Statewatch In the News - Archive 2010

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December 2010

Greece arrests refugees protesting asylum procedures (SETimes, link)

EU: Reding slams US over data privacy (euobserver, link) and Viviane Reding takes on US over data privacy rights in anti-terror campaign - EU justice minister accuses US of too much focus on access to European citizens' bank accounts in battle against terrorists (Guardian, link)

GREECE:
Attacks against immigrants on the rise in Greek capital (M & G, link)

EU: Private guards outnumber policemen in seven EU countries (euobserver, link)

EU:
The Julian Assange case: a mockery of extradition? The European arrest warrant is being used to have thousands of people flown out to face charges that wouldn't stick in the UK (Guardian, link)

Spanish town becomes first to ban face-covering veils
(expatica, link): "A northern Spanish town brought into force Thursday a ban on Islamic face-covering veils in municipal buildings, the first such decree in the country. The town of Lleida, population 120,000, approved in July a municipal ban on body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments at about 130 locations, ranging from civic centres to swimming pools."

Greeks clash on teen death anniversary (Press TV, link)

EU: Weapons makers, multinationals among top beneficiaries of EU regional funds (euobserver, link)

November 2010

Leaked Cables Cast Light on Bungled CIA Kidnapping (Inter Press Service, link): "the documents reveal that U.S. officials, including the U.S. ambassador, William R. Timken Jr., sharply warned Germany in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers involved in a bungled operation in which an innocent German citizen with the same name as a suspected militant was mistakenly kidnapped and held for months in Afghanistan."

Wikileaks: US pressured Spain over CIA rendition and Guantánamo tortureLeaked cables show Spanish officials and prosecutors shared information about investigations into US human rights abuses (Guardian., link)

Wikileaks: Germany Chancellor and the SWIFT agreement (TFTP) (link)

EU cautious over Swiss vote to expel foreign criminals (euractiv, link)

Swiss Vote In an 'Illegal Law' (Inter Press Service, link) Swiss vote for deportation of foreigners who commit serious crimes - Significant victory for the nationalist party that pushed the proposal against the will of the government (Guardian, link)

Israel approves detention center for migrants (Associated Press, link)

EU: Secret documents group was like 'bad Le Carre novel,' MEP says (euobserver, link)

EU's Israel data transfer deal to proceed despite Irish veto
(Irish Times, link)

EU:
Net neutrality debate hots up in Brussels (euobserver, link): " A Brussels summit and a three-month consultation of internet service providers, telecoms firms, consumer groups and civil liberties activists on the topic of ‘net neutrality' carried out by the European Commission, whose results were published this week, reveal wide divisions amongst stakeholders in the sector over how to maintain an open internet."

PORTUGAL:
Border controls to be re-imposed for Lisbon NATO summit (Portugal News Online, link)

CYPRUS:
Festival turns into war zone as migrants and nationalists clash (Cyprus Mail, link): "One man was stabbed and several police and members of the public were injured last night at the annual migrants’ Rainbow Festival in Larnaca when violent clashes broke out between nationalist protestors and festival-goers. Phinikoudes Beach was turned into a warzone, when marching members of three nationalist movements came into conflict with participants at the antiracism festival, and with members of migrant support group KISA, the organisers of the event."

Europe’s immigration issue (Sofia echo, link): "From Sweden in the north to Italy in the south, far-right politicians - with anti immigration platforms - have fared well in recent elections across Europe. Many of them campaigned against what they call the "Islamisation" of Europe. As tensions rise across the continent, many analysts point to the economic crisis as the cause of the lurch to the right."

UK: Google committed 'significant breach' over Street View - Information commissioner says search engine giant must sign an undertaking to ensure data protection breaches are not repeated (Guardian, link)

Canada introduces legislation to fight crime in today's high-tech world
(link) but see also: Backgrounder: Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act (Department of Justice, link)

October 2010

USA: Electronic Frontiers Foundation:
DHS Singles Out EFF’s FOIA Requests for Unprecedented Extra Layer of Review (link)

Human Rights Watch denounces Roma deportations to Kosovo (Waz.euobserver.com, link)

CIA paid Liverpool buyout tycoon millions...to use his jet for 'torture' flights (Daily Mail, link)

British mercenaries not welcome in Switzerland (Indymedia, link)

EFF Urges EU Data Protection Authorities to Call for the Repeal of the EU Data Retention Directive (link)

VIENNA:
Far-right 'lite' to push for EU referendum on Turkish accession (euobserver, link)

SWEDEN:
Two more immigrant shootings in Malmö (The Local, link)

EU: Member states threaten MEPs and commission with legal case (euobserver, link) "Member states on Thursday threatened to take the European Parliament and Commission to court over what it calls the "illegal" provisions of an inter-institutional agreement which gives MEPs extra powers on international negotiations and greater access to classified EU documents."

EU-LIBYA: The EU's dubious refugee deal - The EU is paying Libya to deal with refugees seeking a new life in Europe. Can we trust Gaddafi's regime to look after them (Guardian, link)

ROMANIA: MEPs voice outrage over Romania's media policy (WAZ.euobserver, link): "A controversial Romanian government doctrine describing the media as potentially detrimental to the nation's well-being is causing a growing stir in the European Parliament. "

EU:
Socialists call for isolation of extremist parties (euractiv, link)

DENMARK: US to gain access to national register (Copenhagen Post, link)

BELGIUM: Digitaal inbreken mag voor inlichtingendiensten (Datanews, link): "The new law on 'special methods for intelligence' introduced on on 1st September in Belgium, expands the approved radius to all informatical systems (except judges). This means they can enter almost every 'informatical system' to gather information."

The Difference Engine: Dubious security (Economist, link): "Thanks to gangster movies, cop shows and spy thrillers, people have come to think of fingerprints and other biometric means of identifying evildoers as being completely foolproof. In reality, they are not and never have been, and few engineers who design such screening tools have ever claimed them to be so. Yet the myth has persisted among the public at large and officialdom in particular. In the process, it has led—especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001—to a great deal of public money being squandered and, worse, to the fostering of a sense of security that is largely misplaced. "

Anti-foreigner, Muslim sentiment rife in Germany: study (expatica, link)

French body approves tough new laws targeting immigrants (M&C, link)

Germany's Integration Debate Takes a Turn for the Worse (Spiegel, link)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Hundreds of Northern Ireland 'terrorists' allege police torture - People convicted during the Troubles claim they suffered miscarriages of justice in non-jury Diplock courts (Guardian, link) and Inside Castlereagh: 'We got confessions by torture' (Guardian, link)

EU: Commission guilty of 'maladministration' over car company letters (euobserver, link) "The European Commission has been found guilty of ‘maladministration' by the EU ombudsman for a second time for having refused to release correspondence between itself and European car manufacturers."

EU:
Parliament freezes EU Police College funds over dodgy accounts (euobserver, link)

NEW ZEALAND: NZ intelligence activities revealed in banned book (link)

EU-NATO: US call for Nato cyber-strike capacity causes division (euobserver, link)

September 2010

ROMANIA: National amnesia: Survey uncovers Romanians' nostalgia for Communism (WAZ.euobserver.com)

GREECE: Greek Society Falling, Falling… (Inter Press Service, link): "People walking casually past a sleeping or unconscious person has become a recurrent scene in downtown Athens these days. At Omonia square in the heart of the Greek capital one sees signs of social degeneration and segregation that were unknown only a decade ago."

EU-MALTA:
Northern EU states chided for resisting asylum rules changes (Times of Malta, link): "The EU is nowhere near implementing the burden sharing regime on immigration, which Malta has been lobbying for, according to the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg."

EU-USA: US travel fee draws new dividing line with EU (euobserver, link)

USA: FBI Chastised for Spying on Activists (Inter Press Service, link): "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) improperly spied on U.S. activists involved in First Amendment-protected activities and mischaracterised nonviolent civil disobedience as terrorism, which placed innocent activists on terror watch lists, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) charged Tuesday in response to a new report by the Justice Department's Inspector General." US Justice Department report on FBI (link)

Germany is planning to introduce a digital identification card for foreigners in a move to combat illegal immigration
(DW World DE, link) The ID card is only for non-EU citizens living in Germany

FRANCE: Living on the Edge of Caravans by David Cronin (Inter Press Service, link): "LILLE, France, Sep 13, 2010 (IPS) - Broken bicycles and old suitcases mark the entrance to the makeshift camp. Ankle-deep in mud that is newly wet from a rain-shower, the visitor is taken by the hand by lively children to meet their parents."

USA: The Government Can Use GPS to Track Your Moves (Time, link)

Netherlands: Kamer: databank vingerafdrukken niet in Franse handen (de Volkskrant, Dutch, link): Dutch MP's are "very concerned" about a remark of minister for justice Hirsch Ballinn that the (national) database for fingerpints will be built by "a French private company". The minister has said this during a commission meeting about the annual report of the security service (AIVD). A spokesperson of the minister has said that he has been "misunderstood". His remarks only concerned the production of a new passport that has been contracted to a French company. But the three MP's (Hennis-Plasschaert - VVD, conservative, Brinkman - PVV, group Wilders and Van Raak - Socialist Party) all maintain that they have have heard something completely different. (Statewatch summary)

Germany: New government ID cards easily hacked (the local.de, link)

UK: Carlisle man destroyed CCTV camera spying on his home (News and Star, link)

UK: Mark Harper announces plans for individual voter registration in Great Britain as a way of tackling electoral fraud (Conservative Home Page, link): "Individual registration will require each person to register themselves and to provide personal identifiers - date of birth, signature and national insurance number - which will allow registration officers to cross-check the information provided before a person is added to the register". The new element is the National Insurance number - people without one will be disenfranchised.

EU-SITCEN: Competition heating up for EU intelligence chief job (euobserver, com)

August 2010

UK: New anti-terror laws could see religious and political groups banned: LibertyHuman rights group welcomes overhaul, but warns new measures erode civil liberties and risk tacitly condoning torture (Guardian, link)

Germany Gave Names to Secret Taliban Hit List (Der Spegiel, link)

FRANCE: France rounds up hundreds of Roma (BBC News, link): "Roma families have been removed from their camps as part of the crackdown Some 700 people have been removed from more than 40 illegal Roma (Gypsy) camps in France as part of a police crackdown backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy. The country's Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, said the Roma would be returned to their country of origin on "specially chartered flights". Meanwhile, members of a committee of UN experts sharply criticised France's treatment of Roma. They said racism and xenophobia were undergoing a "significant resurgence"."

EU: Future health care 'like car insurance': Accenture (euractiv, link): "Citizens should take responsibility for the healthcare costs they incur and should be punished or rewarded according to their use of the service, Javier Mur, managing director of Accenture's health operations"

UK: Credit agencies are no way to catch benefit cheats - Using credit agencies on a 'bounty basis' offers an incentive to trap claimants using potentially inaccurate or incomplete data (Guardian, link)

EU: What happened to reciprocity? EU regrets US electronic visa fee (euobserver, link)

UK: Children in immigration centres face deportation within weeks - Pilot scheme gives families with children facing removal a two-week ultimatum to leave the country voluntarily (Guardian, link)

IRELAND-GREECE:
Migrant-transfer rules to be tested at European Court - Case ‘may unblock’ Dublin rules stalemate (Times of Malta, link)

July 2010

RUSSIA: Russia to introduce 'draconian' Minority Report-style law - Legislation will give security services powers to arrest people for crimes they have yet to commit (Guardian, link)

FRANCE: Sarkozy under fire for taking aim at Roma (euactiv, link) and Sarkozy targets Roma for explusion (euobserver, link)

UK: No ID, no vote: Watchdog calls for 'immediate action' to prevent repeat of election chaos (Daily Mail, link)

UK: Fast-track deportations from UK 'unlawful' (BBC News, link)

UK: Another move towards the "cashless society": Co-operative to accept contactless payment - Supermarket shoppers will from next year be able to pay for their groceries by Oyster-style payment cards (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK: Crime software may help police predict violent offences - Minority Report-style technology being trialled by two British forces following success in the US (Observer, link). "Criminal Reduction Using Statistical History" known as CRUSH.

UK: Automatic gates allow banned criminal into Britain (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK: Home Office sacks Raytheon-led electronic border control consortium (Guardian, link)

UK: Dispersal order granted in Leeds city centre (BBC News, link) "Police have secured a dispersal order to deal with anti-social behaviour and disorder in the centre of Leeds. The order, which came into force on Saturday and runs for six months, allows police to order people out of the city centre for up to 24 hours. If they ignore the order they face a fine of up to £5,000 or a prison term."

EU-IRELAND: Report urges 'scrutiny reserve' by Government for draft laws (Irish Times, link)

USA: In Refusing to Hear My Case, The Supreme Court Has Put the World's Peace and Order in Danger by Maher Arar with his wife (link)

'Mushrooming' EU institutions cause unease amid era of national austerity (euobserver, link) - to say nothing of the enormous of justice and home affairs bodies, agencies and centres etc

EU to get 'judicial oversight' on human rights (euobserver, link): "EU laws will in a few years' time be subject to legal challenges in the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights"

Irish passports among most difficult to get in EU (Independent, link)

EU to get 'judicial oversight' on human rights (euobserver, link)

Germany: Unknown Assailant Insufficient: Investigation into allege ill-treatment by police in Germany (Amnesty, link)

Greek police find more immigrant bodies, toll rises to 18 (link)

June 2010

Swiss Plan to Gag Refugees
(Inter Press Service, link) "Only two years after its last revision, the Swiss Asylum Act is about to be 'reformed' again. The changes include a gag order on political activism for asylum-seekers and a modification of the concept of a refugee."

UK: Abused, humiliated and abandoned. What really happens when the UK deports failed asylum-seekers (Independent, link)

EU: Ashton to command US-type situation room (euobserver, link)

CANADA: B.C. inquiry into death of Polish immigrant finds police not justified in using Taser stun gun (link)

UK: Health e-records 'struggling to fulfil potential' (BBC News, link): "Electronic patient care records will require an "enormous effort" and a "high cost" to fulfil their potential, a study warns. University College London researchers said the project had been dogged by technology problems and tensions which had led to delays." and UCL researchers publish Summary Care Record (SCR) evaluation (link) and British Medical Journal Summary (link)

UK: Government vehicle surveillance database storing 250 journeys for every motorist (Daily Telegraph, link): "The records, which include photographs of private cars, can be secretly handed by ministers to the governments of other European countries or the United States. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act disclosed that 7.6 billion entries are currently stored on the police automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) database."

UK:
UK to deport child asylum seekers to Afghanistan (Guardian, link)

UK: Taking a liberty: Tories accused of U-turn on NHS database vow (Daily Mail, link)

UK: Outrage at secret probe into 47,000 innocent flyers (Daily Mail, link) and see: Identity Project (link)

EU: Spain sidelines Britain in case of rough EU justice (EUbusiness, link): " Europe's outgoing Spanish presidency and its justice commissioner clashed publicly on Friday over a decision to sideline British objections and ram through new plans to protect victims of crime."EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said: "If we are protecting victims, I don't want Britain to be the first victim," she said of the row. A senior Spanish diplomat left the press conference seething, saying: "That's an incredible thing to say... to compare Britain to a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence is outrageous."

Statewatch Note: The 'voting calculator' on the Council site and shows why the Council Presidency have to sideline the UK, ie remove it from the blocking minority and force its non-participation, in order to get this directive adopted. With the UK abstention and those 6 MS against they have 18/25 participating MS, which is OK, but only 231 of the 245 votes they need for adoption. (Also, they have 64% of the population, just over the 62% they need, but that is irrelevant). With the forced non-participation of the UK they would still have 231 votes, but only need 224 for adoption, so the directive would go through. (They would also have 73% of the population, against the 62% they need).

May 2010

UK: Children, 4, 'to be fingerprinted to borrow school books from library' (Daily Telegraph, link)

America’s Non-Compliance: Gareth Peirce presents the case against extradition (London Review of Books, link)

UK: Caught on camera: 'They are watching you ... but you are also recording them' (Guardian, link)

Finland: Tough Asylum Policy Opposed by Civil Disobedience (Inter Service, link)

Torture - Live and Well in Turkey
(Inter Press Service, link)

USA: Dems spark alarm with call for national ID card (link): "Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure. "

April 2010

Terrorism: keep calm and carry on - The lack of proportion in America's response to the threat of terrorist attacks has been self-defeating (Guardian, links) and Ex-MI6 officer attacks America's torture policy

IRELAND: Putting up barriers to a free and open internet (Irish Times, link)

UK: CIA given details of British Muslim students (Independent, link)

EU: MEPs slam budgets of Council and EU police agency (euobserver, link)

USA: RIAA Wants Gov. to Delete Your Illegal Downloads (Tom's Us Guide, link): "Copyright holders are now lobbying to be allowed access to your computer to delete content they deem bad."

UK: Information Commissioner should enforce Article 8 privacy rights (Amberhawk, link)

HUNGARY: Rightward Swing Has Fascist Overtones (Inter Press Service, link)

UK: No 10 Downing Street bugged by MI5, claims historian (Guardian, link)

New Frontex guidelines ‘go beyond international conventions’
(Malta Independent, link): "The position taken in the controversial set of new Frontex guidelines goes beyond the position at international law, according to Patricia Mallia, the author of a new book entitled Migrant Smuggling By Sea: Combating a Current Threat to Maritime Security though the Creation of a Cooperative Framework."

Article on the "German constitutional court judgment on data retention" (link)

Mexico set to cut off 24m mobile phone lines in crime crackdown - Millions fail or refuse to sign up to new register designed to help combat use of mobile phones in organised crime (Guardian, link)

India launches biometric census (BBC News, link): "India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database."

Poland: Air Disaster: Many Causes Lose Their Leaders (Inter Press Service, link): "The plane crash which claimed the lives of 95 Polish officials and public figures, including President Lech Kaczynski, has dealt a blow to minority rights movements in the country, activists say."

UK: Confront Counter Terror: Expose the Expo (link): "Sponsored by arms company Thales, and organised by Clarion Events—responsible for Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEi) the world’s largest arms fair, the Counter Terror Expo takes place between 14-15 April 2010 at Olympia, London. Officially supported by a plethora of military, police and private security organisations, the Expo will host over 250 exhibitors including leading arms companies such as BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, and is endorsed by state agencies such as the MoD and NATO". See also: Identifying Threat: New biometrics markets and terror culture (Corporate Watch, link)

Hungary lurches to the right (euobserver, link): "Hungary has taken a lurch to the right, with the right-wing Fidesz party on track to win a supermajority and the radical nationalist Jobbik entering parliament for the first time."

EU data laws force e-Borders' compromise (ZDnet, link): "Data protection laws in other European countries will decide whether the UK Border Agency receives information on those travelling to Britain"

Digital civil rights: From Karlsruhe to Brussels (link): "The overturning of the EU Data Retention Directive by the German Constitutional Court provides an impetus for a Europeanization of the data privacy campaign, writes Ralf Bendrath. The biggest challenge for the new civil rights movement is to create greater public awareness of the problem in individual EU countries."

EU Boosts Arms Manufacturers (Inter Press Service, link): "Arms traders are to be given a central role in formulating a new European Union (EU) blueprint for stimulating weapons production, it has been confirmed. The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, has said it will draw up an action plan for how small and medium-sized companies that manufacture military goods or their components can be strengthened."

March 2010

EU-US summits to take place 'only when necessary' (euobserver, link)

EU follows US model to track terrorist funding (European Voice, link): "The European Commission is to begin talks with member states on the Europe-wide monitoring of financial transactions by suspected terrorists. Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, announced yesterday (24 March) that the scheme would be modelled on the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP) operated by the United States. “We would like to set up our own TFTP,” she said."

UK: HMRC officers to get powers to open people's post without asking permission - Tax inspectors are to get wide-ranging powers to open people’s post without their permission for the first time (Daily Telegraph, link)

EU: Lobbyists complain that lobby-watchdogs acted unfairly (euobserver, link): "EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - In a remarkable feat of lobbying 'jujitsu,' the trade association representing Brussels public relations firms has lodged a complaint with the European Commission that the NGO responsible for exposing their skullduggery is itself breaking guidelines. The European Public Affairs Consultancies Association (Epaca), the trade body for firms that lobby the EU institutions, on 18 March filed a complaint with the EU executive that accuses the Dutch-based Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) of being in breach of three different rules in the EU's "Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives."

Frontex eyes drone planes for migrant searches (Malta Independent, link): "Frontex, the EU’s border control agency, is reportedly eyeing the possibility of using unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for its anti-migration patrols. Arms manufacturers, it has been reported in specialist media, have been asked to advise Frontex on how their products can be used to stop asylum seekers entering the bloc’s territory."

EU bid to join human rights convention poses tricky questions (euobserver, link)

UK: Could an ID card replace the bus pass for over-60s? (Mail Online, link)

UK: UK opens high-tech hub to screen air passengers (PIT News, link): " A new hi-tech 'border targeting centre' that will electronically check passenger data before passengers arrive at British airports from India and elsewhere has been opened in Manchester. Home Secretary Alan Johnson last week unveiled the National Border Targeting Centre (NBTC) which will replace the smaller joint border operations units at Heathrow as the operational hub."

EU:
Asylum deportation flights need rights monitors, EU says (Guardian, link)

UK: Tortured logic of intelligence chiefFormer MI5 head Eliza Manningham-Buller denies knowing about mistreatment of detainees. Didn't she read the papers? (Guardian, link) includes a useful starter list of examples

Ireland: Thousands of marriages 'illegal' (Irish Times, link): "Thousands of foreign couples who married at their country’s embassies in the Republic over the past three years are being told their marriages are invalid and illegal."

Austria: Far-right contender for Austrian presidency forced to denounce Nazism - Barbara Rosenkranz in U-turn over country's ban on Holocaust denial (Guardian, link)

UK: NHS database raises privacy fears, say doctorsGPs say patients' rights are being overlooked (Guardian, link)

Austria:
Migrants Issue Stokes Political Passions (Inter Press Service, link): "Support for the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) in Austria has soared amid debate over controversial plans for the construction of a new centre to house asylum seekers."

Greece: New law would grant citizenship to tens of thousands (Kathimerini, link)

EU: Germany attacks UK over EU diplomatic service (euobserver, link) and More than 50 European Union embassies have opened across the world since the Lisbon Treaty came into force (Daily Telegraph, link)

February 2010

FRANCE: SNCF warns passengers about Romanians (Daily Telegraph, link): "France's national railway provoked a race row after producing a poster warning passengers to be on the look out for Romanians."

CANADA: The Vancouver Statement on the 2010 Winter Olympics (link): "not to assume a permanent legacy of increased video surveillance and hardened security measures in the Vancouver/Whistler area, and to have full and open public discussion on any such proposed legacy."

N IRELAND: Special forces intimidating republicans in Northern Ireland, say dissidents - Republican Sinn Féin claim undercover soldiers have been carrying out surveillance in County Armagh (Guardian, link)

FRANCE: French prison system under scrutiny after suicide - Critics say death of high-profile inmate reveals the failings of a system with one of the highest prison suicide rates in Europe (Guardian, link)

CANADA: RCMP plans dramatic changes to Taser policy (link): "The RCMP plans a sweeping overhaul of its Taser policy following recommendations from inquiries prompted by the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski."

UK: Unlawful anti-terror powers planned for use during 2012 Olympics (Times, link)

EU-LIBYA: EC condemns Libyan visa restrictions (Radio Netherlands Worldwide, link)

USA: Hold Onto Your Underwear, This Is Not a National Emergency by Tom Engelhardt (link): "Let me put American life in the Age of Terror into some kind of context, and then tell me you’re not ready to get on the nearest plane heading anywhere, even toward Yemen."

ITALY: Race riots hit Milan (FT, link)

Top Intel Officer: US May Kill Americans Abroad (Alternet, link): "Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced Wednesday that the U.S. may target its own citizens for death if it believes they are associated with terrorist groups"

ITALY-CIA: Judge: Italian spies likely knew of CIA kidnap (link)

UK: Campus Islamic extremists under police scrutiny (BBC News): "Special Branch officers are being deployed in universities particularly at risk of being targeted by Islamic extremists, the BBC has been told."

EU-FRONTEX: Fortress Europe Starts With Greece (Inter Press Service, link): "When Michalis Chrisohoidis, Greek minister of citizens' protection announced that FRONTEX, the European Agency for Border Control and Protection, would double its representation in this country in spring, it was clear that Greece is being charged with special responsibilities to apprehend and repatriate illegal migrants into Europe."

January 2010

Expulsions From EU Rise Sharply (Inter Press Service, link) bBy David Cronin: "The number of asylum-seekers and other migrants expelled from the European Union in joint operations between its governments has grown three times in as many years"

EU: EU commission 'embassies' granted new powers (euobserver, link)

UK: The laughing policemen: 'Inaccurate' data boosts arrest rate - Officers accused of targeting 'law-abiding middle classes' to meet government performance quotas (Independent on Sunday, link): "This target culture has allegedly led to unethical practices during roadside stops, according to concerned police sources. Some officers, they say, trawl through drivers' personal data on police databases to find any reason to arrest. Alternatively, they "wind up" motorists who, in their frustration, become abusive and are then arrested for a public-order offence."

USA: ACLU Sues Library Of Congress On Behalf Of Former Guantánamo Prosecutor (link)

UK: West Yorkshire nail bomb maker jailed for 11 years (BBC News, link): "A man who admitted making nail bombs at his West Yorkshire home has been jailed for 11 years. Terrance Gavan, 38, who the Old Bailey heard showed a strong hostility towards immigrants, was arrested by police in a raid at his home in May 2009... Gavan, a member of the BNP, pleaded guilty to a total of 22 charges at Woolwich Crown Court in November."

Robot border guards to patrol future frontiers (New Scientist, link)

USA: Meet Mikey, 8: U.S. Has Him on Watch List (N York Times, link): "It is true that Mikey is not on the federal government’s “no-fly” list, which includes about 2,500 people, less than 10 percent of them from the United States. But his name appears to be among some 13,500 on the larger “selectee” list, which sets off a high level of security screening. At some point, someone named Michael Hicks made the Department of Homeland Security suspicious, and little Mikey is still paying the price." See also: Wikipedia No Fly Lists (link)

IRELAND: Migrants from new EU states 'denied welfare' (Irish Times, link)

SWITZERLAND: Police Smash School for Undocumented Migrants (Inter Press Service, link)

UK-YEMEN: British Muslims detained in Yemen claim they were tortured in prison (Guardian, link): Group were 'interrogated about London mosques'

FRANCE: French law could see fines for burqas (euobserver, link)

UK: Johnson reveals ID register linked to NI numbers (Kable, link)

Iraq: US court dismisses charges against Blackwater security guards (Guardian, link)

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