News in Brief; March - April 2001

April 2001 "Repeal the Official Secrets Act": the UK is one of the few countries in the EU which has a law which punishes "whistle-blowers" and journalists and others who receive "leaked" information on state activities. A campaign has been launched to repeal it: ROSA European Commission press release on a proposal to limit the right of freedom of movement for the people in the countries scheduled to join the EU for the first seven years: Press release European Commission programme announced for "conflict resolution", which is a mixture of the sensible and the interventionist (ie: in the EU interests): Conflict resolution Journalists Condemn Secrecy in American Trade Talks: "Threat To Foundations of Democracy". The world's largest journalists' group, the International Federation of Journalists, today condemned a "sinister process of secrecy" that has excluded civil society groups and citizens from negotiations on a new trade agreement between 34 countries to be discussed at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec next week: FTAA The UK government's plans to expand the police DNA database comes under attack from the Human Genetics Commission: Guardian story Human Genetics Commission: press release Treaty of Nice, full-text: Nice (pdf) Report for 2000-2001 from the UK Intelligence and Security Committee. The Committee says at the end of its report that: "We believe that the new Committee could examine the Official Secrets Acts and recommend changes to ensure that the Acts protect secret information." It would not bode well for the much-needed reform of the Official Secrets Act if this committee were to play a leading role. Their report in full: Report March 2001 New version of the Council of Europe Convention on cyber-crime, dated 9 March 2001: Cyber-crime Explanatory memorandum: Explanatory (Word 97) (13.3.01) New issue of Statewatch bulletin covers: EU-FBI surveillance plan/DNA database plans/the Criminal Justice and Police Bill/the Schengen Information System/Crowd control tecnologies and much more, for full contents see: Statewatch bulletin "Global standards" for the interception of telecommunications being laid down by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and US telecommunications industry: Global surveillance standards European Ombudsman launches inquiry into the right of officials working for the European Commission to have "freedom of expression": Inquiry


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