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    ISSN 1756-851X
    22 December 2014
 

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EU: PNR (Passenger Name Record) + API (Advance Passenger Information): UK pushes for new law to allow the exchange of API on all air travel: Meeting Document: From: UK delegation To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Subject: Legal framework for intra-EEA API - Discussion document (This is a LIMITE and a "DS" document - which means it is not referenced on the Council's public register, pdf):

"In order for law enforcement agencies to effectively tackle the growing and evolving threat posed to European citizens, in particular from foreign fighters, it is necessary that they have a robust legal framework to access passenger data on intra-EEA routes."

The UK also proposed that flights within the EU should be included in the EU PNR scheme: See: EU-PNR SCHEME: UK seeking to extend Commission proposal to cover intra-EU flights from the start (Statewatch database)

EU: SMART BORDERS PILOT PROJECT: Council of the European Union: Smart Borders Package pilot project: political guidelines (pdf). The pilot will cover entry and exit at all borders: land, sea and air and: "The pilot project should in particular test the following aspects:

"the impact of biometrics' use on border control processes: testing different biometric identifiers for enrolment in EES (10 fingerprints in combination with facial image; 8 fingerprints in combination with facial image; 4 fingerprints in combination with facial image; facial image only); using several types of biometric devices (existing technology at border posts, last generation of fingerprint scanners, contactless fingerprint scanners, hand-held devices, Automated Border Control (ABC) gates or electronic (e-) gates). The option of the facial image could in particular be tested in case of cruises."

See also: Smart borders: "not sufficient evidence" to justify law enforcement access to proposed Entry/Exit System travel database and Smart borders:fait accompli? (Statewatch database)

EU: CIA manual tells agents how to fool EU border guards (euobserver, link). See: CIA Assessment on Surviving Secondary Screening at Airports While Maintaining Cover WikiLeaks release: December 21, 2014 (link)

EU: European Parliament study: 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 analysing the current relationship and foreseeable cooperation between several EU agencies and bodies: Europol, Eurojust, the European Anti-Fraud Office, the European Judicial Network and the future European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The study reflects on their cooperation regarding the fight against serious transnational crime and the protection of the European Union’s financial interests. It also identifies good practices and difficulties and suggests possible ways of improvements."

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: 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) (LIMITE doc no: 15395-14 (pdf) With 232 pages and 496 Footnotes/Reservations by Member States or the Commission) " All changes made to the original Commission proposal are underlined text; where text has been deleted, this is indicated by (…). Where existing text has been moved, this text is indicated in italics. Changes that were not yet fully discussed in DAPIX are marked in bold underlining."

UK: IMMIGRATION: House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC): The work of the Immigration Directorates (January – June 2014) (pdf): "We note that both the Minister and the Director General of Border Force have assured this Committee that 100% exit checks will be in place by 31st March 2015. We hope that they can deliver this, and expect them to inform the Committee urgently if this no longer looks likely" See: Britain’s immigration system in intensive care, say MPs - Committee report says failure to introduce system of ‘counting everyone in and out’ risks security and more illegal immigration (Guardian, link) and also: UKBA Launches Hi Tech Border Targeting Centreo (link): "The NBTC receives information on passengers and crew and, over time, will check an estimated 250 million passenger movements per year. It will also process visa application data for overseas posts by checking the applicant and sponsor details against watch-lists."

EU: European Parliament: Press releases: Mixed response to Commission’s "more focused" 2015 work programme (pdf):

"The European Commission’s 2015 work programme, in which it outlines 23 new proposals and lists 80 items of pending legislation for withdrawal or amendment,drew a mixed response from MEPs in Tuesday’s debate with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and first Vice-President Frans Timmermans. Parliament will vote a resolution in January on the "new start" promised by the Commission."

and Emily O'Reilly: “Being an ombudsman can seem more like an art than a science” (pdf)

UK: The Jimmy Mubenga case exposed a system in denial over racism - The judge could have shown the jury racist texts unearthed by prosecutors. I believe he should have (The Guardian) by Frances Webber

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 EU’s 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 EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It’s 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 Court’s reasoning. On the latter point, the Court’s 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)

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 Senate’s 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 Mubenga’s widow shocked as security guards cleared of manslaughter - Trial ends in not-guilty verdicts over death of man who cried out ‘I can’t breathe’ while being restrained on deportation flight (Guardian, 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 Commission’s 2015 work programme (EU Law Analysis, 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 Pre„TM To assess whether a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, TSA considers (1) inclusion on an approved TSA Pre„Ï¡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." [emphasis added]

IRR News Service: Selling the tolerant nation (link) "The emphasis in British Future’s 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 Europe’s electoral politics."

CIA-UK (MI6): Come clean on British links to CIA torture, MPs tell US Senate - Malcolm Rifkind to demand unredacted report on Britain’s role in CIA’s 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 chief’s 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: 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

See previous coverage (below) for further links and documentation.

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)

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)


Top reports

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project:

Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values - under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane."

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI/Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society (pdf) by Ben Hayes

Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan

Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial complex (pdf) by Ben Hayes

The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan


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