What's New on the Statewatch website - archive: 2003


December 2003

EU issues updated list of "terrorist organisations and persons": Lists and documentation  

USA: Data Debase - The powerful technology known as data mining -- and how, in the government's hands, it could become a civil libertarian's nightmare. American Prospect (link): Data-mining article

France: France to fingerprint for tourist visas, Agence France Press, December 17, 2003

UK: Committee of senior parliamentarians calls for Britain's Guantanamo Bay to be scrapped as "a matter of urgency": Story and full-text of their report

Updated 18.12.03: EU: Commission "compromises" and agrees on handing over passenger data to USA: Report and documents

- EU-USA collusion heralds global imposition of the surveillance of travel

- "The EU cannot refuse its ally in the fight against terrorism" (EU Commissioner Bolkestein)

- The EU's Data Protection Article 29 Working Party: "declined to adopt or approve the text, on the grounds that the transfer of PNR to the US are in any case illegal and nothing should be done to blur that fact"

"What is quite unforgivable is that the European Commission thinks that the EU-USA deal - with a state which has no data protection laws and no intention of adopting them - is a better basis for a global standard than the EU's data protection laws which have served as a model for many countries around the world" (Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor)

International: International law: justice as a commodity: International law now has some jurisdiction over dictators and war criminals, but not yet over economic crime: it reflects the balance of world power and is just as cowardly as the states that make it, by Nuri Albala: Article from Le Monde Diplomatique

UK: "Clause 10 of the new asylum bill will create a judicial body which is uniquely unnaccountable": Guardian (link)

UK: Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) report on racism in prisons: Report (pdf) Guardian story (link)

Building the new security regime - the EU-NATO-USA politico-military axis: EU agrees to exchange of classified documents on "crisis operations" including justice and home affairs issues: Report and documentation

Belgium: Four Belgian police officers guilty over the death of Semira Adamu: Report

European Security Strategy, drafted by Javier Solana and approved today (12.12.03) by the European Council: "A Secure Europe in a better world" (pdf) and the European Council on European Security and Defence: Conclusions (pdf)

Germany: 11 September trial collapses

Statewatch European Monitor vol 3 no 6 published: monthly round-up of developments in EU justice and home affairs policy: Monitor

USA: ACLU Says Skewed Statistics on Terrorism Prosecutions Show Credibility Gap, December 8, 2003. A new study examining Justice Department terrorism prosecutions since 9/11 by a university-based data analysis organization dramatically diminishes the credibility of the Bush administration’s public claims of success in the war on terrorism, the American Civil Liberties Union said today: ACLU (link)

UK: Amnesty report: "Justice perverted under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001": Amnesty report (link)

Updated 11.12.03: IGC 2003: Inter Governmental Conference (12-13 December 2003): Presidency proposal: EU Constitution

EU driving licences to be renewed every 10 years and new security features added each time: Report

Critical Lawyers Group: Conference on "Justice in the 21st Century?" 7-8 February 2004, Canterbury, Kent: Details

EU Constitution: position papers on defence policy, one from the majoirty posiion, the other from the four neutral countries: EU Constitution

UK: Daily Mirror newspaper exposes Yarl's Wood detention centre shame: Mirror (link)

UK: "Defending British spies: The uses and abuses of intelligence": Speech by Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee 1992-1993: Cryptome (link)

Northern Ireland: McBride third judicial review: Report

EU plan for wholesale security checking of every traveller: Report

UK takes lead on surveillance of passengers: "security and immigration risks" to be stopped from boarding: Report

UK: Amnesty demands medical trials for taser stun guns (Guardian link)

UK: Rising deaths as a result of racial violence - IRR News Service

Concern at new asylum measures - IRR News Service

Cyber crime Resource Handbook (link to pdf)

November

Guantanamo Bay: The legal black hole: Twenty-Seventh F.A. Mann Lecture: 25 November 2003 By Johan Steyn [Lord Steyn is a judicial member of the House of Lords - the UK's supreme court]: Lecture (html) Lecture (pdf version)

EU: Form of deal on handing over passenger data to USA in doubt: Report

UK: Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill: Full-text (pdf) (27.11.03) Explanatory Notes (link)

Justice and Home Affairs Council 27-28 November 2003: Press Release

Full-text of "technical redraft of the EU Constitution": Observatory on EU Constitution

UK: The Civil Contingencies Bill - Britain's "Patriot Act": Report

Ireland: Appeal for support of non-national parents and their Irish citizen children: Report and appeal

UK: Telephone tapping and mail-opening figures 1937-2002: UK: Surveillance figures

Greece: The "Thessaloniki 5" hunger strike leads to release: Report

Police reform in Ireland, ICCL paper (link)

EU: Appeal to European Parliament Against Humiliating Chartered Flights: Report

Latest "compromise" proposals from Italian Presidency for IGC (documents dated 25 November 2003): Observatory on EU Constitution

European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights: Statement on EU Constitution

New Statewatch analysis: Cover-up! Proposed Regulation on European Border Guard hides unaccountable, operational bodies: Analysis and documentation

UNHCR and Amnesty International criticise proposals on asylum procedures to be discussed at the meeting of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council on 27 November in Brussels:

UNHCR calls for proposals to be withdrawn:
UNHCR Aide Memoire UNHCR press release
Amnesty International: EU Office backs UNHCR criticisms
see also: Statewatch analysis: EU law on asylum procedures: An assault on human rights? Analysis

UK/Iraq: Evidence on the activities of the "Rockingham cell", formed by DIS (Defence Intelligence Staff) in the Ministry of Defence in 1991 in justifying the invasion of Iraq: 1) article in Guardian: "The very secret service" and 2) British Complicty - Operation Rockingham

(Updated 21 November) UK: Home Secretary launches ID card scheme: Report and documents

"After a well reported, and alleged, disagreement in the Cabinet over ID cards we get a government statement which is based on fear and racism. Identity cards are necessary to defeat terrorism and immigration"

This story updated 20 November: report on the medical condition of the "Five": Greece: The "Thessaloniki 5" on hunger strike transferred to high security prison: Report

EU: Report on the state of play on the adoption of the: European Arrrest Warrant (pdf)

Spain: Immigrant minors to be interned and deported: Report

EU: Proposal for a COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on the European Evidence Warrant for obtaining objects, documents and data for use in
proceedings in criminal matters, 14.11.2003:
COM(2003) 688 final (pdf)

(Updated 19.11.03) Statewatch analysis: EU law on asylum procedures: An assault on human rights? Analysis

The Council is nearing the deadline of December 2003 set by EU leaders for agreement on a proposed Directive on asylum procedures. This Directive, along with a parallel proposal on the definition of 'refugee' and subsidiary protection status, is at the heart of refugee law. However, there are disturbing developments in the final months of negotiations on the Directive. It appears that the Council is likely to agree a Directive which in many respects will fall below the minimum standards set by human rights law, with Member States not merely permitted and encouraged to lower their existing standards but in one area even required to lower those standards.

Different kinds of chips and tracking devices: News in brief

EU: European Commission proposes a new permanent state agency: European Agency of Operational Cooperation at the Extenral Borders", which will also deal with repatriation from within the EU: Full-text (pdf). Its "Objectives" begin with the phrase that a:

"a high and uniform level of control and surveillance, [are] an essential prerequisite for an area of freedom, security and justice"

Greek Data Protection Commissioner bans "iris scans": Iris-scan ban (link)

Further evidence from Statewatch on proposed Directive on aircraft passenger data: Statewatch evidence- October 2003

Evidence on proposed Directive on aircraft passenger data: Evidence to the Select Committee on the European Union, sub-committee "F": Proposed Directive on aircraft passenger data: Statewatch evidence- September 2003

Canada: First Palestinian refugee claimant sent to USA: Coalition reacts angrily: More than 130 human rights groups urge Coderre to call off deportations: News in brief

USA: Speech by Al Gore (Democratic Party candidate in the last Presidential elections) gives impressive speech on threats to freedom in the name of security: Freedom and Security speech (link)

(10 November 2003) The Commission's 300-page report on the protocols, prepared for the IGC: Observatory on EU Constitution

EU: MEP tables formal complaint on transfer of personal data to USA: Report

USA: ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) briefing on: The Matrix: Total Information Awareness Reloaded - data mining moves into the states (link)

EU: Press release from the Council of Justice and Home Affairs on 6 November 2003: Press release (pdf)

Report from the UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union: Observatory on new EU Constitution

USA deliberately undermining the International Criminal Court: Report

EU - Mandatory retention of telecommunications data would be unlawful - Legal opinion says that under the ECHR mandatory data retention is disproportionate, contrary to the rule of law and cannot be said to be necessary in a democratic society: Report and documentation

October

UK: New deterrent measures for asylum seekers condemned: IRR News Service

UK: Amnesty International says decision on ten people held in Belmarsh Prison "amounts to perversion of justice": Report

EU: Environmental groups welcome new proposals on access to documents and justice and public participation but oppose attempts to vet which groups will have these rights: Report

Finland: Outrage over three asylum seekers - two of them children - given forcible injections: Report

USA: The White House is blocking search engines from finding a host of pages on its website, see: robot.txt (Thanks to indymedia.ie www.indymedia.ie)

The Presidency of the Council of the Council European Union has produced an !indicative timetable" for the IGC: EU Constitution

The European Commission has put forward two draft Directives on the environment: 1) on access to documents (COM 622) and 2) on access to justice (COM 624): News in brief

Updated: 25.10.03: Afghanistan: UNHCR imposing compulsory iris-scans on returning refugees over six years old: Report

"Forgotten your computer password again? Press Here" article from Computerworld on how a biometric image or your fingerprint (or face) means passwords will no longer be needed for bank and credit cards or for employees to enter buildings: News in brief

Statewatch online resources - full-text: UK laws (Acts of Parliament): UK laws 1988 - ongoing

EU: "health cards" and 10 year driving licences pose privacy questions: Report

Statewatch submission to the EU Network on Independent Experts on fundamental rights raises 22 major civil liberties concerns: Statewatch submission

"Left unchecked basic freedoms and democratic standards - freedom of movement, freedom of expression and the right to protest, freedom from surveillance in everyday life, accountability, scrutiny and data protection - will be whittled away one by one threatening the very democracy being defended by the "war on terrorism" "

EU: New "G5" group of Interior Ministers meet for second time in France: Report

Justice and home affairs: Conclusions of EU Summit on 16-17 October 2003: Report

16.10.03: Proposed revision to the Constitution on the work of the Council: Statewatch Observatory on EU Constitution

UK: Government trying to slip through "voluntary" data retention rejected by consultation process: Report and documentation

- government leaves the communications industry open to legal challenge if they retain traffic data for the purpose of "national security" and then pass it over for other purposes, for example, for crime, public order or taxation

National Security and Open Government: Striking the right balance - nine essays looking at freedom of information post 11 September: Book and essays

EU: Commission proposals for EC participation in UN Convention and Protocols on transnational crime, "smuggling" of migrants and trafficking: Texts and explanatory Notes

UK: Full-text of letter from Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary) to David Blunkett (Home Secretary) opposing the introduction of ID cards: Straw letter (link to Times newspaper)

Dead man found under Air France plane (Agence France Press, October 10, 2003): Expatica (link)

France: Greenpeace defies secrecy order: Demand for public scrutiny of dangerous plutonium shipments in France could bring jail terms: Greenpeace

EU Parliament wants to halt air passenger data transfer to USA: Report and Resolution
but EU Commissioner, Mr Bolkestein hoping for "deal" derogating from EU data protection standards to allow USA access

Amnesty International and Oxfam report on world trade in small arms: Report (link to pdf, 3.25MB)

Anti-terrorism used as excuse to clamp down on religion - UN report: Report

New Statewatch Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA: Observatory

Poland - cross border traffic drops due to visa regime: Report

Canadian parliamentary report ridicules ID cards as pointless, costly and dangerous - findings may devastate UK government plans for an ID card: Privacy International press release

European airlines are handing PNR data over to US Customs - Evidence from Spain: Report & documents

- full documentation of all the data collected and passed over for one return flight by one passenger
- full list of the 43 categories of personal data demanded by USA

Spain: Big Brother Awards in Spain will be held on 24 October 2003 : BBA in Spain 2003 (link) and Awards in: BBA Spain 2002

UK: Public consultation on proposed changes to publicly funded immigration and asylum work: ILPA's response: Report

Casualties in the so-called "war on terrorism": Report

- USA: Pakistani working in USA has visa revoked for no reason
- Canada: Government settles out of court for false accusation of terrorist links
- Spain: Migrants sue over wrongful arrests
- UK: Algerian pilot suing US government
- CIA: UK citizen held for four weeks in Gambia

Statewatch Observatory on EU Constitution: Documents put online from the meeting in Rome by the Presidency: EU Constitution

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 2-3 October, Brussels: Press release (pdf)

EU tells USA to stop making new requests to airlines for personal passenger data: Report and letter

IRR News Service: Canary Islands tragedy: did the RAF put border security before human safety?: IRR story

Head of Interpol highlights abuses in war on terror: Report

UK: "The truth behind the MI6 facade: Governments should realise that intelligence is often simply self-serving gossip - or just plain wrong" by former UK diplomat and front page overview of this article, "MI6 flaws exposed by former diplomat": News in brief

UNHCR says "safe countries" cannot be assumed to be "safe": Press releases

New Statewatch Observatory on EU Constitution brings together key texts, analysis and critiques: Observatory on EU Constitution

UK: ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) "Good Practice Guide for Computer based Electronic Evidence": Guide (pdf) Guide (html, thanks to Cryptome)

Unprecedented complaint by the Europol Management Board about informal requests for action by Council working parties by-passing legislative processes: Report

New global survey on freedom of information: News in brief

IGC Launch: European NGOs Publish Concerns Over Justice and Home Affairs and Fundamental Rights Provisions in Draft Constitution: Press release and submission

September

The Regulation 354/83 of 1 February 1983 concerning the opening to the public of the historical archives of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community was amended, to reflect changes effected in Regulation 1049/2001, on 22 September 2003 by Council Regulation (EC, EURATOM) No 1700/2003: FOI in the EU

Ireland: Government is told for the third time to allow people a lawyer when in police questioning: ICCL Report

European Parliament report opposes giving passenger data to USA without strict data protection safeguards - and says if these are not met by 1 December all data transfers should stop: Report

Biometrics - EU takes another step down the road to 1984: Report

- biometric documents for visas and resident third country nationals to be introduced by 2005
- biometric passports/documents for EU citizens to follow
- "compulsory" fingerprints and facial images
- data and personal information to be held on national and EU-wide databases
- admission that powers of data protection authorities vary and are "under-resourced"
- no guarantees that data will not be made available to non-EU states (eg: USA)

European Ombudsman calls for new Constitution to set up a system of non-judicial remedies: Report

European Parliament: Public hearing: Tuesday, 30 September 2003, 14.30 - 19.00 p.m.European Parliament - Room PHS 4B 01: Guantanamo: The Right to a Fair Trial: Guantanamo hearing programme (pdf)

Ireland:Report on freedom of information in Ireland from the www.freedominfo.org website: FOI in Ireland

"Migration, development and the EU security agenda" paper by Ben Hayes & Tony Bunyan: Paper

UK development NGOs question the new EU security doctrine: Report

Privacy International report warns of an escalation of internet restrictions: Report

European Commission tells USA that demands for access to data on airline passengers breaches EU Data Protection Directive - but hints at a deal that would "fudge" the issue (update 18.9.03): Report and documentation

"The debate in Europe over the US demand for access to personal information on air passengers travelling from the EU has rightly centred on data protection issues.

However, the issue of how the information could be used to potentially infringe peoples' civil liberties has been missing from the discussion. Everyone flying to the USA, and flying within the USA, will automatically be "profiled" under the proposed Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System (CAPPS II). Their "profile" will be determined after checks against a series of "watch-lists", which although said to be directed at terrorism go much wider in practice.

Data protection covers what information is passed over, who it is passed on to, how long it is kept for and whether a person can see and correct data held on them. Civil liberties deals with how that data is used against people - whether they are questioned, searched, detained or placed under surveillance. In a democratic society the two are indivisible."

Data protection: International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners adopt series of resolutions calling for global standards: Report and documentation

Documentation updated 17.9.03: UK: Civil Contingencies Bill: Emergency Powers - ancient arbitrary powers preserved: Royal perogative and Privy Council to authorise emergency powers and scope of new law extended to protect the government, the state and financial institutions: Report and documents

Council of Europe: 13th Annual Report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(CPT):
News in brief

UK 2002: Home Office publishes Codes for: Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources, links updated 16 September 2003: Report

EU issues updated list of "terrorist organisations and persons": Report and lists

EU: Informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Council in Rome, 12-13 September 2003: Report

USA delays demand for mandatory "machine-readable" passports: Report

UK: Report from the Intelligence and Security Committee: Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction - Intelligence and assessments, Cm 5972: News in brief

UK: Anti-terrorist law used against arms fair protestors: Report
   
EU: The story of Tampere - an undemocratic process excluding civil society: Statewatch briefing
   
Update: Northern Ireland: Government under fire over murdered teenager: Peter McBride's sister standing in parliamentary by election: Report

Privacy International report for 2003 (released 5.9.03), overall report plus survey country by country: News in brief

Updated 5 September: European Commission tells USA that demands for access to data on airline passengers breaches EU Data Protection Directive - correspondence reveals that USA is also asking for "Advance Passenger Information" to vet those flying: Report

EU: Full-text of Dublin II implementing Regulation: Text (pdf)

USA withdraws right of EU journalists to enter without a visa: Report

UK: Special Branch more than doubles in size: Special report  Analysis by Tony Bunyan of the Special Branch’s role in conducting surveillance for MI5 and on public order
   
Statewatch: Legal analyses of EU Constitution: Analyses

A unique series of legal analyses of the proposed EU Constitution have been prepared for Statewatch by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex. Each of the analyses is annotated to compare the current Treaties, practice and case law to the proposed Constitution - and in the case of decision-making the present division of powers to those proposed (including new powers).

New on 4 September 2003: Draft Constitution in Word format

August

Dutch government attacks Italian Presidency plan to combat protests: Report

UK: MI5 leads hunt for BBC's dossier mole: News in brief

Belgium: Woman in 'repatriation' blunder: Report

Leaving a 'Stain Upon the Silence' : critical criminology and the politics of dissent: Paper by Paddy Hillyard, Joe Sim, Steve Tombs and Dave Whyte: Paper

Italian EU Council Presidency: Plan to put protestors under surveillance and deny entry to suspected troublemakers: Special Report

"Counter-terrorism", Human Security and Globalisation - from Welfare to Warfare State? Paper by Jude McCulloch: Paper

USA: ACLU: "America, Land of the Watched: CAPPS II and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance": News in brief

Europe: ARTICLE 19 submission to Council of Europe on "right of reply" in new media environment: Press release

EU: Draft final text of the implementing Regulation, which the Commission will presumably formally adopt very shortly so it applies by 1 September when Dublin II enters into force: News in brief

"The war on terror and the suppression of dissent" paper by Reece Walters: Paper

"Streets of Terror: Marginalisation, criminalisation and authoritarian renewal" paper by Phil Scraton: Paper

Italy: Everyone is equal before the law, ... but some are more equal than others: Berlusconi and the law: Report

International: Report on research on privacy Europe: Europe section of the report

Northern Ireland: Human Rights minister under fire over murdered teenager: Report

EU: Mass deportations by charter flight - enforcement and resistance: Report
“Collective explusion of aliens is prohibited” (4th Protocol (Article 4) to the European Convention on Human Rights)

Statewatch Special Report no 3: Losing the "war on drugs" - crisis and contradiction in international drug policy: Analysis

UK: Lie detector tests to be used by insurance companies for claims: Daily Mirror (link)

Afghanistan: UNHCR imposing compulsory iris-scans on returning refugees over six years old: Report

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: "Article 16 (1) No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence"

German police raid border camp and arrest 250 activists: Report

UK: Hutton Inquiry into the death of David Kelly and WMD website with transcripts of sessions: News in brief

Special: Italian Presidency proposes that officers in plainclothes drive unmarked police cars across the EU to deport migrants: "any possible legitimate "measure" [may be used] to prevent or terminate acts of resistance" and does the EU care more about cattle than people? Report and documentation

USA: the surveillance of travel under CAPPS-II. Very good summary of the current situation is on: What's wrong with CAPPS-II

ACLU Files First-Ever Challenge to USA PATRIOT Act, Citing Radical Expansion of FBI Powers: ACLU case (link)

A major debate is opening up on the use of nanotechnology, "Future technologies, Today's choices" is very interesting report by Alexander Huw Arnail for the Greenpeace Environmental Trust on the implications of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and robotics: News in brief

Statewatch Special Report no 2: The New UK-US Extradition Treaty - removes or restricts key protections for defendants - signed and adopted without any parliamentary scrutiny: Report and documentation

July

EU: The other asylum statistics - Governments count the numbers coming in. But who counts the numbers that do not make it? Report

UK: Citizenship ceremony - oath of allegiance to "Queen and Country": Report

 Since 1997 Statewatch has submitted evidence on a whole range of EU issues to the UK parliament and other institutions. A full listing is available on: Index of submissions (1997 - ongoing)

British Airways eject passenger on flight to London from USA because he was wearing a badge saying "Suspected Terrorist" and his partner was refused too because she was "associated" with him, see story on: "Suspected Terrorist"

Update: far-Right political parties in Europe, by Liz Fekete, 4:00pm, 24 July 2003 --- In its latest review of the successes and losses of far-Right and anti-immigrant electoral parties in Europe, the Institute of Race Relations notes that extreme-Right immigration and law and order policies are being incorporated into the agenda of mainstream centre-Right parties; extreme-Right electoral parties are appealing increasingly to rural constituencies; and new political parties are emerging, whose policies are shaped almost entirely by an anti-immigration agenda: News in brief

Greece: The "Soloniki 8" and Simon Chapman: Report

Drawing Support 3: Murals and Transition in the North of Ireland by Bill Rolston: Report

Identity cards in the UK - a lesson from history: Report

UK: Torture testimony 'acceptable' - Expert tells terror appeal hearing that MI5 would use information obtained under duress in court, Audrey Gillan
Tuesday July 22, 2003, The Guardian:
News in brief

UK parliament Select Committee issues critical report on EU-US agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance: Report

"Nothing is true, nor is it a lie?" by Nieves Garcia Benito. A powerful and moving essay on the indifference of Europe to dead migrants whose lives end on Spain's beaches (Special report): "Nothing is true, nor is it a lie?"

Updated: 21 July 2003: The Convention as submitted to the EU Presidency, dated: 18 July 2003

European Commission Staff Working Paper on: "Intensified cooperation on the management of migration flows from third countries", 9.7.2003, SEC(2003) 815: News in brief

UK-Israel: Tip off from UK intelligence services leads to arrest and release of wrong man: Report

EU: ECHR Protocol on absolute ban on the death penalty comes into force: Report

The European arrest warrant from the perspective of a German defence attorney, speech by Wolfgang Kaleck, defence attorney, Berlin: Report

EU: French government demands the Schengen police cooperation "timetable" is updated and calls on Schengen states to "disassociate" themselves from draft prepared by the Council General Secretariat: Report

G8: injured activist released from hospital after one month - new video evidence demonstrates police negligence: Report

Sri Lanka:

1. Use of fingerprints to be tested on Sri Lankans:
IRR News Service (link)
2. Agreement with Sri Lanka government on readmission - return of nationals, third country nationals in transit and stateless persons:
Text (pdf)

UK: Report from the "Independent Race Monitor" appointed to review the "effect of Ministerial authorisations to discriminate on grounds of nationality or ethnic origin" in immigration and nationality matters: News in brief

EU: Italian Presidency wants to make national football bans EU-wide: Report

Draft EU Convention: Updated versions as at 8 July 2003: Report and texts

Switzerland's data protection commissioner says the US war on terror is undermining personal privacy: Report

EU airlines allowing access to all personal details on passengers by US authorities (revised 8.7.03): Report

EU-USA agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance held up over "written instruments" - US Senate to have full documentation while EU parliaments not even to be consulted: Report

USA-ICC: Military Assistance Deadline Passes, Boucher Says (Aid subject to suspension when Article 98 agreements not signed) (1430) July 1 was the deadline for the United States to assess the provision of military assistance to states that are parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and that have not entered into non-surrender Article 98 agreements, says State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. This is one of the key provisions of the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002, Boucher said at the State Department daily briefing June 30. "We will need to balance our broader bilateral interests with substantial consideration to the risks posed to U.S. citizens and servicemembers by the potential for politically motivated charges before the ICC," he said. Link to full story

ECHR finds against the UK government - Pat Finucane's rights under Article 2 violated: The European Court of Human Rights concludes that government: "failed to provide a prompt and effective investigation into the allegations of collusion by security personnel": Press releases from Finucane family and human rights groups

UK: News from NENIG (Northern European Nuclear Information Group):UK: Radioactive rabbits and annual report on nuclear industry discharges: Report

EU: Latest "Roadmap" (13.6.03) on combating illegal immigration, integrated management of external borders, integration of immigration policy into the Union's relations with third countries and the speeding up of legislative work in framing a common policy on asylum and immigration: News in brief

June 2003

EU issues updated list of "terrorist organisations and persons": Lists

UNHCR: Updated "3-prong" approach to "processing centres" in EU and "regions" of origin: Report

European Commission Staff working paper on SIS: News in brief

Gerrmany: Introduction of biometric features worries privacy rights advocates: Report

UK: Legal challenge to mass detention of peace campaigners: Report

UK asylum proposals: Removing asylum seekers to processing centres outside the UK would be unlawful: Report

Report of the Roma National Congress on the Situation of Roma Refugees on the FYROM / Greek Border: News in brief

EU annual reports on access to documents - still a very long way to go: Report

- less than 50% of Council documents available to citizens
- European Commission's register of documents "a disgrace"
- speech by Tony Bunyan to the European Parliament

"It is ten years since the Code on access to Council and Commission documents was introduced in 1993 and it is six years since Article 255 in the Amsterdam Treaty allegedly "enshrined" the citizens' right of access. Yet even now less than 50% of the contents of documents on the Council's public register have been released and the Commission's public register is absolutely useless. How much longer are we going to have to wait for freedom of information in the EU?"

UK: Civil Contingencies Bill: Emergency Powers - ancient arbitrary powers preserved: Royal perogative and Privy Council to authorise emergency powers and scope of new law extended to protect the government, the state and financial institutions: Report and documents

EU Summit Conclusions (20.6.03): Conclusions (link)

Documents from the EU Council in Greece: i) Text of the Convention on the future of Europe as presented to the EU Council: Text (pdf) and ii) the paper by Javier Solana, EU High Representative for CFSP, on Security Strategies "A SECURE EUROPE IN A BETTER WORLD", presented today (20.6.03) to the European Council in Thessalonika: Text (pdf)

EU Summit: Agreement on "harmonised" biometric identification linked to EU databases: Report

Updated 20 June with Annotated Agenda: EU Summit in Greece: 19-20 June: Documents

Weekly deaths at European borders - fatal realities of Fortress Europe: Release and list of deaths

UK: Intelligence and security annual report full of the usual *** (deleted text): Report

UK: Government extends list of "safe" third countries to 24: Report

EU working party on data protection highly critical of proposed deal on US access to passenger data: Report

Italy: Journalists strike over threat to "press freedom": Report

EU Summit in Thessaloniki, 19-20 June 2003: Legal help team set up: Report

Updated: 13 June 2003: Revisions to Part I and PART III - Draft EU Convention: Full documentation Vols I & II and explanatory reports on amendments: Report

Updated 13 June 2003: EU buffer states and UNHCR “processing” centres and "safe havens": Report

- 20 “neighbour” states to create new “buffer” zone
- readmission agreements unilateralist and inhumane
- UNHCR plans for "safe havens" in region of origin and "processing" centres in EU
- all refugees and asylum-seekers to be immediately sent to EU “closed reception centres” for “processing”

UK: Extradition Bill draft Code of Practice: draft Code (pdf) Extradition Bill and explanatory notes (link)

Asylum-seekers without passports or papers to be immediately deported says Home Secretary: News in brief

EU cements deal with NATO on exchange of documents: Report (pdf)

EU: Major commercial associations express strong concerns about plans for data retention: Report

Press release from the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, 5-6 June 2003 in Luxembourg: Press release

IRR News Service: the scotsman: "Ali Serir walks free" An Algerian man detained four months ago under the Terrorism Act but never charged was released yesterday after being granted bail in Glasgow.

Spain: Immigration law reform and efforts to involve airlines and civil society in the surveillance of migrants: Report

Netherlands: Acquittal for alleged terrorists: Report

G8 Summit: Police raid targets media activists and l'Usine Cultural Centre: Report

 European Parliament: Public Hearing: EU transparency - access to documents: does it work? Programme

IRR News Service: Australia signs refugee deal with Iran - will Europe follow? News in brief

G-8 Leaders Create Counterterrorism Action Group: News in brief

EU: JHA Council to authorise signing of EU-USA agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance - European Parliament adopts highly critical report and Amnesty International say extradition agreement flawed: Report

European Commission publishes two Communications (3 June 2003): Statewatch News online for full-text

a) Towards more accessible, equitable and managed asylum system (COM(2003) 315) and b) On the development of a common policy on illegal immigration, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, external borders and the return of illegal immigrants (COM(2003)323)

EU-NATO Ministerial Meeting in Madrid on 3 June, press statement. This notes that since the EU adopted NATO rules on security of information (NATO-EU Agreement on Security of Information) the EU has access to "NATO's collective capabilities and assets for EU-led operations": Press release (pdf)

May 2003

EU: Commission Staff Working Paper on: "Actions to combat the financing of terrorism": News in brief

EU: Updated "Roadmap" on "illegal" immigration, external borders, relations with third countries (6023/4/03), 5 May 2003: News in brief

Draft EU Convention: Full documentation Vols I & II and explanatory reports on amendments: Report

Amnesty Iinternational Report 2003 - "No shortcut to genuine security": Report

Ireland - Court threat for state over privacy: Report

Draft EU Convention Part 1 published: Full-text

EU: European Commission Scoreboard on Justice and Home Affairs issues: Full-text (pdf), 22.5.2003, COM(2003) 291 final. Biannual update, First half of 2003.

Readmission agreements and EC external migration law: Statewatch analysis

"The EU's approach to readmission agreements involves insisting that more and more non-EU countries sign up to broad readmission obligations to the EU with little or nothing in return. EU policy has been backed up by harsher and harsher rhetoric and threats against third countries as the EU becomes more and more unilateralist and focused solely on migration control. These policies are unbalanced, inhumane, and internally contradictory"

Spain: Legal action against policing of demonstrations: Report

USA: ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America: Press release

The struggle for civil liberties and freedom - our tribute to Larry Grant: Tuesday 24 June 2003, 6:30-9.00pm. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1: Programme and speakers (pdf)

EU: Agenda for the European Council, 20-21 June 2003 in Thessalonika, Greece: Agenda (Word) Agenda (pdf)

Greece: 17 November in the dock - Unjust justice in Athens: Article

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission: report by the Omega Foundation on the use of Baton Rounds and full-text of report: Northern Ireland - Baton rounds

The European Commission has just put out the first report on the operation of the 1995 EC Directive on data protection at national level (15.5.2003) (COM(2003) 265 final) "First report on the implementation of the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC)": Report (pdf). The discrepancies are however more evident in the Technical analysis (pdf). Particularly illuminating is the submission by the US government which calls on the EU to: "refrain from imposing compliance standards", to inform the USA of "any actions taken which may interrupt data flows to the United States" and to "refrain from concentrating their enforcement efforts exclusively on large multinational corporations": Text of US letter

UK: Privacy International launch campaign for consumers to obtain their records from telecommunications companies: Report

G8: Decisions from the Justice and Home Affairs Mministers meeting in Paris on 5 May 2002: Report

EU: Press release from the meetng of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8 May 2003: News in brief (pdf)

USA: FISA Surveillance Reached All-Time High in 2002: News in brief

EU: Council capitulates and releases draft EU-US agreements: Report and full documentation

- pressure from civil society and parliaments leads to release of draft agreements
- UK parliament demands six weeks to scrutinise agreements
- drafts confirm that references to the International Criminal Court (ICC) are excluded
- application of EU data protection standards are "precluded"
- FBI and other US agencies to operate in EU in joint investigation teams with full powers of search, surveillance and arrest

Experts on Fundamental Rights highly critical of EU response to 11 September: Updated: 6 May 2003 with the final versions of the report: Commentary Main report (pdf) Thematic report on freedom and security and responses to terrorist threats (pdf)

Europol annual report and work programme for 2004: Report

Comment by A Sivanandan, founding editor of Race & Class: "We the (only) people" (link)

EU: Campaign launched against the illegal transfer of European travellers' data to the USA: Report

Guardian articles: "How US paid for secret files on foreign citizens" (link) and "Firm in Florida election fiasco earns millions from files on foreigners" (link)

Virgin and Easyjet open to legal challenge? Report

Northern Ireland: Special Branch 'spying' on Sinn Fein candidate: Report

April 2003

EU: Legal teams set up for G8, Evian and EU Summit in Thessaloniki: Report and contacts

EU: Four politicial groups in the European Parliament put down questions on the ICC and the EU-US agreements: News in brief

Transparency in the European Union still problematic: Report

EU: Experts on Fundamental Rights highly critical of EU response to 11 September: Report

Spain: Draft law to criminalise public opposition to war: Report

UK: The worst law yet: the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002: Analysis

Proposals being discussed by the Convention on the Future of Europe will lead to the creation of an EU Interior Ministry - the maintenance of law and order, internal security and external borders: Analysis (pdf)

EU: Exchanging information on terrorists or protestors? Report

Northern Ireland: Stevens' Interim Report on collusion - leading to murder and injury - between loyalist para-military groups, the Special Branch and the British Army's Force Research Unit: Report

UK: Conference at LSE, London on the government's "snooping plans", organised by Privacy International and the Foundation for Information Policy Research, on 14 May 2003, 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm: Press release

UK: Government plans to send back Iraqi and Kurdish people who have been allowed into the country since 1991, either voluntarily or if necessary - like those being returned to Afghanistan - forcibly, see: Observer story (link)

EU Convention on the future of Europe: Leading NGOs call for major amendments on the "democratic life" of the EU: Report and submission

UK asylum plan for "safe havens": Full-text of proposal and reactions

Exclusive: EU-USA agreements - the drafts on the table: Full report and documentation
- two agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance being negotiated in secret
- extradition to USA to apply to any suspected offences bringing just a one year sentence
- USA successfully opposed any reference to the International Criminal Court or to Special Courts (Military Tribunals)
-
"A broad, categorical, or systematic application of data protection principles to refuse cooperation is.. precluded"
- FBI and other US agencies to operate in EU in joint investigation teams with full powers of search, surveillance and arrest

EU-USA and UK-USA: Full report and documentation
UK parliament Committee refuses to scrutinise agreements in secret
UK agrees new treaty with USA on extradition
UK and USA prepare for "simultaneous attacks"

International Federation of Journaists says attacks on journalists in Iraq are "Crimes of War" that must be punished: Report

UK: Chief Inspector of Prisons, Ann Owers, issus highly critical report on asylum detention centres: Report (pdf)

 Northern Ireland: Research finds new baton rounds more dangerous: Report

 The EU's new Border Control Programme, by Liz Fekete. Under plans to be presented tomorrow by the home secretary, David Blunkett, to the European Union summit in Brussels, asylum seekers will be held in 'temporary processing centres' outside the EU - possibly in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey or North Africa. A report by the Institute of Race Relations shows how this proposal is part of an ongoing attempt to create a militarised migration bulwark around the EU: Report

 Statewatch openness case leads to landmark decision - Council agrees to keep copies of all documents and to list them in "Outcomes" (Minutes): Report

IRR News service: Members of one of the most socially deprived communities in Europe, the Roma, are being deported in large numbers and at huge expense: Britain 'fast-tracks' Roma back to discrimination

Change to Belgian law on war crimes lets Bush snr off and Sharon: Report

Leading NGOs submit amendments on justice and home affairs to the Convention: Submission

Switzerland: From 1 April 2003 Swiss Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have to keep a log for six months of all e-mails sent by their customers: Report

March 2003

Proposal to change Belgian law on war crimes would let Bush snr off but not Sharon: Report

The "war on terrorism" - "Not in our name": Speech

Asylum in the EU: the beginning of the end? Report and analysis

EU: Spain proposes data on all airline passengers to be sent to law enforcement agencies and for extra checks on all foreign nationals entering the EU: Special Report

USA: Amnesty International condemns Operation Liberty Shield - criticizes blanket detentions for asylum seekers from specific countries: News in brief

France charters weekly flights to expel illegal immigrants: Report

Spain: Secret military telecommunications interception stations in Madrid, Conil de la Frontera, Gibraltar and Rota: Report

UK: Some reactions to the war: Baton attacks on Bangaladeshi schoolkids marks "day of shame" and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission condemns war: Report

European Parliament: Hearing on: Data protection since 11 September 2001 - what strategy for Europe?: Report

EU-US negotiations to start on US access to container ports: Report

U.S. sends stern warning to Belgium on war crimes case: Report

EU delegations' offices bugged in Brussels HQ: Report

Globalism's imperial war, by A. Sivanandan: Article

Massive majority in European Parliament against deal with US on access to passenger data: Full report, resolution and amendments and verbatim debate

UK: Home Office consults on data retention and access to communications data: Report

European Parliament resolution on airline passenger data gains wide support: Report

European rights court condemns Turkey in Ocalan case: Report

EU: Mediterranean joint patrols fail to stop migrants: Report

European Journalists support Irish fight to maintain open government: Report

European Parliament committee to hold emergency session on the transfer of personal data to USA: Report

UK: Terror policing brings many arrests but few charges - survey by the Institute of Race Relations: Report

UK: GCHQ arrest over Observer spying report: News in brief

EU suspends negotiations with USA on judicial agreement: Report

Irish Council for Civil Liberties condemn government changes to freedom of information law: Report (link)

On 12 February 2003 the Swiss Federal Council (government) submitted a draft for a new law on freedom of information to parliament. The text of the draft is available on:

http://www.ofj.admin.ch/themen/oeffprinzip/bot-d.pdf (german)
http://www.ofj.admin.ch/themen/oeffprinzip/bot-f.pdf (french)

Gothenburg, June 2001: report on the trials: Report

European Coordination for Foreigners’ Right to Family Life: press release

Direct access to personal details of EU passengers: How US Customs bounced the European Commission into a quick decision: Report

EU: Majority of governments introducing data retention of communications: Report

EU data protection chair calls for US access to passenger details to be postponed: Report

February 2003

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 27-28 February 2003: News in brief

EU Working Party on data protection report on passenger data access by USA: Report
"it does not seem acceptable that a unilateral decision taken by a third country for reasons of its own public interest should lead to the routine and wholesale transfer of data protected under the directive"

US Customs to have direct access to EU airlines reservations databases: Report

Expulsion from Belgium and Schengen bans for anti-war protestors: Report

European Commission caves in to US demands for airline and shipping passenger lists: Report

European Commission Green Paper on safeguards for suspects: Full-text

Special: EU accession treaty: full-text and analysis of key Articles: Report

EU-US: US demands EU airlines and ships provide passengers list: Report

USA: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) slates proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003: Text and Report

EU: Sri Lanka readmission agreement: Full-text

UK: Army on patrol in London: Police statement

European Ombudsman: Council tells student that legal opinion on openness should stay secret: Report

EU-Ecuador: Proposed addition of Ecuador to visa "blacklist": Report

UK: "Draconian" legislation to criminalise live music: Report

EU member states by-pass Commission to give US access to containers at ports: US Customs Department moved from US Treasury to Homeland Security Department and US Customs agents to be based in EU ports: Report

EU: The Convention on the future of Europe: draft Articles 1-16 and the Trumpf/Piris report: Report

Germany: Human Rights Activist attacked by civil police in Jena: Report

Italy: Interior minister links terrorism and activists´ "widespread political illegality": Report

Statewatch bulletin, vol 12 no 6: Contents

EU: Consolidated treaty incorporating Nice treaty changes, full-text: News in brief

European Digital Rights (EDRI) launch newsletter: Report

January 2003

EU: Joint patrols mounted in Med by Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and UK: Report

UK: Surveillance of communications goes through the roof - doubling under the Labour government: Special Report

UK: All Party Committee rejects data retention: News in brief

France: Outrage over deaths of migrants being deported: Report

Spain: CEAR lawyer detained for assisting Iraqi refugees: Report

France: Argentine migrant dies during forced deportation, full report: Report

Netherlands: ID checks to be introduced: Report

Diamandouros wins European Ombudsman election: Report

Europe: Analysis - Deaths during forced deportation: Case details of nine deaths during forced deportations in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, France, Austria and the UK (IRR News Service): News online

UK: New Labour and new authoritarianism in criminal justice, by Lee Bridges, Chair of the School of Law at Warwick University, comments on the government's new Criminal Justice Bill (IRR News Service): News in brief

UK: Massive backlash against government ID card proposals: Report

France: Argentine migrant dies during deportation: Report

France: Malian TV crew protest deportation scuffle: Report

Netherlands: Petition to end pre-trial detention of three alleged terrorists denied: Report

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