What's New on the Statewatch website: 2014
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EU: Statewatch Analysis: EU Justice and Home affairs legislation under the 2009-14 term of the European Parliament (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, Law School, University of Essex:
The following lists present in turn (a) legislation formally adopted during the 2009-14 term; (b) legislation agreed in principle, which will be adopted in spring; and (c) legislation which was not agreed.
UK: Privacy in peril: Vast network of roadside cameras pose 'very real risk' says surveillance regulator (The Independent, link):
"Members of the public face a very real risk to their privacy from the huge roadside surveillance network that captures millions of motorists every day, the Governments Surveillance Commissioner has warned. In an interview with The Independent, Tony Porter urges that clear guidance be provided to ensure innocent people do not fall victim to roadside automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which have been the centre of concerns over the rise of surveillance in Britain....
Local authorities control more than 50,000 cameras while thousands of roadside cameras collect owner information on more than 18 million car journeys every day, in a swift and unregulated expansion over the past 30 years."
EU: Council of the European Union: Regulation on Data Protection, LEAs Directive on exchange of personal data & UK access to SIS II
One-Stop Shop: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - One-stop-shop mechanism (109 pages, pdf): Council discussions including Member State positions on agreeing common position.
As above: Data Protection Impact and Prior Checks (pdf)
LEAs Directive on exchange of personal data: Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data - Chapters VII-X (60 pages, pdf) Including Member State positions.
UK access to SIS II: Preparation for the accession of the UK to the SIS II - Report of discussions of the Working Party for Schengen Matters (pdf) Member States are not too keen on giving access. With the UK government intending to opt-out of a long list of JHA measures: "Several Member States (AT, BE, CZ, ES, FR) stated that for reasons of legal certainty, it is not possible for UK to accede to SIS before UK makes a formal re-opt in notification."
EU: Council of the European Union: Border Control ID Technology, Researchers. UK Evaluation, Europol & EUCI
Presidency's initiative on updating the minimum technical equipment required at the Border Crossing Points for Travel Document Control (161` pages, pdf) Detailed Survey of Member States' border control passport/ID card checking technologies
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 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] (pdf) Council internal discussion in trying to reach a common position - still huge differences between Member States - 245 footnotes/positions.
UK: Declassified document: Evaluation report on the sixth round of mutual evaluations: "The practical implementation and operation of the Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime and of the Council Decision 2008/976/JHA on the European Judicial Network in criminal matters." Report on UK (pdf)
Europol: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA - Presidency compromise text (98 pages, pdf) Council position with highly detailed data gathering set out. For the purpose of : "cross-checking aimed at identifying connections between information" information can be gathered (24.1.a) from: "References to other information systems in which information on the person is stored: (i) Europol; (ii) Police/customs agencies; (iii) Other enforcement agencies; (iv) International organisations; (v) Public entities; (vi) Private entities."
Classified document exchanges: Report on access to EUCI under exceptional circumstances (pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Article 29 Working Party: Opinion 04/2014 on surveillance of electronic communications for intelligence and national security purposes (WP 215, pdf): "the Working Party concludes that secret, massive and indiscriminate surveillance programs are incompatible with our fundamental laws and cannot be justified by the fight against terrorism or other important threats to national security. Restrictions to the fundamental rights of all citizens could only be accepted if the measure is strictly necessary and proportionate in a democratic society."
and Opinion 05/2014 on Anonymisation Techniques (WP 216, pdf): "The Opinion concludes that anonymisation techniques can provide privacy guarantees and may be used to generate efficient anonymisation processes, but only if their application is engineered appropriately"
CoE: Report: Secretary-General: State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe (pdf) and see: Europe faces worst human rights 'crisis' in decades (euobserver, link)
EU: FRONTEX: New rules on Frontex operations at sea (pdf) from Ska Keller (Green Group, pdf):
"The regulation on Frontex operations at sea sets new rules for intercepting and pushing back migrants at sea as well as for rescuing them. It replaces the current Council decision of 2010, which was struck down by the European Court of Justice because the European Parliament was unlawfully excluded from co-decision-making."
and see: Regulation on the maritime surveillance by Frontex: lives in danger at the external borders of Europe (Frontexexit, link)
EU: European Parliament studies: Review of Security Measures in the 7th Research Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 (pdf) and Evaluation of EU measures to combat terrorist financing (pdf)
FRANCE: Paris police order 'systematic eviction' of Roma gypsies - Row erupts over leaked note ordering police in Paris' chic sixth arrondissement to 'systematically evict' Roma gypsies (Daily Telegraph, link) and Paris police ordered to drive Roma off streets (rfi, link): "France's government was on the defensive this week after a police note ordering the systematic removal of Roma people from one of Paris's wealthiest neighbourhoods was leaked to the media."
Also: France: They said they would have killed us if we stayed (AI, link), Europe: We ask for justice: Europes failure to protect Roma from racist violence (AI, link including report in French, Greek and Czech) and: European Parliament LIBE Committee: Roma discrimination: end illegal expulsions and ethnic profiling, MEPs say (Statewatch database)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: HEARTBLEED: NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years (Bloomberg, link) and Heartbleed hacks hit Mumsnet and Canada's tax agency (BBC News, link) also: Parenting website Mumsnet hit by Heartbleed hacking bug - Mumsnet says data of all 1.5m members may be compromised as co-founder admits message was posted using her own password (Guardian, link)
EU: POST-STOCKHOLM JHA PROGRAMME: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the EU: Strategic guidelines for the EUs next Justice and Home Affairs programme: steady as she goes (pdf)
EU: European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission (EUBAM): Evaluation of the European Border Mission in Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) (October 2012, 65 pages, pdf): "EUBAM should get more intensively and directly involved in the negotiation and, later, in the implementation and monitoring of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) with Moldova and Ukraine."
EU: European Commission: 2013 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (COM 224-14, pdf) and see: Staff Working Document - 1 of 2 (SWD 141-14, pdf) and Staff Working Document - 2 of 2 (SWD 142-14, pdf)
UNHCR: Mediterranean crossings rise in first months of 2014 many fleeing war and persecution (link):
"UNHCR estimates some 6,000 people have been rescued by the Italian Navy from over forty overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean off the shores of Sicily and Calabria in the past four days. They have disembarked in the ports of Augusta, Catania, Porto Empedocle, Messina and Pozzallo in Sicily and Roccella Jonica in Calabria.
Large numbers of women and children, including newborns and unaccompanied children, were amongst those rescued. They had set off from Zwara in Libya, and many were fleeing violence, conflict and persecution. Main countries of origin include Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Gambia, Mali and Senegal."
USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations - Pair awarded highest accolade in US journalism, winning Pulitzer prize for public service for stories on NSA surveillance (Guardian. link)
BASQUE COUNTRY: Massacre in Vitoria (link) and Film (link): Looks at a massacre in the Basque Country in March 1976 (after Franco's death but before 'democracy'), which occurred when pretty much an entire town went on strike to demand at first better wages and working conditions, and subsequently freedom of association, expression etc. Five people were killed by the police, but no one has ever been punished, and the people of the town only managed to put up a memorial recently - all their other attempts were stopped by the police, who benefitted from an amnesty when the fascist system collapsed.
USA: Congressional Research Service:
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions (pdf)
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview (pdf)
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments (pdf)
UK: Anti-Fascist Five walk out of court vindicated (Defend the Right to Protest, link)
UPDATED: USA-CIA-UK: UK urged to admit that CIA used island as secret 'black site' prison - Human rights group representing Gaddafi opponent rendered to Libya via Diego Garcia says Britain must 'come clean' over role (The Observer, link)
Revealed: Senate report contains new details on CIA black sites (aljazeera, link): "The Senate report, according to Al Jazeeras sources, says that the CIA detained some high-value suspects on Diego Garcia, an Indian Ocean island controlled by the United Kingdom and leased to the United States. The classified CIA documents say the black site arrangement at Diego Garcia was made with the full cooperation of the British government. That would confirm long-standing claims by human rights investigators and journalists, whose allegations - based on flight logs and unnamed government sources - have routinely been denied by the CIA." And see: Document (pdf)
CIA's Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel - Former drone operators claim in new documentary that CIA missions flown by USAF's 17th Reconnaissance Squadron (Guardian, link)
AFRICA: Migreurop: 4th EU-Africa summit EU-Africa Migration policies: the deadly obliviousness of heads of state (link) and in French (link)
"On both shores of the Mediterranean, a securitarian view of migrations is shared. The externalisation of border management, the strengthening of surveillance systems through Frontex and Eurosur, as well as the instrumental use of public development aid to try to keep populations in their home countries, remain the key means for its implementation."
Background, official press release: Fourth EU-Africa Summit, 2-3 April 2014, Brussels: EU-Africa Declaration on migration and mobility (pdf)
EU: European Commission: New visa package:
A Smarter Visa Policy for Economic Growth (COM 165-14, pdf) and Accompanying SWD (SWD 101-14, pdf)
Proposal for Regulation: Union Code on Visas (Visa Code) COM 164-14, (pdf) and Accompanying SWD (SWD 67-14, pdf)
Union Code on Visas (Visa Code) (COM 163-14, pdf) and Annexes (pdf)
Impact Assessment (84 pages, pdf)
NETHERLANDS: Meijers Committee: Bill tabled by André Bosman (VVD) to regulate the right of Dutch nationals from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten to settle in the Netherlands (pdf):
"the Committee considers that a bill which draws a direct distinction between Dutch nationals on the basis of their decent and which deprives Antillean Dutch of certain rights which European Dutch do enjoy, is incompatible with the international obligations of the Netherlands, does not contribute to a solution for the problems experienced and may in itself cause new problems with the integration of Dutch nationals of immigrant origin."
EU: CEN/CENELEC/ETSI: Cyber Security Coordination Group (CSCG): Recommendations for a Strategy on European Cyber Security Standardisation (pdf)
USA-CIA: Senate Intelligence Committee Summary of CIA Torture (2 pages, pdf): Including
- The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.
- The CIA manipulated the media by coordinating the release of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency's enhanced
Update: Spain: Detention centre medical staff to be charged for Samba Martine's death
On 10 April 2014, Cadena Ser radio station reported that six members of the medical staff of the company that runs the medical service in Madrid's detention centre (CIE, Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros) in the Aluche neighbourhood will be charged in relation to the death of a Congolese woman, Samba Martine, on 19 December 2011 after spending 38 days in detention.
Italy: Appeal for the liberation of bodies and of political dissent
The "Effimera" discussion list has issued an appeal that is open to signatures concerning the intimidation and repression deployed against social movement in Europe, with particular reference to four young "NO TAV" activists who are currently subjected to imprisonment in a regime of isolation.
ITALY: Ongoing calls for the closure of immigration detention centres
On 15 February 2014 in Rome there was a large demonstration calling for the closure of the city's Ponte Galeria migrant detention centre and Italy's other identification and expulsion centres (CIEs, centri di identificazione ed espulsione). The demonstration, called by Rome's movements for housing rights and the city's network of anti-racist associations, was made up of some 5,000 people and marched from Parco Leonardo to the Ponte Galeria CIE, shouting slogans in different languages.
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Parliament: Legal Service Opinion on the ECJ judgment (pdf) and see: Swedish ISP deletes all retained customer data in wake of EU court ruling (PC World, link) and: Finland must revise its data protection laws (Helsinki Times, link)
Also: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Press Statement: The CJEU rules that Data Retention Directive is invalid (pdf): "The judgment also means that the EU should take a firm position in discussions with third countries, particularly the U.S.A. on the access and use of communications data of EU residents."
Why is Europe failing to protect its Roma population from hate crimes? (New Statesman, link)
Top Greek official resigns over Golden Dawn video (Channel 4 News, link)
Morocco asks Spain for funds to help with on-the-spot deportations of migrants (El Pais, link)
Artists launch anti-drone campaign with giant poster of child in Pakistan (AllVoices, link)
South East European police forces establish good cooperation (Balkan.com, link)
Workplaces using private eyes to tail employees (Copenhagen Post, link)
Serious rise in number of self-inflicted prison deaths: Toll reaches 29 so far (Inquest, link)
Illegal detentions of protesters in Belgium during the visit of Chinese president (FIDH, link)
USA-NSA: Has the NSA Been Using the Heartbleed Bug as an Internet Peephole? (WIRED, link)
UK: Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy (Open Democracy, link): "Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?"
UK: Home Office: Post-legislative Scrutiny of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (pdf) and Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (pdf)
UK: Police officers could face criminal charges over Sean Rigg inquest (Guardian, Local, link): "Two police officers could face criminal charges over evidence given at the inquest into the death of musician Sean Rigg, a watchdog announced today." See: Analysis: Police force more than minimally contributed to Sean Riggs death (pdf) by Trevor Hemmings
UK: PC Keith Blakelock: Nicholas Jacobs cleared of killing officer (BBC News, link): "A man has been cleared of killing police officer Keith Blakelock during riots in north London in 1985. Nicholas Jacobs, 45, denied murdering the officer, who was stabbed 43 times at Broadwater Farm in Tottenham. The Old Bailey jury heard from three witnesses who said they saw Mr Jacobs take part, but his defence team questioned their credibility. On Wednesday, after four hours of deliberations, Mr Jacobs was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter."
UK:The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism: Pursue Prevent Protect Prepare: Home Office publish: CONTEST: The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism Annual Report (pdf) and Statement by Home Secretary (link). See: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatchs findings for SECILE project (pdf)
EU: Claiming asylum after interception is "abuse" of procedure, claims joint police operation report
A formal report produced by the Lithuanian Council Presidency argues that migrants who submit applications for international protection after they have been "intercepted" (apprehended) by national authorities are abusing the asylum procedure.
A large-scale joint police operation, codenamed PERKUNAS , was organised by the Lithuanian Presidency and carried out in September 2013. It aimed at "identifying the link between illegal EU external border crossings and secondary movements of irregular migrants within the EU and the Schengen Area," and the final report said that:
"Considering that the largest proportion (72.94%) of irregular migrants submitted applications for international protection after interception, this could be assessed as a definite quantitative indication of abuse of asylum procedure."
EU: PASSENGER NAME RECORD: Sophie in 't Veld MEP: Letter to Commission and Council (pdf) Poses seven unresolved questions concerning PNR.
Italy sounds alarm as 4,000 immigrants land (Yahoo, link)
'Spy for us or we wont let you become French' (The Local, link): "A young Russian-born student named Anna, desperate to gain French citizenship has become the centre of a scandal in France, after alleging police tried to blackmail her into spying on members of Frances anti-gay marriage movement or face the prospect of being deported."
Hungary breaches EU data protection law (European Voice, link): "Hungary's conservative government breached European Union law when it sacked the country's data protection officer in 2011, the EU's highest court ruled today (8 April). The European Court of Justice held that allowing the officers of supervisory authorities to serve a full term in office is an integral part of ensuring the independence of those bodies." See Full-text of judgment (pdf)
USA-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US fires warning shot over Europes plans for protectionist Schengen cloud (Diginomica, link)
"But this idea has been shot down in flames by the US Trade Representative in its latest annual report where it states: "Recent proposals from countries within the European Union to create a Europe-only electronic network (dubbed a Schengen cloud by advocates) or to create national-only electronic networks could potentially lead to effective exclusion or discrimination against foreign service suppliers that are directly offering network services, or dependent on them."
The USTR report makes clear that the US government regards the Schengen cloud argument as a front for naked protectionism by the EU"
ECJ-DATA RETENTION JUDGMENT: European Court of Justice: The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid (Press release, pdf) and Judgment (pdf): "It entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being limited to what is strictly necessary" and Commission 2011: Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) (pdf) See Digital Rights Ireland (link) and:
The data retention judgment: The CJEU prohibits mass surveillance (EU Law Analysis, link):
"The Courts judgment can be seen in the broader context of continued revelations about mass surveillance. Its reference to the retention of data by third States is a thinly-disguised allusion to the spying scandals emanating from the United States. It also responds, sotto voce, to the very great concerns of national constitutional courts about this Directive, discussed in detail in Chris Jones post on this issue.
More broadly, the CJEU has seized the chance to give an iconic judgment on the protection of human rights in the EU legal order. Time will deal whether the Digital Rights judgment is seen as the EUs equivalent of classic civil rights judgments of the US Supreme Court, on the desegregation of schools (Brown) or criminal suspects rights (Miranda). If the Charter ultimately contributes to the development of a constitutional patriotism in the European Union, this judgment will be one of its foundations."
See also Chris Jones post : National legal challenges to the Data Retention Directive (link) and What does the death of the EU data directive mean? (euobserver, link) .and Commission 2011 evaluation (pdf)
ECJ-DATA RETENTION JUDGMENT: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The CJEU rules that Data Retention Directive is invalid (Press statement, pdf):
"We anticipate that the Commission, taking into account the Court's judgment will now reflect on the need for a new Directive, which will also prevent member states from keeping or imposing the same legal obligations nationally as laid out in the now invalid Data Retention Directive.
The judgment also means that the EU should take a firm position in discussions with third countries, particularly the U.S.A. on the access and use of communications data of EU residents."
EU: CIVIL DRONES: European Commission: European Commission calls for tough standards to regulate civil drones (Press release, pdf) and Communication: A new era for aviation: Opening the aviation market to the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems in a safe and sustainable manner (pdf)
See also: Statewatch/TNI report: Eurodrones, Inc. by Ben Hayes, Chris Jones & Eric Töpfer: Full report (pdf)
COE: USA-NSA-DATA SURVEILLANCE: Parliamentary Assembly: Podcast: Edward Snowdens testimony to Parliamentary Assembly hearing on mass state surveillance (link) and Video (link)
And see: Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers - Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (Guardian, link)
See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EUROPOL & THIRD STATES: Council of the European Union: Council Implementing Decision amending Decision 2009/935/JHA as regards the list of third States and organisations with which Europol shall conclude agreements (pdf): concerning: Brazil, Georgia, Mexico and United Arab Emirates and Note: Strike-through (deletion) of: "Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament".
And see: Statewatch coverage: European Parliament calls on Council to prevent Europol negotiating new international agreements: "A European Parliament vote on Wednesday showed overwhelming support for a resolution calling on the Council of the European Union not to authorise the opening of negotiations on new cooperation agreements between Europol and Brazil, Georgia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)."
EU-ROMANIA-LEA-DATA-EXCHANGE: Romanian law enforcement databases opened up to other EU Member States
Romania's law enforcement databases have become more readily accessible to the authorities of other Member States after the country submitted to the General Secretariat of the Council its declarations in line with the 'Swedish Framework Decision', under which the rules applying to cross-border exchange of information and intelligence amongst EU Member States' law enforcement authorities cannot be any stricter than the rules applying to the exchange of information and intelligence amongst authorities within a Member State. The intention is to introduce the "principle of availability" to cross-border law enforcement information exchange.
EU: SECRET TRILOGUES MEETINGS: Secret EU lawmaking: the triumph of the trilogue (euobserver, link) Interesting article which explores the secret trilogue process between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament - which is effectively the European Legislature meeting in secret and which decides over 80% of new laws in the EU. The article says that: " if trilogue meetings and their minutes were opened up to the public, lawmakers would just find another way of negotiating in secret" .
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The argument that if law-making in the EU meant all the documents, a transcript of the discussions and the minutes were public then the power elite in Brussels would find a way to by-pass the system is the traditional argument used to perpetuate secret decision-making. It has no place in a democracy worthy of the name."
See: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit (pdf) and European Parliament: Abolish 1st [and 2nd] reading secret deals - bring back democracy warts and all (pdf)
UK-CIA: TORTURE: Tony Blair 'knew all about CIA secret kidnap programme - Former British PM was 'fully briefed' on CIA's interrogation programme after Sept 11 attacks (The Daily Telegraph, link):
" Tony Blair knew in detail about the CIAs secret kidnap and interrogation programme after the September 11 attacks and was kept informed every step of the way by MI6, a security source has told The Telegraph. Mr Blair, the then prime minister, and Jack Straw, his foreign secretary, were fully briefed on CIA activities and were shown now infamous Bush administration legal opinions that declared enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding and stress positions to be legal, the source said."
See also: NGO Letter calling for independent inquiry (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Historical document with some lessons for the present: The Complete, Unofficial TEMPEST Information Page (last updated in 2004, pdf):
"Across the darkened street, a windowless van is parked. Inside, an antenna is pointed out through a fiberglass panel. It's aimed at an office window on the third floor. As the CEO works on a word processing document, outlining his strategy for a hostile take-over of a competitor, he never knows what appears on his monitor is
being captured, displayed, and recorded in the van below." (The graphic on the right is the logo for the US Army Blacktail Canyon TEMPEST Test Facility.)
USA-NSA-CUBA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Cuban Twitter Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket (The Intercept, link):
"This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create a Twitter-like Cuban communications network run through secret shell companies in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the services Cuban users was the fact that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposesspecifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government."
Documents: Sigdev Conference (pdf) and GCHQ: Full-Spectrum Cyber Effects (19 pages, pdf) also earlier: GCHQ: Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV (48 pages, pdf)
PORTUGAL: Judicial proceedings as a means of undermining scrutiny of abuse in prisons
On 19 March 2014, SOS Prisões and the Associacão contra a Exclusão e para o Desenvolvemento (ACED, association against exclusion and for development) released a document concerning freedom of expression in the context of torture allegations after the acquittal of two ACED members, António Pedro Andrade Dores and José Preto, by the sixth criminal court in Lisbon. They had been charged of defamation following allegations by two officers from the judicial police in Braga in December 2009 about events dating back to August 2008.
GREECE: ROSA LUXEMBURG STIFTUNG: Mapping Ultra-Right Extremism, Xenophobia and Racism within the Greek State Apparatus (100 pages, link):
"As long as Greece continues as a stigmatized country along a socially painful path of neoliberal restructuring, the threat of fascistization cannot be considered to have been repulsed just because of the current effort to dismantle Golden Dawn. The Greek Republic degenerates along with the dismantlement of organized labour in a society that suffers. Let the following pages be read not just as evidence for mapping the ultra-right within the Greek State, but primarily as evidence of the pressing need to develop a different strategy for resetting the country."
GERMANY: USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Germany opens hearings on U.S. spying (Washington Post, link):
"Revelations of large-scale U.S. spying on Germans, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompted an initial wave of outrage here last year. But now, the lengthy committee investigations could keep the spotlight on leaks by the former National Security Agency contractor for a year or two to come.
The hearings also have the potential to provoke further anti&SHY;pathy. Indeed, a number of lawmakers here are demanding safe passage to Berlin for Snowden who is living in self-imposed exile in Moscow to testify before the eight-member committee. Any such move would likely outrage the United States, which is seeking to take Snowden into custody."
EU: Motorists say no to remote stopping in cars (Recombu, link):
"A survey by insurance comparison website Comparethemarket.com found 47 per cent of respondents felt the measure would 'lead to a Big Brother state'. 46 per cent said they were concerned police could abuse their new powers, while 29 per cent believed such a device 'could lead to more accidents than it prevents'. 24 per cent of those surveyed said any form of remote stopping device would actually dissuade them from buying a car"
Statewatch broke this story at the end of January:
New police cooperation plan includes surveillance, intelligence-gathering and remote vehicle stopping technology
EU-AFRICA: Fourth EU-Africa Summit, 2-3 April 2014, Brussels: EU-Africa Declaration on migration and mobility (pdf) and see: EU-African migration action plan (New Europe, link)
SWEDEN-GREECE: "Ericsson bribed Greek policymakers": Ericsson, the large telecommunications corporation has paid over 10 million euros to an agent in connection with a large defense deal in Greece (pdf):
"According to Liss Olof Nenzell a former Ericsson employe who handled many of Ericssons trade agents at the time the money was used to bribe Greek policymakers. For the first time he tells the story about Ericsson's shady business."
DATA SURVEILLANCE : Launch of CAUSE: Coalition Against the Unlawful Surveillance Exports (link): "Civil society groups (FIDH, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Reporters without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, Open Technology Institute) join together to launch CAUSE. The main goal of the coalition will be to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression."
see also Launch of CAUSE : Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (Mediapart.limk)
EU: Frontex: Code of Conduct for joint return operations coordinated by Frontex (pdf) and see: Annual Information on the Commitments of the Member States to the European Border Guard Teams and the Technical Equipment Pool (pdf)
"The EBGT consists of border guards from the national border authorities of the Member States.....At the end of 2013, the overall number of border guards in the EBGT stood at almost 2,500 and is still growing as Member States make their contributions. With this number of border guards in the EBGT, Frontex is in the comfortable position of having more officers available for possible deployment on operational activities.
Equipment for border control: - mobile laboratories, i.e. vehicles equipped with communications systems, computers, printers or other equipment for document checks; -.heart-beat detectors -.carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors - Hand-held surveillance equipment: night vision goggles (NVG); -.hand-held thermal cameras.- Dogs (95)"
EU-UK: CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: House of Commons: European Scrutiny Committee: The application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the UK: a state of confusion (pdf):
"This Report arises from the state of confusion which exists in the UK about the applicability of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It was prompted by the comments of a High Court judge in November last year, which the Government sought to correct in the press, and which were debated on the floor of the House of Commons. In the first chapter of the Report we conclude that both this and the previous Government bear some responsibility for this confusion."
UK: Numerous reports criticise immigration detention
The UK's system of immigration detention has been criticised by a number of high-level reports that have found individuals detained for years at a time, the continued use of "disproportionate force and restraint", and "rude behaviour and verbal abuse" by detention centre staff. The Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of torture has called for the government to reconsider the UK's system of indefinite immigration detention.
UK: Yashika Bageerathi's final appeal against deportation rejected by judge - Lord Justice Richards refuses to grant emergency injunction as Mauritian student, 19, is taken to airport (Guardian, link) See also: Letter from Home Affairs Select Committee: Letter (pdf)
SPAIN: No Excuse for Muzzling Protests (Human Rights Watch, link) "The violence of a few cannot justify trampling the rights of many...Limiting the rights of all in Spain to raise their voices in peaceful protest...is anything but a proportionate response."
Spanish police attack and injure seven journalists (roarmag, link) "After a demonstration in Madrid on Saturday night, seven photographers were assaulted, beaten and injured by police as they tried to cover an arrest."
US: CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says (Washington Post, link) "A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques."
EU: The Migrants' Files: surveying migrants' deaths at Europe's door (euobserver, link) "A tide of humanity people on the run from Africa, the Middle East and Asia is washing over Europes boundaries, and many dont survive the journey."
See: new Statewatch Journal: Borders, deaths and resistance
UK: Police use of Tasers rises sharply in 2013 (Guardian, link) "Police in England and Wales used Tasers on more than 10,000 occasions for the first time in 2013, an increase of 27% over the previous year, according to Home Office figures." Police use of taser statistics, England and Wales, 2012 to 2013 (gov.uk, link)
FRANCE: President François Hollande to fire PM after local election rout with far right on the move (Independent, link)
UK: Neo-Nazi who plotted to blow up Mersey mosques branded "evil" by judge (Liverpool Echo, link)
STATEWATCH: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: Calling the agencies to account: Frontex, Europol & Eurojust: Statewatch complaints & Ombudsman's own initiative Inquiry
"Access to documents is the lifeblood of accountability and democratic standards so why has it taken nine, seven and ten years respectively for these Agencies to start coming into line with EU law on public access to documents? Who is responsible for the failure to ensure compliance with EU law? Is it the European Commission which, since December 2009, has been charged under Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty with ensuring the application of EU law?
It is high-time that these three agencies were made fully accountable to EU law and to the public by adopting and fully implementing the right of access to documents. I look forward to the Ombudsman re-visiting these complaints."
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: European Parliament: Conference: Transparency will save the EU: Restoring trust through public access to documents: principles, practice and challenges (pdf) EP: Tuesday 1 April 2014, 14.00-16.00, Room: ASP 1 G2.
A frequent criticism leveled at the EU is that it is still a bureaucratic and diplomatic construction where procedures are opaque and culture secretive. This conference will examine why the Reform initiated thirteen years ago is still blocked and what can be done to ensure that the EU is open and transparent.
EU: The Migrants' Files: surveying migrants' deaths at Europe's door (euobserver, link): "A tide of humanity people on the run from Africa, the Middle East and Asia is washing over Europes boundaries, and many dont survive the journey."
"Thanks to The Migrants' Files, compiled by a consortium of more than 10 European journalists, the most comprehensive and rigorous database on migrant fatalities ever assembled is now up and running. Their assessment is shocking: since the beginning of the century more than 23,000 people have died or vanished attempting to enter Europe."
GERMANY: UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: 'A' for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies (Der Spiegel, link):
"Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?" See: nsa-gchq document (pdf)
And also: Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders (Intercept, link)
See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
EU: FRONTEX: Work Programme for 2014 (pdf)
EU: Europol: Restructured Analysis Work Files (pdf) Answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group and see also: EUROPOL: New AWF Concept: Guide for MS and Third Parties (pdf)
EU-LIBYA: Development of the EUBAM mission in Libya (pdf) Answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group:
"roughly 8,000 detainees, most of them held without due process, still remain in detention centres, some of which are operated by militias. There have been reports of torture and ill treatment predominantly in non-governmental detention centres, in some instances resulting in death."
"The Federal Government is aware that some illegal migrants are arbitrarily arrested and detained indefinitely, in some cases under very bad conditions. Others are arbitrarily deported from Libya to third countries.There is no possibility of applying for asylum in Libya."
UK: Police spies still get free rein to have sexual liaisons, say women suing Met - Group of eight women behind lawsuit criticise government for failing to ban relationships, attacking 'institutional sexism' (Guardian, link):
"We note that despite the controversy over the issue of undercover relationships in the past couple of years, the codes of practice fail to make any mention of intimate and sexual relationships.
"Having had our privacy intruded upon to a huge and damaging degree we feel that these guidelines fail to address the issues raised by our claims and fail to offer any increased protection to the public." They added: "The situation as it stands currently gives free rein to officers and their handlers."
UN: Human Rights Committee (Advanced uncorrected version): NSA surveillance (pdf)
"The Committee is concerned that the current system of oversight of the activities of the NSA fails to effectively protect the rights of those affected. While welcoming the recent Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-28) that will now extend some safeguards to non-US persons to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the national security, the Committee remains concerned that such persons enjoy only limited protection against excessive surveillance."
See: Dispatch from Geneva: EFF Responds to Concluding Observations from UN Human Rights Committee on NSA Pervasive Surveillance (link):
"the Committee criticized Obamas policy directive (PPD-28) because it offers only limited protection against excessive surveillance for non-US persons. The Committee correctly pointed out that those affected have no access to adequate remedies in case of abuse."
EU: UK: The House of Lords European Union Committee has published its latest report, entitled: The Role of National Parliaments in the European Union.(pdf)
"The Committee has called for a greater role for national parliaments in EU decision making including the introduction of a Green Card procedure to enable a group of national parliaments to work together to propose new EU legislation or amend existing European law."
EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Constructing the secret EU state: Restricted and Limite documents hidden from view by the Council (pdf)
Over 117,000 RESTRICTED documents produced or handled by the Council since 2001 but only 13,184 are listed in its public register of documents
103,839 RESTRICTED documents not listed in the Councils public register due to the originators right of veto?
The Council seeks to stop the publication of unreleased LIMITE documents, which are defined as sensitive unclassified documents
The Commission has failed to implement the Lisbon Treaty to ensure that all legislative documents are made public as they are produced - this means that 60% of Council documents relating to legislative decision-making are made public after the final adoption of measures
The Council uses Article 4.3, the space to think, to refuse access to 50% of requests for access to legislative documents under discussion
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
The Council have constructed a two-tier system of secrecy to keep from public view thousands and thousands of documents. This has been compounded by the failure of the European Commission to put forward proposals to implement the provision in the Lisbon Treaty to make all documents concerning the legislative procedure public.
In place of the need to deepen democratic openness and accountability in EU the Council has entrenched a system of secrecy based on its discretion to decide whether and when to make documents public.
The result is that the European legislature the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament meet in secret trilogues to decide over 80% of new laws going through the EU.
EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Statewatch, the European Commission and the Dutch Senate (pdf)
Parliamentary sovereignty in the EU under threat?
The EU-USA agreement on the exchange of personal data, the later US intervention on draft new EU Data Protection Regulation and the Snowden revelations
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
Subsequent events have shown that it was clearly in the public interest to make public the inadequate EU negotiating position back in 2010. The USAs hostile reaction to the draft new EU Regulation on data protection in 2011 and the Snowden revelations from June 2013 demonstrate the need for binding privacy rights in the EU that cannot be negotiated away in secret meetings.
This case highlights the limits that have been put in place to try and restrict the sovereignty of national parliaments to decide for themselves what documents can be placed in the public domain in order that the people can understand what is being decided in their name.
EU: Secrecy: Secret rules despite Court judgment (Wobbing.eu): by Staffan Dahllöf:
"EU-ministers have postponed implementing a judgement on transparency and rejects to disclose alternatives discussed and leaked. Six member states vote against secrecy. The European Ombudsman is asked to step in."
EU: Frontex Work Programme for 2014 (pdf) Note that on p96 there is still no commitment by Frontex to revise its Decision on public access to documents and provide a register of documents produced and handled.
EU: When can Internet service providers be required to block access to websites? (EU Law Analysis, link)
UK: Supreme Court ruling could give journalists common law right to information outside of FoI (Press Gazette, link) and Full-text of judgment (pdf)
UK-EU: OPT-OUT: Statewatch Analysis: The UK opt-out from Justice and Home Affairs law: the other Member States finally lose patience (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"It is clear that the UKs decision to exercise the block opt out from pre-Lisbon third pillar measures, along with simultaneous demands to opt back in to 35 measures, to participate in SIS II five weeks beforehand, to check all other Member States EAWs for proportionality, and to insist that all EAWs be transmitted separately to the UK authorities, topped off by the Conservative partys plan to hold an in/out referendum, has pushed some other Member States patience to the breaking point."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama: US must 'win back the trust of ordinary citizens' over data collection - President confirms plans to end NSA bulk telephone collection as House committee says it is close to reform bill deal (Guardian, link): The US proposals concern US citizens where data collection is based on: "reasonable articulable suspicion" - it is silent on the rights of everyone else in the world, including the EU. The claim is that EU citizens will have the same protection as US citizens - but is this the same as EU citizens will have under EU law?
And: Obama is cancelling the NSA dragnet. So why did all three branches sign off? Well, at least the phone part of the dragnet. Here's hoping it's the end of laws of the spies, by the spies and for the spies (Guardian, link) by Jameel Jaffer. And see: The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Congress' serial fabricator has the audacity to call his new law the 'End Bulk Collection Act'. Obama's proposal isn't much better (link)
EU: FREEZING and CONFISCATION: European Criminal Bar Association: Statement on the proposal for a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime in the EU (pdf):
"Since the events of 9/11 there has been an increase in security legislation both on an EU and national level which provide many examples of broad powers being expansively interpreted by policy makers, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and the courts. This so called practice of gold plating whereby domestic measures in purported reliance on a Directive, greatly exceed what is in fact required has in the past seriously compromised fundamental rights, as for example in the anti-money laundering field."
See: Adopted text by EP and the Council on Freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime (pdf)
UK: Charities could be 'silenced' by data protection law, warns lawyer (Civil Society.org, link)
ETHIOPA: SURVEILLANCE: They Know Everything We Do - Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia (HRW, link)
"The 137 page report details the technologies the Ethiopian government has acquired from several countries and uses to facilitate surveillance of perceived political opponents inside the country and among the diaspora. The governments surveillance practices violate the rights to freedom of expression, association, and access to information. The governments monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers."
EU-USA SUMMIT: WISHFUL THINKING? EU-US Summit (Brussels, 26 March 2014) and EU-US relations Press release, pdf). Near the end of the press release, under the heading: "Rebuilding trust" it says:
"the negotiations on the "umbrella agreement" on data protection in the area of law enforcement cooperation should be completed by summer 2014 as jointly agreed at the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial in November. After 18 negotiating rounds the main issue which remains is the right of judicial redress that should be granted by the US to EU citizens not resident in the US. The Umbrella Agreement should provide a high level of protection including an opportunity for EU citizens to have recourse to judicial redress and enforceable rights with regard to their personal data when it has been transferred to the US in a law enforcement context. US citizens have such judicial redress rights in the EU."
It is hard to see how the EU-USA "umbrella agreement" on data protection covering law enforcement could be "completed by summer 2014" when the EU is unlikely to adopt the new Regulation on data protection before the end of 2014 (or the Directive on LEA personal data exchanges within the EU) if then and when there has been no resolution of the myriad of unanswered questions arising from ongoing Snowden revelations.
GREECE: Golden Dawn: courage of two women stems the rise of Greece's neo-Nazis - Under armed guard, the judges investigating the far-right party's criminal activities have brought it down: but it is far from out (The Observer, link)
EU: European Parliament: Working document (no 1): Strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings (pdf) and Working document (no 2) (pdf): Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: Rapporteur: Renate Weber.
Updated: USA-NSA: NSA surveillance program reaches into the past to retrieve, replay phone calls (Washington Post, link)
"The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording 100 percent of a foreign countrys telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden."
See documents: Mystic (2 pages, pdf) and Scalwag/Retro (pdf)
This follows the revelation last year (October 2013) about the NSA mass collection of e-mail addresses: See: NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (Washington Post, link)
FINLAND: SMART BORDERS: European Parliament: Draft: Report from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Delegation on "Smart Borders" to Finland 18-20 December 2013: Head of Delegation: Renate Sommer (pdf)
FRANCE-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: French spy software targeted Canada: report (The Globe and Mail, link): "The document leaked to Le Monde is a slide presentation with the logo of Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), the secretive Ottawa-based agency that tracks foreign computer, radio and telephone communications. It is classified top secret." See also: Quand les Canadiens partent en chasse de "Babar"." (Le Monde, link)
See: Stormglobe document (pdf)
STATEWATCH: New issue of Journal: Borders, deaths and resistance and Link for free download
"So detached has the official rhetoric about migrants' rights and saving lives become from the realities of the detention centres, the razor wire, the intensive surveillance, the military patrols, the forced expulsions and the 20,000 documented deaths, that people bearing the brunt of the economic crisis and austerity measures may be forgiven for thinking that over-generous migration policies are indeed the source of all their woe - a message that is rammed home by opportunist politicians and xenophobic media at every opportunity.
This new edition of the Statewatch Journal examines the latest European policy and practice vis-a-vis border control, immigration and asylum."
CoE: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee announces visits to ten states in 2015 (link): "The Committee intends to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the following ten countries: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland: Persons in possession of information concerning deprivation of liberty in any of these countries which they believe could assist the CPT are invited to bring it to the Committees attention."
UK: Jimmy Mubenga: G4S guards face plane death charges (BBC News, link):
"Three G4S custody officers will face manslaughter charges over the death of Jimmy Mubenga who died on a plane as he was deported from the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig would be charged. Previously, an inquest jury found Mr Mubenga was unlawfully killed by G4S guards who were restraining him. "
UK-GCHQ: British intelligence watchdog is like Yes Prime Minister, says MP - Spy services' monitor has staff of just two and was bewildered by Snowden affair (Guardian, link)
Spain/Catalunya: Catalan government's IT security service drew up dossiers on activists' use of Twitter
On 24 January 2014, following earlier denials, the Catalan councillor for business and employment, Felip Puig, acknowledged that Cesicat [Centro de Seguridad de las Informaciones de Cataluña], a body set up in 2010 and tasked with guaranteeing the Generalitat's [the Catalan government] IT security, had drawn up 50 dossiers on activists and social movements based on its monitoring of Twitter accounts in 2012 and 2013 on behalf of the Catalan police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra:
Security expert Gemma Galdón said that: "it is quite clear, it is forbidden for public authorities to set up ideological databases" and that, regardless of the information coming from "open sources... intervention by state and the police must be motivated by a clear, identifiable risk".
EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Package of Fair Trial Rights (pdf)
EU justice scoreboard upsets some member states (euobserver, link): "some of the scoreboard data sets on the charts dated 2010 from Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Romania, Cyprus, and Hungary are missing for 2012. The UK is the only the member state that refuses to provide any data on its justice system to the Council of Europe [which collects much of the data]. "We have no intention of the UK becoming part of a one-size-fits-all EU justice system, said UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in a statement on Monday."
EU Justice Scoreboard (Press release, pdf) and Report (pdf)
Good bye Schengen: Get your passport when traveling from Poland to Germany (TN, link)
EU POLICE COOPERATION: This document was prepared by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in answers to questions by Members of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko et al. and the Left Party parliamentary group: Cooperative activities and projects conducted by European police forces in the second six months of 2013 (pdf).
Despite lots of answers stating that: ""After weighing up the rights to investigate and obtain information enjoyed by Members of the German Bundestag against the protection of fundamental rights, the German Federal Government has come to the conclusion that, in view of the reasons that have been set out and the high-ranking nature of the legally protected rights that are at stake, the publication of the information relevant in this respect must be ruled out, even if there is no more than a minor risk of undesirable consequences." the document is a mine of information on dozens and dozens of largely hidden EU police cooperation working groups and serves to emphasise the key operational role played the Council of the European Union in coordinatng EU Member States' agencies.
EU-JHA: European Commission: Preliminary list of the former third pillar acquis (SWD 109-14, pdf):
"Article 10 (1) of Protocol 36 attached to the Treaty on the European Union provides for a transitional period before the full powers of the Commission and of the Court of Justice apply to the acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (former third pillar acquis") adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. As of 1 December 2014, the transitional phase will come to an end. This will lift current limitations to the judicial control by the European Court of Justice and to the Commission's power to launch infringement proceedings, as the guardian of the Treaty over the area of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters."
UK-GCHQ: If GCHQ wants to improve national security it must fix our technology - Our security is better served by protecting us against online threats than it is by giving cops and spies an easier time attacking bad guys (Guardian, link) and Public apathy over GCHQ snooping is a recipe for disaster - The lack of public alarm at government internet surveillance is frightening, but perhaps it's because the problem is difficult to convey in everyday terms (The Observer, link)
EU: Proceeds of Crime Directive adopted: Council adopts directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime (Council Press release, pdf) and Full-text: Directive on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union (pdf)
NETHERLANDS: SCHENGEN Border Controls: The Netherlands: European Commission: DG Home: Temporary reintroduction of border controls: At the occasion of the Nuclear Security Summit, the Netherlands temporarily reintroduces border controls at its internal borders during the period from 14 to 28 March 2014.
Safety measures for Nuclear Security Summit: The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) will take place in the World Forum in The Hague on 24 and 25 March. To ensure that this conference proceeds safely and smoothly, a number of measures are being taken. One of these measures is a temporary reintroduction of controls at the Netherlands borders with other Schengen countries under articles 23 (1) and 24 of the Schengen Borders Code (Regulation (EC) No. 562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council). Nuclear Security Summit (link)
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Europe lags behind in its efforts to resettle refugees (link): "Europe is lagging behind in its efforts to resettle refugees with only 20 Council of Europe member states resettling only 5,500 people in 2013 and should do a great deal more, according to PACEs Migration Committee." And see report: Resettlement of refugees, towards greater solidarity (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Investigation Order: Council adopts the "European Investigation Order" directive (Council Press release, pdf) and Full-text: Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: As adopted by plenary on: Report on public access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2011-2013 (pdf): Rapporteur: Sophia in t Veld
UK: Police drop attempt to block action over undercover officers - Five women bringing action say they were duped into having long-term relationships with undercover officers (Guardian, link)
UK: We are our own educators!: Buzz Johnson, peoples publisher by Chris Searle (IRR News, link): "A tribute to Buzz Johnson (19512014), who created in the UK one of the most important and prolific black publishing houses on and for Caribbean peoples."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly Resolution: Improving user protection and security in cyberspace (pdf): "The Parliamentary Assembly is concerned that the further development and exploitation of cyberspace is still taking place without an adequate protection of the rights and interests of the weakest stakeholder in this process: the individual user."
European Parliament Study: The impacts of visa liberalisation on trans-border mobility (pdf): "this study examines the Schengen Visa liberalisation in the Eastern Partnership countries, Russia and Turkey which has proven to have a huge transformative potential across the justice, liberty and security policies of the countries where it has been deployed."
European Parliament: Transparency is an essential element of a lively democracy (pdf). Record of a discussion between Rapporteurs on access to EU documents. Renate Sommer is parliament's EPP group shadow rapporteur says: "In order to avoid outside influence on the legislative process at this stage trilogues should not be public and documents relating to them should not be disclosed." while Michael Cashman is parliament's S&D group shadow rapporteur says: "the European commission and the European council, with the help of some elements of the European People's Party and, rather contradictorily to their continuous attack on the EU, the UK Independence Party, continue to think that we should legislate behind closed doors." and Cornelis de Jong is parliament's GUE/NGL group shadow rapporteur: "If it is already difficult for MEPs to grasp what decisions are made on the internal arrangements in the EP, for the ordinary citizen this is a complete black box."
See Statewatch Observatories: Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-ongoing and Reporting on openness and secrecy in the EU since 1992
UK: Home Office: Impacts of migration on UK native employment: An analytical review of the evidence (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware (The Intercept. link):
"Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware implants. The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks."
"Top-secret documents show that the British base referred to by the NSA as MHS for Menwith Hill Station is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant exploitation attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."
"MENWITH HILL: GCHQ, the British agency, has taken on a particularly important role in helping to develop the malware tactics. The Menwith Hill satellite eavesdropping base that is part of the TURMOIL network, located in a rural part of Northern England, is operated by the NSA in close cooperation with GCHQ. Top-secret documents show that the British base referred to by the NSA as MHS for Menwith Hill Station is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant exploitation attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."
See: The NSA and GCHQs QUANTUMTHEORY Hacking Tactics (link), TURBINE and TURMOIL: (pdf) another Menwith Hill ("MHS") connection.
And see: Foreign Officials In the Dark About Their Own Spy Agencies Cooperation with NSA (The Intercept, link): "One of the more bizarre aspects of the last nine months of Snowden revelations is how top political officials in other nations have repeatedly demonstrated, or even explicitly claimed, wholesale ignorance about their nations cooperation with the National Security Agency, as well as their own spying activities. This has led to widespread speculation about the authenticity of these reactions: Were these top officials truly unaware, or were they pretending to be, in order to distance themselves from surveillance operations that became highly controversial once disclosed?" See: Third Party Relationships (pdf)
UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Phone call metadata does betray sensitive details about your life study Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata (Guardian, link):
"Warnings that phone call metadata can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls. Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs want to scrap US data agreements (euobserver, link): "MEPs want the EU to scrap data protection agreements with the US as they increase pressure on member states to start negotiations on reforming data protection rules in the EU."
European Parliament: US NSA: stop mass surveillance now or face consequences, MEPs say (pdf) : The resolution, in which MEPs set out their findings and recommendations to boost EU citizens' privacy, was backed by 544 votes to 78, with 60 abstentions:
"Parliament's consent to the EU-US trade deal "could be endangered" if blanket mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) does not stop, MEPs said on Wednesday, in a resolution wrapping up their six-month inquiry into US mass surveillance schemes. The text also calls on the EU to suspend its bank data deal with the US and the Safe Harbour agreement on data privacy. The fight against terrorism can never justify secret and illegal mass surveillance, it adds"
"The Snowden revelations gave us a chance to react. I hope we will turn those reactions into something positive and lasting into the next mandate of this Parliament, a data protection bill of rights that we can all be proud of", said Civil Liberties inquiry rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D,"
European Parliament: MEPs tighten up rules to protect personal data in the digital era (Press release, pdf): approved by 621 votes to 10, with 22 abstentions:
"MEPs inserted stronger safeguards for EU citizens personal data that gets transferred to non-EU countries in a major overhaul of the EUs data protection laws voted on Wednesday. The new rules aim both to give people more control over their personal data and to make it easier for firms to work across borders, by ensuring that the same rules apply in all EU member states."
""I have a clear message to the Council: any further postponement would be irresponsible. The citizens of Europe expect us to delivera strong EU wide data protection regulation. If there are some member states which do not want to deliver after two years of negotiations, the majority should go ahead without them", explained rapporteur for the general data protection regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE)."
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies Reach (New York Times, link):
"Previously, with narrow exceptions, an intelligence agency was permitted to disseminate information gathered from court-approved wiretaps only after deleting irrelevant private details and masking the names of innocent Americans who came into contact with a terrorism suspect. The Raw Take order significantly changed that system, documents show, allowing counterterrorism analysts at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share unfiltered personal information."
Background documents: Stellarwind (pdf) NSA-FISA: Classifications Guide (pdf) NSA/CSS: Classification Guide (pdf)
EU:POST-STOCKHOLM JHA PROGRAMME: Statewatch Analysis: The next multi-year EU Justice and Home Affairs programme Views of the Commission and the Member States (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"Overall, the suggestions on the table would in part be useful and practical (on asylum, legal migration, civil justice and suspects rights, subject to concerns about the details of any rules on the offshore processing of asylum-seekers), and in part raise some concerns about civil liberties protection (as regards PNR and smart borders in particular). But there are no specific overriding themes that would bring together the EUs future JHA plans into a coherent system."
See also: European Commission: "The effect of publishing two sets of communications is that there is no single Commission vision of the future of JHA in the EU, with the three Cs in the Justice paper as compared to a subject-based approach in the Home Affairs paper." (Steve Peers):
The EU Justice Agenda for 2020 - Strengthening Trust, Mobility and Growth within the Union (COM 144-14, pdf)
An open and secure Europe: making it happen (COM 154, pdf)
A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law (COM 158-14, pdf)
Annexes: A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law (COM 158-Annexes-14, pdf)
EU: POST STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Two letters from Commissioner Malmstrom (Home Affairs: Internal security and immigration) and Commissioner Reding (Justice Affairs) to the Council of the European Union: Text of the two letters (pdf)
It is intended to agree the new Post-Stockholm Programme (2105-2020) at the European Council on 26-27 June 2014 - it will be formally adopted under the Italian Council Presidency (July-December 2014, and may be called the "Rome Programme"). The European Parliament is not at all happy with the Council's timetable as it will have little time to consider the five-year plan with elections at the end of May and most of June taken up with constituting the new parliament (new MEPs, agreeing Committee Chairs etc).
The new Programme adopted by the European Council (EU Prime Ministers) will set out the agenda for the European Commission to put forward proposals which are then discussed and agreed by the Council of the Ministers (Justice and Home Affairs Council) and the European Parliament acting as co-legislators.
And see: The JHA Agencies Contribution on the new multiannual Justice and Home Affairs programme (10 March 2014, pdf)
EU officials seek new powers to protect rule of law (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Presidency to: Delegations of the Friends of Presidency Group: Subject: Application of Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the Treaties (10 March 2014, pdf) Concerns the 5 year transition period for pre-Lisbon Justice and Home Affairs measures: (i.e. so-called ex-third pillar acts) and to look at whether any of these acts are such that it can be unequivocally considered that they are obsolete and concerning the UK opt-in and opt-outs.
DRONES: UN report calls for independent investigations of drone attacks - Special rapporteur on human rights says states have obligation to launch inquiries into attacks that kill civilians (Guardian, link). And: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson (pdf) See Chapter III.
Greeces biggest prison is boiling: The countrys health system is collapsing. Nowhere is this more obvious than inside its prisons.(link)
Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: 'I would do it again' (Guardian, link)
Whistleblower patches in to Texas conference from Russia
Snowden insists leaks have strengthened national security
Spain admits use of rubber bullets on migrants was wrong (BBC News, link) and see: Sea Swallows the Stories of Africans Drowned at Ceuta (IPS, link): "Who will speak for them now? Who will tell their stories to their families in Cameroon or Ivory Coast? asked Edmund Okeke, a Nigerian, about the 16 migrants who died while trying to swim to the shore of the Spanish city of Ceuta from Morocco. The victims were driven back with rubber bullets fired by the Spanish Guardia Civil (militarised police) from the beach of this Spanish enclave in north Africa, on Feb. 6."
Italy Closes Its Eyes to Sealed Mouths (IPS, link): "We walk inside an area that is 128 steps long and seven-and-a-half steps wide. This is the path they made for us: two metres of bars over our heads, and upon the bars, two metres of plexiglas. We are like canaries in a cage, like birds of different races all in one cage."
SWEDEN: From boots to suits: Sweden Democrats' extreme roots (euobserver, link)
GREECE: On Location: Why refugees to Greece are sewing their mouths shut (Global Post, link)
Russian anger at SS veteran reunions in Baltic states (Voice of Russia, link): "In this Talking Point, Dr Marcus Papadopoulos argues why Russia is right to be furious over US and EU indifference to the fact that the governments of the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia, both members of the European Union and NATO, have sanctioned SS veteran parades on their soil."
Hacking Team Spy Software Identified on US Servers (Corpwatch, link) and: Italian spyware firm relies on U.S. Internet servers (Washington Post, link) also: Hacking Teams US Nexus (link)
UKRAINE: Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev: A stream of European jihadists have traveled to Syria to wage holy war. Now a group of European neo-Nazis are traveling to Ukraine to save the white race (The Daily Beast, link)
Slovakia to help Croatia with Schengen border (Dalje.com, link)
UNHCR: UKRAINE: International Protection Considerations related to developments in Ukraine (Press release, pdf): "In the current circumstances, UNHCR considers a designation of Ukraine as a "safe country of origin" not appropriate, and recommends States to remove Ukraine from "safe country of origin" lists."
EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden's testimony to the European Parliament inquiry and Q & A session transcript (pdf)
"I believe that suspicionless surveillance not only fails to make us safe, but it actually makes us less safe. By squandering precious, limited resources on "collecting it all," we end up with more analysts trying to make sense of harmless political dissent and fewer investigators running down real leads. I believe investing in mass surveillance at the expense of traditional, proven methods can cost lives, and history has shown my concerns are justified."
"One of the foremost activities of the NSA's FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance. Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK's GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers. These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers insistence that legal limits be respected, effects the GCHQ internally described in its own documents as "damaging public debate
Snowden: NSA pressures EU members to change laws (New Europe, link) and Edward Snowden wants asylum in EU (euobserver, link)
The EP plenary session will discuss (Tuesday) and consider amendments (vote Wednesday): Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP
See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: HERNE Report: Operation HERNE: Operation Trinity: Report 2: Allegations of Peter Francis by Mike Creedon Chief Constable Derbyshire Constabulary (80 pages, pdf):
"The detail contained within this report is deliberately and specifically limited to the allegations made by Peter Francis and the report does not seek to fully address the wider covert policing implications including the supervision, management and executive oversight of the SDS between 1968 and 2008. At a later stage Operation
Herne will provide further reporting in relation to how the unit was tasked, the relationships with other agencies and the nature, extent and justification of the covert infiltrations carried out over the 40 years."
See: Police Spies Out of Lives - Support group for women's legal action against undercover policing (link) and see Stephen Lawrence Review below
UK: CCTV: ICO ruling replaces Royston "Ring of Steel" with mass surveillance roulette (pdf) No CCTV:
Charles Farrier of No CCTV said: "We find increasingly that we live in a state in which the police or the government know more about you than you know about yourself. This is not a healthy society in which to live. The network of mass surveillance number plate cameras that are used in Royston and throughout the UK was constructed without any public debate.
It is still the biggest surveillance network that most people have never heard of. The ICO might think it's okay to turn freedoms into a game of roulette 'pick your route and guess whether you're under surveillance' we do not. We will continue to contest these cameras that should have no place in a free country.
UKRAINE: Whose sniper in Kiev? (link) 94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month: Who killed them?
The link below is a partial transcript of an intercepted phone call between Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, and European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, which seems to have taken place about 1 March 2014. Paet had visited Kiev briefly, and Ashton asked for his impressions. Paet remarked how low public trust is in the new Ukrainian government. These people have dirty pasts, he said. Then he talked about Olga, who is a medical doctor. Ashton had also met her. Olga told Paet how the same snipers killed both civilians and policemen in Kiev. To Ashtons evident surprise, Paet says behind the snipers it was not Yanukovitch but it was somebody from the new coalition. This transcript, which the Russell Foundation has compiled, is taken from the last three minutes or so of the conversation. The web link to the intercept itself is above.
UK: Stephen Lawrence police 'spy' prompts public inquiry (BBC News, link): Revelations that a police officer spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence will lead to a judge-led public inquiry into undercover policing.
and see Full Report: The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Possible corruption and the role of undercover policing in the Stephen Lawrence case: Summary of Findings: Author: Mark Ellison QC (pdf)
USA: The Inverse of Oversight: CIA Spies On Congress (The Intercept, link): "In the wake of an explosive new allegation that the CIA spied on Senate intelligence committee staffers". See: Senator's Press release (link) and Probe: Did the CIA spy on the U.S. Senate? (link):
"The CIA Inspector Generals Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIAs secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned. The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study."
NORWAY: Detention of Asylum Seekers (pdf): Analysis of Norways international obligations, domestic law and practice.(Norsk Organisasjon for Asylsøkere)
UK: New campaign calls for inquiry into undercover policing
The fight for justice by those affected by undercover police operations has been stepped up with a number of individuals and groups coming together to launch the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), which is demanding a full-scale public inquiry into the infiltration of a whole host of campaigns and protest groups by undercover police officers.
European Parliament reports going to plenary session: Stockholm and Access to EU documents :
- Report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme (pdf): Rapporteurs: Luigi Berlinguer, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Carlo Casini
- Report on public access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2011-2013 (pdf) Sophia in 't Veld
EU: Report reveals 'extensive' violence against women in EU - One in three women report physical or sexual abuse since age of 15, with largest number of victims in Denmark (Guardian, link) and see: Full report (link)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 3-4 March 2014, Brussels: Final Press release: 3-4 March (pdf):
"B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and "A" Points non-legislative (adopted without discussion). See: Background Note (pdf)
Documents: A highly inappropriate title: "An effective EU return policy": Presidency's food for thought paper for the lunch discussion (pdf) and Preparation for the accession of the UK to the SIS II (pdf) Detailed discussion of UK access in the light of its proposed JHA opt-out with Member States reactions
See Statewatch Observatory: Proceedings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 1993 - present
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Investigatory Powers:the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Relevant Sources) Order 2013 (pdf) The Home Office has announced a "consultation" on new Codes of Practice:
- No 1: Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources Codes of Practice
- No 2: Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice
- No 3: Covert Surveillance and Property Interference Code of Practice
"The majority of the proposals to update the codes of practice are as a consequence of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Relevant Sources) Order 2013 which I laid on 31 October 2013 and came into force on 1 January 2014."
UK: Sun, sand...and indefinite detention (Open Democracy, link): "The UKs second largest immigration detention centre is about to open in Weymouth. Jennifer Allsopp reports on local responses to the imminent presence of hundreds of foreigners, locked up off the coast of this small and friendly town."
EU and Tunisia sign Mobility Partnership - Italy among the 10 Partnership member States (AnsaMed, link) and: EU and Tunisia establish their Mobility Partnership (Commission press release, pdf)
See also: Extension of Mobility Partnerships with Euro-Mediterranean Partners (link) by Marie Martin
EU: Council of the European Union: COSI, ITCs and Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for cross-border information exchange
- Future role of COSI (pdf) from the following delegations: AT, BG, CZ, ES, FI, FR, HU, HR (Croatia), IT, PL, RO, SE, SI, SK
- ITC: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer [First reading] - Analysis of the final draft compromise text with a view to agreement
- Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Draft SPOC Guidelines for cross-border law enforcement information exchange (pdf) Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for cross-border information exchange.
EU: European Commission: Smart Borders, GAMM & Free movement
- Smart Borders: The scope of the study on the Smart Borders Package (pdf)
- GAMM: Report on the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility 2012-2013 (pdf)
- Free movement: Addressing the consequences of disenfranchisement of Union citizens exercising their rights to free movement (pdf)
Databases and data-mining: a favoured method for security and law enforcement agencies (Breaking the Frame, link)
UK-GCHQ: Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ (Guardian, link)
Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
Yahoo: 'A whole new level of violation of our users' privacy'
Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images
See Full document (pdf)
and: GCHQ's cover for Optic Nerve provided by legislation introduced in 2000 - Section 8 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act permits GCHQ to perform indiscriminate trawls of external data (Guardian, link) and se also: Statewatch coverage: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
UK: Water cannon: Met Police 'does not have convincing case' (BBC News, link) and Statewatch story: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting And see: London Assembly: Police and Crime Committee: Water cannon: Why the Met's case doesn't wash (pdf)
SCOTLAND: Social landlord agrees immigration deal with the Home Office (Housing.co.uk, link): "Scotlands largest housing association has become the first landlord in the UK to sign a deal with the Home Office to identify illegal migrants who apply for housing."
EU: ARMED DRONES: MEPs vote in landslide for ban on covert drone strikes (Reprieve, press release, link) and see European Parliament: Resolution (pdf)
European Parliament: Parliament backs EU-Turkey deal to return clandestine migrants (pdf):
"Clandestine migrants from the EU to Turkey or Turkey to the EU would have to be returned under an EU-Turkey readmission agreement signed by both parties in
December and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The return rule would apply not only to EU nationals and Turks, but also to third-country nationals who enter either the EU or Turkey via the other."
See also: European Parliament: do not vote in favour of a EU/Turkey readmission agreement! (Migreurop, link)
EU: European Parliament and CEPOL trilogue: Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision 2005/681/JHA establishing the European Police College (CEPOL) (pdf). Multicolumn document with positions of MS Proposal, Parliament, Council and "compromise" for discussion on Monday 3 March 2014
and see: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) report (pdf) and Council discussion paper (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Evaluations: Italy & Cybercrime
- Evaluation report on the sixth round of mutual evaluations: "The practical implementation and operation of Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime and of Council Decision 2008/976/JHA on the European Judicial Network in criminal matters" REPORT ON ITALY (pdf) Declassified version of "Restricted" document of 18 November 2013 - begs the question: are other country evaluation reports also going to be declassified, and hence made accessible, after 3 months?
- Seventh round of mutual evaluations - Questionnaire: 7th round of Mutual Evaluations: The practical implementation and operation of European policies on prevention and combating Cybercrime (pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (pdf) by Steve Peers
Professor of Law, Law School, University of Essex
"the complex interplay of the provisions of this Regulation with EU asylum law has led to something of a dogs dinner of rules governing the asylum applications of people rescued or intercepted in the Mediterranean, and the rules on the accountability of Frontex are something of a red herring in light of the allegations of serious misconduct in some cases by national authorities.
Finally, the Commissions continued unwillingness to bring infringement proceedings in this area (and in the face of its own documented breaches of other EU immigration and asylum law) is undermining the letter and spirit of the Charter by allowing Member States authorities to think that they can violate the Charter with impunity."
EU: 'Antici protocols' shed light on EU crisis summits (euobserver, link)
UK: Ex-Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg held in Birmingham terror raids Begg, released from Guantánamo without charge, arrested with two men and a woman on suspicion of Syria-related offences (Guardian, link): "The former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, who became a vocal campaigner against the alleged excesses of the war on terror, is back in detention after being arrested for alleged terrorism offences linked to Syria. Supporters of Begg, 45, claimed his arrest at his Birmingham home was politically motivated and aimed at halting his work trying to expose injustices committed by the west."
See: Moazzam Begg arrested for uncovering Western complicity in rendition and torture? (Cage, link): " CAGE is outraged by the arrest of our Outreach Director, Moazzam Begg. A former Guantanamo Bay detainee, he has been campaigning for due process and the human rights of victims, despite suffering over three years of torture and abuse by the US government with the complicity of the British security services."
And: Release Moazzam Begg Now! National Protest: Saturday 1 March 2014 at 12 noon: Outside West Midlands Police HQ, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway, Birmingham B4 6NQ. Supported by CAGE UK, Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign, South Asian Alliance.
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations (The Intercept, link): "One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction".and
"These GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls false flag operations and emails to peoples families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?"
See document: GCHQ: The ART of DECEPTION: Training for a new generation of online covert operations (3MB, pdf)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: EDPS Guidelines on the Rights of Individuals: data protection is essential to good public administration (Press release, pdf) and Guidelines (pdf):
Giovanni Buttarelli, Assistant EDPS, said: "EU institutions and bodies are accountable for compliance with data protection rules and our objective is to promote a data protection culture amongst them to help implement this obligation. The Guidelines contribute to this strategic objective and will help to build awareness that data protection as a fundamental right is a vital part of good public policy and administration."
Belgium temporarily suspends Dublin transfers to Bulgaria (Asylum Information Database, link). See: UNHCR: Bulgaria As a Country of Asylum (pdf)
Council of Europe: Committee of Ministers to examine implementation of human rights judgments (link)
CoE: Police abuse a serious threat to the rule of law (link): Far too often, police officers in many European countries resort to excessive use of force against protesters, mistreat persons in detention, target minorities and otherwise engage in misconduct. This undermines public trust in the state, social cohesion, and effective law enforcement, which rests on cooperation between police and local communities.
UK: Jimmy Mubenga's family urges CPS to make decision about criminal charges - Mubenga's son Roland says 'lives are on hold' as family waits for CPS to decide whether to prosecute three G4S guards (Guardian, link)
TURKEY: European Parliament: do not vote in favour of a EU/Turkey readmission agreement! (Migreurop, link): "On 26 February, the European Parliament will vote on the EU-Turkey agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and Migreurop call upon the European Parliament to vote against this agreement until the full respect of rights of migrants and refugees can be guaranteed at all stages of the readmission procedure." and French (link)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MIRANDA DETENTION: Heres David Mirandas application to the Court of Appeal drafted by Matthew Ryder QC and Edward Craven of Matrix Chambers for permission to appeal against todays Administrative Court judgment. The court today dismissed his judicial review challenge to his questioning and detention last August under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law (The Intercept, link):
"A British lower court has ruled that London police acted lawfully in employing an anti-terror statute to detain and interrogate David Miranda for nearly nine hours at Heathrow Airport last summer, even while recognizing that the detention was an indirect interference with press freedom.
IMiranda said his suit will continue. I will appeal this ruling, and keep appealing until the end, not because I care about what the British government calls me, but because the values of press freedom that are at stake are too important to do anything but fight until the end, he said in a statement to The Intercept."
Full-text of court decision (pdf)
GREECE: Refugees describe dire conditions in migrant detention centres (EnetEnglish, link): "Granted political asylum in December, Farhad, detained for 14 months at the detention centre in Corinth, said detainees were packed scores to a room and often beaten by police. In protest at the appalling conditions, he and others sowed their mouths together and went on hunger strike
See also: GlobalPost documentary shows footage recorded inside Corinth camp
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS: Enforcing EU data protection law essential for rebuilding trust between EU-US (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: "The rights of EU citizens to the protection of their privacy and personal information are enshrined in EU law. The mass surveillance of EU citizens by US and other intelligence agencies disregards these rights. As well as supporting a privacy act in the USA, Europe must insist on the strict enforcement of existing EU legislation, promote international privacy standards and swiftly adopt the reform of the EU data protection Regulation. A concerted effort to restore trust is required. " who also comments:
"It is... essential that progress is made quickly to thwart the attempts serving political and economic interests to restrict the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection."
See also: DP Regulation: EDPS letter to the Council of the European Union (pdf): raises "three crucial outstanding issues"
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Why Have You Gone to Russia Two Times in Three Months?Heathrow Customs Agent Interrogates Snowden Lawyer (The Dissenter, link)
EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Consolidated report after the vote in the LIBE Committee on 12 February 2014: Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP. The full Parliament will vote on the resolution on 12 March in Strasbourg.
See Statewatch Observatory: EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance
USA: Gov't cancels plan to collect license plate data (NBC News, link): "The Homeland Security Department abruptly reversed course Wednesday and dropped plans to ask a private company to give the government access to a nationwide database of license plate tracking information. Secretary Jeh Johnson directed that a contract proposal issued last week be canceled." This is standard practice in the UK and is supplemented by ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras.
USA: Gov't cancels plan to collect license plate data (NBC News, link): "The Homeland Security Department abruptly reversed course Wednesday and dropped plans to ask a private company to give the government access to a nationwide database of license plate tracking information. Secretary Jeh Johnson directed that a contract proposal issued last week be canceled." This is standard practice in the UK and is supplemented by ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras.
UK: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting
High-ranking Metropolitan Police officers faced an angry crowd at a public meeting on Monday night as they attempted to justify their attempts to acquire water cannons for use in public order situations. Over 200 hundred people packed into City Hall, which houses the offices of the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly, to demand that the police abandon their plans to purchase three of the weapons before the summer.
EU: Council of the European Union: Further discussions on the future development of the Justice and Home Affairs area in relation to Justice (6199/14, pdf) and Home Affairs (6420/14, pdf)
These documents "summarise the work undertaken under the Lithuanian Presidency and the discussions at the JHA informal ministerial meeting in Athens on 23 and 24 January 2014 on the future development of JHA and to initiate a debate in COREPER outlining the Member States' contribution to the future of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice."
EU: Council of the European Union: Approach for the way forward on the Smart Borders Package (5828/14, pdf)
"The Commission has stated its intention to proceed with a proof of concept which would test both a detailed design of the technical architecture and the underlying operational processes. The purpose would be to ensure that the best possible choices are made both from a technical and cost-benefit point of view. The proof of concept will schematically consist of two main phases: a study to be conducted by the Commission and a pilot project to be entrusted to eu-LISA."
Statewatch News Digest: 20 February 2014 (112 items)
GCHQ-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters (The Intercept, link)
"The system used by GCHQ to monitor the WikiLeaks website codenamed ANTICRISIS GIRL is described in a classified PowerPoint presentation prepared by the British agency and distributed at the 2012 SIGDEV Conference. At the annual gathering, each member of the Five Eyes alliance the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand describes the prior years surveillance successes and challenges.
In a top-secret presentation at the conference, two GCHQ spies outlined how ANTICRISIS GIRL was used to enable targeted website monitoring of WikiLeaks (See slides 33 and 34). The agency logged data showing hundreds of users from around the world, including the United States, as they were visiting a WikiLeaks site contradicting claims by American officials that a deal between the U.K. and the U.S. prevents each country from spying on the others citizens." : Document: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and:
"A third document, from July 2011, contains a summary of an internal discussion in which officials from two NSA offices including the agencys general counsel and an arm of its Threat Operations Center considered designating WikiLeaks as a malicious foreign actor for the purpose of targeting. Such a designation would have allowed the group to be targeted with extensive electronic surveillance without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.": Document: SIGINT targeting scenarios (pdf)
EU: ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles), CEAR and Accem: Death and Summary Returns at Europes Doorstep: European Commission Must Investigate Border Practices in Ceuta and Melilla (pdf): "The EU cannot turn a blind eye to these allegations of serious human rights violations and has to do everything in its power to ensure the respect of fundamental rights at its external borders" and in Spanish (link) See also: Death of at least 12 people (link) And: Spain says police fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to swim to enclave (Reuters, link)
UK: Could Jimmy Mubengas death have been prevented? (IRR News Service, link): "As we await the publication of a new Home Office manual on deportations, IRR News has gleaned evidence from a number of Freedom of Information requests suggesting that the death of Jimmy Mubenga during deportation could have been prevented."
INTERPOL: Consensus builds for INTERPOL reform (Fair Trials International, link). See also: INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report (Statewatch News Online)
EU: Migreurop: A Critical Chronology of European Migration Policies (link) and Chronology pdf (link)
"This chronology seeks to make it easier to understand European migration and asylum policies through a time-framed comparison of the evolution of the legal framework (columns A1 to A3), the public discourse (B1) and the facts (B2). The table is updated twice a year.
The aim is to picture the way in which the EU policy of closing the borders, apart from the sequence of tragedies that it causes, leads to human rights violations and to absurd situations that are sometimes impossible to manage by the very people who implement them, in an escalation whose effects sometimes appear to escape the grasp of its protagonists, and bargaining among states in which migrants, refugees and displaced people represent a form of exchange currency."
EU-SWITZERLAND: Switzerland gets first penalty for immigration vote (euractiv, link): "The European Union said yesterday (16 February) it had postponed negotiations with Switzerland on its participation in multibillion-dollar research and educational schemes, after Berne said it could not sign in its present form an agreement to extend the free movement of people to Croatia, the newest EU member." And see: EU suspends research talks with Switzerland (European Voice, link)
EU: SEASONAL WORKERS: Council of the European Union: Council adopts directive on third-country seasonal workers (Press release, pdf) and see: Full-text (pdf)
EU: APPOINTMENT OF NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS): European Parliament: Opinion of the Legal Service (pdf) See also: Pressure grows over EU data watchdog replacement (euractiv, link)
Beirtear na IMSIs: Ireland's GSOC surveillance inquiry reveals use of mobile phone interception systems (PI, link)
USA-NSA: Germany, France to discuss plan to avoid US spying (Press TV, link):
"Germany and France have planned to discuss building up a European communication network to avoid data passing through the United States... Merkel has been pushing for greater email and data protection following reports about Washingtons mass surveillance program....She also added, "Above all, we'll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe."
EU to probe Spain over rubber bullets fired at migrants (BBC News, link)
Mauritian personalities bravely stand up against new compulsory biometric ID Card system (Spokesman Books, link) See: Morpho wins Mauritania bid (Securitydocument world.com, link) and EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa (Statewatch News Online)
UK: Playwright David Edgar discusses the importance of Stuart Hall (IRR News, link) and Buzz Johnson, peoples educator and the founder of Karia Press, died this week (IRR News, link):
"Two giants of the Caribbean diaspora died this week Stuart Hall, academic and cultural theorist; Buzz Johnson, publisher and peoples educator. They represented two ends of a black left spectrum of politics the one an acclaimed theoretician and eminent wordsmith who influenced a phalanx of students with his ideas, the other a practical man who single-handedly ran a black publishing venture, Karia Press, which uncovered/discovered and publicised a whole range of Caribbean writers and thinkers. Stuart Hall has been rightly claimed and acclaimed for his massive contribution. But Buzz, in the shadows till the last, has never had his due recognition."
EU: Seeing through trees: Frontex commissions study on "solutions for under-foliage detection"
A study that will examine "solutions for under-foliage detection and their potential impact on border surveillance" has been awarded to Spanish company Isdefe by the EU's border agency, Frontex. According to a contract award notice posted on the EU's Tenders Electronic Daily website on 21st January, the study aims: "To provide technical, operational and market information concerning advanced solutions for under-foliage detection and to provide an insight into the future developments of advanced solutions for under-foliage detection."
EU: Frontex: Parliament demands greater scrutiny of "financial management and internal controls"
The EU's border agency Frontex has been criticised on numerous grounds by the European Court of Auditors, the institution responsible for "improving EU financial management, promot[ing] accountability and transparency, and act[ing] as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union." The European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee has echoed the Court's complaints.
EU: SEARCH & RESCUE AT SEA: Council of the European Union: Final "compromise" proposal agreed between the Council and the European Parliament: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (pdf) See: Safety at sea p12, Interception p16 and Search and Rescue p21.
USA: The NSAs Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program (Intercept, link):
"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."
UK: DONT SPY ON US launch (link)
"The UK's intelligence services can process 21 petabytes of data per day - that's 39 billion pieces of information that could be the private data of any citizen. This mass surveillance violates your privacy and chills free speech across the globe. The current law offers little protection. We are calling for reform of the legal framework so the intelligence agencies stop spying on us."
UPDATED: EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: NSA inquiry: what experts revealed to MEPs (Press release, pdf): Report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): "The text, passed by 33 votes to 7 with 17 abstentions, condemns the vast, systemic, blanket collection of personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information, adding that the fight against terrorism can never be a justification for untargeted, secret or even illegal mass surveillance programmes.
The following amendment was adopted: "Compromise Amendment No 16 '20a. Calls on all EU Member States and in particular, with regard to its Resolution of 04/07/2013 and Inquiry Hearings, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland to ensure that their current or future legislative frameworks and oversight mechanisms governing the activities of intelligence agencies are in line of the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union data protection legislation; calls on these Member States to clarify these allegations of mass surveillance activities , including mass surveillance of cross border telecommunications, untargeted surveillance on cable-bound communications, potential agreements between intelligence services ans telecommunication companies as regards access and exchange of personal data and access to transatlantic cables, US intelligence personnel and equipment on EU territory without oversight on surveillance operations, and their compatibility with European Union legislation: invites these National Parliaments to intensify cooperation of their intelligence oversight bodies of their national parliaments at a European level.' .
and NSA snooping: MEPs table proposals to protect EU citizens' privacy (pdf) The report will go before the plenary session on 12 March 2014. See also: LIBE: No EU-US trade deal unless fundamental rights ensured (New Europe, link) and MEPs say No to Snowden asylum in Europe (euobserver, link)
UPDATED: EU: FRONTEX REJECTS OMBUDSMAN RECOMMENDATION: European Ombudsman: Full Summary on Frontex Inquiry (pdf)
Short Summary of the Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex (pdf):
"Frontex has rejected a recommendation made by the European Ombudsman following an investigation of its compliance with human rights standards and, in particular, with the requirements of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, is sending this special report to the European Parliament seeking its support on the matter....
The Ombudsman recommended to Frontex that it should set up a mechanism whereby it could deal directly with complaints from people claiming to have had their fundamental rights breached by Frontex. Regrettably, Frontex decided not to accept this recommendation....
The Ombudsman does not accept that Frontex does not carry responsibility for the actions of staff operating under the Frontex banner. That responsibility may sometimes be shared with the individual Member State, but it is not tenable that Frontex has no responsibility and that, thus, it should not deal with complaints arising from actions in which it is involved."
Statewatch/TNI report: Eurodrones, Inc. by Ben Hayes, Chris Jones & Eric Töpfer
Full report (pdf)
Executive summary (pdf)
Press release: English | German | Italian | Spanish (pdfs)
Eurodrones, Inc. tells the story of how European citizens are unknowingly subsidising through their taxes a controversial drone industry yet are systematically excluded from any debates about their use. Behind empty promises of consultation, EU officials have turned over much of drone policy development to the European defence and security corporations which seek to profit from it. The current trajectory points in the direction of an increasingly militarised and repressive use of drones that will have far-reaching implications for the privacy and human rights for citizens of Europe and beyond.
EU 'secretly spent £320 million on surveillance drone development' (The Telegraph)
EU gibt mindestens 315 Millionen Euro für Drohnenforschung aus (Telepolis)
Una ONG critica la falta de transparencia en el uso civil de los drones (El Pais)
Europa investeert half miljard in droneprojecten (nrc.nl)
EU spending over $400m on secret drone project - Civil rights group (RT)
Where is the democratic control of EU Drone Policy? (Quaker Council for European Affairs)
EU-Drohnenprogramme werden ausgebaut (FM4 ORF.at)
LUe ha speso 350 milioni di euro per sviluppare droni segreti (eunews.it)
EU steps up funding for drone research (euobserver)
UK: Number of data interception requests to GCHQ 'possibly too large', says official (Guardian, link) "Interception communications commissioner Sir Anthony May says requests amount to 570,000 a year...[and that] legislation governing the collection of communication data by Britain's eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, is complex."
EU-NSA: Today, February 11th, 2014 is The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance (link) International Community Unites to Protest Big Brother (EFF, link)
"Governments worldwide need to know that mass surveillance, like that conducted by the NSA, is always a violation of our inalienable human rights.
Over the past year, more than 360 organizations in over 70 countries have come together to support the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.
These thirteen Principles establish the human rights obligations of any government conducting surveillance. They are the core of an international movement to compel all states to stop the mass spying of the innocent. The Principles are already being used in national campaigns and international pressure to reign in spies including the NSA.
By signing the Principles, you will show that you're part of a movement that knows mass surveillance is a violation of international human rights law. We'll use your signature, with thousands of others, to pressure governments and international institutions to forbid mass surveillance anywhere in the world."
EU: European Commission: European Cybercrime Centre - one year on (press release, 10 February, link)
"What are the main future cybercrime threats on the horizon? And how has the European Cybercrime Center (EC3) contributed to protect European citizens and businesses since its launch in January 2013? These questions are at the core of an EC3 report presented today."
European Cybercrime Centre first year report (pdf)
Statement by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström: An Intense first year for the European Cybercrime Centre (link) Video of speech (euractiv, link)
Frequently asked questions: The European Cybercrime Center (link)
EU: European Migration Network Study: The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member States (pdf)
"The organisation of reception facilities differs greatly amongst (Member) States. Differences exist in the type of facilities and in the actors involved in the provision of reception. Such differences are not only apparent between (Member) States but also occur within some (Member) States at sub-state level. Unequal treatment between and within (Member) States may result, in some cases, in sub-standard reception conditions."
EU-Switzerland: EU warns Switzerland of consequences after anti-immigration referendum (euractiv, link) "Brussels warned Switzerland on Monday that all their bilateral agreements will be revised, after the Swiss on Sunday narrowly backed a curb on EU immigration."
DRONES: REPRIEVE: Drone victim set to testify before European parliaments disappears after being seized by men in police uniforms (link)
"A drone victim who was due to travel to Europe this week to give evidence to parliamentarians was detained on 5 February by unknown elements of the Pakistani police and has not been seen since, according to his family."
EU: Council obstructs ruling on transparency (Wobbing, link) by Staffan Dahllöf: "The Council of the EU has classified its own reaction to a landmark ruling on transparency by the EU-court in Luxembourg. The Court said citizens have a right to know. The Council refuses to disclose how this requirement will be met." See: Public access to documents (pdf): "Partial access" censors nearly all the content.
But see here the full document: Public acess to documents (LIMITE, 17177/13, 29 November 2013, pdf)
UK: Statement by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, Roj Women, MAF-DAD & Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC): Outrage as Kurds held up for hours at Dover crossing (pdf): Kurdish families bound for Paris protest on anniversary of killings were stopped and searched under Schedule 7 of Terrorism Act 2000.
NETHERLANDS: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Netherlands, not USA, gathered info from 1.8 million phone calls (Dutch News.nl, link):
"The Dutch security service was responsible for collecting information from about 1.8 million telephone calls and text messages at the end of 2012 and in early 2013, ministers have told parliament. Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told MPs in October the Americans were behind the tapping, after the revelations were first published in German magazine Spiegel.
However, in a two paragraph briefing on Wednesday, Plasterk and defence minister Jeanine Hennis said the information had been gathered by the Netherlands itself....the information was gathered from satellite and radio-based phone calls, messages and emails"
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and 'Dirty Tricks' (NBC News) and See: Set of GCHQ slides - JTRIG (pdf) which suggest a wider list of targets and ways of disrupting their activities: The Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) focused on cyber forensics, espionage and covert operations including: the 4D's: Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive. Techniques employed are: bombarding their phones with calls, deleting their online presence, email/text friends and colleagues, blogging pretending to be a victim, "stop someones computer from working.
USA: Court Says FBI Agent's Wrong Checkmark Put Woman On No Fly List, Barred Her From The US For 10 Years (Techdirt, link). Link to court Decision
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Amending the EUs visa list legislation - February 2014 version (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
A new amendment to the visa list rules was adopted in December 2013, and the European Parliament and the Council have also agreed on two further amendments to the rules, which will be officially adopted early in 2014. This analysis examines all of these recent changes, and presents an informally codified version of the text of what the Regulation will look like after they all take effect.
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: The Council working on its negotiating position:
- Proposal for a regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Data portability (pdf)
- Data Protection Impact and Prior Checks (pdf)
- Article 26 (pdf): The processor
- One-stop-shop mechanism (pdf)
EU: European Parliament study: Space sovereignty and European security building European capabilities in an advanced institutional framework (pdf)
"The study aims to offer a comprehensive analysis of the role of space-based capabilities in supporting the security and defence policies of the European Union and of its Member States. Moving from the description of the current and future space-based systems developed at the national, intergovernmental and European level, the study tries in first place to point out the contribution of these assets to the security initiatives undertaken in Europe.
UK: Cabinet Office: Government Security Classifications April 2014 (pdf)
The state security classification system is to be changed from TOP SECRET, SECRET, CONFIDENTIAL and RESTRICTED to TOP SECRET, SECRET and OFFICIAL (with a sub-category of OFFICIALSENSITIVE). As the UK is bound by NATO and EU Treaties to follow the old classifications will current CONFIDENTIAL and RESTRICTED documents be bumped up to SECRET?
"National Caveats may be used to designate assets of particular sensitivity to the UK or where dissemination must be restricted to individuals from specific foreign nations. Unless explicitly named, information bearing a national caveat must not be sent to foreign governments, overseas contractors, international organisations or released to any foreign nationals (either overseas or in the UK) without the originator.s consent. Information should be marked in the format .CLASSIFICATION . CAVEAT., e.g: TOP SECRET . UK / US EYES ONLY"
The Official Secrets Act 1989 still applies: "Principle Two: EVERYONE who works with government (including staff, contractors and service providers) has a duty of confidentiality and a responsibility to safeguard any HMG information or data that they access, irrespective of whether it is marked or not, and must be provided with appropriate training."
UK: Police will have 'backdoor' access to health records despite opt-out, says MP - David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust (Guardian, link)
EU: WHEN WILL WE HAVE AN OPEN EU? The 2012 Annual Report of the Council of he European Union for public access to documents (pdf) reminds us that despite the Lisbon Treaty (in force since December 2009) Article 15.3 which says that all documents concerning the legislative process should be made publicly available that only: "40% of the documents relating to the legislative process is made public" and: "The remaining documents were or will be made public in the register upon final adoption of the legislative act." (p10)
EU: Council of the European Union: ITC, Search & Rescue & Researchers
- Intra-corporate transferees: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer [First reading] (pdf) Nearly agreed "compromise" between the Council and the European Parliament. This contains Council's response to the sixth trilogue. Multi-column document.
- Sea surveillance: Search & Rescue: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (74 pages, (pdf) Multi-column document showing proposal by Commission, the Council and European Parliament positions and draft "compromises"
- Researchers: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 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] (172 pages, pdf) Council discussion on its position with over 300 Member State positions.
UK: Should national security certificates exclude the Data Protection Principles? (Hawktalk, link) with eight examples of Security Certificates. See also: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
Spain: Case into Martine Samba's detention centre death to be reopened
On 14 January 2014, the Madrid provincial court ruled in favour of the appeals submitted by Ferrocarril Clandestino and her mother Clementine Samba [assisted by SOS Racismo Madrid], and the Asociación de Letrados por un Turno de Oficio Digno [ALTODO] to overturn the decision to shelve investigations into the death of Martine Samba. The Congolese woman was detained in Madrid's detention centre foreigners in the Aluche neighbourhood for 38 days, until she died in the 12 de Octubre hospital on 19 December 2011. The key focus of the case is whether inadequate medical care provided to Martine Samba in the detention centre [CIE, centro de internamiento para extranjeros] had a role in her death and may result in charges of manslaughter being brought against the centre's medical staff.
EU: European Commission: Detention: Commission calls on Member States to implement commonly agreed rules for people sentenced or awaiting trial in another EU country (pdf)
- Report on the implementation by the Member States of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA on the mutual recognition of judicial decisions on custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty, on probation decisions and alternative sanctions and on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention (COM 57-14, pdf)
- and Commission Staff Working Document: Tables "State of play" and "Declarations" (SWD 34-14, pdf)
UK: Justice and Security Act 2013: Investigating State Secrecy: The Justice and Security Act 2013: Presentation: Eric Metcalfe Monckton Chambers (pdf) and see: NUJ meeting: Podcast (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Coreper confirms agreement on list of non-EU countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa requirement (Press release, pdf) and Regulation (EU) No 1289/2013 of 11 December 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (pdf)
EU/Italy: A breath of fresh air, the "Lampedusa Charter"
On the weekend from 31 January to 2 February 2014, a process that began with the shipwrecks that cost 600 people their lives in early October 2013 was completed in an assembly to discuss the final details of a document produced from below, by civil society, migrant support associations and interested individuals from around Europe and beyond, including migrants themselves and citizens of Lampedusa, that calls for a radical overhaul of the EU's migration policies.
POLAND: The Invisible: Stateless persons in Poland, summary (link):
""Anna Strama and Anna Pilaszek authored this piece. This report concludes an 11-month long research project by the Halina Niec Legal Aid Center carried out within the framework of The Invisible Stateless Persons in Poland project funded by the Stefan Batory Foundation. The full report is available in Polish."
EU gives US six months to come clean on visa policy (euractiv, link):
"EXCLUSIVE / The European Commission has told the United States to lift visa requirements on Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia, whose citizens still need an entry permit to travel to the country.
A regulation which entered into force on 20 December requires EU countries to "react in common" on visa matters, especially in cases where foreign countries "subjects [EU] citizens to differing treatment."
See: Regulation of 11 December 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: War on Anonymous: British Spies Attacked Hackers, Snowden Docs Show (NBC News, link):
"secret British spy unit created to mount cyber attacks on Britains enemies has waged war on the hacktivists of Anonymous and LulzSec, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News.
The blunt instrument the spy unit used to target hackers, however, also interrupted the web communications of political dissidents who did not engage in any illegal hacking. It may also have shut down websites with no connection to Anonymous."
See: Document (pdf)
And: German authorities sued over illegal spying allegations (euractiv, link)
UK: Five of six largest police forces do not want water cannon - Controversial water cannon plans 'as much use as a chocolate teapot', according to one police chief (Guardian, link)
EU: Jailing the bankers: the new EU Directive on criminal penalties for market abuse (EU Law analysis, link)
EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: AT THE LIMEN: The implementation of the return directive in Italy, Cyprus and Spain (pdf)
"Over the last few years, the use of two different forms of immigration control has increased: there are more centres (detention centres, or reception centres) and there has been a proliferation of different forms of temporary legal status. In both cases, these new immigration management and control measures are both characterised by their seemingly temporary nature and by the fact that both present immigration as an entirely temporary phenomenon."
EU: RACISM & XENOPHOBIA: 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): Covers the transposition into national law of the 2008 Framework Decision:
"At present it appears that a number of Member States have not transposed fully and/or correctly all the provisions of the Framework Decision, namely in relation to the offences of denying, condoning and grossly trivialising certain crimes. The majority of Member States have provisions on incitement to racist and xenophobic violence and hatred but these do not always seem to fully transpose the offences covered by the Framework Decision. Some gaps have also been observed in relation to the racist and xenophobic motivation of crimes, the liability of legal persons and jurisdiction."
and see: Council Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (2008, pdf)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Yahoo release US surveillance requests (Guardian, link)
Tech giants turn over data from tens of thousands of accounts
Limited disclosure part of transparency deal made last month
And: Making Surveillance a Little Less Opaque (New York Times, link): "The new rules will now allow companies to disclose the FISA orders as well as the national security letters but, again, only in broad ranges. They can also disclose how many users were affected but not the nature of the information they turned over to the government. Simply put, the new rules will not appreciably improve the publics understanding of the surveillance system or its ability to push back. What is clear is that government officials have not budged from their belief that Americans should simply trust them to do the right thing."
GREECE: Greece's Golden Dawn vows to run in EU elections despite crackdown (euractiv, link)
UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda's detention: a chilling attack on journalism - When the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald was detained at Heathrow airport last August under the Terrorism Act, MI5 were pulling the strings and knew full well that he wasn't a terrorist (Guardian, link)
UPDATED: EU: Council of the European Union: New Justice and Home Affairs Programme: German government position: The future development of the JHA area: Written contributions from MSs: Position paper of the German Federal Government on the future development of EU Justice and Home Affairs policy (pdf)
See: Document setting out Member State positions: Letter from the LT Presidency to the incoming EL [Greek] Presidency on the future development of the JHA area (249 pages, pdf)
UK: Secret hearings could allow police to seize journalists' notes if bill passes - Requests for notebooks and files must currently be made in open court but clause in deregulation bill could change that (Guardian, link)
Updated: EU: DELAY IN APPOINTING NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISORS (EDPS): European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) Chair asks Legal Service for an Opinion: Letter (pdf) See also: Letter from EDPS, Peter Hustinx, to LIBE Chair (pdf). See: Pressure grows over EU data watchdog replacement (euractiv, link)
UPDATED: Canada's WiFi Surveillance and CSEC's Non-Denial Denials (notes jrgallagher, link)
USA-NSA-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: CSEC used airport Wi-Fi to track Canadian travellers: Edward Snowden documents - Electronic snooping was part of a trial run for U.S. NSA and other foreign services (CBC News, link):
" top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by CBC News shows that Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.
After reviewing the document, one of Canada's foremost authorities on cyber-security says the clandestine operation by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was almost certainly illegal."
See document: IP Profiling Analytics & Mission Impacts (pdf)
And: Footage released of Guardian editors destroying Snowden hard drives - GCHQ technicians watched as journalists took angle grinders and drills to computers after weeks of tense negotiations (link)
Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link) and: Get the data: Pakistani governments secret report on drone strikes
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties MEPs oppose merging Europol with police training college (Press release, pdf):
"Europol should not be merged with the European Police College (CEPOL) because the two EU bodies should work separately, said the civil liberties committee on Thursday in a vote on new operating rules for Europol. It also strengthened Europol's data protection obligations and suggested setting up a body of MEPs and national MPs to monitor Europol's activities and its respect for fundamental rights.
The committee rejected the Commission's proposal to merge Europol with the European Police College (CEPOL). MEPs adopted their set of amendments to this draft law by 45 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions. "The Europol I defend strikes the right balance between police action and a robust data protection architecture, with
stronger parliamentary oversight," said the rapporteur, Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES)."
CEPOL to move to Budapest from Bramshill in UK: Letter from UK Home Office (pdf)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2012: Government Response to the Committees Second Report of Session 201213 (pdf) and The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security
Strategy in 2012 (pdf)
and see: Home Affairs Select Committee report on Home Office: The work of the Permanent Secretary (pdf): "It is unacceptable that the Home Office
is still over-reliant on a very small number of large providers to deliver its major projects, many of whom appear to have a track-record of underperformance, from
the lamentable saga of e-Borders, through the absent Olympic security staff, to the placement of asylum-seekers in sub-standard housing under the COMPASS
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: A strategy to prevent racism and intolerance in Europe (Press release, pdf) and Resolution: Tackling racism in the police (pdf)
UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK: Cameron says he failed to make case for mass surveillance after Snowden leaks - Files from analyst showed need to update communication laws, says PM, also claiming civil liberties must be held 'in proportion' (Guardian, link) and see: Spy agency lawyers agree not to read intercepted emails in torture case - Assurance given in court that communications between two Libyan rendition victims and their UK legal team will not be read (Guardian, link)
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UK: Amendment to Immigration Bill allows Home Secretary to make people stateless (Free Movement, link) see: Bill's progress (link). And see: ILPA briefing to Government New Clause 18 Deprivation of citizenship: conduct seriously prejudicial to vital interests of the UK (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: New Justice and Home Affairs Programme: Letter from the LT Presidency to the incoming EL [Greek] Presidency on the future development of the JHA area (249 pages, pdf) With Member States' positions.
EU: PAIX ET SECURITE INTERNATIONALES: Study: Irregular migration across the mediterranean sea: Problematic issues concerning the international rules on safeguard of life at sea (pdf)
UPDATED: UK-GCHQ: Huge swathe of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link). See Full-text of legal opinion (pdf)
GREECE-BULGARIA-GIBRALTAR: Greek coastguard accused of drowning 12 refugees (Roarmag, link) and see: Bulgaria Begins Construction of Border Fence with Turkey (Novinite, link) and see: Frontier set for robot checks to meet Commission remit (Gibraltar Chronicle, link)
EU-USA: EU justice chief attacks European "hypocrisy" on spying (Reuters, link): ""If the EU wants to be credible in its efforts to rebuild trust, if it wants to act as an example for other continents, it also has to get its own house in order."
Angela Merkel says US and UK snooping sows distrust (BBC News, link): "She used her inaugural address to parliament after her re-election to warn that such surveillance ultimately undermined mutual security. She also accused the UK and US of using spy agencies to gain economic advantage rather than just for security."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Committee to invite Edward Snowden to debate mass surveillance with US officials (CoE, link)
European Parliament: Report on follow-up on the delegation of legislative powers and control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (pdf). A much ignored area of EU decision-making covering implementing measures following the adoption of Directives and Regulations: See page 39 for Civil Liberties Committee
"Draws attention to the fact that the Council continues to adopt legal acts on the basis of provisions of the former third pillar, long after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, such that Parliament has been required to bring legal action before the Court of Justice."
UK-GCHQ: Huge swathe of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link)
GCHQ head Sir Iain Lobban stands down - Foreign Office claims 53-year-old spy chief's departure part of long-planned move and nothing to do with Edward Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)
EU threatens suspension of data deal with US (euractiv, link)
EU: Annual reports on EU arms exports
EU Member States' arms exports are regulated by a set of common rules, set out in Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP. Under the Common Position, the Council is obliged to produce an annual report based on statistics from each Member State. The report and its associated statistical data was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 21 January, covering the calendar year 2012 for conventional arms exports. Statewatch has reproduced the report and the data tables here separately for ease of access.
UK: Revealed: Rape victims abused in British detention centres (Politics.co.uk, link) and see: Report (link)
UK: Lobbying bill passes through House of Lords - Charities and voluntary groups raise concerns for civil society as controversial bill limits groups' spending ahead of an election (Guardian, link) and Legislative process (link). See also: Tory MP calls police on handful of retired constituents delivering petition against lobbying bill 'gagging law' (Independent, link)
EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: State of surveillance: the NSA files and the global fightback (pdf) by Ben Hayes
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Tackling racism in the police (Press release, link) and Text of the Resolution (pdf). See also: A European strategy needed to combat increasing racism and intolerance (Press release, pdf) and Resolution (pdf)
UK: Labour calls on government to apologise over miners' strike - Move follows release of Whitehall papers showing deployment of troops was considered at height of mid-80s dispute (Guardian, link) and Cabinet papers reveal 'secret coal pits closure plan' (BBC News, link)
EU: DATA PRIVACY DAY: NGO Letter, signed by 18 groups including Statewatch, to the Council Presidency: Europe Needs Strong Data Protection - Europeans mark anniversary by demanding rules protecting their privacy (pdf)
"This years International Data Privacy Day takes place in the context of increased concern among European citizens about their online privacy, following the 2013 revelation about mass government surveillance. Europeans today are increasingly demanding stronger protection of their personal data. "
UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NBC News: Snowden docs reveal British spies snooped on YouTube and Facebook (link) with 48 page slideshow constructed by GCHQ revealing a pilot programme called "Squeaky Dolphin":
See: GCHQ slides (48 slides, pdf) and another GCHQ document: The mobile challenge (pdf): "By 2015 up to 90% of internet traffic will be accessed on mobile devices...Predicted that in 2011 mobile broadband will overtake fixed-line internet connections in the UK"
and: Angry Birds and 'leaky' phone apps targeted by NSA and GCHQ for user data (Guardian, link using different documents): US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data Details can include age, location and sexual orientation Documents also reveal targeted tools against individual phones: "GCHQ documents use Angry Birds reportedly downloaded more than 1.7bn times as a case study for app data collection."
See also: Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps (New York Times, link) and slides: Analysis of Smartphones Devices - "All in a day's work" (pdf)
plus: Obama advisor: Pipeline deals could see US spy on EU leaders (euobserver, link)
After Snowden: How vulnerable is the internet? (BBC News, link)
ITALY: ASGI clarifies the issues involved in repealing the criminal offence of illegal entry and residence
A recent development in Italy has been the response to the tragic shipwreck in Lampedusa in October 2013 that cost over 360 people their lives and other scandals concerning the treatment of migrants, which have resulted in parliamentary scrutiny of a proposal to abrogate [repeal] the criminal offence of illegal entry and residence, turning it into an administrative offence, approved by the Senate in its first reading vote on 21 January 2014.
CoE and FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY (FRA): Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency launch handbook on European data protection law (Press release, pdf) and Handbook (210 pages, pdf)
GREECE: Migrants saved in Greek boat accident mourn relatives and dispute claims - Survivors say coastguards refused to help them as vessel sank and stamped on hands of those clinging to Greek boat (Guardian, link)
Statewatch News Digest: 27 January 2014 (90 items)
USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Big Data and the Future of Privacy (White House Blog, link), EU justice ministers seek data security reform (DW, link), Edward Snowden tells German TV that NSA is involved in industrial espionage - Public broadcaster ARD airs interview in which whistleblower says National Security Agency is involved in industrial espionage (Guardian, link) And see: NSAs' Upstream Collection (electrospaces.net, link)
EU: European Parliament: Final report to be considered by plenary: Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012) (pdf)
UK: Hungarian fascist group Jobbik on the run in London (Channel 4 News, link)
UK: Hundreds of children 'detained in police cells' (BBC News, link):
"Hundreds of children in England and Wales have been held under the Mental Health Act and locked in police cells because officers did not have anywhere else to take them, the BBC has learned. There were 305 detentions of under-18s in the first 11 months of 2013, Radio 4's the World This Weekend found. Some were detained for more than 24 hours, according to data released under Freedom of Information laws."
UPDATE: UK-USA-BASES: Unknown territory: Americas secret archipelago of UK bases (Independent, link)
See: Exclusive: Peers call for proper scrutiny of American military bases in UK used for drone strikes and mass spying (Independent, link):
"Scrutiny of American military bases in Britain could be increased dramatically for the first time in more than 60 years under cross-party proposals provoked by evidence that the installations are being used for drone strikes and mass spying activities.
Draft proposals tabled by peers from all three major parties demand that the Government overhaul the outdated rules under which the Pentagons network of UK outposts operate following claims of British complicity in US drone missions in the Middle East and eavesdropping on European allies."
See: Agreement: regarding the Status of Forces of Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty: UK ratification (pdf)
See also: Campaign for the Accountability of American bases (link)
EU: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY (FRA): Access to data protection remedies in EU Member States (link):
"Technological advances make it ever more important to safeguard the right to personal data, which is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Data protection violations arise principally from internet-based activities, direct marketing and video surveillance, perpetrated by, for example, government bodies or financial and health institutions, research by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows."
POLAND-CIA: The hidden history of the CIAs prison in Poland (Washington Post, link):
"On a cold day in early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch.
The men put the boxes in a van and weaved through the Polish capital until coming to the headquarters of Polish intelligence. They were met by Col. &SHY;Andrzej Derlatka, deputy chief of the intelligence service, and two of his associates.
The Americans and Poles then sealed an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison a remote villa in the Polish lake district to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects."
Judicial Review of Migrant Detention in Europe: In Search of Effectiveness and Speediness (Oxford Human Rights Hub, link)
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament question to the Commission on USA "spying" on EU citizens: Question and answer given by High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission (pdf): The answer from the High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission presents the permanent contradiction for the EU: the Lisbon Treaty guarantees the right of protection of personal data while at the same time it gives each Member State the sole responsibility for national security. So unless they all agree, and the UK for one will not, a "no spying on citizens" agreement is not possible - and the USA knows this.
"according to Article 16(1) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, every European citizen has the right to the protection of personal data concerning them. However, pursuant to Article 4(2) of the Treaty on the European Union, national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State. As a consequence, it seems difficult at the stake to find appropriate measures concerning the protection of personal data in a case concerning a third country like the United States. At the moment, the EU does not intend to undertake negotiations on a no-spy agreement with the United States."
See also: Germany probes intel agencies: Germany's Parliamentary Control Panel (PKGr) meets to determine who will oversee the country's three intelligence agencies. Left party politician Andre Hahn hopes the panel's influence will grow. (DW, link)
THE EU SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COOPERATION MECHANISM: Under Article 73 of the Lisbon Treaty (included in the Treaty but not in the proposed Constitution) it states:
"It shall be open to Member States to organise between themselves and under their responsibility such forms of cooperation and coordination as they deem appropriate between the competent departments of their administrations responsible for safeguarding national security "
Are EU security and intelligence agencies using the Treaty cooperation and coordination provision and if so how? Have they jointly discussed the "problems" created by the Snowden revelations?
A rare hint at the linkage between the "gatherers" (NSA, GCHQ etc) and the "users" (the security, intelligence and .law enforcement agencies) was given in a Guardian article: GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies: A document cited by the Guardian revealed that the UK's internal security agency MI5 (Security Service) and MI6 (SIS, Secret Intelligence Service) work with GCHQ not only to extend the technical capabilities of other EU state agencies but also to advise them on how to get round their national laws:
"We [GCHQ] have been assisting the BND (along with SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] and Security Service) in making the case for reform or reinterpretation of the very restrictive interception legislation in Germany"
IRELAND: Irish president urged to free ailing peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy - Pardon sought for elderly playwright jailed for refusing to stop protests over US military flights at Shannon airport (The Observer, link)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OVERSIGHT BOARD: Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (238 pages, pdf)
Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End (New York Times, link): "An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agencys program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only minimal benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down."
UK: Use of Tasers by Metropolitan Police doubles over two years
The number of times that officers from London's Metropolitan Police used Tasers increased sharply between 2011 and 2012, and figures covering the first three months of 2013 indicate that usage is likely to increase further.
Tasers are electroshock weapons that deliver a 50,000 volt charge into the body through metal barbs. According to figures released at the end of last year in response to a Freedom of Information request, in 2011 officers used them 378 times. The total for 2012 was 713, an increase of 188%.
UK-GCHQ-ECHR: Justify GCHQ mass surveillance, European court tells ministers - Judges order government to provide submission about whether spying activities violated European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)
"Ministers have been ordered to justify GCHQ's mass surveillance programmes by judges at the European court of human rights who have fast-tracked a case brought by privacy and human rights campaigners. The court in Strasbourg has told the government to provide submissions by the beginning of May about whether GCHQ's spying activities could be a violation of the right to privacy under article 8 of the European convention. Marking the case a priority, campaigners are hopeful the court will bring a ruling before the end of the year."
See: Full-text: Statement of Facts in Application no: 51870/13: Big Brother Watch and Others against the United Kingdom lodged on 4 September 2013 (pdf)
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, Greece: Agenda (pdf):
- Future of Home Affairs (pdf)
- Future of Justice issues (pdf)
- Data Protection: International Transfers (pdf)
EU: New police cooperation plan includes surveillance, intelligence-gathering and remote vehicle stopping technology
- European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS) sets out six year plan to increase cooperation on technology research and procurement
- Suggestion that Council sub-group may become a "single legal entity"
- Group wants nearly 1 million in funding to support long-term work programme
GREECE: 16 SURVIVORS FROM 28 PASSENGERS: Inquiry calls after migrants die under tow in Greece (BBC News, link) and see: UNHCR - Statement on boat incident off Greece coast (link):
"UNHCR is dismayed to have learned of a boat cap-sizing off the coast of Greece in the early hours of this morning, which has left a woman and a child dead and 10 other people missing, among them infants and children.
According to accounts from some of the 16 survivors and Greek Coast Guard, the vessel was carrying 26 Afghans and two Syrians. It was intercepted in the southern Aegean Sea shortly after midnight following a mechanical breakdown and while apparently en route from Turkey to Greece. The boat, with all 28 passengers still aboard, was being towed by a Coast Guard vessel when it capsized. The survivors, now on the island of Leros, told UNHCR they were being towed in the direction of Turkey at the time of the accident."
USA-EU-UK-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Swedish FM to head new inquiry into NSA revelations (euobserver, link): "An new commission to be headed by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is set to investigate the implications of the US snooping affair for the future of the internet.....The Global Commission on Internet Governance - launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Swizterland, this week....The project is the brainchild of two think tanks: the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in the US and the UKs Royal Institute of International Affairs, better known as Chatham House."
And: Independent commission to investigate future of internet after NSA revelations - Two-year inquiry headed by Swedish foreign minister, set up by Chatham House and CIGI thinktanks, is announced at Davos (Guardian, link)
Also: Mobile phone networks challenge government over text message trawling - EE, O2, Vodafone and Three demand answers on how spies can allegedly get around UK laws using NSA's Dishfire program (Guardian, link)
UK: Police to ask home secretary to approve use of water cannon across country - Police chiefs say water cannon are needed because 'austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest' (Guardian, link): "Chief constables are to press the home secretary, Theresa May, to authorise the use of water cannon by any police force across England and Wales to deal with anticipated street protests. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says that the need to control continued protests "from ongoing and potential future austerity measures" justifies the introduction of water cannon in Britain for the first time."
- Greater London Authority - Public Engagement on Police Use of Water Cannon (link)
- College of Policing: Water cannon (link)
- College of Policing: Public Order Index ((link)
- ACPO/College of Policing: National Water Cannon Asset (pdf)
UK counter-terrorism powers need urgent review, says watchdog - Parliament's joint committee on human rights says almost all current terror prevention orders are due to expire (Guardian, link) See Report by the parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (pdf)
DENMARK: Thorning-Schmidt denies withholding information in Danish spying scandal (European Voice, link): "Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark, has denied any wrongdoing in a spying scandal that led to the resignations of the country's justice minister and head of the domestic intelligence service. However, she is likely to be given an official parliamentary reprimand."
EU: Council of the European Union: Multi-column documents: Search & rescue, TCN visas and Space surveillance
- Sea Surveillance: search and rescue: Proposal for a Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, "Compromise" text
- TCN visas: Draft Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (amendment to Annexes) (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, "Compromise" text
- SPACE Tracking: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council, Establishing a Space Surveillance and Tracking Support Programme (17 January 2014, pdf) Multi-column document, part of the 1st reading trilogue process, with the Commission proposal, European Parliament position, Council position, possible "Compromise" text
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection: Profiling and Prum data exchange
- DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Profiling: Proposal for a regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Profiling (16 January 2014, pdf) Council Presidency proposals including: "DE, DK, NL and UK doubted whether the redraft would allow for a sufficient risk-based approach and warned against excessive administrative burdens/compliance costs."
- PRUM: DNA, Vehicles, Fingerprint data exchange: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures (pdf)
EU: NEW EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR (EDPS) delay: Secretary General of the Commission letter (pdf) and Commission Vice-President to European Parliament letter (pdf)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US withholding Fisa court orders on NSA bulk collection of Americans' data - Justice Department refuses to turn over 'certain other' documents in ACLU lawsuit meant to shed light on surveillance practices (Guardian) and See: Letter to ACLU (pdf) Also: Human Rights Watch calls for legislation against surveillance (DW, link)
EU: Jobs not lifting Europeans out of poverty, commission warns (euobserver, link)
UK: Millions of passwords and email details stolen in Germany (BBC News, link
Spain/France: NGOs demand inquiries into immigration deaths in Barcelona and Marseilles
Two statements, one by the Catalan section of SOS Racismo and the other one jointly issued by French association Anafé alongside the international networks Migreurop and Boats 4 People, demanded official inquiries into the deaths of an Armenian man in the Catalan detention centre (Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros, CIE) in Zona Franca on 3 December 2013 and of a young Guinean man who drowned on 10 January 2014 near to the port of Marseilles. The French authorities attempted to return him to his point of departure by putting him back on board of the ship that carried him and a fellow Guinean man to Marseilles from Dakar, after their request to lodge an asylum application was refused.
UK: UPDATE: Drax protesters' undercover police case convictions quashed (BBC News, link)
Exposed: Role of undercover police in a coal train hijack
Climate campaigners who stopped and occupied a train carrying 42,000 tonnes of coal into the UKs largest power station, Drax, will have their appeal heard on Tuesday by the UKs top criminal judge following revelations that an undercover Metropolitan police office, Mark Kennedy, had played a role in the protest. The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer was forced to agree with an investigation by campaigners that there was an overwhelming case that the Drax 29 convictions were unsafe, and invited them to appeal their convictions.
EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Top German Prosecutor Considers NSA Investigation (Der Spiegel, link) and see European Parliament press release: Moraes on NSA reform: Obama speech may not suffice to restore EU citizens trust (pdf)
UK: Government bill threatens extradition reform (FTI, link): "Next week Government reforms which would remove an important safeguard against unjust extradition will be challenged in the House of Lords. Despite the Governments explicit commitment to extradition reform, the new Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill proposes removing the automatic right to appeal in extradition cases requiring people contesting extradition to the US or other EU countries to obtain the leave of the court."
Canada's government-sponsored law-breakers 'push the border out' (rabble.ca, link)
EU: New "concept" drafted for EU border missions abroad
The European Union's guidelines for "border management" missions abroad are being updated "in view of the increasing demand for CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] to tackle border management tasks" and in order to "integrate the know-how acquired since 2006, and to translate the principles of Integrated Border Management (IBM) into the strategic and operational processes for the planning and conduct of CSDP missions."
An evaluation report published in April 2013 that examined the EU's "support to Integrated Border Management and the fight against Organised Crime" across the globe found it: "[H]ighly influential in the comprehension and implementation of IBM principles in partner countries, although the levels of take up became less noticeable the further geographically from the EU the intervention was."
USA-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: "DISHFIRE" programme retains messages for future use: NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep (Guardian, link): NSA extracts location, contacts and financial transactions 'Dishfire' program sweeps up 'pretty much everything it can' GCHQ using database to search metadata from UK numbers:
"The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of "untargeted and unwarranted" communications belonging to people in the UK. The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects "pretty much everything it can", according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets."
"The GCHQ memo sets out in clear terms what the agency's access to Dishfire allows it to do, before handling how UK communications should be treated. .."In contrast to [most] GCHQ equivalents, DISHFIRE contains a large volume of unselected SMS traffic," it states (emphasis original). "This makes it particularly useful for the development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest."" [emphasis added] See: DISHFIRE: SMS document (8 pages, pdf)
In a "separate document", not released, concerning GCHQ Channel 4 News added that:
"A separate document reveals the extent to which GCHQ staff used Dishfire to gain information which, under British law, they would need permission to request from telecoms companies within the UK. Under American law, the NSA must delete all US-related texts from the Dishfire database, but does not do the same for UK numberds.
This gives GCHQ a vital store of information, and the documents encourage staff to use it to scope out numbers to see if they might be of interest. "You can... run queries prior to targeting a number, as the content may give you an idea of how useful the number will be," states the document."
"It also offers GCHQ the chance to pull in mobile phone data from years ago - before the person ever became a suspect: "This makes it particularly useful for development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest," the document states." [emphasis added]
UK: NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms - Privacy experts warn there will be no way for public to work out who has their medical records or how they are using it (Guardian, link)
EU-LIBYA: Libya is boycotting an EU project relating to asylum, while the development of the police and the military continues apace (Andrej Hunko, link):
"The European Unions activities relating to the restructuring of the Libyan security apparatus must be halted without delay. This applies to training projects for the military and for the police, said Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Bundestag, in response to the Federal Governments answer to a Minor Interpellation about the EUROSUR border surveillance system."
Andrej Hunko went on: Italy is establishing facilities to monitor Libyas sea and land borders. These facilities are connected to Italian command and control centres. The aim is to prevent refugees from making the crossing to Europe. If they are detected while still in Libyan waters, the EU Member States can avoid having to deal with asylum applications. However, the protection of refugees is not guaranteed in Libya. There are reports of serious abuses by the police and militias."
and Answer to the Minor Interpellation entitled The launch of the EUROSUR border surveillance network (pdf)
See also: 340 Libyan military personnel coming to be trained in italy, and the press release also talks of training that is being carried out by italians in Libya, "to support the transition": Libia, 340 militari in Italia per addestramento (link)
USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama Speech on NSA Reform (pdf) and see: 17 January 2014: PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-28 SUBJECT: Signals Intelligence Activities (pdf)
See also: Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data (Guardian, link)
President stops short of ending controversial bulk collection
Obama assures allied foreign leaders on NSA surveillance
Reforms also include added Fisa court safeguards
and: ACLU Comment on Presidents NSA Speech (link) and Where Does the President Stand on NSA Reform? (Quick Guide, link)
Different perspectives on proposals: New York Times (link): "even as Mr. Obama spoke eloquently of the need to balance the nations security with personal privacy and civil liberties, many of his reforms were frustratingly short on specifics and vague on implementation." , Washington Post (link) and Guardian (link): "NSA surveillance: American debate, British denial - Barack Obama's speech on NSA reform has paved the way for a proper evaluation of security and privacy. The UK must do the same" Obama's NSA speech as an important first step. But many have expressed skepticism that Washington will follow through with broad surveillance reform." (Guardian, link): "Europeans were largely underwhelmed by Barack Obama's speech on limited reform of US espionage practices, saying the measures did not go far enough to address concerns over American snooping on its European allies." Obama NSA reform proposals receive mixed reaction in Berlin (DW, link);
CoE-GREECE: Investigation into alleged Greek coastguard abuse of migrants - Probe follows letter from Europe's top human rights watchdog (EnetEnglish, link): "Ministers tell Nils Muinieks, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, that investigations have been launched into claims that Greek coastguard officials ill-treated migrants last year " See also: Letter from Nils Muinieks, Commissioner for Human Rights to Greek Ministers (pdf):
UK: Newham Monitoring Project (NMP): Monitoring Olympics policing during the 2012 'Security Games': A report on community-based legal observing organised by NMP (pdf):
""This report documents the experiences of local people, particularly in relation to policing, as witnessed by our team of volunteers. It also sets out our experiences over the course of the Olympics and Paralympics during the summer of 2012 and what lessons others can draw for organising community-based monitoring of the policing of major events."
See also: Statewattch Analysis: A clean city: the Olympic Games and civil liberties (pdf) by Chris Jones
EU: Radicalism on the rise in Europe, says EU commissioner (euobserver, link): "The European Commission has said preventive action is needed to stop what it sees as spreading radicalism across the EU. We see that extremism, xenophobia and nationalism keeps growing in Europe [and] we see worrying signals that these groups act as breeding grounds of ideology motivated by violence and extremist views, EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (15 January). See: Strengthening the EU's response to radicalisation and violent extremism (Press release, pdf) and Preventing Radicalisation to Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Strengthening the EU's Response (Communication, pdf)
And see: SECILE Project: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatchs findings for SECILE project (pdf) SECILE is an EU-funded research project examining the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of European Union counter-terrorism measures. Statewatchs role in the project is to conduct a stocktake of EU counter-terrorism measures and to collect and analyse data about their implementation. This documents summarises three of Statewatch's four reports..
EU-UK: JHA OPT-OUT: Government response to report by the Home Affairs Select Committee (pdf) and Pre-Lisbon Treaty EU police and criminal
justice measures: the UKs opt-in decision (pdf)
UK: Police accused of botched counter-terror operation (IRR News Service, link)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Urgent reform of EU data protection framework is essential for a connected continent (pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: "Germany claims a special responsibility and role in the area of data protection. The new German government can tackle this subject with the necessary drive and energy and thereby gain acceptance of the German position at European level and lead Europe to a higher level of data protection. However, this will require a constructive and proactive approach in the European debate."
The reformed EU rules on data protection will provide for clearer responsibilities for organisations and more consistency and uniformity in data protection across European online and traditional markets. It is, therefore, essential that progress is made quickly to thwart the attempts serving political and economic interests to restrict the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection."
UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK rejects German 'no spy' pact, report says (euobserver, link): "The UK is reportedly opposed to a no-spy pact being crafted by EU states, despite months of German-led negotiations." And see: N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers (New York Times, link)
UK: Detention centre castigated over death of elderly man - Terminally ill Canadian man, 84, was kept in handcuffs by staff at Harmondsworth removal centre until after his heart stopped (Guardian, link)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: 11 years of Eurodac (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"On 15 January 2003 Eurodac, the EU-wide database of asylum-seekers and irregular migrants fingerprints, came into use. Eleven years on, it holds the personal
data of nearly 2.3 million individuals and has been transformed into a policing as well as migration database."
CoE: GREECE: COLLECTIVE EXPULSIONS: Letter from Nils Muinieks, Commissioner for Human Rights to Greek Ministers (pdf):
""I am worried by a number of reports that I have received from expert refugee organisations that provide consistent and substantiated information about a large number of collective expulsions from Greece to Turkey of irregular migrants, including a large number of Syrians who are fleeing the armed conflict in their country and are, at least prima facie, in need of international protection...
Collective expulsions of migrants are not only incompatible with international human rights and refugee law but also ineffective, since many of these migrants, including asylum seekers, face such a desperate situation in their country of origin that they usually re-enter after their first expulsion."
EU: EPIM report: Point of no return - The futile detention of unreturnable migrants (pdf)
""Unreturnable migrants cannot go back to their country of origin for reasons beyond their control. At the same time, they cannot obtain a residence permit in the country where they live. Without documents or status, they can be detained for a forced return that never becomes possible."
"With this report and the related campaign, we hope to increase momentum amongst policy-makers at national and EU levels to reduce detention and find solutions for unreturnable migrants. Besides informing decision-makers, this report is also intended to stimulate civil societies to give special attention to this group of migrants, who are often living under the radar."
EU: Immigration study reaches some surprising conclusions (ekathimerini, link): "Future historians will likely look upon 2011 as the watershed year for the mass exodus of young Greeks abroad. The preliminary results of a study conducted by the European University Institute (EUI) ... from the crisis-hit nations of Europes south and Ireland, has confirmed many suspicions and revealed unpleasant truths too."
Research Finds Banking Apps Leaking Info Through Phones (Circle ID, link)
UK: Police demand notes from Channel 4 on Lawrence spying whistleblower - Chief constable wants broadcaster to hand over material about revelations that undercover officers spied on Lawrence family (Guardian, link):
"The police say that they need the material as they are investigating whether a breach of the Official Secrets Act and other offences have taken place months after the high-profile claims by Francis were aired on Channel 4's Dispatches and published in the Guardian."
Statewatch News Digest: 13 January 2014 (96 items)
USA-NSA: NSA phone record collection does little to prevent terrorist attacks, group says (Washington Post, link)
UK: Exclusive: Scotland Yards rotten core: Police failed to address Met's endemic corruption (Independent, link)
UK: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The government claims that GCHQ's interception of fibre-optic cable telecommunications traffic (and of satellite communications) is lawful under under RIPA 2000 Section 8(4) certificates issued by the Foreign Secretary. These certificates grant sweeping general powers which are meant to be overseen by the Interception Commissioner who is responsible reporting on Sections 1-11 of RIPA 2000. His Report is silent on this crucial issue - this is yet another reason for a wholesale review of the role and accountability of the security and intelligence agencies in a democratic society."
Interception warrants and modifications at all-time high Collection of communications data ("metadata") at all-time high Surveillance Commissioner unable to monitor all undercover police as Home Office fails to provide details of exactly which units are to be overseen
USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary inquiry - Civil liberties committee report demands end to indiscriminate collection of personal data by British and US agencies (Guardian, link)
See: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)
Also: Snowden set for EU parliament video link (euobserver, link)
BULGARIA: UNHCR: all transfers to Bulgaria should be halted due to a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment (UNHCR, link) and see: UNHCR Report (pdf)
UK: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to inquest verdict of lawful killing - Jury decides Duggan was lawfully killed despite concluding he was not holding gun when police shot him (Guardian, link): "The family of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked the worst riots in modern British history, reacted with fury when an inquest jury ruled on Wednesday that police acted lawfully when they shot him, even though he had not been carrying a gun when he was killed." and: JURY IN MARK DUGGAN INQUEST CONCLUDES HE DID NOT HAVE A GUN IN HIS HAND WHEN HE WAS SHOT (INQUEST, link):
" In a statement, the family of Mark Duggan said: We are shocked by the jurys conclusion given the evidence we have heard over the past few months. We will continue to fight for justice for Mark.
Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said: The jurys conclusion is both perverse and incomprehensible. We cannot have a situation where unarmed citizens are shot dead on the streets of London and no-one is held to account."
See: Inquest jury verdict - full-text (pdf)
Italy: RAI 3 programme lifts the veil on police beatings leading to deaths and their aftermath
On 6 January, Rai 3 television channel broadcast the first episode of Presa Diretta, an information programme directed by Riccardo Iacona, for 2014. Its title was Morti di Stato (State Deaths) and it recounts a catalogue of cases (many of them well known) in which police officers attacked people with whom they came into contact, generally in the exercise in their duties, several of whom died as a result of these encounters and the beatings that followed. Statewatch has reported on several of these cases over the years (including Stefano Cucchi, Federico Aldrovandi and others). The programme is in Italian, lasts for two hours, and is visible on the RAI Replay service until Monday 12 January 2014.
EU-UK-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various
Member States and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)
"Condemns in the strongest possible terms the vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information; emphasises that the systems of mass, indiscriminate surveillance by intelligence services constitute a serious interference with the fundamental rights of citizens; stresses that privacy is not a luxury right, but that it is the foundation stone of a free and democratic society; points out, furthermore, that mass surveillance has potentially severe effects on the freedom of the press, thought and speech, as well as a significant potential for abuse of the information gathered against political adversaries; emphasises that these mass surveillance activities appear also to entail illegal actions by intelligence services and raise questions regarding the extra-territoriality of national laws"
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: EU anti-terror law puts German coalition to the test (euractiv, link)
EU recognises need for INTERPOL talks (Fair Trials International, link): "The EU Commission has acknowledged Fair Trials report on INTERPOL, committing to raise with the international policing organisation the existing procedures for issuing INTERPOL notices and to consider whether further action is needed to strengthen the organisations mechanisms to avoid politically-motivated cases." and: Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission (link). See also: Letter from MEPs to Commission: Political abuse of INTERPOL systems (pdf) and INTERPOL's computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report (Statewatch)
CYPRUS: Refugees say death is their only option now (Cyprus Mail, link): "TWO Iranian-born citizens, who have been on a hunger strike for 46 days, informed Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos in an open letter that as of Tuesday they would stop taking liquids, unless they are granted citizenship so they can leave Cyprus." and See: Open Letter to the Minister of Interior (KISA, link)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Legislative Scrutiny: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill (second Report) (pdf) : "Intrusive powers over travellers at ports and airports require greater safeguards, says Human Rights Committee": Dr Hywel Francis MP, the Chair of the Committee, said concerning Schedule 7 detentions:
"We understand that there is a need for a without suspicion power to stop, question and search travellers at ports and airports. We have considered the Independent Reviewers recommendation that a subjective suspicion threshold be required to be met before the powers to detain and to download data from mobile phones and laptops can be exercised. However , we believe that reasonable suspicion is the absolute minimum that is required to qualify as a safeguard because it opens up the possibility of independent scrutiny and review."
Germany: DANGER ZONE DAS REAL LIFE GAME: Cops in Hamburg have established city-wide stop and search after the Rote Flora demonstration on the 21st of December (SchNEWS, link)
USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal (Guardian, link)
Appeal is against verdict by New York federal judge
Federal appeals courts drawn into controversy
And see: NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress
Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders
Statement cites 'same privacy protections as all US persons'
Ireland: Racist advertisements cause fury online and council urges justice to be brought (Independent.ie, link)
UK: Thatcher had secret plan to use army at height of miners' strike - Papers released to the National Archives reveal that in 1984 the prime minister made preparations to use troops to move coal to power stations (Guardian, link)
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