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    05 July 2015
 

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UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2104 (pdf): Bulk data collection, the Commissioner reports that:

"I oversee how the intelligence services store and use bulk personal data (BPD). There is no statutory definition of BPD, but in essence BPD refers to data belonging to a range of individuals acquired by or held on one or more analytical systems in the intelligence services. The majority of these individuals are unlikely to be of intelligence interest." [emphasis added]

In 2104 a total of 2,032 surveillance/operations warrants were issued for: the Security Service (MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). No breakdown of the global figure is given - some warrants are for individuals/groups others are open-ended/general warrants. They cover Intrusive Surveillance, Directed Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS). There are also Property Interference Warrants (Intelligence Services Act), Section 5:

"A property warrant may be used for remote interference with a computer in order to obtain information from the computer"

Plus "class authorisations" for GCHQ and MI6 under "Section 7 of ISA the Secretary of State (in practice normally the Foreign Secretary) may authorise SIS or GCHQ to undertake acts outside the United Kingdom.... Section 7 authorisations can be used for highly intrusive activities"

EU: Council of the European Union: Europol: To: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security Subject: Proposals from Europol: Improving information and intelligence exchange in the area of counter terrorism across the EU (LIMITE doc no: 7272-15, pdf): "Europol’s experience, supported by the figures below, is that the expectations generated by these political decisions have not been generally met, with the potentials for the full and proper use of Europol’s information management capabilities not realised in the area of counter terrorism."

Europol's new counter-terrorism roles on counter-terrorism derive from political direction given by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 12 March 2015 and the Paris and Riga statements. The legal basis for Europol's new role such as Check the Web, Focal Point Travellers and using existing mechanisms like SIENA and the Europol Information System is the Council Decision 2005/671/JHA of 20 September 2005 on the exchange of information and cooperation concerning terrorist offences (pdf). This Decision states all information concerning terrorist investigations should be sent to Europol and Eurojust (Article 2) and sent, under Article 6 to "other interested Member States". The Decision makes no provision for the correction of the data/intelligence files provided nor for its deletion should an investigated or detained person(s) be released, not charged or acquitted. It should be noted that most terrorist investigation files will concerned more than one person (the suspect), possibly involving their family and friends.

EU: MED-CRISIS: Council of the European Union: Valletta Conference on Migration (Malta, 11-12 November 2015) - Orientation debate (pdf): "Delegations will find enclosed at annex a note issued under the responsibility of the Cabinet of the President of the European Council, in close cooperation with the European External Action Service and the Commission services....

The Summit will bring together the leaders of the most concerned countries of origin, transit and destination as well as regional organisations to identify, agree and launch actions to jointly address immediate and long term migration challenges as well as to reinforce the current mechanisms to implement and follow up high level political decisions on migration. Therefore, the aim is to invite the Heads of State and Government of the European Union Member States and of the countries parties to the Khartoum Process and the Rabat Process, as well as the African Union Commission and the ECOWAS Commission.

Libya is central to irregular migration to Europe but its participation to the summit will depend on the evolution of its internal political situation....

Making progress on return and readmission agreements (actions for both the EU and the countries of origin to facilitate returns of irregular migrants, with particular attention to assisted voluntary return and integration and the establishing of readmission agreements with countries of origin)"

NEW: EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: New document on trilogue (dated 2.7.15): 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) - Preparation for trilogue (LIMITE Council doc no: 10366-15, 93 pages, pdf). Multi-column document giving the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council's (amended) positions and the "compromise" column: Comments from Council:

"On 1st July 2015, the Presidency also received compromise proposals from the European Parliament on these issues which are reflected in the 4th column of the document in annex... Taking into account the General Approach reached on 15th June 2015 which constitutes the basis of the negotiation mandate for the Presidency, and taking into account the discussions at the DAPIX meeting of 1st July 2015, the Presidency’s suggestions are included in the 4th column. These suggestions are indicated in [brackets, italic and bold]."

Earlier versions in the run-up to the trilogues are: LIMITE doc no 9985-REV-2-15 (26 June 2015, 79 pages, pdf) and LIMITE doc no 9565-15 (201 pages, 11 June 2015, pdf)

EU: EUROPOL: Terrorist propaganda: SITES TO BE REFERRED TO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS TO TAKE DOWN: European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) to combat terrorist propaganda and related violent extremist activities on the internet (pdf):

"European Union (EU) Member States decided to implement a coherent and coordinated European prevention approach. On 12 March 2015, the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union mandated Europol to establish a dedicated unit aimed at reducing the level and impact of terrorist and violent extremist propaganda on the internet. The European Union Internet Referral Unit at Europol will identify and refer relevant online content towards concerned internet service providers and support Member States with operational and strategic analysis." [emphasis added]

See: Fight against terrorism: Follow-up to the Council (Justice and Home Affairs) of 12-13 March 2015 - Implementation of Counter-Terrorism measures (LIMITE doc no: 9418-15, pdf) which says:

"Europol is expected to establish a European response concerning internet content referral activities with concerned private industry companies, with Member States envisaging support to the EU IRU by appointing national EU IRU contact points. Referral activities will not constitute an enforceable act, thus the decision and related implementation of the referral is taken under full responsibility and accountability of the concerned service provider." [p8, emphasis added]

European Parliament: FREEDOM TO TAKE PICTURES? Debate: should the freedom of panorama be introduced all over the EU? (Press release, pdf): "Should people have the right to create and share images and photographs of public buildings without having to compensate for the use of copyright? The so-called freedom of panorama already exists in some EU countries, but MEPs are now considering whether it should be extended to all member states. As they will debate it on 9 July, we asked two MEPs on opposing sides of the issue why they think it would be a good or a bad thing."

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)


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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