligence whistleblowers could face retaliation from their employers for their disclosures, and the fear of such retaliation may deter whistleblowing."
and Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes (pdf):
"Recent disclosures concerning the size and scope of the National Security Agencys (NSA) surveillance activities both in the United States and abroad have prompted a flurry of congressional activity aimed at reforming the foreign intelligence gathering process. While some measures would overhaul the substantive legal rules of the USA PATRIOT Act or other provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), there are a host of bills designed to make procedural and operational changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)..."
EU: WHITHER ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EU OPERATIONAL COOPERATION ON INTERNAL SECURITY?
Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI): Report to the European Parliament and national Parliaments on COSI January 2013 - June 2014 (Doc no:13523/14, pdf) : The "Council shall keep the European Parliament and the national Parliaments informed of the proceedings of the Standing Committee". While this Report to the EP and national parliaments (14440-14, pdf), is open (made public) and has 41 footnotes with references to dozens of documents many of which are not available to the public and not sent to the EP. The European and national parliaments are told that they will simply be "informed" about activities of COSI, a committee of officials, which:
"will continue to monitor the EU's internal security and will retain a margin of flexibility to address unexpected or emerging threats to EU security...The increasing link between internal and external security will also require intensified cooperation between all actors involved, including in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. COSI will seek complementarity, coherence and consistency in the development and implementation of EU internal security-related policies, including by reference to the external dimension and regional cooperation."
Neither of the following documents under COSI's remit are public - they are not Classified documents but LIMITE documents, that is not accessible to citizens and civil society::
Implementation of the Council conclusions setting priorities in the fight against organised crime for 2014 - 2017: identification of the relevant actors , (LIMITE doc no:11538-rev2-14, pdf): "Delegations will find in annex the table of relevant actors for the Policy Cycle crime priorities and are kindly invited to provide an update on their participation therein."
and Draft Council conclusions on the development of a renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy (LIMITE doc no: 14186-rev1-14, pdf)
UK: Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile (Prison Reform Trust, link):
"The facts and figures about the deteriorating state of our prisons and the poor state of people in them present a stark and disturbing picture. Strip away the political rhetoric, public relations gloss, and popular media misrepresentation. Discount the vested interest of those who profit from growing a market in incarceration. And you are left with a public prison service cut by £263million in three years, struggling to cope with the loss of more than 12,500 (28%) of its staff since 2010 and an ever- rising prison population."
EU-UK: House of Lords Select Committee on the EU: critical report: The impact of the European Public Prosecutors Office on the United Kingdom (pdf): Including:
"We are concerned by the Home Secretarys intimation that the UK might not be legally obliged to respond to requests for assistance from the EPPO, particularly given the risk that a UK unable (or unwilling) to cooperate with the EPPOs requests could become a safe haven for illegally obtained EU funds."
UK-ECHR: House of Commons LIbrary: UK Cases at the European Court of Human Rights since 1975 (pdf):
"This note gives brief details of UK cases at the European Court of Human Rights since 1975. Cases concluded by friendly settlement are included in this note, but Article 41 (previously Article 50) cases, which are concerned with determining just satisfaction, are not included. For cases since September 1997 a link is provided to the text of the ruling. As some links to material at the ECHR website may prove unstable, please contact the International Affairs and Defence Section in the event of any access problems."
And see: The United Kingdom in Strasbourg all the Article 10 judgments (Inform's Blog, link)
News in Brief (3.11.14)
UK: MPs to escape expenses investigations after paperwork destroyed by Parliament - House of Commons authorities have destroyed all evidence of MPs expenses' claims prior to 2010, meaning end of official investigations into scandal (Daily Telegraph, link)
Europe / Migrants: Let them die, this is a good deterrence UN human rights expert (UN uman Rights, link)
Greece to give visa to Kurdish people (Kurdish Globe, link)
Parliaments must do more to ensure Strasbourg Court judgments are implemented (CoE, Parliamentary Assembly, link)
EU: Data protection tops the Commission's agenda (euractiv, link)
EU: Commission presidential race only interested 5% of European electorate (euractiv, link)
Boat sinks off Bosphorus; 24 dead, 7 rescued (New Europe, link): "A boat carrying suspected migrants from Afghanistan and Syria sank Monday just north of the Bosphorus Strait off the coast of Istanbul, leaving at least 24 people dead. Seven people were rescued, Turkish authorities said."
Merkel: UK exit better than restricting free movement (euobserver, link)
EU: CHARTER of FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: Council of the European Union discussing how to comply with the Charter in the light of CJEU decisions in Council Working Parties: Guidelines on methodological steps to be taken to check fundamental rights compatibility at the Council's preparatory bodies - Member States comments (LIMITE doc no: 14573-14, pdf) Replies from: Greece, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK. The UK comments: "It is of paramount importance that EU legislation respects and protects fundamental rights. But in seeking to ensure this, the guidelines should not unduly constrain legitimate use of legislative competence. The UK is simply keen to ensure that the text of the guidelines accurately reflects the case law of the Court......[and] Finally is this document designed to be public? There are currently references to CLS opinion which will need to be removed if this is the case." Comment on UK comment: The CJEU has previously ruled on access to documents concerning legislative measures - which this discussion covers in large part - in the Turco: Judgment (pdf).
See background: Guidelines revised text (LIMITE doc no: 13390-14, pdf)
EU: CYBER DIPLOMACY: Council of the European Union: Presidency: To: Friends of the Presidency Group on Cyber Issues: Subject: An outline for European Cyber Diplomacy Engagement (LIMITE doc no: 9967-rev4-14, pdf): "The present paper addresses neither the procedures for the establishment of the Union position in the EU's external relations on cyber matters in each context, nor the issues of external representation of the Union, and is thus without prejudice to the allocation of powers between the EU institutions."
PETITION: A collective refusal: an appeal by researchers involved in the production of knowledge on migration (change.org, link): And in Italian (link) and French (link)
"Day after day we keep receiving updates on that uncanny war which is ongoing in the Mediterranean: updates on how many migrants were rescued and how many have died since the beginning of Mare Nostrum, the military and humanitarian operation that the Italian government enlisted in the Mediterranean as a response to the shipwreck of October 3, 2013. At that time, the island of Lampedusa was swamped by a wave of dead bodies - of women, men, and children. We are asked to form our opinion on Italian and European policies those policies made also in our name - based on the statistics of deaths"
EU-PNR: Germany backs plan to retain personal flight data across EU (PCWorld, link):
"The German government is calling for the EU-wide retention of personal flight data as an anti-terrorism measure, but is facing opponents who object to yet another database holding private information. Jjihadists returning from battlegrounds in the Middle East threaten the security of the EU and urgent action is needed in the Federal Governments view, Germany said in a written response to questions asked by Andrej Hunko, a member of the Bundestag.....
However, such a database would violate fundamental privacy rights and is not necessary because tracking down terrorists can be done with existing information systems, according to Hunko. This will be a boundless retention of air traveler data to which police and intelligence agencies demand unlimited access, he said.".
EU: Italy: end of ongoing sea rescue mission puts thousands at risk - Refugee expert says to expect 3,000 death toll to multiply as Europe cuts back on its patrols of waters used by migrants (Guardian, link):
"Tineke Strik, rapporteur for the human rights body the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, said: We know that [under Triton] there will be gaps and a vacuum in the territorial waters off Libya, for instance, and that is where the main accidents occur.
Frontex says: Of course, we will also do search and rescue actions, but if you dont have enough capacity will you be there in time? I would expect many more sea deaths the moment that Mare Nostrum is withdrawn."
EU: "Hot Returns": When the state acts outside the law - Legal Report (pdf) This Report was fostered by the I+D+i IUSMIGRANTE Project (DER 2011-26449)
"Images, witnesses and other numerous sources with evidential value accredit the practices that have been coined as hot returns in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the small islands under Spanish sovereignty.
In this context, the concept of expulsions or hot returns by the law enforcement authorities is being formed, which consists of handing the foreign citizens who have been intercepted by such authorities in the area under Spanish sovereignty over to the Moroccan authorities on a de facto basis without carrying out the legally established procedures or meeting the internationally acknowledged guarantees."
See also: Spain: Abandon Abusive Migration Plan (HRW, link): "The Spanish government should immediately drop its plans to provide a legal basis for summary returns from its enclaves in North Africa, 13 human rights groups said today."
Islamophobia, loyalty and the treason debate (Institute of Race Relations, link) "As the coalition government considers a revival of treason laws, sections of the media are hunting for national traitors and their fellow-travellers." and see: Calendar of racism and resistance (17-30 October 2014): A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe (IRR, link)
EU: AN EXAMPLE OF NEO-COLONIALISM? FRONTEX: Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community Joint Report (AFIC) - 2013 (4MB, pdf) and 2012 Report (pdf) Parts have been censored. Frontex, the EU Border Agency, under the hat of the external role of internal security, extends its role outside the EU. Is this an example of the EU Member States' post-colonial role in Africa?
UK: Tameside TUC's In-depth Report on Blacklisting (link)
"OUT today is Tameside TUC's study of blacklisting in the British building trade. This unique 52-page A5 book concludes our research into blacklisting stretching back for over a decade of struggle by a group of Manchester contracting electricians. This book illustrates a special investigation by two officers of Tameside TUC focusing on cover-ups, collaboration, and complicity by major British construction companies affiliated to the now defunct Consulting Association."
Copies of 'Boys on the Blacklist' available by postal subscription: £3.00 for one copy (post included). Make cheque payable to 'Tameside TUC' and send to: 46, Kingsland Road, Rochdale, Lancs. OL11 3HQ. Bundles of 5 copies - £14.60p a package (post included). Tel.: 01706 861793. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK-EU: Migrant rescue operations must be stopped at earliest opportunity minister - James Brokenshire defends ending rescues in Mediterranean, saying they encourage migrants and lead to more deaths (Guardian, link):
"his defence attracted the fiercest criticism from across all parties, with some MPs comparing it to turning back the Jewish Exodus refugee ships and the Kindertransport trains in the second world war.
Labours official spokeswoman, Diana Johnson, accused him leaving people to die in their thousands. She said he was willing to do anything to appear tough on immigration in order to face down the Ukip threat ahead of next months Rochester and Strood byelection. The Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said he was washing his hands of the problem Pontius Pilate style. In the House of Lords, the former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown described it as a discreditable policy and warned that it might be illegal under international maritime laws."
EU mission in Kosovo rocked by corruption allegations (euobserver, link): "The EUs rule of law mission in Kosovo, Eulex, is fighting to maintain credibility after allegations of bribe-taking and attempts to gag press."
UN Rapporteur: 2nd Report: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (September 2014, pdf): "The present report addresses concerns about the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of multilateral institutions."
See also: UN must not exclude civil society from UNCAC meetings (UNCA Civil Society Coalition , link)
UK: Britains immigration system in chaos, MPs report reveals - IT failures cost £1bn, 50,000 asylum seekers are missing and new backlog is building up, according to public accounts committee (Guardian, link):
and see report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee: Reforming the UK border and immigration system (pdf) and from Home Office: Statistics: Asylum decision speed measures (link)
UK: Police investigated woman after she questioned handling of mothers death - Data protection request reveals Sussex force compiled dossier on internet activities of bereaved academic (Guardian, link)
UK: Edited spy policy papers released in Libyan rendition case - Lawyers representing two Libyan victims of rendition criticise edited way documents are to be released (Guardian, link):
"Edited versions of secret documents relating to the conditions under which lawyers or journalists phones and emails can be intercepted are to be released by the government in a case brought against the intelligence services by two Libyan victims of rendition.
The governments previously trenchant refusal to reveal the policy papers has been a key issue in a claim brought on behalf of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi who, along with members of their families, were kidnapped and sent to face punishment in Libya in 2004."
See also: Libyan rendition victims case must be heard, Court of Appeal rules (Reprieve, link): "Britains Court of Appeal has today ruled that a husband and wife who were rendered to Gaddafis prisons, in a long-secret part of Tony Blairs 2004 deal in the desert, are to be allowed their day in court."
UK-GCHQ: Eyes Wide Shut: Secret policy reveals GCHQ can get warrantless access to bulk NSA data (PI, link):
"The arrangements, as they are called by Government, also suggest that intercept material received from foreign intelligence agencies is not subject to the already weak safeguards that are applied to communications that are intercepted by the UK's Tempora programme. On the face of the descriptions provided to the claimants, the British intelligence agencies can trawl through foreign intelligence material without meaningful restrictions and can keep such material, which includes both communications content and metadata, for up to two years.
Descriptions of the policies were disclosed to the parties after a secret hearing at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which is currently considering a challenge to GCHQ's surveillance practices that has been brought by human rights organisations including Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. A public hearing of the case was held in July, but these arrangements" were revealed to the Tribunal in a closed hearing that the claimants were barred from attending. Some details about the policies are now disclosed in order for the claimants to provide comment."
GREECE-ECHR: Viewpoint: Sharifi et al. vs. Italy and Greece case: The Strasbourg Court finds Italy guilty. An appeal from below stops refoulements from the Adriatic sea ports (pdf) by Alessandra Sciurba (Melting Pot):
"It amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, the prohibiton of collective refoulements and the right to an effective remedy were violated."
EU: Joint Police Operation: "Mos Maiorum": The EU Held Its Biggest Ever Anti-Immigrant Crackdown (VICE, link):
" Operations of this kind happen twice a year and are growing in size all the time, as the number of migrants in Europe increases. But this was the first time people knew it was going to happen in advance, thanks to some documents from the European Council published by the Statewatch website in July. The documents stated that border guards were ordered to reprimand immigrants and record information relating to ethnicity in a bid to better understand the flow of immigrants into and across Europe. Ultimately, to better oppose it.
The publication of the documents gave migrant solidarity activists time to develop a tool that enabled people to track the operation in real time. A group associated with Berlin-based anti-racism collective Nadir, created Map Mos Maiorum!"
UK-EU: UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation - Refugees and human rights organisations react with anger as minister says saving people encourages others to risk voyage (Guardian, link)
"To ask Her Majesty's Government what naval or air-sea rescue contribution they will make to prevent refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean. [HL1977]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. We believe that they create an unintended "pull factor", encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths. The Government believes the most effective way to prevent refugees and migrants attempting this dangerous crossing is to focus our attention on countries of origin and transit, as well as taking steps to fight the people smugglers who wilfully put lives at risk by packing migrants into unseaworthy boats."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, commented:
The governments justification for not participating in Triton is cynical and an abdication of responsibility by saying that not helping to rescue people fleeing from war, persecution and poverty who are likely to perish is an acceptable way to discourage immigration.
See also: Illegal migration: Frontex chief says he 'didn't know Italy is scrapping Mare Nostrum' (Independent.mt, link)
EU: Document sets out EU "concept" for military drone use
A document recently made public by Statewatch sets out how drones could contribute "to joint operations in EU-led military operations and military missions" and sets out "basic guidelines on tasks and the environment in which to use RPAS, characteristics, capabilities and initial views for preparation and training requirements (including potential military support to civilian missions...)."
The document was produced in March by the European External Action Service - effectively the EU's foreign office - and is entitled "Concept for the Contribution of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems [RPAS] to EU-led Military Operations"
UK: Trial collapses after immigration officials 'lie under oath' (Channel 4 News, link)
ECHR-BULGARIA: ECHR freezes all cases against Bulgaria concerning conditions of detention (Press release, pdf) and Statement of facts (pdf):
"The European Court of Human Rights has decided to adjourn the examination of all pending applications against Bulgaria in which the applicants complain of poor conditions of detention, as well as all future applications raising the same issue, pending the potential adoption of a pilot judgment in the case.."
UK: Big Brother Watch: Off the Record: How the police use surveillance powers A Big Brother Watch report October 2014 (pdf): "This report highlights the various uses of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by police forces in the UK in the years 2010-2012. Our research shows the continuing trend of the overzealous use of RIPA by public authorities, and the desire to avoid scrutiny by many.
EU: European Commission: Commission Recommendation of 10 October 2014 on the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (pdf): "This Recommendation provides guidance to Member States on measures to be taken for the positive and wide- ranging dissemination, recognition and use of the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (hereinafter referred to as DPIA Template), to help ensure the fundamental rights to protection of personal data and to privacy in the deployment of smart grid applications and systems and smart metering roll-out."
UK: Drone permits issued to UK operators increase by 80% - British Airline Pilots Association wants tougher rules governing unmanned aircraft, ahead of House of Lords hearing (Guardian, link):
"The figures have been released ahead of a warning by mainstream pilot union representatives at a parliamentary hearing on Monday that there should be tougher rules governing larger remote aircraft in the future and enhanced security measures at ground level to protect against control of these aircraft being seized by force or by hacking into computer systems.
Figures released by Britains aviation regulator reveal that it currently authorises 359 operators using drones weighing under 20kg for work purposes."
See: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
EU: Joint Police Operation: (13-26 October 2014): "Mos Maiorum": Images and photos of protests (pdf)
LONDON: 9 farcical bits of policing at Occupy Democracy - Parliament Square has been the venue for some ridiculous policing since the Occupy movement arrived on 17 October. Alex Nunns gives the highlights (Red Pepper, blog)
EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" (13-26 October 2014): Statewatch Summary of coverage: (24.10.14): Media and Web coverage no 6 (pdf)
(20.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 5 (pdf), (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 4 (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 3 (pdf), 13.10.14: : Media and Web coverage: no 2 (pdf) and 13.10.14:same day Web-media coverage: no 1 (pdf)
Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch can confirm that the UK is taking part in Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" This is said to involve the exchange of information by the Border Force but there is no information as yet to the involvement of police action around the country..
The UK took part in Joint Operation PERKUNAS in 2013: Final report on operation PERKUNAS (LIMITE doc no: 16045-13, pdf): "The largest proportion (48,89%) of interceptions was reported by Italy, with 4,800 intercepted irregular migrants. The second (15,36%) and third (7,89%) largest proportions of interceptions were reported by Germany (1,606 intercepted irregular migrants) and the United Kingdom (825 intercepted irregular migrants) respectively."
and in 2012 in Joint Police Operation Aphrodite - final report (LIMITE doc no:6224-13, pdf) Interception of "irregular migrants": "Germany 1,510, United. Kingdom 728, Spain 468, Austria 387, Poland 365 and Switzerland 249 [emphasis added]
Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Document from Italian Interior Ministry giving instructions on how to treat migrants referred to during the debate in the European Parliament debate this week: Melting Pot (link) and street posters: Narbonne (jpg), Bordeaux (jpg) and Brussels (.jpg) and Web image used extensively: Mos Maiorum Warning (.jpg) Also check: 268 reports: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)
See also: Mos maiorum, a shortsighted and inhuman policy clashing with the humanitarian issues at the foundations of Europe (ASGI, link):
"It is a short-sighted and inhumane policy that ignores the right of asylum under the Treaties establishing the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and national constitutions, as well as all other instances of humanitarian who founded Europe."
London: United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) Procession 2014 (Facebook, link): Satruday 25 October: "Assemble at 12:00 pm at Trafalgar Square for a silent procession along Whitehall followed by a noisy protest at Downing Street. Please wear black. The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who are killed in immigration detention and secure psychiatric hospitals."
UK: MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal - Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill had phones tapped, correspondence intercepted and friends and wives monitored (Guardian, link):
"MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britains leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.
The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets personal lives than any threat to national security."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Met police to pay more than £400,000 to victim of undercover officer - Female activist who was traumatised after discovering that the father of her son was a spy is to receive compensation (Guardian, link):
"The Metropolitan police are to pay more than £400,000 to a woman who has been profoundly traumatised after discovering by chance that the father of her son was an undercover police officer.
It is the first time the police have made a payment to settle any of the legal claims brought by women who were deceived by undercover officers sent to spy on political and activist groups.
The woman has been receiving psychiatric treatment and has contemplated suicide since she read a newspaper in 2012 and found out the true identity of the man who had fathered her son before abandoning her and the child 24 years previously."
MOROCCO-MELILLA: African migrants look down on white-clad golfers in viral photo - Realities clash as campaigner captures image of asylum seekers stuck on razorwire fence above elite club on Morocco-Melilla border (Guardian, link)
UK: Campsfield expansion wrong, abusive and unnessary - who benefits? (Press release, pdf): "An application to expand Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre is expected to be submitted to Cherwell District Council imminently. The plans would more than double the number of people imprisoned at the Centre from 276 to 556. Bill MacKeith, of the Campaign to Close Campsfield, has described the plans as wrong, inhumane and unnecessary."
European Commission: Access to documents: Requests for Commission documents reach record high (Press release, pdf):
"There were 6,525 requests a rise of 8.5% on the 6,014 document requests in 2012. This compares with just 450 requests when the current rules entered into force in
2001. The Commission handles around twice as many requests as the Council and European Parliament combined, and grants access in more than four out of five cases.:" [emphasis added] :
See: Report on the application in 2013 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf) and: Annex - statistics (pdf): The Press release fails to mention: "The frequency of invoking the protection of the Commission's decision making process (Article 4(3)) as ground for refusal at the initial stage, in relation to all invoked exceptions, slightly increased in comparison with the previous year (27.1% against 25.2% in 2012). It was the most frequently invoked exception,..." [emphasis added and 16.3% of confirmatory applications are refused on the same grounds]
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"This is an extraordinary claim. One of the reasons the Commsiion get more requests for documents is that its public register of documents in manifestly incomplete. In 2008 the Commission refused to comply with the Recommendations of the European Ombudsman following a Statewatch complaint."
See: Statewatch wins European Ombudsman complaint against the European Commission over its public register of documents but it refuses to comply (pdf) "18 December 2008 the Ombudsman found it an instance of maladministration by the Commission and issued Critical remarks and said: The Ombudsman remains unconvinced that it would be impossible, or logically impossible, to maintain a register of all documents that are in possession."
SEARCH, RESCUE & RIGHTS: OHCHR Releases Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (Migrants at sea, link): "The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday issued Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders. OHCHR, along with multiple stakeholders, has been working on the principles and guidelines since 2012"
See: OHCHR: Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (pdf):
"International borders are not zones of exclusion or exception for human rights obligations. States are entitled to exercise jurisdiction at their international borders, but they must do so in light of their human rights obligations. This means that the human rights of all persons at international borders must be respected in the pursuit of border control, law enforcement and other State objectives, regardless of which authorities perform border governance measures and where such measures take place. "
European Parliament: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": MEPs ask for further details of EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants (pdf):
"Concerns about how to reconcile the fundamental rights and non-discrimination of migrants with the need to gather information to dismantle criminal networks profiting from trafficking were the key points raised by MEPs in Wednesday evenings debate with the Italian Presidency of the Council, represented by Benedetto Della Vedova on the EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants "Mos Maiorum".
USA-IRAQ: Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges (The Intercept, link):
"A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007."
EU Parliament promises a better document register (EDRI, link): "In 2011 the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) discovered that some European Parliament decisions regarding the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were not recorded in any known document. A hidden class of documents (coordinators minutes) seemed to exist, but the Parliament denied their existence. The FFII filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman."
See: Draft Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in the inquiry into complaint 262/2012/OV against the European Parliament (link):
"Parliament should register all existing Parliament documents in its electronic Register of documents, in particular the minutes of the meetings of Parliament Committee Coordinators."
EU: European Parliament: Parliament elects new European Commission (Press release, pdf)
Spain/Melilla: "Urine with ebola, fire and stones against the fence", or the most brutal media manipulation possible (Peio M. Aierbe, 16 October 2014)
"Today, El Faro de Melilla [newspaper] offered us an example of the media manipulation that we have been complaining about for years. The headline could not have expressed this intention any better: presenting the migrants who want to cross the fence not just as violent, but as a threat to our society. And what could be more effective at the moment, than associating them to ebola?
The newspaper's account of the violent expulsion carried out yesterday by the Guardia Civil consists in showing the Guardia Civil officers as victims, and the migrants as violent and dangerous. Precisely the opposite of what happened, as can be seen from the videos recorded and circulated by Prodein."
EU: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation: Press release: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation (pdf) and Letter to Frontex: Own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2014/MHZ concerning the means through which Frontex ensures respect for fundamental rights in joint return operations (JRO) (pdf)
UK: South London Anti-Fascists present: Blacks Britannica (pdf)
"Originally banned from television in 1977, Blacks Britannica exposes the structures & realities of racism in the UK. The hour long film has been rarely seen, so join SLAF for a very special screening. The film will be introduced by Colin Prescod, a contributor to the film and current chair of the Institute of Race Relations. at Goldsmiths University Cinema Thursday 30th October 2014 7pm Drinks and Nibbles included Suggested £2 donation towards SLAF."
Polizei setzt in Calais Tränengas gegen über 300 Flüchtlinge ein [Police use tear gas against 300 refugees in Calais] (ZZ, (link to article in German): ""The French police used tear gas against 300 refugees that attempted to cross over the Channel from Calais to the UK by hiding in lorries. Most of the refugees are from Syria, Eritrea and Sudan and could have applied for asylum in France; however, many have family members in the UK."
European Parliament: MEPs freeze problematic expert groups budget (AlterEU, link): "The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to freeze the budget of the European Commission's problematic advisory groups, known formally as Expert Groups, for the second time in four years."
Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Demonstration in Stockholm: Thursday (link) and Demonstration in Brussels: Wednesday (link).
See also European Parliament: Resolutions on topical subject: Joint police operation "Mos Maiorum" (link) Debate today: afternoon/evening in plenary on Mos Maiorum (formally called "Council statement") but without resolution. You can follow the debate here:(link) An indicative timetable will be displayed from 15:00 on on the same page. See also: EU-wide "Mos Maiorum" police operation (Green/EFA Group, link)
EU: European Parliament: Civil liberties MEPs vote on their preferences for EU data protection watchdog (Press release, pdf):
"Mr Giovanni Buttarelli was voted top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday after three and a half hours of hearings on Monday evening. Top candidate for Assistant Supervisor is Mr Wojciech Wiewiorowski. The appointments still need to be agreed with the
Council of Ministers."
UK: Green politician Jenny Jones arrested in Occupy London protest - Deputy chair of London assemblys police and crime committee among 15 held at Parliament Square demonstration (Guardian, link) See also: Occupy London (link)
UK: David Cameron cracks down on use of charities to fund terrorist organisations (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Foreign fighters: follow-up on the Conclusions of the European Council of 30 August 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 14160-14, pdf) Including: "Invited the relevant working groups to explore the possibilities for sharing API data on internal EU flights and to reflect on the appropriate legal framework for this exchange."
EU: Meijers Committee: To the LIBE (Civil Liberties) Committee: Note on the state of negotiations on the proposal for the recast of the Students Directive and Researchers Directive (pdf): "The reports on the implementation of the two Directives pointed out certain inadequacies in the two instruments, mainly concerning the admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students access to the labor market, and intra-Union mobility."
EU: ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles): Information taken from ECREs Weekly Legal Update (edition 10 October 2014) (pdf) Case law summaries.
ECHR Judgment: Indiscriminate collective expulsion by the Italian authorities of Afghan migrants, who were then deprived of access to the asylum procedure in Greece (pdf) and Judgment (pdf)
"The case concerned 32 Afghan nationals, two Sudanese nationals and one Eritrean national, who alleged, in particular that they had entered Italy illegally from Greece and been returned to that country immediately, with the fear of subsequent deportation to their respective countries of origin, where they faced the risk of death, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment."
EU: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Effective criminal justice response to the phenomenon of foreign fighters (LIMITE doc no: 14188-14, pdf):
"To what extent the existing measures in your national legislation are compliant with the requirement of UNSCR 2178(2014) to criminalise certain types of behaviour linked to the foreign fighters phenomenon? Do you plan to amend your legislation and what type of measures do you consider to this effect?
How would you assess the adequacy of the Framework Decision on terrorism in the context of the problems posed by foreign fighters to ensure an effective common EU legal framework to address this phenomenon? Which aspects need to be reviewed in this respect? Would it be desirable to have a collective implementation of UNSCR 2178(2014)?"
And see: UN Resolution 2178-14 (pdf)
EU: New Lawyers shortlisted for EU data chief post (euobserver, link) One of the three candidates makes a thinly-veiled reference for the need for the EU to have a "dialogue" with the USA over the proposed agreement on the exchange of personal data:
"Noelle Lenoir (66) is a partner of the American law firm Kramer Levin & Franel LLP, where she has been dealing with European law, competition law and public business law since 2011. She specialises in business confidentiality and personal data protection.
In her letter of motivation, Lenoir writes that European policy on the protection of personal data is nothing unless the Union is open to international dialogue, particularly with countries with which data is most frequently exchanged.
Spain: Excessive Force in Melilla (HRW, link)
EU: European Parliament :MEP from party led by racist could save Farage's EFDD (euractiv, link): "UKIP leader Nigel Farages Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament is expected to reform after a Polish MEP from a party led by a racist joined the Eurosceptic faction."
EU: Migrants tales: I feel for those who were with me. They got asylum in the sea (Guardian, link): "Who are the people who die in the Mediterranean on an almost daily basis? And why dont we care? The Guardian has worked with a team of reporters from five other European newspapers to track a very 21st-century odyssey" and See: Death at sea: Syrian migrants film their perilous voyage to Europe video (link)
EU: Operation Mos Maiorum: Interim report: documenting racist controls with mapping software (linksunten.indymedia.org. link): "For the first time we have set up such a mapping-software to visualize and make public racist controls in the EU. It is an experiment which still has a lot of room for improvement. But already now we can envision the potential of such a tool, once it becomes a common media practice for thousands of activists." See: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)
UK: Cameron 'Pandering To Ukip' By Making MigrationWatch Chief A Lord (Huffington Post, link)
EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch Summary News & Web coverage: (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), See also: (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), 13.10.14: Media and Web coverage (pdf) and 13.10.14: second batch:: Web-media coverage (pdf)
For country reports see: Refugees Welcome (221 reports so far, link)
Occupy London protesters start week long demonstration in Parliament Square (Evening Standard, link): "Protesters from Occupy London have begun a week long demonstration in Parliament Square. The group have pitched tents and are displaying placards highlighting more action to be taken on a number of issues including the NHS, inequality and poverty." And: Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!! (Ecologist, link) See: Occupy Democracy camp (link)
Also: Westminster Council proposes banning "tents and similar structures" and "noise equipment" in crackdown on political protest (Statewatch database, link) and UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices (Statewatch database, link)
EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 8: Council's explanation is "economical with the truth":
Council Presidency says the operation is about the "collection of data on migration flow" when its stated purpose is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes."
See: Council response to media coverage and widespread concern in civil society: What is "Mos Maiorum" joint operation? The collection of data on migration flows in EU countries has been launched (Official statement by Council Presidency, pdf)
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"This statement by the Council Presidency is "economical with the truth". The Council presents Joint Operation Mos Maiorum as a statistical exercise to gather data on migration flows when its first aim is quite different as stated in Full-text (p2, pdf) which is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes."
In the previous operation "Perkunas" 10,459 undocumented migrants were "intercepted", in Aphrodite 5,298 were "apprehended" and in Project FIMATHU (Europol-Austria and Hungary) 7,429 "illegal migrants" were "apprehended". In none of the reports on these three operations [see below] was any information given as to what happened to the migrants who were "intercepted" or "apprehended".
Did they ask for asylum, which they had the right to do? How many ended up in detention centres? How many were deported? Were these people afforded their rights or are EU fundamental rights, Treaties and the Charter simply not a consideration when it comes to Council-organised operations?"
Final report on operation PERKUNAS (LIMITE do no: 16045-13, pdf): "The largest proportion (48,89%) of interceptions was reported by Italy, with 4,800 intercepted irregular migrants. The second (15,36%) and third (7,89%) largest proportions of interceptions were reported by Germany (1,606 intercepted irregular migrants) and the United Kingdom (825 intercepted irregular migrants) respectively."
Final report on Joint Police Operation Aphrodite (LIMITE do no:6224-13, pdf) Interception of "irregular migrants": "Germany 1,510, United. Kingdom 728, Spain 468, Austria 387, Poland 365 and Switzerland 249." Both of these reports beg the question of whether the UK is taking part in Mos Maiorum?
Europol press release: Europol supports successful cooperation between Austria and Hungary against illegal immigration (link)
And see: Statewatch Analysis: EU: Joint police operations target irregular migrants (pdf)
GREECE: LESVOS: Cecilia Malmström and the fiasco of detention centres for immigrants and refugees - If the European Commissioner for Home Affairs knew about the ghastly state of immigrant detention centres on Lesvos, then why did she play along? (Press Project, link)
European Parliament: LIBE to continue championing fundamental rights (Parliament, link): "I intend to] steer the LIBE committee to tackle all our legislation with fundamental rights at the centre, whether we are dealing with security or antidiscrimination legislation" Claude Moraes MEP, Chair LIBE Committee
UK: Journalists should be given public interest defence in law, says Nick Clegg - Lib Dem leader says journalists should not fear being prosecuted under computer misuse, data protection and bribery laws (Guardian, link)
The Remote Drones Digest, October 2014: New Ways of War: Is Remote Control Warfare Effective (pdf): "The Remote Control Project is a project of the Network for Social Change hosted by Oxford Research Group. The project examines changes in military engagement, in particular the use of drones, special forces, private military companies and cyber activities."
TTIP: The arbitration game (The Economist, link): " a process known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. ISDS first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement between Germany and Pakistan in 1959. The intention was to encourage foreign investment by protecting investors from discrimination or expropriation. But the implementation of this laudable idea has been disastrous. It has become so controversial that it threatens to scupper trade deals the European Union is negotiating with both America and Canada. Multinationals have exploited woolly definitions of expropriation to claim compensation for changes in government policy that happen to have harmed their business."
and Leaked TPP Chapter Exposes Sweet Deals for Big Pharma and US Bully Tactics: U.S. pushing rules that 'favor big corporate right holders, and undermine the publics freedom to use knowledge,' intellectual property expert says (Common Dreams, link): ""[T]he TPP would impose new obligations for spying on Internet users under the guise of enforcing copyright. This should raise concerns not only among countries that currently lack such regulations, but also among U.S. citizens, because the TPP would expand the online spy network at home." see also: The TPP Would Enroll More Online Spies (Public Citizen, link)
UK: Defend the right to protest: Threats to Freedom of Assembly and Association (link) and see: Threats to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association: Draft Briefing Paper for Litigating Assembly And Association Rights - A New Project From The UN Special Rapporteur (pdf) and National Conference: WE DO NOT CONSENT: Defend the Right to Protest Conference 2014, Sunday November 16th, 11am till late (link)
News in Brief (19.10.14)
Freedom of Information as a Fundamental Right (freedominfo, link)
UK: Bleak figures show a relentless slide towards a low-pay Britain - Wage protesters marched over the greatest slump seen in real pay for 150 years on Saturday, but it is the march of technological advance that is driving a wedge between the countrys highest and lowest paid workers (The Observer, link) See: Chart (link)
USA: FBI director: Tech companies should be required to make devices wiretap-friendly (Washington Post, link)
USA-NSA (UK-GCHQ): iSpy: How the NSA Accesses Smartphone Data (Der Spiegel, link):
"The mini-computers have become personal communication centers, digital assistants and life coaches, and they often know more about their users than most users suspect.
For an agency like the NSA, the data storage units are a goldmine, combining in a single device almost all the information that would interest an intelligence agency: social contacts, details about the user's behavior and location, interests (through search terms, for example), photos and sometimes credit card numbers and passwords.... Smartphones, in short, are a wonderful technical innovation, but also a terrific opportunity to spy on people, opening doors that even such a powerful organization as the NSA couldn't look behind until now....
The NSA and its partner agency, Britain's GCHQ, focused with similar intensity on another electronic toy: the BlackBerry."
And see: Lawmakers probing NSA face German secrecy hurdles (Washington Post, link): "German lawmakers probing the NSA following Edward Snowdens revelations have hit a hurdle: their own government. Officials have refused to hand over dozens of German intelligence documents detailing the extent to which the countrys spy agencies cooperated with their U.S. counterparts."
Greece: Anti-torture report highlights totally unacceptable detention conditions (CoE, link) and Report to the Greek Government on the visit to Greece carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (pdf):
"A new anti-torture report highlights systemic deficiencies in Greeces detention conditions affecting irregular migrants and prisoners. The Council of Europes Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) reports today that the problem of ill-treatment by the police appears to be growing and there is little evidence that allegations of ill-treatment are investigated promptly and thoroughly, leading to some police officers believing they can act with impunity.
UK: First details of Governments secret lawyer-client spying policies revealed (Reprieve, link): "Cori Crider, Reprieve strategic director and a lawyer for the Belhaj and Saadi families, said: MI6 helped kidnap my clients and 'rendered' them to Gaddafi's dungeons - but the security services' misdeeds didn't stop there. We now know that each security service has at least a policy on their interception of privileged lawyer-client conversations policies they claim are too secret to disclose."
See: Legal and policy regime (pdf)
UK: London: Marc Karlin Archive with Open City Docs, supported by University College, Londons Institute of the Americas, presents: RETURN TO NICARAGUA The process of revolution through Marc Karlin's remarkable documentary series: (pdf): "Marc Karlin (1943-1999)
On his death in 1999, Marc Karlin was described as Britains most significant, unknown film-maker. For three decades, he had been a key figure within Britain's independent film community; he was a founding member of the influential seventies collective, the Berwick Street Film Collective; a leading player in the Independent Filmmakers Association, which played a critical role in opening up television through Channel 4, and a founding member of the group that published the independent film journal, Vertigo, (1993 2010)."
EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 5: Media-Web coverage: update: (17.10.14, pdf)
For reports see: Refugees Welcome (link) and EU-Wide Police Operation 'Mos Maiorum' - What You Can Do (PICUM, link)
Mos Maiorum », une opération européenne anti-migrants hors normes - Pilotée par la présidence italienne de lUnion européenne, lopération « Mos Maiorum » vise à appréhender des migrants en situation irrégulière pour collecter des données sur les réseaux de passeurs.(La Croix, link)
Die fragwürdige Jagd auf Flüchtlinge (Zeit Online, link)
Sponti gegen Mos Maiorum (linksunten.indymedia.org. link): "there was a spontaneous demonstration in Vienna. About 50 Teilnehmerinnen gathered from 16h front of St. Stephens, to protest against racist control, especially against the police operation "MOS Maiorum"." [translation] and Spontane Demonstration im Görli gegen Mos Maiorum (link)
WARNING: EU-wide police operation against refugees!!! emergency number for people facing problems when controlled in Berlin: 0151 12874001 (We will Rise, Berlin, link)
OPGELET: grote 15-daagse Europese controle-operatie tegen illegale migratie (No Border Network, link)
Lampedusa in Hamburg (link)
Background: Statewatch Analysis: EU: Joint police operations target irregular migrants (pdf) by Chris Jones: "The European Union is aiming to increase and formalise operational cooperation amongst law enforcement authorities. Significant effort is going into organising and carrying out joint police operations targeting irregular migrants."
EU: SMART BORDERS report: Technical Study on Smart Borders: Executive Summary (Summary, pdf) and Full-report (443 pages, 5MB, pdf):
"The Smart Borders Package was proposed by the Commission in February 2013. It follows the European Commission (EC) Communication of February 2008 suggesting the establishment of an Entry/Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP). The Smart Borders Package is constituted of three legislative proposals. It aims to improve the management of the external borders of the Schengen Member States (MS), fight against irregular immigration and provide information on overstayers, as well as facilitate border crossings for pre-vetted frequent third country national (TCN) travellers."
EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 3: Media-Web coverage Day 3: (15.10.14, pdf)
Online:13.10.14: Media and web coverage (pdf) and 14.10.14: Web-media coverage (pdf)
Mos Maiorum: an unacceptable blitzkrieg on migrants (European Alternatives, link): "The Statewatch website has done a considerable service in leaking a European Council document revealing the plans for a large-scale joint police surveillance of migrants between Monday 13th October and Sunday 26th October, and revealing that such surveillance raids happen every six months with the rotating presidency of the European Union. This latest operation, under the lead of the Italian Presidency, takes the name Mos Maiorum, referring to the traditional values of the Roman Republic: a reference which is not only a cynical euphemism for what is really a racist surveillance raid on anyone who looks like they might have been born outside the European Union, but also an alarming reference for a country with such a recent history of fascism."
Campaign in Spain: Operación Mos Maiorum La caza europea a los "sin papeles" (.quedalapalabra.com, link) and see: 37 Entidades del Estado Español:
ANTE LA REDADA EUROPEA CONTRA PERSONAS MIGRANTES MOS MAIORUM PREVISTA DEL 13 AL 26 DE OCTUBRE (pdf)
Campaign in Italy: Migranti: parte la maxi retata etnica e razzista Mos Maiorum (reported in Contropiano.org, link): Unione Sindacale di Base", a grassroots trade union is launching "Operation SOS Freedom of movement and of residence" throughout Italy."
REFUGEES WELCOME (link)
Crowdsourced map helps migrants evade European crackdown: "Mos Maiorum" operation checkpoints tracked online (Aljazeera, link):
"As "irregular migrants" find themselves targeted by a European-wide crackdown, some online are helping them circumvent police check points. The operation (link is external), known as "Mos Maiorum", began Monday and will last two weeks. EU officials say the action will fight human trafficking, helping police document smuggling routes. But detractors, who worry the crackdown will lead to racial profiling, are fighting back online.
One app (link is external) is crowdsourcing and then mapping checkpoints used by police. On its site, Map Mos Maiorum says it hopes it will make the crackdown's effects "visible to everyone"
Malta participates in Mos Maiorum, four irregular migrants apprehended - Malta taking part in EU-wide police hunt for irregular migrants and visa overstayers (Malta Today, link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Letter to Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: A proposal for an EU directive on the identification of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons (pdf): "The vulnerable position of stateless persons is increasingly recognized as one of Europes major human rights issues. Over 400,000 stateless persons are believed to be living in the European Union."
UK: Inmate suicide figures expose human toll of prison crisis (Guardian, link)
Data obtained by Guardian reveals more than six prison suicides a month
Stories behind statistics show young men and mentally ill at high risk
Officials blame budget cuts for inadequate staff numbers and lack of training
UK security aid may have funded Brits Ethiopian kidnappers (Reprieve, link): "British taxpayers' money is being used to provide Masters-level training for Ethiopian security sector officials, despite that country's recent kidnapping of a British citizen, it has emerged."
Australias defence intelligence agency conducted secret programs to help NSA - It is unclear, from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, whether programs to hack computer networks continue at ASD (Guardian, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: The proposed General Data Protection Regulation: suggested amendments to the definition of personal data (EU Law Analysos, link):
"In a recent judgment (discussed previously on this blog) the third chamber of the CJEU has ruled that the concept of "personal data" in the 1995 data protection (DP) directive is limited to data directly relating to a person, and does not include legal analyses in the file on the person, on which the state (NL) relied in taking its decisions in relation to that person (Joined Cases C-141/12 and C-372/12). I believe the Courts restrictio
JOINT OPERATION: MOS MAIORUM: Media coverage (14.10.14)
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOLLOWS FRONTEX AND DISTANCES ITSELF - AND EUROPOL - FROM COUNCIL'S JOINT OPERATION "MOS MAIORUM: News agency ANSA reports: "EU Commission denies involvement... the EU Commission has clearly stated that "it is a joint police operation, launched by the Italian six-month presidency of the EU Council. The coordinating authority is the Italian interior ministry and the European Commission is not involved in the operation, and nor has community funding been made available." It stressed that Europol is not involved either."
REFUGEES WELCOME (link): "Between October 13th and 26th a joint police operation called "mos maiorum" take place in nearly all European countries to identify, imprison and finally deport illegalized migrants. Thousands of people will be subject to so called "racial profiling" and will be harrased and criminalised upon those criteria. This site tries to document the actions that are part of "mos maiorum" and to make ist effects visible to everyone. Please contribute to document public police checkpoints or identity checks throughout the european union." [emphasis added]
EU ruft zu Großfahndung "Mos Maiorum" 25 Länder suchen illegale Einwanderer [The EU calls for large scale operation "Mos Maiorum" - 25 countries
search for illegal immigrants German TV: Chanel 5, Tagesschau, 13.10.2014 - watch the video]:
"Die Polizei in 25 Schengen-Staaten hat eine koordinierte Fahndung nach illegalen Einwanderern und Schlepperbanden aufgenommen. Im Zuge der Aktion "Mos Maiorum" werden zwei Wochen lang Bahn- und Flughäfen sowie Grenzübergänge intensiv kontrolliert. Flüchtlingsorganisationen kritisieren, Europa schotte sich immer mehr ab."
[Police in 25 Schengen countires has launched a coordinated search for illegal immigrants and traffickers. Under the head of operation "Mos
Maiorum", for two weeks train stations and airports as well as border crossings will be intensively checked. Refugee organisations criticise that Europe is continuing to seal itself off., Statewatch translation]
Sans Papiers Ni Frontières - Contre les frontières et leurs prisons - Opération Mos Maiorum, jour 1: 13 octobre 2014. Les contrôles dans le cadre de lopération Mos Maiorum ont commencé. (link) See: JOINT OPERATION "MOS MAIORUM" Checks within the framework of operation "Mos Maiorum" have begun [Statewatch translation]
Police launch EU-wide crackdown on migrants (euobserver, link):
" A two-week massive EU-wide border control and police crackdown on irregular migrants was launched on Monday (13 October) by the Italian EU presidency. Thousands of police officers from the 26 countries in the EUs Schengen border-free zone will be dispatched to border crossings, railway stations, bus depots, and elsewhere in a joint-police operation called Mos Maiorum.
The Schengen zone includes 22 member states as well as Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. But one unnamed Schengen country has refused to participate." [emphasis added]
EU states launch controversial police hunt for irregular migrants (Malta Today, link)
Media and web coverage (12.10.14,pdf) and SECOND batch of web-media coverage (13.10.14, pdf)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING REPORT: HMIC: An inspection of undercover policing in England and Wales (14 October 2014, 202 pages, pdf) See:
1,200 undercover police officers operating across England and Wales - Watchdog lambasts senior officers responsible for tactic and calls for reform of national group overseeing covert deployments (Guardian, link):
"The inspectors said that the generally poor knowledge and lack of expertise of senior officers was unacceptable and called for a root-and-branch reform of the secretive national group that oversees the deployment of undercover officers. Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) warned that the shortcomings of the senior officers threatened to undermine a technique that it said was a valuable way of catching criminals.
The watchdog broke new ground by disclosing the breadth of modern undercover work, revealing that there were 3,466 undercover operations in England and Wales between October 2009 and September 2013 and that at the most recent count, 1,229 officers in 39 units are trained as undercover officers."
See: Press statement from women on HMIC report on undercover policing (pdf)
See also 2012 report: A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest (pdf)
EU-JORDAN: MOBILITY AGREEMENT: EU-Jordan: a new partnership to better manage mobility and migration (Press release, pdf) and Full statement (pdf) The participating EU states are: Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.
EU: The hidden face of immigration detention camps (Press release, link): "Under the official pretext of "rationalising the management of migration flows", immigration detention is being widely institutionalised and keeps criminalising those considered undesirable. The Mos Maiorum operation, which will be conducted all over Europe from October 13th to 26th , is yet another example of this logic. It is, in fact, aimed at stopping en masse migrants who will most probably end up filling detention centres. Though detention is permanently violating rights."
EU-Funded Study: Electronic Mass Surveillance Fails Drastically (Surveille project, link):
"Electronic mass surveillance including the mass trawling of both metadata and content by the US National Security Agency fails drastically in striking the correct balance between security and privacy that American officials and other proponents of surveillance insist they are maintaining."
EU Parliament promises to better register its decisions (link):
"In 2011 the FFII discovered that some European Parliament decisions regarding the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were not recorded in any known document. A hidden class of documents (coordinators minutes) seemed to exist, but the Parliament denied the existence. The FFII filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman.
The ombudsman found a systemic failure regarding the listing of documents in the Parliaments registry of documents. In response, the Parliament took measures to better comply with EU law. However, the Parliaments measures are limited. It did not take measures to ascertain all its documents are properly registered. Questions remain, as we will see below."
NOTHING TO DO WITH US STATEMENT from: FRONTEX on Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" (link):
"Statement by the Frontex Executive Director Gil Arias Fernandez on agency's participation in Mos Maiorum: Following a number of media queries, Frontex would like to explain the scope of its participation in Mos Maiorum operation. Mos Maiorum is a Joint Police Operation launched by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The coordinating authority is the Italian Ministry of Interior.
Frontex would like to stress that it has not had any role either in the planning or in implementation of this operation.... Publically available information on Mos Maiorum shows that the latter is not a border control operation. Its goals and way of execution is of intra-Schengen and police cooperation nature, which are not within the mandate of Frontex.
For more information about this operation please contact the Italian Ministry of Interior."
This is a bit odd as the document: Full-text (pdf) states that: "The JO Mos Maiorum will the coordinated by the Central Directorate for Immigration and Border Police of the Italian Ministry of Interior, in close cooperation with the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX). FRONTEX: will contribute to the operation by supporting the Italian Authority in providing risk analysis, forwarding information related to secondary movements and data gathered at the external borders."
EU: SPECIAL REPORT: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" starts
Council put out censored, "partially accessible", version of the operation document deleting the date and all the details of Joint Operation (JO): Full-text (pdf) and Censored text (pdf)
"Mos Maiorum" taking place between 13 to 26 October 2014: On Monday 13 October, the EU's latest migrant hunt begins
Media and web coverage (pdf) and SECOND batch of web-media coverage (13.10.14, pdf)
"There has to be full accountability and post-operation scrutiny by the European Parliament: How many people were "checked in each participating Member State and which of their agencies were involved in the operation? Where were they "checked", at EU border point, on a train or bus or in the street or where else? How many in each country were detained how long for and where? Of those not released what happened to them and where are they now?"" (Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director)
Media/web coverage of "Mos Maiorum"
EU launches Operation Mos Maiorum - European police on a two-week hunt for tens-of-thousands of 'irregular' migrants. (Aljazeera, link)
"Berlin, Germany - A massive police operation was launched by 25 European countries on Monday seeking to detect, detain and possibly deport tens-of-thousands of so-called "irregular" migrants.
During the 14-day Operation Mos Maiorum, some 20,000 police officers will stake out border crossings, railway stations, bus depots, and highways throughout Europe to apprehend so-called irregular migrants - people living clandestinely here without official documentation granting permission to stay.
EU officials say the operation is needed to combat human-smuggling rings and to gather information on smuggling routes. Rights groups, meanwhile, have denounced Mos Maiorum - a Latin term describing the unwritten code of laws and conduct in ancient Roman times - as inhumane....
These migrants are, in most cases, people who escaped dangerous homelands and are searching for safe and dignified living conditions, according to Karl Kopp, director of European affairs at ProAsyl, a German non-profit foundation. "Mos Maiorum is an anti-refugee operation," said Kopp. "Refugees are a target of this operation, let's be clear."
Frontex, Europol ou une police européenne en devenir (Paris Luttes.Info, link) and Opération Mos Maiorum : attention aux rafles dans toute lEurope du 13 au 26 octobre (Paris Luttes.Info, link)
EU launches Operation Mos Maiorum (Yahoo News, link)
:Mos Maiorum: de nuevo el discurso del miedo y la xenofobia institucional (link)
Sweden: EU-länders insats mot papperslösa kritiseras (Expressen, link): Confirms that Sweden is taking part in the operation.
EU: OPERATION "MOS MAIORUM": GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament: Open letter to the Justice and Home Affairs Council: EU Ministers must cancel Joint Police Operation: "Mos Maiorum" and instead make concrete proposals to address the tragic situation in the Mediterranean (pdf)
UK-COMMISSION: European Ombudsman: Says applicant must be given access to documents held by the European Commission related to UK's GCHQ (link): "the complainant, a German journalist, asked the Commission for access to documents in its possession in connection with the surveillance of the internet by UK state agencies (mainly the intelligence service 'Government Communications Headquarters', otherwise known as 'GCHQ'), in accordance with EU rules on access to documents.".
Frontex, Europol ou une police européenne en devenir (Paris Luttes.Info, link) and Opération Mos Maiorum : attention aux rafles dans toute lEurope du 13 au 26 octobre (Paris Luttes.Info, link). See also: Mos Maiorum: de nuevo el discurso del miedo y la xenofobia institucional (link)
USA:SURVEILLANCE: Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany (Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use physical subversion to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept."
See: Sentry Eagle document (pdf)
EU: Council of the the European Union and the European External Action Service (EEAS): Libya, RPAS, SCIFA & Register of EU Wills
EEAS: Libya, a Political Framework for a Crisis Approach (LIMITE, 13829-14,pdf): "Given the uncertainty regarding the duration and outcome of the conflict, which complicates EU ability for strategic planning/programming, the PFCA describes three possible scenarios for the near future; a stalemate, with no clear winner; an escalation of violence, in which one side might overcome the other following a full-scale civil war; or a cessation of hostilities and the resumption of the political process..Only a ceasefire agreement could eventually allow for a resumption of EU support." [emphasis in original].
EEAS to: European Union Military Committee (EUMC): Concept for the Contribution of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to EU-led Military Operations (LIMITE, 8387-14, 22 pages, pdf): "This concept provides the conceptual framework for the use of RPAS in EU-led military operations and military missions with a focus on their contribution to Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Target Acquisition (TA)....Payloads are assumed to be sensors, communication relays, laser guidance devices, cargo, guided weapons or other devices, carried internally or externally by the RPA....If the RPA is lost due to an attack or failure, no aircrew is at risk (casualty, capture). The potential impact on public opinion is accordingly less important" [emphasis added]
COUNCIL: Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum: The future of SCIFA Contribution to the evaluation by COREPER (LIMITE, 12996-14, (pdf) : "it is therefore recommended that SCIFA continues to meet beyond 2014, assisting COREPER in relation to legal, horizontal and strategic matters in the field of immigration, asylum and frontiers."
COUNCIL: Register of Wills across the EU: The interconnection of registers of wills in the EU - State of play and future planning (LIMITE: 13003-14, pdf): "The primary objective of ENRWA (European Network of Registers of Wills Association) is to put in place and ensure the widespread adoption of a public policy tool that enables European citizens to trace all wills drawn up and registered in Europe, via the creation of registers of wills, where no such register exists, and thanks to the interconnection of existing national registers."
Updated: 10.10.14: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 9-10 October 2014, Luxembourg: Final Press release (pdf)
Main Agenda (pdf), "A" Points: legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and "A" Points non-legislative (adopted without debate, pdf)
« Mos Maiorum» : The Hunt against Undocumented Migrants in Europe (EuroMediterranean Human Rights Network/Frontex Exit), link):
"Between 13 and 26 October, police forces of the Member States of the European Union (EU) are to conduct massive control operations both within the Schengen area and at its external borders. A week after the commemoration of the tragedy of Lampedusa in October 2013, a hunt on migrants operation dubbed Mos Maiorum is to be launched in collaboration with Frontex and Europol. The large-scale operation, coordinated by the Italian Interior Ministry, aims at intercepting and collecting personal data on fake document holders, rejected asylum-seekers and smugglers.
Besides the fact that the European Parliament does not seem to have been informed of the operation, the lack of clarity as regards the legal basis and the practicalities of the operations is is particularly problematic . No information is available as to what these interceptions will result in, and whether joint return operations will be organised."
See lso: On Monday 13 October, the EU's latest migrant hunt begins and Council of the European Union document on the operation (LIMITE, that is not public)
AI: JHA Council: Operation Triton cannot replace Operation Mare Nostrum (link):
"Amnesty International is deeply alarmed by Italys announcement that Operation Mare Nostrum will end, with Frontexs Operation Triton taking over in the Central Mediterranean. The new operation is not fit for purpose to meet vital search and rescue needs. As such, there is a real risk that further lives of migrants and refugees will be lost at sea."
As Frontex itself says: "While saving lives is an absolute priority in in all maritime operations coordinated by Frontex, the focus of Joint Operation Triton will be primarily border management. ": Link to press release [emphasis added]
Doktor U? The CJEU reconciles the right to a name with passport security (EU Law Analysis, link):
"While the Court was right to say that the EU legislation requires the application of ICAO soft law, it did not acknowledge the great ambiguity in those rules. Indeed, it is striking that the Advocate-Generals opinion arrives at precisely the opposite interpretation of them. The objective of ensuring passport security could still have been achieved by providing a precise record of Doktor Us current identity. And the Court would have surely reached this conclusion if it had performed in this case as it always ought to do an assessment of whether the interference in Doktor Us right to his private life was proportionate and necessary."
News in Brief (11.10.`4)
Most in Europe agree they need stronger data protection laws (telecompaper, link): "According to a new research study from Sophos, conducted by Vanson Bourne, 84 percent of respondents agree that Europe needs stronger data protection laws, but 77 percent are not confident their organisations comply with current regulations. "
France: Counterterrorism Bill Threatens Rights (HRW, link)
EU-USA TTIP Negotiating Directives (Mandate) Full-text: Directives for the negotiation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States of America (Doc no: 11103-13, pdf) Council document Declassified from Restricted.
And see: Ombudsman welcomes Council decision to publish TTIP negotiating directives (link) and see: Letter from the Ombudsman to Commission (pdf)
ITALY-EU: Migreurop: Press release: Mare Nostrum drowned in Triton? (link): "The Mare Nostrum operation is scheduled to end on 1 November 2014. After the commemoration of the 3 October 2013 shipwreck, the question must be asked as to what will replace this mechanism that was deployed by Italy in the context of conflicts taking place at the gates of Europe, pushing tens of thousands of people to leave as they seek protection." And French (link), Italian (link) and Spanish (link)
EU: NEW OPERATIONAL STRATEGY TO STOP & CONTROL MIGRANTS FLEEING FROM, WAR, POVERTY & PERSECUTION: Council of the European Union: Taking action to better manage migratory flows (LIMITE, 13747-14, pdf) Note: Operational strategies like this one are not subject to agreement or scrutiny by national and European parliaments.
"I. Action in cooperation with third countries
II. Reinforced management of external borders and FRONTEX
III. Action at Member States' level Reception and fingerprinting"
"the main hotspot of migratory flows is currently in the Mediterranean, affecting Europe as a whole, the detailed activities to be implemented in the short term should be primarily focused on that operational area."
EU: NETWORK INFORMATION SECURITY & IDENTIFICATION OF DATA SUBJECTS: Council of the European Union: The Council developing a negotiating position: Proposal for a Directive concerning measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union - Preparations for the 1st informal exploratory trilogue (LIMITE, 13848-14, pdf) Multi-column document. Note: There are at least three forms of secret "trilogues" between the Council and the European Parliament: Full trilogues, "Technical" trilogues and "Informal" trilogues - the last two forms may only involve the European Parliament's Rapporteur and advisors.
"An outstanding issue with regard to the scope is the identification of specific sectors (Annex II), where Member States should impose security and notification obligations on operators; for example, further discussions are needed on whether or not to include in Annex II information society services, banking and financial market infrastructures.... They shall be kept in a form which permits the identification of data subjects for no longer than necessary for the purpose for which the personal data are processed." [emphasis added]
London Campaign Against Police and State Violence will be holding our annual conference on the theme of 'The Right to Life Under Threat by the State'. Everyone is welcome. The full programme will be published shortly. Richard Hoggart Building Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths (University of London), Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW. Sunday 12 October. Registration 1pm. The conference will feature: United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) - ®Movement - Screening of Migrant Media's new film 'Burn' - Spoken word
Future EU countries could face new migration curbs (euobserver, link): " The European Commission has said future EU members could face extra controls on movement of workers in a concession to the UK."
See: European Commission: Report on Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2014-15 (COM-700-14, pdf)
UK-EU: Theresa May to push EU to stem flow of jihadis to and from Syria and Iraq - Proposals include a Europe-wide air passenger database and tightening security checks at EUs external borders (Guardian, link)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: Sen. Wyden: NSA tech spying hurts economy (Washington Post, link)
EU: GREECE: Commission Staff Working Document on the Assessment of the implementation of the Greek Action Plan on Asylum and Migration management (SWD 316-14, pdf)
EU: European Commission: REPORT ON ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Report on the application in 2013 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf):
"The frequency of invoking the protection of the Commission's decisionmaking process (Article 4(3)) as ground for refusal at the initial stage, in relation to all invoked exceptions, slightly increased in comparison with the previous year (27.1% against 25.2% in 2012). It was the most frequently invoked exception,..." [emphasis added and 16.3% of confirmatory applications are refused on the same grounds]
And see: Annex - statistics (pdf)
EU: DRONES: Council of the European Union:: Communication from the Commission: A new era for aviation Opening the aviation market to the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems in a safe and sustainable manner - Policy debate (pdf)
See also: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
Centre for Media, Data and Society report: Reported Breaches of Compromised Personal Records in Europe, 2005-2014 (Central European University, pdf)
EU: ROMA RIGHTS: JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN ROMA RIGHTS CENTRE Going nowhere?: Western Balkan Roma and EU visa liberalisation (122 pages, link) See report: Rescued what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily (link)
Europe: Rescued what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily (Jesuit Refuge Service, link).See report: Full report (link)
EU: INTERNAL SECURITY: Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA): Safeguarding internal security in compliance with fundamental rights law FRA contribution High-level conference on a renewed EU Internal Security Strategy (pdf):
"This paper examines the inter-relatedness between security and fundamental rights as one of the key challenges in the area of internal security. It calls for mainstreaming fundamental rights into the design of internal security measures to increase their proportionality and legitimacy."
EU: Denmark and EU Justice and Home Affairs Law: Really Opting Back In? (EU Law Analysis, link):
"Yesterday, the Danish Prime Minister made an announcement that Denmark would hold another referendum on EU matters in 2015. This was widely reported as a vote on whether Denmark would opt back in to EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) law. In fact, the governments intention is to hold a vote on whether to replace a complete opt out with a selective opt-out. This blog post explains the detail of the issue, including a complete list of the measures which Denmark might opt back into if the Danish public approves the referendum proposal."
UK: National Crime Agency director general: UK snooping powers are too weak - Exclusive: Crime agency boss says he needs to persuade public to reduce digital freedoms (Guardian, link):
"The NCA boss said Snowdens leaks, principally to the Guardian, were a betrayal. He said he thought the concerns about excessive government invasion of privacy and secret mass surveillance programmes were legitimate. But he thought once the need for greater surveillance was explained, the public would understand."
A Renewed Counterterrorism Push: Implications for EU Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (SECILE Project, link):
"Renewed military action by the US and its allies in Iraq and Syria has received significant attention in the global media. Counter-terrorism experts have differing views on whether it can be considered a renewed War on Terror, but one thing is clear alongside bombs, bullets and missiles come new domestic counter-terrorism policies of increased state surveillance and intrusion."
UK: Pressure group Cage files complaint over closure of bank accounts - Accounts at Barclays and the Co-op were closed in the weeks after spokesman Moazzam Begg was arrested in February (Guardian, link):
"Cage, the London-based pressure group that has the former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg as a spokesperson, has lodged a formal complaint to the financial ombudsman after it was forced to the brink of closure when its bank accounts were shut down.
The groups problems started when Begg, its director of outreach, was arrested in February on suspicion of terrorism offences linked to Syria. In the weeks after Beggs arrest, Cages bank accounts at Barclays and the Co-op were closed. Cage, which campaigns on behalf of terrorism suspects who are denied legal rights, said its attempts to continue its work had been hindered by a series of apparently unconnected moves."
EU-IATA: TRANSFER OF EU PNR DATA: Transfer of PNR data from Europe to third countries (pdf)
"According to IATA assessment, currently 9 countries in the world are requiring PNR data with a minimum of 33 countries who have indicated their plans to introduce PNR data collection systems. So far, the European Union has only been able to negotiate PNR agreements with 3 of these countries the US, Canada and Australia. Since 2013, airlines in Europe have been approached by Mexico, South Korea (initial request was in 2007), Russia, Brazil, New Zealand and Qatar with requirements for PNR data."
UK: Police concede allegations over attempts to turn activists into informers are serious - An investigation has been launched into claims that activists felt intimidated by police who wanted them to spy on other campaigners (Guardian, link):
"Police are investigating complaints from four campaigners who say they felt intimidated by covert officers who tried to recruit them as informants. The four campaigners have alleged that coercive and at times repeated approaches from the police caused them to give up their political campaigning, or left them stressed and paranoid.
They have also said that the covert operation to spy erodes free speech and the freedom to protest. Among the proposed targets of the surveillance were students at Cambridge University, Unite Against Fascism, environmentalists and anti-cuts campaigners UK Uncut and Cambridge Defend Education."
EU: Commissioners-designate and the European Parliament:: Commissioner-designate for Justice: Vera Jourova:
Letter to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament from four Committee Chairs concerning Commissioner-Designate Justice, Vera Jourova's, response to questions at 1 October hearing (3 October 2104, pdf)
And see::Verbatim report: Hearing of Vera Jourova Commissioner-Designate (Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality) (1 October 2014, pdf)
Letter from Martin Schulz to President-elect Juncker with further questions to be answered by three Commissioners-designate (2 October 2014, pdf)
And see also: EU lawmakers reject Hungarian culture nominee, disrupting Juncker plan (Reuters, link)
European Parliament: Some questions to the would-be Commissioner for Better Regulation, Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law (Timmermans) by Steve Peers, Henri Labayle and Emilio de Capitani (ASFJ, link)
"In the last ten years the number of EU agencies has rocketed from 10 to 32 sometime for sound technical reasons but more often as way for Member States to shape and manage EU policies without a real accountability before the Commission, the European Parliament and the national parliaments. Their global budget amount in 2014, to 800 million in contributions and with more than 6.000 officials they have become a parallel administration which act in a rather fuzzy way without a clear legal administrative framework.....
How do you intend re-establish a real binding administrative framework and improve the rule of law principles for these independent EU bodies?
You announced that you will prepare a proposal for an Inter-Institutional Agreement creating a mandatory lobby register covering the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. As cases of conflict of interest have emerged will you add also the EU Agencies to the register?"
News in Brief (8.10.14)
Europe cannot remain indifferent to what happened in Lampedusa (euractiv, link)
EU-USA: Ansip threatens to suspend Safe Harbour data agreement with US (euractiv, link)
Heres why people are worried about a US warrant for emails on Irish servers (link)
PENAL ABOLITION: FOUR THEMES: A Talk on Skype to the International Conference on Penal Abolition Ottawa, Canada 14 June 2014 and to the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, Liverpool, England, 6 September 2014: Professor Emeritus Thomas Mathiesen, University of Oslo (pdf):
"I wish to spend the space I have at my disposal on the history of The Politics of Abolition, a book which I wrote and which first appeared back in 1974, forty years ago, and particularly on the second edition of that book, The Politics of Abolition Revisited, which was published by Routledge in September of this year (2014)."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Public Prosecutor Office (EPPO): Council Presidency: Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (LIMITE, Doc no: 13658-14, pdf)
and Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office - State of Play/Orientation debate (LIMITE, Doc no 13509-14, pdf): "The Presidency invites the Council to confirm that the EPPO shall operate as one single Office, and in principle not have recourse to instruments of mutual legal assistance or mutual recognition when acting within the territory of participating Member States."
and see Finnish delegation's observations on the above proposal: Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office - Proposal from the Finnish Delegation on Article 26 (13679-14, pdf),
EU: On Monday 13 October, the EU's latest migrant hunt begins
A Europe-wide joint police operation aiming to "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes" will run for two weeks from Monday 13 October, building on previous similar efforts that have seen thousands of people arrested.
The operation - named 'Mos Maiorum' in reference to the "time-honoured principles, behavioural models, and social practices that affected private, political, and military life in ancient Rome." - has been organised by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, who invited other states to join during a meeting of the Council's Working Party on Frontiers in mid-July this year:
"All Member States and Schengen Associated Countries (SAC) are going to be invited to participate in the operation. Depending on the internal organisation in each country, various law enforcement authorities will be involved in the operation, especially border guard authorities."
EU: WILL THE EU LIVE UP TO ITS PRINCIPLES IN THE TREATIES & THE CHARTER WHEN ITS COMMITMENT TO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IS "NON-BINDING"? Council of the European Union: Guidelines on methodological steps to be taken to check fundamental rights compatibility at the Council's preparatory bodies, see Doc no: 13390-14 (LIMITE, pdf) with List of the rights, freedoms and principles guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights in its Annex::
"The recent case law of the European Court of Justice  confirms that the Court will not satisfy itself with anything less than a strict assessment of the proportionality and necessity of measures that constitute serious restrictions to fundamental rights, however legitimate the objectives pursued by the EU legislature. It also indicates that such measures do not stand a serious chance of passing the legality test unless they are accompanied by adequate safeguards in order to ensure that any serious restriction of fundamental rights is circumscribed to what is strictly necessary and is decided in the framework of guarantees forming part of Union legislation instead of being left to the legislation of Member States.
Moreover, the legislator should be able to demonstrate that it has explored alternative ways to attain the objectives pursued which would be less restrictive of the rights of the individuals concerned."
 See Council document on the Judgment of 8 April 2014, Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12, Digital Rights Ireland: Doc no: 9009-14, LIMITE, pdf
EU: WARNING: THE EU COUNCIL IS TRYING TO UNDERMINE PRIVACY SEALS (and through this, the General Data Protection Regulation) (pdf): Douwe Korff
"The European Parliaments amended text is much more ambitious in this regard and, if adopted, would make certification schemes both more integrated with the general data protection regime and stronger, also in terms of ensuring that no seals could be issued in one Member State that would undermine data protection in other Member States.
However, the text set out in an EU Council document dated 26 September 2014 and just leaked, shows that the Member States are trying to undermine the good proposals of Parliament."
See document: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) [First reading] - Chapter IV (LIMITE doc no: 12312-14, 50 pages, pdf) With 92 Footnotes including Member State positions. And see 3 October 2014 Council position: 13772-14 (pdf)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: The NSA and Me By James Bamford (The Intercept, link): "The discovery that the NSA had been lying to the Church Committee shocked me. But it also gave me the idea to write the first book about the agency."
"I would be happy to lend my copy of the NSAs criminal file to Attorney General Eric Holder, if he would like to see how to begin. Or he can read it here."
See Document referred to above by James Bamford (link)
UK: Moazzam Begg complains of malicious and vindictive detention - Former Guantánamo inmate says it is inevitable he will bring proceedings against MI5 after terror case collapses (Guardian, link)
"MI5 had neglected to hand over to police and prosecutors its minutes of meetings it had requested with Begg. He had explained that he was planning to visit the war-ravaged country in part to investigate the agencys links with the Assad regime and was assured he would not be hinde
UK: HUMAN RIGHTS: The Conservative's proposals for changing Brtiain's Human Rights laws (pdf)
The Worst of all Possible Worlds: the Conservative partys human rights proposals (EU law Analysis, link) by Steve Peers: " The Conservative proposal suggests instead the worst of all worlds: a highly limited national system of human rights protection, the defenestration of the link with the international human system, and a significant lowering of substantive human rights protection. While the UK has a proud tradition supporting the protection of human rights internationally, this plan would undermine that history, and could well be used as a model by tyrants worldwide."
Tory plans for European human rights convention will take UK back 50 years - Depriving people of their rights would seem something of an overreaction to one or two adverse European court rulings (The Guardian, link)
Euro Rights Blog: UKs dirty laundry still spinning at Strasbourg (link)
Marked-up copy of the document with comments by Carl Gardner, a barrister (link)
Roadkill: the EU Charter of Rights after the Conservative partys changes to UK human rights law (EU Law Analysis, link)
Tory wreckers out to destroy their own human rights - The Conservatives threat to scrap the Human Rights Act emphasises how extreme the party has become (The Observer, link)
Freedom is Slavery: Counterterrorism laws in (1984) 2014 (One Small Window, link): "The homogenisation of counterterrorism policies is a further triumph for large corporations and proof that the threat, if any, is inflated. But that does not matter. The politics of fear, hate and insecurity is lucrative and in the increasingly corporatised and non-transparent state, it is also a perfect means to control dissent against other policies that restrict fundamental rights and freedoms, abuse human rights and channel public funds, intended for public services, into private projects that serve solely private interests."
EU: The Lampedusa Tragedy, one year after: Terre des Hommes: "Channels for regular arrivals of migrants, now ! The sole priority is to save lives. The rest is just words." (Press release, pdf): "Milano/Brussels, 03 October 2014 - A year after the tragic sinking of Lampedusa, which highlighted the danger of leaving migration flows in the hands of smugglers, Terre des Hommes continues asking the Italian government and the European Union to establish regular and legal entry channels into Europe for people fleeing from war, disasters and poverty."
EU: Travel surveillance: PNR by the back door
Proposed legislation on an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the surveillance of air travel has been on hold since the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee rejected it in April 2013, but tens of millions of euros in funding from the European Commission has allowed a number of Member States to establish national PNR systems.
News in Brief (3.10.14)
UK: Judge clears students of police assault and says officers were heavy-handed during Cops Off Campus protest (West End Extra, link)
UK: New MI6 head revealed as Alex Younger to replace Sir John Sawers (Daily Telegraph, link): "Described as a career SIS officer, Mr Younger has for the last two years been overseeing MI6's intelligence operations worldwide."
UPDATED: UK: Moazzam Begg was in contact with MI5 about his Syria visits, papers show - Defence case corroborated as documents revealed agency told Begg he could continue work for opposition in Syria unhindered (Guardian, link)
"The terrorism case against former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg collapsed after MI5 belatedly gave police and prosecutors a series of documents that detailed the agencys extensive contacts with him before and after his trips to Syria, the Guardian has learned.
The documents included minutes of meetings that MI5 officers and lawyers held with Begg, at which he discussed his travel plans and explained he was assisting opposition fighters in their war against Bashar al-Assads regime."
See: Moazzam Begg freed after terrorism case against him collapses - Secret intelligence material handed to prosecutors demolished case against former Guantánamo Bay detainee (Guardian, link):
"The prosecution of the former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg has dramatically collapsed after the police and crown prosecutors were handed secret intelligence material that undermined the terrorism case against him.
Five days before Begg was due to go on trial on a string of terrorism charges, which carried prison terms of up to 15 years, prosecutors announced at the Old Bailey that they had recently become aware of relevant material that obliged them to offer no evidence."
European Group on Deviancy and Social Control (Oslo, 2013): Tony Bunyan: The Emerging EU State (Podcast, link): "We have been witnessing "state-building" for many years. The question now is whether we will soon reach a "tipping point" where the EU state will be there for all who want to see to see."
European Parliament: Indiscretions regarding the possible suspension of Schengen by Austria and Germany (link): "According to recent reports in many newspapers, the Austrian and German Governments intend to request the temporary suspension of the Schengen Area in order to combat illegal immigration. In addition, the Austrian Government is reported to have requested the closure of its countrys border with Italy in order to prevent the entry of refugees from third countries."
EU: Posting third-country workers within the EU: the ECJ squares the circle (EU Law Analysis, link) and CJEU judgment (pdf):
"The ECJ has repeatedly held that, unlike workers from EU Member States, Turkish nationals are not entitled to freedom of movement within the European Union but can rely only on certain rights in the territory of the host Member State alone (Savas, para 59; Derin, para 66). The Essent judgment provides a recent and clear illustration of how, under certain circumstances, the EU internal market freedoms can be relied upon to overcome those limitations and, indirectly, to broaden the freedom of movement of Turkish and other third-country nationals."
UK: Moazzam Begg to be freed as prosecutors drop terror charges - Former Guantánamo Bay detainee is expected to walk free from Belmarsh prison as seven charges are dropped (Guardian, link):
"The prosecution of former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg has dramatically collapsed after the prosecution said there was insufficient evidence to bring him to trial on terrorism charges. An Old Bailey judge entered a formal verdict of not guilty on Wednesday and ordered that Begg be set free immediately from Belmarsh high security prison. The 45-year-old from Birmingham had spent seven months in custody after being arrested and questioned over a trip he had made to Syria....
Beggs lawyer, Gareth Peirce, said he should never have been charged, as his activities did not amount to terrorism. This is a good man trying to the right thing in a very difficult world, she said."
and Moazzam Begg to be released as terror charges dropped (BBC News, link)
European Parliament: Commissioners Hearings: Full transcripts: Hearing of Dimitris Avramopoulos: Commissioner-Designate (Migrations and Home Affairs) and Hearing of Gunther Oettinger: Commissioner-Designate (Digital Economy and Society): (pdf)
UK: Drone Campaign Network: Campaigning to Ground the Drones: Drones Week of Action 2014 (link):
"The week of action runs from Saturday 4th October until Saturday 11th October. Please let us have your events to publicise here by emailing email@example.com. If you would like a drones resource pack for your event see the resources page."
CoE: Europe, wake up! (Commissioner for Human Rights, link): "Frontex, the EU border control agency, had been active in reinforcing fortress Europe and the police of some EU member states have been engaged, inter alia, in collective expulsion (push-back) operations in violation of international norms....Today, the EU pressures third countries, in particular in the Balkans, to reduce the number of their citizens applying for asylum in the EU under the penalty of restoring mandatory visa requirements. This has led to the adoption of unlawful measures such as ethnic profiling at border crossing points, sanctions on carriers which do not carry out police work, confiscation of travel documents, and push-backs."
UK: Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police - Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election (Daily Telegraph, link):
" Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to the functioning of democracy, under the new Extremist Disruption Orders."
EU: Remember: It happened then It Happens again: International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism 9 November 2014 (UNITED, link):
"Remember that all that is really needed for fascism, nationalism, antisemitism and xenophobia to grow is a fertile soil from where it can spread its hate and irrationality. And, in addition, enough bystanders believing that it is not so dangerous as it was before.
But, do we need to fear? No, not anymore. We need to be aware and act. And cooperate with responsible political leaders to act together. Todays Europe is clear: we do not want a repetition of the holocaust, and we do not want any group raising above all others. We must step out from being a bystander, learn from the past and take a common stand for our future."
News in Brief (1.10.14)
USA: FISA: Debate Brews Over Disclosing Warrantless Spying (New York Times, link)
Europe can stop deaths and suffering and regain control of its borders, says UN human rights expert (Africanews.it, link) Read Open Letter (link)
New Intel Doc: Do Not Be Led Astray By Commonly Understood Definitions (The Intercept, link)
Anniversary of the 20 years The VOICE Refugee Forum (link)
UK: Londoners give up eldest children in public Wi-Fi security horror show - F-Secures Herod clause experiment aims to show the dangers of insecure public hotspot connections (Guardian, link)
INTERPOL removes alert against activist Bahar Kimyongür after Fair Trials intervention (Fair Trials International, link)
EU: New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality - Oettinger all about the infrastructure but not big on substance (The Register, link)
EU: Hard facts on Europe's biggest lobbyists revealed for the first time (LobbyFacts.eu)
UK: Conference 2014: courage and campaigning for migration justice (link) and Annual Report (link)
Syrian refugees will be free to choose final destination (Cyprus Mail, link)
CoE: Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence: Safe from fear, safe from violence: Istanbul Convention (Leaflet, pdf) and Full text of Convention (pdf)
"The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights. It aims at zero tolerance for such violence and is a major step forward in making Europe and beyond safer."
EU: Council of the European Union: "Researchers" Directive, Council developing its negotiating position on: Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing [Recast] (LIMITE doc no: 13600-14,163 pages, pdf) With 271 footnotes and Member State interventions.
EU Council of the European Union: Draft Conclusions: Foreign fighters: follow-up on the Conclusions of the European Council of 30 August 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 13416-14, 26-9-14, pdf):
In response to the recent UN Resolution (2178-2014) on 24 September which calls on members of the UN to reinforce their engagement against terrorism, by, inter alia, making it a criminal offense to travel abroad for terrorist purposes. It proposes increased use of SIS II with more "systematic checks" to detect people leaving and returning from Syria: ."the Council could agree that Member States will undertake systematic checks of the relevant databases without changing the legislation" and "invalidate travel documents" plus the swift introduction of EU-PNR.
.Position developed by a meeting in Milan attended by Italian Council Presidency: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Netherlands and UK.
EU: Frontex: Concept of reinforced joint operation tackling the migratory flows towards Italy: JO EPN-Triton to better control irregular migration and contribute to SAR in the Mediterranean Sea (pdf)
UK: Government "Plans to ban non-violent extremists": Theresa May vows Tory government would introduce snoopers charter (Guardian, link) and see: Theresa May: British values will prevail over extremists (BBC News, link)
"A future Conservative government would seek new powers to ban extremist groups and curb the activities of "harmful" individuals, Theresa May has said. Banning orders and "extreme disruption" orders will feature in the party's 2015 election manifesto....Mrs May said that getting access to communications data - details of who called who and when, but not the content of the calls - was vital.... the statutory duty for public bodies to have a counter-radicalisation strategy and enhanced powers for the Charity Commission to close down charities that are a front for extremist activity, with new efforts to improve awareness and training about the risks posed by extremism." [emphasis added]
EU: CRISIS MANAGEMENT: European External Action Service (EEAS): EU runs new crisis management exercise (Press release, pdf) and see: European Union Exercise Programme 2013-2015 (pdf)
EU: Amnesty International: Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean (pdf):
"In this report Amnesty International argues that until safe and regular routes into Europe are in place for refugees and migrants, the priority for the EU and its member states must be to protect their lives and ensure access to asylum for those who need it, as they attempt the sea crossing."
See also: Migrant deaths crossing Mediterranean top 3,000 in 2014 (BBC News, link): "In a report published on Monday, the IOM said the 3,072 deaths made Europe the most dangerous destination for "irregular" migrants. The organisation said that some experts placed the toll three times as high."
EU: ILGA Europe: Good practices related to LGBTI asylum applicants in Europe (pdf):
"This report seeks to inspire and encourage LGBTI NGOs and like-minded stakeholders to talk to and cooperate with their government officials in order to achieve improvements on the basis of consistent conceptual frameworks and practical methods. We hope this will lead to a European policy and practice which will offer safety to all those who flee homo- and transphobia."
USA-NSA: New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools (ACLU, link):
"Today, we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School) just before the first revelations of Edward Snowden. The documents are from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and others agencies. They confirm that the order, although not the focus of the public debate, actually governs most of the NSA's spying."
See: ACLU list of documents released 22 September 2104 (link) and Signals Defence Directive (pdf), Intelligence Oversight DIA (pdf) and Defence HUMINT Service: Handbook (link)
USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Dutch senators file motion requesting govt to abstain from legalizing cable SIGINT in a way that permits unconditional, indiscriminate and large-scale surveillance (Matthijs R. Koot's notebook, link)
GERMANY: Asylum seekers abused in German shelter by security contractors (DW, link): "The image looks more like it hailed from Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, not the sleepy western German town Burbach. Police are investigating the alleged abuse of asylum seekers in a shelter home by security staff."
EU: European Parliament: Questions for the would-be home affairs and justice Commissioners (pdf) by Steve Peers and Emilio de Capitani:
"The would-be Commissioners for immigration and home affairs and Justice will shortly be questioned by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in hearings, to determine whether the EP should vote to confirm them in office. MEPs have already asked some written questions and the would-be Commissioners have replied. Since most of the written questions were not very searching (except for a couple of questions on data protection issues), the Commissioners did not reply in much detail.
However, the hearings are an opportunity for MEPs to ascertain the Commissioners plans, and to secure important political commitments, in these fields. To that end, we have therefore suggested a number of oral questions which MEPs should ask in the hearings."
EU: Meijers Committee: Proposal for a Directive on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings (pdf)
"The Meijers Committee is of the opinion that it is essential for those involved in criminal proceedings, particularly children, to be informed of the possible consequences of such proceedings in relation to minor offences, including the consequences of extrajudicial settlements. Even where no deprivation of liberty is involved, either pre-trial or as a sanction, the outcome of such proceedings may have adverse consequences in terms of judicial documentation, for instance which can greatly affect their future lives. Access to a lawyer is essential to inform children of such consequences. It would therefore be disproportionate to deny children the rights provided in this Directive in case of minor offences generally. The Meijers Committee also wishes to express its concern as to the vague definition of minor offences in the Councils approach."
EU-USA: US phone system to be run by EU company? Spy Agencies Urge Caution on Phone Deal (New York Times, link):
"with a European-based company now favored for the job, some current and former intelligence officials who normally stay out of the business of awarding federal contracts say they are concerned that the governments ability to trace reams of phone data used in terrorism and law enforcement investigations could be hindered."
UPDATED 28.9.14: EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs: LIMITE documents
Policy Cycle, Med Information Exchange Centres, Internal Security report, Radicalisation & Recruitment & Sanctions Mechanism
EU: OPERATIONAL COOPERATION WITH NO PARLIAMENTARY ACCOUNTABILITY: Council of the European Union: Follow-up on the implementation of the EU priorities in combatting serious and organised international crime (LIMITE, 13579-14, 26-9-14, pdf):
"The Joint Action Days, organised from 15 to 23 September 2014 in the framework of the current policy cycle, involved law enforcement officers from all 28 EU Member States as well as Australia, Colombia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the USA (ICE and CBP).... How far have these priorities been linked up with national crime priorities, both in defining the EU priorities and in implementing these EU priorities through national actions ?
. EU: Council of the European Union: Another Council initiated operational initiative to create additional "information exchange centres" in the Mediterranean (antennas for the exchange of information on specific criminal phenomena). This is to counter trafficking, smuggling and organised crime which is already one of the five priorities identified within the follow-up of the Task Force Mediterranean.
The first two would be one in the bordering area between Greece and Turkey and the other in Northern Africa, possibly in Tunisia or Libya and second strengthening links and information exchange of involved countries with the Italian law enforcement authorities through the implementation of homologous centres in the regions of Apulia and Sicily.
It would conclude with the development of a net of the new offices with the existing cooperation centres, through the International Operations Room of the Italian International Police Cooperation Service, "making an optimum use of the information resources." Here "information resources" includes intelligence too.
See: Proposal for establishing law enforcement information exchange centres in the Mediterranean area in order to counter cross-border criminality towards the European Union (Limite, doc no 12929-14, pdf)
The Council highlights its new priority for operational planning - there are no mechanism for accountability in national and European Parliaments for "operations"
: "The Committee also debated its future role with a view to becoming more operational and increasing its visibility both at EU and national level." : Draft report to the European Parliament and national Parliaments on the proceedings of the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security for the period January 2013 - June 2014 (Limite, doc no 11872-14, pdf)
Draft Guidelines for the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (Limite, doc no 13001-14, pdf)
EU Sanctions Mechanism to optimize consistency in the application and monitoring of EU restrictive measures (Limite, 12977-14,pdf): Includes:
"Make available professional communication and media skills to credible civil society representatives who are well-placed to challenge and counter terrorist narratives" and "Reduce availability to and impact of online material that promotes radicalisation to terrorism" and "Make use of the existing instruments to support fostering critical thinking skills, such as the Creative Europe Programme and Erasmus+, as appropriate"
EU-USA DATA PROTECTION: Malmstrom rejects accusations of working with US to weaken data laws (euobserver, link)
See: Big brothers little helper inside the European Commission (Access Blog, link) and email (relased in US). See also: US lobbying against the data protection reform intensifies (EDRI, link) referring to this Document (pdf)
In early 2011 it became apparent that the EU-US "umbrella" agreement was effectively dead in the water. The USA did not like the proposed Regulation and the EU, especially in parts of the Commission, and the European Parliament, wanted to adopt a new EU Regulation first. This e-mail is from early in the period from between January 2012 and the summer of 2013 when EU-USA formal negotiations took place.
US threat to British online privacy Private information stored online by British computer users could be scrutinised by American law enforcement agencies under new 'right-to-snoop' rule (The Telegraph, link):
" Gus Hosein, of the campaign group Privacy International, said the case proved that the US Government had a "voracious appetite for other people's data". It could affect the whole range of information stored online not just personal emails but financial information and even health records, he said.
"The US Government is saying that it has jurisdiction around the world and it can get access to your data wherever you are," said Mr Hosein. "That is why this court case is such a worrying development because the scope for spying on people's personal business is vast."
EU: Council of the European Union: Europol: To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment - Draft revised methodology (LIMITE, 13200-14, pdf) The aim of the SOCTA is to:
- analyse the character or the threatening features of organised crime groups (OCGs)
- analyse the threatening features of serious and organised crime (SOC) areas of activity (hereafter SOC areas)
- analyse the threatening aspects of OCG and SOC areas by region
- define the most threatening OCGs, criminal areas and their regional aspects
See also: Europol: "4x4" intelligence handling codes includes "dodgy data" (Statewatch database) and EU joint police operations target irregular migrants by Chris Jones: This article explains the 'policy cycle' on serious and international organised crime. In the words of the document (13200-14): "The starting point of this EU policy cycle is the SOCTA".
USA-NSA: German opposition goes to court on Snowden hearing (Washington Post, link):
"Opposition lawmakers have asked Germanys highest court to rule on whether former NSA contractor Edward Snowden can come to Berlin to testify about the agencys activities. Members of the Greens and the Left Party said Friday that they want a parliamentary panel investigating the National Security Agencys activities in Germany to hear Snowden in person."
Eric Holder was the worst Attorney General for the press in a generation. We deserve better. (Freedom of the Press Foundation, link)
EU: THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Council of the European Union developing its negotiating position:
"While a majority of delegations in CATS confirmed that they would in principle favour maintaining a provision in the Directive on the right to be present at one's trial, many Member States stated that Article 8 as currently drafted was not acceptable to them."
See document: Proposal for a Directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Orientation debate / Request for guidance on Article 8 (Doc no: 12955/14, pdf) See also document: 11632-14 (pdf)
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HEARINGS: New Commissioners in parliament next week: Answers to the EP Questionnaire
Frans TIMMERMANS: Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf)
Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS Migration and Home Affairs (including immigration, internal security and security research, pdf)
Vìra JOUROVÁ Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (pdf)
Günther OETTINGER Digital Economy and Society (pdf)
Andrus ANSIP Digital Single Market: Vice-President of the Commission (pdf)
EU: Frontex launches call for participation of the EU Member States in Joint Operation Triton (Frontex, link):
"While saving lives is an absolute priority in in all maritime operations coordinated by Frontex, the focus of Joint Operation Triton will be primarily border management."
USA: Journalists criticize White House for secrecy (Washington Post, link):
"Editors and reporters meeting in Chicago raised concerns Wednesday about what they described as a lack of access and transparency undermining journalists work, several blaming the current White House for setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide.....
James Risen, a New York Times reporter who is facing potential jail time as he battles government efforts to force him to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information, also spoke at the conference. Risen said intense pressure on reporters and their sources is having a chilling effect on newsgathering."
See also: Journalists criticize White House for 'secrecy' (AP, link)
UK-EU: Criminal law opt-out proposals: the Prüm Decisions will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 1 December 2014. "as a consequence that the United Kingdom cannot access for law enforcement purposes fingerprints contained in the Eurodac database." (Eurodac is a fingerprint database for identifying asylum seekers and undocumented border-crossers). The UK is to review the consequences of this by 30 September 2015.
See: Transitional re Prum Decision (COM 396-14, pdf) and UK obligation to repay (COM 395-14, pdf)
The Ammerdown Invitation: Security for the future: In search of a new vision (pdf): "A group of UK peacebuilding professionals invite participation in a new civic conversation about alternatives to the current approach to national security there. Here they outline their concerns about the existing model and offer a different vision for the future, welcoming input from anyone who wishes to engage in this debate."
SURVEILLANCE: Counter-Surveillance Success Stories to Inspire Digital Rights Advocates (EFF, link): "Concerned European Internet users will descend upon Brussels on September 26 to participate in Freedom Not Fear 2014 - a European week of action aimed to fight against a widespread surveillance state. Since 2008, a coalition of European organizations has met annually under the banner of Freedom Not Fear to fight against online spying, and to challenge the hyperbolic rhetoric of fear that permeates the security and privacy debate."
News in Brief (27.9.14)
UK air strikes against Isis in Iraq: best-case and worst-case scenarios - What will be the extent of British involvement in the campaign, what are the risks, and can air power alone defeat Isis? (Guardian, link)
EUROPOL: Almost 300 police chiefs, senior law enforcement officers and academic experts from Europe and beyond gathered at Europol headquarters in The Hague this week for the 2014 European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC).(link)
Mr Juncker: please do not undermine authors rights (euractiv, link): "When it comes to intellectual property, few debates have been as fierce as the status of film on the Internet. Filmmaker Bernard Tavernier takes to task Commission initiatives to harmonise author rights in the European Union."
USA: The NSA is renting its technology to U.S. companies (The Daily Dot, link)
France adopts anti-terror law eroding civil liberties (EDRI, link) and France steps up security over terrorism threat (France 24, link)
Romania: Mandatory prepaid SIM registration ruled unconstitutional (EDRI, link)
UN unanimously passes resolution to combat 'foreign terrorist fighters' (Guardian, link). Human Rights Watch said the push risked repeating the mistakes of the post-9/11 era: The resolution says nothing about due process protections, yet calls on states to apprehend people at borders. It does nothing to prevent governments from carrying out abusive counterterrorism policies and practices, said the groups Andrea Prasow.
See: UN Press release (pdf) and Resolution: full-text (pdf)
EU: Deadlocked EU transparency reform finds new impetus (euractiv, link): "The new European Commission must look again at the European Unions deadlocked transparency regulation and push through long-delayed reforms, the EU Ombudsman, MEPs and a?ctivists have said."
EU: 10,000 "irregular" migrants were "checked" in mass "organised crime" sweep organised by Europol in joint operation with Frontex, Eurojust and Interpol: Organised crime networks targeted in huge law enforcement operation in Europe (Press release, pdf) No information is given as to what happened to the people who were "checked".
"Between 15 and 23 September, law enforcement authorities from 34 countries, coordinated and supported by Europol from its headquarters in The Hague, joined forces in Operation Archimedes. The operation targeted organised crime groups and their infrastructures across the European Union (EU) in a series of actions in hundreds of locations, with the cooperation of Eurojust, Frontex and Interpol." and
"In cooperation with Frontex and EU Member States, around 10 000 irregular migrants were checked which also led to the arrest of criminals facilitating illegal immigration. In total in the overall operation, 170 facilitators were arrested and important intelligence was gathered."
See also: Europol infographics (link)
UK: PAMPHLET LAUNCH Who Killed Blair Peach? Thurs 2nd Oct, 6-8pm (We do not consent, link): "*A call for a fresh inquest into Blair Peachs killing and celebration of his life and the struggle against racism and fascism he died fighting" And see: Conference speakers (link)
AUSTRALIA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Parliament 'bullied' to pass national security laws, says Greens senator Scott Ludlam (Sydney Morning Herald, link): "Controversial anti-terrorism laws expected to pass in the Senate as early as this week will give spy agency ASIO the power to monitor the entire internet, the government has confirmed."
Frontex mission held up as Malta, Italy squabble (Times of Malta, link):
"A new Mediterranean border patrol mission planned by EU agency Frontex is still on the drawing board as Malta and Italy negotiate who would take the migrants rescued. Malta and Italy have squabbled over this issue for years. While Malta insists that according to international law migrants should be taken to the nearest safe port, successive Italian governments have argued that they should be taken to the country coordinating the rescue.
Given the size of the search and rescue area that Malta is responsible for, stretching roughly from Tunisia to Crete, the Italian interpretation of maritime law would mean Malta would take practically all migrants picked up."
UK: Criminals could appeal after Home Office admits potentially misleading DNA evidence presented to juries (Daily Telegraph, link): "The admission came five months after a leading forensic scientist warned of a series of cases in which courts were given subjective summaries of complex DNA evidence rather than direct access to solid statistics, The Times reported."
See: Court of appeal judgment (pdf) and Draft guidance: Cognitive bias effects relevant to forensic science examinations (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
JHA Limite documents: Entry-Exit, Network security, DP Regulation, Internal Security Strategy, FOP and Resettlement of refugees
EU: planned Entry-Exit system recording the travel details of everyone entering and leaving the EU: Access to this personal data by law enforcement agencies. Member state answers to questionnaire summarised: Document no 13225-14 (Limite, pdf) see also 13680-14, Limite, pdf) and 10720-14, (Limite, pdf) and 11337-14 (Limite, pdf) In developing its position the Council is mindful of the CJEU judgment on April on length of retention periods and yet still "The vast majority of the delegations, which sent their contributions, affirmed that there should be a uniform retention period of five years..."
Network and information security: COREPER Draft Mandate:13143-14 (Limite, 52 pages, pdf): Developing the Council's position.
DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Public sector data: 13355/14 (Limite, pdf)
EU INTERNAL SECURITY STRATEGY: State of play on the development of a renewed EU Internal Security Strategy (ISS) Limite, (pdf) and see earlier: Earlier document (Limite, 12889-14. pdf)
FOP, as they are known, rarely produce Outcomes/Minutes: Debate on the functioning of the EU system - Activation of the Friends of Presidency Group and Terms of Reference (Limite,12730-14, pdf) and see its first meetings: 13451-14 (Limite, pdf): 1st Meeting : Horizontal issues and the role of national parliaments¨ (25 September 2014); 2nd Meeting : The Council of the European Union in the framework of relations with other Institutions (October 2014, tbc) 3rd Meeting : The Council of the European Union (November 2014, tbc); 4th Meeting : Other and pending issues¨ (December 2014, tbc).
AUSTRIAN DELEGATION PROPOSAL for a Possible framework for a humanitarian EU initiative on resettlement (13287, Limite, pdf) At the end it includes two charts charts showing the Distribution of asylum applications (EU 28) and Comparison of Quota Following Different Distribution Models by Member State.
CROSS BORDER TRAFFIC OFFENCES DIRECTIVE: Latest version of the Council's position: 13131-14 (Limite, pdf). The Objective is defined as: "to ensure a high level of protection for all road users in the Union by facilitating the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences and thereby the enforcement of sanctions, where those offences are committed with a vehicle registered in a Member State other than the Member State where the offence took place." And the scope covers the law in the country where the offence takes place:
(b) non-use of a seat-belt
(c) failing to stop at a red traffic light
(e) driving under the influence of drugs
(f) failing to wear a safety helmet
(g) use of a forbidden lane
(k) 'llegally using a mobile telephone or any other communication devices while driving'"
VISA CODE (RECAST): 12046-14 (Limite, pdf) and 11514-rev1-14 (Limite, pdf)
CALAIS: UK-FRANCE: UK pledges £12m to help Calais tackle illegal migrants (BBC News, link) and UK, France strike 15 million deal over Calais migrant crisis (France 24, link)
Background: France/UK/migration Joint declaration by M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, and Mrs Theresa May, Home Secretary of the United Kingdom (pdf) and Déclaration conjointe de Mme Theresa MAY et de M. Bernard CAZENEUVE, Ministres de lintérieur britannique et français 20 septembre 2014 (pdf)
European Parliament: Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE): Useful summary of activities Newsletter no 2 (pdf) and no 1 (pdf)
UN: Watershed moment in UN Sec Council lawmaking if this 'foreign fighters resolution' passes on Wed. Huge consequences (Mathias Vermeulen, Twitter, link) and see in reference to the proposed EU entry-exit system:: UN Security Council to set out plan to stop foreign fighters joining extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere (Daily Telegraph, link): "The US-draft calls on states "to require that airlines under their jurisdiction provide advance passenger information to the appropriate national authorities in order to detect the departure from their territory, or attempted entry into or transit through their territory" of people under UN sanctions. "
Background: Current UN Resolution 1373, 2001 (pdf)
EU Council of the European Union: Call to update the rules, procedure and data under the SFD (Swedish Framework Decision) allowing the exchange of data between law enforcement agencies in the EU:
"The purpose of the SFD is to establish common rules on procedures, time limits and standard forms in line with which law enforcement authorities may exchange existing information and intelligence. Art. 2(d) of the SFD defines information and/or intelligence as "(i) any type of information or data which is held by law enforcement authorities; (ii) any type of information or data which is held by public authorities or by private entities and which is available to law enforcement authorities without the taking of coercive measures in accordance with Art 1(5)."
The definition, on the one hand, makes a distinction between data owners and, on the other hand, limits cross border information exchange in the case of data not held by law enforcement authorities in the sense that the requested Member State cannot be obliged to obtain these data by means of coercive measures."
See Document, Limite, 13024-14 (17-9-14, pdf)
And see: EU: Council seeks information exchange amongst law enforcement authorities that is "swift, effective, simple and without unnecessary formal requirements" and : Widespread implementation of the "principle of availability" further eases information exchange amongst European police forces
FRANCE: We Have Fergusons in Francebut the French Media Looks Away (The Root, link): "The French press has been quick to condemn police actions in Ferguson, but its missing in action when it comes to addressing police violence in France."
Sicilian Town on Migrants Route Cares for the Living and the Dead (New York Times, link)
European Ombudsman: "Revolving doors": Ombudsman will step up supervision of senior EU officials (link):
"The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has called on the European Commission to make its review processes on "revolving doors" cases more robust to avoid conflicts of interest. She has also called on the Commission to regularly publish online all relevant information as regards senior EU officials, including their names, who leave to work outside the EU administration. This follows complaints from five NGOs and the Ombudsman's inspection of 54 "revolving doors" files."
UK: Drones are filling Britain's skies: Look up now to see what is looking back down at you (The Independent, link).
"The number of drones operating in British airspace has soared, with defence contractors, surveillance specialists, police forces and infrastructure firms among more than 300 companies and public bodies with permission to operate the controversial unmanned aircraft.... We need a comprehensive review of civil drone use in the UK, says Tom Watson MP, chair of the influential All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones. Public bodies using drones should report to Parliament and we must have an inclusive debate about the need for new regulation to address privacy and safety concerns."
See also: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
CoE: Boat tragedy in the Mediterranean: call for investigation into latest deaths (Parliamentary Assembly, link):
I am horrified that once again hundreds of people are reported to have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean, said Thierry Mariani (France, EPP/CD), Chairman of the Migration Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), reacting today to news of a ramming incident which caused a boat from Egypt to sink east of Malta last week. There needs to be an urgent, transparent and thorough investigation into this tragic incident.""
NETHERLANDS: The nature of a society is exposed at its margins - Human rights and refused asylum seekers in the Netherlands (Dreaming in exile, link)
GREECE: Greek hate speech law extended to cover gender identity (Intergroup LGBT, link): "Last week, Greek lawmakers voted to include gender identity among the grounds coved by its hate speech law. Hate speechPersons found guilty may face up to three years imprisonment, as well as a fine up to 20 000. Sexual orientation was already among the grounds included. Results of the EU-wide LGBT survey carried out by the FRA show that 74 percent of Greek transgender people report hate speech towards LGBT people is widespread in Greece ."
GREECE: Greek hate speech law extended to cover gender identity (Intergroup LGBT, link): "Last week, Greek lawmakers voted to include gender identity among the grounds coved by its hate speech law. Hate speechPersons found guilty may face up to three years imprisonment, as well as a fine up to 20 000. Sexual orientation was already among the grounds included. Results of the EU-wide LGBT survey carried out by the FRA show that 74 percent of Greek transgender people report hate speech towards LGBT people is widespread in Greece ."
EU: Open Society European Policy Institute: 2014 and Beyond: Priorities for the EU (link): "Ppresents policy areas that require an effective EU response
and where OSF has expertise and experience in the field as a donor and advocate of human rights and universal values. This document offers succinct one-page summaries of these priority areas, recommendations for work in the next parliamentary term, and analysis and resources."
USA-NSA: Israels N.S.A. Scandal (New York Times, link) by James Bamford: "the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications - email as well as phone calls of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. I think thats amazing, he [Snowden] told me. Its one of the biggest abuses weve seen."
Protecting European democracy or reviving the Cold War? (IRR news Service, Review (link) by Liz Fekete. A new report by Human Rights First on fascism in Hungary and Greece raises important questions. But its orientation towards US national interests smacks of Cold War thinking.
UK: Home Office: Anti-social behaviour order statistics: England and Wales 2013 (link) See also: Statewatch ASBOwatch
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: French crime database system in breach of Convention for storing information on individuals against whom proceedings have been dropped (pdf) and Full-text of judgment (French, pdf):
"The case concerned a complaint about Mr Brunets details being recorded in a crime database after the discontinuance of criminal proceedings against him.
The Court found in particular that Mr Brunet had not had a real possibility of seeking the deletion from the database of the information concerning him and that the length of retention of that data, 20 years, could be assimilated, if not to indefinite retention, at least to a norm rather than to a maximum limit.
The Court concluded that the State had overstepped its discretion to decide (margin of appreciation) on such matters: the retention could be regarded as a disproportionate breach of Mr Brunets right to respect for his private life and was not necessary in a democratic society."
See also: Protection of Freedoms Bill provides long-awaited reform of Labour's data retention regime - Thousands of innocent people are to be removed from the UK national DNA database, but alarmingly their records will still be held on the Police National Computer. (Statewatch database)
European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has launched a public consultation in relation to the transparency of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations (link) and see: Ombudsman asks Council and Commission to publish more TTIP documents (link)
Interested individuals or organisations are invited to submit their contributions by 31 October 2014.
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: The investigation into the crackdown on demonstrations in Bucharest in June 1990 was defective and inadequate (Press release, pdf) and Judgment - full-text (pdf)
UK: Newspaper Society says police use of RIPA to spy on journalists a 'fundamental attack on press freedom' (Press Gazette, link):
"The Met, and other public authorities, have so far refused to reveal how many more times RIPA has been used to expose lawful journalistic sources. A Newspaper Society spokesman said: The protection of confidential sources is a vital component of public interest journalism. Journalists rely upon being able to guarantee whistleblowers anonymity in order to expose wrongdoing. "Anything that threatens this guarantee such as use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act by public authorities to identify journalists confidential sources constitutes a fundamental attack on press freedom and must be opposed. The Newspaper Society is a trade body representing around 1,000 local newspapers in the UK."
See: Plebgate: Met obtained phone records of Sun political editor without consent (Guardian, link), Met refuses to disclose number of times it obtained journalist phone records - Scotland Yard investigating police mole in Plebgate saga seized records of Sun political editor without consent (Guardian, link)
And see: Operation Alice: Closing Report (pdf) and also: Save Our Sources petition (link) and Save Our Sources articles (link)
EU: SIS II: Council of the European Union: List of competent authorities which are authorised to search directly the data contained in the second generation Schengen Information System pursuant to Article 31(8) of Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Article 46(8) of Council Decision 2007/533/JHA on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System (144 pages, pdf)
There are a total of 226 national authorities with varying levels of access to the SIS listed in the document, a minor increase on the 222 listed in last year's list (pdf)
Some, such as vehicle registration authorities, may be permitted only to search for vehicles; others may have access to all categories of information. The document lists the levels of access provided to each authority. As well as national authorities, EU agencies Europol (police cooperation) and Eurojust (judicial cooperation) can also access the system. See: Schengen Information System: 41,000 people subject to "discreet surveillance or specific checks"
However, we do not know how many access terminals there are. In 2005 "there are at least a staggering 125,000 access points to the SIS among the 15 participating states so many that EU officials can only estimate." See: SIS II: fait accompli? Construction of EU s Big Brother database underway
By 2010: The Schengen Information System (SIS) has "over half a million terminals located in the security services of the Member States" (Statewatch database). How many are there now?
CoE: Committee of Ministers to examine implementation of human rights judgments (link): "The cases proposed for more detailed examination concern Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom." One of the two UK cases is the: "Blanket ban on voting imposed automatically on the applicants due to their status as a convicted offenders detained in prison."
USA: FBI facial recognition system at full operational capability Bureau says database is for "utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler." (ars technica, link): "One of our biggest concerns about NGI has been the fact that it will include non-criminal as well as criminal face images. We now know that the FBI projects that by 2015, the database will include 4.3 million images taken for non-criminal purposes." See: FBI press release (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Local Schengen cooperation between Member States' consulates (Article 48(5), first subparagraph, of the Visa Code) - Compilation of summary reports covering the period 2013-2014 (209 pages, pdf) Highly detailed report on all the third state whose nationals are subject to the visa requirement to enter the EU (and those which do not).The report on the USA (p188) states: "Since US citizens do not need visas for short stays in the Schengen area, issuance of Schengen visa is generally limited to third-country nationals legally staying in the US, thus pre-vetted by the US authorities."
USA: Is This a New War on Terror? Twelve counterterrorism thinkers weigh in on how we should we classify the light-footprint presidents new military campaign (politico.com, link)
Updated: (17.9.14) Most Malta boat victims were Gaza refugees (euobserver, link): "Palestinian people fleeing Israels occupation of Gaza were most of the victims in the Malta boat incident last week, in which hundreds were left to die by human traffickers. The information comes from survivors interviewed by the Palestinian embassy in Greece, which spoke to two men from Gaza who made it to the Greek island of Crete.
and see: Mass murder reported off Malta, 500 drowned (euractiv, link): "If the reports of two survivors prove to be true, 500 migrants from North Africa have been deliberately killed by human traffickers, who sank their boat following a dispute. If confirmed, this is the worst incident of its kind, amounting to mass murder, an official of the International Organization for Migration told EurActiv."
News in Brief (17.9.14)
Picking apart the new Serbian Criminal Procedure Code (Fair Trials International, link)
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test (The Register, link)
What Does Independent Journalism Look Like in the Digital Age? (OSF, link) and see: Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings (OSF, link): "If you worked in an industryone absolutely critical to the proper functioning of societybut which exposed you to constant harassment and danger, how would you feel?"
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: President urges parliamentarians to speak out on dangers facing the Strasbourg Court (link)
CEPOL: European Police College bids farewell to the United Kingdom (CEPOL, link)
UK Government Changes Its Line On Diego Garcia Flight Logs Sought in Rendition Row - Again (VICE NEWS, link)
Libya migrant boat sinks: Scores feared drowned (BBC News, link)
Hundreds protest for NGOs (Politics.Hu, link))
EP: MEPs threaten budget suspension over transparency (euobserver, link)
EU: Commission opposes European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP (euractiv, link) and see: The TTIP deal hands British sovereignty to multinationals - Camerons and Ukips backing for a treaty that lets corporations devour public services exposes their duplicity (Guardian, link)
Press release: Jeremy Hammond announced as second Courage beneficiary (COURAGE, link): "Jeremy was sentenced to ten years in prison for being the alleged media source for documents from the private US intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), which included revelations that they had been spying on human rights defenders, for example Bhopal activists and members of PETA, at the behest of corporations and governments. WikiLeaks published these documents in partnership with 29 media organisations worldwide as the Global Intelligence Files, which are still being used for news stories around the world. Despite hundreds of pleas, including a letter submitted by WikiLeaks from itself and its media partners newspapers, TV networks, and magazines with a combined audience of 500 million asking for leniency for Jeremy, the maximum possible sentence was given."
Democratic Insecurity! Second preparation meeting for 20th anniversary of Refugee resistance by the Voice, Refugees from different parts of the movement meet together in Jena. Political potential of Refugee's position in EU was presented and discussed. (Youtube, link)
European Court of Human Rights: Judgments concerning Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Turkey (pdf): "The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing the following nine Chamber judgments of violations, none of which is final."
EU: European Parliament Study: European Citizens Initiative First lessons of implementation (82 pages, pdf):
"Upon request of the AFCO and PETI Committees, this study identifies difficulties faced by organisers when setting up and running a European Citizens Initiative (ECI). It analyses possible solutions and proposes recommendations to improve the ECI as an effective tool for participatory democracy in the EU. The aim is to propose measures to ensure a straightforward ECI process with less costs and burdens for EU citizens. The ultimate goal is to define concrete actions to empower EU citizens to actively participate in shaping the future of Europe."
Transparency International: New study finds that classified information laws often lack safeguards to protect accountability (link) and Full-report (pdf)
Mass murder reported off Malta, 500 drowned (euractiv, link)
"If the reports of two survivors prove to be true, 500 migrants from North Africa have been deliberately killed by human traffickers, who sank their boat following a dispute. If confirmed, this is the worst incident of its kind, amounting to mass murder, an official of the International Organization for Migration told EurActiv."
UK-ECHR: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Bureau files ECHR case challenging UK government over surveillance of journalists communications (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link) :
"The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is asking a European court to rule on whether UK legislation properly protects journalists sources and communications from government scrutiny and mass surveillance.
The Bureaus application was filed with the European Court of Human Rights on Friday. If the court rules in favour of the application it will force the UK government to review regulation around the mass collection of communications data."
See also: Statewatch Analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful
TFTP-EU-USA: European Commission: Report: On the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (COM 513-14, pdf) and SWD 264-14 (pdf)
EU: European Commission: 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) (COM 288-14, pdf) and Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) (141 pages, SWD 165-14, pdf)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): "EU Data Protection Law: The Review of Directive 95/46/EC and the Proposed General Data Protection Regulation": Peter Hustinx* (52 pages, pdf): "data protection was about the rights and interests of individuals and - in spite of the terminology used - not mainly about the data relating to those individuals."
UK-RENDITION:: Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC): Further Inquiry into the role of the UK Government and Security and Intelligence Agencies in relation to detainee treatment and rendition: Call for Evidence (pdf)
See also: Sir Peter Gibson: Report of the Detainee Inquiry (19 December, pdf) and Statewatch Observatory on Rendition
FINFISHER SURVEILLANCE: Today, 15 September 2014, WikiLeaks releases previously unseen copies of weaponised German surveillance malware :
"used by intelligence agencies around the world to spy on journalists, political dissidents and others. FinFisher (formerly part of the UK based Gamma Group International until late 2013) is a German company that produces and sells computer intrusion systems, software exploits and remote monitoring systems that are capable of intercepting communications and data from OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices."
And see: Treasure Map: The NSA Breach of Telekom and Other German Firms (Spiegel Online, link): "According to top-secret documents from the NSA and the British agency GCHQ, the intelligence agencies are seeking to map the entire Internet, including end-user devices. In pursuing that goal, they have broken into networks belonging to Deutsche Telekom."
Europe's Deadly Borders: An Inside Look at EU's Shameful Immigration Policy (Spiegel Online, link):
"Along the frontiers between Spain and Morocco, Greece and Turkey and Hungary and Serbia, the EU is deploying brutal methods to keep out undesired refugees. Many risk everything for a future in Europe and their odysseys too often end in death."
See also: Statewatch Journal: Borders, Death and Resistance
New Zealand Launched Mass Surveillance Project While Publicly Denying It (The Intercept, link):
"The New Zealand spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), worked in 2012 and 2013 to implement a mass metadata surveillance system even as top government officials publicly insisted no such program was being planned and would not be legally permitted.
Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in secret to exploit a new internet surveillance law enacted in the wake of revelations of illegal domestic spying to initiate a new metadata collection program that appeared designed to collect information about the communications of New Zealanders."
See Agenda for a 2013 meeting between the director of New Zealand Intelligence Coordination Group and NSA Director Keith Alexander (link) and also: Snowden: New Zealands Prime Minister Isnt Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance (The Intercept, link) and New Zealand passes bill allowing domestic spying (link)
Statewatch Essay collection: The EU and Uncle Sam
TTIP and TiSA: big pressure to trade away privacy by Ralf Bendrath
Piecing together the puzzle: making US torturers in Europe accountable by Andreas Schüller and Morenike Fajana
State secrets in the Abu Omar case: the transatlantic relationship undermines the rule of law in cases involving human rights abuses by intelligence services by Yasha Maccanico
"Call it intercontinental collaboration": radicalisation, violent extremism and fusion centres by Chris Jones
European Parliament Study: Humanitarian Visas: Option or Obligation? (pdf):
"Since third-country nationals seeking protection currently have no EU-wide legal channels for entering EU territory and triggering protection mechanisms under the Common European Asylum System, many embark on hazardous journeys, with concomitant risks and loss of human life. The absence of protection-sensitive mechanisms for accessing EU territory, against a background of EU extraterritorial border/migration management and control, undermines Member States' refugee and human rights obligations. Humanitarian visas may offer a remedy by enabling third-country nationals to apply in situ for entry to EU territory on humanitarian grounds and thereby ensuring that Member States meet their international obligations."
NSA targets the privacy-conscious (DasErste.de, link): "research contradicts the United States' promise to Germany that German citizens are not surveiled without suspicion. Using Tor in Germany does not justify targeting someone, the German attorney Thomas Stadler states: "Tor users do not breach any laws, it is absolutely legitimate to act anonymously on the internet. There are many good reasons to remain anonymous.""
USA-UK: SURVEILLANCE: The NSA and GCHQ Campaign Against German Satellite Companies (Intercept, link):
"Christian Steffen, the CEO of German satellite communications company Stellar PCS. He is looking at a classified documents laying out the scope of something called Treasure Map, a top secret NSA program. Steffens firm provides internet access to remote portions of the globe via satellite, and what he is looking at tells him that the company, and some of its customers, have been penetrated by the U.S. National Security Agency and British spy agency GCHQ.
Stellars visibly shaken chief engineer, reviewing the same documents, shares his boss reaction. The intelligence services could use this data to shut down the internet in entire African countries that are provided access via our satellite connections, he says."
See: Treasure Map (link)
UK-USA: UK may allow US security checks on passengers before transatlantic travel - Britain only country of five approached by US that welcomed preclearance proposal, according to German government (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Planning to resurrect data retention, to catch IPR infringers (Council doc no: 13076-14, pdf)
EU: The new Commission: first thoughts on Justice and Home Affairs issues (EU Law Analysis, link) And see Commission: Press release (pdf) And: The new Juncker Commission: an Echternach procession for the freedom security and justice agenda? (ASFJ, link)
See "Mission" letters:
Home Affairs : Dimitris Avramopoulos: Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs (pdf) includes internal and now has been given "security research" too. This Commissioner will "contribute to projects steered and coordinated" by the Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as to the work of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President and to the former for all other matters.
Justice: Vìra Jourová: Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (pdf)
Vice-President: Frans Timmermans: First Vice-President, in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf)
Federica Mogherini: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (pdf)
See also: Mission letters for all Commissioners (link)
Fair Trials International: Video: European Arrest Warrant (link) and see: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Report (pdf)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: States must ban the detention of migrant children (Press release, pdf) and Adopted text (French, link)
USA: Congresional Research Service (CRS): Black Boxes in Passenger Vehicles:Policy Issues (pdf)
Norway objects strongly to raid on NGO offices (Politics.hu, link):
"Norways EU Affairs Minister Vidar Helgesen firmly condemned Mondays police raids on NGO offices, in a statement released on Tuesday by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. In response, PMO Minister János Lázár defended the action, but added We will probably have to turn to the European Commission and ask Brussels to mediate.
Helgesen described the police raid at the Ökotárs Foundation, a distributor of grants from Norway, as completely unacceptable saying it shows that the Hungarian government intends to stop the activities of NGOs that are critical of the authorities. It also shows that the Hungarian government is failing to respect common European values relating to democracy and good governance."
UK: Home Office Paper: The reason for migration and labour market characteristics of UK residents born abroad (pdf)
USA: Report by the Oxford Research Group: US Special Operations Command contracting: Data-Mining the public record (pdf) Excellent report:
"This report shows how corporations are integrated into some of the most sensitive aspects of special operations activities: flying drones and overseeing target acquisition, facilitating communications between forward operating locations and central command hubs, interrogating prisoners and translating captured material and managing the flow of information from populations to the US military presence and back again."
EU-CJEU: European Court of Justice: Member States are obliged to admit to their territory third-country nationals who wish to stay for more than three months for study purposes, where they meet the conditions for admission exhaustively listed by EU law - They are therefore prohibited from introducing additional conditions for admission (Press release, pdf) and Advocate-General Opinion: Full-text (pdf)
EU decision-making becomes a little more open: access to background documents drafted by consultants (EU Law Analysis, link): "The Court ruled in favour of access to background documents for EU decision-making drawn up by consultants, and so has significantly increased access to information on EU decision-making process." and see: Judgment: Full-text (pdf)
EU: Schengen Information System: 41,000 people subject to "discreet surveillance or specific checks"
The number of people listed in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for "discreet surveillance or specific checks" by European law enforcement authorities reached 41,097 at the end of December 2013, an increase of nearly 128% over the last decade.
ECHR: FIVE EYES: SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International asks Europe's human rights court for details about Five Eyes spy pact (link)::
"Privacy International has filed a legal challenge in Europe's top human rights court demanding the release of secret documents detailing the spying agreements between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The challenge comes only days after it was revealed that the National Security Agency, with its foreign intelligence partners, uses a Google-like search to delve into the private lives of US citizens and others around the world."
See: PI submission to ECHR (pdf)
Hungary: Police raided the offices of NGOs, seized documents (Xindex, link): "On Monday, police and about a dozen investigators searched the offices of Hungarian NGOs, Okotars Foundation and Demnet Foundation. These two foundations are in charge of the EEA Norway Grants. The director of Okotars, Veronika Mora was arrested, and the police seized documents from about 13 other NGOs, recipients of Norwegian funds. Among these, there is Asimov Foundation, the NGO behind the investigative journalism outlet, Atlatszo.hu.."
See also: Hungary's Crackdown on the Press (Washington Post, link) and EU to Ignore Norways Call for Measures against Hungary (Wall Street Journal, link)
UK to send Nato summit fences to Calais to deter illegal immigrants (Guardian, link)
And see: Calais migrants hold demo as far-right closes in (Channel 4 News, link), Far-right extremists lead hundreds in Calais anti-migrant protests (Daily Telegraph, link), French far-right press incites hatred in attack on Muslim minister (France 24, link) and French far right at 'gates of power' (euobserver, link)
UK: Deprivation of British citizenship and withdrawal of passport facilities (pdf) A handy starting point for analysis: House of Commons Library note:
"In recent years there has been an increasing use of powers to deprive people of their British citizenship and withdraw British passport facilities, particularly in respect of those who may be involved in fighting, extremist activity or terrorist training overseas."
USA: SURVEILLANCE: The US Governments Secret Plans to Spy for American Corporations (The Intercept, link):
"Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for instance, responded.... It is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters . What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of - or give intelligence we collect to - U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line....
But a secret 2009 report issued by Clappers own office explicitly contemplates doing exactly that. The document, the 2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Reviewprovided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdenis a fascinating window into the mindset of Americas spies as they identify future threats to the U.S. and lay out the actions the U.S. intelligence community should take in response.
See: Intelligence Community Review Final Report 2009 (pdf)
EU: New Operation Could Hide Major Shift in Europes Immigration Control Policy (Inter Press Service, link)
USA: NSA ALLIANCES: NSA's Foreign Partnerships (Top Level Telecommumications, link) Very useful summary when the "Two Eyes" became "Five Eyes" and other networks. And see: "Five Eyes" (pdf) and Canada and the Five Eyes Intelligence Community (pdf)
EXCLUSIVE: German Companies Are Selling Unlicensed Surveillance Technologies to Human Rights Violators and Making Millions (Global Voices, link):
"From Mexico to Mozambique to Pakistan and beyond, there is now ample evidence that governments across the globe are using mass surveillance technologies such as FinFisher to spy on their citizens. This has driven researchers and advocates like ourselves to consider the source: Who makes these technologies? And who benefits from their sales?
Germany is a major exporter of these technologies, and as digital communications privacy has become a red-hot topic for the German public, the country has become an ever-more central actor in this field."
Centre for Investigative Journalism: Information Security for Journalists (pdf) by Silkie Carlo and Arjen Kamphuis:
"This handbook is a very important practical tool for journalists and it is of particular importance to investigative reporters. For the first time journalists are now aware that virtually every electronic communication we make or receive is being recorded, stored and subject to analysis and action. As this surveillance is being conducted in secret, without scrutiny, transparency or any realistic form of accountability, our sources, our stories and our professional work itself is under threat. "
And see: Introduction (link)
EU: Smart borders: "no sufficient evidence" to justify law enforcement access to proposed Entry/Exit System travel database
The European Commission has told EU Member States "no sufficient evidence has been gathered so far" that would justify providing access for law enforcement authorities to the proposed Entry/Exit System, which would see fingerprints and other data collected from all non-EU nationals entering EU territory.
See: Working Party on Frontiers: Summary of discussions (12034/14, 28 July 2014, pdf): As well as information on the situation with the 'smart borders package', there was a discussion on a request from the United States to set up a "border preclearanace facility" at Schipol airport in Amsterdam.
UK: NATO Summit to be 'biggest security operation' in UK (ITV News, link): "The NATO summit is to be one of the biggest security operations ever seen in the UK. That's according to a leading security consultant. Over 9,500 police officers have been drafted in from 43 different forces. The operation has taken months of preparation with areas forensically searched and secured. A wide range of police expertise is being used to cover the summit including; armed police, the military, sniffer dogs and horses." See also:
- Military aircraft buzz over Wales ahead of NATO summit (RT, link)
- Thornbury invaded by thousands of police officers to cover Nato summit (Western Daily Press, link)
- Police patrols at GCHQ protest funded as part of NATO Summit security spending (Gloucestershire Echo, link)
- Nato summit: where tanks and fighter planes are par for the course (The Guardian, link)
FRANCE-UK: Blockade Calais, mayor urges townsfolk as anger rises at migrant crisis (The Guardian, link): "The mayor of Calais threatened to use the town's population as a human barricade to blockade its port on Thursday night, as paramilitary police were drafted from around France in a bid to prevent increasingly desperate attempts from a growing number of migrants attempting to get to the UK." See also: Calais gets police reinforcement to stop migrants storming ferries (The Guardian, link). There will be a demonstration by migrants and their supporters in Calais on 5 September: see: Manifestation des exilés vendredi 5 Septembre à 15h (Passeurs d'hospitalités, link)
UK-IRELAND: Irish and UK authorities to launch new terrorist flight watchlist (The Journal, link): "Irish and UK authorities are about to step up their cooperation and intelligence sharing to an unprecedented level, amid fears over jihadist militants arriving into both countries from the Middle East." See also: How we're tracking jihadis with Britain (Irish Independent, link)
MEDITERANNEAN: EU migrant mission will not replace Mare Nostrum (EUObserver, link): "The EU border agency Frontex's expanded role in the Mediterranean will be limited when compared to Italys own naval search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum."
EU: COUNCIL: Joint Operations "Mos Maiorum" (11671/14, 10 July 2014, pdf): "The J.O. 'MOS MAIORUM' will be an operation aimed at weakining the capacity of orgaised crime groups to facilitate illegal immigration to the EU and will be focusing on illegal border crossing. Another goal of this operation is to collect information, for intelligence and investigation purposes, regarding the main routes followed by migrants to enter in the common area and the modus operandi used by crime networks to smuggle people towards the EU territory, focusing also on the secondary movements."
See also: Italien plant zweiwöchige Polizeioperation gegen Migranten in der gesamten EU [Italy is planning a two-week, pan-EU police operation against migrants] (Telepolis, link) and EU joint police operations target irregular migrants (Statewatch database)
GERMANY: Swapping One War Zone for Another: the Refugee Situation in Oranienplatz (Unscene Berlin, link): "The eviction of Gurtelstrasse and the Mariensfelde hostel appear to violate the Ministry of the Interior's own guidelines for handling deportations. The Bundesministeriums website states: 'Asylum seekers are notified of the decision in writing and given information on legal remedy.' Theres no mention of same-day evictions being executed by armoured police carrying deportation orders. It seemed like this was a stealth attack, calculated to get the refugees as far away from the public consciousness as possible, as quickly as possible, without any opportunity for the decision to be appealed or the tactics questioned." See also: Refugee protests in Europe: fighting for the right to stay (Statewatch database)
UK: Police ask victims to do DIY investigations of some crimes (The Independent, link): "Talent for putting up shelves? House renovation? What about a new DIY challenge: working out who stole the car from the bottom of the drive." See: HMIC: Core business: An inspection into crime prevention, police attendance and the use of police time (pdf), press release and HMIC webpage with datasets and letters to the chief constable of each police force detailing findings (links).
UK: Police seized journalists' phone records in order to out Plebgate whistleblowers (Press Gazette, link): "A police report yesterday detailed how journalists telephone records were seized in order to track down the whistleblowers who revealed former Government chief whip Andrew Mitchells altercation with officers outside 10 Downing Street." See also: Interception Commissioner suggests secret police grab of Sun phone records may have been unlawful (Press Gazette, link)
BIOMETRICS: Barclays: Finger Vein Scanner 'Game-Changing' (Sky News, link): "Barclays' new weapon in the fight against fraud reads vein patterns on a customer's finger to gain access to accounts."
TURKEY: 82 refugees rescued after two days stranded at sea (Hurriyet Daily News): "Eighty-two illegal refugees [sic] who human traffickers had promised to transport to Romania have been rescued after being marooned on a small boat 24 miles off the coast of Istanbul."
EU-WIPO ( World Intellectual Property Organization): Council of the European Union: Fifty-fourth WIPO General Assembly (Geneva, September 22 to 30, 2014) - Draft EU statements doc no 12583-14, Limite, pdf):
"In preparation of the above-mentioned WIPO General Assembly, delegations will find in the Annex a set of draft EU statements prepared by the Presidency as the basis for discussions at the meeting of the Working party on Intellectual Property on 9 September 2014."
Major accountability gap within Europes far Right deradicalisation programme exposed (IRR News Service, link): "In a timely report published today, the IRR cautions against the importation to the UK of Scandinavian-style Exit programmes for dealing with far-right extremists." Link to: Report
We can laugh at everything, but not with everyone! Parody and limits to freedom of expression: the CJEU decision in the Deckmyn case (EU Law Analysis, link)
See Background: CJEU: If a parody conveys a discriminatory message, a person holding rights in the parodied work may demand that that work should not be associated with that message (Press release, pdf) and Court judgment full text (pdf)
European Commission: EU-USA: TFTP & Subsidiarity
Joint Review Report of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (SWD 264-14, pdf)
Annual Report 2013 on subsidiarity and proportionality (COM 506-14, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: LEA data exchange, Presumption of innocence and Official documents
LEAs EXCHANGE OF PERSONAL DATA BETWEEN EU STATES:Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (doc no: 11109-14, Limite, pdf) The Council developing its position - 606 Member State reservations or comments.
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting on 15 July 2014 (doc no: 12196-REV-1-14, pdf)
OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting the free movement of citizens and businesses by simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the European Union and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 - Revised text (doc no: 11557-14, Limite, pdf)
European Parliament: Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE): List of unfinished business - measures - carried forward from the last parliamentary session (pdf)
News in brief (updated 1.9.14)
Far-right violence in Greece: an effective response (Open Democracy, link)
France wants creation of new EU migration post (euobserver, link)
UK: David Cameron shelves move to ban British jihadis returning to UK - Political and legal opposition forces PM to back down on key elements of plan to counteract Islamic State terrorist threat (Guardian, link) and New anti-terrorism package shaped by concerns over legal challenges - Government's measures to stem flow of British-born jihadis to and from Syria and Iraq are not without problems (Guardian, link)
GREECE: Greece's migrant fruit pickers: 'They kept firing. There was blood everywhere' - Last year, Greek farm guards shot at illegal migrant strawberry pickers, wounding 35. When a court acquitted them this summer, there was outrage. At the camp, where they continue to live like slaves, the workers share their stories (Guardian, link)
USA-NSA: A Two-Faced Friendship: Turkey Is 'Partner and Target' for the NSA (Der Spiegel, link): "Documents from the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal wide-scale spying against Turkey by America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ. They also show the US worked closely with Ankara to battle Kurdish separatists." See: Documents: NSA-Turkey (pdf)
And see: How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels (The Intercept, link)
EU expert groups dominated by corporate interest, say NGOs (euobserver, link):
" four organisations said the commissions so-called expert groups are dominated by industry, which can have a damaging impact on EU decisions". Expert groups offer advice and opinions to commission officials drafting up new policies but many are said to neglect or under-represent the views of civil society.
The ETUC, which represents trade unions across the EU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), UNI Global Union, and Corporate Europe Observatory, say new rules are needed to address the compositional imbalance of expert group, the secrecy of decision-making, and the application process to participate in expert groups."
EU: MEMBER STATES CALL FOR SWIFT ADOPTION OF EU-PNR SCHEME: The EU summit (30 August 2014) demanded the proposed EU-PNR law be rushed through by the end of the year. See para 18 of the Summit Conclusions (pdf). As with 7/7 and 9/11, this is a response to tragedies perpetrated by a dangerous group of people but which allows for the surveillance of travel by all in and out of the EU and (following a UK demand in the Council and Council reaction) the possibility of travel between EU states as well.
The second proposal has been on the table since 2011: Commission proposal (pdf) See: Statewatch Observatory on the first attempt to introduce an EU-PNR scheme: EU surveillance of passengers (EU-PNR: 2003-2008 and Observatory on current EU-PNR proposal
See also: G6 meeting leads to renewed calls for travel surveillance: Interior ministers from the G6 group of states met at the end of June in Barcelona to discuss the structure of the G6; terrorism and radicalisation; drug trafficking in the Atlantic; irregular migration to Europe; and relations between the EU and US. Records of the meeting show continued enthusiasm for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the surveillance of transport.
April 2013: The EP Committee rejects the proposal for an european passenger name record system (PNR) (ASFJNews, link)
UK: Human rights legislation in the UK: a cut-out-and-keep guide - Ever wondered what the difference is between the human rights convention and the Human Rights Act? This may help (Guardian, link)
SURVEILLANCE: "LAWFUL" INTERCEPTION: Lawful interception market worth $1,342.4 million by 2019 (WhaTech, link)
Dutch govt announces plan to fight jihadist internet use through sort-of-voluntary censorship (MRK Notebook, link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Letter to members of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Fundamental Rights Aspects of certain outstanding Justice and Home Affairs Files (pdf)
UK: Helen Steel on her relationship with an undercover policeman: I feel violated - Undercover police officers who had relationships with the women they spied on will not be prosecuted, it was announced last week. Helen Steel is still recovering from the discovery that the love of her life was a lie and not giving up the fight for justice (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing [Recast] (Doc no: 11439-14, Limite, 165 pages, pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position with over 300 Member State reservations.
USA: RENDITION: Ten CIA rendition victims urge Obama to name them in Senate torture report (Reprieve, link): "Ten victims of CIA rendition and torture have signed an open letter to President Obama asking him to declassify the upcoming Senate report into the program. Two of the signatories Abdel-Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi were rendered with their entire families, including a pregnant woman and four children between the ages of six and twelve."
UK: Undercover infiltration scandal - what's it all about ? Radio interview gives an overview of undercover controversy ranging from sexual relationships to undercover officers such as Mark Kennedy, Bob Lambert and Peter Francis (Guardian, link)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: Will Court Move Clear the Way to Mass Government Hacking? (Nextgov, link): "With the rise of techniques that make it easy for criminals without any technical skill to hide their true locations, lawfully authorized remote access has become increasingly important to protect people from predators and solve serious crimes," Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in an email.... A related change permits investigators to secretly probe hundreds of infected computers in a "botnet" by obtaining a single warrant. Right now, authorities must obtain a warrant for each jurisdiction in which they plan to target computers."
Mytilene, Greece, 28.08.14: W2EU: Press release: 73 refugees transferred from Moria to unknown destination on vessel of the Hellenic Navy
"On Wednesday night (27th August 2014) a group of 73 refugees most of which were Afghan was transferred from Moria first reception detention centre in Lesvos to the port of Mytilene. When the last load of people reached the port it was already dark. They were then brought on board discretely and in the shadow of one Greek officer at a time. During this seemingly secretive operation the port was full of civil police and coast guards."
See also: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control)
News in brief (updated 29.8.14)
HUNGARY: Kossuth Was a Refugee Too (European Civil Liberties Platform, link): "Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's tough new stance against refugees is part of a political agenda purported to uphold Hungarian interests, but instead reminds us of his lack of respect for democratic values and human rights."
UK: Investigating Companies: A Do-It-Yourself Handbook (Corporatewatch, link)
UK: Met chief apologises for officer's unlawful use of CS spray on protesters - Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admits officer used excessive force when he sprayed teargas into faces of UK Uncut protesters (Guardian, link)
UK becomes the first country to face a UN inquiry into disability rights violations (Politics and Insights, link)
EU-US trade deal: slicing and dicing food safety (Friends of the Earth Europe, link)
EU mission to help Italy save boat migrants (euobserver, link)
Poland in the torture hot seat: Is Canada next? (Rabble.ca, link)
Facebook and Twitter users 'more likely' to censor their views offline - Pew study warns about spiral of silence in US discussion of Edward Snowdens NSA online surveillance revelations (Guardian, link)
Challenging the refugee 'burden' (Open Democracy, link): "Refugees are often labeled a 'burden' by their host countries. This label is inaccurate and misleading. We must bring to light the benefits of refugees to their host communities."
UK: Former Attorney General blasts Boris Johnson over 'draconian' proposals to combat terror (Daily Express, link)
UK: Former MI6 counter-terrorism chief warns against rush to overhaul UK laws - Exclusive: Don't alter laws in response to
Libya violence puts EU border mission in doubt (euobserver, link)
UK: Former MI6 counter-terrorism chief warns against rush to overhaul UK laws - Exclusive: Don't alter laws in response to 'unproven threat' from homegrown militants in Syria and Iraq, says Richard Barrett (Guardian, link)
E-IDENTIFICATION: More convenient or a big problem? Glimpses into the Future the opportunities of e-Identification (Commission. link):
"Like many EU countries, Estonia has a single electronic identity for all citizens and residents. Most Estonians use their national ID card to access their e-ID. Other options include using bank-provided identities or my favorite, mobile-ID (which works with a special SIM card provided by Estonian telecom companies)."
See: Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (Official Journal with all EU languages, link) and Regulation (English, pdf)
Ross Anderson comments via EDRI: "This is just toxic - qualifying digital signatures were invented as a boondoggle for the smartcard industry, and harm consumers by dumping liability on them. If you accept a credential with a qualified certificate, then you are unconditionally liable to anyone in the world for any signature that appears to verify with that credential, regardless of whether or not you made it. It could have been made by the malware in your PC, and that could have been written by the guy who now claims you transferred your house to him; but no matter."
EU: Council of the European Union: Council weighted voting system, Draft Agendas, LEA access to entry-exit system, Presumption of innocence
NEW WEIGHTED VOTING FORMULA: Draft Council Decision amending the Council's Rules of procedure (Doc no: 12077-14, Limite, pdf): "From 1 November 2014, when an act is to be adopted by the Council acting by qualified majority, it must be verified that the Member States constituting the qualified majority represent at least 65 % of the total population of the Union."
Provisional agendas for Council meetings, during the second semester of 2014 (Italian Presidency) (see pages 22-32 for Justice and Home Affairs, pdf)
LEAs ACCESS: Access for law enforcement purposes to the Entry/Exit System (Doc no: 11337-14, Limite, pdf) See also Statewatch story: Smart borders: Member States seek to make law enforcement access compatible with data retention ruling
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Outcome of meeting of CATS on 2 July 2014 / Follow-up (Doc no: 11632-14 pdf) See also: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting on 15 July 2014 (Doc no: 12196-14, pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position: "As in CATS [Article 36 Committee], the NL delegation, supported by the DK, IE and UK delegations, voiced concerns regarding the added value of the proposed Directive."
European Commission: Traffic offences - cross-border exchange of information, EU-Australia PNR, National parliaments
TRAFFIC OFFENCES: Proposal for a Directive on facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (COM 476-14, pdf) and See: Annexes (pdf)
EU-AUSTRALIA PNR: Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (COM 458-14, pdf)
and see: Joint Review Report of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Accompanying (SWD 236-14, pdf)
NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS: Annual Report for 2013 on relations between the European Commission and national parliaments (COM 507-14, pdf)
Morocco: police violence against migrants (Vimeo, link)
UK Government urged to act on fresh evidence of BT drones link (Reprieve, link):"The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets."
USA-NSA: SURVEILLENCE: The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google (The Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a Google-like search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.
The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.
ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden."
See: ICREACH documents - full-text (4.5MB, pdf)
See: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance (June 2013 - ongoing)
EU: Unaccompanied children face difficulties in accessing legal assistance: Project coordinated by ECRE in partnership with Asylkoordination Austria, British Refugee Council, Danish Refugee Council, Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants in Bulgaria, Italian Council for Refugees, and Immigration Law Practitioners Association. UNHCR participated as an associate partner: Right to Justice: Quality Legal Assistance for Unaccompanied Children (link)
TED TALKS: Counterterrorism used to crackdown on civil society by Ben Hayes (YouTube link)
African Union adopts framework on cyber security and data protection (Access Now, link) Some"good" and some "plain ugly" See: Convention: full text (pdf)
EU and Member States plan "pilot project" to pressure countries to admit deportees
A document circulated by the Italian government to EU Member States in early July outlines plans for a "pilot project" that will see national and EU officials apply heavy diplomatic and economic pressure on selected countries in order to "improve the return rate in a number of specific countries of origin."
GERMANY-USA: SURVEILLANCE: Targeting Turkey: How Germany Spies on Its Friends (Der Spiegel, link):
"For more than a year now, German officials have criticized the US for the NSA's mass spying on Europeans and even Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now, embarrassing revelations show that Germany has inadvertently spied on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and has also deliberately targeted Turkey."
And see: Yes, Berlin has its own spying scandals, but dont expect Germany to forgive the NSA (Washington Post, link)
EU Council of the European Union: Terrorism "malicious mean/methods", Future of COSI, Terrorist financing,Civil-military ops & EU Charter
- The use of malicious means/methods to carry out acts of terrorism (CM 3624/14, Limite, pdf)
- Way forward on the future of COSI (11722-14, Limite, pdf)
- Report on the implementation of the revised Strategy on Terrorist Financing (14423-14, Limite, pdf)
- PMG Recommendations on the Note from the High Representative on options for improvement of the financing of civilian and military missions and operations (12269-14, Limite, pdf)
- Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU - Presidency discussion paper (11415-14, Limite, pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Smart borders: fait accompli? (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"Critique of the smart borders proposals has been and still is extensive, but none of the arguments raised have so far been dealt with seriously by those in favour of the systems. It seems that the freedom in the EUs area of freedom, security and justice is little more than a buzzword when it comes to border control and policing. When it comes to dealing with increasing levels of human migration, the only proposals on the table involve increasing monitoring and control."
MOROCCO: Migreurop: Dirty war against immigrants in Morocco - The worsening dirty war against immigrants by the Moroccan government with cooperation by Spain (Statewatch translation, pdf) and Guerra sucia contra migrantes en Marruecos Recrudecimiento de la guerra sucia contra migrantes a cargo del gobierno de Marruecos con la colaboración de España (pdf)
UK: NO CHARGES TO BE BROUGHT AGAINST UNDERCOVER POLICE: Statement from: Birnberg Peirce and Partners (pdf) on behalf of women victims of police misconduct
See: Charging decision concerning MPS Special Demonstration Squad (CPS, link)
"The CPS received a file in relation to a number of police officers under Operation Aubusson, a subset of Operation Herne, which is an investigation into the activities of the Metropolitan Police Services Special Demonstration Squad. The evidence in this case relates to alleged sexual misconduct. In reviewing the case we have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
Having carefully considered all the available evidence, provided at the end of a thorough investigation, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers."
UK: NETPOL: Resisting Police Surveillance of Activists (link)
GERMANY-USA: WHAT A SURPRISE THEY ARE SPYING ON EACH OTHER: Germany 'spied' on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton Der Spiegel Magazine claims foreign intelligence agency BND collected the phone calls by accident within the context of other operations (Guardian, link)
UK: Chris Grayling insists prisons are 'not in crisis' (BBC News, link). See: Britain's prison overcrowding crisis surges 'close to the brink' (The Independent, link) and Statistics reveal prisons struggling to cope (Prison Reform Trust, link)
UK-NATO: 9,500 police drafted in for Nato summit in Wales - Officer in charge says operation is uncharted territory for UK policing, with 67 heads of state expected at Newport summit (Guardian, link):
"Nearly 10,000 police officers are being drafted in to cover next month's Nato summit in Wales, an event described by the officer in charge of the security operation as "completely uncharted territory" for UK policing.
The number of police officers involved in protecting the two-day event, based at the Celtic Manor resort outside Newport and attended by 67 heads of state, who will discuss crises ranging from Ukraine to Iraq, equates to almost 8% of the police strength in England and Wales."
UK-EU JHA OPT OUT: Council of the European Union to gather costs on other EU Member States of a UK opt-out of Justice and Home Affairs measures: Follow up to the meeting of the Friends of Presidency Group on the application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties (PROAPP) of 14 July 2014 (CM 3636-14, pdf):
"Financial Consequences of the UK Opt-out
Article 10(4) of Protocol 36 provides that the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, may "adopt a decision determining that the UK shall bear the direct financial consequences, if any, necessarily and unavoidably incurred as a result of the cessation of its participation in those acts". The Presidency invites delegates to notify the General Secretariat.... of any relevant financial consequences in this regard by 25 August 2014."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Arrest Warrant (EAW), European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), and EU: Libya (EUBAM)
- Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant - Year 2013 (doc no: 8414-2-14. Limite, pdf) and see Annex 1: Member State replies to the question: "Which were the grounds for refusal?"
- European Criminal Records Information System: ECRIS Non-Binding Manual for Practitioners doc no: 9061/2/1, (pdf)
- EU: LIBYA: Draft CivCom Advice on the Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya (EEAS, 1570/14, Limite, pdf): "CIVCOM noted the turbulent and dynamic political and security situation in Libya which has occurred during the reporting period."
UK taxpayer faces £220m bill over e-borders contract termination - Tribunal finds flaws in process by which UK Border Agency decided to scrap contract with US-based Raytheon in 2010 (Guardian, link)
UK: NSA-GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization (heise online, link): "In a new set of top secret documents seen by Heise, it is revealed that in 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a "standard tool" to be applied against entire nations" (emphasis added)
See: Original from GCHQs Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG): GCHQ: What is Hacienda? (pdf): All the results of country-wide scans are "stored in JTRIG's Internal database"
And see: Australia government pushing to expand surveillance, hacking powers (PI, link)
EU-Canada trade deal leak ridicules TTIP consultation, campaigners say (euractiv, link): "The leaked text of an EU-Canada free trade deal confirms fears that multinationals may sue EU states in special tribunals for enacting laws that upset their profit forecasts, and now campaigners question the public consultation on a free trade deal with the US." see also: Leaked Doc Puts Spotlight on Corporate-Friendly Trade Deal - Text of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement shows how much power corporations could have over municipalities' water (CommonDreams, link)
See: Trade agreement: EU-Canada: Consolidated CETA Text (521 pages, 1.6 MB, pdf)
News in Brief (20.8.14):
German government pushes for 'Europeanisation' of arms industry (euractiv, link)
GREECE: Campaign to Close Campsfield and Barbed Wire Britain statement: Greek governments announcement of plans to open 30 detention centres for migrants (link)
USA: Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed (The Independent, link)
UK: Hundreds of police staff investigated over use of Facebook and Twitter - Cases breaching social media guidelines include racist and threatening remarks and 'friend' requests to crime victims (Guardian, link)
USA: California Kill Switch Bill Could Be Used to Disrupt Protests (CommonDreams, link): "Police could use the kill switch to shut down all phones in a situation they unilaterally perceive as presenting an imminent risk of danger."
POLAND: Dissident theatre director fired by city mayor (XIndex, link): "Ewa Wojciak, director of Polands Theatre of the Eighth Day, was fired by Poznan mayor Ryszard Grobelny on 28 July. His administration oversees culture and arts in the city, including Wojciaks subversive and anti-establishment theatre group."
USA: SURVEILLANCE: WikiLeaks: Decades Long Proof Of Government, Corporate Surveillance Of Native Americans Revealed (Mint Press News, link) and see: CAIR-MI to File Suit Challenging Placement of U.S. Muslims on Terror Watch Lists Without Due Process (CAIR, link)
UK: RENDITION: UK ambassador 'lobbied senators to hide Diego Garcia role in rendition' - Rights groups claim that top-level talks were part of bid to redact link to Diego Garcia from report (The Guardian, link)
EU: Commission proposes military research programme
"The European Commission is to "prepare the ground" for an EU military research programme by launching a 'Preparatory Action' that will "illustrate the value added of an EU contribution in new research" and complement research being undertaken under the Horizon 2020 programme....
This will come on top of existing efforts by the EU to try and maximise "civil-military synergies" in research under the Horizon 2020 programme, despite an explicit provision in the Horizon 2020 legislation that projects "shall have an exclusive focus on civil applications.""
EU: Smart borders: Member States seek to make law enforcement access compatible with data retention ruling
"EU Member States are coming closer to defining their position on giving law enforcement authorities access to information that will be stored in the proposed Entry/Exit System, using arguments based on the Court of Justice's ruling annulling the Data Retention Directive.
The Commission published the "smart borders package" in February 2013, and since then Member States have continually reasserted the need for law enforcement authorities to have access to data stored within the proposed Entry/Exit System (EES).
EU-USA: Many US companies failing to uphold EU privacy rules, privacy group claims in FTC complaint (ZDNet, link)
The battles of Calais: Matt Carr reflects on the complicity of Britain and France in the horrific situation for migrants in Calais (IRR News Service, link)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Police forced to name undercover officers who duped women Metropolitan police lose legal fight over keeping secret the names of officers who fathered children with their 'targets' (Guardian, link):
"Police chiefs have been forced to confirm for the first time the identities of two undercover police officers who fathered children with campaigners from groups they had been sent to infiltrate. A high court judge had ordered the Metropolitan police to make the disclosures after the force lost a legal battle. The Met had fought to keep secret the identities of the two undercover officers, Bob Lambert and Jim Boyling, since a group of women launched a lawsuit three years ago.
See also: Press release: Police Spies Out of Our lives (link)
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): New role for para-military police units? Cooperation with the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) under the Common Security and Defence Policy - Explanatory brief (pdf)
See also:Strengthening Ties between CSDP and FSJ: Road Map implementation Second annual progress report (pdf)
and EU seeks more prominent international role for European para-military police force
USA: NSA: James Bamford interviews Edward Snowden (Wired, link): Long report including countering cyber attacks:
"When it detected an attack, MonsterMind would automatically block it from entering the country - a kill in cyber terminology.
Programs like this had existed for decades, but MonsterMind software would add a unique new capability: Instead of simply detecting and killing the malware at the point of entry, MonsterMind would automatically fire back, with no human involvement. Thats a problem, Snowden says, because the initial attacks are often routed through computers in innocent third countries. These attacks can be spoofed,"
and see: Press Release: Courage letters being delivered to governments call for the safe protection of Edward Snowden (Courage, link)
Also: GCHQ: OPA~TAS Covert Mobile Phones Policy (pdf)
ECHR: UK prisoners denied the vote should not be paid compensation, ECHR rules - However, European court of human rights upholds its earlier ruling that a blanket ban on UK prisoners voting is unlawful (Guardian, link)
NEW ZEALAND- "FIVE EYES": Anti-Bases Campaign: Call to close NZ spy base (pdf) and see: Whos Running The Show? And In Whose Interests? (link)
UPDATED: HUNGARY: ECHR proceedings: Surveillance application (pdf) and see:: TEK surveillance law challenged at European Court (Politics.hu, link): "Hungarian citizens Dániel Máté Szabó and Beatrix Vissy, both lawyers, have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to challenge a Hungarian regulation that empowers the Anti-Terrorist Centre (TEK) to spy on anyone without a court order by citing national security interests."
And see: Ombudsman challenges Anti-Terrorist Center powers (Politics.hu, link)
UK: Leicestershire Police first in UK to use 'facial recognition' software to track down CCTV suspects (Leicester Mercury, link) and this is the software they are using: NeoFace Facial Recognition - Overview (link)
EU: Frontex presses on with aerial surveillance projects
EU border agency Frontex has made progress in its attempts to acquire and deploy aerial surveillance technology, with the completion of a pilot project at the Bulgaria-Turkey border in early July. According to the agency, the project has outlined "new approaches in Frontex policy for future acquisition of operational assets and services."
Italy-Tunisia: Tunisian authorities undertake border control for Italy
The Tunisian National Guard has 'rescued' many boats carrying migrants and refugees in the past few months. However, these vessels were not all in distress when they were 'rescued'. A colonel in the National Guard's maritime section explained in an interview with the authors of this article that the current bilateral agreement with Italy foresees that the Tunisian Navy and the Tunisian National Guard should block boats carrying migrants, even if they are not in distress.
UK: Predictive policing in London: commercial interests trump accountability
London's Metropolitan Police (Met) have adopted a "neither confirm nor deny" policy on their use of "predictive policing" technology, citing the need to protect the commercial interests of both the police and companies. This is despite the fact that the force admits that releasing relevant information "could potentially further the debate around the efficacy and ethics of using such technologies," and could improve "the accountability of decisions taken in relation to the research and development of such technologies."
UK: LONDON: Police get new power to clear Paternoster Square of protesters... with no order from court (Evening Standard, link): "the City of London Corporation has granted the square, which is home to the London Stock Exchange, the status of City walkway. It means police can close Paternoster Square, and six adjoining lanes and alleys, immediately in the case of imminent threat or force majeure, the civil law term for unforeseen events. The move is part of a deal between the City, the squares freeholders, and Canadian-owned Oxford Properties Group, which owns most of the buildings on the site. Oxford Properties Group requested extra powers that included the ability ... to restrict access to the estate in the case of demonstration or terrorist threat."
See also Belgian municipal fines cause growing dissent (Statewatch database) and Westminster Council proposes banning "tents and similar structures" and "noise equipment" in crackdown on political protest (Statewatch database)
EU: 267 migrants rescued from 29 boats in Strait of Gibraltar (El Pais, link): "The Spanish coastguard rescued 267 people from 29 small boats in the Strait of Gibraltar on Monday. All the men, women and children onboard were found to be in apparent good health and taken to Tarifa, in Cádiz province, to be treated."
EU: The Missed Opportunity of the Ypres Guidelines of the European Council Regarding Immigration and Asylum (link) by Philippe De Bruycker
Statewatch Analysis: Mass surveillance of communications in the EU: CJEU judgment and DRIPA 2014/RIPA 2000 in the UK (pdf) by Tony Bunyan:
"The CJEU ruled that mass surveillance under the EU Data Retention Directive entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European
population and is a clear breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Under DRIPA 2014 the UK is clearly ignoring the Court's ruling by maintaining the mass surveillance of communications and extending its reach, though permanent warrants, to service providers based in the EU, USA and elsewhere.
DRIPA 2014 amends RIPA 2000 but leaves untouched the power of the Foreign Secretary to sign limitless warrants for GCHQ to spy on the rest of the world under
Section 8.4 of RIPA 2000."
EU-USA COOPERATION: Report from Congressional Research Service: US-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (pdf):
"Some U.S. officials are concerned that.... changes to EU data protection rules could call into question existing bilateral agreements governing the processing and sharing of personal data between U.S. law enforcement authorities and their counterparts in EU member states....
some observers note that U.S.-EU counterterrorism cooperation is complicated by different EU and member state competencies, and U.S. policy preferences. An increasing number of policy areas relevant to counterterrorism - including data protection, customs, and visasfall under the competence of the Union (i.e., EU members adopt a common policy, agree to abide by its terms, and negotiate collectively with other countries). However, at times, the United States continues to prefer to negotiate on some issues - such as the VWP - bilaterally, and observers assert that this disconnect can lead to frictions in the U.S.-EU relationship."
UK: Police want right to see medical records without consent - Greater Manchester chief constable says move is needed to help police deal with people struggling to look after themselves (Guardian, link)
USA-NSA: Edward Snowden given permission to stay in Russia - video (Guardian, link): "dward Snowden has been granted permission to remain in Russia for the next three years, his lawyer says on Thursday. The NSA contractor turned whistleblower now has a three-year residence permit, with effect from 1 August 2014,.."
See: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EU: Data adrift on the high seas: work continues on connecting maritime surveillance systems
At the beginning of July the European Commission announced its proposed "next steps" for "enhancing information exchange between maritime surveillance authorities," in order to "increase the efficiency, quality, responsiveness and coordination of surveillance operations in the European maritime domain and to promote innovation, for the prosperity and security of the EU and its citizens."
Antisemitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis' - Experts say attacks go beyond Israel-Palestinian conflict as hate crimes strike fear into Jewish communities (Guardian, link)
EU 2014 ELECTIONS: EU election turnout at record low after all (euobserver, link): "The definitive turnout for the elections is 42.5 percent, down from 43 percent at the 2009 EU elections and down from the estimated 43.09 percent announced on 25 May, shortly after polls closed"
A European Parliament spokesperson claimed that "The final figure, which is a little bit lower than in 2009, confirms that the big descending tendency of previous years has been stopped," which is not really much consolation - in 1979 61.99% of the electorate voted in the EU parliament elections and in every election since voter participation has fallen and is now at its lowest point ever.
UK: Government Wiki edits downplay high profile killings (Channel 4 News, link):
"A Channel 4 News investigation reveals Wikipedia edits to pages on Jean Charles de Menezes, Lee Rigby and Damilola Taylor made from government computers. The spokesman for the family of Jean Charles de Menezes today spoke of his shock after hearing that users on government computer networks were found to have altered key information in his Wikipedia entry and sought to cover up police failings.
The edits were all made from internet addresses that have in the past been confirmed as being on the Government Secure Intranet (GSI), the system through which government workers, including some police officers, connect to the internet."
And: Wikipedia edits made by government sought to minimise high-profile killings - Articles pertaining to Jean Charles de Menezes and Damilola Taylor were edited using devices on government internet (Guardian, link) and INTER-NETCU: As government agency caught infiltrating activist media outlet (SchNEWS, link): ""For years now, police have been using activist website Indymedia in attempts to sow mistrust, demoralise movements and to incite violence and illegality." and: Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé (Indymedia UK, link)
See also: Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world - Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from police (Guardian, link) and Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)
Gamma FinFisher hacked: 40 GB of internal documents and source code of government malware published (Netzpolitik, link):
"A hacker claims to have hacked a network of the surveillance technology company Gamma International and has published 40 gigabytes of internal data. A Twitter account has published release notes, price lists and source code. Malware researchers and human rights activists welcome the publication, Gamma itself refuses to comment."
See: Wiki: Finfisher (link) and also: German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to revolutions (Statewatch database) and Complaint lodged with OECD by Privacy International over spyware sales by UK and Germany to Bahrain (Statewatch database)
And: Bahrain Government Hacked Lawyers and Activists with UK Spyware (Bahrainwatch, link): "New evidence has emerged suggesting that the Bahraini government infected the computers of some of the countrys most prominent lawyers, activists and politicians with the malicious FinFisher spy software (also known as FinSpy). The infections would have enabled the government to steal passwords and files, and spy through an infected computers webcam and microphone. "
See also: Six things we know from the latest FinFisher documents (PI, link)
UK: The British police on armed routine patrol (BBC News, link)
USA: WATCHLISTS: Barack Obamas Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers - Nearly half of the people on the U.S. governments widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group (The Intercept, link) and See: Watchlist document (pdf)
See also: More than 17,000 sign up to Austrian student's Facebook privacy class action - Max Schrems, 26, who accuses social network of data violations and supporting NSA spying, calls response to his appeal 'giant' (Guardian, link)
UK EXTENDS BIOMETRICS TO CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OLD: New biometrics rule set for young children (link) "What is the change? The U.K. is rolling out a new biometrics requirement for visa applicants under 5 years old." and UK Visas and Immigration (link):
"As of 07 July 2014, children under the age of five will be required to apply for their UK visa in person in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. New rules governing the collection of biometric data comes into effect at this time, requiring all applicants to provide a live-capture digital photograph."
See: Home Office guidance on Biometric Information (126 pages, pdf) does not seem to have been updated, it says: ""Children under the age of six (at the date of application, not at the date of enrolment). The requirement for fingerprints to be taken from the age of six comes from EU Regulation 380/2008. Up to the age of six the Home Office only requires a digitised image of the childs face, although the regulation does not prevent fingerprints being recorded from children aged less than six years. There is no upper age limit for biometric information to be taken."
African migrants injured in clashes in Calais as one asylum seeker shot in head (Evening Standard, link)
Paper delivered at the European Group Conference for the Study of Deviance and Social Control in Oslo in 2013 by Tony Bunyan, Director of Statewatch: The emerging EU state (podcast link). See all podcasts (link)
UK: Activists complain to IPCC over police efforts to recruit them as informers - Four campaigners lodge complaint with police watchdog that approaches left them feeling intimidated, stressed and paranoid (Guardian, link):
"Four campaigners have lodged a complaint with an official watchdog, alleging that they felt intimidated by covert police officers who were trying to persuade them to spy on their political colleagues.They say that coercive and at times repeated police approaches caused them to abandon their political campaigning, or left them stressed and paranoid. They also say that the clandestine manoeuvres to spy on students, environmentalists, anti-fascists and other campaigners erode free speech and the freedom to protest.
One of the quartet, a 23-year-old single mother, said she stopped campaigning against racism after police threatened to prosecute her if she told anyone, including her mother, about the attempt to recruit her as an informer."
EU: Council of the European Union: Agreed by the Council Security Committee: Information Assurance Security Guidelines on Data Separation (pdf)
"These guidelines describe minimum standards to be observed for the purpose of data separation methods in communication and information systems [CIS] for protecting EU classified information (EUCI) in terms of confidentiality, integrity, availability and, where appropriate, authenticity and non-repudiation, especially in consolidated systems where several CIS share common components. This document covers mainly the use of technical data separation methods inside common hardware used by one or different CIS or between different hardware components inside a contiguous secure area."
SPAIN: Mass protest as strike organisers face prison (Think Spain, link) and see: CCOO y UGT denuncian ante partidos la "ofensiva" contra el derecho de huelga (link): "In a joint statement, the unions said it is not acceptable that about 300 union members are subject to administrative and criminal proceedings for participating in the call for, extension and organisation of general strikes"
UK: POLICING STATISTICS: House of Commons: Public Administration Committee: Government Response on crime statistics (pdf) and Caught red-handed: Why we cant count on Police Recorded Crime statistics (pdf)
USA-ISRAEL: Wiretapped: Israel Eavesdropped on John Kerry in Mideast Talks (Spiegel Online, link): "New information indicates that Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on telephone conversations by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Sources told SPIEGEL the government then used the information obtained from the calls during negotiations in the Mideast conflict."
On the other hand see these documents: NSA Intelligence Relationship with Israel (pdf) and MOU between NSA and the Israeli Sigint National Unit (ISNU) (pdf)
GREECE: Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case (ekathimerini.com, link): "Europe's top human rights official has criticized a decision by a Greek prosecutor earlier this week to shelve the investigation into the deaths of 11 immigrants who drowned during a controversial coast guard operation near the eastern Aegean islet of Farmakonisi in January." See:
- Greek Council for Refugees, Hellenic League of Human Rights, Network of Social Support to Refugees and Migrants, Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees: Background briefing on the investigation into the Farmakonisi boat wreck of 20.1.2014 (pdf)
- Survivors' declaration (pdf)
UK: Revealed: Whitehall plans to share your private data - Driving licences, criminal records and energy use data could be shared under radical plans to link government databases (Daily Telegraph, link): "Driving licences, criminal records and energy use data could be shared under radical plans to link government databases "
See: Cabinet Office Initial Discussion document on data sharing policy for publication (pdf)
ITALY:G8: Thirty cops suspended for G8 brutality - Suspensions of up to 6 months for mistreatment of demonstrators (ANSA, link): "An appeals court on Friday suspended 30 police officers following disciplinary hearings into accusations of brutality during demonstrations at the G8 conference in Genoa in 2001."
NORWAY: Immediate temporary reintroduction of border control at Norway's internal borders (DG Home, link): "Norway has informed that due to a serious threat to public policy and internal security where unknown subjects on their way to Norway have the intention to commit targeted attacks to Norwegian interest, infrastructure and/or persons, border control has been reintroduced at the Norway's internal borders initially during the period from Thursday 24 July 2014 to Monday 28 July 2014, then prolonged until Tuesday 12 August 2014 12:00. During this period, border checks on persons will be carried out at Norwegian air, land and sea borders to the extent necessary to respond to the threats and will be flexible in time and location." [emphasis in original]
Facebook faces EU and US probes over data harvesting (euractiv, link)
Two Bulgarian Nationalist Parties Team Up for Early Elections (Novinite, link)
Golden Dawn case file on 78 suspects sent to prosecutor (ekathimerini.com, link)
Homelands: The Lampedusa Chapter (Roads and Kingdoms, link)
USA: CIA-TORTURE: Obama admits CIA 'tortured some folks' but stands by Brennan over spying: President says US crossed a line after 9/11 attacks - Obama supports CIA director under fire over Senate report (Guardian, link)
See also: Britain 'attempts to censor' US report on torture sites - US Senate report may confirm that Diego Garcia was used for extraordinary rendition after 9/11 (Guardian, link)
Questions of Bias and Emotion in Telling the Gaza Story (Ethical Journalism Network, link)
Rise of the drones has police and regulators scrambling to catch up (Guardian, link)
ITALY: Statewatch Analysis: ECtHR finds Italy guilty of degrading treatment without adequate judicial remedy in mass prison beatings case (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
"On 1 July 2014, the 2nd section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling in the Saba vs. Italy case (no. 36629/2010) found Italy guilty of contravening both the substantial and procedural aspects of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. The case concerned an operation undertaken on 3 April 2000 in Sassari prison in Sardinia, where the applicant was a prisoner, involving violence, blows resulting in injuries and humiliating treatment of prisoners. It resulted in 90 people being placed under investigation, ranging from prison officers and officials to prison police officers."
USA: CIA SPYING: Inquiry by CIA Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel (New York Times, link):
"An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.s detention and interrogation program.
The report by the agencys inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information, according to a summary of findings made public on Thursday. One official with knowledge of the reports conclusions said the investigation also discovered that the officers created a false online identity to gain access on more than one occasion to computers used by the committee staff."
See document: Summary of report: Prepared at the request of the Congressional Intelligence Committees (pdf) and See: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers (Guardian, link) also: Report: CIA officers read Senate emails (Washington Post, link)
EU: G6 meeting leads to renewed calls for travel surveillance
Interior ministers from the G6 group of states met at the end of June in Barcelona to discuss the structure of the G6; terrorism and radicalisation; drug trafficking in the Atlantic; irregular migration to Europe; and relations between the EU and US. Records of the meeting show continued enthusiasm for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the surveillance of transport.
UK: Police Federation wants continued use of "pain compliance" Taser method
A senior member of the professional body that represents police officers has said that they "must be able to continue to use their judgement and professional discretion in the use of a controversial mode of Taser" which involves pressing the weapon directly onto an individual's body and firing.
News in Brief:
UK: Armed police officer charged with murder over Azelle Rodney shooting (The Independent, link). See also: Armed police threaten to down guns and walk out over murder charge against Yard cop who killed suspected gangster (Daily Mail, link)
GREECE: Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers (The Guardian, link)
UK: David Cameron criticised for PR stunt in home of suspected illegal immigrants (The Guardian, link): Note that the Guardian is still usng the phrase
"illegal immigrants" and se: Reated: Cameron immigrant benefits plan faces EU investigation (Irish Times, link)
NETHERLANDS: Police cooperation: Romanian policemen to prevent pickpocketing at Amsterdam Gay Pride festival (Romania Insider, link)
EU: European Solidarity to Stop Infringements in Bulgarian Press Freedom (The European Initiative for Media Pluralism, link) and Related: Gross violation of press freedom in Bulgaria (Pressenza, link)
GREECE: Former Golden Dawn MP Will Remain in Custody (Greek Reporter, link)
BULGARIA: Seven Sigma Policemen Arrested in Bulgaria's Capital (Novinite, link)
UK: 'Sobriety tags' for people who commit alcohol-linked crimes get London trial (The Guardian, link)
UK: Special constables should be armed with Tasers, says leading officer (The Telegraph, link) and Stunning rise in Devon police using Taser guns (The Gazette, link)
Humanity in the News: An Italian Case Study on How to Tell the Migrant Story (Ethical Journalism Network, link)
CAGE: Blowback - Foreign fighters and the threat they pose (link): ""In almost every single case of individuals having fought abroad, there
is little to suggest that such training or fighting had resulted directly in the decision to carry out an act of political violence in the UK. What, however, is clear, is the correlation between foreign and domestic grievances against the UK government, and the decision by these men to be involved in some form of plot."
See: Press release (link) and: British Jihadis' threat to UK is exaggerated, says report - British Jihadis are motivated by wanting to topple Bashar Assad dictatorship in Syria says group critical of British counterterrorism policy (Guardian, link)
GREECE: Welcome 2 Lesvos: Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria first reception detention centre in Lesvos (link)
See also: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control)
EU: PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Revised text following the meeting on 15 July 2014 (pdf) The Council developing its negotiating position: "As in CATS [Article 36 Committee], the NL delegation, supported by the DK, IE and UK delegations, voiced concerns regarding the added value of the proposed Directive."
A footnote says: "IE and UK decided not to make use of the possibility to "opt-in" in the adoption of the proposed Directive, as referred to in Article 3 of Protocol (nr. 21) to Treaties; DK does not participate in accordance with Article 1 of Protocol (nr. 22) to the Treaties."
See: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11235-14,(pdf)
EU: TTIP: Letter to the European Commission requesting an opinion in the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/10/2014/MMN concerning transparency and public participation in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations (link)
GREECE: FGM INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION:DECISION: Decision 419/2014 of the Administrative Court of Appeals, regarding international protection, on the grounds of fear of Female Genital Mutilation (pdf) by Eleni Koutroumpa Evangelia Markaki Senior Investigators, Greek Ombudsman, Department of Human Rights:
"The Administrative Court of Appeals has temporarily suspended the decision of return of a Kenyan woman along with her three minor children in her homeland, based on the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, "consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity"...
The Administrative Court of Appeals stated that their return to Kenya contains the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity, thus temporarily suspended the decision of their return. Additionally, the Court ordered the state authorities to refrain from any action which would result in "forced return" of them back to their homeland.
Finally, the Court ordered the "particular asylum seeker's card" to be returned if it had been removed- and to be renewed, if it had been expired."
ITALY: Shalabayeva deportation 'illegitimate' - Shalabeyeva and six-year-old kid seized in 'violent' night raid (ANSA, link): ""Italy's supreme Cassation Court ruled Wednesday that the deportation last year of the wife and daughter of a Kazakh dissident was "manifestly illegitimate"."
CoE: CIA RENDITION: The Council of Europe's investigation into illegal transfers and secret detentions in Europe: a chronology (pdf)
AUSTRIA: Riot police with water cannon evict squatters: Police in riot gear are currently attempting to evict a group of long-term squatters from a house in Viennas 2nd district (The Local, link) and see: 500,000 euro, 1,700 Cops, Helicopter, Tank, Water Cannon: The Eviction of Pizzeria Anarchia in Vienna (Revolution News, link)
ITALY: Italien plant zweiwöchige Polizeioperation gegen Migranten in der gesamten EU (Italy is planning a two-week, pan-EU police operation against migrants) (Telepolis, link):
"From 16 to 23 October at railway stations, motorways and airports "focused search measures" will be carried out. Several thousand police officers will be deployed.
The Italian government is preparing a large-scale police operation for the entire territory of the European Union, building upon earlier, similar measures organised by other countries during their EU presidencies. In this operation, police forces will be deployed at transport hubs to search for migrants without a residence permit. Such Joint Police Operations (JPOs) are usually organised by each of the six-month rotating presidencies." (translation)
See also: EU joint police operations target irregular migrants (Statewatch database)
Norway: Reintroduction of border control at Norwegian internal border (pdf):
"From Thursday 24 July 2014 until Monday 28 July 2014 border control measures will be carried out at the Norwegian internal borders along air-, land - and sea borders, as the situation requires in order to impede subjects/persons with deliberate intention to harm public policy and internal security."
See also: Norway Police Requires Passports or ID Cards for Even Norwegian and Schengen Area Citizens - As a result of the measures for terrorist threat, all must have their passport or ID card upon entry to Norway (The Nordic Page, link)
Statewatch FRONTEX Observatory updated, including Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights: Annual Report 2013
CoE: A new Convention for combating domestic violence (link):
".On 1 August 2014, a new stage will begin in the protection of human rights in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member States, the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Anne Brasseur, said today."
See: Links page (link) and Full-text Convention (pdf)
USA-NSA: Report by Human Rights Watch and ACLU: With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy (126 pages, link): "this report documents the effects of large-scale electronic surveillance on the practice of journalism and law, professions that enjoy special legal protections because they are integral to the safeguarding of rights and transparency in a democracy.."
See also: Top Journalists and Lawyers: NSA Surveillance Threatens Press Freedom and Right to Counsel (The Intercept, link)
EU News in Brief:
BULGARIA: Roma Protesters Block Three Trains in Bulgaria's Sofia (Novinite, link)
BULGARIA: Bulgaria to Spend BGN 53 M on Traffic Monitoring Systems (Novinite, link)
DENMARK: PET stops poet Yahya Hassan's speech (Copenhagen Post, link)
FRANCE: Scores of arrests at banned pro-Gaza protest (The Local, link)
GERMANY: Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats (The Local, link)
GREECE: Court recognises female genital mutilation as grounds for asylum (Enet, link)
GERMANY: Crypto-phones for Merkel and Co (DW, link)
POLAND: Neo-Nazi gang busted in Bialystok (The News, link)
UK: DRIPA 2014: Legal challenge lodged against new UK data retention laws (Out Law, link): "Civil rights campaigners Liberty said it will seek a judicial review of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Act on behalf of two MPs, David Davis and Tom Watson."
Information on nearly 71,000 people held in Europol Information System
The Europol Information System (EIS) contained information on 70,917 "suspected/convicted criminals" as of December 2013, an increase of 47% on 2012 and a near-100% increase since December 2010 when it held information on 35,585 people.
UK: British Regulator Leads On RPAS (AINonline, link): "Integrating remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) into civilian airspace in Europe is not going to be easy. Official programs are many, work is extensive, detailed and ongoing, but anyone expecting an early resolution is going to be disappointed."
See: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
METADATA SURVEILLANCE: From Bits of Freedom, Netherlands: How your innocent Smartphone passes on almost your entire life to the secret service (pdf): "Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesnt say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think."
UK: House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee report (pdf) See: Common Foreign and Security Policy, including Common Security and Defence Policy; the European Investigation Order; and The development of the second generation Schengen Information System - SIS II.
EU WHISTLEBLOWING: European Ombudsman: Letter to the European Commission requesting an opinion in the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/1/2014/PMC concerning whistleblowing (pdf) and Ombudsman: Background (link)
See also: EU institutions to be probed on whistleblower rules (euobserver, link)
Norway Police Requires Passports or ID Cards for Even Norwegian and Schengen Area Citizens - As a result of the measures for terrorist threat, all must have their passport or ID card upon entry to Norway (The Nordic Page, link)
IRELAND: Removal of Roma child conformed to definition of 'ethnic profiling', report finds (RTE News, link) and Official Report (link)
EU-USA: TTIP: What the recent ECJ ruling means for transparency in the TTIP negotiations (The Consumer View on TTIP, link)
USA-NSA-SAUDI ARABIA: The NSAs New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabias Brutal State Police (The Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the worlds most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agencys plans to provide direct analytic and technical support to the Saudis on internal security matters.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior - referred to in the document as MOI - has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse, specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOIs use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents."
See document: NSA-SAUDI ARABIA Cooperation (pdf)
And see: Privacy watchdogs next target: the least-known but biggest aspect of NSA surveillance (Washington Post, link): "An independent privacy watchdog agency announced Wednesday that it will turn its focus to the largest and most complex of U.S. electronic surveillance regimes: signals intelligence collection under Executive Order 12333. That highly technical name masks a constellation of complex surveillance activities carried out for foreign intelligence purposes by the National Security Agency under executive authority. But unlike two other major NSA collection programs that have been in the news lately, EO 12333 surveillance is conducted without court oversight and with comparatively little Congressional review."
See document: SIGINT Decision Tree (.jpg)
UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2013 (pdf): "The total number of warrants and authorisations approved across the intelligence
services and the MOD in 2013 was 1887." This is said to cover warrants issued to: MI5, MI6 (SIS), GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence under RIPA 2000 and Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) - under the former the use of CHIS (Covert Human Information Sources) are included. And in addition the report says:
"The total number of cases where the Consolidate Guidance was applied during 2013 was 418. It is important to understand what this means. It means that there were 418 cases where consideration had to be given as to whether there was a serious risk of an individual being subject to unacceptable conduct either because they were in the detention of a liaison service, or if intelligence was supplied to solicit detention and they were then detained. This does not show the number of individuals subject to unacceptable conduct; only that proper consideration was being given to that risk in this number of cases." [emphasis added]
After numerous complaints of UK agents being present or knowing of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects around the world the Government published in 2010 the following Guidelines: Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees (pdf) and according to the Commissioner's report this covers:
Cases where a detainee is interviewed by UK personnel whilst under the custody of a third party
Cases where information is sought by HMG from a detainee in the custody of a third party
Cases where information is passed from HMG to a liaison service in relation to a detainee held by a third party
Cases where unsolicited intelligence related to a detainee is received from the third party
Soliciting the detention of an individual by a third party
And the Commissioner cites a reminder of GCHQ's function: "To monitor or interfere with electromagnetic, acoustic and other emissions and any equipment producing such emissions and to obtain and provide information derived from or related to such emissions or equipment and from encrypted material, but only in the interests of national security, with particular reference to the United Kingdom Governmentfs defence and foreign policies, or in the interests of the UKfs economic well.being in relation to the actions or intentions of persons outside the British Islands, or in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime" [emphasis added]
UPDATED: CoE: Commissioner expresses concern over NGOs in Hungary (link): The stigmatizing rhetoric used in Hungary against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of promoting human rights and democratic values, with politicians questioning the legitimacy of their work, is of great concern to me said today Nils Muinieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing a letter addressed to the Minister of the Prime Ministers Office, Mr János Lázár."
See: CoE letter to PM (pdf) and Reply to CoE (pdf)
UPDATED: UK: HOW LOW CAN THE POLICE STOOP?
Police chiefs were aware six years ago that undercover unit 'had lost moral compass' (Guardian, link)
SDS was regarded as out of control force within a force
Intelligence 'hoovered up' on campaigning families
Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world - Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from police (Guardian, link)
Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)
See: Undercover police spied on grieving families of De Menezes, Groce and Reel - Scotland Yard claims relatives were not the target of surveillance but that 'inappropriate' information about them was gathered (Guardian, link): "Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, Cherry Groce and Ricky Reel....Scotland Yard claimed that the families were not the target of the operations but information on them was gathered and wrongly retained as part of the covert infiltration of political groups."
Met Police spied on families campaigning for justice (Channel 4 News, link): "Families of those campaigning for justice against the Metropolitan Police such as the families of Cherry Groce, Ricky Reel and Jean Charles de Menezes were spied on by undercover officers from the SDS (Special Demonstrations Squad)."
See: Operation Herne report website into undercover police activities
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Welcome Pack for the Members of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) (pdf)
UK: Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 201314:
Government response to the First Report of the Committee, Session 201314 (pdf). See: First Report: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013-14 (pdf)
See also: Call for Evidence: Committee still pressing government for the next National Security Strategy to be radically different (pdf):
"The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy would welcome written submissions on the next National Security Strategy (NSS), which is expected to be published after the 2015 General Election. The Committee aims to publish a report at the end of the year in time for the Government to respond before the General Election."
EU Council of the European Union: eu-LISA Annual Activity Report 2013 (pdf)
"At the time of writing (January 2014), the Agency is mandated to provide operational management of SIS II (the largest information system for public security and law enforcement cooperation in Europe), VIS (a system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen area) and Eurodac (a large-scale fingerprint database that assists primarily in the processing of asylum applications). It manages these systems on behalf of its stakeholder, the European public through member states and European institutions."
CIA-POLAND: European Court of Human Rights: Secret rendition and detention by the CIA in Poland of two men suspected of terrorist acts (Press release, pdf):
"The cases Al Nashiri v. Poland (application no. 28761/11) and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland (no. 7511/13) concerned allegations of torture, ill-treatment and secret detention of two men suspected of terrorist acts. The applicants allege that they were held at a CIA black site in Poland. In todays Chamber judgments, which are not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously: in both cases, that Poland had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights (obligation to furnish all necessary facilities for the effective conduct of an investigation);
in both cases, that there had been:
- a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, in both its substantive and procedural aspects;
- a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security);
- a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life);
- a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and,
- a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).
See: Judgments: Nashiri (pdf) and Husayn (pdf)
CIA ran secret torture jail in Poland, rules EU Court of Human Rights (euractiv, link)
Taking on the fraudulent anti-globalisation rhetoric of the Front National (IRR News, link): "A timely pamphlet aimed primarily at French trades unionists provides an opportunity to reflect on the FNs growing appeal to working-class voters."
The Hague district court: exchange of telecommunications data between Dutch intel/security services and NSA is permissible (link)
USA-National Counterterrorism Center: Secret government rulebook for labelling you a terrorist (The Intercept, link): he Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither concrete facts nor irrefutable evidence to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept." See: document: Rulebook (link)
See also: Hill surveillance reform: Time is not on its side (Politico, link)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Commission sits on the fence: saying it is up to each of the 28 EU states to decide whether to change their national laws in the light of the CJEU judgment declaring the EU Directive on mandatory data retention "unlawful": European Parliament question (link) and Answer (link)
And see: Scrapped EU surveillance law throws doubt on US data agreements (euobserver, link): " A decision by the EU court earlier this year to scrap a controversial data retention directive may have implications for existing international data agreements and EU proposals under review. We will have a debate on the question of the compatibility of these international agreements with EU law here in the parliament, German Green Jan Phillip Albrecht said"
See: Green/EFA study: Data Retention after the Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (pdf)
Italy arrests 5 over migrant 'massacre' at sea (News 24, link)
ECHR Judgment: TEAR GAS: Death during a demonstration: Turkey must regulate the use of tear-gas grenades (pdf)
UK: WATER CANNON: Theresa May puts decision on use of water cannon in UK on hold - Medical and scientific issues must first be clarified, says home secretary, despite Boris Johnson £218k order of three vehicles (Guardian, link). See also: Home Secretary - Home Affairs Select Committee (p23, pdf)
RUSSIA: DATA RETENTION: Putin signs data retention law - Summary: Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a new law requiring internet companies to retain the personal data of their Russian customers, or face being blocked from access in the country.(ZDnet, link). Russia is in good company and as we say in the UK "people in glass houses should not throw stones" - see UK DRIPA below..
UK: Terrorism definition 'should be narrower' (BBC News, link): "In his annual report, David Anderson QC is focusing on crimes which he says should no longer be classed as terrorist offences. Journalists and bloggers should not be convicted under terror laws, he said."
See: UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation criticises too-broad definition of terrorism (Press release, pdf) and Full report by David Anderson QC: Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (143 pages, pdf)
EU: Eurodrones: too politically loaded a venture for Europe? (euractiv, link):
"Remotely piloted aircraft equipped for spying and fighting are politically charged across Europe, in part by the civilian toll taken by Americas use of armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other conflict areas. The European Parliament wants member states to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in extrajudicial killings and to set up ethical standards for their use. In a non-binding resolution earlier this year, lawmakers also called for greater transparency in the use of EU funding for research and development of drone technology."
See also: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)
UK-EU: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) UK FAILS TO NOTIFY EU: NGO LETTER: Open Letter to Vice-President of the Commission Michel Barnier and Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom (pdf): "We, the undersigned organisations, would like to draw your attention to an infringement of EU law by the United Kingdom through its adoption on July 17 2014 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP)".
UK: DRIPA: David Davis and Tom Watson to sue government over new DRIP data laws (James Lansdale Tweet) and DRIP Bill legal challengeY(DODS Politics Home, link) EU and see: Liberty and MPs David Davis and Tom Watson launch urgent response to Governments emergency surveillance law (Liberty link)
Bulgaria's Euroroma Threatens Blockades on Major Roads (Novinite, link): "The Euroroma party posed an ultimatum to the Stara Zagora Mayor Zhivko Todorov the stop the demolition of illegal Roma houses in the city, reports news.bg. The party threatened that its supporters will block the major roads in the country, unless the demolition was stopped immediately. According to the party, the actions of the municipality were in violation of a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which was mandatory." and see: Clashes Erupt in Bulgarian Stara Zagora over Illegal Houses Demolition (link): "Clashes broke out between the Gendarmerie and the inhabitants of the Roma neighborhood in Bulgaria's city of Stara Zagora, Monday morning."
EU: Family Reunion for EU Citizens: a separated third country national family member of an EU citizen can acquire permanent residence status (EU Law Analysis, link)
USA: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion - Investigations, Trials of American Muslims Rife with Abuse (Human Rights Watch, link) and Government agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots (Guardian, link)
Human Rights Watch documents 'sting' operations
Report raises questions about post-9/11 civil rights
UK: IPCC concern over police use of Tasers to gain compliance - Police watchdog raises alarm over use of Tasers in 'drive-stun' mode, which can deliver a shock directly to the body (Guardian, link) See: IPCC Tasers (pdf)
Torture retold: how the Hooded Men case has come back under the spotlight (Irish Times, link)
EU: MIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Parliament: For a European Strategy in the field of migration and asylum: Appeal to the European Parliament on occasion of the Italian Presidency Semester (pdf): Barbara Spinelli (MEP, GUE):
"Nowadays, refugees are the product, on an industrial scale, of that great war, immaterial and undeclared as it is, which is the war against the poor, with a stark border separating people who have a right to move from those who are denied that right. But a worldwide war, which sets apart subjects of the law from marginal bodies whose fate is at the mercy of events that are decided elsewhere, cannot turn Europe into a barbed wire fence. The Europe we want must be a place of welcome, of respect and of dignity."
Italy rescues 1,800 migrants over the weekend (euractiv, link)
Germany's deportees cannot be held in prisons, ECJ rules (euractiv, link) and see: CJEU ruling Press Release: A Member State cannot rely on the fact that there are no specialised facilities in a part of its territory to justify detaining third-country nationals in prison pending their removal - The same applies even if the third-country national concerned has given his consent to being accommodated in prison (pdf)
EU: Data protection rights and administrative proceedings (EU Law Analysis, link): "in the specific context of asylum proceedings, and more generally in many other areas of EU law, it is useful that the Court confirmed that applicants can still enforce (by a different means) the right to good administration against national authorities."
GREECE: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control):
"The site is still under construction, but presents a chilling taste of what is to come and the claustrophobic conditions for migrants to be held there. For people who have committed no criminal offence, nor been charged with any, it is impossible to see why barred windows, prison-style lighting and surveillance towers and barbed wire are necessary on this island camp. One can only wonder at the horror they will feel and experience on being taken to this place after their arduous journeys."
UK: GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails - Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material 'may be permissible', say human rights groups (Guardian, link):
"The intelligence services are constructing "vast databases" out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told. The claim emerged during a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT)."
See also: Merkel calls for 'sensible talks' over alleged US spying on Germany - German chancellor says talks on security and privacy needed to restore trust as US commentators defend surveillance of ally (Guardian, link)
EU: CJEU: Penalising Refugees: when should the CJEU have jurisdiction to interpret Article 31 of the Refugee Convention? (EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies (pdf)
UK: DRIPA: Terrorism laws watchdog issues warning over security services scrutiny David Anderson says privacy and civil liberties board that is planned to replace his job must have unfettered access (Guardian, link):
"The emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) requires internet and phone companies including US-based firms such as Google to store all personal communications data for 12 months so it can be accessed by police and security services. The new law has an expiry date of December 2016. This week's parliamentary debates demonstrated that there is now widespread consensus that the main surveillance law, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa), is a "broken and bleeding sore", as one ex-Home Office minister put it, and urgently needs replacing."
UK's Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy: Demonstrating the lack of knowledgeable leadership and the failure to engage in democratic debate, this 'data retention' surveillance law seeds distrust (Guardian, link)
See: DRIP Act 2014 as adopted (pdf)
US intelligence chief leaves Germany due to spy row (New Europe, link)
EU: FRONTEX: Migreurop-REMDH-FIDH: Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial - The deployment of Frontex is impairing the right of asylum (pdf):
"At the Greek-Turkish border, the European Agency for controlling the external borders, Frontex, is taking part in a process that prevents refugees from benefitting from international protection. The latest report of the FRONTEXIT Campaign, âFrontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial underlines the dramatic consequences of the intensification of surveillance at that border (push-backs, lack of access to the asylum procedure, physical and verbal violence, etc.), and also the Agency's lack of accountability."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution Report: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (pdf):
"The contrast between the time taken by the Government to consider their response and the time given to Parliament to scrutinise the bill is a matter of concern, not least because of suspicions that are naturally aroused when legislation is fast-tracked......It is not clear why these provisions need to be fast-tracked."
EU: STATE-BUILDING: EU POLICE TRAINING FOR JOINT OPERATIONS:European Commission: CEPOL: Commission proposes to improve training for EU law enforcement officials (Press release, pdf) and Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union agency for law enforcement training (Cepol), repealing and replacing the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA (COM 465-14, pdf) The aim is to ensure: "priorities for operational law enforcement cooperation": The proposed CEPOL Objectives (Article 3) are set as:
"in particular in the areas of the fight against serious crime affecting two or more Member States and terrorism, management of high-risk public order and sports events, planning and command of Union missions." [emphasis added]
EU: European Commission: Re-use of documents: Commission Notice: Guidelines on recommended standard licences, datasets and charging for the re-use of documents (pdf)
USA: Congressional Research Service (CRS): Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration (pdf)
UK: DRONES: Farnborough: Europe's combat drone challenge (BBC News, link): "Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is easily BAE Systems' spookiest-looking aircraft. Sleek, with swept-back wings, the grey, wedge-shaped Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), or drone, is "the most advanced aircraft ever produced in the UK," says the firm. Taranis is designed to be the prototype for a combat drone - capable of carrying out long-range strikes in hostile territory."
UN HUMAN RIGHTS: Dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances - Pillay (link):
"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned Wednesday that studies by her office and others have revealed a disturbing lack of transparency about governmental surveillance policies and practices, including de facto coercion of private sector companies to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latters knowledge or consent.
See: Report: The right to privacy in the digital age: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (pdf)
"there is a clear and pressing need for vigilance in ensuring the compliance of any surveillance policy or practice with international human rights law, including the right to privacy, through the development of effective safeguards against abuses. As an immediate measure, States should review their own national laws, policies and practices to ensure full conformity with international human rights law. Where there are shortcomings, States should take steps to address them, including through the adoption of a clear, precise, accessible, comprehensive and non-discriminatory legislative framework. Steps should be taken to ensure that effective and independent oversight regimes and practices are in place, with attention to the right of victims to an effective remedy."
Over 2,000 rescued migrants arrive at Italy's ports (New Europe, link)
Statewatch Analyses online:
Secrets and lies: undercover police operations raise more questions than answers: "British police officers undercover in protest movements have been shown to have regularly operated outside the UK. Activists, lawyers and MPs have all called for an independent public inquiry in order to reveal the full extent of the practice."
Shining a light on deadly informers: The de Silva report on the murder of Pat Finucane: "Numerous flaws and oversights in de Silvas report highlight the need for a full scale independent public enquiry into the British states dealings in Northern Ireland. Security agencies tasked with keeping the peace acted beyond the law, lied to their political masters, leaked information to loyalists, told falsehoods in criminal trials, and recruited known murderers as agents."
A duty to inform? The outsourcing of state surveillance responsibilities to the British public: "The government is increasingly encouraging - and in some cases compelling - members of the public to monitor and report on each others behaviour. This practice disproportionately targets the poor, foreign nationals and the already marginalised, and contributes to the normalisation of surveillance within British society."
Belgian 'municipal fines' cause growing dissent : Fines have been issued for an array of bizarre offences and have been used to target individuals
involved in organising political protests."
See full list of Statewatch Analyses - resources for researchers (1999-ongoing)
SLOVENIA: DATA RETENTION: The Slovenian Constitutional Court has ruled data retention to be unconstitutional and ordered deletion of data collected under the law. (link)
UK: NETPOL: Network for Police Monitoring: Watching Them, Watching Us (link) and Counter-terror police contact parents of Birmingham student protester over alleged domestic extremism (link): "Counter-terrorism police have approached the parents of a student who was arrested during a protest earlier this year at Birmingham University, asking to discuss concerns about his behaviour."
GERMANY-USA-NSA-SURVEILLANCE: Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage NSA inquiry head Patrick Sensburg claims communications technology mistrusted in wake of US spying allegations (Guardian, link)
UK: GCHQ: SURVEILLANCE-DISRUPTION: Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet (The Intercept, link)
"The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, amplif[y] sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be extremist ...
The tools were created by GCHQs Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive.... Heres a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities:
Change outcome of online polls (UNDERPASS)
Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign (BADGER) and mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign (WARPARTH)
Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal. (SILVERLORD)
Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists. (MINIATURE HERO)
Find private photographs of targets on Facebook (SPRING BISHOP)
A tool that will permanently disable a targets account on their computer (ANGRY PIRATE)
Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website (GATEWAY) and ability to inflate page views on websites (SLIPSTREAM)
Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube) (GESTATOR)
Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers (PREDATORS FACE) and Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG (ROLLING THUNDER)
A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk) (ELATE)
Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity (CHANGELING)
For connecting two target phone together in a call (IMPERIAL BARGE)"
See documents: GCHQ JTRIG Tools and Techniques (pdf) and: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and: GCHQ/JTRIG: Art of deception (pdf)
EU: COMMISSION PRESIDENT - DESIGNATE'S PROGRAMME: Juncker: A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change: Political Guidelines for the next European Commission (pdf): It is well short on "Democratic Change", no mention of openness (access to documents) or transparency and Includes giving a Commissioner "special responsibility for Migration" - surely this is the job of the Commissioner for Home Affairs (which was first defined as "internal security and immigration" in 2009)?
UK: SURVEILLANCE LAW RUSHED THROUGH PARLIAMENT: Open letter on the UK's Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (EU Law Analysis, link):
"The legislation goes far beyond simply authorising data retention in the UK. In fact, DRIP attempts to extend the territorial reach of the British interception powers, expanding the UKs ability to mandate the interception of communications content across the globe. It introduces powers that are not only completely novel in the United Kingdom, they are some of the first of their kind globally.
Moreover, since mass data retention by the UK falls within the scope of EU law, as it entails a derogation from the EU's e-privacy Directive (Article 15, Directive 2002/58), the proposed Bill arguably breaches EU law to the extent that it falls within the scope of EU law, since such mass surveillance would still fall foul of the criteria set out by the Court of Justice of the EU in the Digital Rights and Seitlinger judgment."
EU-USA-TTIP: US and EU trade talks to resume (BBC News, link): "Officials from the European Union and the US will spend this week in Brussels trying to make progress negotiating a controversial trade deal" and Who wins, who loses? (DW, link): "The free trade agreement TTIP between the US and EU has entered a new round of negotiations. But no matter how long the process lasts, the winner of any deal has already been determined - as have the losers."
See excellent analysis: Rosa Luxembourg Foundation: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy (pdf): by John Hilary: "officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory barriers which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these barriers are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. The stakes, in other words, could not be higher."
And Statement of Concern about Planned Provisions on Investment Protection and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (Kent Law School, link)
UK-EU: Justice and Home Affairs: Statewatch Analysis: The UK opt in to pre-Lisbon EU criminal law (pdf) by Steve Peers Professor of EU Law and Human Rights Law, University of Essex:
"The United Kingdom (UK) has exercised its power to opt out of all of the EU measures on policing and criminal law adopted before the Treaty of Lisbon (pre-Lisbon third pillar measures), but has also sought to opt back into a number of these measures. That application to opt back in has recently been agreed in principle. What will be the impact of these changes for the UKs participation in EU policing and criminal law?"
EU: SAHEL-SAHARA and FOREIGN FIGHTERS: European External Action Service (EEAS): Options for CSDP Support to Sahel-Saharan Border Management (pdf)
The production of the 'Options' paper has come about following November 2013 Council Conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy. These called for "concrete steps" to "continue to develop CSDP support to border management as part of a wider and more joined-up EU approach to help third states and regions better manage their borders... The Council acknowledged the need to address the Sahel-Saharan region security challenges, including those in Libya. in this context, it invites the High Representatives to present by early 2014 an options paper with proposals for further action to support Sahel-Saharan border management, in response to local needs and requirements..." See Statewatch: New "concept" drafted for EU border missions abroad (database link)
And also: Non-paper: Syria Foreign Fighters: strategic engagement plan (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Timeline for the EU Policy Cycle activities in 2014 (pdf):
The Policy Cycle is intended to allow the EU - in particular the Council - greater influence over operational police cooperation, primarily through setting priorities, monitoring the outcomes of operations, and suggesting alterations for future working methods and operations. The first policy cycle ran from 2011 to 2013; the current one is the first "full" cycle, running from 2014 to 2017. Its priorities are "illegal" immigration; human trafficking into and within the EU; counterfeit goods; Missing Trade Intra Community fraud; synthetic drugs; cocaine and heroin trafficking; cybercrime; and criminal use and illicit trafficking of firearms.
An explanation of how the policy cycle works (and explanations of the acronyms used in the document) can be found in the article 'Joint police operations target irregular migrants'
UK-USA RENDITION: Emails shed new light on UK link to CIA 'torture flights' - Police given crucial logs about Diego Garcia's role in rendition programme when it was allegedly used as a secret prison (Guardian, link): ""Crucial logs revealing flights to a British overseas territory when it
was allegedly used as a secret US prison are in the possession of the police, the Observer has learned. "The revelation has raised concerns about why, despite repeated demands, details of the flights have not been shared with lawyers and MPs, who for years have been investigating the role played by Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian ocean, in the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme."
and see: Diego Garcia emails show UK Government is keeping renditions evidence from Parliament (Reprieve, link) and also: Flight plan showing planned landing in Diego Garcia (from March 2004) (link)
Austria and Italy have signed a bilateral agreement for cross-border police cooperation (Finland Times, link):
"The agreement is designed to allow police authorities in both countries unrestricted land and air access across their shared border, which had up to now been restricted to 20 km on the Autobahn and 10 km on other roads. This now means officers in hot pursuit of criminals are able to follow them well into the neighboring territory, whereas previously they would have contacted the local authorities instead."
And see: Austrian cops can nab suspects in Italy (The Local, link): "A new agreement between the governments of Italy and Austria was announced Friday in Vienna, allowing Austrian police in pursuit of criminals to more easily operate across the border in Italy."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): Unprecedented new powers in surveillance bill, campaigners warn - Prime minister insists fast-track legislation will do no more than confirm existing powers, but privacy groups say otherwise (Guardian, link) and Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill - Exclusive: NSA whistleblower says it 'defies belief' that bill must be rushed through after government ignored issue for a year (Guardian, link)
See also: Draft Statutory Instrument (pdf) and Impact Assessment (pdf). The latter states in Annex I on "consultation":
"The provisions contained within the proposed Bill have been consulted on across Government and with the intercepting agencies. They have also been shared with (a limited number of) Communications Service Providers). Given that this is fast-track legislation that has been brought forward to address a particular issue which seeks to continue the status quo, they have not been consulted upon more broadly."
UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP): The DRIP myth list (Open Rights Group, link): "Here are some of the arguments that the Government is using to justify passing emergency data retention legislation - and the reasons why the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP) should not be rushed through Parliament. We are urging our supporters to call the House of Commons on 0207 219 3000 and demand that they vote against this legislation." and see:
Tom Hickman on the DRIP Bill: Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful? (UK Constitutional Law Association, link): "The DRIP Bill will be law by the end of the week. Its unveiling in draft form on Thursday came out of the blue. The use of emergency parliamentary procedure means that there is no time for any significant consultation or lobbying and parliamentary scrutiny will be minimal.... it does not bode well for the review of the legislation that the Government is so apparently unwilling to facilitate informed debate and understanding, even at a general level, of very intrusive powers that it asks society in general, and Parliament in particular, to grant it."
UK: SURVEILLANCE LAW RUSHED THROUGH PARLIAMENT: Legalising what the European court said was unlawful through mass retention of all communications: Top Tory's devastating attack on our loss of privacy: This data law has nothing to do with catching terrorists - and everything to do with a lust for power (Article by David Davies MP. Daily Mail, link):
"What this Government is chasing is not public security, it is protection from blame if anything goes wrong. Those are not the same thing. One persons loss of freedom is everybodys loss of freedom, one persons loss of privacy is everybodys loss of privacy. We must stand up for our rights and not succumb to the politics of fear. Otherwise we give those who hate our civilisation an easy victory, without a shot being fired."
DRONES IN YOUR STREET?: Amazon seeks US permission to test Prime Air delivery drones - Online retailer says in letter to FAA it has made 'advancements towards development of highly automated aerial vehicles' (Guardian, link) and see Amazon letter (pdf);
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Sophie in 't Veld MEP case: Council of the European Union try to find ways round the Court judgment: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-350/12 P - Council v. Sophie In t Veld (pdf)
Dutch liberal Sophie in 't Veld wins transparency lawsuit against the Council of Ministers (ALDE group, link) See Judgment full-text: Council appeal against the judgment of May 2012 (pdf) and Judgment: May 2012 (pdf): Lawyer Onno Brouwer who represented Sophie in 't Veld in this case and others in landmark transparency cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice, challenging EU institutions on openness and accountability, says: "the Court's view that a European institution must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest is of great practical importance for journalists, interest groups and all those who wish to obtain access to EU documents".
UK-NSA: GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER: Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction (The Intercept, link) see also Guardian e-mails (pdf)
BIG DATA: UK Parliament: POSTNOTE: Big Data, Crime and Security (pdf):
"Analysing big data could provide police and security agencies with additional tools to predict and detect crime; however there is little evidence on the effectiveness of
particular applications. Big data technologies enable bulk collection and analysis of electronic communications data. There is debate about the legality, necessity and proportionality of this. Public support for the use of personal data is likely to vary depending on the specific use and the perceived risks and personal and social benefits associated with the use."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Black justice campaigns prepare for new inquiry into undercover policing (IRR News, link); "an edited version of the speech given by Suresh Grover, Director of The Monitoring Group and former coordinator of the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign, at the parliamentary meeting Police Corruption and racism: an endless legacy on 23 June 2014."
EU: Amnesty International: The Human Cost of Fortress Europe: Human Rights Violations against migrants and refugees at Europe's borders (pdf) also available in Bulgarian (link), Greek (link), Turkish (link) and Spanish (link)
UK: High Court finds operation of Detained Fast Track asylum system unlawful (Detention Action, link) See: Full-text judgment (pdf)
WATER CANNON: German Bundestag: Export of discarded water cannons and their use to combat European crisis protests (Kleine Anfrage des Abgeordneten Andrej Hunko u. a. und der Fraktion DIE LINKE, German, pdf)
GERMANY-USA: Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal (euractiv, link)
USA: NSA: The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control - At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney that's a 'totalitarian mentality' (Guardian, link)
And: They Have Seen the Future of the Internet, and It Is Dark (New York Times, link), Net Threats: Experts say liberty online is challenged by nation-state crackdowns, surveillance, and pressures of commercialization of the Internet (Pew Institute, link) and Full-report (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
Digest of LIMITE documents: Comitology, Researchers, SCIFA, e-Law, Eurojust-Europol, IMS, EUBAM RAFAH and e-Law
EU top court rejects German language test for Turks (BBC News, link)
UK: Snooper's charter or justified safeguard? The security bill explained - The government's rush to push through the bill could prove an opportunity to bring surveillance laws under democratic control (Gurdian, link)
UK: Emergency law to be rushed through parliament: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (pdf) and Explanatory Memorandum (pdf) and see:
Does the UKs new data retention bill violate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights? (EU Law Analysis, link): "the governments intention, as manifested by the Bill, to reinstitute mass surveillance of telecoms traffic data is a clear breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights".
UK: Jury concludes multiple police failures led to 1985 shooting of Cherry Groce (Inquest, link):
" An inquest jury found today that the death of Mrs Dorothy Cherry Groce was the result of serious and multiple police failures on the part of officers across the ranks.The jury concluded that: Mrs. Groce was shot by police during a planned surprise, forced entry raid on her home and her subsequent death was contributed to by failures in the planning and implementation of that raid. See also: Questions for the jury (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Missing minors alerts, Legal Aid, Presumption of innocence, Previous Convictions & Eurojust-EJN
- MINORS: Categorisation of missing minors alerts in SIS II - Replies from Member States (EU doc no: 6015-14,pdf)
- LEGAL AID: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11237-14, pdf)
- PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings - Orientation debate (EU doc no:11235-14,(pdf)
- Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) - Cooperation between Eurojust and the European Judicial Network (pdf)
-. MEETINGS DOCUMENTS: Meeting documents examined by the Council Security Committee during the first semester of 2014 (EU doc no: 11454-14,pdf)
- PRUM: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures (EU doc no: 5124-rev4-14, pdf)
and: European Commission: PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS: Report on the implementation by the Member States of Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA of 24 July 2008 on taking into account of convictions in the Member States of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings (COM 312-14, pdf)
UPDATED: EU-UK: JUSTICE & HOME AFFAIRS: Protocol 36 UK "opt-out-in": Key documents now includes:UK government: Decision pursuant to Article 10(5) of Protocol 36 to The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (252 pages, pdf)
and see: Explanatory Memorandum (EM) on Commission Staff Working Document: Revised preliminary list of the former third pillar acquis 9883/14-SWD (2014) 166 Final (pdf)
USA-NSA: National Insecurity Agency: How the NSA's Surveillance Programs Undermine Internet Security (New America Foundation, link), see video.
GERMANY-USA: Second German government worker suspected of spying for US - Accused reportedly works 'in military', as Berlin still reels after intelligence agent was accused of working for CIA last week (Guardian, link)
*Back from the Battlefield &SHY; Domestic Drones in the UK*: CAMPACC meeting *Tuesday, 22 July 7-9pm at the Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1 (near Kings Cross station):
Discussion on the new publication by Statewatch: *Back from the Battlefield &SHY; Domestic Drones in the UK* by Chris Jones, published by Statewatch and Drone Wars UK The report examines the use of drones use by both public and private bodies. The main body of the research examines the use of drones by police forces and border control authorities and argues that public discussion and debate is needed before the use of drones - in particular for surveillance purposes - becomes widespread. See also press release: The discussion will be introduced by *Chris Jones*, author of the Statewatch report.The report is available to download free the annexes are in a separate document and Hard copies are also available.
EU seeks more prominent international role for European para-military police force
The European External Action Service is seeking "strengthened cooperation" with the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), a paramilitary policing organisation made up of forces from seven EU countries, in the hope that it can play a bigger role in the EU's "crisis management" missions abroad and plug the gap left by a lack of commitments from individual Member States.
UK: CIA-RENDITION: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister - Rights groups say claim that records of Diego Garcia flights are missing due to water damage 'smacks of cover-up' (Guardian, link): "The British government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water."
Climate change threatens global security, UK and US military assert (The Climate Group, link). See also: UK Ministry of Defence report: Strategic Trends Programe: Global Strategic Trends - Out to 2045 (18 MB, link) and USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Climate Change Adaptation (link)
UK should keep Trident missiles, think tank urges (IHS Jane's 360, link), see: What are Britains nuclear weapons for? (Make Wealth History, link): ""Seriously? We should renew our nuclear weapons programme so that we can continue to lead the world in discussing how to give up nuclear weapons?" See also: BASIC Trident Commission Reports (link)
Albanian Government took a decision a few days ago to create a central database and force registration of all mobile phone IMEIs. The database will be accessible to several state institutions "according to the field of responsibility and for whatever they merit based on the legal competencies carried out by them". (link in Albanian)
UK: Met police get first water cannon for use on British streets - Boris Johnson splashed out more than £200,000 on the secondhand crowd quelling machines (Guardian, link)
UK: Additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to and from the UK (Minister, link) and see: Britain follows US in banning powerless electronic devices from flights (Guardian, link)
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs meeting: Milan, 8-9 July 2014: Agenda (pdf)
See: EU states adopt new counter-terrorism plan (euobserver, link) and Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator in close consultation with the services of the Commission and the EEAS: Foreign fighters and returnees from a counter-terrorism perspective, in particular with regard to Syria: state of play and proposals for future work (pdf)
USA: SURVEILLANCE: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On (The Intercept, link): "The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans - including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers - under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies."
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research (Guardian, link)
Defense Department spent millions to research social networks
Studies focused on Occupy and Middle East protests
Projects also analysed memes, celebrities and disinformation:
"Several of the DoD-funded studies went further than merely monitoring what users were communicating on their own, instead messaging unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded....
The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behaviour (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit."
EU: European Parliament: Justice and home affairs after the Stockholm Programme (EPRS, link)
EU data protection authorities to agree approach to right to be forgotten appeals (Irish Times, link)
UK: Mark Duggan inquest judicial review to start (Haringey Advertiser, link)
EU: JUNCKER & EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Strategic Documents of the EC Candidate President to be debated (Tuesday) with the political groups in the parliament: My Five Point Plan-on-immigration: During my mandate as Commission President, I will build Europe's immigration policy on five pillars (pdf), My foreign policy objectives (pdf) and As Commission President, I will set myself five priorities (pdf)
EU-UK: JUSTICE & HOME AFFAIRS: Protocol 36 UK "opt-out-in": Key documents
See also: 1st December 2014 is approaching: will the EUs creative ambiguity on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters finally draw to an end? (European ASFJ, link): "On 1st December 2014, in compliance with art. 10 of Protocol 36 to the Lisbon treaty and after five years of legal limbo all the EU measures dealing with police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty will be treated as all the other EU legislative measures."
GERMANY-USA: CIA SPY: Official: CIA recruited German intel officer to spy for U.S. (CBS News, link):
"A German intelligence employee is accused of spying on his own country for the United States. The man was arrested last week. A U.S. official tells CBS News the CIA was involved in recruiting a German intelligence officer for the purpose of spying on the German government. This was not a rogue operation but an authorized effort to learn more about the inner workings of the German government."
see also: The NSA, the silent chancellor, and the double agent: how German ignorance left us vulnerable to the US spy game - To credibly demand change from the Americans, Merkel's government must come clean about its own mass surveillance (Guardian, link): "The Americans may be contemplating their own NSA reform, but only when Germany's ends it own mass surveillance practices and escapes from the intense cooperation with the spy network of the Five Eyes nations...."
And: Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance (June 2013 - ongoing)
Shocking Video from Immigrants Detention Centre in Symi (Greek Reporter, link): "A video posted on YouTube by the Panhellenic Coast Guards Officers Federation reveals the inhumane conditions in an immigrants detention center in the island of Symi, south-eastern Aegean Sea, Greece.
And see: Detention centre protest (Cyprus Mail, link): "Four men, 3 Iranians and 1 Afghan, climbed on the roof of Menoyia Detention Center in Larnaca and threatened to kill themselves unless their demands were met."
The big Serbian information shutdown (New Internationalist, link):
"The shutdown of news websites, the removal of articles and blog posts, and cyber-attacks against journalists and bloggers have become an everyday reality. Dunja Mijatovic, who is the representative for freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has already expressed her concerns about a worrying trend of online censorship during a week when the country was hit by severe and disastrous floods.
During that week, censorship reached its peak. The government declared a state of emergency, which gave the authorities the opportunity to censor media and arrest citizens accused of inciting panic during a state of emergency &SHY; merely because they were using Facebook to criticize the governments inefficiency in dealing with the floods. An article arguing that Vucic should resign has been removed, without any explanation, from the blog section of one of the most important daily newspapers, Blic. Other websites, such as Teleprompter, featuring similar content have been also blocked."
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Neo-Nazi takes seat on Parliament Civil Liberties Committee, Schulz furious (updated) (euractiv, link): "European Parliament President Martin Schulz, anti-racism campaigners and Jewish organisations are outraged that a neo-Nazi MEP has taken a seat on the Parliaments Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee."
Golden Dawn seeks 'one-party state'i (EnetEnlgish, link)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty 'extradited from Yemen' (BBC News, link)
Dutch 'Syria fighters' face prosecution if they return home (Amsterdam Herald, link)
Polish Muslims condemn 'hooliganism' after mosque attack (The News.pl, link)
More awareness of racism in Netherlands in wake of Zwarte Piet debate (Amsterdam Herald, link)
Roma schoolgirl deported from France arrives in Croatia (dalje.com, link)
Serbia Urged To Adopt New Security Agency Law (Balkan Insight, link)
EU Commissioner: No Need of Refugee Situation Monitoring in Bulgaria (Novinite, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: NO MENTION OF SEARCH & RESCUE: Draft European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EU doc no: 10914-14, pdf): The operational strategy of the Council is at odds with EU policy:
"Based on the EUs founding values of human rights, freedom and democracy, the purpose of this Strategy is to secure the maritime security interests of the EU and its Member States against a plethora of risks and threats in the global maritime domain."
Earlier version of proposal: Draft EU Maritime Security Strategy (9382/14, pdf) and see: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (EU Law Analysis, link)
This is contrary to the recently adopted: Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of Member States of the EU (pdf)
BULGARIA: Trapped in Europes Quagmire: The situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria (Bordermonitoring, pdf): "rapped in Europes Quagmire: The situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria is Bordermonitorings report on Bulgaria. The making of the report was undertaken by four independent researchers and follows structural conditions in the country which place asylum-seekers and refugees in an extremely vulnerable position as well as their current precarious situation."
EU: Search & Rescue: Italy pushes 'Frontex Plus' to tackle migration crisis (euractiv, link): "While tragedies at sea involving African and Arab refugees continue to shock Europeans, Italy intends to push the migratory issue up the political agenda during its presidency, as Rome feels alone in dealing with what it considers a European "emergency. We cannot let a boat full of people sink because we dont know whose competence is to rescue them, said Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, speaking in Rome on Friday (4 July) at the opening ceremony of the Italian presidency." [emphasis added]
See also: Italy: struggling to make itself heard on migration (euobserver, link)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Abusive use of the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards (link). See also: Further calls for INTERPOL safeguards (FTI, link)
Dutch Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) officially started (link)
UK: Ministers push for new legislation to track phone usage - Lib Dems and Labour warn they will not allow any new law to become backdoor route to reinstate wider 'snooper's charter' (Guardian, link):
"Ministers are poised to pass emergency laws to require phone companies to log records of phone calls, texts and internet usage, but Labour and Liberal Democrats are warning that they will not allow any new law to become a backdoor route to reinstating a wider "snooper's charter....
Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services feel forced to act as a result of a European court of justice (ECJ) ruling in April that an EU data directive, implemented by a Labour government in 2009, was too sweeping and invaded the privacy of EU citizens."
USA: NSA SURVEILLANCE: In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are - Files provided by Snowden show extent to which ordinary Web users are caught in the net (Washinton Post, link):
"Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.
Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.
Many ... files, described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless."
See also: Germans Demand U.S. Response to Spy Allegation (New York Times, link) and: German-US relations strained by new spy scandal (euobserver, link)
UKUSA: "FIVE-EYES" agreement: SMART TARGET: Non-targetable 2nd Party Countries, Territories & Individuals (pdf). Page 2 is the most interesting as this confirms what has been established in the UK and the USA, namely that they can both spy on the rest of the world. This document states that it is "Lawful without specific authorisation" to target "Foreign national(s) overseas" in all the Five-Eyes countries. In simple terms this means the UK can spy on people in Australia and the USA can spy on people in the UK "lawfully" and without authorisation. See:
- GCHQ evidence to Tribunal (pdf)
- UK intelligence forced to reveal secret policy for mass surveillance of residents Facebook and Google use (PI, link)
- Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to spy on the world but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is lawful (pdf)
UK-EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS: "OPTING-IN" or "OUT": David Cameron in talks with EU leaders over international DNA database - Ministers pledge to compensate Brussels if Britain pulls out as part of decisions over Europe-wide policing measures (Guardian, link): This refers to the UK "opting-in" to the EU's law enforcement PRUM database by the end of the year. The Prüm Decisions mandate the exchange of DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data (VRD) amongst Member States of the European Union. The Decisions also permit the exchange of personal data for the prevention of terrorist offences and joint operations by police forces of different Member States. It has been operational since 2011.
USA-GERMANY: German Man Arrested as Spy Implicates U.S.(New York Times, link):
"In the latest turn in the yearlong tensions with Germany over American spying, a German man was arrested this week on suspicion of passing secret documents to a foreign power, believed to be the United States. The American ambassador, John B. Emerson, was summoned to the Foreign Office here and urged to help with what German officials called a swift clarification of the case."
USA: WIRETAPS: Report on law enforcement agencies (LEAs) authorised electronic surveillance: Wiretap Report 2013 (link): Compared to the UK this is at least a start:
"Each Wiretap Report uses tables, text, and charts to report information provided by federal and state officials on orders authorizing or approving interceptions of wire, oral, or electronic communications for the calendar year ending December 31."
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Full list of Members and Substitutes (pdf)
New credit cards pose security problem - Hacker shows CBC how to crack 'contactless' MasterCard (CBC News, link)
UPDATED: ECJ: Dutch liberal Sophie in 't Veld wins transparency lawsuit against the Council of Ministers (ALDE group, link) See Judgment full-text: Council appeal against the judgment of May 2012 (pdf) and Judgment: May 2012 (pdf)
In July 2009, Dutch liberal MEP Sophie In't Veld (D66) demanded access to a legal opinion to the Council regarding the legal base of the SWIFT-agreement. Access to her was denied and kept secret. In 't Veld then brought action before the General Court, and won. The Council appealed against the ruling. But the European Court of Justice has now judged that the request must again be dealt with appropriately by the Council and that enhanced transparency is needed.
In 't Veld: "This is a great victory. The Court clearly states that transparency is a prerequisite for a truly democratic Europe. The European Union must develop from a Europe of diplomats, discretion and confidentiality to a Europe of citizens, administrative transparency and trust. "
Lawyer Onno Brouwer who represented Sophie in 't Veld in this case and others in landmark transparency cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice, challenging EU institutions on openness and accountability, says: "the Court's view that a European institution must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest is of great practical importance for journalists, interest groups and all those who wish to obtain access to EU documents".
The CJEU increases public access to legal advice on international treaties (EU Law Analysis, link):
"It is true to say that this process is ultimately democratic, since all international treaties agreed by the EU and third States then have to be approved by the Council, and most have to be approved by the European Parliament and often also national parliaments. However, it is not democratic in the full sense of the term, since there is a very limited opportunity for an open and public debate (as compared to the legislative process) before the negotiations have concluded."
EU: Court of Auditors: EU auditors slam Ashtons office for lack of efficiency (euractiv, link) and official Press release (pdf). The link to the full report does not work.
GERMANY: NSA: NSA 'totalitarian,' ex-staffer tells German parliament (DW, link): "A former NSA technical chief has told Germany's parliament that the US agency has become a "totalitarian" mass collector of data. German public broadcasters say the NSA targets individuals who use encryption services." and NSA Hacks TOR in Germany, Calls Users Extremists (Cryptome, link)
And see: A thumbs-up for NSA Internet spying on foreigners (Washngton Post, link) and see: Privacy and Civil Liber0es Oversight Board report (pdf)
GREECE: Austerity, ritualism and the rise of the Neo-Nazis in contemporary Greece: A short comment (pdf) by Stratos Georgoulas (Thanks to the European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control)
UK: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: arrests, outcomes and stops and searches, quarterly update to 31 December 2013, Great Britain (link) and Tables (link)
UK: Failure to protect girls from FGM is 'ongoing national scandal', MPs say - Cross-party committee calls for schools to lose funding if headteachers ignore guidance on female genital mutilation (Guardian, link)
See Home Affairs Select Committee report: Female genital mutilation: the case for a national action plan (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS): Council of the European Union: The EDPS as an advisor to EU institutions on policy and legislation building on ten years of experience - Policy Paper (pdf)
German defence minister backs 'European armed drone' (euractiv, link)
Hunger Strike in all Greek prisons (libcom.org, link)
UK: Government publishes response to consultation on whistleblowing framework. See: Whistleblowing Framework (pdf)
"Despite acknowledging that the consultation was prompted by an acknowledgement that there were weaknesses in the framework, so that the legislation has not always achieved its intended outcome, the Government is not planning any significant legislative amendments to the current framework, and has certainly fallen short of the expectations set by the Whistleblowing Commission."
From the government's paper: "The actions in response to this call for evidence are aimed at facilitating a cultural change. We hope that as a result, employers will start to embrace the role of whistleblowing and we will be identifying employers who have done this in order to show others what value it can bring."
INDIA: NSA SURVEILLANCE: India to lodge protest with US over NSA snooping on BJP - The Indian government will seek an assurance from the US that there won't be a repetition of the incident. (Yahoo News, link): " India on Wednesday summoned the US diplomats in the national capital after reports surfaced that the National Security Agency of America was allowed to spy on the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2010, NDTV reports."
UPDATED: UK: DENMARK: Unions launch legal challenge to blacklist compensation scheme (The Construction Index, link) and RMT DELEGATES gave their full backing yesterday to the vital fight against the national scandal of blacklisting (Morning Star, link)
Blacklisting discovered at international employment agency (UCATT, link):
"A former manager of Atlanco Rimec speaking anonymously on the programme, said: Atlanco Rimec does not tolerate workers who have dealings with unions. That is a complete no-no in the company because unions can cause a lot of problems.
"Construction union UCATT are demanding that the Government takes immediate action after an international employment agency, which operates in the UK, was discovered to be blacklisting workers who joined a trade union. The company Atlanco Rimec has an office in Northampton. A programme to be shown on Danish TV channel DR1 today (May 15), reveals that the company has a secret register of workers. Workers who complain about pay or join a trade union are not given further work.
Atlanco Rimec has thousands of construction workers on its books and operates internationally in England, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Poland, Norway and Australia."
Exporting Gaza: The Arming of Brazils World Cup Security (The Nation, link)
UK: Women duped by Met undercover officers win high court ruling - Met cannot use 'neither confirm nor deny' in response to claims for damages by those tricked into forming sexual relationships (Guardian, link):
"Women claiming damages from the Metropolitan police after being tricked into forming sexual relationships with undercover officers have won a legal victory in the high court in their ongoing battle for compensation. Mr Justice Bean said on Wednesday that the London force could no longer relay on issuing a "neither confirm nor deny"
See: Judgment - Full-text (pdf) and NCND Statement (pdf)
See also Statewatch Journal: Informants, Spies and Subversion
UK: GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Global internet service and communications providers file complaint to end GCHQ attacks (PI, link) Lodged against the Foreign Secretary and GCHQ by Greenet, Riseup Networks, Mango email service, Korean Progressive Network (JINBONET), GREENHOST, MEDIA JUMPSTART, INC, CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB: see: Legal complaint filed (link)
EU's right to be forgotten: Guardian articles have been hidden by Google - Publishers must fight back against this indirect challenge to press freedom, which allows articles to be 'disappeared'. Editorial decisions belong with them, not Google (Guardian, link)
FRANCE: Police evict migrants from main Calais camp (The Local, link): "Just a month after riot police cleared out several makeshift migrant camps in Calais, officers moved in early on Wednesday to shut down the main squat. Officials' tough stance on the migrants, most of whom hope to get to the UK, has drawn criticism from humanitarian groups."
and see: Activists and campaigners present in Calais (French, link):
""A political solution is necessary: since the closure of Sangatte in 2002, the only response of national and local authorities was police repression and to deny people the basics of life in order to discourage them from staying in Calais. Obviously, it does not work and produces a situation of suffering and violation of rights."
They have urged people to provide money and material support for the migrants: "They only get one meal a day, everyone is hungry all the time. There are no tents to give, no blankets, not enough clothes and shoes. The associations who supported the migrants for so many years were already in crisis and are unable to provide sufficiently. Please make a donation, it is an emergency. People who arrive are often sleeping with nothing."
SWITZERLAND: Successful first step in challenging Swiss data retention (link)
EU-USA: Europe Eyes Digital Agenda to Better Compete with the US (Spiegel Online, link)
USA: NSA-SURVEILLANCE: Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show (Washington Post, link): "Virtually no foreign government is off-limits for the National Security Agency, which has been authorized to intercept information concerning all but four countries, according to top-secret documents." and The N.S.A. Can Spy on These 193 Foreign Governments (New York Times, link): "Thats every single country except Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand" (ie: evey country except Five-Eyes partners)
See: Court authorisation (pdf) and 193 countries list (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Opinion No 28 of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies: Ethics of Security and Surveillance Technologies (112 pages, pdf)
EU anti-discrimination law: Six years and (still) waiting (euobserver, link): "Today (2 July), the European Union 'celebrates' a sadly recurrent anniversary: six years ago, on 2 July 2008, the European Commission proposed a directive on equal treatment. "
EU: Council of the European Union: new Regulation on Data Protection:
- State of Play in the Council developing its "position" prior to meeting with the European Parliament: Proposal for a regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (259 pages, doc no: 11028-14. 30 June 2014, pdf)
- State of Play: With Member States' positions: 606 reservations (145 pages, doc no: 110914, 30 June 2014, pdf)
EU: Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN): Violations of the Rights of Migrants and Refugees at Sea (pdf) by Marie Martin:
"As the European Council sets to adopt strategic guidelines for further legislative and operational planning in the area of freedom, security, and justice. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) warns that the security approach so far adopted not only undermines the rights of migrants and refugees, but also endangers their lives."
CZECH REPUBLIC: Torture and ill-treatment banned under international law still evident in Czech Republic psychiatric hospitals (MDAC, link):
"Despite international outcry ten years ago, people are still caged and strapped in psychiatric hospitals throughout the Czech Republic. Later today, MDAC launches a damning report calling for urgent action to stop these barbaric practices, in conjunction with our Czech partners the League of Human Rights."
See: Report (English, pdf) and Report (Czech, pdf)
Acknowledge and apologize for the wrongful imprisonment and torture of Abou ElKassim Britel (Change.org, link) Britel has since been released, this is an appeal. See also Statewatch coverage: Italy: Documents sent to European Parliament committee on renditions allege other renditions and details of Abu Omar cover-up and the Britel rendition
USA: SURVEILLANCE OF "FOREIGNERS": Under FISA Section 702 there was a single Order for gathering "foreign intelligence" which involved 89,138 "targets" As in the UK a "target" can be a single person or an organisation although data of this kind is never published in the UK:
"Within the Intelligence Community, the term target has multiple meanings. For example, target could be an individual person, a group, or an organization composed of multiple individuals or a foreign power that possesses or is likely to communicate foreign intelligence information that the U.S. government is authorized to acquire.....in the context of Section 702 the term target is generally used to refer to the act of intentionally directing intelligence collection at a particular person, a group, or organization."
See USA: IntelligenceTransparency report - full text (pdf) See also: U.S. releases data on sensitive surveillance programs for first time (Washington Post, link): "The U.S. government on Friday for the first time released data on the scope of some of its most sensitive foreign intelligence-gathering efforts, saying that it had targeted nearly 90,000 foreign persons or organizations for surveillance through U.S. companies last year."
Italy rescues migrants and finds 30 bodies in boat (euractiv, link):
"About 30 bodies have been found in a migrant boat which was stopped between Sicily and the North African coast, Italian news agencies reported this morning (30 June), citing the navy and coastguard.
The rescuers made the gruesome discovery when they boarded a fishing boat carrying around 590 refugees and migrants to evacuate those in most distress, including two pregnant women."
IRELAND: We are now a blood-ridden country: Margaretta DArcy rounds on TDs over Shannon (The Journal.ie, link): "A PANEL OF TDs and senators have pledged to consider a petition asking for the Government to set up an investigation into US Military and CIA use of Irish airspace and Shannon Airport in particular. Peace activists from the Shannonwatch organisation including Margaretta DArcy, who served three months in prison earlier this year for refusing not to engage in future protests at Shannon made a presentation to the Oireachtas Joint sub-Committee on Public Petitions." See also Shannonwatch (link)
GERMANY: NSA: German government to drop Verizon over NSA spying fears (Washington Post, link): ""There are indications that Verizon is legally required to provide certain things to the NSA, and that's one of the reasons the cooperation with Verizon won't continue," German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told AP. Verizon has provided Internet service to a number of German government departments but not intelligence to agencies according to Plate."
EU COUNCIL: FROM A JHA "PROGRAMME" TO GENERAL "GUIDELINES": Guidelines for area of freedom, security and justice (pdf): "The European Council defined the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning for the coming years within the area of freedom, security and justice."
See: The new guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: some critical comments (link) and Presidency Trio programme: Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg (pages 47-60, pdf)
UK: The state of the nation: Infrastructure (ICE, link) ""[The report] warned, however, that hile we need to build the UKs resilience, our infrastructure cannot be resilient to every eventuality, and that it will become more difficult to operate all infrastructure networks, at all times, in all conditions. It said a shift in the publics expectations on infrastructure availability would be needed."
EU: "SOLIDARITY CLAUSE": The EU solidarity clause is leading to a militarisation of home-affairs policy (pdf) Press release: "On Tuesday, the representatives of the EU Member States in the Council adopted a decision on the so-called 'solidarity clause'. Were a disaster or a loosely defined crisis to occur, the organs of the European Union would be obliged to assist using all the instruments at their disposal. This includes military resources", warned Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko."
Implementation of the solidarity clause (Council Press release, pdf) and see: Statewatch coverage:
- EU police special forces network to become "more and more useful" and to receive increased financial support
- EU: Implementing the "solidarity clause": EU secret service to be reinforced?
- EU: Solidarity or militarisation? Proposed 'solidarity clause' legislation criticised for lack of clarity and "encouraging armament"
EU: European Commission: Internal security and European Defence industry:
- The final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014 (pdf)
- A New Deal for European Defence: Commission proposes industrial action plan (pdf): "measures to strengthen the Single Market for defence, to promote a more competitive defence industry and to foster synergies between civil and military research including details and timelines for the actions."
UK urged to tell all on US rendition flights - Fresh claims over use of overseas territory of Diego Garcia as secret jail for terrorist suspects (The Observer, link)
EU: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (EU Law Analysis, link):
"the complex interplay of the provisions of this Regulation with EU asylum law has led to something of a dogs dinner of rules governing the asylum applications of people rescued or intercepted in the Mediterranean, and the rules on the accountability of Frontex are something of a red herring in light of the allegations of serious misconduct in some cases by national authorities."
See: Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the Member States of the EU (pdf)
BULGARIA: People & Power - Bulgaria: Wrestled to the Ground (link): "For over a year now Bulgaria, a modern EU member state, has been struggling with its troubled history and torn over where to go next. But what lies behind these divisions, and can they ever be reconciled? And are they really, as many Bulgarians seem to think, the consequence of a toxic legacy from its communist years?"
UK: Justice vanishes: the erosion of the rule of law (IRR News, link) by Frances Webber: "The ability to secure justice has been irrevocably damaged by the combination of secret trials, trials involving secret evidence, and the continuing legal aid cuts affecting the rule of law itself."