EU: MED CRISIS: TURKEY: Council of the European Union: EU Action on Migratory Pressures - targeted update and the outcome of discussion on Turkey (LIMITE doc no: 9491, pdf):
"The visa regime in Turkey was a source of concern for many delegations. Both Egypt and Algeria have introduced visa requirements for Syrian nationals. Turkey maintained visa-free travel, which has been identified as a source of concern. Turkey had the capacity to act as a significant transit point for migrants from the wider Middle East-North Africa region: migrants may legally enter Turkey but then illegally enter the EU. Along with Syrians, Moroccan, Tunisian, Libyan, Georgian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Iranian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Turkey."
See also: The hidden frontline of Europe's migration crisis - As a gateway to both the EU and the Schengen passport-free zone, Hungary has seen more than 50,000 migrants trying to cross its border this year. Now it is planning a 100-mile wall to keep them out (Daily Telegraph, link) and Top French court approves border controls with Italy (France 24,link): "France's top administrative court said Monday that border controls on migrants at the Italian frontier were legal and did not violate the Schengen agreement that created Europe's passport-free zone. The court dismissed a complaint by three organisations in support of scores of migrants stranded at the border between France and Italy since mid-June."
UK: New Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales Guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty in Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. (pdf) and the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (pdf) come into effect.
And see: Cameron backing counter-extremism strategy marks a fundamental shift - Analysis: Theresa May’s drive against ‘non-violent extremists’ will mean acting against individuals and groups based on ideas and not actions (Guardian, link):
"David Cameron is to press ahead with Theresa May’s controversial counter-extremism strategy which includes blacklisting “extremists” from appearing on the airwaves and speaking at universities..... The agreed definition of extremism, which the Home Office will use to decide who to blacklist, is this:
"The vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.""
And: Teachers on the frontline against terror: what should schools do about radicalisation? (The Conversation, link) and Jails and universities obliged to prevent radicalisation as new act becomes law - Counter-Terrorism Act, which also applies to NHS trusts, schools and further education institutions, comes into force" (Guardian, link)
EU: DRONES: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion 01/2015 on Privacy and Data Protection Issues relating to the Utilisation of Drones (pdf):
"In light of the progressive integration of drones into the European civil airspace and the emergence of numerous applications of drones (ranging from leisure, services, photography, logistics, surveillance of infrastructures) there is a real need to focus on the challenges that a large-scale deployment of drone and sensor technology could bring about for individuals’ privacy and civil and political liberties and to assess the measures necessary to ensure the respect for fundamental rights and data protection."
"publication comprises seven top secret documents detailing how the US has had a decade- long policy of economic espionage against France, including the interception of all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million. The documents demonstrate that the US National Security Agency, far from being a rogue organisation, is carrying out an economic espionage policy created by the US Director of National Intelligence. The documents detail the intelligence process, from the tasking of the NSA with collection of desired economic information to the production of developed intelligence reports, which are sent to "Supported Elements" of the US government, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Represenative, the US Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency."
See: L’espionnage économique, priorité de la NSA (Le Monde, link)
News Digest (30.6.15)
NEW ZEALAND: Through the story of the Waihopai 3, New Zealand's role in the global Five Eyes spy alliance is examined (link and appeal)
EU: Better Regulation Watchdog (link): "We are a group of organisations of European consumer, environmental, development, citizen and public health organisations, trade unions and organisations advancing social justice. We work to promote and defend the rights of citizens to high social, labour, environmental,
consumer and public health standards."
MEPs give TTIP proposal a second try (euractiv, link)
Joint police operation Amberlight: critics miss the real questions (Reshaping Europe, link)
This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and Europe’s cruel capitalism - On Sunday the people of Greece can hit back at the eurozone’s busted economic system that is slowly strangling them. Their battle is ours too (Guardian, link)
UK: Manchester council take homeless to court to clear city centre (Independent, link): "Homeless people campaigning for better treatment in the city of Manchester could be put in jail if an “oppressive” injunction to remove them from the city goes ahead. Manchester council are seeking a city centre-wide injunction against the campaigners, which would ban the group from entering, sleeping or setting up tents in the city centre." See: Homeless Rights of Justice Mcr (link)
UK: Scotland Yard creates SAS-style unit to counter threat of terrorist gun attack - 130 counter-terrorism specialist firearms officers equipped with new weapons and retrained in new tactics, including ‘fast-roping’ from helicopters (Guardian, link)
UK: Court suspends fast-track asylum appeal system - Appeal judges put process on hold until court hears government challenge against ruling that it is ‘structurally unfair’ and must be quashed (Guardian, link)
Facebook Can Even ID You in Photos Where Your Face Isn’t Showing (The Slate, link)
Is INTERPOL a reliable source? (GHERSON, link)
NATO Members’ Defense Spending, in Two Charts (Defense one, link)
Migrant tragedies, one of many fundamental rights challenges that need tackling, finds FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency, link)
Marruecos dice que gasta 217 millones al año en vigilar sus fronteras y 13.000 policías (eldiario.es, link) [Morocco spends 217 million euros annually and has
13,000 police to watch its borders]
EU: Commission: Introductory speech on defence at the joint meeting of the SEDE/IMCO/ITRE Committees (17 June, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security: Policy Cycle: Discussion paper EU Policy Cycle (LIMITE doc no: 10154-15, pdf):
"the Presidency would like to draw COSI's attention to a number of topics in order to further improve work within the EU Policy Cycle. Although steady progress is being made, some topics need to be addressed properly in order for the work to evolve to the next level."
European Parliament study: Towards a new European security strategy? Assessing the impact of changes in the global security environmentx (pdf):
"the report points at new threats and challenges and the changing nature of conflict. It also focuses on the and North Africa, which have challenged the assessment that Europe is not facing threats on its borders."
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation: Start of the trilogue legislative meetings between the Council and the European Parliament (held in secret)
- 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) - Preparation for trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 9958-rev-1-15, 79 pages, pdf). A multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions.
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: COMBATING TERRORISM: Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Process and U.S. Agency Enforcement Actions (pdf)
EU migration policy: comments on the results of the latest European Council (EU Law Analyses, link)
EU: LEGAL AID: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings - Preparation for the 1st trilogue (14 July 2015, Brussels (LIMITE doc no: 10296-15, 71 pages, pdf) Start of trilogue meetings: Multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions
EU: LEAs PERSONAL DATA EXCHANGE DIRECTIVE: Council of the European Union: Directive on the exchange of personal data between EU law enforcement agencies: 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 - Discussion on questions suggested by the Presidency (LIMITE doc no: 10208-15, pdf)
EU Council: European Council meeting (25 and 26 June 2015) – Conclusions (pdf). Some change in terminology but same intent: For example, "structured border zones" now referred to as "first reception facilities"... and it not at all clear what the legal powers of Europol, Frontex or EASO are to ensure "swift identification, registration and fingerprinting":
"the setting up of reception and first reception facilities in the frontline Member States, with the active support of Member States' experts and of EASO, Frontex and Europol to ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots").
Background:: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):
News Digest (29.6.15)
New Danish government calls referendum on EU Justice opt-out (euractiv, link)
ITALY: Polemics Over Italian Prison Reform Appointment (Liberties.eu, link)
Mediterranean migrants: EU leaders agree voluntary intake after heated talks - Long, fractious meeting finally reaches deal on resettling 60,000 asylum seekers, but exempts Hungary and Bulgaria, while UK opts out (Guardian, link):
"The national leaders of Europe have engaged in one of their most bitter rows in years over how to respond to the influx of refugees from across the Mediterranean after they scrapped plans for a quota system to share out the resettlement. The meeting descended into name-calling and recrimination as the leaders fought over a modest scheme to share the intake of 60,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers between their countries over two years...
Italy and Lithuania traded barbed insults, while two EU presidents – Donald Tusk, chairing the summit, and Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European commission – fought for hours over the wording of the summit statement, which could not be agreed."
And: EU leaders spend ill-tempered evening on Greece, migrants (euobserver, link)
News Digest (26-28.6.15)
General Data Protection Regulation: Document pool (EDRI, link)
The law of Grexit: What does EU law say about leaving economic and monetary union (EU Law Analyses, link)
How the NSA Started Investigating the New York Times’ Warrantless Wiretapping Story (Intercept, link): "Three days after the New York Times revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring the calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants, the National Security Agency issued a top-secret assessment of the damage done to intelligence efforts by the story. The conclusion: the information could lead terrorists to try to evade detection. Yet the agency gave no specific examples of investigations that had been jeopardized."
Cameron's EU reform plea sidelined at Brussels summit (euractiv, link)
French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum (Intercept, link)
Anti-refugee protests 'unacceptable,' says German Minister Heiko Maas (DW, link): "German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has sharply criticized the latest anti-refugee protests in the eastern town of Freital. He stressed that refugees were welcome and that xenophobia had no place in Germany."
EU: MIGRATION POLICY: Council of the European Union: Incoming Luxembourg Council Presidency: Strategic coordination of the work of the Council preparatory bodies in the area of migration (LIMITE doc no: 10249-15, dated 25 June 2015, pdf):
The Council Presidency seem to have forgotten that migration policy is subject to co-responsibility with the European Parliament: How can a legislative body fully play its role if it is not associated when strategies are defined and when legislation is implemented?
"the Luxembourg Presidency proposes to start working on a short and concise paper on the Strategic Coordination of the work of the Council preparatory bodies in
the area of migration, in order to better integrate the work on the internal and external aspects of migration and to improve the efficiency and coherence of the Council preparatory bodies in this area.
The paper would define, under the responsibility of the Trio of Presidencies, the Strategic Coordination in the area of migration. It should be used to mainstream these priorities into the work of the Council preparatory bodies dealing with migration, in particular SCIFA and HLWG, but also other relevant thematic and geographical groups (CODEV, COHOM, etc.)."
Special Report: European Summit (meeting of Prime Ministers) Conclusions: European Council (25 and 26 June 2015) - Draft conclusions (dated 24 June 2015, LIIMITE doc no: 8395-15,pdf).
These Conclusions, drafted yesterday, still contain the same, worrying, and far-reaching measures on migration as the earlier draft and are based on:Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (pdf) which spells out in more detail where the EU is going:
See: Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):
And Agenda of Summit (pdf) The UK issues are no 6 on Agenda. The Conclusions state: "IV. UK: 14. The UK Prime Minister set out his plans for an (in/out) referendum in the UK. The European Council agreed to revert to the matter in December."
Also: EU toughens stance on migrant returns (IRIN, link) and EU flexes its muscles to tackle failed asylum seekers (Times of Malta, link)
Data protection talks start ahead of digital focus at EU summit (euobserver, link): "EU lawmakers sat down for their first meeting yesterday (24 June) to work out details on the EU's data protection reform. Facing bumps ahead, negotiators said they were still committed to wrapping up the legislation package this year."
The two key documents on the table are: The positions (negotiating mandates) of the co-legislators:
Council of the European Union: 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) - Preparation of a general approach (201 pages, 11 June, pdf)
EU: What if a refugee allegedly supports terrorism? The CJEU judgment in T (EU Law Analysis):: "What happens if a refugee allegedly supports terrorism? The most obvious answer is that the person concerned might be excluded from getting refugee status in the first place, in accordance with Article 1.F of the Geneva (UN) Convention on Refugees, as reflected in the EU’s qualification Directive and interpreted in the CJEU’s B and D judgment of 2010. However, the situation is more complicated if the person already has refugee status, and his or her alleged support for terrorism begins or comes to light only later. This issue was addressed for the first time in today’s CJEU judgment in T."
News Digest (25.6.15)
Stephen Lawrence's best friend says police are holding vital information (MIrror, link): "Duwayne Brooks says Scotland Yard broke a pledge to hand over all material officers collated on him since the horrific 1993 racist killing"
GCHQ documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes - Details of 2012 Yemen drone strike prompt call for UK to reveal extent of involvement in US targeted killing programme outside recognised war zones (Guardian, link): "British intelligence agency GCHQ is facing fresh calls to reveal the extent of its involvement in the US targeted killing programme after details of a fatal drone strike in Yemen were included in a top secret memo circulated to agency staff." and see: Documents on 2012 Drone Strike Detail How Terrorists Are Targeted (International New York Timer, link): DOCUMENTS CITED BUT NOT RELEASED: GCHQ: Comet News (2-year span): A regular series of newsletters which are used to update GCHQ personnel on the work of Overhead, an operation based on satellite, radio and some phone collection of intelligence, GCHQ: 2009 legal briefing: Prepared for GCHQ personnel sharing target intelligence in Afghanistan which instructed them to refer to senior compliance staff before sharing information with the US if they believed it may be used for a “detention or cross-border operation”. GCHQ: October 2010 guide to targeting: Includes a reference to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, indicating that it was written to assist in strikes there (IC Of the Record).
USA: Has the CIA Asked the FISC to Restart Its Bulk Collection Program? (Just Security, link)
USA-FRANCE: If You Can’t Beat ’Em: France, Up In Arms Over NSA Spying, Passes New Surveillance Law (The Intercept, link)
Hungary reverses decision to suspend EU asylum rules (euractiv, link): "Hungary reversed its decision to suspend a key EU rule on processing asylum claims on Wednesday (24 June), a day after its announcement caused concern in Brussels and elsewhere."
UK-EU: Queen speaks of need for unity in Europe (BBC News, link): "The Queen has spoken of the need for unity in Europe in a speech to German and UK leaders.The UK monarch, who was at a state banquet in Berlin as part of a four-day visit to Germany, said that "division in Europe is dangerous"."
GREECE: Citizenship bill approved despite ANEL opposition (ekathimerini.com): "The junior partner in the governing coalition, Independent Greeks (ANEL), on Wednesday broke ranks with leftist SYRIZA on a bill that foresees second-generation migrants being eligible for citizenship once they have enrolled at elementary school, provided one of their parents has a residence permit."
Reports: Russia, China have files leaked by Snowden (CNN video interveiw with the Sunday Times, link) Worth watching.
Statewatch: News Online 24 June 2015 (pdf): Thirty News items with documentation plus EU-USA-NSA-GCHQ and Update:Statewatch coverage of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean (pdf):
NSA spied on French presidents: WikiLeaks (Reuters, link). See: Espionnage Élysée (Wikileaks, links): "Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing "Espionnage Élysée", a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years." See: US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France (2 pages, pdf) and also: NSA: 14 page dossier on spying on three French Presidents (pdf)
GREECE:The ‘Super-Panopticon’ Scandal of Áthens 2004 Olympics and its Legacy (Book Abstract, Pella, N.Y. 2014, pdf) by Minas Samatas:
"This book elucidates the “super-panopticon” scandal at the Athens 2004 Olympics, that is the technological fiasco of the C4I—Command, Control, Coordination, Communication, and Integration—surveillance system, designed by the American SAIC corporation and subcontracted to the German company Siemens AG, which did not work during and long after the Games, despite its multi-million cost.... As a critical “glocal” analysis, it relates the nature and legacy of this scandal to post-9/11 neoliberal “securitization,” which has transformed the Olympics into security-surveillance and consumption Games with a loss of any true Olympic meaning, and finally thus reviving the discussion for alternative, pure Olympics."
EU: MED-CRISIS: EU to create new quarantine system for Mediterranean migrants - Italian PM accuses EU of betraying basic values as draft summit papers reveal plans to give police and border agencies enhanced powers of coercion (Guardian, link):: "“Where is the EU going?” asked Tony Bunyan, director of Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring civil liberties in the EU. “Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly fingerprinted or held in detention until they acquiesce or are expelled and banned from re-entry.”
News Digest (24.6.15)
CJEU, asylum law Residence permit can be withdrawn from refugee who actively supports terrorism: see Judgment (pdf)
Fair Trials calls on INTERPOL to clarify role in journalist’s arrest (link) and Letter to Interpol also Questions remain after Mansour's release in Berlin (DW, link):" Germany has said it's looking "intensively" into how it ended up arresting Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour, who was released on Monday in Berlin. The opposition Greens have said they want answers in parliament."
The Migrants Files: A database on the more than 29,000 migrants who died on their way to Europe since 2000 (link) and The Making of the Migration Crisis (Telesur, link) also: The World at War (UNHCR, link)
Hungary suspends EU asylum rules (euractiv, link): "Hungary said yesterday (23 June) it has indefinitely suspended the application of a key EU asylum rule in order "protect Hungarian interests", prompting Brussels to seek immediate clarification."
Pugno di ferro su espulsioni e "mini-prigioni" in Italia. Guardian svela piano Ue per mettere in "quarantena" i migranti (Huffington Post, link) [Iron fist of expulsions and "mini-prisons" in Italy. Guardian reveals EU plan to put in "quarantine" migrants] See: Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")"
Pushing Back Against Ethnic Profiling in the Netherlands (OSF, link): "With the help of Mohammed Anouar, a Dutch activist of Moroccan origin, my organization, Blikopeners, produced a documentary that examines this dynamic. With Mohammed Onderzoekt Etnisch Profileren (Mohammed Investigates Racial Profiling), we wanted to show how ethnic profiling can be detrimental to the cohesion of open societies, and mobilize young people in the Netherlands to advocate against ethnic profiling and promote effective and honest policing."
ECHR: Chamber hearing concerning an extraordinary rendition (pdf): "The European Court of Human Rights is holding a Chamber hearing today Tuesday 23 June 2015 in the case of Nasr and Ghali v. Italy (application no. 44883/09). The case concerns the “extraordinary rendition” - the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian nationals - of Egyptian imam Abu Omar, and his transfer to Egypt, followed by his secret detention there for several months."
EU:Jailing migrant families together with convicted criminals: A desperate EU policy to deter irregular migration by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"Taken together, the loss of these protections will mean that irregular migrants, including irregular migrant families, will not only be detained in ordinary prisons, but mixed in with the ordinary prison population of convicted criminals and those awaiting trial for serious crimes. Moreover, their capacity to challenge their detention by means of judiicial review will be severely curtailed.
Coupled with the recent Commission paper offering guidelines for using force, including against pregnant women, on migrants who refuse to be fingerprinted, this represents a significant turn in EU policy - turning toward direct and indirect threats of physical violence to control their behaviour and induce them to leave.
To say the least, this is hard to square with the EU's frequent professions of support for the human rights and decent treatment of migrants."
See: Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (Statewatch version, 75KB) or link to Council's 10.5 MB version (pdf)
EU: German-Italian-French non-paper on EU migration policy (pdf) and Letter (pdf). Includes:
- Dialogue with source/transit countries: At upcoming EU-Africa summit in Malta "we should also discuss the relationship between migration and mobility and their impact on development, the promotion of fair trade and the strengthening of security cooperation as well as return and readmission issues"
- Proposal for EU CSDP civilian mission in Niger: EUCAP Sahel Niger to become permanent and "work even more closely with Nigerien authorities in the fight against smuggling and trafficking in human beings"
- Adequate funding for continued "engagement" with countries in the Horn of Africa, to deal with migration from/through those countries (in the recent ISF-Police work programme some money was put aside for this, see: Annual Work Programme for 2015 for support to Union Actions under the Internal Security Fund
– Police cooperation and crime prevention (pdf)
- "We must increase the effectiveness of return and readmission programmes"
And: "Our migration policy goals should relate to other relevant horizontal foreign policies such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, water and climate policy and a reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy which also considers the neighbours of our neighbours."
Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")"
This is set out in the Draft Conclusions of the European Council [the EU Heads of State] meeting on 25 and 26 June 2015: Draft conclusions (pdf)
Section 5.c says: "the setting up of structured border zones and facilities in the frontline Member States, with the active support of Member States' experts and of EASO, Frontex and Europol to ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots");" [emphasis added]
Will the "swift fingerprinting" of those described here as "illegal" migrants involve coercive measures? See: Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):
“If the data-subject still refuses to cooperate it is suggested that officials trained in the "proportionate use of coercion" may apply the minimum level of coercion required, while ensuring respect of the dignity and physical integrity of the data-subject..”
Statewatch Director, Tony Bunyan comments: “Where is the EU going? Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly finger-printed or held in detention until they acquiesce or are expelled and banned from re-entry.”
Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex comments on the Draft Conclusions:
"It is remarkable that Member States (if this draft is accepted) are indeed willing to accept the relocation of 40,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, and 20,000 resettled refugees.
It is also notable that all Member States will participate in the latter decision - with even the UK agreeing recently to resettle a few hundred more Syrians. This is a very modest amount of the numbers needing protection however.
The European Asylum Support Office does not seem to have the powers to participate in fingerprinting asylum-seekers, and the reference to 'bringing together' rules on fast-tracking asylum applications is very vague. Is the intention to lower standards, and if so, how exactly? Any moves to negotiate more readmission agreements and to expel more people who supposedly have no need for protection will have to comply fully with EU, ECHR and all national and international human rights standards.
Equally if Frontex is to gain more powers over expulsion it must be made more fully accountable, including as regards individual complaints against it."
See: UN says one million refugees should be no problem for EU (euractiv, link): "The UN rights chief yesterday (15 June) called for the European Union to take bolder steps to address its swelling migrant crisis, insisting the bloc could easily take in one million refugees"
News Digest (23.6.15)
EU: Only a third of the EU is governed by the centre-left - Based on political positioning defined by affiliation in the European parliament, the eight countries on centre-left comprise about 32.5% of the EU’s population (Guardian, link): "Since last year’s European parliament elections, where the centre-right European People’s party (EPP) emerged as the largest bloc, there have been 13 parliamentary and presidential elections in the EU. Of these, the centre-left has won only one – in Sweden. Following the ousting of Denmark’s centre-left government last Thursday, only a third of the EU’s population of 503 million is now led by a centre-left head of government or state. Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Malta, Slovakia and Sweden are the only EU members that are on the centre-left." and see: EU national Elections Guide (link)
EU beginnt Militäreinsatz gegen Schleuser: Kaum ist der Weltflüchtlingstag vorbei, beginnt die EU mit ihrem geplanten Militäreinsatz gegen Schleuserbanden im Mittelmeer. Kritiker befürchten einer Verschärfung der Notlage von Flüchtlingen. EU-Minister wiederum versichern die Einhaltung humanitärer Rechte (migazin, link) [As soon as the World Refugee Day past, the EU begins its planned military operation against smugglers in the Mediterranean. Critics fear a worsening of the plight of refugees. EU ministers in turn assure compliance with humanitarian rights]
UK: Deleted emails: The Cabinet Office has a policy of deleting all emails after 3 months, which recently featured in a front page Financial Times story on June 17 2015. Under the policy, all Cabinet Office emails are automatically deleted after 3 months – anything needed for permanent preservation must be printed out and stored before this happens.(CFOI, link)
Opinion: Military force against human traffickers (DW, link): "The EU intends to use military force against human traffickers in Northern Africa. However, they will end up fighting against the refugees, says DW's Christoph Hasselbach"
Jamaica Interested in Free Entry Pact to EU Countries (Prensa Latina, link)
EU: MED-CRISIS: European External Action Service (EEAS): European Union Naval Force - Mediterranean (Press statement, pdf): Contributing States: Currently 14 Member States (BE, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HU, IT, LT, LU, NL, SE, SI, UK):
"The Council shall assess whether the conditions for transition beyond the first phase have been met, taking into account any applicable UN Security Council Resolution and consent by the Coastal States concerned."
Consent is needed for the EU to act within the territorial waters of another state (eg: Libya) and see: Comments below on this position.
GCHQ-JTRIG: Spies Hacked Computers Thanks to Sweeping Secret Warrants, Aggressively Stretching U.K. Law (Intercept, link) and Controversial GCHQ Unit Engaged in Domestic Law Enforcement, Online Propaganda, Psychology Research (Intercept, link) also: Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks (Intercept, link)
Key documents: TOP SECRET: Behavioural Science Support for JTRIG’s (Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group’s) Effects and Online HUMINT Operations (42 pages, pdf) and Key section from document: interference by JTRIG/GCHQ) (1 page, pdf) including: "discredit", "delay", "disrupt", "promote distrust" and "deter" and "take over control of online websites (to deny, disrupt, discredit or delay)" and GCHQ Stakeholders (pdf)
UK: Court says GCHQ spied on human rights NGOs, acted unlawfully (PI, link):
"Monday, June 22, 2015: The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today revealed that the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spied on two international human rights organisations, failed to follow ITS own secret procedures and acted unlawfully.
The targeted NGOs are the South African Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Both are leading civil liberties organisations and co-claimants alongside Privacy International in a legal challenge brought against GCHQ in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations."
See: Full-text of IPT ruling (pdf)
EU: MED-CRISIS: Official statement on the launch of EUNAVFOR: Council launches EU naval operation to disrupt human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean (Council of the European Union, pdf):
"The first phase focuses on surveillance and assessment of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean.... The Council will assess when to move beyond this first step, taking into account a UN mandate and the consent of the coastal states concerned.." [emphasis added]
It is by no means certain that a UN mandate will be forthcoming as this requires the consent of the affected states, in this case Libya. The EU's own mission in Libya, EUBAM, withdrew from from the country last autumn, has been slimmed down and is now based in Tunisia because of the highly unstable security situation in Libya where two separate governments are vying for power in addition to a number of warring groups:.See:
EU and political situation in Libya: Interim Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya (LIMITE doc no: 7886-15, 13 April 2015, pdf): "a number of additional considerations have arisen as a result of the mission's relocation to Tunis. The mission's legal status in Tunis is still unclear, with the Tunisian authorities unofficially indicating that they would prefer not to explore the issue....its presence in Tunis will make it difficult for mission staff to assess conditions and operate in Libya" [emphasis added]
See also: EU foreign ministers to agree on Mediterranean intelligence operations (euractiv, link): "EU foreign affairs ministers will today (22 June) agree on an intelligence gathering operation, the first phase of the bloc’s response to the burgeoning migration crisis in the Mediterranean, but military action against people smugglers will depend on the support of Libya’s National Unity Government and the United Nations." and Naval bid to tackle migrants in Med (Yahoo News, link): "With GCHQ - Britain's listening post in Cheltenham - said to be tracking the activities of smuggling gangs moving people to the Libyan coast, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon indicated that he wanted to see more intelligence-sharing." also: Exclusive: France backs Italy-UK Plan for Sicily Intel Cell (Migrant Report, link)
See: EU agrees to launch military operation against people smugglers (FT, link): "EU officials have warned that casualties were possible after deciding to launch military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean. Ministers of the 28-country bloc meeting in Luxembourg on Monday gave the go-ahead for a c controversial intelligence gathering operation, which will precede full-blown military action this year ... “The use of firepower will be done in such a way that we do all we can to prevent any casualties to anyone,” said one EU official. “There is a difference between smugglers and migrants. If they are migrants, we will be even more cautious.” Asked whether the military operation created the risk of collateral casualties, the official replied: “Of course it would.”" and: EU navies take up position in Mediterranean (euobserver, link)
EU: European Parliament study: Surveillance and censorship: The impact of technologies on human rights (pdf):
"It concludes that different elements of EU strategic policy on human rights and digital policy need be better integrated and coordinated to ensure that technologies have a positive impact on human rights. The report concludes that EU should promote digital rights in national legislation of the third countries, but also in its own digital strategies."
EU: European Parliament study: Towards more effective global humanitarian action: How the EU can contribute (pdf):
"the EU and member states must commit to placing protection at the centre of humanitarian action and ensure that the EU´s humanitarian aid is not regarded as a crisis management tool, and allowed to become an instrument of its foreign policy."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Trade agreements and data flows Joint hearing of the INTA and LIBE committees, European Parliament Brussels, 16 June 2015 Giovanni Buttarelli European Data Protection Supervisor (pdf):
"The concept of adequacy indeed reflects respect for third countries' cultural and legal traditions, while ensuring an acceptable level of respect for the protection of the individuals as guaranteed by EU law, even when their personal data leaves EU territory.... the LIBE Committee in its comprehensive 2014 inquiry into 'Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens', sounded a clarion call to the Commission and Member States to be much more vigilant in addressing vulnerabilities in existing means for international transfer of personal information, notably Safe Harbour."
News Digest (22.6.15)
Italy: Court set for CIA terror abduction human rights complaint (CoE, link): "the human rights spotlight will fall again on the ‘War on Terror,’ when judges hear legal arguments concerning Italy’s involvement in a CIA abduction. The European Court’s chamber hearing in case Nasr and Ghali v. Italy (no. 44883/09) will take place on 23 June. The application concerns a case of “extraordinary rendition”, that is to say the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian nationals, of an Egyptian imam (Abu Omar), who holds refugee status, and his transfer to Egypt, followed by his secret detention there for several months."
Five horsemen of the euro’s future - As Grexit looms, the EU pushes new proposals for deeper integration of the eurozone (Politico, link) and see document: Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (pdf): "The threat of an imminent Greek exit from the euro may be the talk of Brussels, but the EU is unveiling bold proposals this week to deepen political and financial integration inside the eurozone. A so-called “five presidents’ report” obtained by POLITICO includes calls for a eurozone finance minister and stricter controls over the budgets of the 19 countries, including Greece, that use the single currency."
EU-MED-CRISIS: Fallon: UK aid budget should be used to discourage mass migration from Africa - Defence secretary says Britain needs to spend more of its budget on helping stabilise countries so that it doesn’t have to ‘fish’ migrants out of Mediterranean (Guardian, link): "He said the next phase of the operation was about “building up better intelligence of who these gangs are” as well as “encouraging a policy of return”. "
EU: Europol web unit to hunt extremists behind Isis social media propaganda - Europe-wide police team aims to find key figures in campaign producing 100,000 tweets daily linked to terror group, seeking to recruit foreign fighters (Guardian, link): "Europol said it would not name the social media firms who have agreed to help the police. It will use network analytics to identify the most active accounts, such as those pumping out the most messages and those part of an established online community."
Police detain more refugees (Prague Post, link): "The Czech police detained 12 refugees within a night check of trains that stopped in Breclav, south Moravia, after crossing the border from Austria, police spokesman Pavel Šváb, told the media today, adding that the refugees came from Syria, Afghanistan and Gambia."
Pro-Greek demos in Brussels, Amsterdam before crunch summit (ekathimerini.com, link)
Al-Jazeera journalist detained in Germany denies 'false' charges - Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour has expressed surprise at his detention in Berlin while prosecutors decide whether he will be extradited. A Cairo court sentenced him to 15 years in prison over torture charges. (DW, link)
UK: Outrage after police keep identity and charges secret of Cambridge officer accused of crime (Cambridge News, link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Issued by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Art. 29 WP opinion on the draft Regulation in view of the trilogue (Press release, pdf), Letter to the Council and the European Parliament (pdf) and Core topics in the view of trilogue (24 pages, pdf)
"even if the Directive should be regarded as minimum standard allowing the Member States to provide additional safeguards, an extension of its scope as proposed by the Council of the EU to all processing activities for the “safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security” - in addition to processing activities carried out for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties -
would result in a different level of protection depending on its implementation.
Moreover, the notion of the prevention of threats to public security” not linked to the concept of criminal offences is quite vague and may open the door to including in it types of processing operations just because they are carried out by controllers that operate in the widest context of law enforcement.....
[Recommendation] In order to ensure a consistent and high level of protection, the Working Party is of the opinion that the processing activities performed for purposes not linked to the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties should be clearly maintained under the scope of the Regulation."
EU: Council of the European Union: EU Policy Cycle & EMPACT
- EU Policy Cycle - Implementation monitoring - First progress reports 2015 (LIMITE doc no: 9853-15, 46 pages, pdf) with detailed annexes.
- Summary report of the National EMPACT Coordinator (NEC) meeting held at Europol on 28-29 May 2015 (LIMITE doc no: 9858-15, pdf)
Essential viewing: Building on communities of dissent (Institute of Race Relations):
How do we build on communities of dissent, asks veteran Black activist A. Sivanandan in a short film released this week by Sage Publications alongside a collection of his key writings in Race & Class. A Sivanandan, IRR Director Emeritus, is one of the UK’s key thinkers on racism, imperialism, black identity and political struggle. His grounded theory has proved important both in the academy and the community for over four decades.
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): EU prepares to go to "war" in the Med: Proposal of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Council for a Council Decision launching the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) (pdf);
"The Operation Plan and the Rules of Engagement concerning the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) are approved.... EUNAVFOR MED shall be launched on xxx 2015."
And: EU naval mission for Med gets green light (Politico, link)
See also: Draft Council Decision on a European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) (LIMITE doc no: 8921-15, pdf) and Proposal for for a Council Decision on a European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR Med) (LIMITE doc no: 8731-15, pdf): This contains details on:
Mission: "The Union shall conduct a military crisis management operation contributing to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling networks... systematic efforts to dispose of vessels and assets before they are used by smugglers"
Mandate: includes: "boarding search, seize and diversion of smuggling ships"
"The Operation Headquarters of EUNAVFOR MED shall be located in Rome, Italy"
"PSC shall exercise the political control and strategic direction of EUNAVFOR MED" [Political Security Committee]
"The EUMC shall monitor the proper execution of EUNAVFOR MED conducted under the responsibility of the EU Operation Commander" [EU Military Committee]
"The Council hereby authorises the PSC to invite third States to offer contributions"
"The Meijers Committee proposes to enhance the opportunities for employment of international protection beneficiaries across the EU by allowing them to work in another Member State after two years of legal residency and under more favourable conditions than current EU directives allow. This incentive for achieving economic independence corrects the current legal regime under which socioeconomic criteria play no role in sharing the responsibility for asylum-seekers and international protection beneficiaries"
UK: Will the government’s counter-extremism programme criminalise dissent? (IRR, link) Written by Arun Kundnani. The third of a post-election three-part series on civil liberties in the UK examines the government’s new proposals to tackle extremism:
"From 1 July, a broad range of public bodies – from nursery schools to optometrists – will be legally obliged to participate in the government’s Prevent policy to identify would-be extremists. Under the fast-tracked Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools, universities and health service providers can no longer opt out of monitoring students and patients for supposed radicalised behaviour. Never in peacetime Britain has national security surveillance been so deeply embedded in the normal functioning of public life."
News Digest (18-21.6.15)
Controversial security firm Serco lobbies for US migrant detention contracts - UK contractor has faced allegations of abuse and sexual assault in Britain and Australia but documents obtained by Guardian show it boasting to US lawmakers of its record (Guardian, link)
Bradford sisters who left UK 'to join Isis' were radicalised by British police, relatives say (Independent on Sunday, link)
Delfi v Estonia: Curtailing online freedom of expression? (EU Law Analysis, link): "The Strasbourg court’s reasoning put Delfi in a position of effectively having to monitor user content."
UK: 'People have finally had enough': middle England marches against austerity - Placard-waving protesters from across the country join to make their frustrations known in largest protest against cuts since the Tory election victory (Guardian, link)
German parliament's NSA probe enters 'neutral' stage: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed that a third-party investigator be appointed to inspect a list of targets that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the US National Security Agency. (DW, link)
USA: The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. - Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (The Intercept, link)
Police crack down on illegal immigrants (Prague Post, link)
UK: Immigration Detention: Building Our Own Guantánamos (One Small Window, link)
UK: Home Office told to publish confidential reports on migrant detention sites (Corporate Watch, link): "The Information Commissioner has ordered the Home Office to disclose confidential self-audit reports written by the companies that ran two controversial immigration detention centres. The decision follows a ten month freedom of information battle by Corporate Watch."
"Turkey’s example of dealing with Syrian refugees ‘puts rest of Europe to shame' " (CoE Parliamentary Assembly, link)
UK-MED: Britain to send intelligence officers to Sicily to 'disrupt' human traffickers - David Cameron promises Italian PM extra help in tackling gangs smuggling people in boats across Mediterranean (Guardian, link): "David Cameron has offered to deploy an extra six British officers from the National Crime Agency to a special Europol intelligence cell in Sicily to “disrupt the trafficking and smuggling gangs”" and British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that the UK will support Italy’s works to deal with the migration crisis (New Europe, link)
GERMANY: Commissioner slams data retention policies - Germany’s Commissioner for Data Protection has published her latest report criticizing government plans on mass data retention laws.A previous supporter of such practices, her new position came as a surprise.(DW, link)
Europeans could get data protection rights in U.S. (Politico, link)
University research on terrorism may never be free from interference - Government agencies are regular attendees at academic meetings on conflict and terrorism, but their influence may affect the transparency of research (Guardian, link)
Hungary to fence off border with Serbia to stop migrants (Reuters, link): "Hungary announced plans on Wednesday to build a four-meter-high fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of illegal migrants, a move that triggered a swift rebuke from the United Nations Refugee Agency."
Europol and CTED affirm closer partnership to address the foreign terrorist fighter threat (link): "On 11 June 2015, experts from the European Police Office (Europol) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) met in New York to discuss the next phase of cooperation. In light of emerging terrorist threats and challenges, both teams affirmed their eagerness and readiness to bring their cooperation closer in order to increase deliverables, in particular in the areas of addressing the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, preventing the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, effective border control, and enhancing capacity-building of Member States. " and Action against Threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters Must Be Ramped Up, Security Council Urges in High-Level Meeting (UN, link)
France, Germany, and Italy outline migrant plan (euobserver, link)
Danish election: Opposition bloc wins (BBC News, link): "With all mainland votes counted, the centre-right group led by ex-PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen beat PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt's centre-left coalition, although her party is the largest. Ms Thorning-Schmidt has now stood down as Social Democratic Party leader. The right-wing, anti-immigration Danish People's Party will become the second-largest in parliament."
Hungary's anti-migrant fence draws rebuke (euobserver, link)
EU ministers back weaker data protection rules (euobserver, link)
EU Transparency and decision-making: NON PAPER – April 2015: Denmark - Estonia - Finland – The Netherlands – Slovenia - Sweden: Enhancing transparency in the EU (pdf)
"This paper mentions several steps that could be taken within the Council framework to enhance transparency, most importantly by focusing on active transparency, whereby the institutions pro-actively make their documents public and work in the most transparent manner."
Privacy Advocates Walk Out in Protest Over U.S. Facial Recognition Code of Conduct (The Intercept, link):
"Technology industry lobbyists have so thoroughly hijacked the Commerce Department process for developing a voluntary code of conduct for the use of facial recognition technology that nine privacy advocates involved withdrew in protest on Monday.
“At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,” the privacy advocates wrote in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise.”
News Digest 17.6.15
UK: Evidence of police complicity in blacklisting of trade unionists stretches back decades - Police are alleged to have been covertly helping companies to blacklist trade unionists since before the Second World War (Guardian, link)
EU: Ministers reject Commission’s immigrant quota proposal (euractiv, link): "Meeting in Luxembourg yesterday (16 June), EU interior ministers rejected a plan by the European Commission to distribute 40,000 immigrants from Italy and Greece to the other member countries, according to quotas proposed by the EU executive." and Syria refugees: Nowhere to go (euobserver, link)
"Refugee crisis may endanger free travel within Europe' (DW, link): "German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has warned that failure to tackle refugees could make EU countries reintroduce border checks. This could have adverse effects on free travel within the Schengen region."
CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation: Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics: Read the document: ‘Human experimentation’ and the CIA (Guardian, link)
EU: No agreement on sharing "relocation" of migrants: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 15-16 June 2015, Luxembourg: Final press release (pdf):
"As regards the concrete proposal on relocation, Ministers stressed that on the basis of the principle of solidarity they are all ready to make an effort to help member states under a particular migratory pressure. Several delegations stressed the necessity to strike the right balance between solidarity and responsibility.. Ministers invited the Council’s preparatory bodies to continue these discussions with the aim of achieving full implementation as soon as possible."
See also; Civil Liberties Committee Chair, Claude Moraes, regrets EU minister's failure to reach agreement on the migration package (EP Press release, pdf)
"Judges ruled today that an Estonian commercially-run Internet news portal was liable for the offensive online comments of its readers. In its grand chamber judgment in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia (application no. 64569/09), the European Court of Human Rights held, by 15 votes to two, that there had been:
no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. This was the first case in which the court had been called upon to examine a complaint about liability for user-generated comments on an Internet news portal."
Online book: Integrating Immigrants in Europe: Research-Policy Dialogues: Editors: Peter Scholten, Han Entzinger, Rinus Penninx, Stijn Verbeek (link). Download book (pdf) includes the following Chapter: Speaking Truth to Power? Why Civil Society, Beyond Academia, Remains Marginal in EU Migration Policy (pdf) by Ann Singleton:
"Many migrants are excluded from much of society, let alone the migration debates, by citizenship laws, poverty, gendered social and economic injustice and
institutional racism. They are structurally excluded and their lives are hidden from the priorities and gaze of the academic-policy nexus (notwithstanding some excellent qualitative research, social media and ‘on the ground’ campaigns). Those whose lives are directly affected by migration policy and practice, namely recent
migrants, migrant groups, as well as the wider civil society, remain largely marginalised and their voices unheard in the policy discussions. It begs the question, what is academic research on migration for?"
Intelligence, security and privacy: A Note by the Director (Ditchley Park, link):
See: Snowden leak: governments' hostile reaction fuelled public's distrust of spies - Leading figures in British and international intelligence and security community agree agencies need more transparency (Guardian, link)
Also: Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie (Craig Murray, link): "The Sunday Times has a story claiming that Snowden’s revelations have caused danger to MI6 and disrupted their operations. Here are five reasons it is a lie."
News Digest (16.5.15)
Harmony? What harmony! Disharmony extends to one-third of the Data Protection Regulation (Amberhawk, link), and: European Ministers Agree To Disagree On Data Protection Reform (Tech Crunch, link) also: Grumpy EU ministers agree shaky pact on new data protection law - Talks start this month with EU Parliament and Commish (The Register, link)
Italy threatens to give Schengen visas to migrants as EU ministers meet - Frustrated at infighting over sharing the migrant burden, Rome says it will issue temporary visas allowing travel beyond Italy if an equitable deal is not reached (Guardian, link)
UN says one million refugees should be no problem for EU (euractiv, link)
Danish elections: A race to the bottom on immigration (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation: Data Protection: Council agrees on a general approach (Press release, pdf) and 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) - Preparation of a general approach (201 pages, 11 June, pdf):
"All changes made to the original Commission proposal are underlined; where text has been deleted, this is indicated by (…). Where existing text has been moved, this text is indicated in italics....The comments of delegations on the text of the Regulation.... are reflected in the Outcome of proceedings of the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee on 9 June 2015 (9788/15)." [emphasis added]
Council document: 9788-15 (pdf) with 649 Member States' positions still on 9 June.
The previous: Consolidated version of the Council's negotiating position as at 5 June 2015: 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) (LIMITE doc no 9657-15, pdf) With 268 pages and still 646 Member States' positions.
European Parliament: Data protection: Parliament’s negotiators welcome Council negotiating brief (Press release, pdf) and and EP negotiating position set out in the Annex to this report (pdf)
EDRI and PI: Privacy and Data Protection under threat from EU Council agreement (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Connected Continent: Council Presidency "compromise": Proposal for a Regulation laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent, and amending Directives 2002/20/EC, 2002/21/EC and 2002/22/EC and Regulations (EC) No 1211/2009 and (EU) No 531/2012 - Examination of the Presidency compromise text concerning open internet and amending Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union (LIMITE doc no 9931-15, pdf): "Compared to doc. 9167/15 additions are marked with bold and deletions are marked with strikethrough."
"This weekend’s Download Festival will be subjected to strategic facial recognition technology by Leicestershire Police, making those 100,000 plus attendees the first music fans to ever be monitored to this extent at a UK music festival, according to UK police news and information website Police Oracle..... The announcement article on Police Oracle reads, "the strategically placed cameras will scan faces at the Download Festival site in Donington before comparing it with a database of custody images from across Europe." [emphasis added]. See:
Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE - Face recog tech, RFID tracking – gotta love Donington Park (The Register, link) and UK: Police exploit law to collect 18 million facial images (Statewatch database)
News Digest (15.6.15)
EU states in ‘deals to shut Eritrean borders’ - UN raises concerns that secret deals are being brokered with ‘Africa’s North Korea’ in an effort to stop migrants coming to Europe (Observer, link): "UN officials and human rights organisations are increasingly concerned at what they believe are secret deals being drawn up between Eritrea and European Union nations, which may involve the regime being given money or having sanctions lifted in return for imposing tougher border controls."
Sniffer mice are being trained in Israel to detect explosives at airports (Independent, link): ""At present no UK airport has plans to recruit rodents to tail terrorists but they could be one element in the emerging "risk-based" approach to security, where individuals are profiled in advance and assigned a risk profile. A passenger with an unusual travel history is likely to arouse more interest than a family going on holiday."
Italy's Renzi warns EU on refugees as neighbors block border crossings (Reuters, link): "Italy stepped up calls for a change to European asylum rules on Sunday as neighboring states tightened border controls, turning back African migrants and leaving hundreds stranded at the frontier in northern Italy." and see: Tri-nation patrols at railway stations (Statewatch database, link)
Timing of claims that British spies were withdrawn over Edward Snowden documents is 'extremely convenient', say campaigners (Independent, link) and The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story is Journalism at its Worst - and Filled with Falsehoods (The Intercept, link). Also Snowden files 'read by Russia and China': five questions for UK government - The government has an obligation to respond to the Sunday Times report that MI6 has been forced to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries (Guardian, li nk)
UK: There is no real case for a snooper’s charter – but that won’t stop it - Anderson’s landmark report showed that mass storage of data had little justification. Yet ministers and Home Office officials are likely to plough on regardless (Guardian, link)
Italian police once again push back migrants at French border (Press TV, link): "Italian police have once again pushed back a group of African migrants who have been holding a sit-in at a border crossing to France"
EU-USA data protection: Besserer Schutz für europäische Daten in den USA: Große Konzerne wie Facebook oder Google können Daten ihrer europäischen Nutzer in die USA übertragen. Bisher war nicht ausgeschlossen, dass die Daten bei den US-Behörden landen. Das soll sich ändern (morgenpost.de, link) [Better protection for European data in the United States - Large corporations such as Facebook or Google can transfer data of their European users in the United States. So far not ruled out that the data end up with the US authorities. That should change]
Belgian privacy watchdog sues Facebook (euobserver, link)
As election nears, Danish parties vow tighter immigration rules (Reuters, link)
'Mind your own business!' UN official blasted for ordering Britain to take MORE refugees - BRITAIN should be forced to take in more of the flood of migrants making their way across the Mediterranean, according to a senior UN official. (Daily Express, link)
Portugal ranks second worldwide on integrating immigrants (portugalglobal.pt)
TTIP: EU trade bill threatens media freedom (euobserver, link): "NGOs and journalists’ associations warn that the legislation could endanger freedom of expression and information. The main reason for concern is an unreasonably broad definition of "trade secrets". Companies could sue anyone who "unlawfully acquires, uses or discloses" a secret business informations. Trade unions say that even informations about future mergers or redundancies could fall under the scope of the directive. "
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 15-16 June, Luxembourg:
EU: EUROPOL: General Report on Europol's activities in 2014 (pdf) Includes:
"Large File Exchange (LFE): The LFE solution enables the secure exchange of large files that exceed the size limit (50MB) of the Europol Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) when the need arises (for example sending an image of a hard drive or copy of a server)." [emphasis added]
News Digest (13-14.6.15)
ITALY: Clear out African migrants, Lega Nord governor orders in stand-off with Rome - Surge in support for rightwing party emboldens Northern League’s Luca Zaia as humanitarian crisis creates political upheaval (Observer, link)
Chilcot report into the Iraq war 'unlikely to be published for another year' (Independent on Sunday, link)
USA-NSA: Germany drops inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone - Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency (Guardian, link)
Italy complain after Swastika is found on turf in Croatia (Eurosport, link): "Croatia's 1-1 Euro 2016 qualifying draw at home to Italy was marred by a racist incident when a swastika cross appeared on the pitch in a match played behind closed doors on Friday. Imprinted into the grass of the Poljud stadium, the swastika was noticeable in the first half of the Group H fixture played without any fans present after the Croatians had been given a one-match ban for prior offences. "
Twitter 'endangering national security' says top cop - The micro-blogging site is slammed for policy of alerting customers who may be under surveillance, as it emerges two out of three requests are blocked (Daily Telegraph, link): "Twitter is endangering national security by tipping-off customers who may be under surveillance by the security services, one of Britain’s most senior policing figures has said, as it emerged the technology company blocks two-thirds of Government requests for information"
ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War, U.S. Concludes (INYT, link)
Asylum seekers set for pay-outs after fast track appeals ruled 'structurally unfair' (Daily Telegraph, link): "Ian Macdonald QC, former chairman of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association, said the decision – if the Government’s appeal is unsuccessful – could cost thousands of pounds in compensation payments." See: High Court quashes Detained Fast Track asylum appeals process (Detention Action, link) and see: Judgment (pdf)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 15-16 June, Luxembourg: Background Note (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: LIMITE documents: Migration - Policy debate & European Council draft Conclusions
- European Agenda on Migration - Policy debate (LIMITE doc no: 9825-15, pdf) Many areas of disagreement between Member States on how to respond to the crisis in the Mediterranean:
""Immediate Action" but also builds on four pillars as a basis for a comprehensive European migration policy: - Reducing incentives for irregular migration; - Border management; - Strong common asylum policy; - New policy on legal migration....
There is wide consensus with regard to the need to further cooperate with third countries since both the root causes of and solutions to migration related issues can be sought there. In order to ensure a genuinely comprehensive approach, some Member States have suggested to strengthen the links with the Internal Security Strategy and measures proposed therein....
Member States’ views differ on the proposed concept of relocation in order to respond to high volumes of arrivals that includes temporary scheme for persons in need of international national protection.. The total number of persons to be relocated, the available funding, and the capacity of the Member
States' structures to deal with relocation were equally questioned..." [emphasis added]
and: Update: COR -1 (LIMITE doc no: 9825-15, 12 June 2015, pdf)
- European Council (25 and 26 June 2015) - Draft guidelines for the conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 8392-15, pdf): Covers Mediterranean crisis response, security challenges, economic issues, the Digital Agenda and the UK:
Position on "1. "Relocation / resettlement p.m." is blank as is Position: "IV. UK p.m" and "Return policy: Mobilise all tools to promote readmission of unauthorised economic migrants to countries of origin and transit...." [emphasis added]
UK: MINERS STRIKE 1984-1985: ORGREAVE: Despite finding evidence of assault, police withholding evidence and committing perjury the IPPC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) decides not to investiage any further: IPPC Decision (pdf) and IPPC Review (pdf)
See: Orgreave: Truth and Justice Campaign (link): "Whilst disappointed, OTJC members are not surprised that the IPCC will not be conducting a full investigation into policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. It was back in November 2012 that South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC, which ever since has acted slowly and conducted little independent work in assembling and collating information. The fact that the IPCC, described – rightly in our view – by many prominent individuals as ‘not fit for purpose’, is stepping aside on Orgreave affairs will not therefore be deterring the OTJC from continuing its campaign." [epmhasis added]
See the excellent video: The Battle for Orgreave (YouTube, link, viewed 67,204 times): "The miners' strike 1984 was one of the longest and most brutal in British labour history. A community fighting for jobs and survival was wholly denigrated and depicted as violent by the majority of the media. THE BATTLE FOR ORGREAVE puts the record straight, as miners recount their own history.."
Orgreave: What they wouldn't say in public (Morning Star, link): "As early as 1991 ministers were privately admitting that there may have been problems with the policing during the most infamous incident of the miners’ strike"
IPCC will not investigate Orgreave police action during miners' strike - Watchdog says 1984 events too long ago despite evidence that officers assaulted miners, perverted the course of justice and committed perjury (Guardian, link): "In a report to be published on Friday, the IPCC says that the force’s withholding of evidence about improper treatment of miners and perjury by officers, and its failure to investigate it, “raises doubts about the ethical standards of senior officers at South Yorkshire police at that time” and suggests they were complicit. However, after two and a half years’ research into evidence relating to the bitter Orgreave confrontation and prosecutions which followed, the IPCC has decided not to investigate further."
EU: Jump before you’re pushed: the CJEU rules on the voluntary departure of irregular migrants (EU Law Analysis, link): "For the first time, the CJEU ruled yesterday (in its judgment in Zh and O) on the provisions of the EU’s Returns Directive (the main set of rules governing the expulsion of irregular non-EU migrants) concerning ‘voluntary departure’. The word ‘voluntary’ is a euphemism here, of course..."
See: Full-text of Judgment (pdf)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Prosecutors improperly withheld crucial evidence from trial of protesters - Police and prosecutors are facing claims that they have systematically - and unfairly - concealed the operations of undercover officers from the trials of protesters (Guardian, link).
See also: IPPC report on Mark Kennedy and collapsed trials - 2012 (pdf)
News Digest (12.6.15)
UK fast-track asylum system unlawful - High Court quashes Detained Fast Track asylum appeals process (Detention Action, link) and see: Judgment (pdf)
Ursula K. Le Guin Calls on Fantasy and Sci Fi Writers to Envision Alternatives to Capitalism - This award-winning author explains how fantasy and science fiction writers can stand up to the corporate system. (YES, link)
EU-MEXICO: "We agreed on the importance of discussing the issue of Passenger Name Records as a matter of priority. In this context, the EC has requested a mandate for negotiating a bilateral agreement with Mexico from the Council." See Statement (pdf) See: European Commission in a pickle over PNR - Mexico and Argentina about to implement PNR laws requiring "the transfer of passenger data from air carriers that operate in [their] countries" (Statewatch database)
FBI surveillance planes flying over US cities linked to fake companies (link) and FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities (Washington Post, link) also: How I tracked FBI aerial surveillance - Those mysterious planes overhead are actually government surveillance aircraft (AT, link)
Retain spot border checks, says German police union (DW, link): "Germany should retain spot checks at its borders despite Europe's Schengen policy on free travel, says the largest German police trade union. The GdP says "illegal entries" appeared rife during last week's G7 summit... German federal police detected 10,555 "illegal entrants" and 1,056 people sought on warrant during G7 summit-related spot checks."
Ex-Guantánamo prisoner stopped from boarding France to Canada flight - Airline says Mourad Benchellali is on the No Fly list and aircraft passes through US airspace. He addresses youth groups in Europe to dissuade them from jihad (Guardian, link)
UK: A question of trust? Anderson report lays out tests for surveillance laws - Analysis: Expert wants tougher hurdles for security services before snooping powers are extended but judicial warrant proposal is unlikely to succeed (Guardian, link)
USA: Patriot Act Reform Curbed NSA; Cybersecurity Bill Would Empower It (Intercept, link)
GREECE: Attica’s 17,700 homeless to get mobile showers, laundries (ekathimerini.com, link)
UK: Muslim students threaten to sue college after being suspended for complaining of Islamophobia (Independent, link): "Three Muslim A level students are threatening to sue their sixth form college after they were suspended shortly before sitting their exams for sending an email to students and staff complaining of Islamophobia."
UK: Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon denied compensation (BBC News,link): "Two men who served long sentences before their convictions were overturned have lost High Court actions in their fight for compensation" and see Full-text: Judgment (pdf)
UK-EU: Tory plans will destroy human rights across Europe, warns Dominic Grieve - Conservative MP says the government’s plan to leave Strasbourg court threatens to make the European convention on human rights inoperable (Guardian, link) See also: Statewatch Analysis: UK: The new government’s assault on civil liberties (pdf) by Chris Jones:
UK: SURVEILLANCE POWERS: Report from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation: Statement by the Inpdendent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation on publication of the Investigatory Powers Review (‘A Question of Trust’) (Press release, pdf) and Full-report (382 pages, 2MB reduced pdf version) and Section on the law in other "Five-Eyes states" (pdf)
For full list of documents and annexes see: IRTL site (link)
See also: UK Investigatory Powers Review: A New Blueprint for Surveillance? (Just Security, link): "privacy campaigners may be unhappy with Anderson’s endorsement of the contention that the law should seek to minimize the (virtual) areas where individuals’ actions are beyond the reach of investigation."
And UK intelligence agencies should keep mass surveillance powers, report says - Report by official reviewer of counter-terrorism laws also says power to issue interception warrants should be transferred from ministers to judges" (Guardian, link)
EU: European Commission: Commission Implementing Decision: Annual Work Programme for 2015 for support to Union Actions under the Internal Security Fund – Police cooperation and crime prevention (pdf):
"Call for proposals restricted to EU Member States aiming at improving law enforcement information exchange by interconnecting Passenger Information Units (PIUs) to facilitate the exchange of PNR data... The ambition is to embed PNR into a wider context of law enforcement information exchange and include European Information Exchange Model (EIXM) related topics given the uneven development of relevant initiatives among EU Member States and the need to share experiences between EU Member States with Member States that are most advanced in the lead...These action grants will be awarded through a call for proposals restricted to the EU Member States" (see pp9-10) [emphasis added]
See: Travel surveillance: PNR by the back door (Statewatch database)
BELGIUM: The Constitutional Court repeals the transposition of the data retention directive (nurpa, link) [The Constitutional Court annulled the law on the retention of communication data] "two actions for annulment brought independently, the Constitutional Court today ruled against the widespread retention of communication metadata. This decision is in line with a recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidating the directive behind Belgian law".
And see: Judgment (French, link)
News Digest (11.6.15)
USA: TORTURE: Proposed Torture Ban Includes New Transparency and Oversight Mechanisms (Intercept, link): require the Pentagon and all federal agencies to conduct interrogations in accordance with the Army Field Manual, which forbids the worst of the Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” techniques documented last year by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the post-9/11 torture program."
GREECE: Lesvos mayor pleads for help with migrant influx (ekathimerini.com, link)
Fake mobile phone towers found to be ‘actively listening in’ on calls in UK (Independent, link): "The London Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering."
UK-ECHR: Jean Charles de Menezes arguments heard in Strasbourg - Case against Metropolitan police over killing of Brazilian electrician in 2005 reaches European court of human rights (Guardian, link): "De Menezes died on 22 July 2005; his death came a fortnight after four men detonated devices on London’s transport system, killing 52 other people, and a day after the further failed attacks of 21 July, when five bombs failed to explode at Tube stations and on a bus. Two members of the Met’s armed unit, CO19, opened fire centimetres away from De Menezes’s head as another officer pinned him into a seat on an underground train at Stockwell station."
German watchdog doubts constitutionality of data retention plans (euractiv, link): "Germany’s Federal Data Protection Commissioner issued clear criticism against the government’s bill on data retention, saying it not only amounts to a disproportionate violation of Germans’ basic civil rights, but also those of Europeans." See: Stellungnahme der Bundesbeauftragten für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit zum Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Einführung einer Speicherpflicht und einer Höchstspeicherfrist für Verkehrsdaten (pdf) [Comments by the Federal Commissioner for Privacy and Freedom of Information for Draft law on the introduction of a Memory requirement and a maximum storage period for traffic data]
Protect journalists from Trade Secrets Directive, French MPs say (euractiv, link): "French MPs have called on the European institutions to rework the Trade Secrets bill, which they say hampers the freedom of information and puts journalists' sources at risk."
Mastermind: The evil genius behind the migrant crisis (Newsweek, link)
EU: Comment: The case for radical change in Europe can’t be left to the nationalist right - by Seumas Milne (link): "Greece’s punishment and Cameron’s referendum games underline who really calls the shots in the EU...As things stand, however, voters in Britain will next year be offered the choice of a yet more corporate-controlled EU, shorn of social protections – or withdrawal on the terms of the nationalist right. In the interests of both Britain and Europe, that needs to change, and quickly." And see: The TTIP trade deal will throw equality before the law on the corporate bonfire by George Monbiot (link): "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a reckless destruction of democratic principles. But we can beat it."
EU: European Parliament Study: Privacy and Data Protection Implications of the Civil Use of Drones (pdf):
"At the request of the LIBE Committee, this research addresses the implications of the integration of drones for civilian use into the European civil aviation system. It notably looks into the EU policy on drones and the potential impacts on citizens' right to privacy and data protection, as well as on security and safety. The research concludes that a series of important pre-conditions still need to be addressed and met in order to ensure that drones do not pose serious risks for citizens' fundamental rights to privacy and data protection, to security and to safety."
See also: Statewatch Report: Eurodrones Inc
UK: Schools monitoring pupils' web use with 'anti-radicalisation software' - Software flags up trigger words and phrases such as ‘jihadi bride’, ‘jihobbyist’ and ‘you only die once’ (Guardian, link) and see: Impero (link)
ECHR: Menezes hearing at the European Court of Human Rights: Grand Chamber hearing concerning fatal shooting in the London Underground of a Brazilian national mistakenly identified by the police as a suicide bomber (Press release, pdf):
"The applicant, Patricia Armani Da Silva, is a Brazilian national who was born in 1974 and lives in Thornton Heath, London.
The case concerns her complaint about the police’s fatal shooting of her cousin, Jean Charles de Menezes, aged 27, who was mistakenly identified as a terrorist suspect and shot dead on 22 July 2005 by two special firearms officers (SFOs) at Stockwell London Underground Station."
USA-GUANTANAMO: Congressional Research Service: Note: House Votes to Keep Guantanamo Open (pdf): "After rejecting a floor amendment that would have eased Guantanamo detainee transfer restrictions after the Administration’s submission of a detailed plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the House voted to clamp down on detainee transfers, prohibiting them altogether in certain circumstances."
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: Forthcoming Grand Chamber judgment concerning the liability of an Internet news portal for offensive online comments (Press relese, pdf):
"The European Court of Human Rights will be delivering a Grand Chamber judgment1 in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia (application no. 64569/09) at a public hearing on 16 June 2015 at 2.30 p.m. in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg.... The owner of the ferry company sued Delfi in April 2006, and successfully obtained a judgment against it in June 2008. The Estonian court found that the comments were defamatory, and that Delfi was responsible for them. The owner of the ferry company was awarded 5,000 kroons in damages (around 320 euros)."
Delfi AS is appealing against this Judgment (Press release, pdf) by the ECHR
UK: Indefinite detention is wrong, says watchdog (IMB, link):
"In its 2014 Annual Report, published today after election purdah, the Independent Monitoring Board at Yarl’s Wood draws attention to the harmful effects of lengthy, indefinite periods of detention and calls for reform.
68 women were detained at Yarl’s Wood for more than six months in 2014, and one woman was detained for 800 days, before being released. The IMB recommends a time limit on detention, such as the six months laid down in the 2008 European Returns Directive"
See: Full-text of Report (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: After ACTA: EU needs new tools to protect EU intellectual property rights (pdf):
"The EU needs better tools to protect EU intellectual property in third countries, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. They ask the EU Commission to look into appropriate means and methods to this end. In a separate resolution, also voted on Tuesday, they also advocate assessing and adjusting intra-EU rules to combat online breaches of intellectual property rights (IPRs)."
News Digest (10.6.15)
EP-HUNGARY: Hungary: MEPs condemn Orbán’s death penalty statements and migration survey (Press release, pdf): "The European Parliament asks the European Commission to assess the situation in Hungary and to establish an EU mechanism to monitor democracy, the rule of law and human rights annually across the EU, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. Reinstating the death penalty in Hungary would breach the EU Treaties and Charter of fundamental rights, and the wording of the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration is "highly misleading, biased and unbalanced", it says."
Estonia: Court set for judgement on internet news portal’s liability for offensive online comments - A human rights court judgment on the liability of an Internet news portal for offensive online comments will be made public next week (CoE, link)
Divided EU Parliament postpones vote on TTIP (euractiv, link): "he European Parliament failed on Tuesday (9 June) to agree a unified stance on a proposed trade deal with the United States, postponing a vote that was meant to cement its support for the biggest accord of its kind."
The Government’s case against the European Court of Human Rights is a smokescreen (Democratic Audit, link) and see: ActForTheAct (link)
UK: Violent crime against women massively understated, statistics agency told - Crime Survey of England and Wales fails to account for nearly half the attacks on women, particularly those where victim knows the attacker, warns professor (Guardian, link)
GREECE: Citizenship bill to apply to ‘fewer than 100,000,’ minister says (ekathimerini.com, link)
UK: Track the Act: European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 (House of Parliament, link)
TTIP: The obscure legal system that lets corporations sue countries - Fifty years ago, an international legal system was created to protect the rights of foreign investors. Today, as companies win billions in damages, insiders say it has got dangerously out of control (Guardian, link)
Know your enemy: How to break the EU’s gridlock on security measures (Centre for European Reform, link)
Jean-Marie Le Pen visé par une enquête pour blanchiment de fraude fiscale [Jean-Marie Le Pen under a tax fraud money laundering investigation] (Le Monde, link)
How just is the EU, or: is there a ‘new’ European deficit? (verfassungsblog.de, link)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: UK: The new government’s assault on civil liberties (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"On Thursday 8 May the UK election saw the Conservative Party return to power. With no formal coalition (they previously governed with the Liberal Democrats), they now have more leeway to try to advance an agenda that, if successful, will be deeply damaging to civil liberties and human rights. This article provides an overview of the government’s intentions.
The major civil liberties issues included in the Conservative programme include new digital surveillance powers for the security agencies, known more commonly in the UK as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ proposals; yet more anti-terrorism and counter-radicalisation laws; the abolition of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a ‘British Bill of Rights’; further restrictions on immigration and migrants; and new restrictions on the right to strike."
European Parliament to postpone vote on TTIP (Politico, link): "Divisions within the two major party groups in the European Parliament have forced the president of the assembly, Martin Schulz, to postpone Wednesday’s scheduled vote on trade talks between the EU and U.S."
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Consolidated version of the Council's negotiating position as at 5 June 2015: 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) (LIMITE doc no 9657-15, pdf) With 268 pages and still 646 Member States' positions:
"consolidated version of the General Data Protection Regulation as it stands after the meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Counsellors on 5 June 2015.
With a view to preparing a text for a General approach which obtains the required majority in Council on 15/16 June 2015, the Presidency prepared new compromise suggestions."
And: SCOPE: Chapter I - Article 2(e) - scope of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Directive (LIMITED doc no: 8745-REV- 3-15, pdf): A crucial issue seeking to limit access in the proposed Directive on the exchange of personal information between law enforcement agencies as it would affect the Regulation in matters of the maintenance of public order and national security:
"Following the discussion in the JHA Counsellors' meeting on 5 June the text in subject was amended taking into account comments of delegations....
The activities carried out by the police or other law enforcement authorities are mainly focused on the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, including police activities without prior knowledge if an incident is a criminal offence or not. This These can also includes the exercise of authority by taking coercive measures, such as police activities at demonstrations, and major sporting events and riots... aimed at preventing human behaviour which may lead to threats to fundamental interests of the society (…) protected by law and which may lead to a criminal offence...
AT proposed to add to the recital: „Administrative tasks such as tasks with regard to the right of association and assembly, immigration and asylum or civil protection shall not be considered as activities falling under the prevention of threats of public security....
Since this Directive should not apply to the processing of personal data in the course of an activity which falls outside the scope of Union law, activities of agencies or units dealing with national security issues should not be considered as (…) activities falling under the scope of this Directive."
See: Council of Europe criticises racism in Hungary, Poland (euractiv, link): "The Council of Europe’s expert group on racism and intolerance today (9 June) called for action to fight prejudice in Hungary and Poland, after publishing damning reports on the two countries."
News in Brief (9.6.15)
Prosecutors improperly withheld crucial evidence from trial of protesters - Police and prosecutors are facing claims that they have systematically - and unfairly - concealed the operations of undercover officers from the trials of protesters (Guardian, link): "Prosecutors have been ordered to pay the legal bill of 29 environmental protesters who were unjustly convicted. The Crown Prosecution Service has been forced to pay £43,000 after conceding that crucial evidence gathered by an undercover police officer was improperly withheld from the protesters’ trial. The money covers the legal costs incurred by the protesters and their out-of-pocket expenses."
Protesters mount last-ditch bid to prevent Glasgow student's deportation - Majid Ali, who claims he would be in danger if he returned to Pakistan, due to be deported from the UK imminently despite efforts to have his case reviewed (Guardian, link)
Chief Superintendent tells court gardaí in ‘Catch 22’ policing water meter protests (Irish Times, link): "A Chief Superintendent has told the High Court that locations where water meters were being installed were not public areas for the purpose of the Public Order Act, leaving gardaí with a difficulty when it came to policing protests.On November 5th, the High Court granted an order to a water meter installation contractor, establishing the 20-metre exclusion zone around locations where its workers were installing meters in Dublin City.....
Migrant Rights Film Among Finalists for Top Italian Prize (Liberties.eu, link)
GREECE: Golden Dawn trial staggers along (ekathimerini.com, link)
Five false assumptions driving EU migration policy (IRIN, link) and see: Before the Boat: Understanding the Migrant Journey (MPI, link)
Read the TPP (link)
Italy PM Renzi attacks northern regions for refusing migrants (BBC News, link)
N IRELAND: Fighting the Repeal of the Human Rights Act (CAJ, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Follow-up to the statement of the Members of the European Council of 12 February 2015 on counter-terrorism: Report on implementation of measures (LIMITE doc no: 9422-25, pdf): Includes:
"Deepening of cooperation of Member States' security services: At the initiative of the Latvian Presidency, Member States' security services informed COREPER on 16 April 2015 about their cooperation, which takes place outside EU structures...."
The "Club of Venice" (informal network of Member States communications directors) will have a meeting in Vienna in June 2015 focusing on communication challenges related to preventing radicalisation, an exchange of views on Member States' communication strategies and activities. Attention will be paid to the use of new media instruments (effectiveness, affordability, outreach, monitoring)....
On Libya, a second Political Framework for a Crisis Approach (PFCA) was provided and discussed by the Foreign Affairs Council in April 2015. Counter-terrorism aspects were part of the PFCA. Building on the PFCA and further developments, a CT strategy for Libya will be prepared as soon as conditions on the ground allow..." [emphasis added]
See also: On the EU and political situation in Libya: Interim Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya (LIMITE doc no: 7886, pdf): "The previous Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya, undertaken in May 2014, had highlighted the importance (and fragility) of a political transition and stable security situation as essential prerequisites to underpin the viability of the mission. These two key assumptions have not been met, although it should be noted that many elements of the previous review, in particular the decision to focus on operational activities through pilot projects in Libya, might still be applicable in the event that a sustainable political and security transition does eventually occur."
And: Regarding: "enhanced checks of the relevant databases and Member State capacity to do so, the Commission had issued informal recommendations" Foreign Fighters: Application of the Schengen Border Code – Follow-up (LIMITE doc no: 16880-14, pdf)
News Digest (8.6.15)
EDPS: Speech by: European Data Protection Supervisor: Brussels, 5 June 2015: European Anti-Fraud Congress: Anti-fraud investigations and data protection in the EU (pdf)
New Director General in the Council General Secretariat: "On 8 June 2015, the Council appointed Ms Christine Roger as Director General responsible for Justice and Home Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council as from 1 July 2015."
Many EU countries say “no” to immigration quotas (euractiv, link): "The European Commission has submitted a proposal to find a fairer way to admit and distribute asylum seekers in the EU. But it’s up to the member states to decide, and many don’t accept the proposed distribution of migrants."
SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines - The unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been converted into a global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.(International New York Times, link) Exclusive: Detainee Alleges CIA Sexual Abuse, Torture Beyond Senate Findings (INYT, link) and Link to US CIA torture report
EU Council of the European Union: Foreign Relations & the Charter
- OUTCOMES: Summary of discussions of the Foreign Relations Counsellors/Sanctions formation Working Party meeting held on 29 May 2015 (LIMITE doc no: 9690-15, pdf) including Swift adoption of EU legal acts implementing UN Sanctions, Reporting obligations to the UN, Prohibition of extension and payment of counter-guarantees and Cultural goods.
- CHARTER 2014: Draft Council conclusions on the application of the Charter on Fundamental Rights in 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 9409-15, pdf) Including:
"The Council emphasises the importance of complying with fundamental rights in the EU asylum and migration policy at all stages, starting with the arrival of migrants and asylum seekers in the EU, through to migrant and refugee integration, and the return of those with no right to remain....
the Council invites the Member States to strictly enforce the immigration and asylum acquis, including the respect for the procedures and standards that allow Europe to ensure a humane and dignified treatment and a proportionate use of coercive measures, in line with fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement, and to reinforce the protection of the fundamental rights of asylum-seekers, paying particular attention to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as children." [emphasis added]
UNHCR: OPTIONS PAPER 1: Options for governments on care arrangements and alternatives to detention for children and families and OPTIONS PAPER 2: Options for governments on open reception and alternatives to detention (links)
CoE: Counter terrorism and human rights protection (Commissioner for Human Rights, link):
"Forfeiting human rights in the fight against terrorism is a grave mistake and an ineffective measure that may help the cause of the terrorists. Policies which are human rights compliant preserve the values the terrorists are trying to destroy, weaken support for radicalism among potential adherents, and strengthen public confidence in the rule of law."
EU: Council of he European Union: "WSIS+10", Internet stakeholders, Internal Security Strategy
- World Summit on the Information Society: Draft lines to take to guide the EU and its Member States in the preparatory process of the World Summit on the Information Society + 10 ("WSIS+10") Review Process - Approval (LIMITE doc no: 9334-15, pdf): "The Delegations will find in the Annex draft lines to take to guide the EU and its Member States in the preparatory process of the World Summit on the Information Society +10 (“WSIS+10”) Review Process".
- INTERNET STAKEHOLDERS: Draft Council Conclusions on the transfer of the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the multistakeholder community - Adoption (LIMITE doc no: 9482-15, pdf)
- INTERNAL SECURITY STRATEGY: Draft Council Conclusions on the Renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 (LIMITE doc no: 9416-15, pdf)
News in Brief (6-7.6.15)
G7 protesters unite in opposition to TTIP under the alpine sun - A stroll in the alps with protesters at the G7 summit at Garmisch – and ‘the largest police operation in the history of Bavaria’ (Guardian, link) and see: Securty for the G7 Summit in El&SHY;mau Federal Minister of the Interior temporarily reinstates border checks (link): "The checks are intended to meet security requirements, prevent potential violent offenders from entering the territory and ensure that the event can take place without disruptions." and No hiking, no hang-gliding, no helium balloons, the G7 is in town: Residents of the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen are annoyed. Some say the gathering of world leaders, and all its ‘brimborium’, is Merkel’s revenge (Guardian, link): "For days now the manhole covers have been sealed. Locals are controlled by police wherever they go and have been told to remove any flower boxes or woodpiles that are out on the street. There’s a virtual ban on hiking in the local forests, and hang-gliding. Indeed, flying of any kind – of private planes, kites, helium balloons or drones – is strictly forbidden. Police thinly disguised as hikers have been patrolling the forests for months, habitually stopping mountain bikers and ramblers and asking for their ID.."
International week of actions to close detention centres 15 - 21 June 2015 (link): "To all organizations and collectives that are working for the closure of migrant detention centres and against migration policies that criminalize migrants and refugees"
Greater Manchester Police officer sacked over 'offensive and racist' comments about Muslims on Facebook (Manchester Evening News, link)
G7: Protesters and police clash as G7 leaders prepare to discuss corruption and trade - Several people taken to hospital after scuffles in German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen as demonstrators, some throwing bottles, face off with riot police (Guardian link)
UK: Hundreds protest to demand closure of Yarl’s Wood immigration centre - Juliet Stevenson and Shami Chakrabarti speak out after abuse of women inmates is revealed in Channel 4 documentary (Guardian, link)
Trade treaty negotiations can remain secret, EU court rules (PC World, link)
Die Europol-Verordnung im Trilog [The Europol Regulation in the trilogue] (CILIP, link) by Eric Töpfer
UK: Nearly 1 million patients could be having confidential data shared against their wishes - Calls for an official investigation as it is disclosed that at least 700,000 patients opted out to having their GP data shared with third parties only to have their demands ignored. (Daily Telegraph, link)
Migrants turn to Greece-Turkey route to Europe (BBC News, link): "More migrants are trying to reach the EU via Turkey and Greece than taking the perilous sea crossing from Libya, the EU's border management agency says.So far this year around 46,000 migrants have used the eastern Mediterranean route, compared with 43,000 crossing between Libya and Italy, Frontex says." and UNHCR boosts presence in Greek islands to cope with soaring refugee arrivals (link)
CoE: DEMOCRATIC OVERSIGHT of SECURITY SERVICES: Reinforcing democratic oversight of security services cannot be further delayed
(Press release, pdf) and Report: Democratic and effective oversight of national security services (78 pages, pdf):
"This issue paper addresses the question of what is required to make national oversight systems more effective in helping to promote human rights compliance and accountability in the work of security services.
This issue paper focuses on the oversight of state bodies, including both autonomous agencies and departments/units of other government departments or the armed forces, that have a mandate to collect, analyse and disseminate intelligence within the borders of their state in order to inform decisions by policy makers, military
commanders, police investigators and border/customs agencies about threats to national security and other core national interests."
"The US Congress passed a Freedom Act this week, partially curbing its power to harvest bulk data on the lives of America’s citizens.... Meanwhile Britain’s government moves relentlessly in the opposite direction. It wants to revive the “snooper’s charter” bill, which failed in the last parliament. Among other things, this would give police and secret services more surveillance powers and, David Cameron hopes, ban server encryption that could impede surveillance."
UK: OFSTED: (HM Inspector of Prisons): Inspection of Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre: February 2015 (pdf).
See: Children suffer racist abuse and ‘degrading treatment’ by guards high on drugs at G4S Rainsbrook prison (Open Democracy, link): "G4S appoints “new leadership” at Rainsbrook: the man in charge when Gareth Myatt, 15, was restrained to death, the man who told an inquest he hadn’t read the restraint manual.
Liquid Traces - The Left-to-Die Boat Case Vimeo, link): "Liquid Traces offers a synthetic reconstruction of the events concerning what is known as the “left-to-die boat” case, in which 72 passengers who left the Libyan coast heading in the direction of the island of Lampedusa on board a small rubber boat were left to drift for 14 days in NATO’s maritime surveillance area, despite several distress signals relaying their location, as well as repeated interactions, including at least one military helicopter visit and an encounter with a military ship. As a result, only 9 people survived." See also: Left ot die - report (link)
SNOWDEN: UK-EU-USA: MASS SURVEILLANCE: Report from PI and Amnesty International: Two Years After Snowden: Protecting human rights in an age of mass surveillance (pdf):
"This briefing, published on the two-year anniversary of the publication of the first Snowden revelations, warns that governments are looking to maintain and expand mass surveillance, despite the practice being condemned as a human rights violation by courts, parliaments and human rights bodies. It comes on the heels of the adoption of the USA Freedom Act by the US Congress, a solitary and limited example of legislative rollback of surveillance powers since Edward Snowden's revelations began."
See also: Edward Snowden: The World Says No to Surveillance (New York Times, link):
"For the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we see the outline of a politics that turns away from reaction and fear in favor of resilience and reason. With each court victory, with every change in the law, we demonstrate facts are more convincing than fear. As a society, we rediscover that the value of a right is not in what it hides, but in what it protects."
News in Brief (5.6.15)
EU-MEXICO: EU - Mexico summit, Brussels, 12 June 2015 (pdf): "he summit should also provide an occasion for the leaders to take stock and welcome recent progress made in the field of Passenger Name Records (PNR). They will agree starting technical discussions on the use of such data by law enforcement agencies." See: Letter from Commissioner to Claude Moraes, Chair LIBE Committee (pdf) and Statewatch story filed on 8.3.15: European Commission in a pickle over PNR So far the EU has PNR agreements with the USA, Canada and Australia (close "Five Eyes" allies). Will the deal with Mexico open the door to dozens more?
EU: Integration requirements for third-country nationals: the first CJEU ruling (EU Law Analysis, link)
An Easy Target: Homophobia for Political Ends (HRW, link)
EU governments in disagreement over data breach liability rules (Outlaw, link): "EU governments are in disagreement over whether consumers should be able to sue businesses for damage they suffer as a result of a data breach even where those businesses are not responsible for the damage caused"
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Latest "consolidated" version of the Council's position (3 June 2015): 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)xxx (LIMITE doc no 9281-15, dated 3 June 2015,pdf) 267 pages, with 646 Footnotes with Member States' positions.
"a consolidated version of the General Data Protection Regulation as it stands after the meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Counsellors on 1 June 2015.... The comments of delegations are reflected in the footnotes"
This version supersedes the previous: 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) (LIMITE doc no:9398-15 dated 1 June 2015, pdf): 264 pages, with 626 Footnotes
USA: Airport Security: Astoundingly Expensive and 95 Percent Ineffective - A recent leaked report on the TSA revealed glaring failures by the agency. But screenings aren’t worth the cost even in the best of circumstances. (CityLab, link) and
EXCLUSIVE: Undercover DHS Tests Find Security Failures at US Airports (ABC News, link) and TSA Director Reassigned in Wake of Security Failures (ABC News, link) also: Yawning, Whistling Might Get You Flagged at Airport Security (ABC News, link)
UK: Immigration: battening down the hatches (IRR News, link) by Frances Webber:
"The second of a post-election three-part series on civil liberties in the UK observes how the Queen’s Speech immigration proposals contain more of the same old deterrence policies, creating more desperation, in the face of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II."
EU-USA & OTHERS: Trade in Services Agreement - Press release (Wikileaks, link):
"WikiLeaks releases today 17 secret documents from the ongoing TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) negotiations which cover the United States, the European Union and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan & Israel -- which together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. "Services" now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies and even in developing countries like Pakistan account for 53 per cent of the economy. While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become well known in recent months in the United States, the TISA is the larger component of the strategic TPP-TISA-TTIP 'T-treaty trinity'. All parts of the trinity notably exclude the 'BRICS' countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa."
And see: Statewatch: Analysis - TTIP and TiSA: big pressure to trade away privacy (pdf) by Ralf Bendrath,Senior Policy Advisor to Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP (Greens/EFA), Brussels
EU Court of Justice (CJEU): Dodgy ruling in Corporate Europe case: Its OK for the Commission to give documents to lobbyists, but not general public or NGOs: Judgment on appeal (pdf)
See: Blow for citizens as EU court backs privileged corporate access to EU trade talks (Corporate Observatory Europe, link): "In a decision that risks deepening the secrecy shrouding EU trade policy, the CJEU confirmed that the Commission did not violate EU access to documents rules by sharing information about the talks with big business lobbies while keeping it hidden from the public."
UK-ECHR: INQUEST: European Court of Human Rights – family to challenge UK government failure to prosecute police officers: background briefing on the broader context of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes (link):
" Deborah Coles, Co-Director, INQUEST who will be attending the hearing in Strasbourg alongisde the family and their lawyers. The failure to bring any criminal prosecutions against police officers responsible for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, by Metropolitan police officers on 22 July 2005 raises significant questions about how the state and its agents are held to account for killing its citizens.
Prosecutions are extremely rare after a death in custody, even where an inquest jury has returned a finding of unlawful killing. This has been and remains one of the most contentious issues in relation to the approach of the criminal justice system to deaths in all forms of custody."
EU-USA "UMBRELLA" AGREEMENT on the exchange of personal data: Agence Europe news agency reports that in Riga on 3 June the European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova, said that once the US Congress had passed the Judicial Redress Act that both side can finalise the "Umbrella" Agreement on data protection. ""We are not there yet, but we have not much further to go", the Commissioner said. The Agreement has been under negotiation since 2010 and the European Parliament has maintained that the new EU Regulation on data protection must be put in place first.
See: USA: Judicial Redress Bill (pdf) and also: European Parliament Study: The US legal system on data protection in the field of law enforcement. Safeguards, rights and remedies for EU citizens (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: EU-PNR: MEPs to discuss possible changes to Commission proposal (Press release, pdf): "Amendments to the EU Passenger Name Record data (EU PNR) proposal will be discussed in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Thursday 4 June from 11.15 to 12.15. Of the 836 amendments tabled, 47 were presented by rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK) in his draft report and 789 by MEPs from various political groups."
EU: MED-CRISIS: UN Security Council resolution on migrant trafficking halted (Ansa, link): "Preparation of a draft UN Security Council resolution to authorize an European mission against migrant traffickers in the Mediterranean "has been suspended until the issue of the consent of the Libyan authorities has been resolved," a diplomat of the UN Security Council told ANSA on Wednesday..... the same source said that "regarding implementation, cooperation is necessary from all parties in the country"; and the Libyan government can not give authorization because it does not control the whole territory."
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of maritime operation EUNAVFOR MED (Press release, pdf)
And see: Efforts to Secure Security Council Resolution on EU Migrant Plan “Paused” (MIgrants at Sea, link)
Also: Juncker: Commission won’t change its migration agenda (euractiv, link): "European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday (3 June) that in spite of opposition from some member states, the EU executive would not change its mind on the proposals it recently made in its attempt to find a fairer way to admit and distribute asylum seekers in the EU."
EU: European Parliament: JOINT INTA/LIBE PUBLIC HEARING: Trade agreements and data flows: Safeguarding the EU data protection standards (pdf) and Agenda (pdf)
EU: Visa Information System to start operations in China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan on 12 October 2015: Visa Information System (VIS): Commission Implementing Decision: (EU) 2015/854 of 1 June 2015 determining the date from which the Visa Information System (VIS) is to start operations in the nineteenth region (pdf):
See also: EU: Collection of personal data for the EU's Visa Information System spreads further across the globe (Statewatch database), EU: Law enforcement authorities to gain access to European visa database on 1 September and EU officials discuss interconnection of visa database and Schengen Information System
EU: European Parliament Study: Civil Judicial Expertise in the EU: Analysis of EU Legislation and Recommendations (pdf):
"this study provides an analysis of existing EU legislation applicable to judicial expertise for the purpose of assessing whether cross-border expertise in the EU is hampered or restricted, and whether steps could be taken to facilitate it and to further develop a genuine European area of civil justice. It concludes that, while existing EU law is largely satisfactory, there are still major issues, and that EU action would be necessary to address them."
EU-USA: European Parliament Study: The US legal system on data protection in the field of law enforcement. Safeguards, rights and remedies
for EU citizens (pdf) Key findings include:
"With the exception of FISA electronic surveillance orders, the data protection guarantees afforded to non-US persons are minimal. The stated intent of PPD-28 [Presidential Policy Directive 28] is to provide for stronger personal data protection for non-US persons, but it is difficult to come to any conclusions at this point in time on what effect it will have...
As David Kris puts it, PPD-28 could either be a “new paradigm of transparency, privacy, and internationalism in US intelligence” or a “collection of fairly modest changes, largely cosmetic in nature, that were designed to placate critics in the United States and abroad.....
..... Another question raised by this overview is the lack of legal limits in US law on the sharing of personal data between intelligence and law enforcement officials..... the law confers broad authority to transfer personal data collected through intelligence methods to law enforcement agencies, regardless of the type of criminal offense that is suspected.... Unlike EU law, US law does not contain a general prohibition on transfers of personal data to jurisdictions without
adequate data protection guarantees....
there are at least two important mechanisms that can be used in the bilateral agreements under negotiation to improve the rights of EU citizens.... The first is carefully drafted purpose, use, and sharing provisions that limit personal data processing to certain types of crimes...The second type of guarantee is oversight and redress mechanisms for EU citizens that can operate in conjunction with those currently in place under US law....
Although internal oversight bodies like Inspectors General and agency privacy offices lack the independence of European DPAs, they are tasked with enforcing civil liberties and have the capacity to administer ombudsman-like complaints systems for those who allege that their privacy rights have been violated. Ensuring that such an ombudsman process exists in all significant law enforcement agencies, expressly acknowledging a right to participate for EU citizens, and allowing European DPAs to intervene on the behalf of EU citizens would improve significantly legal oversight of privacy rights." [emphasis added]
See also: Executive Summary (EASFJ, link)
News Digest (4.6.15)
UK: Don't let the Snoopers' Charter Bounce Back! (Open Rights Group, link)
Hunting for Hackers, N.S.A. Secretly Expands Internet Spying at U.S. Border (New York Times, link)
SCOTLAND: Police statements row over death in custody (The National, link): "A MONTH after the death of Sheku Bayoh, police officers who were with him on the day he died in police custody in Kirkcaldy are to assist with the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner’s (PIRC) inquiry into his death. Sources tell The National that of the 11 police officers who had dealings with Bayoh on Sunday, May 3, only two officers have so far given statements to the inquiry. Unlike officers in England and Wales, Scottish police officers do not have to co-operate with investigators. The officers have not had to turn over their notebooks and are not banned from conferring with one another. Nor have they been taken off active duty." See also: Police reject Sheku Bayoh custody death criticism (BBC News, link) and BAYOH FAMILY HIT BACK (Glasgow lawyer, link)
Migrants in Greece: The struggle for a better life (.aljazeera, link): "On the streets there is fear and trepidation of far-right Golden Dawn party members known for their attacks on migrants."
Europe’s open border dilemma; is Schengen a success? (euronews, link)
US pledges to extend EU visa perks (euoberver, link) Extending "perks" for the few not the many.
What next after multiculturalism? (euobserver, link) "One possible approach is that of interculturalism, a concept developed by the Council of Europe." See also: Where monoculturalism leads (IRR News, link)
High Court to hear Liberty’s legal challenge to Government’s “emergency” surveillance law (link): " Liberty, David Davis and Tom Watson use Human Rights Act to challenge DRIP Act - Hearing comes as Government seeks to expand same data-gathering powers through Investigatory Powers Bill"
European Parliament’s TTIP vote in limbo (euractiv, link): "Thirteen parliamentary committees have given their opinion on TTIP, and all included ISDS, despite the growing public outcry against enabling corporations to use extra-juridical tribunals to challenge state authorities and national laws."
Berlin and Paris propose radical eurozone integration (euobserver, link): "he eurozone should have its own budget, an institution which can raise taxes, a separate body inside the European Parliament, and wage harmonisation, France and Germany have said."
CIA sex abuse and torture went beyond Senate report disclosures, detainee says - Majid Khan, who underwent ‘enhanced interrogation’, says authorities poured ice water on his genitals and hung him naked from a beam for days (Guardian, link)
Lampedusa in the Alps (euobserver, link): "in Bolzano, Italian policemen blocked all doors of the IC train to Munich, asking black passengers for passports. White people were waved through without having to show either passports or tickets. In the run-up to a G7 summit in Elmau on 7 and 8 June, Germany has reintroduced border controls. Passports will be checked over a three week period, from 26 May to 15 June. "
Frontex: Eastern European Borders: Annual Risk Analysis 2015 (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Seventh bi-annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area: 1 November 2014 - 30 April 2015 (pdf)
EU-USA: EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting: Riga statement on enhancing transatlantic cooperation in the area of Justice, Freedom and Security (pdf) Including:
"Conclude the review of the Safe Harbor Framework and negotiations of the “Umbrella” Agreement concerning law enforcement transfers of personal information between the European Union and the United States, in order to ensure effective protection of such information when transferred across the Atlantic...
Enhance bilateral information sharing between the EU Member States and the U.S. Terrorist Screening Centre... Promote dialogue on voluntary and forced return and readmission, in accordance with the international protection standards including cooperation with third countries."
USA-NSA: US Freedom Act passed but surveillance of "foreigners" continues:
"It leaves untouched formerly secret programs the NSA says are authorized under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, and that while ostensibly targeted at foreigners nonetheless collect vast amounts of American communications. It won’t in any way limit the agency’s mass surveillance of non-American communications." (The Intercept, link) [emphasis, added]
See also: Previous coverage: The Intercept, link): "Congress is doing nothing to limit NSA programs ostensibly targeted at foreigners that nonetheless collect vast amounts of American communications, nor to limit the agency’s mass surveillance of non-American communications. The limited reforms in the new bill affect only the one program explicitly aimed at Americans." [emphasis added]
See: US Freedom Act 2015 (pdf)
Congress passes NSA surveillance reform in vindication for Snowden - Bulk collection of Americans’ phone records to end as US Senate passes USA Freedom Act (Guardian, link): "The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, ushering in the country’s most significant surveillance reform since 1978 two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations... The American Civil Liberties Union praised the passage of the USA Freedom Act as “a milestone” but pointed out that there were many more “intrusive and overbroad” surveillance powers yet untouched."
Congress turns away from post-9/11 law, retooling U.S. surveillance powers (Washington Post, link): "Congress on Tuesday rejected some of the sweeping intelligence-gathering powers it granted national security officials after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the Senate voting to end the government’s bulk collection of private telephone records and to reform other surveillance policies. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, passed on a 67-to-32 vote, against the will of Senate Republican leaders who wished to preserve existing spy programs." and Questions and answers about newly approved USA Freedom Act (Washington Post, link)
UK-USA: Secret report urges treaty forcing US web firms' cooperation in data sharing - Exclusive: UK privacy campaigners say international treaty could provide legal alternative to government’s ‘snooper’s charter’ proposals (Guardian, link)
"A top secret report to the British prime minister has recommended that a new international treaty be negotiated to force the cooperation of the big US internet companies in sharing customers’ personal data, the Guardian has learned."
This is a recognition that new powers under Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA 2014) to serve warrants (under Extra-territoriality in Part 1 of RIPA) on CSPs outside the UK is unworkable, especially in the USA.
EU: Ombudsman welcomes improvements to Commission expert groups (Press release, link): "The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has welcomed the Commission's agreement to improve its system of expert groups in response to proposals made by her in an own-initiative investigation."
and see: The European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/6/2014/NF concerning the composition of Commission expert groups Commission's opinion on the European Ombudsman's analysis and suggestions (pdf)
See: De Menezes family take fight for 'justice' to European Court (Evening Standard, link): "The family of an innocent man shot dead by police after the 2005 London bombings are seeking “justice and accountability” at the European Court of Human Rights over his killing. Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician, was on his way to work when officers mistook him for a suicide bomber amid a bungled Metropolitan Police surveillance operation in south London. Mr de Menezes was held down and shot seven times in the head on a Tube train at Stockwell station...The case has been brought by his cousin, Patricia Armani da Silva, on behalf of the family and will be heard in Strasbourg after being lodged seven years ago."
Also: IPCC report is damning indictment against Metropolitan Police Service Menezes Family say (Statewatch database)
UK: Internal memo shows Greater Manchester Police 'spied on Stephen Lawrence campaigners ahead of a public inquiry' (Manchester Evening News, link):
"The message - obtained by the M.E.N. - was circulated to senior officers on the force’s computer system before being passed on to junior ranks...The force’s Special Branch sought ‘information or intelligence’ on anyone likely to attend the public inquiry."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Preventing and combating racism, xenophobia and intolerance should be a priority for member States (link) and see adopted Report (pdf)
UK: The Undercover Policing Scrutiny Panel – a whitewash operation exposed… (Undercover Research Group, link)
"Sophie Khan announced to stand down from the Undercover Policing Scrutiny Panel. Via a tweet and a blogpost at the Telegraph site earlier this week; it almost passed unnoticed. Until recently, the existence of this Panel was unknown, even to the Undercover Research Group. But that has changed now....The National Undercover Scrutiny Panel (or Undercover Policing Oversight Board) is a working group established in 2014 by the College of Policing as ‘part of a set of changes to providing greater transparency and review of undercover policing’. "
And: Sophie Khan resigns from College of Policing panel (viewing article requires free account) (Police Oracle, link): ""A lawyer who volunteered for a College of Policing panel has resigned after claiming it wasn't fulfilling its purpose...Sophie Khan... was the highest profile member of a group to check on the standards of training and public confidence in the use of undercover tactics. (...) "Ms Khan... told PoliceOracle.com today (June 2) that nothing had been achieved beyond agreeing a term of reference."She said: 'It has done nothing. I couldn't continue when I have been a member for a year and nothing has happened.'"
News Digest (3.6.15)
UK: Police accused of 'breathtaking changes' to story of their search of man who died - Five Thames Valley officers removed details of interaction with Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, who died later the same evening, disciplinary hearing is told (GUardian, link)
Orban says migrants will change European civilisation (euobserver, link): "Hungarian leader Viktor Orban has warned that immigrants will alter “Europe’s civilisation”, amid ongoing EU debate on the Mediterranean crisis.... "There is no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to a world of national cultures”, he added."
Citizens of five more Caribbean countries get visa-free travel to Schengen area (Curacao Chronicle., link)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Latest "consolidated" version of the Council's position (1 June 2015): 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) (LIMITE doc no:9398-15, pdf): 246 pages still with 626 Footnotes with Member State positions:
"In view of the meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Counsellors on 1 June 2015, delegations will find in annex a consolidated version of the General Data Protection Regulation as it stands on 29 May 2015."
EU: MED-CRISIS: Germany and France urge Commission to revise immigration plan (euractiv, link): "Germany and France on Monday (1 June) urged the EU to find a fairer way to admit and distribute asylum seekers, as their leaders met the European Commission chief in Berlin..... France and Germany said in the joint statement that they currently were among five member states, along with Sweden, Italy and Hungary, that "are in charge of 75% of the asylum seekers". "This situation is not fair and no longer sustainable," they said."
See European Commission: Recommendation of XXX on a European resettlement scheme (COM 286-15, pdf) and Annexes (pdf)
EU-USA: Safe Harbour deal held up by US (euractiv, link): "European negotiators are still waiting for the US to budge on intelligence services' use of personal data before there can be a breakthrough on the Safe Harbour agreement, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová said last week (28 May)... The European Commission sent a list of 13 recommendations to American negotiators in 2013. Jourová said two last points were still holding up an agreement. “If there were only 11 points, we could finalise negotiations. There are two more, however, which concern exceptions under which national intelligence services can use data,” Jourová said at a panel discussion in Brussels."
See: Restoring Trust in EU-US data flows - Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) including 13 Recommendations on p4 and
"Why is Safe Harbour relevant to surveillance?
Under Safe Harbour, limitations to data protection rules are permitted where necessary on grounds of national security, the question has arisen whether the large-scale collection and processing of personal information under U.S. surveillance programmes is necessary and proportionate to meet the interests of national security. Safe Harbour acts as a conduit for the transfer of the personal data of EU citizens from the EU to the U.S. by companies required to surrender data to U.S. intelligence agencies under the U.S. intelligence collection programmes."
G6 Interior Ministers plus the USA: Meeting of G6 interior ministers at Schloss Moritzburg (BMI, link) and see: Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos after the G6 meeting with Interior Ministers in Moritzburg (pdf) G6 is made up of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the UK and the USA always attend.
WHISTLE-BLOWERS: Daniel Ellsberg credits Edward Snowden with catalysing US surveillance reform - Prominent US whistleblowers applaud Snowden’s Patriot Act revelation for inciting Congress to take action, though they doubt he can ever return to the US (Guardian, link) and The Forgotten Pentagon Papers Conspirator (Mother Jones, link).
Also Report on public meeting in London on Monday 1 June: The Truth Tellers: Supporting Whistleblowers (link): "The brief talks were followed by interesting questions and discussion on the issues from the floor. The key issues highlighted by all the speakers were the role of the media and the government’s need to control the public through surveillance and managing information. In a time when victims, from survivors of war to child abuse, are not believed and taken seriously, whistleblowers provide a safeguard against those who abuse and silence the vulnerable, providing a vital public service. We cannot protect the vulnerable unless we protect those who blow the whistle on abuse, whether of power, people, or both."
Statewatch: News Digest May 2015 (pdf) with 162 stories
News Digest (2.6.15)
EU-Peru: Biometric passports, requirement for Schengen Visa Exemption (Andina, link)
UNDER ATTACK WE FIGHT BACK: Sunday 7 June 2015, 3-5pm at North London Community House, Moorefield Road, Tottenham, London N17 6PY: "Since the publication of the whitewashed IPCC report into the killing of Mark Duggan, the justice for Mark Duggan Campaign have been busy conducting their own investigations into the police investigation. They are now ready to report back on a number of new revelations, some contained in David Rose's explosive article revealing previously unpublished details on the role of the Mets Operation Trident in Mark's death (please see link below) and the IPCC's role in fanning the flames that led to the riots of 2011." And see: Did gun crime conspiracy spark the 2011 inferno? Rioting. Bloodshed. A complete breakdown of the rule of law. But now a shocking new fact about a police operation before the riot poses a disturbing question (Mail Online, link)
Prague, Berlin to restart cooperation (Prague Post, link): "Foreign ministers will sign a new strategic partnership: The Czech and German foreign ministers are to sign a new strategic partnership deal in July, which will replace the 20-year-old declaration on bilateral relations and which should completely restart cooperation between Prague and Berlin
EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Severe labour exploitation in the EU - 2/6/2015 - Press Pack (link)
German Federal Prosecutor ‘investigating’ US actions on drones base (Reprieve, link): "The German Federal Prosecutor is reported to have begun investigating a US base in Germany that is used as a ‘hub’ for drone strikes, days after a Yemeni man testified in a Cologne court about the 2012 strike that killed his relatives." And US-Militärbasis: Bundesanwalt prüft Ramsteins Rolle im US-Drohnenkrieg (Spiegel Online, link) [Prosecutor probes Ramstein's role in US drone war]
Morris Beckman fought fascism, home and away (Camden New Journal, link): "Morris, who passed away this week aged 94, would not stand idly by as the far right made speeches and sold pamphlets that denied the Holocaust. Instead, he and other Jewish ex-servicemen set up the 43 Group – an organisation that fought fascists on post-war London’s streets." and another East End anti-fascist: Happy 100th Birthday, Max Levitas! (Spitalfields Life, link); "Today we salute Max Levitas, celebrated anti-Fascist campaigner & veteran of the Battle of Cable St who enjoyed his one hundredth birthday yesterday"
ECHR: Italy : Court set for CIA terror abduction human rights complaint (CoE, link):
The European Court’s chamber hearing in case Nasr and Ghali v. Italy (no. 44883/09) will take place on 23 June.
"The application concerns a case of “extraordinary rendition”, that is to say the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian nationals, of an Egyptian imam (Abu Omar), who holds refugee status, and his transfer to Egypt, followed by his secret detention there for several months. The applicants, Osama Mustafa Hassn Nasr, alias Abu Omar, and Nabila Ghali, are a married couple. They are both Egyptian nationals who were born in 1963 and currently live in Alexandria (Egypt)."
See Statewatch Observatory on CIA Rendition
EU: European Parliament: Conference on the Democratic Oversight of Intelligence Services in the European Union, European Parliament, Brussels 28-29 May 2015: Joint concluding remarks: As read out by the LIBE Chair (Claude Moraes MEP) on behalf of the 4 co-Chairs (pdf):
"the increase in the exchange of information and international cooperation between EU Member States and between Member States and third countries calls for increased cooperation also at the level of democratic oversight of intelligence activities, which is still only conducted at national level"
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EU Data Protection Reform: the EDPS meets international civil liberties groups (pdf) Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said:
“The EU Data Protection Reform is long overdue and continues to have my active support. My colleagues and I are committed to guiding the legislator to find the right solutions and ensure that key safeguards are not weakened in the search for political compromise. It is imperative that the reform increases and modernises standards of protection and makes existing and future safeguards more effective in the world of big data. Like civil liberties organisations, we believe that the reform must centre on the rights of the individual. We also believe that involving the general public in a text which is future-oriented, easy to understand, scalable, flexible and simple to implement is the only way forward."
CoE: Criminal justice access to data in the cloud: challenges: Discussion paper prepared by the T-CY Cloud Evidence Group (pdf): "The purpose of the present discussion paper is to facilitate an exchange of views on current and emerging challenges faced by criminal justice authorities and to seek the cooperation of industry and other stakeholders in identifying solutions. Such solutions may range from practical measures and documentation of good practices, to guidelines or a binding additional protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime."
USA: Senate takes up House bill but fails to avoid spying lapse (Washington Post, link): "Eight days after blocking it, Senate Republicans have agreed to begin debate on a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency’s handling of American calling records while preserving other domestic surveillance provisions.But that remarkable turnabout didn’t happen soon enough to prevent the laws governing the programs from expiring at midnight Sunday as Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a presidential contender, stood in the way of extending the program, angering his GOP colleagues and frustrating intelligence and law enforcement officials. Now, the question is whether the Senate will pass a bill the House can live with. If so, the surveillance programs will resume, with some significant changes in how the phone records are handled. If not, they will remain dormant."
And: Senate Lets NSA Spy Program Lapse, at Least for Now (New York Times, link) and For the First Time Since 9/11, Congress Checks the Security State (The Intercept, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: LIMITE documents: "Countering Hybrid Threats", Connected Contested World, Foreign Fighters: Risk Indicators, Smart Borders, Migration and development and Discrimination Directive
"Hybrid warfare can be more easily characterised than defined as a centrally designed and controlled use of various covert and overt tactics, enacted by military and/or non-military means, ranging from intelligence and cyber operations through economic pressure to the use of conventional forces.
By employing hybrid tactics, the attacker seeks to undermine and destabilise an opponent by applying both coercive and subversive methods. The latter can include various forms of sabotage, disruption of communications and other services including energy supplies. The aggressor may work through or by empowering proxy insurgent groups, or disguising state-to-state aggression behind the mantle of a "humanitarian intervention"." [emphasis added]
The EEAS describes itself as a "virtual fusion cell" which "could catalyse all indicators from the EEAS services, including EU Delegations and the COMMISSION services, and other key partners – both countries and organisations, such as NATO... The EEAS provides the natural focus for this intelligence led work..... By denying
or distorting facts, populations can be easily manipulated, politicians dissuaded."
• EEAS: The EU in a Changing Global Environment - A more connected, contested and complex world (LIMITE doc no: 8956-15, pdf)
"Europe too is more contested, as growing forces in Europe criticise, and at times oppose, the European project. Yet a more contested Europe can also spur decision-makers to better connect foreign policy with citizens’ expectations and inject momentum in the European debate through generational change....
Fragile states and ungoverned spaces are spreading. To the east, the EU’s neighbours suffer from economic, political and energy fragilities. Across the Mediterranean, the spread of ungoverned spaces has enabled criminals, extremists and terrorists to thrive. Further south, instability and violence are the product of underdevelopment, lawlessness, corruption and conflict-ridden electoral politics - with more than 50 million people displaced."
"In the context of the Riga Joint Statement, Ministers concluded regarding Schengen framework as follows: We consider that beyond the current efforts to make full use of existing Schengen framework, a targeted proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code is a necessary step to reinforce external borders by making it possible to proceed to systematic checks on individuals enjoying the right of free movement against databases relevant to the fight against terrorism based on the common risk indicators......
There is currently no agreement among Member States as to the need of carrying out systematic checks on documents (only one carries out such checks and eleven have declared that they are ready to do so). Those which have concerns have invoked technical/practical/economic) concerns.”
See also: Foreign Fighters: Application of the Schengen Border Code – Follow-up (LIMITE doc on: 16880-14, pdf)
• Including SMART BORDERS: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee: Outcomes:Smart Borders Package, Biometric data in large IT databases in the area of borders, visa and asylum, Foreign Terrorist Fighters (LIMITE doc no: 8964-15, pdf)
• EEAS: Migration in development cooperation - Issues Paper (LIMITE doc no: 9118-15, pdf)
"The answer to many of the challenges in the field of migration lies in the relations with third countries. Partnership with countries of origin and transit is thus crucial and the EU has established dedicated bilateral and regional migration dialogues with all of the most important regions concerned....
EU efforts on fostering diaspora engagement is continuing, in particular on capacity building for government authorities and diaspora associations in developing
appropriate policies and programmes to maximise the development contribution of their diaspora."
• Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age
or sexual orientation (LIMITE doc no: 8679-15, pdf). Council developing its negotiating position - with 30 Member State positions.
Statewatch: JHA archive - EU Justice and Home Affairs documents from 1976 - 2000 UPDATED: 200+ new EU documents have now been uploaded bringing the current total to: 8,240 records:
This database contains bibliographic records and full-text documents on EU Justice and Home Affairs policy dating back to 1976 when the Trevi Group was set up (Trevi was ad hoc intergovernmental cooperation on Terrorism, Radicalism and Violence, and grew into formal European political cooperation in the former Third Pillar after the Maastricht Treaty). It has been created to allow researchers to chart the historical development of EU JHA policy from the start.
News Digest (1.6.15)
Kincora: calls for abuse to be included in UK inquiry (CHannel 4 News, link): "A man who was abused at Kincora children's home in Belfast is demanding that what happened there decades ago should be included in the UK-wide inquiry set up by the government."
How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA - A new cybersecurity elite moves between government and private practice, taking state secrets with them.(The Nation, link): "the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. INSA is a powerful but little-known coalition established in 2005 by companies working for the National Security Agency. In recent years, it has become the premier organization for the men and women who run the massive cyberintelligence-industrial complex that encircles Washington, DC."
FRANCE: French Data Protection Authority Unveils Its Inspection Program for 2015 (WSGR, link)
ECRE: Publishes Information Note on Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (link): "It is foreseen that the wide range of actions that AMIF supports should better address the needs and challenges faced by asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Europe, and the note calls on Member States to make use of the possibilities offered by the fund, such as support to alternatives to detention and addressing identified needs"
UK: My dad, the undercover policeman - As a child in the 1970s, Clare Carson knew her father, with his bushy beard and secretive ways, was a funny sort of copper. But it was only as an adult that her memories of their strange suburban life began to make sense (Guardian, link)
EU-USA:"European Commissioner Jourova said that she was waiting for the United States to respond, by the end of June, to the concerns raised by the EU following the NSA scandal (see EUROPE 11294). In 2013, the Commission submitted 13 recommendations to improve this mechanism on the transfer of personal data to American commercial businesses such as Google and Facebook, but the United States have not yet set all of them in place" (Agence Europe)
International effort rescues over 5,000 Mediterranean migrants (euractiv, link): "The corpses of 17 migrants were brought ashore in Sicily aboard an Italian naval vessel on Sunday along with 454 survivors as efforts intensified to rescue people fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East."
UK police requests to access phone calls or emails are granted 93% of the time Campaigners call for a curb on the scale of police access to private communications data as the Tories prepare to expand surveillance powers (Guardian, link): "Ministers are facing calls to curb the scale of police access to private phone and email records, after a report by privacy campaigners found officers were making a request every two minutes and getting access in 93% of cases."
EU referendum: David Cameron boosted by support from European politicians for a 'two-speed Europe' (Independent, link): "Two senior European politicians have sketched the outline of a possible pre-referendum deal with David Cameron that would allow Britain to become a kind of “low-definition” member of the European Union. Emmanuel Macron, the French Economy Minister, said that it was time to “accept the idea of a two-speed” Europe in which some countries would stand aside from progress towards greater unity and integration."
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