Statewatch journal
monitoring civil liberties in the European Union

vol 21 no 4

Features

“Tackling new threats upon which the security and prosperity of our free societies increasingly depend” : the EU-US Working Group on Cyber Security and Cyber crime by Chris Jones
A trans-Atlantic working group has been created to share best practices, exchange information, and look at specific issues such as cyber incident management and child pornography. The group's activities promote increased internet regulation and the development of military capabilities for cyberspace, which invariably come at the expense of individual rights and freedoms.

Support for ACTA wanes following mass protests by Max Rowlands
The Agreement will require all signature countries to criminalise copyright infringement and grants private companies an inordinate amount of power to police the internet. A fierce public backlash in Europe has forced the European Commission to refer ACTA to the European Court of Justice.

State Trojans: Germany exports “spyware with a badge” by Kees Hudig
German police have been using software to surveil people's internet activity beyond what is allowed by the law. There has also been increased cross-border cooperation with the police forces of neighbouring countries, with an informal working group meeting twice a year without the knowledge of parliamentarians.

The comparative study of forced return monitoring in Europe by Matrix/ICMPD by Marie Martin
Forced return monitoring mechanisms vary widely throughout the EU and the rights of irregular migrants are not safeguarded consistently. This study was an opportunity to make a strong case for improved practices in all Member States, but its scope and recommendations are very limited from a human rights perspective.

The EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: a cause for celebration or concern? by Chris Jones
Internal negotiations over whether to accede to the ECHR have been mired by problems and highlight fundamental shortcomings with the EU's decision making process. An insistence on secrecy and an emphasis on "strategic priorities" have come to take precedence over individual rights.

* In addition, the bulletin carries a round-up of new books, reports and publications


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