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January 2015

News In Brief (31.1.15)

UK: Front-Line Police 'All Need Tasers' To Deal With Lee-Rigby Style Attacks, Claims Federation Chief (Huffinton Post, link): "All front-line police officers should be armed with a Taser because of the heightened security threat, the head of the Police Federation has said, but human rights charity Amnesty International says its ridiculous to think that Tasers will deter terrorists. Steve White, chairman of the body which represents front-line officers, said acts of terrorism could be carried out anywhere and police needed to be protected."

Challenges pending in Germany to EU/US Safe Harbour (article in DE) (Heise.de):

European Commission: Speech of Commissioner Jourova: Informal JHA council in Riga (pdf): "Our agency EUROJUST needs to work at its full potential and therefore be in a position to fully exchange information with EUROPOL and be associated to EUROPOL's Focal Points dealing with terrorism."

EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meeting in Riga, Latvia 29-30 January: Agenda (pdf) and Background Note (pdf) including: "strengthening Europol's role in the monitoring and analysis of social media communication on the internet."

Europol to become the EU's "thought police"? See: Chief constable warns against ‘drift towards police state’ Greater Manchester’s Sir Peter Fahy says it is not the police’s job to define what counts as extremism (Guardian, link): "The battle against extremism could lead to a “drift towards a police state” in which officers are turned into “thought police”, one of Britain’s most senior chief constables has warned."

See also:Counter Terrorism Coordinator: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf)

Exclusive: CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia, Senior Bush Administration Official Says (VICE, link):

"Interrogations of US prisoners took place at a CIA black site on the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia, a senior Bush administration official has told VICE News. The island was used as a "transit location" for the US government's "nefarious activities" post-9/11 when other places were too full, dangerous, insecure, or unavailable, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff.

There was no permanent detention facility such as the CIA facility in Poland, he told VICE News in a wide-ranging interview. His intelligence sources indicated to him that the island was however home to "a transit site where people were temporarily housed, let us say, and interrogated from time to time."

EU-USA: Semi-transprency on TTIP as Brussels hide behind Washington (Wobbing.eu, link): "Some more light is shed on negotiations for a EU-US trade and investment agreement. Good, but not good enough the EU-Ombudsman says."

SWEDEN: Office plants computer chips under workers’ skin instead of ID cards (The Independent, link):

"A new Swedish office block is implanting the workers inside of it with computer chips under their skin, rather than issuing them with ID cards. The small radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips are pushed under the skin in the hand, and can then be used to open doors or use the photocopier.

The chips have been offered to the 400 people that have signed up to the Epicenter hi-tech office block in Sweden.... Those behind the chips hope that they will eventually become common enough to be used to pay for sandwiches in the canteen, or even replace passwords and PINs to get into computers. They can also be programmed to hold contact information and communicate with smartphone apps."

EU: Police cooperation: another angle on the surveillance debate (Open Democracy, link): "Meet Bahar Kimyongür, a political activist arrested, detained, and released in three European countries on an unsubstantiated charge. His case shows citizens are disarmed when they are reduced to a name in a database."

EU: Money-laundering: European Parliament press releases: Money laundering: company owner lists to fight tax crime and terrorist financing (pdf):

"The ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a "legitimate interest",
such as journalists, under a Parliament/Council deal endorsed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees on Tuesday. The new anti-money laundering directive aims to help to fight money laundering, tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved."

EU: Ombudsman: How to make the Commission's expert groups more balanced and transparent (pdf): "The Ombudsman calls on the Commission to establish a legally binding framework for all expert groups, including a definition of what balanced representation in different groups should look like. She also recommends measures to reduce potential conflict of interest situations and to publish more information about the work of the groups. The Commission should reply to her proposals by 30 April 2015."

EU: JUSTICIA Network statement: Joint Statement on Legal Aid (pdf): "The future directive on the right to legal aid must be seen as inter-connected and aligned with the directive on access to a lawyer. Legal advice and representation is rendered meaningless unless the accused person has the means to privately engage a lawyer or is supported through legal aid."

 CoE: CPT report: Report to the Bulgarian Government on the visit to Bulgaria carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (pdf):

"The Committee notes that the vast majority of its long-standing recommendations, some of them dating back to the very first periodic visit to Bulgaria in 1995, remain unimplemented, for example as regards ill-treatment (both in the police and prison context), inter-prisoner violence, prison overcrowding, material conditions of detention in investigation detention facilities (IDF) and prisons, prison health care, staffing levels, as well as discipline, segregation and contact with the outside world. The CPT is of the view that urgent and effective action must now be taken to address all these concerns."

Institute of Race Relations (IRR): ‘Apologists for terrorism’: dissent and the limits of free expression (link): "Freedom of thought, expression and inquiry is under renewed threat from governments which, paradoxically, claim to be fighting to preserve freedom of expression in Europe."

News in Brief (30.1.15)

Recent news on deaths in custody (IRR news, link)

Rights and Safety for Refugees! Hamburg Kundgebungn in Memory of Khaled (The VOICE, link)

Court condemns police crackdown on Ökotárs headquarters (Politics.hu, link)

UK broke law in fewer than 1% of European human rights cases in 2014 - Statistics published as Britain gears up for election that will feature Tory threats to withdraw from the European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)

How GCHQ prepares for interception of phone calls from satellite links (Techdirt, link): "Most of the Snowden-revelations are about spying on the internet, but NSA and GCHQ are also conducting the more traditional collection of telephone communications that go through satellite links." See also: GCHQ Bude (Wikipedia, link)

Spying Program Leaked by Snowden Is Tied to Campaign in Many Countries (New York Times, link): "A program used by U.S. and British spies to record computer keystrokes was part of sophisticated hacking operations in more than a dozen countries, security experts said on Tuesday, after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reportedly leaked the source code for the program."

UK: Heavy opposition set to defeat key part of Theresa May’s terrorism bill - Peers, academics and senior Tories reject idea of placing legal duty on universities to prevent students from being drawn into extremism (Guardian, link)

An Artist’s Pioneering Masks Shield Us from Future Surveillance (GOOD, link)

Privacy: With a Few Bits of Data, Researchers Identify ‘Anonymous’ People (New York Times, link): "Even when real names and other personal information are stripped from big data sets, it is often possible to use just a few pieces of the information to identify a specific person, according to a study to be published Friday in the journal Science"

UK: Met Riot Police Could Get Firearms Training (Yahoo Ireland, link):"The Metropolitan Police is considering training public order officers to use firearms to create a "reserve capability" to cope with terrorist attacks."

Michael Hayden: “We Kill People Based on Metadata” (Just Security, link)

Facebook and Twitter are terrorist "accomplices" if they fail to remove extremist content, says French president (Daily Mirror, link)

Mediterranean: Spain, France, Italy and Portugal: Papers from 'C4' defence and security conferences

The 'C4 Coloquim' is an "annual academic collaboration" that that discusses papers from the military studies academies of France (CHEM), Spain (CESEDEN), Italy (CASD) and Portugal (IDN) on the theme of "mutual trust and stability" in the Mediterannean, described as "the ultimate objective of the C4."

2012's theme was "The consequences of the Arab spring", with papers covering:

News in Brief (29.1.15)

French police question 8-year-old over terror comment (France24, link): "Reports that French police questioned an 8-year-old after he allegedly made comments in school in praise of terrorists have highlighted fears that the authorities may be going too far in their crackdown on hate speech."

MI5 says rendition of Libyan opposition leaders strengthened al-Qaida (Guardian, link)

EU air passenger database about to take flight, but critics want it grounded (PC World, link): "The new plan calls for a database with personal flight data such as travel dates, itineraries, ticket information and baggage information, according to a document published by Statewatch on Wednesday and described as a leaked and legitimate EC document....Critics say such a database could violate fundamental human rights, but the Commission argues that it would help law enforcement with the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offenses and serious transnational crime.

Brussels Calling on Communication Firms to Provide Encryption Keys (EU Bulletin, link): "In a document that was leaked by the UK-based civil liberties group Statewatch, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, says that the EU Commission ought to introduce rules that would require the companies to help national governments collect data on possible suspects."

UK: Children mistakenly detained at Campsfield & Dover detention centres last month (Home Office, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (Intercept, link): "British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies, according to a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." See: BADASS Angry Birds document (link)

EU data czar seeks global voice amidst tension with US (euractiv, link)

Spaniards face sanctions if found to be drunk in charge of a pair of legs - Pedestrians to be breathalysed, and even be subject to speed limits, in proposed effort to make pavements safer (Guardian, link): "The proposal also sets out a speed limit for pavements, limiting the pace to “not surpassing that of a normal stride”

EU anti-democrats throw their toys out the pram (euobserver, link) by Leigh Phillip

EU: Travel surveillance: Commission attempts to soothe PNR critics with "workable compromise"

A leaked European Commission note (pdf) sets out considerations on "the best way forward to respond to the different calls for a swift adoption of the EU PNR [Passenger Name Record] proposal," which would introduce blanket law enforcement surveillance and profiling of all passengers arriving in the EU by air.

The European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) voted against the proposed PNR Directive in April 2013, but EU officials and national politicians have repeatedly demanded agreement on the legislation.

These calls reached a crescendo following the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, with politicians and officials claiming the attacks made clear the necessity of an EU PNR system. As Gilles de Kerchove, the EU's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, said to the LIBE committee yesterday (27 January) during a session on counter-terrorism: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste."

EU: FRONTEX: Work Programme for 2015 (138 pages, pdf) and EUROPOL: Work Programme for 2015 (65 pages, pdf)

Storming Spain's Razor-Wire Fence: Europe Or Die (VICE News, link): "Since 2000, more than 27,000 migrants and refugees have died attempting the perilous journey to Europe. With an unprecedented number of people breaking through its heavily barricaded borders in 2014, the EU continues to fortify its frontiers. VICE News presents Europe or Die, a new four-part series that documents the efforts of those risking their lives to reach Europe, and the forces tasked to keep them out."

See: Watch: :"The Human Cost of War in the Central African Republic" (link), Read: "Asylum Seekers in Australia Could Soon Be Headed to Cambodia" (link) and Read "Guards Break Barricades and Jail Dozens as Refugees Continue Mass Hunger Strike Against Australia" (link)

And see: Spanish official lauds Morocco’s exemplary immigration policy (Morocco World News, link): ""Ybanez noted that Morocco has adopted a new policy which takes account of the new challenges of immigration regarding the respect of human rights of immigrants and refugees, and the need to promote regional cooperation to counter this phenomenon."

EU: Money-laundering and terrorism: Draft "compromise" between the Council and the European Parliament: Proposal for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (pdf)

Does not seem to take into account criticisms made by the Meijers Committee regarding the potential the text provides for discrimination: Note Meijers Committee on the proposal for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (COM(2013) 45 final) (pdf)

SURVEILLANCE: Experts Unmask 'Regin' Trojan as NSA Tool (Spiegel Online): "Just weeks ago, SPIEGEL published the source code of an NSA malware program known internally as QWERTY. Now, experts have found that it is none other than the notorious trojan Regin, used in dozens of cyber attacks around the world."

CANADA: SURVEILLANCE: Canada Casts Global Surveillance Dragnet Over File Downloads (The Intercept, link):

"Canada’s leading surveillance agency is monitoring millions of Internet users’ file downloads in a dragnet search to identify extremists, according to top-secret documents. The covert operation, revealed Wednesday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, taps into Internet cables and analyzes records of up to 15 million downloads daily from popular websites commonly used to share videos, photographs, music, and other files. The revelations about the spying initiative, codenamed LEVITATION..."

See also: LEVITATION documemt (pdf): "We see about 15 million FFU [Free file upload sites] events a day... What do we need? A list of suspect documents - A list of FFU URLs referring to these documents - A list of IPs downblaoding these URLs."

EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Press release): The EU as a beacon of respect for data protection and privacy (pdf):

"Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said, "It is high time that we in Europe think about our response to rapid change and challenges, including threats to our security. That response will have ramifications for us and for the next generation that is growing up online today. We must not forget that we cannot have security without privacy so that we preserve the rights and freedoms that Europe holds dear. Our solutions for security must also treat individuals with dignity and respect - and not suspicion or surveillance. The goal for my mandate is for the EU to speak with one voice on data protection, a voice which is credible, informed and relevant." [emphasis in original]

EU: NIS: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive concerning measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union - State of play and work ahead (LIMITE doc no: 5257-15, 145 pages, pdf): Multi-column document showing the Commission proposal, and the Council and European Parliament positions.

EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation:

General Data Protection Regulation - The one-stop-shop mechanism (LIMITE doc no: 5315-15, pdf) From German and French delegations

Pseudonymisation (LIMITE doc no: 14705-rev1-14, pdf) German delegation: "The German delegation proposes taking the idea of pseudonymisation of data another step further, in order to encourage the use of pseudonymisation and make it more attractive to controllers while further improving the protection of data subjects."

UK: Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill: STOP THE CTS BILL (link) and Petition (link)

News in Brief (28.1.15)

EU officials consider pooling air passenger data after Paris attacks - ID checks could be reintroduced within Schengen zone as European governments race to tighten security measures (Guardian. link) Move long covered by NGOs, based on a UK government proposal to all track travel within EU..

Police officers could be charged for 'calling alleged domestic violence victim 'f*****g slag' and 'b***h' (Independent, link)

The missing link: Direct effect CETA/TTIP and investor-state dispute settlement (ASFJ, link): "International treaties have rarely received more attention than the proposed free trade deals between the EU and the US and Canada. This entails that many law students and practitioners are confronted with a theme that does not feature prominently in legal education."

UK: Call To Trial Gunfire Detectors At ‘Soft Targets’ In London (Londonist, link): ""Gunfire detection systems should be installed at hospitals, museums,
train stations and shopping centres to improve armed police response times to terror attacks, a leading City Hall Conservative says."

UK: Two more journalists emerge as police spying targets, Press Gazette says: 'We've been misled by Met' (Press Gazette, link)

Denmark: Call to Reject Bill Increasing Refugees’ Vulnerability (Euromedrights, link)

EUROPOL: Report on the annual accounts of the European Police Office for the financial year 2013 together with the Office's replies (16471-14, pdf) including on page 14:

"The EIS contained 245,142 (186,896 last year) records at the end of 2013 with an increasing proportion of person records (the most important and valuable variety of records from a law enforcement point of view)." [emphasis added]

EU: Holocaust denial and hate crime: Can the EU and its Member States do more? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The European Commission has chosen today, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to release its first report on Member States' implementation of the EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law....The Commission cannot be criticised for holding off on bringing infringement proceedings, since it cannot do so until the end of this year. After that point, this legislation will be another EU measure which the Commission ought to enforce vigorously by means of infringement proceedings if it is, as it claims, committed to ensuring the full implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in practice."

See also: European Commission: Report on the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (pdf)

European Parliament Studies: The European Council and the Council: perspectives on new dynamics in EU governance (pdf): "The study identifies the institutional dynamics associated with the new intergovernmentalism and traces the consequences for institutional design and inter-institutional relations". and Looking ahead: pathways of future constitutional evolution of the EU (pdf)

EU Transparency Register: ALTER-EU: New and Improved? Why the EU Lobby Register still fails to deliver (link) and Link to Report: "This new research, published by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), shows how the voluntary approach to EU lobby transparency regulation fails to provide citizens with an accurate picture of the lobby scene in Brussels. Some of the main groups that are actively lobbying the EU institutions have still not registered in the EU's Transparency Register. These include:

• Financial lobbyists such as Standard & Poors, City of London Corporation and Credit Suisse;
• Law firms such as Covington & Burling and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer;
• Major corporations such as Electrabel, Anglo American and Generral Motors."

News in Brief (27.1.15)

Terrorists and serious criminals beware ! Your travel data can tell everything about you (ASFJ, link): "After the last terrorist attacks the President of The European Council, the EU interior ministers, the EU anti-terrorism coordinator, the European Commission, some national parliaments and even the press have raised their voice against the European Parliament who is blocking since years a legislative measure on the access by law enforcement authorities to the passenger name record (PNR)which are managed by the airlines when you make a flight reservation."

UK: Family of man left in vegetative state hit out at IPCC over police brutality allegations - Family of Julian Cole speak out after 21-year-old left with broken neck after arrest by six officers in 2013 (Guardian, link)

President of the European Council Donald Tusk congratulates Alexis Tsipras on his appointment as Prime Minister of Greece On behalf of the European Union I wish to congratulate Alexis Tsipras on his appointment today as Prime Minister of Greece. The European Union has stood by Greece from the first day of the crisis and is committed to continue to support the country in its efforts to put its economy on a sustainable path. I look forward to working closely together with the new Prime Minister of Greece, and I look forward to welcoming him at the informal meeting of EU Heads of State or Government in Brussels on 12 February".(Council of the European Union Press Release)

Greece turns left: What next? (euobserver, link): "Across Greece people will tell you the country is a litmus test for the rest of the continent, that where Greece goes Europe will follow."

Peer defends attempt to introduce snooper’s charter - Lord King tells House of Lords that current legislation is not sufficient to meet threat and it is parliament’s duty to update it (Guardian, link)

Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones (The Intercept, link)

French mayor ‘evicts’ first black Marianne statue (France24, link): ""The small town of Frémainville is one of the few in France where a black-skinned Marianne statue adorns city hall. But the city's new mayor is replacing the minority Marianne, claiming she does not represent the French republic."

Aesthetics of Migration - Street Art in the Mediterranean Border Zones (Ibraaz, link): ""Beyond the distant images of washed-up bodies on the shore or a
packed craft stranded at sea is the everyday theatre of migrant detentions and expulsions from the towns bordering the Mediterranean."

Liverpool win asylum seekers reprieve in last port of call row with Government (Liverpool Echo, link): ""Liverpool Council has won a temporary reprieve from becoming the last port of call for asylum seekers hoping to remain the in the UK."

Looking to MLATs: A step towards transparency for intelligence sharing agreements (PI, link)

Prevent and anti-extremism education (Open Democracy, link)

UK: Far-right ‘Christian Patrols’ back in Whitechapel targeting Muslims (Docklands & East London Advertiser, link)

European Parliament: Counter Terrorism: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Agenda for meeting on 27 January 2015 (pdf). See also Working Documents:

Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third-country nationals crossing the EU Member States' external borders (pdf): "The rapporteur believes that granting access to security forces would make the EES more useful and effective, which would, in turn, help to improve the management of the Schengen Area." See Commission: Proposal (link)

Registered Travellers Programme (pdf): ""The original Commission proposals provided that a set of 36 data items would be retained per traveller. The study suggests that, in fact, 26 data items would be sufficient for the RTP (and the EES). No access for law enforcement was foreseen in the original RTP proposal and the
study does not find reasons to propose it...

"Following the different opinions on the Smart Borders Package, namely from the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Meijers Committee, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, commenting on a wide range of issues including the proportionality and practical feasibility of the proposals, the compatibility of the Smart Borders Package with basic data protection principles has not been sufficiently demonstrated."

"Regrettably, the study failed to prove adequately why such systems should be built in the first place, and completely disregarded the Parliament's request to assess and address other options which might achieve the objectives set." See Commission: Proposal (link)

EU: Mass surveillance: Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: Mass surveillance is counter-productive and ‘endangers human rights (Press release, link) and Report (pdf): It calls for

• "the collection of personal data without consent only following “a court order granted on the basis of reasonable suspicion”
• “credible, effective protection” for whistle-blowers exposing unlawful surveillance
• better judicial and parliamentary control of intelligence services
• an “intelligence codex” defining mutual obligations that secret services could opt into
• an inquiry into member states’ use of mass surveillance using powers under the European Convention on Human Rights"

See also: Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report - Europe’s top rights body says scale of NSA spying is ‘stunning’ and suggests UK powers may be at odds with rights convention (Guardian, link)

USA: SURVEILLANCE: More Cowbells: new NSA leaks reveal extent of spying tactics (ROARMAG, link): "New leaks from the NSA archive, seen exclusively by ROAR, reveal that even the Internet’s most basic architecture - the DNS database - is compromised." and MoreCowBell Nouvelles révélations sur les pratiques de la NSAE (Le Monde fr, link)

And see: NSA documents (pdf)

MALTA-USA: MEP questions Malta's use of US-supplied border security technology

"German MEP Cornelia Ernst has taken issue over Malta's use of the PISCES border control software, which was donated to the country by the American government in 2004, claiming that Malta's use of the software could constitute a security risk for other EU member states."

"TIP/PISCES is currently operational in the following countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Nepal, Pakistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Yemen, and Zambia."

EU police agency Europol reportedly receives information from PISCES systems around the globe.

EU: Schengen Code: Proposal for on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) (codification) (20.1.15, COM 8, pdf) and Annex (pdf)

Europol: UK Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee: Inquiry into Counter-Terrorism in Europe: Evidence from Rob Wainwright, Europol Director-General (13 January 2015, pdf)

News in Brief, 26.1.15)

Catharsis or catastrophe: what next for Greece and the Eurozone? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The better course for the EU is to take this opportunity to re-engage with the millions of EU citizens who are affected or angered by austerity, and re-orient the EU towards ending that austerity, instead of generating more of it. Although this is more easily said than done, it should never be forgotten that the initial rationale for the EU was not austerity, but economic growth which raised living standards for the population as a whole. So in voting for a party which promised the latter, Greeks have reaffirmed, not rejected, the Union’s traditional raison d’etre, reminding it that the Union cannot maintain its social or political legitimacy if it becomes no more than a mechanism for enforcing austerity."

Is Europe Overlooking the Far-Right 'Foreign Fighter' Issue in Ukraine? (Huffington Post, link): "Are extremist Islamist fighters the only foreign fighters Europe should be worrying about? The answer is no. The possibility of returning far-right fighters from Ukraine is a threat currently being overlooked. The conflict in Ukraine has provided an environment where the formation of foreign right-wing paramilitary groups can occur without any opposition. Both pro-Russian and Ukrainian Nationalists have operational paramilitary groups that hold right-wing extremist views, ties to neo-Nazism and welcome foreigners as fighters."

WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government (Guardian, link): - Search giant gave FBI emails and digital data belonging to three staffers - WikiLeaks told last month of warrants which were served in March 2012.

EU: A Tale of Two States: Rule of Law in the Age of Terrorism (ASFJ, link): "As a reaction to the recent terrorist attacks in France, several EU member states as well as the EU itself have announced significant anti-terrorism measures".

EU flight data bill set for possible overhaul (euobserver, link)

Le PNR européen à la croisée des chemins : protection des données et lutte contre le terrorisme (ASFJ, link)

News in brief (25.1.15)

EU: Council’s position on Visa Directive a step back for young people’s mobility (youthforum.org, link): "The European Youth Forum is extremely
disappointed to see that the European Council has taken a backward step from the aim of a better visa regime in its recently published position on the proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and of residence for third-country nationals. The Council's position limits mobility to certain groups and could mean that delays and barriers to moving into and within Europe will remain."

Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities - ‘Blunt tool’ approach is leading parents into false sense of security, insist campaigners (The Observer, link): "campaigners say that it is misleading to suggest these filters are just about blocking pornography, and that they block a range of content, such as drugs, sex, alcohol, tobacco and anorexia. The Metropolitan police are currently producing a list of websites for the filtering services which they regard as terror-related. A website discussing the legalisation of cannabis found itself blocked, as did several small wine dealers, said Pam Cowburn of the transparency campaign Open Rights Group. Last year research by the group found that 54 registered charities had their websites blocked by one or another of the filters. Several were offering support and services to young people escaping abuse or alcohol dependency. One such charity, Alcohol Support, based in Aberdeen, called it a “big brother” approach."

MegaChat Encrypted Service Launched (Fillhipo, link): "Kim Dotcom, the Internet entrepreneur, has just announced the release of an encrypted chat service, called MegaChat. The service is to compete with the widely used and Microsoft-owned, Skype...This news has come after it has emerged that the EU counter-terrorism coordinator wants all companies to be required by law to hand over encryption keys when asked for them...Gilles de Kerchove said, in a document leaked by the civil liberties group Statewatch,that encryption “increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible"

Leaked doc: Europe's justice chiefs forming plans to cosy up to ISPs - Yeah, and bring back PNR! (The Register, link)

UK: Last-minute attempt to insert surveillance clauses into anti-terror bill

"It is one of the oldest tricks in the book, you cannot get something enshrined in law and so you hide it amongst the reams of lawyer speak as an amendment. This is what appears to be happening with 17 pages of amendments that have just been put forward as amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill by four members of The House of Lords."

Why trade is not the place for the EU to negotiate privacy (Internet Policy Review, link): "As negotiations progress over the EU-US Free-Trade Agreement (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP), it is natural that somebody will propose addressing privacy differences through trade. But several features of free trade agreements make negotiating data protection in the trade regime a very bad idea for the EU." And see: Ralf Bendrath, 'TTIP and TiSA: big pressure to trade away privacy' (pdf), September 2014

UK: Eric Pickles illegally discriminating against Gypsies and Travellers, the High Court rules (The Independent, link): "Eric Pickles has been illegally discriminating against Gypsies and Travellers by using his ministerial powers to personally decide whether they should be allowed to settle on green belt land, the High Court has ruled." See: Judgment (British and Irish Legal Information Institute, link)

See also, from November 2014: Abandoning Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities … the UK way (Institute of Race Relations, link)

News in brief (24.01.15)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)POLAND: Maverick MEP Korwin-Mikke launches new party (Radio Poland, link): "Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the recently ousted leader of fringe party the Congress of the New Right, has registered a new party, the abbreviated name of which is KORWiN." See: Polish far-right MEP blasted for use of 'racist' language (The Parliament, link)

GERMANY: Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder (The Local, link): "Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th."

UK: Met policeman cleared after kicking mother tending to her child in hospital (The Guardian, link): "A police officer who kicked and hit a mother as she sat by the hospital bed of her sick child, leaving her with more than 40 injuries, has been cleared of actual bodily harm."

UK: Saudi King Abdullah: Britain mourns a tyrant (The Independent, link): "The Government face demands to reassess Britain’s relationship with the Saudi Arabian regime amid fury over the reverential tributes paid to King Abdullah following his death."

GREECE: ECHR Condemns Greece for Inhumane Migrant Treatment (Greek Reporter, link)

EU: "A huge number of migrants": over 19,000 people apprehended during joint police operation Mos Maiorum

More than 19,000 people were apprehended during 'Mos Maiorum', the Europe-wide joint police and border guard operation that took place over two weeks in October 2014. More than a quarter of the people who encountered the authorities were Syrian, according to a leaked copy of the final report.

"Syrian nationals (5088 people) were the most detected irregular migrants, followed by Afghans (1466 people), K-Serbians [Kosovars] (1196), Eritreans (1116), Somalis (641) and Albanians (587)," says the report, authored by Italian officials. 11,046 people requested asylum "during or after their interception".

And see: Mos Maiorum: MEPs "deplore" Council's "buck passing of responsibilities": Two MEPs from the GUE/NGL group of MEPs have written an open letter to critcise the "buck passing of responsibilities" over Joint Operation Mos Maiorum, after being told by the Council of the EU that they should submit questions to the Italian government.

Politicians want inquiry into Barcelona police clashes with party goers (The Guardian, link): "Several opposition parties in Catalonia are pushing for an inquiry into a 2006 clash between police and party-goers, after Catalan public television aired a documentary alleging police torture and a cover-up of the facts in the aftermath of the event."

The "clashes" referred to include allegations of false arrest, false imprisonment, torture and racism, and ultimately the suicide of one of those imprisoned. The documentary is available to view online: English subtitles, Spanish subtitles (links to YouTube). See also: 'Ciutat morta' desata una ola de indignación y la petición de la reapertura del 'caso 4F' (El Periodico, link) and Las afectadas del 4F piden la reapertura del caso al considerar que nunca se investigó (Diagonal, link)

EU: European Public Prosecutor's Office: latest Council and Parliament documents

Includes the European Parliament LIBE Committee's draft interim report and Council documents from December and November on the state of play, outstanding issues and orientation debate.

UK: LONDON: Are You a Domestic Extremist? (Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, link): "Tuesday 27th January 2015 6.30pm - 8pm: Speakers: Jess Hurd, photojournalist; Jason Parkinson, videojournalist; and Shamik Dutta, solicitor for the six journalists challenging the Met's "domestic extremist" database." See also:

UK: Policing protest – what we can expect in 2015 (Netpol, link): "Prophecy is always risky, but looking back at the policing of protest over the last few years offers some hints about what we can expect in the coming year. Here are seven educated guesses from Netpol for 2015: 2015 – The UK’s Year of the Protest?... The increasing privatisation of protest policing... But no cuts in the ‘domestic extremism’ intelligence gatherers... Increased targeting of anti-fracking campaigners... A continuing use of mass arrests... The new social media battle ground... Unlocking the secret files police hold on protesters"

European Parliament: NGOs, media freedom and EU role at the heart of Hungary human rights debate (press release, link)

" The recent clampdown on an NGO, media freedom and the potential for the EU to monitor the fundamental rights situation in member states were among the main issues raised at a public hearing on human rights in Hungary. The hearing took place on 22 January in the Parliament's justice committee with representatives of NGOs, international organisations and the Hungarian government in attendance."

And see: Hungary Wants Strict EU Policy on Immigration (ABC News, link)

News in brief (23.01.15)

GERMANY: PEGIDA founder Bachmann quits after Hitler mustache photo (Deutsche Welle, link)

France-USA: Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica, link)

Serbia and Finland ink police cooperation agreement (b92, link)

European Arms Fueling Central African Republic War, Study Finds (Bloomberg, link): "Guns and ammunition made in Europe, Iran and China are being smuggled into the Central African Republic, fueling conflict that’s witnessed some of the world’s worst human-rights abuses, according to a report by Conflict Armament Research. "

UK: The end of the CCTV era? (BBC News Magazine, link): "Twenty years ago the government backed a major expansion of the CCTV network - now funds are being cut and cameras shut off. Is the UK's CCTV boom over, asks Rachel Argyle. "

France begins jailing people for ironic comments (Electronic Intifada, link): "It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony."

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in 'horrible Islamophobic attack' (The Independent, link)

Muslim-owned shops in Birmingham attacked with 'guns and hammers' (i100, link)

EU wants internet firms to hand over encryption keys (euobserver, link): "A top EU official wants internet and telecommunication companies to hand over encryption keys to police and spy agencies as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism. The EU’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in a document leaked by London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, says the European Commission should come up with rules that require the firms to help national governments snoop on possible suspects."

European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): 27 January 2015: Terrorist financing: Agenda (pdf), Proposal for a Regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds (pdf) and Proposal for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (91 pages, pdf)

News in Brief (22.1.15)

EU anti-terrorism chief: Communications should be accessible to security services (euractiv, link): "De Kerchove said he expected governments to adopt an EU approach that would build on improving cooperation under systems already available, such as for Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone, and on existing institutions such as Europol and Interpol. The need for new legislation was limited, he said." [emphasis added]

UK: The day I found out I'm a 'Domestic Extremist' - When the police must use intrusive powers they should be focused on those individuals who pose a threat of serious harm and carry out serious criminal acts, writes Jenny Jones (Daily Telegraph, link)

UK: Strip-searched girl’s family sues Merseyside police (Guardian, link)

Austria's €290m plan to fight terror (The Local, link): "'The whole package is mainly designed for the furnishing of special forces and less on the prevention of terrorism' said Gert-Rena Polli,former head of the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism."

CALAIS: France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute (HRW, link) and see: Migrants describe police brutality in French city of Calais (France24, link)

Romania: The Big Brother Law 2 is unconstitutional (NineOclock, link): "The Constitutional Court (CCR) judges decided yesterday, with a majority of votes, that Romania’s cybernetic security law, nicknamed the Big Brother Law 2, was unconstitutional “in its entirety”."

EU: Statewatch Analysis: The US Senate reveals the truth on renditions and torture, now it’s Europe’s turn (pdf) by Armando Spataro is the Prosecutor of the Republic in Turin, an expert in internal and international terrorism:

"There is a need for a decisive political turn to holistically direct all the governments’ antiterrorist activity, none of which may claim leadership or impose modes of action that stray from the bounds of the law and respect for people’s fundamental freedoms upon its allies."

EU: Council of the European Union: Internet content: new powers to block to be given to service providers: Examination of the Presidency compromise text on net neutrality (EU doc 5439-14, pdf)

"With respect to the provision of internet access services, the draft stipulates equal treatment of all traffic. However, reasonable traffic management measures are allowed, and the draft sets out the characteristics of such measures. The list of exceptional situations where internet access service providers can implement measures which block or discriminate has been limited to four."

And note the comment in: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf): The power of service providers in "flagging of content which breaches the platform's own terms and conditions...often go further than national legislation.."

GERMANY: Mass confiscation of mobile phones by police after spontaneous anti-racist demonstration

"On Thursday 16 January around 600 people in Leipzig took part in a spontaneous demonstration against racism focused on the murder of Khaled Idris Bahray, a 20-year-old Ertirean refugee who was found stabbed to death two days earlier in Dresden, the capital of the federal state Saxony....

Protesters at the demonstration in Leipzig, which is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Dresden, allegedly pelted police with stones. According the Saxony police the group smashed shop windows and display cases as well. A large number of the protesters escaped when the police attempted to close in. Local journal MOPO24 reported that about 150 protesters had been surrounded. They were searched by the police, stripped of their jackets and photographed. According to MOPO24 all 150 people also had their mobile phones confiscated."

News in Brief (21.1.15)

Reaction to publication of: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf):

De Maizière will Verschlüsselung knacken - Der Kampf um Verschlüsselung wird härter: Sicherheitsbehörden in ganz Europa fordern einen Zugang zu verschlüsselten Daten. Deutschland will dabei offenbar mitspielen (Cracking encryption - The battle for encryption is harder: security authorities across Europe require access to encrypted data. Germany wants to play too obviously) (Zeit Online, link)

EU-Parlament will erneut über Fluggastdaten diskutieren (EU Parliament will discuss again on Passenger Name (Der Tag, link): " the civil rights organization Statewatch [published] a report of anti-terrorism co-ordinator of the EU"

Griff in die “Werkzeugkiste repressiver Regime wie China oder Bahrain” (SPREEZEITUNG.de, link): "The interior and justice policy spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, Jan Philipp Albrecht, has expressed shock over the demands of the EU anti-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove."

Wegen Snowden: EU-Beauftragter will IT-Anbieter zu Hintertüren für verschlüsselte Kommunikation verpflichten (MM News, link): "Snowden: EU commissioner wants to commit to a back door for encrypted communication IT vendors"

BMI: Behörden müssen Verschlüsselung knacken können (Futurezone, link): "BMI: authorities must be able to crack encryption"

De Kerchove navrhl vznik protiteroristického strediska u Europolu (Blesk.cz, link): "Establishing a European counter-terrorism center within Europol is proposed by CTC European Union Gilles de Kerchove. The option is part of the documentation for the meeting interior and justice ministers of EU countries next week in Riga. The document is now available online published NGO Statewatch"

and

EU: From bad to worse? On the Commission and the Council’s rule of law initiatives (EU Law Analysis, link): "To conclude, the Commission and the Council’s initiatives may leave one deeply disappointed considering the serious nature of the internal challenges faced on the rule of law front. When comparing the two initiatives, one may however argue that the Commission’s is much less half-hearted and, thus, at least less counter-productive, than the Council’s, which does not simply represent the triumph of empty rhetoric over genuine action but also unfortunately undermines the future legitimacy of any Commission attempt to trigger its new pre-Article 7 procedure."

For five years Greece has been like a patient slowly bleeding’ - The sick man of Europe is dying and Sunday’s elections may be the tipping point (Guardian, link)

EU: Council of the European Union: Lot of detailed proposals from EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator for: EU CTC input for the preparation of the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga on 29 January 2015 (LIMITE, DS doc no: 1035-13, 14 pages, 17 January 2015, pdf) includes "closer alignment of Europol and INTCEN, to make a genuine EU CT threat assessment centre", on Europol's European Information System " less than 2% of current records are terrorism related" , Europol should have a "resident CT task force...acting as a fusion centre for law enforcement and intelligence service data", "flagging of content which breaches the platform's own terms and conditions. These often go further than national legislation.."

See: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator seeks mandatory disclosure of encryption keys by EU internet companies & telcos (link)

EU: Police chiefs want non-EU countries to "prevent irregular migration from happening"

Europol and police forces from EU Member States and beyond have called for "more funds [for] enhanced border control, preventive measures in countries of origin, and joint investigative and analysis teams" to deal with irregular migration, according to a leaked Europol report summarising the proceedings of the 2014 European Police Chiefs Convention. The Convention took place at the end of September 2014, and the report puts particular emphasis on the need for 'buffer states' that take on border control roles for the EU:

"Above all, pre-entry measures such as effective bilateral agreements are key to reducing illegal/irregular migration because once third-country nationals are in an irregular situation in the EU, it becomes more difficult and costly to locate them and address the irregularity. Therefore, it is a policy priority to invest in the country of origin to prevent the irregular migration from happening."

: EU to increase intelligence sharing with Arab states (euobserver, link): "The EU wants to step up security and intelligence co-operation with neighbouring countries to counter terrorist threats.The plan is part of a broader effort discussed on Monday (19 January) by EU foreign ministers to reduce the risk of militant attacks by getting national intelligence and law enforcement agencies to share data and to communicate better with each other and their counterparts in Turkey, north Africa, and Asia."

See also: Press release: High Representative after Foreign Affairs Council (pdf) and background on the role of: EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (Wikipedia, link) CFSP does not come under EU competence. The Council makes its own decisions - which are not subject to shared decision making power with the EU Parliament. In the Council decisions require unanimity.

UK: JOURNALISTS UNDER SURVEILLANCE: Alan Rusbridger: Home Office must not remove right to protect sources - In a speech to members of the defence and intelligence community, the Guardian editor expressed concern over threats to privacy and freedom of speech (Guardian, link):

"Journalism will be changed forever if the Home Office goes ahead with a proposal to remove the right to protect anonymous sources, the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, warned in a speech on Monday. He also expressed concern that the right to confidentiality that lawyers, doctors, MPs, priests and others in the church are supposed to enjoy is also under threat. His comments came the day before the deadline for responses to the Home Office consultation paper on extending police powers.

“Journalism, which relies on unauthorised sources for much that is good and valuable, would be changed forever in this country,” Rusbridger said. “That’s not something to sneak in in a few paragraphs of an obscure Home Office consultation document."

See also: Draft Code of Practice: Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice Pursuant to section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Draft for public consultation, 9 December 2014 (55 pages, pdf) which says:

"3.73  However the degree of interference with privacy may be higher where the communications data being sought relates to a person who is a member of a profession that handles privileged or otherwise confidential information (such as a medical doctor, lawyer, journalist, Member of Parliament, or minister of religion). It may also be possible to infer an issue of sensitivity from the fact someone has regular contact with, for example, a lawyer or journalist

3.74  Such situations do not preclude an application being made.." [emphasis added, p31]

MASS SURVEILLANCE IS HERE TO STAY, LIKE IT OR LUMP IT: Ex-MI6 chief calls for new compact between internet firms and spy agencies - Sir John Sawers says Snowden revelations shattered informal relationship but cooperation is necessary to prevent attacks (Guardian, link) He says:

"“There is a dilemma because the public, politicians and technology companies, to some extent, want us to be able to monitor the activities of terrorists and evil-doers but don’t want their electronic activities to be open to such monitoring. The benefit of the debate is that people now understand that is not possible,” he said. “There has to be some form of ability to cover communications that are made through modern technology.”

News in Brief (20.1.15)

Charlie Hebdo attack spurs EU anti-terror 'projects' (BBC News, link)

EU considers 'security agents' to counter terrorism (euractiv, link): "European Union foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad, as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on 7 January."

EU To counter terror, Europe's police reconsider their arms (New Europe, link)

Europe to Legislate Level Tech Playing Field, Says European MP Reding (WSJ Digits, link): "We have the impression that our American friends, every time they do not want to apply the laws, they bring up national security. It has nothing to do with national security. They would like to have this national security exemption all over the place. We would like to have the rule of law all over the place, she said"

Fortress mentality on EU migration creates xenophobia, warns Italian PM - Matteo Renzi says defensive attitude in debate about freedom of movement opens the door to right-wing nationalism (Guardian, link)

BBC Democracy Day: Europe 'faces political earthquakes' (BBC News, link)

GCHQ intercepted emails of journalists from top international media (Guardian, link):

• Snowden files reveal emails of BBC, NY Times and more
• Agency includes investigative journalists on ‘threat’ list
• Editors call on Cameron to act against snooping on media

"GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency."

FRANCE: Surveillance of SMS, phones and Internet

The French Military Programming Law, including its very controversial article on telecommunications surveillance (SMS, phone conversations, Internet), entered into force on 1 January 2015. The law was adopted and published in the Official Journal on 19 December 2013, despite the strong criticism by civil liberties and digitial rights organisations, was left unamended in the legislation. A year later, the French government has given the green light to the implementation of this law through a decree on 24 December 2014.

EU: Drones for maritime rescue only, not to prevent migration (Pressemitteilungen von Andrej Hunko, link): "“31 million euros is the cost of new research into the use of drones in the Mediterranean to ward off unwanted migration. The EU Commission is contributing around two-thirds of this. Instead of making risky crossings even more difficult for refugees, the money could be used to simplify entry procedures.....”, said Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko, in reaction to the European Commission’s two replies to a question on this subject.

Hunko had enquired about EU projects SUNNY, CLOSEYE and AEROCEPTOR. These involve drone tests in three regions of the Mediterranean Sea deemed hot spots for refugee crossings, with AEROCEPTOR using aerial police weaponry for the first time."

.See Hunko Press Release (pdf) and European Commission answers: Project “SUNNY” (link) and Projects “Closeye”, “DeSIRE” and “Aeroceptor” (link)

DENMARK: EU-referendum will leave asylum opt-out untouched

Denmark will hold a referendum on its relations to EU justice and home affairs no later than March 2016, regardless who wins an upcoming election to be held at the latest in September next year, five political parties in the Parliament have agreed. The purpose is to change the present opt-out position to an opt-in like UK and Ireland.

News in Brief (19.1.15)

EU ministers to discuss terrorism amid tightened security (euobserver, link)

EU: Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the decision to appeal the Judgment regarding Hamas (EAS, link)

European Parliament: Draft Report :on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (2014/2256(INI)) Committee on Legal Affairs Rapporteur: Julia Reda (link) and see: Julia Reda (link)

42% of French people say cartoons that upset Muslims shouldn’t be published - Survey, in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack, also finds 68% feel citizens should be forbidden from returning to France after fighting with Islamist groups abroad (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle (Spiegel Online, link): "The NSA's mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars -- a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway.... Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it's operated by the NSA's digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers.

Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to "remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware." Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to "remotely brick network cards." With programs like Berserkr they would implant "persistent backdoors" and "parasitic drivers..."

The rule of law on the Internet and in the wider digital world (ASFJ, link) by D. Korff: "This issue paper addresses a pressing question: how can we ensure that the rule of law is established and maintained on the Internet and in the wider digital world?"

UK: Sweeping review from the 1970s of Anti-racist witchcraft (Institute of Race Relations News Service, link): "The question of loyalty to British traditions was already under attack thirty years ago in relation to the work of the Institute of Race Relations.

As Britain reels from the fallout from the the Paris killings, the question of British values - who belongs to the nation and how that should be expressed – have been placed centre-stage.Those who now greet the Roger Scrutons, Norman Tebbits, Leo McKinstrys and Richard Littlejohns as the leaders of a culture war over British identity should be aware that this is history repeating itself – both times as farce."

News in Brief (18,1,15)

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: MI5 and MI6 are losing ground to terrorists (Sunday Telegraph, link)

Mass surveillance not effective for finding terrorists (New Scientist, link)

UK: Wrongly convicted men launch new case against the Justice Secretary (Independent on Sunday, link)

Greek elections: Syriza’s young radicals plot a political earthquake for Europe (Observer, link)

CIA IN EU: New evidence shows CIA held prisoners in Lithuania (Reprieve, link): "New analysis and previously unpublished documents released by legal charity Reprieve show that the CIA held prisoners in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006, contrary to official denials." See: Reprieve Briefing (pdf) and Dossier (pdf)

See Statewatch Observatory on: Rendition

UK: Farewell Magna Carta: the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (IRR News Service, link):"The Bill currently going through Parliament, with virtually no opposition, impinges on basic freedoms and seems calculated to entrench the treatment of British Muslims as non-citizens.", see also CAGE appeal (link)

GERMANY: KHALED IDRIS BAHRAY – Another Brick in the Wall of Murdered Asylum Seekers in EU-Germany (Voice, link): !Although the post-mortem examination revealed a number of vicious knife stabs to his neck and chest, the physician and the police at the crime scene officially denied any possible involvement of so called “third parties”. Instead they assumed the fatal injury to be an open fracture of the collarbone which was said to have been caused by downfall or suicide or else sickness “bleeding tendency”. Crime scene investigations were thereby delayed for more than 30 hours."

TO ENCRYPT or NOT: Secret US cybersecurity report: encryption vital to protect private data - Newly uncovered Snowden document contrasts with British PM’s vow to crack down on encrypted messaging after Paris attacks (Guardian, link):"the document from the US National Intelligence Council, which reports directly to the US director of national intelligence, made clear that encryption was the “best defence” for computer users to protect private data."

On the other hand: European Commission consultation on "mobile health" (pdf) shows most people want health data to be encrypted:

"Data protection: A strong majority of respondents were in favour of strong privacy and security principles in place in order to build users' trust. The most popular security safeguards put forward were data encryption and authentication mechanisms, while responses acknowledged that health data are sensitive and should be encrypted both “in transit” and “at rest".

And: David Cameron in 'cloud cuckoo land' over encrypted messaging apps ban - The prime minister’s pledge to give security services access to encrypted communications is ‘crazy’, experts say (Guardian, link)

EU: Network and information security (NIS): Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union - Preparations for the 1st informal exploratory trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 13848-14,pdf) Trilogue multi-column document with Commission proposal, European Parliament and Council of the European Union positions.

EU: European Parliament: Is “synchronized swimming” the right approach for the EP (and for the Council)? (ASFJ, link):

"Yesterday there was no political majority in the European Parliament to vote on the Juncker Commission 2015 Programme. Quite shocked Votewatch describe this “non event” as follows: “As this vote has just shown, the European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, will have a hard time building majorities in the European Parliament: the EU legislative was unable to reach a common position with regard to the plans put forward by the Executive for 2015. In a dramatic display of power play, the political groups voted down each other’s proposals one by one."

News in Brief (17.1.15)

Man the Euro lifeboats – but not the Greeks (Channel 4 News, link):"There are credible reports that the European Central Bank’s long awaited programme of quantitative easing will be announced on Thursday – but with a sting in the tail. The ECB will, according to the Financial Times, force national central banks in the Eurozone to assume all the risk inherent in the project, and probably exclude Greece."

Mike Marqusee 1953-2015: The movement has lost a unique and inspiring campaigner for justice. (IRR News Service, link): "A campaigner who never flagged, a writer who never missed the meaning of an experience, his loss is immeasurable".

GERMANY:Nach Spontandemonstration: Erstmals massenhafte Beschlagnahme von Mobiltelefonen in Leipzig (After spontaneous demonstration: first mass confiscation of mobile phones in Leipzig) (link)

Guantanamo: America's Battle Lab (link): ""GTMO operated as a Battle Lab, a world where experimentation on the defenseless served to generate data with which to counsel and train interrogators at military facilities across the globe. These bases utilized the insight granted by intelligence officers from GTMO, most notably Bagram and Abu Ghraib." See also: Did Gitmo "Suicides" Cover Up Murder? U.S. Sgt. Speaks Out on Deaths & Prison’s Secret CIA Site (Democracy Now!, link)

UK: Islington Against Police Spies: "Sack Bob Lambert! Former Police Spy: Join us to demand the removal of Bob Lambert from London Metropolitan University. Picket London Met Friday January 30th 12.00 – 2.00pm LMU Tower, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB"

Germany's Merkel urges new EU law on data tracking (BBC News, link)

EU governments accused of 'Bermuda Triangle' approach to law-making (Parliament magazine, link)

Belgium on high alert after deadly anti-terror raid (BBC News, link)

Spain and "pushbacks" (ECRE, link)

Soldiers to guard Belgian Jewish sites as Europol warns of further attacks - Protection stepped up across Europe – with UK police on highest alert level ever – in wake of series of terrorist incidents (Guardian, link)

Je Suis Raif Badawi (Mat Carr's Infernal Machine, link): "If this punishment were to go ahead as planned and Badawi’s body were able to stand it, this ritual would be repeated for 19 more weeks. What was Badawi’s offence? He created the website Free Saudi Liberals, on which he posted things like this: .‘Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone … Secularism … is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.’'"

EU: Council of the European Union: Traffic data exchange & EU abiding by Fundamental Rights

• Exchange of data on traffic offences: Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences - Analysis of the final compromise text with a view to agreement (LIMITE doc no: 16848-14, pdf). This would cover the following offences under Article 2: Scope:

This Directive shall apply to the following road safety related traffic offences:
(a) speeding;
(b) non-use of a seat-belt;
(c) failing to stop at a red traffic light;
(d) drink-driving;
(e) driving under the influence of drugs;
(f) failing to wear a safety helmet;
(g) use of a forbidden lane;
(h) illegally using a mobile telephone or any other communication devices while driving.

• Fundamental Rights: Guidelines on methodological steps to be taken to check fundamental rights compatibility at the Council's preparatory bodies (Doc no: 16957-14, pdf). See proposed changes and additions by the Council, for example: "Subject to the principle of proportionality, are the limitations necessary? is it limited to what is strictly necessary [bold text has been deleted]

EU: Council of the European Union: HLWG Asylum & Migration, Foreign fighters and Schengen Code: random checks

The future of the High-Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG) - Contribution to the evaluation by COREPER (LIMITE doc no:16926-14, pdf) Created back in 1998 its remits has continually been renewed and is allowed to hold "ad hoc" meetings".

Report on measures with regard to foreign fighters (EU doc no: 16915-14, pdf): Letter of the Italian Presidency to the President of the European Council

Foreign Fighters: Application of the Schengen Border Code – Follow-up (LIMITE doc no: 16880-14, pdf):

"Non-systematic checks on persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law can be carried out on the basis of risk assessment or on a random basis....the Commission recommends to the Member States to: Move towards an intensified consultation of the relevant databases (notably the documents
section of SIS and Interpol's Lost and Stolen Document database), based, where considered necessary, on a risk assessment. [and] Instruct their border guards, in case such consultation reveals a SIS alert on the need to seize a document, to do so immediately and to contact the SIRENE Bureau for further information without any delay."
[emphasis added]

EU: Council of the European Union: OAPs organised crime, Internal-external interface and Harmonising public documents

Operational Action Plans 2015 related to the EU's priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime between 2014 and 2017 (LIMITE doc no: 15929-rev2-14,pdf) including list of Member State "Drivers"

Political Security Committee: COSI: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security: Outcomes (LIMITE, 16372-14, pdf): Joint letter from COSI & PSC Chairs. Internal-external interface.

• "Public documents" Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting the free movement of citizens and businesses by simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the European Union and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 - Revised text (LIMITE doc no: 17105-14, pdf) With Footnotes on each page.

UK-USA: Transatlantic discussions on "homeland security" shrouded in secrecy

In April 2003 the governments of the UK and the US set up a high-level Joint Contact Group to deal with "homeland security" issues such as biometric technology, information-sharing, counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation. Documents recently released by the UK Home Office shed some light on the current interests of the group, but the majority of the information requested by Statewatch has been withheld in the name of "national security".

The work of the US-UK Joint Contact Group (JCG) appears to be largely undertaken by UK officials from the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT, part of the Home Office), and US officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The limited information released by the OSCT shows that during its two meetings in 2014 the Joint Contact Group (JCG) focused on "foreign fighters", Syrian refugees, exit checks, AVSEC (presumably aviation security) and the UK's PREVENT programme.

News in Brief (16.1.1`5)

Secret US cybersecurity report: encryption vital to protect private data (Guardian, link): "Newly uncovered Snowden document contrasts with British PM’s vow to crack down on encrypted messaging after Paris attacks "

GERMANY: Police investigate death of Eritrean man in Dresden - Murder investigation launched after man’s body found in German city where there have been anti-immigrant Pegida marches (Guardian, link):

""Dresden police have launched a murder investigation following the death of an Eritrean man whose blood-soaked body was found outside his home in the east German city. (...) "Police initially said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, saying on Tuesday: 'Up to now there are no indications of foul play.'

"But after a flurry of activity on social network sites and inquiries by a local journalist from the newspaper MOPO24 as well as from members of the 35,000-strong Eritrean community in Germany as to how it could be ruled out so quickly that the man had been the victim of assault, police said a murder investigation had been launched."

See Letter from NGO Human Rights Concern Eritrea to Heiko Maas, Germany's Justice Minister (pdf)

PAGE Festival 2014: Surveillance,Snowden and the Emerging EU State (video link) Leeds Beckett University: Lecture by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director

EU: Detailed response of German government to series of Questions from Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko and others and the Left Party parliamentary group on: Measures to delete Internet content and responding with counter-propaganda (8 pages, pdf) Related to EU G6 meeting of Interior Ministers and "Prior to their October meeting, the ministers of the interior of all EU Member States met for an informal dinner with the Internet companies Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Facebook; the EU Commission was also invited."

EU funding for network developing surveillance, intelligence-gathering and remote vehicle stopping tools

The European Commission is to give significant financial backing to a European police technology network that is currently looking at ways to improve "best practices" across the EU in automatic number plate recognition, intelligence-gathering, video surveillance systems, and remote vehicle stopping.

A spokesperson for the Commission's Directorate-General for Home Affairs has confirmed to Statewatch that the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS) will receive €500,000 for its work in 2015, the same amount foreseen in an ENLETS document from November 2014 outlining the network's progress "and the need to improve the use of its potential to full extent."

News in Brief (15.1.15)

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings - Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability (The Nation, link)

The EU's giant and secretive deregulation blitz (Open Democracy, link): "It is not just TTIP, across the board the EU is bowing to business pressure to do away with 'burdensome' regulation - regulation that tends to save lives, protect consumers and ensure standards."

Over 50 anti-Muslim incidents registered in France after Charlie Hebdo shooting (RT, link)

Irish terror laws to counter jihadist threat (Irish Examiner, link): It's worth noting that the laws being passed are intended to implement the EU's 2008 Framework Decision amending the 2002 Framework Decision on combating terrorism - Ireland was supposed to implement these measures by 9 December 2010 (see Article 3)

• UK: A war on democracy: How statutory instruments replaced acts of parliament (Politics.co.uk, link): ""On present trends, the next parliament will pass 4,000 or more statutory instrument a year. They will, in aggregate, have a significant effect on how we conduct our daily lives. Some of this legislation will be debated. Much of it will not. The elephant in the room is the fact that this shift towards statutory instruments will itself take place without any debate."

• EU: Charlie Hebdo attack renews calls for EU spy agency - Europe rethinks intelligence options (New Europe, link)

Nazi camp row over German asylum homes (BBC News, link): "Refugee organisations have criticised plans to house asylum seekers in a former outpost of a Nazi concentration camp in western Germany."

Theresa May says 'lives at risk' without data surveillance (BBC News, link) and see: Commons Statement: Home Secretary Theresa May on the threat we face from terrorism in the UK (link)

Shaker Aamer's daughter: What we want most is Dad home (BBC News, link): "the daughter of the last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay talks exclusively to Newsbeat about her frustration that her dad hasn't come home despite being cleared for release twice. Johina Aamer, 17, last saw her father when she was four years old."

EU: European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) Study: Threat Landscape and Good Practice Guide for Internet Infrastructure (pdf):

"this study details a list of good practices that aim at securing an Internet infrastructure asset from Important Specific Threats. A gap analysis identifies that some assets remain not covered by current good practices: human resources (administrators and operators) for Routing, DNS and Denial of Service, as well as System Configuration and Essential Addressing Protocols for Denial of Service."

UK: Surveillance state: Bureau files ECHR case challenging UK government over surveillance of journalists’ communications (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, l,ink):

"The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is asking a European court to rule on whether UK legislation properly protects journalists’ sources and communications from government scrutiny and mass surveillance. The Bureau’s application was filed with the European Court of Human Rights on Friday. If the court rules in favour of the application it will force the UK government to review regulation around the mass collection of communications data.

EU: European Parliament STOA Study: Mass Surveillance Part 1 - Risks and opportunities raised by the current generation of network services and applications (pdf) and Mass Surveillance Part 2 – Technology foresight, options for longer term security and privacy improvements (3.5 MB, pdf)

UK: ‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes - Campaigners fear draft code of Ripa legislation in UK will allow police sweeping powers to access phone and email records of journalists, lawyers and doctors (Guardian, link): "Critics of May’s safeguards fear that the police will still have sweeping powers allowing them to authorise themselves to access the phone and email records of professionals such as journalists, lawyers, doctors, MPs and priests who handle privileged, confidential information." See: Save Our Sources Petition (Press Gazettee, link)

And see: Draft Code of Practice: Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice Pursuant to section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Draft for public consultation, 9 December 2014 (55 pages, pdf)

Also: MI6 forced to show how it may snoop on privileged lawyer-client exchanges - Documents passed to civil liberties group Reprieve reveal intelligence agency’s attempt to show it stays within the law (Guardian, link): "Commenting on the latest document releases, Cori Crider, a lawyer who represents Belhaj, said: “MI6’s brand-new eavesdropping policy still has serious problems – it still envisages that MI6 will snoop on private legal calls even in cases where it is being sued for torture."

News in Brief (14.1.15)

Racial discrimination & collateral damage – Coleman revisited (EU Law Analysis, link)

UK: Proposals to expand Central NHS Register creates a national population register and significant data protection/privacy risks (Hawktalk, link)

USA: Role of FBI informant in eco-terrorism case probed after documents hint at entrapment - In the case of Eric McDavid, alleged to be ring-leader of eco-terrorist cell, ‘game-changing’ documents seen exclusively by the Guardian show informant may have entrapped him (Guardian, link)

As a Muslim, I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the free speech fundamentalists (New Statesman, link): "The response to the inexcusable murder of Charlie Hebdo’s staff has proved that many liberals are guilty of double standards when it comes to giving offence."

Up to 5,000 Europeans joined jihad, Europol chief says (euobserver, link): "The two attackers in Paris were on a US no-fly list, yet were able to carry out their attack, prompting one MP to ask Wainwright Tuesday whether it is possible to follow every suspect ever flagged. “It is exceptionally difficult, given the scale of the problem … for the security authorities to monitor all potential threats. That's the very painful reality that the attacks in Paris have shown,” said Wainwright."

Paris killings cement Danish referendum on EU justice opt-out (euractiv, link)

• UK: Cameron wants new 'comprehensive' communications surveillance laws (Outlaw, link)

• UK: BBC accused of treating staff like 'the enemy' as new figures show increase in email monitoring to investigate leaks (Press Gazette, link)

EU-USA: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1148/2013/TN against the European Police Office (Europol) (pdf) presented to the LIBE Committee on 8-9 January 2015:

"The case concerned Europol's refusal to give public access to a document on the implementation of the EU -US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) Agreement. in order to ascertain whether Europol correctly applied the relevant rules on access to its documents, the Ombudsman needed to see the document concerned. However, Europol claimed it was unable to allow the Ombudsman to inspect the document, since to do so required the consent of the US authorities and the US authorities had refused to give consent.

According to the "technical modalities" agreed between the EU and the US for implementing the TFTP Agreement, the US has a right of veto on the sharing by Europol with third parties of any information provided by the US. The US made use of this veto in this instance and refused consent. The Ombudsman met with the US ambassador to the EU but the US maintained the veto. Accordingly, although Europol cooperated fully with the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman was unable to inspect the document. The Ombudsman therefore had no alternative but to close her inquiry.

However, she asked the European Parliament to consider whether it is acceptable that an agreement with a foreign government should prevent the Ombudsman from doing her job. She pointed out, in particular, that the provisions of the "technical modalities", unlike the TFTP Agreement itself, had never been sent to the Council or to Parliament for their approval."

See Commission response backing the USA refusal of access (pdf) and and Europol chief takes instructions on document access from Americans (euobserver, link)

EU: European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA): Privacy and Data Protection by Design – from policy to engineering (pdf):

"This report contributes to bridging the gap between the legal framework and the available technolog-ical implementation measures by providing an inventory of existing approaches, privacy design strat-egies, and technical building blocks of various degrees of maturity from research and development. Starting from the privacy principles of the legislation, important elements are presented as a first step towards a design process for privacy-friendly systems and services."

UK: We have until 20 January to Save Our Sources and stop the police licence to view journalists' phone records (Press Gazette, link) See:

Draft Code of Practice: Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice Pursuant to section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Draft for public consultation, 9 December 2014 (55 pages, pdf): "3.73  However the degree of interference with privacy may be higher where the communications data being sought relates to a person who is a member of a profession that handles privileged or otherwise confidential information (such as a medical doctor, lawyer, journalist, Member of Parliament, or minister of religion). It may also be possible to infer an issue of sensitivity from the fact someone has regular contact with, for example, a lawyer or journalist 3.74  Such situations do not preclude an application being made.." [emphasis added, p31]

and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act Consultation: Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data and Retention of Communications Data Codes of Practice (6 pages, pdf) and Retention of Communications Data Code of Practice (35 pages, pdf)

FBI has its fingers deep in NSA surveillance pie, declassified report shows (The Register, link): "The FBI had, and most likely still has, a much closer involvement with the NSA’s mass surveillance programs than previously thought – with access to raw foreign intelligence and data on Americans gleaned from the PRISM program. The 231-page report, from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, was obtained – albeit in a heavily redacted form – after a Freedom of Information request by The New York Times, a request made possible using key details leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden."

See Document: FBI and Section 702 of FISA (284 pages, pdf))

No plan for EU spy agency after Paris attacks (euobserver, link): "Asked if the commission intends to put forward a proposal on turning a little known intelligence unit inside the EU's foreign affairs branch into an intelligence agency, commission spokesperson Natasha Bertuad said “No”. The commission instead wants to enhance data-sharing at the EU level by making sure its EU intelligence analysis centre (IntCen) works better with other EU agencies like Europol, the EU's joint police body."

UK: Snooping state debate: No, Prime Minister (Paul Bernal blog, link) A worrying thought when new powers are on the agenda: "The latest story in the Guardian about surveillance reveals something that is deeply disturbing. It seems that David Cameron’s enthusiasm for mass surveillance comes from watching TV dramas. As quoted in the Guardian." and see:Does Cameron have any response to terror which doesn't involve the snoopers' charter? (Politics.co.uk, link). Also: David Cameron pledges anti-terror law for internet after Paris attacks (Guardian, link): "In a speech to the Journalists’ Charity at the Irish embassy on Monday night, the deputy prime minister said: “The irony appears to be lost on some politicians who say in one breath that they will defend freedom of expression and then in the next advocate a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens.""

See also: What new snooping powers do PM and MI5 want – and what are the concerns? (Guardian, link)

News in Brief (13.1.15)

Dutch government sued over data retention law (PC World, link)

EU and US Ministers discuss fight against terror, strengthening of external borders (EJP, link)

Back to border controls in fight against terrorism (Euro Weekly News, link) and EU hasn't moved on Schengen changes: PM (The Local, link): "European leaders have yet to decide whether to restore border controls within the Schengen zone, Spain's prime minister said Monday, after Madrid made a push for the visa-free treaty to be modified in the wake of France's terror attacks."

Germany’s debate over data retention flares following Paris attacks (euractiv, link): "n the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, calls for more intensive data surveillance to fight terror are gaining strength. But in France, data retention was neither able to prevent nor illuminate the attacks."

Wikileaks publishes CIA reports on travel ID checks (Papers please, link): These reports were published in December but Edward Hasbrouck has been
through them and makes some interesting points on the sometimes-illegal use of PNR/API data by European state agencies. See:
CIA Advice for US Government Operatives Infiltrating Schengen (pdf) and CIA Assessment on Surviving Secondary Screening at Airports While Maintaining Cover WikiLeaks release: December 21, 2014 (link)

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq (Open Democracy, link) and Court judgment (link)

• Germany-Greece:
Documents indicate bribe paid for tanks deal (ekathimerini, link): "German company Rheinmetall has admitted to paying a 127-million-euro bribe to Greek officials to secure the sale of 353 Leopard 2 battle tanks in a deal that was completed in 2009, according legal documents seen by Kathimerini and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung."

UK: Feltham young offenders’ home ‘rife with gang violence (Guardian, link): "Report by prison inspectors finds scores of street affiliations means officers are constantly trying to keep violent boys apart ." See: Report on an announced inspection of HMYOI Feltham (children and young people) (link) and Report on an announced inspection of HMP/YOI Feltham (Feltham B – young adults) (link)

Where monoculturalism leads (IRR News Service, link): "As France grieves for those whose lives have been so brutally taken, and more emergency and counter-radicalisation measures are discussed, the future for a peaceful Europe rests on how our leaders diagnose the problems that we collectively face.....

Nor is satire free from some of the most harmful ideologies of our times. Cartoonists serve a similar function in society to court jesters, a necessary antidote to hypocrisy, a way of laughing at ourselves. The poor massacred cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were indeed jesters, but jesters tragically blind to the Islamophobic current they served."

EU: Council of the European Union: From: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator To: Delegations Subject: Report on the implementation of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy (LIMITE doc no: 13971-14, 91 pages.pdf): "The European Council requested regular reporting on ongoing activities in the field of combating terrorism in the EU by Member States and supporting EU institutions and the implementation of the EU Action Plan on combating terrorism. This is the update of the last report, issued at the end of 2012."

See also: Report on the implementation of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy (Doc no 15799-add1-rev1-14, pdf): "Delegations will find enclosed an updated version of the implementation of the legislative instruments listed in the Declaration on terrorism of the European Council of 25 March 2004, and subsequent major instruments identified by the United Nations". EU State-by-state adoption of measures.

UK: Joint Human Rights Committee report: Legislative Scrutiny: Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (pdf): The Committee expresses doubt as to whether UK data retention powers meet the standards of the Court of European Justice judgment in the Digital Rights case which said mass surveillance was disproportionate. See: Justice 2nd Reading Briefing (link) and and Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill threatens access to courts and independence from government (Law Society, link)

And: Anti-terror bill a threat to academic freedom, MPs tell Theresa May (Guardian, link), MPs bridle at plans to make universities monitor 'extremism' (The Independent, link), Chief constable warns against ‘drift towards police state’ - Greater Manchester’s Sir Peter Fahy says it is not the police’s job to define what counts as extremism (Guardian, link) and Passport plans spark human rights fears (Financial Times, link)

UK: Police asked to investigate G4S over Guantanamo role (Reprieve, link) and see: Activists report security company G4S to police over its 'illegal' work at Guantanamo Bay (The Independent, link)

FRANCE: This map shows every attack on French Muslims since Charlie Hebdo (VOX, link): "Since the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the country's Muslim community, despite universally and repeatedly condemning the attack, has come under a wave of misguided "reprisal" attacks" and see: A Snapshot of Europe Based Anti-Muslim Prejudice Into the New Year (Tell Mama, link)

Paris, 11 January 2015: Joint statement by Ministers of the Interior (pdf) including "screening of travel movements by European nationals" crossing the external borders, "broader consultation" of the SIS and EU PNR (Passenger Name Record) "including intra-EU PNR" (travel within the EU)

See also: David Cameron: ‘snoopers charter’ will re-appear after Tory election win (Guardian, link) and: Keeping Its Composure: Germany Seeks Calm after French Attack (Spiegel Online, link): "The German government is trying to address the French terror attacks with a sense of calm, with no plans for new terror laws. However, fears are growing that the massacre will boost a disturbing anti-Muslim current in the country.."

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: EU General Data Protection Regulation State of play and 10 main issues (pdf) Rapporteur: Jan Philipp Albrecht, Greens/EFA: Both Parliament and Council aim for the opening of trilogue negotiations about the final version of the law before the summer break in 2015, and the conclusion of the legislative work by the end of 2015. The Regulation will then be applied in every EU Member State after two years of transition period that allows for everybody to adapt to the new rules and including:

"Transfer of data to third countries: The Parliament insists that companies are not allowed to hand over data from Europe directly to third countries´ authorities. This can only occur under a mutual legal assistance treaty or similar instrument based on European law. This shield against foreign access to European data was already contained in a first draft of the Commission's proposal, but deleted after intensive lobbying of the American government. It was put back by the Parliament after the Snowden revelations. Member States have not incorporated this approach in their version of the chapter on international transfers, but seemingly are open to it."

News in Brief (12.1.15)

EU catches up, takes steps to control export of intrusion spyware, IP monitoring (Reporters without Borders, link) and see: The Review of export control policy: ensuring security and competitiveness in a changing world (European Commission, pdf)

• EU-PNR: Debate intensifies on stuck EU counter-terrorism bill (euobserver, link)

Spanish Judge Allows Criminal Complaint Against Satirist Facu Díaz For PP ETA Corruption Sketch (The Spain Report, link)

• UK: An insult to all the children who die in custody (Guardian, link): "Alex Kelly and the other 32 children who have died since 1990 deserve more than the state’s weasel words and a silence that shames the media"

Orban uses Paris march to demonise immigrants (euobserver, link)

French monitored Kouachi brothers but lost interest, despite red flags (CNN International, link)

De la surveillance de masse à la paranoïa généralisée (Le Monde Blog, link)

• European Parliament: Draft Opinion: TTIP (pdf)

Change Greece – Change Europe – Change4all (link)

If Europe is to overcome Islamist terror, it needs to fight for the values it holds dear - Paul Mason (Guardian, link)

• Spain: At least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners arrested in a Spanish police operation this morning. Three of them have been arrested in Madrid as they were on their way to Spanish Special Court for the first day of a new mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists.(link)

EU pushing for new anti-terror powers to monitor air travel (Daily Telegraph, link):

"Statewatch, a European civil liberties watchdog, accused the EU of a “response as panicked as it is predictable” with a shopping list of unworkable, legally questionable measures “that will do nothing to prevent the kind of appalling attack witnessed this week”.

“On the basis of what is now known about the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the need to review existing security arrangements far outweighs the need for any new legislation,” said Ben Hayes, a specialist in EU security policy for Statewatch."

Does the EU need more anti-terrorist legislation? (EU Law Analysis, link):

"The Paris attacks were directed at free speech: the foundation of liberal democracy. Of course efforts should be stepped up to prevent such attacks from happening again; but existing laws allow for targeted intelligence gathering and sharing already, The Commission’s immediate response reeks of panic. And the direct attack on fundamental democratic principles this week in Paris is precisely the wrong context to consider that new legislation curtailing other fundamental freedoms. "

After Charlie Hebdo attack, do spy agencies need more powers? And if it is the case that more surveillance powers are required, what should Whitehall demand in terms of extra oversight (Guardian, link): "The tragic terrorist events in Paris should not be used as an excuse for an extension of the already extensive surveillance powers enjoyed by intelligence agencies."

See also: Terrorism, technology and accountability: Address by the Director General of the Security Service, Andrew Parker, to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) at Thames House, 8 January 2015 (MI5, link)

And Paris damages the case for mass surveillance (Paul Bernal blog, link): "The fundamental problem is that terrorism, by its very nature, is hard to deal with. That’s something we have to face up to – and not try to look for silver bullets. No amount of technology, no level of surveillance, will solve that fundamental problem. We shouldn’t pretend that it can."

And: The response to the Charlie Hebdo murders is not more untargeted surveillance (Open Rights Group, link)

EU ACCOUNTABILITY GAP: European Parliament: Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum" (13-26 October 2014): During this JPO the Commission, the Council and Frontex denied any part in planning it - its was all the responsibility of the Italian Council Presidency (and presumably the Greek Council Presidency which took the decision) plus all the EU Member States who took part.

See: Council put out censored, "partially accessible", version of the operation document deleting the date and all the details of Joint Police Operation (JO): Censored text (pdf) and see: Full-text (pdf)

MEPs tried to find out more: Question to the Council: Subject: Planned joint police operation ‘Mos Maiorum' (EP, link) from: Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) , Kostas Chrysogonos (GUE/NGL) , Malin Björk (GUE/NGL) , Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL) , Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL) and Reply by the Council (EP link) and see Question: ‘Mos Maiorum’ joint operation and role played by Frontex: from Silvia Costa (S&D) , Kashetu Kyenge (S&D) , Elly Schlein (S&D) , Patrizia Toia (S&D) and the Reply by the Council (link) which simply refers to the same answer as that given to the first question. Thus the replies by the Council are:

"The attention of the Honourable Members is drawn to the fact that the joint police operation Mos Maiorum is being conducted under the responsibility of the Italian State, with the support of those Member States which have decided to participate. The Council as an institution has therefore not taken any decision in its setting up, nor is it in a position to comment on the way it is managed.

The competent courts, along with the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, are responsible for overseeing Member States' application of Union law...."

Background: Statewatch Summary of coverage: (5.11.14): Media and Web coverage: no 7 (pdf) (24.10.14): Media and Web coverage no 6 (pdf), (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 5 (pdf), (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 4 (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 3 (pdf), 13.10.14: : Media and Web coverage: no 2 (pdf) and 13.10.14:same day Web-media coverage: no 1 (pdf) and see: "Mos Maiorum": Images and photos of protests (pdf)

Italian Reaper Drones To Be Used for Crowd Monitoring (Defense News, link): "As their deployment to Afghanistan comes to an end, unarmed Italian Reaper UAVs are to be used to monitor soccer games and demonstrations in Italy’s cities, following a deal struck between the Italian Air Force and the country’s police forces."

EU: European Parliament: Legal Services Opinion: CJEU's ruling on the Data Retention Directive (pdf)

See also: Executive Summary: LIBE – Questions relating to the judgment of the Court of Justice of 8 April 2014 in Joined Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12, Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and others – Directive 2006/24/EC on data retention – Consequences of the judgment (link)

EU: European Parliament Study: Network Neutrality Revisited: Challenges and Responses in the EU and in the US (pdf):

"This analytical study provides background on the debate over network neutrality, including (1) its technological, economic, and public policy aspects, and (2) the implications for European public policy going forward, including the position of the European Parliament on the Telecoms Single Market Regulation that was adopted in the first reading of the European Parliament in April 2014. It includes a comparison between the US, where these issues continue to be debated intensely, and the EU."

EU: Council of the European Union: PRUM exchange of DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (pdf) and Conclusions of the 10th Annual meeting of the National Experts on Joint Investigation Teams (25 - 26 June 2014, the Hague) (pdf)

USA-DRONES: Border Patrol Hiding Costs of Ineffective Drone Program (The District Sentinel, link) and see: US Customs and Border Protection's Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations (Office of Inspector General, link)

EU seeks new anti-terror measures after Paris attack (Yahoo News, link): ""Brussels officials said a key aim is to push through a scheme to
share data on all airline passengers despite opposition from some of the EU's 28 member states and the European Parliament."

See also: Key European terrorism legislation may be revised (Statewatch), Travel surveillance: PNR by the back door (Statewatch database) and "Foreign fighters" phenomenon spurs dozens of new counter-terrorism policies (Statewatch database)

News in Brief (9.1.15)

• UK: MI5 chief seeks new powers after Paris magazine attack (Guardian ,link)

Four hostages killed in bloody end to Paris sieges (Channel 4 News, link): " Three gunmen and four hostages have been killed as police storm two sieges in the Paris area. The hostages died at a kosher supermarket in the east of the French capital."

Syrian refugees told to decide as camp shuts down (Cyprus Mail, link): "THE Syrian refugees who were rescued off the coast of Cyprus in September and are temporarily housed at the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre, need to urgently make arrangements for their stay in the country, since the camp will close down in a few days, the Interior ministry announced yesterday."

Austria Detention Profile (Global Detention Project, link); "In early 2014, Austria opened its first specialized immigration detention facility. The development comes after more than two decades of criticism from national and international observers, who have pressed the country not to detain migrants and asylum seekers in prisons and other criminal facilities. The opening, however, was accompanied by controversy because of the decision to outsource security and other services at the facility to a heavily criticized private prison firm, G4S."

Recent curtailments of “freedom of expression” in Ireland (oireachtasretort, link)

Germany's right-wing populists join hands with anti-Islamist Pegida (euractiv, link)

No EU data protection deal 'before end of year' (Parliament magazine, link): "Rapporteur on the EU data protection regulation says parliament and council are 'heading in two different directions".

EU-US trade negotiations must be more transparent, as concerns are raised about clash with data protection rules (Out-Law, link)

• UK: A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – Angela Patrick (UK Human Rights blog, link)

EU: European Parliament: Debate: refusal to disclose details of implementation US-EU anti-terror deal (link):

"The EU and the US are able to share information about bank transfers in order to track suspected terrorists thanks to the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) Agreement, also known as the Swift agreement. However, as Europol refuses to give public access to an annual audit report on it, there are concerns about whether there is enough democratic oversight of the deal's implementation. The EP's civil liberties committee will discuss it with European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly on Thursday."

And: US gag order on EU police agency stirs controversy (euobserver, link): "he EU’s ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, told MEPs in the civil liberties committee the situation amounts to giving the US “a veto over the democratic oversight of EU institutions”. “It may well be the case that it contains sensitive data from the US and so should not be released - but we have no way of knowing without sight of the report,” she said. “It should be pointed out that this is a document from an EU institution.”"

News in Brief (8.1.15)

If Europe is against US's Irish email grab, it must pipe up now - European Commission still silent despite Ireland's plea (The Register, link) and Irish government intervenes in Microsoft data access case (link)

• UK: Racism probe police officers 'avoid sack', FOI request reveals (BBC News, link)

Danish government wants more data retention and plans to re-introduce session logging (It pol, link)

EU: Council of the European Union: Report and Guide (p24): Report on the exercise of the rights of the data subject in the SIS and Guide for exercising the right of access in the SIS (110 pages, link)

EU: European Parliament: Working documents: Registered Traveller Programme (pdf) and the use of the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) (pdf)

News in Brief (7.1.14)

Luxembourg drivers to be fined for offences abroad (link)

Demand Booming for ‘Smart’ Surveillance Cameras Among General Public (IFSECGlobal, link): "More than 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide in 2015, according to IHS."

UK public must wake up to risks of CCTV, says surveillance commissioner (Guardian, link)

• EU Ombudsman: "Further steps to increase TTIP transparency necessary" (link), see also: Full Decision (link)

Security is not a crime (riseup.net, link): "On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid."

Greece: New anti-discrimination report set for February launch (Coe Human Rights, link): "The February analysis from the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) will be the fifth Council of Europe examination of the country’s efforts to strengthen social cohesion and fight xenophobia, anti-semitism and bigotry."

• UK: Police forced to disclose more details of “ghoulish and heartless” spy tactic - Police have conceded some ground over the secrecy surrounding the theft of the identities of dead children by their undercover officers (Guardian, link)

• EU: Now online - EU negotiating texts in TTIP (DG Trade, link)

• UK: The 30-year rule documents they don’t want you to see (Guardian, link): "A sweeping escape clause to the release of UK government papers means files on nuclear tests, GCHQ and the Falklands remain hidden."

Counter-protests dwarf German anti-Islam rallies (euobserver, link)

Ferguson Solidarity Tour UK: January 2015 (link): "The Reverend Osagyefo Sekou – a leading organiser of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to demand justice for Michael Brown – will be visiting the UK in January for a solidarity tour. He will speak alongside Carole Duggan, Marcia Rigg, Janet Alder and other campaigners and activists around the issue of deaths in custody."

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: The EU data protection regulation after 3 years of negotiation (Inside Privacy, link) Good summary although observes that: "This trilogue will not be easy. The Parliament decided early on a position which does not take into account many of the compromises arrived at in the Council after long debates". It is in the nature of secret trilogue meetings between the Council and the European Parliament (the EU legislature) that the parliament does not have to enter negotiations until the Council has adopted its final position - which it has yet to do.

IXMKANDER (Humanity Defense and Brotherhood Association): REPORT OF REFUGEES' DEATH CASES” on Boat Disasters Befallen by Immigrants and Refugees (pdf): "Refugees flock to Europe and to the Continent of America (United States of America and Canada) primarily from the Middle East, Caucasia and Central Asia because of the warfare and violation of human rights by the hand of governments in power in these countries...

This report incorporates results of accidents emerging from deliberate sinking or ordinary sinking during illegal human trafficking, as well as the refugees' death cases. Loss, death and injury cases reported in January and December 2014 are examined in this report."

EU: Council of the European Union: EnviCrimeNet - Intelligence Project on Environmental Crime - Preliminary Report on Environmental Crime in Europe (LIMITE doc no: 16438-14, pdf): "Towards the end of 2013 the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) tasked the informal Environmental Crime Network (EnviCrimeNet) to report about their activities and to provide a scan in relation to environmental crime in the EU by the end of 2014."

UK: Conference: Police corruption, spying, racism and accountability (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link): 6-7 February 2015: Conway Hall: "The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and The Monitoring Group are holding a unique two-day conference seeking common ground, between families, community workers, journalists, academics, lawyers and affected communities, to understand and challenge the problem of police corruption, spying and racism."

EU: Council of the European Union: "Researchers" Directive: Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing [Recast] (LIMITE doc no: 16343-14, 158 pages, pdf): Developing the Council's position: "At its meeting held on 2 December 2014, the JHA Counsellors had an exchange of views on the Presidency compromise suggestions included in document 15800/14. The outcome of this exchange of views is reflected in the text in Annex. " With 177 Footnotes including Member State positions.

News in Brief (5.1.15)

British government lobbies to 'water down' consent requirements in EU data protection regulation (Computing, link)

EU to set up expert group to fight jihadist propaganda (euobserver, link)

EU: Frontex: Preliminary Figures Indicate 270,000 Irregular Migrants and Asylum Seekers Reached EU in 2014 – Double Previous Record Set in 2011 (Migrants at Sea, link)

USA-NSA: Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA's War on Internet Security (Speigel Online, link): "US and British intelligence agencies undertake every effort imaginable to crack all types of encrypted Internet communication. The cloud, it seems, is full of holes. The good news: New Snowden documents show that some forms of encryption still cause problems for the NSA."

EU: Council of the European Union: Schengen cooperation with third countries, Migratory flows & Med Task Force and Nuclear transport

• Third countries: Local Schengen cooperation between Member States' consulates (Article 48(5), first subparagraph, of the Visa Code) - Compilation of summary reports covering the period 2013-2014 (209 pages, pdf)

• Managing migratory flows: follow-up to Council conclusions "Taking action to better manage migratory flows" of 10 October 2014 - Implementation of the actions under the Task Force Mediterranean and the Justice and Home Affairs Council conclusions of October (LIMITE doc no: 16222-14, pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) - Action Plan (19 December 2014, pdf) and European Union Maritime Security Strategy (adopted 24 June 2014, (pdf) The former includes reference to search and rescue at sea - though not all Member States agree and this UK statement was not disowned by other Member States: UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation - Refugees and human rights organisations react with anger as minister says saving people encourages others to risk voyage (Guardian, link).

And: European External Action Service (EEAS): EU Military Rapid Response Concept (pdf): "This document describes the EU's approach to Military Rapid Response and how it could be delivered. This EU Military RR action may either involve EU BGs (Joint Land Centric RR), Single Service RR elements (Land, Maritime or Air), Joint RR (combining EU BG and Single Services RR elements, or combining Single Service RR elements) or any other RR elements offered by volunteered MSs."


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