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EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs
Ministers meeting in Riga, Latvia 29-30 January: Agenda
(pdf) and Background
Note (pdf) including: "strengthening Europol's
role in the monitoring and analysis of social media communication
on the internet."
Europol to become the EU's "thought
police"? See: 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."
See also:Counter Terrorism Coordinator:
input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice
and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no:
1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf)
CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia,
Senior Bush Administration Official Says (VICE, link):
of US prisoners took place at a CIA black site on the British
overseas territory of Diego Garcia, a senior Bush administration
official has told VICE News. The island was used as a "transit
location" for the US government's "nefarious activities"
post-9/11 when other places were too full, dangerous, insecure,
or unavailable, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's
former chief of staff.
no permanent detention facility such as the CIA facility in Poland,
he told VICE News in a wide-ranging interview. His intelligence
sources indicated to him that the island was however home to
"a transit site where people were temporarily housed, let
us say, and interrogated from time to time."
EU: Money-laundering: European Parliament press releases: Money
laundering: company owner lists to fight tax crime and terrorist
ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central
registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to
people with a "legitimate interest", such as journalists,
under a Parliament/Council deal endorsed by the Economic and
Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees on Tuesday. The
new anti-money laundering directive aims to help to fight money
laundering, tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to
make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved."
How to make the Commission's expert groups more balanced and
transparent (pdf): "The Ombudsman calls on the
Commission to establish a legally binding framework for all expert
groups, including a definition of what balanced representation
in different groups should look like. She also recommends measures
to reduce potential conflict of interest situations and to publish
more information about the work of the groups. The Commission
should reply to her proposals by 30 April 2015."
EU: JUSTICIA Network statement:
Statement on Legal Aid (pdf): "The future directive
on the right to legal aid must be seen as inter-connected and
aligned with the directive on access to a lawyer. Legal advice
and representation is rendered meaningless unless the accused
person has the means to privately engage a lawyer or is supported
through legal aid."
Institute of Race Relations (IRR): Apologists
for terrorism: dissent and the limits of free expression
(link): "Freedom of thought, expression and inquiry is
under renewed threat from governments which, paradoxically, claim
to be fighting to preserve freedom of expression in Europe."
Travel surveillance: Commission attempts to soothe PNR critics
with "workable compromise"
European Commission note (pdf) sets out considerations
on "the best way forward to respond to the different calls
for a swift adoption of the EU PNR [Passenger Name Record] proposal,"
which would introduce blanket law enforcement surveillance and
profiling of all passengers arriving in the EU by air.
The European Parliament's Civil
Liberties Committee (LIBE) voted against the proposed PNR Directive
in April 2013, but EU officials and national politicians have
repeatedly demanded agreement on the legislation.
These calls reached a crescendo
following the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month,
with politicians and officials claiming the attacks made clear
the necessity of an EU PNR system. As Gilles de Kerchove, the
EU's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, said to the LIBE committee
yesterday (27 January) during a session on counter-terrorism:
"Never let a serious crisis go to waste."
EU: FRONTEX: Work
Programme for 2015 (138 pages, pdf) and EUROPOL: Work
Programme for 2015 (65 pages, pdf)
EU: Money-laundering and terrorism:
Draft "compromise" between the Council and the European
for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial
system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing
Does not seem to take into account
criticisms made by the Meijers Committee regarding the potential
the text provides for discrimination: Note
Meijers Committee on the proposal for a Directive on the prevention
of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering
and terrorist financing (COM(2013) 45 final) (pdf)
Unmask 'Regin' Trojan as NSA Tool (Spiegel Online): "Just
weeks ago, SPIEGEL published the source code of an NSA malware
program known internally as QWERTY. Now, experts have found that
it is none other than the notorious trojan Regin, used in dozens
of cyber attacks around the world."
CANADA: SURVEILLANCE: Canada
Casts Global Surveillance Dragnet Over File Downloads
(The Intercept, link): "Canadas leading surveillance
agency is monitoring millions of Internet users file downloads
in a dragnet search to identify extremists, according to top-secret
documents. The covert operation, revealed Wednesday by CBC News in collaboration
with The Intercept, taps into Internet cables and analyzes records
of up to 15 million downloads daily from popular websites commonly
used to share videos, photographs, music, and other files. The
revelations about the spying initiative, codenamed LEVITATION..."
See also: LEVITATION
documemt (pdf): "We see about 15 million FFU
[Free file upload sites] events a day... What do we need? A list
of suspect documents - A list of FFU URLs referring to these
documents - A list of IPs downblaoding these URLs."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor
(EDPS) Press release): The
EU as a beacon of respect for data protection and privacy
EDPS, said, "It is high time that we in Europe think about
our response to rapid change and challenges, including threats
to our security. That response will have ramifications for us
and for the next generation that is growing up online today.
We must not forget that we cannot have security without privacy
so that we preserve the rights and freedoms that Europe
holds dear. Our solutions for security must also treat individuals
with dignity and respect - and not suspicion or surveillance.
The goal for my mandate is for the EU to speak with one
voice on data protection, a voice which is credible, informed
[emphasis in original]
EU: NIS: Council of the European Union:
for a Directive concerning measures to ensure a high common level
of network and information security across the Union - State
of play and work ahead (LIMITE doc no: 5257-15, 145 pages,
pdf): Multi-column document showing the Commission proposal,
and the Council and European Parliament positions.
UK: Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill:
STOP THE CTS BILL (link) and Petition (link)
denial and hate crime: Can the EU and its Member States do more?
(EU Law Analysis, link): "The European Commission has
chosen today, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to
release its first report on Member States' implementation of
the EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia
by means of criminal law....The Commission cannot be criticised
for holding off on bringing infringement proceedings, since it
cannot do so until the end of this year. After that point, this
legislation will be another EU measure which the Commission ought
to enforce vigorously by means of infringement proceedings if
it is, as it claims, committed to ensuring the full implementation
of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in practice."
See also: European Commission:
on the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA
on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia
by means of criminal law (pdf)
on the annual accounts of the European Police Office for the
financial year 2013 together with the Office's replies
(16471-14, pdf) including on page 14: "The EIS contained
245,142 (186,896 last year) records at the end of 2013 with an
increasing proportion of person records (the most important
and valuable variety of records from a law enforcement point
of view)." [emphasis added]
European Parliament: Counter
Terrorism: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Agenda
for meeting on 27 January 2015 (pdf). See also Working
System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third-country
nationals crossing the EU Member States' external borders (pdf): "The
rapporteur believes that granting access to security forces would
make the EES more useful and effective, which would, in turn,
help to improve the management of the Schengen Area." See
Commission: Proposal (link) and Registered
Travellers Programme (pdf): "The original Commission proposals
provided that a set of 36 data items would be retained per traveller.
The study suggests that, in fact, 26 data items would be sufficient
for the RTP (and the EES). No access for law enforcement was
foreseen in the original RTP proposal and the study does not
find reasons to propose it.....Regrettably, the study failed
to prove adequately why such systems should be built in the first
place, and completely disregarded the Parliament's request to
assess and address other options which might achieve the objectives
set." See Commission: Proposal
EU: Mass surveillance: Council of Europe:
Parliamentary Assembly: Mass
surveillance is counter-productive and endangers human
rights (Press release, link) and Report
(pdf): It calls for
of personal data without consent only following a court
order granted on the basis of reasonable suspicion
credible, effective protection for whistle-blowers
exposing unlawful surveillance
better judicial and parliamentary control of intelligence
an intelligence codex defining mutual obligations
that secret services could opt into
an inquiry into member states use of mass surveillance
using powers under the European Convention on Human Rights"
See also: Mass
surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European
report - Europes top rights body says scale of NSA spying
is stunning and suggests UK powers may be at odds
with rights convention (Guardian, link)
huge number of migrants": over 19,000 people apprehended
during joint police operation Mos Maiorum
More than 19,000 people were
apprehended during 'Mos Maiorum', the Europe-wide joint police
and border guard operation that took place over two weeks in
October 2014. More than a quarter of the people who encountered
the authorities were Syrian, according to a leaked copy of the
"Syrian nationals (5088
people) were the most detected irregular migrants, followed by
Afghans (1466 people), K-Serbians [Kosovars] (1196), Eritreans
(1116), Somalis (641) and Albanians (587)," says the report,
authored by Italian officials. 11,046 people requested asylum
"during or after their interception".
And see: Mos
Maiorum: MEPs "deplore" Council's "buck passing
of responsibilities": Two MEPs from the GUE/NGL
group of MEPs have written an open letter to critcise the "buck
passing of responsibilities" over Joint Operation Mos Maiorum,
after being told by the Council of the EU that they should submit
questions to the Italian government.
See: Resources for researchers:
Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
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 Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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