Vol 18(1): January-March 2008. EU agrees US demands to re-write data protection agreement; Genoa G8 trials and aftermath; UK immigration control; virtual walls in the South East; Spanish police abuses.

Cover story: EU The surveillance of travel where everyone is a suspect; Viewpoint: “White man’s burden”: criminalising free speech; The transatlantic fight against human rights; Germany: Minister and judge: "Anti-terrorism goes too far"


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EU: The surveillance of travel where everyone is a suspect

The Commission's "border package", announced in February, comes on top of EU biometric passports and ID cards (fingerprints) currently being implemented, biometric resident third country national permits (with optional e-gov "chips"), the Visa Information System (VIS, collecting and storing the fingerprints of all visitors) and a planned EU-PNR (passenger name record) database system.

Viewpoint: "White man's burden": criminalising free speech by Ben Hayes

While the recurring publication of the ‘Danish cartoons’ of the Prophet Mohammed continues to provoke anger in the Muslim world and a defence of ‘free speech’ in the West, a proposed EU law on “public provocation” to terrorism could criminalise widely held political views – but it has barely raised a murmur

GERMANY: Minister and judge: "Anti-terrorism goes too far"

After 11 September 2001, anti-terror laws granting far-reaching and unchecked powers to police and security services were introduced or extended in Germany and elsewhere without much public resistance and even less parliamentary scrutiny.

UK-ISRAEL: Dichter cancels trip in fear of war crimes arrest

In December 2007 the Israeli Public Security Minister, Avi Dichter, pulled out of an invitation to speak at a seminar at Kings College, London, because of fears that he would be arrested for war crimes. The charges arose from the Israeli government's assassination of a senior Hamas commander, Sheikh Saleh Shehadah, which also killed 13 civilians in a "targeted strike" in Gaza in 2002 - Dichter was the head of Israel's internal intelligence agency, Shin Bet, at the time of the massacre.

UK: "Mosquito" told to buzz off

In February 2008 the Children's Commissioner for England, Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, launched the "Buzz Off" campaign and called for the banning of the controversial "Mosquito" audio device designed to disperse groups of children (see Statewatch Vol 16 No 1). The device, also known as the "Sonic Teen Deterrent", indiscriminately targets individuals within a 15-metre radius by emitting an ultra-sonic tone at a frequency only those under the age of 25 can fully hear (the human ear's capacity to hear upper frequency sounds begins to decline past this age).

FRANCE: Suspension of Internet access to tackle piracy?

A report commissioned by the French culture ministry in September to detail the findings of a "mission on combating illegal downloading and for the development of legal offers of musical, audiovisual and film works" was submitted to the government on 23 November 2007. It proposes protecting authorship rights through the setting up of an independent administrative authority with powers to cut off Internet access and suspend subscriptions to Internet service providers' (ISPs) services for repeat offenders, if they illegally download music or images.

Italy: Manslaughter trial for officers in Aldrovandi death

On 19 October 2007, the trial of Paolo Forlani, Monica Segatto, Enzo Pontani and Luca Pollastri, four “flying  squad” police officers accused of  manslaughter, began in Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna). On 20 June 2007, following preliminary investigations, a court ruled that the four officers would stand trial for their responsibility in the death of Federico Aldrovandi.

The issue also contains numerous shorter pieces organised thematically: civil li berties; security & intelligence; immigration; law; policing; prisons; military; and racism & fascism.

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