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in Hamburg: Data protection commissioner considers face recognition
"The Hamburg police have
been researching facial analysis software for several years,
which was then used for the first time after the G20 summit.
The technology accesses the nationwide INPOL file for criminal
offenders maintained by the Federal Criminal Police Office. The
detection rates are meagre, but the system is still to be used
permanently in Hamburg for the processing of major events."
to take in 60 of the 141 Aquarius migrants: PM Sanchez (The Local, link):
"Spain and Portugal on
Tuesday offered to take in most of the 141 migrants on board
the Aquarius after it was given permission to dock in Malta,
resolving a new standoff over the rescue ship
Madrid said it would accept
60 people, while Portugal offered to welcome 30, with the remainder
distributed between France, Germany and Luxembourg, government
sources in Malta and Spain said."
the public in the dark: Council working parties will keep no
minutes of meetings on next EU budget
The EU is heading
for major new developments with the Commission's proposals for
massively increased justice and home affairs budgets for the
2021 to 2027 period, but it seems that some things never change
- transparency in the Council is set to be kept at an absolute
crisis: latest news from across Europe (10.8.18)
ship seeks European port for rescued migrants (euractiv, link):
"Human rights groups
called on European governments on Sunday to tell a charity ship
where it can dock and let more than 140 migrants rescued in the
Mediterranean disembark in safety.
The Aquarius, run by Franco-German
charity SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF), rescued
141 people in two separate operations off the Libyan coast last
seals deal with Spain to return registered asylum seekers (euractiv, link):
"Berlin and Madrid finalised
an agreement on Monday (6 August) that will see asylum seekers
that reach Germany via Spain returned to the Iberian nation.
Interior ministers of both countries signed the declaration and
it will enter into force next Saturday (11 August) after Angela
Merkel and Pedro Sánchez first settled on an agreement
during the June EU Council summit.
German authorities will be
able to send migrants back to Spain within 48 hours and will
take care of the cost of the transfer. Spain will then proceed
with their asylum applications. Non-accompanied minors are excluded
from the agreement and will remain in Germany."
data fiasco -
UK responsible for "very serious deficiencies" in its
use of SIS
On 1 August 2018 the
Council of the European Union circulated: Commission
Implementing Decision establishing the report of the 2017 evaluation
of the United Kingdom on the application of the Schengen acquis
in the field of the Schengen Information System (LIMITE
doc no: 11474-118, pdf)
Council of the European Union:
LEA Practical Advisor and JHA Working groups
Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalisation - final report:
Follow up and work ahead (LIMITE doc no: 10239-18, pdf):
for a Practical Advisor for Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LIMITE doc no: 6243-REV-!-18, pdf):
with detailed six-column charts.
of Council preparatory bodies (Doc no: 10925-18, pdf):: Justice & Home Affairs
crisis: latest news from across Europe (3.8.18)
return to Libya by Italian boat could breach international law
UN - Vessel may have broken international law by returning
108 people rescued from Mediterranean to Tripoli (Guardian, link):
"An operation in which
an Italian towboat rescued more than 100 people in the Mediterranean
and returned them to Libya may have been in breach of international
law, the United Nations has said.
According to the Spanish charity
Proactiva Open Arms, the Asso 28, an oil rig support vessel,
rescued 108 people from international waters on Monday and took
them to Libya, their country of departure."
'on standby' for 'no deal' Brexit disruption (PoliticsHome,
"The armed forces are
on standby to help dole out medicines, food and fuel to vulnerable
communities if Britain crashes out of the European Union without
a deal, it has emerged.
According to the Sunday Times,
that includes a plan to draft in the armed forces to assist civilian
authorities, with helicopters and army trucks used to transport
medicines to people in hard-to-reach locations outside the Southeast
The military would also be
called on in the event of disruption at Britain's ports, it is
And see: Troops
could patrol borders 'as a last resort' if there is no Brexit
deal: Top civil servant says using Armed Forces to check travellers
cannot be ruled out (Mail Online, link)
European Parliament Study:
EU-UK relationship beyond Brexit: options for Police Cooperation
and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters (pdf): and
UK-BREXIT: House of Commons: Home Affairs Committee: UK-EU
security cooperation after Brexit: Follow-up report (pdf):
of Justice sets out grounds on which Irish courts must consider
refusing European Arrest Warrant issued by Poland
The Irish High Court referred
the case to the CJEU because of its concerns that changes to
the judicial system introduced by the current Polish government
are "so immense" that they have "systematically
damaged" the "common value of the rule of law."
The ECJ has now handed down its
ruling, which sets out what the Irish courts must take into consideration
if they are to refuse to surrender the wanted individual - on
the same day that Amnesty International has warned that attempts
to "further undermine judicial independence" in Poland
"must be resolutely rejected."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (19-25.7.18) including:
- New EU "disembarkation"
and "controlled centre" concepts build on the hotspot
- New Frontex proposals may
appear in early September;
- Spanish Supreme Court rules
government must keep implementing EU relocation scheme
Office annual report on use of "disruptive and investigatory
powers" by security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies
The government has published
the third iteration of its transparency report on the use of
disruptive and investigatory powers.
The report sets out the way in
which disruptive and investigatory powers are used by the security
and intelligence agencies as well as law enforcement to tackle
the threats posed by terrorism, organised crime and hostile state
migration: Commission expands on disembarkation and controlled
centre concepts -
Both concepts follow the model of the "hotspots" in
Italy and on the Greek islands
Commission has published two "Non-Papers" on disembarkation
points outside the EU in north Africa and "Control Centres"
inside the EU:
the call by EU leaders at the June European Council, the Commission
is today expanding on the concept of controlled centres
as well as short-term measures that could be taken to improve
the processing of migrants being disembarked in the EU, and
giving a first outline of the possible way forward for the establishment
of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries.
Regional disembarkation arrangements should be seen as working
in concert with the development of controlled centres in
the EU: together, both concepts should help ensure a truly shared
regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges." See - Press
to keep accepting stricken migrants during EU talks (euractiv, link):
"Italy agreed on Monday
(23 July) to continue accepting migrants rescued at sea, at least
until a broader EU strategy to address fair distribution of people
can be defined.
Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero
Milanesi said after talks in Berlin with German counterpart Heiko
Maas that EU partners would seek a solution on migration policy
within the next five weeks.
During this time, we
ensure that ships with rescued people can dock in Italy,
he told reporters, confirming the will of our government
to hammer out common positions with our EU and NATO partners.
must continue implementing EU refugee relocation scheme, rules
The Spanish Supreme Court has
ruled that the country must continue to implement the EU's refugee
relocation scheme, having relocated less than 13% of the 19,449
refugees in Italy and Greece that it was committed to under the
rules that came into force in September 2015.
surveillance: Commission demands PNR Directive implementation
by 14 Member States as 'Informal Working Group' settles in
The European Commission has sent
"letters of formal notice" to 14 EU Member States for
failing to to implement the Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive
by the deadline of 25 May 2018.
Meanwhile, an 'Informal Working
Group' set up by the Council to assist with national implementation
of the Directive appears to be steadily expanding - Australia,
Canada and the USA have all participated in meetings and invitations
have been sent to Japan and the United Nations, according to
a recent document.
judgment finds successive foreign secretaries unlawfully gave
GCHQ free rein to collect our data
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal
(IPT) today (23rd July 2018), held that, for a sustained period,
successive Foreign Secretaries wrongly gave GCHQ unfettered discretion
to collect vast quantities of personal customer information from
called on to uphold the constitution as government ministers
violate the separation of judicial and political powers
minister Matteo Salvini, of the far-right Lega Party, is determined
not to let migrants rescued in the Mediterranean land in Italy
and in doing so has been using the rescued people as pawns, keeping
them without a port of safety for days on end.
The appeal remains
open for signatures by individuals, groups and associations in
Italy and abroad on change.org: FACINOROSO
E' CHI, RESPINGENDO I PROFUGHI, CALPESTA LO STATO DI DIRITTO ( link)
EU-HUNGARY: At last the EU
and Asylum: Commission takes further steps in infringement procedures
against Hungary (Press release, pdf):
"The European Commission
has today decided to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of
the European Union (CJEU) for non-compliance of its asylum and
return legislation with EU law. The Commission has also today
sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning new Hungarian
legislation which criminalises activities that support asylum
and residence applications and further restricts the right to
The new legislation
so-called "Stop Soros" by the Hungarian authorities
criminalises any assistance offered by any person on behalf
of national, international and non-governmental organisations
to people wishing to apply for asylum or for a residence permit
in Hungary. The laws also include measures which restrict individual
freedoms, by preventing anyone who is subject to a criminal procedure
under these laws from approaching the transit zones at Hungary's
borders, where asylum seekers are held. Sanctions range from
temporary confinement to imprisonment of up to 1 year and expulsion
from the country."
Transport Police "ignorance" of covert surveillance
law leaves court "astonished"
The British Transport
Police (BTP) has been condemned by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal
(IPT) for a covert surveillance operation directed at a former
police superintendent whose subsequent arrest was then the subject
of a "gratutitous" press release. He was charged with
five counts of sexual assault and found innocent. The judgment
highlights the "disturbing lack of familiarity with the
relevant requirements of [the Regulation of Investigatory Powers
Act] by almost every officer who was involved."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (16-18.7.18) including: Europol proposals on
migrant smuggling; Libyan Coast Guard left two adults and a baby
to die; Austrian Presidency proposals on asylum
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."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
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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