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    ISSN 1756-851X
    03 July 2015
 

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EU: Important challenge to secrecy of EU decision-making: How the EU “legislative triangle” is becoming a “Bermudes, triangle “… (EASFJ, link):

Emilio de Capitani applied to the European Parliament for documents summarising negotiations between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament is secret trilogue meetings, namely:

"multicolumn tables (describing the Commission proposal, the Parliamentary Committee orientation, the Council internal bodies suggested amendments and, if existing, suggested draft compromises) submitted to trilogues for the current pending co-decision procedures"

The parliament refused access largely on the grounds that multi-column documents in its position had been produced by the Council and therefore could not be released. They also claimed that there are a large number of such documents - exactly!.

EU: MED-CRISIS: UNHCR: "A large majority of the thousands of people who made dangerous sea journeys across the Mediterranean into Europe in the first six months of 2015 were fleeing war, conflict or persecution": UNHCR Tracks: The Sea Route to Europe People risking their lives to reach Europe are often called migrants, but the current Mediterranean crisis is primarily a refugee crisis (llink)

UK: Police publish secret training manual telling undercover cops to have 'fleeting, disastrous' affairs with targets (Mirror, link) "

The Metropolitan Police have released the 'tradecraft' manual for the Special Demonstration Squad, who infiltrated protest groups,,,The Metropolitan Police have published the manual used to train undercover spies to infiltrate protest groups for the first time. The so-called 'tradecraft' manual, given to members of the Met's Special Demonstration Squad, instructs new recruits on how to steal the identities of dead babies using methods inspired by a Frederick Forsyth novel. The document, finally published yesterday after numerous Freedom of Information requests, also suggests agents should: "try to have fleeting, disastrous relationships" with group members."

See: Special Demonstration Squad - Manual (pdf) 60 pages, massively censored.

UK.gov spied on human rights warriors at Amnesty International - Snooping could cost lives, group claims (The Register, link): "The British government has admitted that its spook agency GCHQ spied on Amnesty International, according to campaigners at the human rights group.  Amnesty said on Wednesday that it had received an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) – the organization responsible for policing the UK's surveillance of its own citizens – revealing that the government intercepted, accessed and stored its communications for an unspecified period of time"

And see: UK was illegally spying on Amnesty International, 'mistakenly' forgot to tell human rights group (Independent, link): "The UK government was illegally spying on civil rights group Amnesty International — and neglected to tell it the surveillance was going on, after a mistake.".

Council of Europe: PNR: Passenger Name Records, data mining & data protection: the need for strong safeguards (pdf): Prepared by Douwe Korff
Emeritus Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University, Associate, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, with advice, comments and review by Marie Georges, Council of Europe Expert:

"Much has been said and written about Passenger Name Records (PNR) in the last decade and a half. When we were asked to write a short report for the Consultative Committee about PNR, “in the wider contexts”, we therefore thought we could confine ourselves to a relatively straightforward overview of the literature and arguments.

However, the task turned out to be more complex than anticipated. In particular, the context has changed as a result of the Snowden revelations. Much of what was said and written about PNR before his exposés had looked at the issues narrowly, as only related to the “identification” of “known or [clearly ‘identified’] suspected terrorists” (and perhaps other major international criminals). However, the most recent details of what US and European authorities are doing, or plan to do, with PNR data show that they are part of the global surveillance operations we now know about."

GERMANY-NSA: WikiLeaks: US spied on Angela Merkel's ministers too, says German newspaper - The NSA did not just tap German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone but also listened in on finance, economy, agriculture and other ministers (Guardian, link): "The United States did not just tap chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone but also eavesdropped on several of her ministers, the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung has reported, citing documents from WikiLeaks." and see: Wikileaks (link) and also: Wikileaks: 'Massive' NSA spying on top German officials (DW, link): "Wikileaks says its latest release of documents shows the wide reach of economic espionage conducted by the NSA in Germany. Documents released by the whistleblowers suggest an intense interest in the Greek debt crisis."

USA-NSA: XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications (The Intercept, link): "The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system — one of the largest releases yet of documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden."

EU: MED-CRISIS: HUNGARY: Letter from Hungarian PM Orban to Commission President Juncker (pdf) stating that Dublin provisions will be adhered to but "technically temporarily not capable of receiving people sent back from the Western direction"

EU: MED CRISIS: HUNGARY: Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos after his visit to Budapest (pdf) He "offered the possibility to deploy ''hotspot teams'' to help in the swift processing of asylum requests and help with the return of irregular migrants. These teams will include experts from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Frontex and Europol in order to improve the capacity of fingerprinting, identify abusive asylum claims, and ensure effective returns."

See: European Council Conclusions: European Council meeting (25 and 26 June 2015) – Conclusions (pdf). For "hot spots" the term "structured border zones" is now referred to as "first reception facilities". It is not all clear what the legal powers the Commissioner is referring to for Europol, Frontex or EASO [European Asylum Support Office] to ensure the "swift identification, registration and fingerprinting" of migrants or for EASO and Europol to: "identify abusive asylum claims, and ensure effective returns."

See also: Denmark to impose controls on border, risking EU ire (Reuters, link): "Denmark will impose controls on its border to stop smugglers and illegal migrants, its new foreign minister said on Tuesday, in a move likely to worry the European Union but please a right-wing party on whose support the government now depends. More police, machines screening number plates and other measures would increase security without breaking EU rules guaranteeing freedom of movement through the bloc, Kristian Jensen told Reuters."

GERMANY: MASSIVE RISE IN RECORDED RACIST ATTACKS: 2014 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution Facts and Trends (pdf):

"Two aspects should be noted: • a rise in the number of violent offences motivated by right-wing extremism (the largest number since 2008) and xenophobia (highest level since the current definition of politically motivated crime was introduced in 2001); and • an enormous increase in the number of crimes and violent offences in the category of politically motivated crime by foreigners."

'Euphoria' among jihadists in Europe, says German security agency (euractiv, link):

"The number of violent acts committed by right-wing extremists increased by 24% last year. A total of 990 violent crimes were recorded. De Maizière said now one in two right-wing extremists is considered to be violence-oriented, indicating that the 512 attacks against foreigners are troubling.

Attacks on refugee camps motivated by right-wing extremism also increased from 55 recorded in 2013 to 170 last year. This year, the number could be even higher. In the first half of 2015, there were already 150 crimes of this kind, according to de Maizière. There should be “no silent understanding and especially no silent consent” for this, he said."

EU: MED CRISIS: TURKEY: Council of the European Union: EU Action on Migratory Pressures - targeted update and the outcome of discussion on Turkey (LIMITE doc no: 9491, pdf):

"The visa regime in Turkey was a source of concern for many delegations. Both Egypt and Algeria have introduced visa requirements for Syrian nationals. Turkey maintained visa-free travel, which has been identified as a source of concern. Turkey had the capacity to act as a significant transit point for migrants from the wider Middle East-North Africa region: migrants may legally enter Turkey but then illegally enter the EU. Along with Syrians, Moroccan, Tunisian, Libyan, Georgian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Iranian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Turkey."

See also: The hidden frontline of Europe's migration crisis - As a gateway to both the EU and the Schengen passport-free zone, Hungary has seen more than 50,000 migrants trying to cross its border this year. Now it is planning a 100-mile wall to keep them out (Daily Telegraph, link) and Top French court approves border controls with Italy (France 24, link): "France's top administrative court said Monday that border controls on migrants at the Italian frontier were legal and did not violate the Schengen agreement that created Europe's passport-free zone. The court dismissed a complaint by three organisations in support of scores of migrants stranded at the border between France and Italy since mid-June."

UK: New Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales Guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty in Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. (pdf) and the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (pdf) come into effect.

And see: Cameron backing counter-extremism strategy marks a fundamental shift - Analysis: Theresa May’s drive against ‘non-violent extremists’ will mean acting against individuals and groups based on ideas and not actions (Guardian, link):

"David Cameron is to press ahead with Theresa May’s controversial counter-extremism strategy which includes blacklisting “extremists” from appearing on the airwaves and speaking at universities..... The agreed definition of extremism, which the Home Office will use to decide who to blacklist, is this:

"The vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.""

And: Teachers on the frontline against terror: what should schools do about radicalisation? (The Conversation, link) and Jails and universities obliged to prevent radicalisation as new act becomes law - Counter-Terrorism Act, which also applies to NHS trusts, schools and further education institutions, comes into force" (Guardian, link)

EU: DRONES: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion 01/2015 on Privacy and Data Protection Issues relating to the Utilisation of Drones (pdf): "In light of the progressive integration of drones into the European civil airspace and the emergence of numerous applications of drones (ranging from leisure, services, photography, logistics, surveillance of infrastructures) there is a real need to focus on the challenges that a large-scale deployment of drone and sensor technology could bring about for individuals’ privacy and civil and political liberties and to assess the measures necessary to ensure the respect for fundamental rights and data protection."

FRANCE-NSA: WikiLeaks continues "Espionnage Élysée", our ongoing publication of a collection of TOP SECRET documents from United States surveillance operations against France (link):

"publication comprises seven top secret documents detailing how the US has had a decade- long policy of economic espionage against France, including the interception of all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million. The documents demonstrate that the US National Security Agency, far from being a rogue organisation, is carrying out an economic espionage policy created by the US Director of National Intelligence. The documents detail the intelligence process, from the tasking of the NSA with collection of desired economic information to the production of developed intelligence reports, which are sent to "Supported Elements" of the US government, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Represenative, the US Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency."  See: L’espionnage économique, priorité de la NSA (Le Monde, link)

EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation: Start of the trilogue legislative meetings between the Council and the European Parliament (held in secret): 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) - Preparation for trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 9958-rev-1-15, 79 pages, pdf). A multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions.

EU: LEGAL AID: Council of the European Union: 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 - Preparation for the 1st trilogue (14 July 2015, Brussels (LIMITE doc no: 10296-15, 71 pages, pdf) Start of closed trilogue meetings: Multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions

EU Council: European Council meeting (25 and 26 June 2015) – Conclusions (pdf). Some change in terminology but same intent: For example, "structured border zones" now referred to as "first reception facilities"... and it not at all clear what the legal powers of Europol, Frontex or EASO are to ensure "swift identification, registration and fingerprinting":

"the setting up of reception and first reception facilities in the frontline Member States, with the active support of Member States' experts and of EASO, Frontex and Europol to ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots").

Background:: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

Special Report: European Summit (meeting of Prime Ministers) Conclusions: European Council (25 and 26 June 2015) - Draft conclusions (dated 24 June 2015, LIIMITE doc no: 8395-15,pdf). These Conclusions, drafted yesterday, still contain the same, worrying, and far-reaching measures on migration as the earlier draft and are based on:Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (pdf) which spells out in more detail where the EU is going:

See: Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

And Agenda of Summit (pdf) The UK issues are no 6 on Agenda.. The Conclusions state: "IV. UK: 14. The UK Prime Minister set out his plans for an (in/out) referendum in the UK. The European Council agreed to revert to the matter in December."

EU: MIGRATION POLICY: Council of the European Union: Incoming Luxembourg Council Presidency: Strategic coordination of the work of the Council preparatory bodies in the area of migration (LIMITE doc no: 10249-15, dated 25 June 2015, pdf): The Council Presidency seem to have forgotten that migration policy is subject to co-responsibility with the European Parliament: How can a legislative body fully play its role if it is not associated when strategies are defined and when legislation is implemented?

Data protection talks start ahead of digital focus at EU summit (euobserver, link): "EU lawmakers sat down for their first meeting yesterday (24 June) to work out details on the EU's data protection reform. Facing bumps ahead, negotiators said they were still committed to wrapping up the legislation package this year."  The two key documents on the table are: The positions (negotiating mandates) of the co-legislators:

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) - Preparation of a general approach (201 pages, 11 June, pdf)

and European Parliament negotiating position set out in the Annex to this report (pdf)

Statewatch: News Online 24 June 2015 (pdf): Thirty News items with documentation plus EU-USA-NSA-GCHQ and Update:Statewatch coverage of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean (pdf):

NSA spied on French presidents: WikiLeaks (Reuters, link). See: Espionnage Élysée (Wikileaks, links): "Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing "Espionnage Élysée", a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years." See: US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France (2 pages, pdf) also: NSA: 14 page dossier on spying on three French Presidents (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: EU to create new quarantine system for Mediterranean migrants - Italian PM accuses EU of betraying basic values as draft summit papers reveal plans to give police and border agencies enhanced powers of coercion (Guardiun, link)::"“Where is the EU going?” asked Tony Bunyan, director of Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring civil liberties in the EU. “Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly fingerprinted or held in detention until they acquiesce or are expelled and banned from re-entry.” 

GREECE:The ‘Super-Panopticon’ Scandal of Áthens 2004 Olympics and its Legacy (Book Abstract, Pella, N.Y. 2014, pdf) by Minas Samatas: "This book elucidates the “super-panopticon” scandal at the Athens 2004 Olympics, that is the technological fiasco of the C4I—Command, Control, Coordination, Communication, and Integration—surveillance system, designed by the American SAIC corporation and subcontracted to the German company Siemens AG, which did not work during and long after the Games, despite its multi-million cost.... As a critical “glocal” analysis, it relates the nature and legacy of this scandal to post-9/11 neoliberal “securitization,” which has transformed the Olympics into security-surveillance and consumption Games with a loss of any true Olympic meaning, and finally thus reviving the discussion for alternative, pure Olympics."

EU:Jailing migrant families together with convicted criminals: A desperate EU policy to deter irregular migration by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:

"Taken together, the loss of these protections will mean that irregular migrants, including irregular migrant families, will not only be detained in ordinary prisons, but mixed in with the ordinary prison population of convicted criminals and those awaiting trial for serious crimes. Moreover, their capacity to challenge their detention by means of judiicial review will be severely curtailed.

Coupled with the recent Commission paper offering guidelines for using force, including against pregnant women, on migrants who refuse to be fingerprinted, this represents a significant turn in EU policy - turning toward direct and indirect threats of physical violence to control their behaviour and induce them to leave. To say the least, this is hard to square with the EU's frequent professions of support for the human rights and decent treatment of migrants."

See: Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (Statewatch version, 75KB) or link to Council's 10.5 MB version (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."

How the EU works and justice and home affairs decision-making (pdf)

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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