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* Council of Europe: draft Convention on terrorism, updated 7 March 2005 (pdf) Opinion of the Commissioner for Human Rights (pdf) For background on: "preparatory offences" see: Statewatch special report: The exceptional and draconian become the norm - G8 and EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf)

* UK: Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 as enacted on 11 March introducing "control orders" for terrorist "suspects" - full-text (pdf). After an epic parliamentary battle between the House of Commons and the House of Lords this became law. The opposition to the Bill had called for a "sunset clause" (ie: that the Act fell in one year) and the government said they would only accept an "annual renewal" (whereby parliament traditionally "nods" though renewal without any chance to amend an Act). The government changed its mind and announced that a new Counter Terrorism Bill would be introduced in the autumn introducing "preparatory offences" for terrorist "suspects" and that this would allow the new PTA 2005 to be amended. See on "control orders" A stampede against injustice, article by lawyer Gareth Peirce on control orders and their effect on liberties and rights, and on "preparatory offences" and G8/EU counter-terrorism plans: Statewatch special report: The exceptional and draconian become the norm - G8 and EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf)

* UK: Intelligence and Security Committee: The Handling of Detainees by UK Intelligence Personnel in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq (pdf)

* Statewatch special report: The exceptional and draconian become the norm - G8 and EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf) * "special investigative" techniques * "intelligence information" in court * new "preparatory"offences. "In a democracy when the rights and freedoms of the few are curtailed so too are the rights and freedoms of us all" (Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor)

* EU: After Madrid: the EU’s response to terrorism: Report from the House of lords Select Committee on the European Union

* UK: The Prevention of Terrorism Bill: Report from the parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee including oral evidence hearing (4 March, pdf). Among its conclusions is: "In our view the unprecedented scope of the powers contained in the Bill, and the potentially drastic interference with Convention rights which they contemplate, warrant a greater degree of judicial control than access to an ex post supervisory jurisdiction." (ex parte, that is, without notice to the individual who is to be made the subject of the order). Report of the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: Prevention of Terrorism Bill - preliminary report (pdf) Prevention of Terrorism Bill - full-text as it left the House of Commons, 28.2.05 (pdf) The Amenmdents tabled in the House of Lords (link)

* "A War on Terror or a War on Justice? Terrorism, War and the Rule of Law" by Geoffrey Bindman. Presented at London South Bank University, Tuesday 8 February 2005

* UK: Prevention of Terrorism Bill - full-text (pdf) introducing "control orders" (including "house arrest") on "suspected" people for "terrorist-related" activities and Explanatory Notes (link). It is intended to rush this through parliament in just 14 days. The Home Office has also produced four short briefing papers intended to emphasise the need for this new law: Paper One: International terrorism: The threat Paper Two: International terrorism: The government's strategy Paper Three: International terrorism: Reconciling liberty and security - the government's strategy to reduce the threat Paper Four: International terrorism: Protect and prepare See also: Judicial confirmation does not constitute a fair trial (Liberty, link) Liberty Briefing on control orders (pdf) Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Part IV, Section 28 - Review February 2004 by Lord Carlile (pdf)

* Terrorist Designation with Regard to European and International Law:The Case of the PMOI (pdf) Joint Opinion by Prof. Bill Bowring, Director of Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University and Prof. Douwe Korff, Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University. "This Joint Opinion concerns the following questions: first, what is the significance in law of the word "terrorist"; second, how is it that an organization may find itself designated as "terrorist"; and third, what can the organization concerned do about it."

* EU: “Anti-terrorism” legitimises sweeping new “internal security” complex

* Secretary General of the Council of Europe, calls for immediate repeal of UK anti-terror law: Strasbourg, 22.12.2004 - "The anti-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom must be changed as a matter of urgency. We will not win the fight against terrorism if we undermine the foundations of our democratic societies," Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, stressed today following last week's judgment of the British House of Lords which found the country's anti-terrorism law to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. "I welcome the judgment of the House of Lords of 16 December. However, it is not a new development. A year ago, the special committee of nine Privy Counsellors reported unanimously that the law should be urgently replaced. The committee had been specifically established by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and had spent more than a year taking evidence from a wide range of people, including the Home Office experts, MI5, MI6 and Special Branch. If the government had not chosen to ignore this unanimous recommendation, they would not have the current embarrassment of having lost this case in the House of Lords," said Mr Davis. See House of Lords: judgement below

* UK: The appeal court in the House of Lords (the highest in the land) has ruled that the detention of people without trial is breaks human rights laws - the House of Lords law lords ruled by an eight to one majority in favour of appeals by nine detainees. Most of the men are being held in Belmarsh prison, south London: Full-text of judgement (pdf)

* EU Plan of Action on Combating Terrorism - New Update (doc no 16090/04, dated 14.12.04).

* Terrorism, anti-terrorism and people's response: The "war on terror" as a "war on freedom and democracy": speech by Ben Hayes (Statewatch) at the Asia-Europe People's Forum (ASEM V, 7.9.04), Hanoi, Vietnam

*
EU: The European Parliament today (2.12.04) voted through its report on biometric passports with 471 votes in favour to 118 against and 6 abstentions. The parliament had decided that the recent change to the proposed Regulation by the Council (the 25 governments) to make fingerprints mandatory as well as a facial image was not a substantial change requiring reconsultation. However, the parliament did say that the only mandatory biometric should be a facial scan. The changes to the draft Regulation put forward by the parliament will be ignored by the Council - which it does routinely under the "consultation" procedure. The Council intend to formally adopt the Regulation at the next available meeting of the Council of Ministers. The "details", such as the size of the "chip" holding the biometrics and the number of fingerprints to be taken will be decided in a Committee set up by the Commission of representatives of each member state. See background:
European Parliament urged to reject biometric registration of all EU citizens and residents
EU governments blackmail European Parliament into quick adoption of its report on biometric passports
EU biometric passports and mandatory fingerprinting: Statewatch legal analysis questions the legality of the proposed Regulation

* UK: Identity Card Bill published - full-text (pdf)

* EU governments blackmail European Parliament into quick adoption of its report on biometric passports

- the Council of the European Union (the 25 governments) has told the parliament it can have full powers of "co-decision" after it adopts its report on biometric passports - how many national parliaments were re-consulted after the decision to make fingerprinting mandatory? - the costs are completely unknown and the "details" will be decided in a secret committee - the EU has no legal powers to introduce such a Regulation

* EU biometric passports and mandatory fingerprinting: Statewatch legal analysis questions the legality of the proposed Regulation - "no powers conferred upon the EC by the EC Treaty, taken separately or together, confer upon the EC the power to adopt the proposed Regulation"

* EU governments demand that the European Parliament rushes through mandatory finger-printing and biometric passports Is an "urgent" decision justified? Why does the European Parliament not question the legal basis of the measure? Why does the parliament's draft report accept the need for biometric passports

* EU Plan of Action on Combating Terrorism - Update (doc no 14330/04, 19.11.04). For previous version see Statewatch's Observatory in defence of freedom and democracy See also: Statewatch's "Scoreboard" finding that 27 out of 57 EU proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism – they deal with crime in general and surveillance: Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf) Statewatch Timetable of measures updated: 29 October 2004 (pdf)

* UN: Special Rapporteur produces damning report on how governments are using the "war on terrorism" to undermine and ignore fundamental rights. He speicifcally refers to the use of terrorism as a pretext for justifying torture and inhuman treatment, and on the erosion of the non-refoulement principle, whereby States should not “expel, return ‘refouler’, or extradite a person to another State“ if there are “substantial” grounds for suspecting that they may be in danger of being subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment after their return: Statewatch Report: The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture criticises the undermining of the non-refoulement principle and the use of terrorism as a pretext to justify tortureplus full documentation (pdf) (23.11.04)

* Statewatch Special Report: UK: Egyptian national “unlawfully detained” after intervention by Prime Minister (16.11.04)

"We should use whatever assurances the Egyptians are willing to offer, to build a case to initiate the deportation procedure”, Tony Blair’s office. When the Egyptian government rejects Foreign Office request for written assurances - on the death penalty, ill-treatment, a fair and public hearing and legal representation , Tony Blair writes: "Why do we need all these things?"

* European Court of Justice - EU "terrorist" list: Professor Sison case on access to documents goes to court

* UK: Belmarsh prisoners: report on indefinite detention and mental health (8.11.04)

* EU-USA PNR: The European Court of Justice has refused to apply the accelerated procedure to the European Parliament's complaint on the EU-USA PNR (passenger name record) agreement, so the case will not completed for two to three years - thus probably not until after the expiry of the current agreement with the US: Court judgement (in French) See:Statewatch's Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA (30.10.04)

* Update: :Justice and Home Affairs Council, Luxembourg, 25-26 October: Press release - full version (pdf). As predicted by Statewatch the Council overturned the 8 June decision and agreed that fingerprints as well as a facial image will be mandatory for EU passports: See for analysis and documentation: EU: Compulsory fingerprinting for all passports This change in the draft Regulation will mean that it will have to be re-submitted to the European Parliament. (26.10.04)

* EU: Compulsory fingerprinting for all passports (24.10.04)

- EU to back demand by Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, Malta, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia for mandatory fingerprinting
- only Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia oppose move
- UK and Germany want to have a third biometric - "iris scans" too in addition to facial scans and fingerprints
- EU Data Protection Commissioners are: "fundamentally" opposed to the creation of an EU-wide database

* Seizure of Indymedia's webservers in London: At 5pm on 13 October Rackspace (London-based service provider of a US company) informed Indymedia that the two servers they had handed over were now back in their office. Indymedia is now examining whether they have been "compromised". It is still not clear who Rackspace handed the two servers to - was it directly to the FBI in compliance with a US court order? This would be unlawful for a UK-based company. Or did the Home Office agree under the UK-USA Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty? See: The Register and UK-USA: Was the seizure of Indymedia's servers in London unlawful or did the UK government collude? (14.10.04)

* Statewatch's work recognised as "influential" in the EU: Statewatch editor, Tony Bunyan, has been selected by the European Voice newspaper as one of the fifty most influential people in the EU in 2004 for working "to protect civil liberties, put at risk by the package of anti-terrorism measures".

* Update: Sweden: Expulsions carried out by US agents, men tortured in Egypt

- second Swedish TV4 transcript with more details on the US abduction
- Shannon airport on west of Ireland used as stop-over for US plane (from Village magazine) (11.10.04)

* UK-USA: Was the seizure of Indymedia's servers in London unlawful or did the UK government collude?
"A trail that started in Switzerland and Italy has now ended fairly and squarely in the lap of the UK Home Secretary to justify" (9.10.04)

* EU: Data retention proposal: Statement and press release from Forum Computer Professionals for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF) e.V. and German Organisation for Data Protection (DVD) e.V.and thirteen NGOs: "It is not to late to avert those plans which will not lead to more safety but rather to more surveillance. We urge all democratic forces to help us prevent another step into a state of surveillance." Statement and press release on EU data retention plans (pdf) See also EU surveillance of telecommunications: Statewatch analysis

* US-EU: European Cooperation With the United States in the Global War on Terrorism. William P. Pope, Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism Remarks to the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights Washington, DC September 14, 2004 Text of speech (link)

* (15.9.04) EU-PNR Directive published in Official Journal: Text (pdf). Published on 6 August 2004 and came into force on 5 September. All Member States has to implement by 5 September 2006. See also: Justice and Home Affairs Council agrees on the surveillance of all airline passengers: PNR Directive, adopted text (pdf) & JHA Council to agree the surveillance of all airline passengers: Report and documents - data can be kept indefinitely by law enforcement agencies and dubious legal basis: European Commission wanted the Council to delay decision so as not to deal "piecemeal with law enforcement issues" (15.9.04)

* EU Over 90 non-governmental organizations - including Statewatch - and 80 companies have endorsed Privacy International's call on the European Commission to abandon on a proposed retention regime across Europe of between 1 and 3 years for all communications traffic data. In this response, PI argues that data retention is invasive, illusory in its gains, illegal in its goals, and that the policy process surrounding retention is illegimate. Invasive, Illusory, Illegal, and Illegitimate: Invasive, illusory, illegal and illegitmate (link)

* Beyond September 11: Essay by by Phil Scraton in "Beyond September 11 - an anthology of dissent" (Pluto Press) (pdf)

* UK: Police can keep DNA of innocent people indefinitely - the law lords have set a dangerous precedent by backing the demands of the state over individual privacy (5.9.04)

* UK: "Sleepwalking into a surveillance society?" - Information Commissioner: Report

* Special: Composite statement: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay by three British citizens: Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed. This statement jointly made by them constitutes an attempt to set out details of their treatment at the hands of UK and US military personnel and civilian authorities during the time of their detention in Kandahar in Afghanistan in late December 2001 and throughout their time in American custody in Guantanamo Bay Cuba: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay (pdf) with thanks to: Cageprisoners (link)

* UK: Court rules that evidence gathered using torture can be used: Report

* EU-USA PNR DEAL: Council of the European Union (the 25 governments) get notice of case in Court of Justice brought by the European Parliament over the agreement with the USA on PNR (passenger name record): Note from Legal Service (pdf). The parliament is also asking the court to annul the Commission's finding that adequate data protection is provided in the USA "Undertakings".

* EU: European Commission DG Information Society and DG Justice and Home Affairs have launched a public consultation on the issue of traffic data retention. A public workshop is planned on 21 September 2004, in Brussels. See:

i. Consultation document (pdf)
ii. Proposal from UK, France, Ireland and Sweden (pdf)
iii. Statewatch analysis of the proposal

* UK: Home Affairs Committee report on: Identity Cards (full-text - pdf). See also Submission to the Committee from the Information Commissioner which is more critical than the report: Information Commissioner (pdf)

* USA: Total Information Awareness & Beyond: Threats to Privacy in a Post 9-11 America - press release from Bill of Rights Defence Committee: Press release

* UK: Government publishes "Preparing for emergencies" leaflet (online and to be delivered to every household): a. Main page (link), b. The leaflet as large pdf files: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (links), c. How to spot a "terrorist" page (link) - which includes: "Are you suspicious about any tenants or guests? Have you seen anyone pay an unusual amount of attention to security measures at any location? [and] If you are a retailer, do you have any cause to be suspicious about anything being bought? d. MI5 advice to businesses, which includes:"Consider random searching on entry and exit of staff in particularly sensitive areas, making allowance for the fact that this is intrusive and that staff need to appreciate the reasons for it."

* European Democratic Lawyers (EDL) statement on Guantanamo Bay and other detention centres: Statement

* European Commission proposes "free market" for law enforcement database access: Analysis and documentation

* PNR - EU-US deal on access to passenger name records: The "Undertakings of the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)" were published in the US Federal Register on 6 July. Federal Register announcement (pdf) The agreement will not come in force until (a) enacted by Congress, (b) properly promulgated as a regulation, under authority of Congress, by a Federal agency, or (c) ratified by the Senate as a treaty. On the same day, 6 July 2004, the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJ) published the Commission's Decision on "adequacy of protection" in the US "Undertakings": EU-OJ (pdf). On 28 June 2004 the President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, formally initiated court action to annul the Decision of the Commission: Letter from President of the EP (pdf). Full background and documentation is given on Statewatch's Observatory on PNR

* 25.6.04: European Parliament to go to court over Council and Commission decisions on PNR data agreement with USA: Press statement from EP President, Pat Cox

* PNR: TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue's Resolution on Passenger Name Records: civil society coalition to send resolution to EU-US Summit meeting in Dublin on 25 June: Resolution, background and signatories

* When the EU adopts anti-terrorism measures is it trying to combat terrorism or crime? Analysis * Commission proposal on exchange of information on terrorism could lead to hundreds of innocent people being put on "watch-lists" for each anti-terrorist investigation * Companies, charities and all bank accounts to be targeted * European Criminal Registry to be set up including data on all those charged - whether found guilty or not

* EU: Action Plan on terrorism - updated version dated 11 June:10010/3/04 (pdf). This and the documents below are to be discussed at the EU Summit (a meeting of the 25 Prime Ministers) in Brussels on 17-18 June 2004.

up* dated 15.6.04: European Commission evaluation of the implementation by member states of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism:
Evaluation report (pdf)  See also detailed Appendix to European Commission report on the controversial Framework Decision on combating terrorism: SEC (2004) 688 (pdf)

Background: New EU Action Plan on terrorism adopted 8 June by the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg: The Plan is an update of the Action Plan dated 14 November 2002: 13909/1/02. A fuller list of measures is set out in the Commission's "Compendium". Both the Plan of Action and the Compendium should be assessed against the Statewatch "Scoreboard" which analysed the measures agreed at the EU Summit on 25 March 2004 and found that a number had little or nothing to do with combating terrorism.

a. EU Plan of Action on combating terrorism (dated 1 June):
Full-text (pdf)
b. European Commission Compendium: Counter-terrorism Actions:
Full-text (pdf)
c. Report on implementation:
Full-text (pdf)
d. Report from EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: two "peer" evaluations:
9876/04 (pdf)
e. Role of the Working Party on Terrorism:
8673/1/04 (pdf)
f. Working structures on terrorism - Options paper:
9791/04 (pdf)
g.
Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf) Statewatch Timetable updated: 2 June 2004 (pdf)

* EU: Biometric documents take another step forward: Report on EU and G8

* National (in)security politics in Australia: fear and the federal election, article by Jude McCulloch: Article (pdf)

* updated 9.6.04: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 8 June 2004 in Luxembourg:

1. Press release (pdf).

2. Statement by Mr Solana to the Council meeting: Statement (pdf) This gives the "EU Sitcen" (Joint Situation Centre) based in the emerging EU military capacity, a role in gathering intelligence on terrorism inside the EU. The press release says: "the Secretary General / High Representative to make proposals in relation to integrating, within the Council Secretariat, an intelligence capacity on all aspects of the terrorist threat"

3. EU: New EU Action Plan on terrorism adopted 8 June by the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg: The Plan is an update of the Action Plan dated 14 November 2002: 13909/1/02. A fuller list of measures is set out in the Commission's "Compendium". Both the Plan of Action and the Compendium should be assessed against the Statewatch "Scoreboard" which analysed the measures agreed at the EU Summit on 25 March 2004 and found that a number had little or nothing to do with combating terrorism.

a. EU Plan of Action on combating terrorism (dated 1 June):
Full-text (pdf)
b. European Commission Compendium: Counter-terrorism Actions:
Full-text (pdf)
c. Report on implementation:
Full-text (pdf)
d. Report from EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: two "peer" evaluations:
9876/04 (pdf)
e. Role of the Working Party on Terrorism:
8673/1/04 (pdf)
f. Working structures on terrorism - Options paper:
9791/04 (pdf)
d.
Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf) Statewatch Timetable updated: 2 June 2004 (pdf)

* EU issues updated list of "terrorist organisations and persons" (updated 3.6.04): Updated list

* Statewatch "Timetable" on the anti-terrorism Declaration agreed on 25 March 2004 updated: Statewatch Timetable updated: 2 June 2004 (pdf) Statewatch's "Scoreboard" and analysis finding that 27 out of 57 EU proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism: Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf) Analysis in Spanish (link)

* EU-US PNR deal: Signed by USA but Leaders of the groups in the European Parliament to discuss new court case on 16 June:

1. Agreed text: EU-US agreement on access to passenger data (pdf)
2. Commission's finding of adequacy and the final text of the US "Undertakings" (pdf)
3. US signs agreement (link)
4. MEPs seek challenge to EU-US air data deal (link)
5. Full history and documentation: Statewatch's: "Observatory" on EU-US PNR deal

* ICLMG/Canada: "Anti-Terrorism and the Security Agenda: Impacts on Rights, Freedoms and Democracy": Report (pdf) from International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group public forum, Ottawa, 17 February 2004. Participants included Focus on the Global South, Statewatch, the American Civil Liberties Union, SUARAM and the Asian People’s Security Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights

* Spain: Meeting on the defence of civil rights and liberties in Vigo (Galicia): Report

* Sweden: Expulsions carried out by US agents, men tortured in Egypt: Report and documentation

* EU: PSE (Socialist group) leader in EP calls for action on EU-US PNR deal: Letter and press release

- "the Commission and Council have blatantly ignored the will of the Parliament" Enrique Barón Crespo MEP
- Privacy International: "These personal data transfers and future plans are inadequately protected, dangerous, and hypocritical"

*
EU agree US PNR deal: Report
- European Parliament by-passed in shoddy deal that undermines privacy and EU data protection rights
- leading MEPs call for the "Conference of Presidents" to discuss on 15 June

*
5.5.04: EU-US PNR: Council to ignore parliament and go ahead with "deal": Report

* 4.5.04: EP rejects EU-US PNR deal by an even bigger majority - new "enlargement" MEPs back stand against the transfer of personal data to the USA: Report   Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"The Commission, the EU governments and the US Mission in Brussels were counting on the MEPs from the ten new Member States to reverse the two previous votes in the parliament - instead the majority against the "deal" increased. This is good news for civil liberties and for democracy."

* EU Declaration on combating terrorism (25.3.04): Statewatch Timetable updated: 30 April 2004 (pdf)
Key documents: EU Summit:
Declaration on combating terrorism (pdf) Statewatch's analysis: Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf)

* EU/Surveillance of telecommunications: Data retention comes to roost - telephone and internet privacy to be abolished: see Statewatch analysis of proposed EU Framework Decision:

- proposal broader in scope than 2002 version; grave gaps in civil liberties protection remain;
- data to be held for between 12 and 36 months, though member states can opt for longer if they choose;
- data to be retained extended from "traffic data" to traffic and "location data";
- scope extended from 32 specific offences to any crime;
- scope extended from specific investigations and prosecutions to "prevention and detection" of crime;
- "This is a proposal so intrusive that Ashcroft, Ridge and company can only dream about it, exceeding even the US Patriot Act"

* 27.4.04: EU-PNR: UK parliament committee still has proposal under scrutiny -- Government has not even sent the latest draft Directive to parliament, how many other national parliaments has this happened to? Report and Letter

* 27.4.04: EU-PNR: JHA Council to agree the surveillance of all airline passengers: Report and documents

- "This is a classic case of sacrificing democratic standards in the name of the "war on terrorism" which is meant to be defending democracy"

- data can be kept indefinitely by law enforcement agencies and dubious legal basis: European Commission wanted the Council to delay decision so as not to deal "piecemeal with law enforcement issues"

* UK: "The Government intends to introduce, a national compulsory ID cards scheme using an individual biometric identifier linked to a new national database" to fight "terrorism" and give "the freedom to do easily things like travel to Florida on holiday" - David Blunkett, Home Secretary: Report

* EU-PNR: JHA Council to agree the surveillance of all airline passengers? Report

* EU-US container security agreement signed: Press release Full-text of EU Decision Background: 1) Member States by-pass Commidssion 2) EU-US negotiations start

* USA forced to put off demand for biometric passports for EU visitors for two years: Report

* 21.4.04: European Parliament votes to go to court: 12.00 Wednesday. Plenary just voted 276 in favour, 260 against, 13 abstentions to refer the PNR agreement to the ECJ for opinion under Article 300(6): Report

*
EU-US PNR (passenger name record) "deal" to go for a second vote in European Parliament: Report

* EU-US PNR (passenger name record) "deal" to go for a second vote in European Parliament: Report

* European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee: Vote to go to the European Court of Justice to challenge Commission finding of "adequacy" on the proposed EU-US deal on transfering passenger data to the USA. The Committee voted (today, 6.4.04) in favour by 16 votes to 12 with no abstentions. The PSE (Socialist), Green/EFA, GUE (United Left), ELDR (LIberals) and Radical groups voted in favour. The PPE (Conservatives) voted against.Mme Boogerd Quaak (ELDR), Mme Paciotti (PSE) and Mr Cappato (Radicals) intervened strongly in favour of asking for the opinion of the court. See: Statewatch's Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA

* 5.4.04: EU Summit on combating terrorism (25 March 2004): Timetable (pdf)

Key documents: EU Summit:
Declaration on combating terrorism (pdf) Statewatch's analysis finding 27 out of 57 proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism – they deal with crime in general and surveillance: Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf) Statewatch coverage of the conclusions: Summit nods through "EU Homeland Security" package

* 1.4.04: EU-PNR scheme: The European Parliament has passed a Resolution rejecting the draft Directive on "the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data" and calling for it to be withdrawn. The Directive was put forward by the Spanish government last year and was radically altered by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 30 March, see: Report and draft Directive  At the plenary session today (1.4.04) Anna Terron i Cusi (PSE, Socialist group) called for the report to be referred back to the committee before a vote (referring to the major changes made to the draft Directive by the JHA Council). However, the rapporteur, Ingo Schmitt (PPE Conservative group), opposed this idea and called for a vote - the report was adopted: EP Report on EU-PNR scheme (pdf). As the much-changed draft Directive is a member state initiative, by Spain, it has to be formally adopted by 1 May or it falls under the Amsterdam Treaty provisions. The European Parliament has now rejected both the proposals on passenger name records (PNR) - the EU-PNR plan and the EU-USA plan for access to passenger details. Following yesterday's vote on the latter the Chair of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights has written to the European Commission informing them formally of the parliament's views: Letter (French - pdf)

* 31.3.04: EU to adopt passenger name record scheme (PNR) - UK demands that data can be kept indefinitely and accessible by all law enforcement agencies agreed: Report and draft Directive

*
31.3.04: European Parliament voted 229 votes to 202, with 19 abstentions to back a Resolution opposing the transfer of passenger name records (PNR, personal data) to the USA. The parliament refers back the Commission's finding that the "Undertakings" given by the USA are "adequate" and reserves the right to take the matter to the European Court of Justice. The PPE (Conservative group) opposed the Resolution. The PSE (Socialist group) backed the Resolution - but some PSE national delegations, including that from the UK Labour Party - joined the PPE in opposing the Resolution. The key points adopted are:

a. the Commission has exceeded its executive powers
b. Calls upon the Commission to withdraw the draft decision
c. reserves the right to appeal to the Court of Justice should the draft decision be adopted by the Commission; reminds the Commission of the requirement for cooperation between institutions which is laid down in Article 10 of the Treaty

1.
Resolution adopted by the European Parliment on 31.3.04 on transfer of data to USA (pdf)
2
. The draft agreement with the USA: Full-text (pdf)
3. Commission finding of "adequacy" plus US "Undertakings" (pdf)
4. For the full background see Statewatch's Observatory on PNR

* Civil rights groups warn of grave dangers in international biometric passport system - Files & Biometric Identifiers on More Than a Billion Passengers to be Computerised and Shared Globally by 2015: Letter to the ICAO and documentation

* Summit nods through "EU Homeland Security" package: Report and documentation

"the two most intrusive measures in the pipeline - mandatory retention of communications data and the compulsory fingerprinting of nearly everyone in Europe for biometric documents - did not even get into the draconian US Homeland Security package, their citizens were up in arms when these ideas were floated"

* 25.3.04: Exclusive: Statewatch's "Scoreboard" and analysis on the threats to civil liberties and privacy in EU terrorism plans shows that 27 of the 57 proposals on the table have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism - they deal wuth crime in general and surveillance: Scoreboard and analysis

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: "Under the guise of tackling terrorism the EU is planning to bring in a swathe of measures to do with crime and the surveillance of the whole population. After the dreadful loss of life and injuries in Madrid we need a response that unites Europe rather than divides it"

* European Parliament vote on PNR (passenger name record) EU-US deal: A US diplomat is quoted as saying: "We would have no problem with US airlines handing information over to the EU" - does this mean US airlines will hand over personal data on everyone, including US citizens flying to the EU? See: eu.politix.com (link) and another story saying that the parliament has "mispresented" the US case: eu.politix.com (link). At the same time COREPER (the committee of permanent representatives of the 15 EU governments in Brussels) is set to agree the draft agreement with the USA: Full-text (pdf). For the full background see Statewatch's Observatory on PNR

* European Parliament: pro-US pressure put on MEPs prior to plenary vote on 30 March on EU-US passenger name record (PNR) agreement. The chair of the parliament's "Delegation for relations with the USA" has circulated a note from the European Commission pointing out the consequences of passing a critical Resolution: Text of letter (pdf). Elmar Brok, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee has written to the chair of the Citizens' Freedoms and Rights Committee backing the "deal" and saying - contrary to the report on the table and every report from the EU's Article 29 Data Protection working party - that there is the right "balance" between security and the protection of civil liberties: Brok letter (pdf) See: European Parliament committee adopts highly critical report on EU-US passenger name record data (PNR): Report and documentation

* "Security blankets", editorial in the Guardian newspaper on responses to terrorism: Guardian (link)

* EU: Irish Presidency statement on JHA Council 19 March 2003: Report

* EU: Emergency Justice and Home Affairs Council - press release, 19.3.04: Report and press release

* 18.3.04: Homeland Security comes to the EU: European Commission publishes Action Plan on terrorism (and crime): Report and documentation

- plans cover terrorism but also include measures which have nothing to do with combating terrorism
- fingerprinting for EU passports and ID cards to be mandatory
- European Registry on convictions to be created on all crimes
- European Registry of all travel documents to be created
- EU passenger name records (PNR) to be collected and put on database
- UK demanding EU-wide mandatory data retention of communications

*
EU: Irish Presidency announces plans to combat terrorism: Press statement (15.3.04)

* The Daily Mirror newspaper publishes an exclusive interview with one of the young British citizens held in Guantanoma bay and now released: My hell in Camp X-ray (link) and Terror of torture in Cuba camp (link) and I was in he wrong place at the wrong time (link)

* European Parliament slams EU data protection enforcement and opposes data transfer to USA: Report and Resolution

* 1.3.04: European Parliament committee adopts highly critical report on EU-US plan for access to passenger data (PNR) and reserves the right to take the issue to the European Court of Justice: Committee report (pdf)

* 27.2.04: Latest on EU plan for the USA to get access to personal details of airline passengers (PNR):

- European Parliament rapporteur writes to national parliaments:
Text of letter (pdf)
- Speech by Stafano Rodota, chair of the EU's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party to the European Parliament's Committee of Citizens' Freedoms and rights:
Text of speech (pdf)
- text of the draft
Commission Decision on the "adequacy" of the EU-US agreement on PNR as agreed at the General Affairs Council on 16.2.04 plus amended pages 7-10 of the US "Undertakings" - the latter should be read in conjunction with the "Undertakings" dated 12 January: 12 Jan version of "Undertakings" (pdf)

* 26.2.04: UK spied on Kofi Annan says ex-Cabinet Minister: Transcript of Clare Short's interview on BBC Radio 4 (link)

* 26.2.04: EU security research agenda: List of "personalities" but how much power should they have? Did the Commission simply reproduce the recommendations of the "Group of Personalities" in its Communication? Report and list

* 25.2.04: Canada: Public inquiry into Maher Arar case - how about al-Rawi and al-Banna? Lessons for Britain in Canadian outcry over ordeal of Maher Arar: Report

* 25.2.04: UK: Government publishes a discussion paper on: "Counter-terrorism powers: reconciling security and liberty in an open society" (Cm 6147): Full-text (pdf). This is a response to the report by a Committee of senior parliamentarians who called for for Britain's Guantanamo Bay to be scrapped as "a matter of urgency": Story and full-text of their report

* 19.2.04: Commission’s EU biometric passport proposal exceeds the EC’s powers, Statewatch legal analysis concludes that: "no powers conferred upon the EC by the EC Treaty, taken separately or together, confer upon the EC the power to adopt the proposed Regulation": Legal analysis

*
19.2.04: The road to "1984" Part 2: EU: Proposal for biometrics on all citizens' passports, including full-text of proposal: Report

* EU: Security research programme to look at creating "smart" biometric documents which will "locate,identify and follow the movement of persons" through "automatic chips with positioning": Report and documentation

*
EU: UK parliamentary committee strongly criticises Commission report on PNR: Report and letter

 

February 2002

Indymedia centres raided across Italy - updated 28.2.02:
Report

Statewatch critique of Commission report on asylum and "safeguarding internal security" post 11 September, which:
i) displays a flagrant disregard for basic human rights obligations; ii) suggests solutions that are not coherent and iii) would apply to situations wholly unrelated to terrorism:
Report

Text of European arrest warrant: Report

EU terrorist situation report: Anarchists to be targeted as "terrorists" alongside Al Qaeda: Report

EU Presidency present draft Council Decision to target protestors as "terrorists":
Report

Denmark: Hard times for asylum seekers and refugees: Report

UK: Two "terrorist" suspects, held for months in prison, freed by the court for lack of evidence: Report

Six EU governments agree early implementation of European arrest warrant: Report

Doubts on EU Presidency proposal to target protestors as "terrorists": Report (please see later story 20.2.02: Report

Secret US-EU meeting on asylum: the construction of a common EU-US area of migration, asylum and borders? Report

European Parliament supports EU definition of terrorism and European arrest warrant: Report

UK Home Office publishes "Code of practice" under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 on the seizure and "detention" of cash: Text

European Commission proposal (COM(2002) 71 final, 11.2.02) for a Council Directive to give short-term residence package to asylum-seekers who "cooperate with the competent authorities" by giving information on "illegal immigration or trafficking in human beings": Proposal (pdf)

UK government White Paper on so-called: "Safe Borders: Safe Havens: Integration with diversity in Modern Britain:
Text (pdf)

Graham Watson MEP questions Council over adoption of a different definition of terrorism under the written procedure Decisions on 27 December 2001: Text of Question to Council

January 2002

EU data protection working party calls for a balanced response to terrorism: Report

All refugees and asylum-seekers to be vetted under new EU terrorism policy
* All refugees to be vetted for any connection with "terrorism" * Four measures by-pass any democratic accountability
* Application of measures not legally accountable * Measures adopted by "written procedure"

December 2001

Full-text of the UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act: Text

European Parliament allows more time for debating the European arrest warrant - vote postponed: Report

Australia: New ASIO powers threaten democratic rights: Report

MEPs demand arrest warrant vote to be postponed: Report

EU Joint investigation teams: scope changed from tacking terrorism, drugs and illegal immigration, to any criminal offence - "however minor": Report

EU definition of "terrorism" could still embrace protests (amended 13.12.01: full-text avialable): Report

Germany: "Terrorist" trial reveals lack of evidence after two years on remand: Report

A victory for civil society on the EU definition of terrorism? Report

EU plans to extend the Schengen Information System (SIS) to:
i) create EU database to target "suspected" protestors and bar them from entering a country where a protest is planned;
ii) create EU database of all "foreigners" to remove third country nationals who have not left within the "prescribed time frame"
: Special Statewatch report

European Appeal: "Democratic rights must not become the collateral damage caused by the war against terrorism" - Press conference, Brussels, on 3 December: Details

Commentaries on the effect on civil liberties of the "war against terrorism" in the EU, UK and US: Commentaries

Action against terrorism must not undermine human rights, say UN High Commissioner for human rights, Council of Europe and OSCE: Report

November 2001

Majority of EU governments want a wide definition of "terrorism", one that could include protests: Report

UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill would give the executive unprecedented powers to bring in EU measures on policing and sentencing without any parliamentary debate or amendments:
Report

European Parliament and EU governments on a collision course over the retention of data (telecommunications surveillance), text of Council's position: Report

UK plans for the retention of data for 12 months: Report
- UK to introduce data retention for 12 months under "voluntary code"
- Power to introduce mandatory retention available too
- UK derogates from 1997 EU Directive on privacy and pre-empts EU decision on data surveillance

Council of the European Union maintains wider definition of "terrorism": Report

Immigration lawyers group (ILPA) report criticises UK anti-terrorism Bill: ILPA

Critical reports on proposed UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill by UK parliamentary committee and Liberty (updated 20.11.01): Reports

Special: Text of US letter from Bush with demands for EU for cooperation:
- a sweeping agenda covering unregulated and unaccountable powers affecting criminal investigations, suspects' rights, the retention of telecommunications data, border controls and asylum policies

"The fragile superpower - US: no longer the land of the free", article from Le Monde diplomatique, November 2001: Article

UK Anti-terrorism, crime and security Bill published (updated 17.11.01): Full-text

European lawyers launch "Appeal": "Democratic rights must not become the collateral damage caused by the war against terrorism": Appeal

Interception of telecommunications in the EU: Update report
- US calls for EU data protection to be ditched
- Council Legal Services says governments already have powers to combat terrorism
- European Parliament committee re-affirms its report on new directive

October 2001

Statewatch analyses of post-11 September EU measures affecting civil liberties and accountability: Report
- new measures being rushed through are more concerned with law enforcement than terrorism
- the creation of informal ad hoc and unaccountable "operational" groups and data exchanges

"Open letter to the French Parliament" - Fifteen groups write on "Open letter" to protest at the dangers to civil liberties in proposed laws: France

UK anti-terrorism proposals include internment for terrorist "suspects" and data retention by communications providers: Report

The Council of the European Union proposes a wider definition of "terrorism" and extends it to those who aim to "seriously.. affect..an international organisation": Report

Amnesty International: Reports on the "backlash" in the aftermath of 11 September and "security and respect" for human rights in the EU: Reports

US: ACLU "Bitterly disappointed" in House-Senate Joint Passage of anti-terrorism legislation: Report

EU Regulation forbidding financial transactions with certain persons and entities - EU, US & UK lists of terrorist or proscribed groups: Report (revised 12.10.01)

September 2001

Ligue des droits de l'Homme (The Belgian League of Human Rights) press release:
"Deny terrorism a second victory"

EU governments want the retention of all telecommunications data for general use by law enforcement agencies under terrorism plan: Report
- governments want to use new terrorism measures to put all communications under surveillance
- governments demanding that EU data protection and privacy laws be "revised" to allow for retention
- Statewatch report on "Data protection and data retention in the EU?"

Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in the US has produced a detailed analysis of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act 2001: Analysis

EU to adopt new laws on terrorism: definition of "terrorism" to cover groups with the aim of "seriously altering... the political, economic or social structure" of one or more countries and their institutions and includes "urban violence": Statewatch report and documents

European NGOs concerned with privacy and civil liberties urge European leaders to defend citizens' freedoms: Letter to Summit



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