“Monitoring the State & Civil Liberties in Europe”

Occasional selections from

Statewatch News Online, 28 July 2014


1. UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2013:

“The total number of warrants and authorisations approved across the intelligence services and the MOD in 2013 was 1887.” This is said to cover warrants issued to: MI5, MI6 (SIS), GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence under RIPA 2000 and Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) – under the former the use of CHIS (Covert Human Information Sources) are included. And in addition the report says:

“The total number of cases where the Consolidate Guidance was applied during 2013 was 418. It is important to understand what this means. It means that there were 418 cases where consideration had to be given as to whether there was a serious risk of an individual being subject to unacceptable conduct either because they were in the detention of a liaison service, or if intelligence was supplied to solicit detention and they were then detained. This does not show the number of individuals subject to unacceptable conduct; only that proper consideration was being given to that risk in this number of cases.” [emphasis added]

After numerous complaints of UK agents being present or knowing of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects around the world the Government published in 2010 the following Guidelines: Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees:

According to the Commissioner’s report this covers:

• Cases where a detainee is interviewed by UK personnel whilst under the custody of a third party
• Cases where information is sought by HMG from a detainee in the custody of a third party
• Cases where information is passed from HMG to a liaison service in relation to a detainee held by a third party
• Cases where unsolicited intelligence related to a detainee is received from the third party
• Soliciting the detention of an individual by a third party


Police chiefs were aware six years ago that undercover unit ‘had lost moral compass’ (Guardian, link)
• SDS was regarded as out of control force within a force
• Intelligence ‘hoovered up’ on campaigning families

Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world – Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years – but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from police (Guardian, link)

Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)

3. UK: Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013–14:
Government response to the First Report of the Committee, Session 2013–14:

See: First Report: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013-14 (pdf)

See also: Call for Evidence: Committee still pressing government for the next National Security Strategy to be radically different (pdf):

4. EU Council of the European Union: eu-LISA Annual Activity Report 2013 (pdf)

“the Agency is mandated to provide operational management of SIS II (the largest information system for public security and law enforcement cooperation in Europe), VIS (a system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen area) and Eurodac (a large-scale fingerprint database that assists primarily in the processing of asylum applications). It manages these systems on behalf of its stakeholder, the European public through member states and European institutions.”

5. CIA-POLAND: European Court of Human Rights: Secret rendition and detention by the CIA in Poland of two men suspected of terrorist acts (Press release, pdf):

“The cases Al Nashiri v. Poland (application no. 28761/11) and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland (no. 7511/13) concerned allegations of torture, ill-treatment and secret detention of two men suspected of terrorist acts. The applicants allege that they were held at a CIA “black site” in Poland. In today’s Chamber judgments, which are not final1, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously: in both cases, that Poland had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights (obligation to furnish all necessary facilities for the effective conduct of an investigation);

in both cases, that there had been:
– a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, in both its substantive and procedural aspects;
– a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security);
– a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life);
– a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and,
– a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).

See: Judgments:
and Husayn:

6. EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Commission sits on the fence: saying it is up to each of the 28 EU states to decide whether to change their national laws in the light of the CJEU judgment declaring the EU Directive on mandatory data retention “unlawful”: European Parliament question (link):

and Answer (link):

See: Green/EFA study: Data Retention after the Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union:

7. UK: Terrorism definition ‘should be narrower’ (BBC News, link): “In his annual report, David Anderson QC is focusing on crimes which he says should no longer be classed as terrorist offences. Journalists and bloggers should not be convicted under terror laws, he said.”

See: UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation criticises too-broad definition of terrorism (Press release)

and Full report by David Anderson QC: Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (143 pages, pdf)

8. EU: Eurodrones: too politically loaded a venture for Europe? (euractiv, link):

“Remotely piloted aircraft equipped for spying and fighting are politically charged across Europe, in part by the civilian toll taken by America’s use of armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other conflict areas. The European Parliament wants member states to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in extrajudicial killings and to set up ethical standards for their use. In a non-binding resolution earlier this year, lawmakers also called for greater transparency in the use of EU funding for research and development of drone technology.”

See also: Statewatch report: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)

9. EU: MIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Parliament: For a European Strategy in the field of migration and asylum: Appeal to the European Parliament on occasion of the Italian Presidency Semester: Barbara Spinelli (MEP, GUE):

“Nowadays, refugees are the product, on an industrial scale, of that great war, immaterial and undeclared as it is, which is the war against the poor, with a stark border separating people who have a right to move from those who are denied that right. But a worldwide war, which sets apart subjects of the law from marginal bodies whose fate is at the mercy of events that are decided elsewhere, cannot turn Europe into a barbed wire fence. The Europe we want must be a place of welcome, of respect and of dignity.”

10. GREECE: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) – (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control):

“The site is still under construction, but presents a chilling taste of what is to come and the claustrophobic conditions for migrants to be held there. For people who have committed no criminal offence, nor been charged with any, it is impossible to see why barred windows, prison-style lighting and surveillance towers and barbed wire are necessary on this island camp. One can only wonder at the horror they will feel and experience on being taken to this place after their arduous journeys.”

11. UK: GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Intelligence services ‘creating vast databases’ of intercepted emails – Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material ‘may be permissible’, say human rights groups (Guardian, link):

“The intelligence services are constructing “vast databases” out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told. The claim emerged during a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT).”

12. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies:

13. UK: DRIPA: Terrorism laws watchdog issues warning over security services scrutiny David Anderson says privacy and civil liberties board that is planned to replace his job must have unfettered access (Guardian, link):

“The emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) requires internet and phone companies including US-based firms such as Google to store all personal communications data for 12 months so it can be accessed by police and security services. The new law has an expiry date of December 2016. This week’s parliamentary debates demonstrated that there is now widespread consensus that the main surveillance law, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa), is a “broken and bleeding sore”, as one ex-Home Office minister put it, and urgently needs replacing.”

UK’s Drip law: cynical, misleading and an affront to democracy: Demonstrating the lack of knowledgeable leadership and the failure to engage in democratic debate, this ‘data retention’ surveillance law seeds distrust (Guardian, link)

See: DRIP Act 2014 as adopted (pdf)

14. EU: FRONTEX: Migreurop-REMDH-FIDH: Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial – The deployment of Frontex is impairing the right of asylum:

“At the Greek-Turkish border, the European Agency for controlling the external borders, Frontex, is taking part in a process that prevents refugees from benefitting from international protection. The latest report of the FRONTEXIT Campaign, “Frontex between Greece and Turkey: The Border of Denial underlines the dramatic consequences of the intensification of surveillance at that border (push-backs, lack of access to the asylum procedure, physical and verbal violence, etc.), and also the Agency’s lack of accountability.”

15. EU: STATE-BUILDING: EU POLICE TRAINING FOR JOINT OPERATIONS:European Commission: CEPOL: Commission proposes to improve training for EU law enforcement officials (Press release):

and Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union agency for law enforcement training (Cepol), repealing and replacing the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA (COM 465-14):

The aim is to ensure: “priorities for operational law enforcement cooperation”: The proposed CEPOL Objectives (Article 3) are set as: “in particular in the areas of the fight against serious crime affecting two or more Member States and terrorism, management of high-risk public order and sports events, planning and command of Union missions.” [emphasis added]

16. UN HUMAN RIGHTS: Dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances – Pillay (link):

“UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned Wednesday that studies by her office and others have revealed a “disturbing” lack of transparency about governmental surveillance policies and practices, “including de facto coercion of private sector companies to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latter’s knowledge or consent.”

See: Report: The right to privacy in the digital age: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:

“there is a clear and pressing need for vigilance in ensuring the compliance of any surveillance policy or practice with international human rights law, including the right to privacy, through the development of effective safeguards against abuses. As an immediate measure, States should review their own national laws, policies and practices to ensure full conformity with international human rights law. Where there are shortcomings, States should take steps to address them, including through the adoption of a clear, precise, accessible, comprehensive and non-discriminatory legislative framework. Steps should be taken to ensure that effective and independent oversight regimes and practices are in place, with attention to the right of victims to an effective remedy.”

17. Statewatch Analyses online:

Secrets and lies: undercover police operations raise more questions than answers: “British police officers undercover in protest movements have been shown to have regularly operated outside the UK. Activists, lawyers and MPs have all called for an independent public inquiry in order to reveal the full extent of the practice.”:

Shining a light on deadly informers: The de Silva report on the murder of Pat Finucane: “Numerous flaws and oversights in de Silva’s report highlight the need for a full scale independent public enquiry into the British state’s dealings in Northern Ireland. Security agencies tasked with keeping the peace acted beyond the law, lied to their political masters, leaked information to loyalists, told falsehoods in criminal trials, and recruited known murderers as agents.”

A duty to inform? The outsourcing of state surveillance responsibilities to the British public: “The government is increasingly encouraging – and in some cases compelling – members of the public to monitor and report on each other’s behaviour. This practice disproportionately targets the poor, foreign
nationals and the already marginalised, and contributes to the normalisation of surveillance within British society.”:

Belgian ‘municipal fines’ cause growing dissent : Fines have been issued for an array of bizarre “offences” and have been used to target individuals
involved in organising political protests.”

See full list of Statewatch Analyses – resources for researchers (1999-ongoing)

18. UK-EU: Justice and Home Affairs: Statewatch Analysis: The UK opt in to pre-Lisbon EU criminal law by Steve Peers Professor of EU Law and Human Rights Law, University of Essex:

“The United Kingdom (UK) has exercised its power to opt out of all of the EU measures on policing and criminal law adopted before the Treaty of Lisbon (‘pre-Lisbon third pillar measures’), but has also sought to opt back into a number of these measures. That application to opt back in has recently been agreed in principle. What will be the impact of these changes for the UK’s participation in EU policing and criminal law?”

19. EU: SAHEL-SAHARA and FOREIGN FIGHTERS: European External Action Service (EEAS): Options for CSDP Support to Sahel-Saharan Border Management:

“The production of the ‘Options’ paper has come about following November 2013 Council Conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy. These called for “concrete steps” to “continue to develop CSDP support to border management as part of a wider and more joined-up EU approach to help third states and regions better manage their borders… The Council acknowledged the need to address the Sahel-Saharan region security challenges, including those in Libya. in this context, it invites the High Representatives to present by early 2014 an options paper with proposals for further action to support Sahel-Saharan border management, in response to local needs and requirements…”

See Statewatch: New “concept” drafted for EU border missions abroad (database link)

And also: Non-paper: Syria Foreign Fighters: strategic engagement plan (pdf)

20. EU: Council of the European Union: To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Timeline for the EU Policy Cycle activities in 2014 :

The Policy Cycle is intended to allow the EU – in particular the Council – greater influence over operational police cooperation, primarily through setting priorities, monitoring the outcomes of operations, and suggesting alterations for future working methods and operations. The first policy cycle ran from 2011 to 2013; the current one is the first “full” cycle, running from 2014 to 2017. Its priorities are “illegal” immigration; human trafficking into and within the EU; counterfeit goods; Missing Trade Intra Community fraud; synthetic drugs; cocaine and heroin trafficking; cybercrime; and criminal use and illicit trafficking of firearms.

An explanation of how the policy cycle works (and explanations of the acronyms used in the document) can be found in the article ‘Joint police operations target irregular migrants’:

21. UK-USA RENDITION: Emails shed new light on UK link to CIA ‘torture flights’ – Police given crucial logs about Diego Garcia’s role in rendition programme when it was allegedly used as a secret prison (Guardian, link): “”Crucial logs revealing flights to a British overseas territory when it was allegedly used as a secret US prison are in the possession of the police, the Observer has learned. “The revelation has raised concerns about why, despite repeated demands, details of the flights have not been shared with lawyers and MPs, who for years have been investigating the role played by Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian ocean, in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.”

and see: Diego Garcia emails show UK Government is keeping renditions evidence from Parliament (Reprieve, link):

and also: Flight plan showing planned landing in Diego Garcia (from March 2004) (link)…

22. EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP case: Council of the European Union try to find ways round the Court judgment: Judgment of
the Court of Justice in Case C-350/12 P – Council v. Sophie In ‘t Veld (pdf)

Dutch liberal Sophie in ‘t Veld wins transparency lawsuit against the Council of Ministers (ALDE group, link):

See Judgment full-text: Council appeal against the judgment of May 2012 (pdf) and Judgment: May 2012:

Lawyer Onno Brouwer who represented Sophie in ‘t Veld in this case and others in landmark transparency cases before the General Court and the Court of Justice, challenging EU institutions on openness and accountability, says: “the Court’s view that a European institution must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest is of great practical importance for journalists, interest groups and all those who wish to obtain access to EU documents”.

23; EU: Council of the European Union: Digest of LIMITE documents: Comitology, Researchers, SCIFA, e-Law, Eurojust-Europol, IMS, EUBAM RAFAH and e-Law:

24. EU: Council of the European Union: Missing minors alerts, Legal Aid, Presumption of innocence, Previous Convictions & Eurojust-EJN

– MINORS: Categorisation of missing minors alerts in SIS II – Replies from Member States (EU doc no: 6015-14,pdf)

– LEGAL AID: 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 – Orientation debate (EU doc no:11237-14):

– PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings – Orientation debate (EU doc no:11235-14,(pdf)

– Proposal for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) – Cooperation between Eurojust and the European Judicial Network:

-. MEETINGS DOCUMENTS: Meeting documents examined by the Council Security Committee during the first semester of 2014 (EU doc no: 11454-14,pdf)

– PRUM: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the “Prüm Decisions” – overview of documents and procedures (EU doc no: 5124-rev4-14):

and: European Commission: PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS: Report on the implementation by the Member States of Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA of 24 July 2008 on taking into account of convictions in the Member States of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings (COM 312-14):

25. EU seeks more prominent international role for European para-military police force

The European External Action Service is seeking “strengthened cooperation” with the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), a paramilitary policing organisation made up of forces from seven EU countries, in the hope that it can play a bigger role in the EU’s “crisis management” missions abroad and plug the gap left by a lack of commitments from individual Member States.

26. EU: Council of the European Union: NO MENTION OF SEARCH & RESCUE: Draft European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EU doc no: 10914-14): The operational strategy of the Council is at odds with EU policy:

“Based on the EU’s founding values of human rights, freedom and democracy, the purpose of this Strategy is to secure the maritime security interests of the EU and its Member States against a plethora of risks and threats in the global maritime domain.”

Earlier version of proposal: Draft EU Maritime Security Strategy (9382/14):

and see: New EU rules on maritime surveillance: will they stop the deaths and push-backs in the Mediterranean? (EU Law Analysis, link)

This is contrary to the recently adopted: Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of Member States of the EU (pdf)

27. EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Full list of Members and Substitutes (pdf)

28. GREECE: Austerity, ritualism and the rise of the Neo-Nazis in contemporary Greece: A short comment by Stratos Georgoulas (Thanks to the European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control):

29. EU: European Commission: Opinion No 28 of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies: Ethics of Security and Surveillance Technologies (112 pages,):

31. EU: European Commission: Internal security and European Defence industry:

– The final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014:

– A New Deal for European Defence: Commission proposes industrial action plan:

“measures to strengthen the Single Market for defence, to promote a more competitive defence industry and to foster synergies between civil and military research including details and timelines for the actions. ”

32. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): A modern internet governance model should be universal and respectful of fundamental freedoms (Press release):

33. EU: Police forces get ready for multi-billion euro policing and security funds

Europe’s police forces are preparing to take advantage of the billions of euros available in EU funding over the next few years. Member States’ representatives unveiled plans to coordinate their work and cooperate on funding bids at a recent meeting of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS). They are hoping to access funding from the EU’s €77 billion research programme Horizon 2020, which has a security theme worth €1.6 billion, as well as the Internal Security Fund, which will make just over €1 billion available to police forces for projects aimed at enhancing cooperation.

34. UN: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai (pdf)

“In sections I and II of the report, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of the activities he carried out between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014. In section III, he assesses the threats to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for groups most at risk. The Special Rapporteur outlines his conclusions and recommendations in section IV.”

Statewatch News Online, 10 January 2014


1. UK: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ’s mass data collection

2. UK: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to inquest verdict of lawful killing

3. Italy: RAI 3 programme lifts the veil on police beatings leading to deaths and their aftermath

4. EU-UK-NSA: European Parliament: REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States

5. EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: EU anti-terror law puts German coalition to the test

6. CYPRUS: Refugees say death is their only option now

7. EU recognises need for INTERPOL talks


9. UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill

10. EU: DATA PROTECTION DIRECTIVE ON LEA DATA EXCHANGE: Latest “state of play” in the Council of the European Union

11. France jumps EU law and follows UK with mass surveillance of air travellers

12. EU: European Council: DEFENCE POLICY: European Council, 19-120 December 2013

13. EU: Council of the European Union: Greek Council Presidency: Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings

14. UNHCR-UK: UK immigration bill could create ‘climate of ethnic profiling’ – UNHCR

15. Italy: ASGI statement over Lampedusa video highlights


1. USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal

2. USA-NSA: Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

3. USA-NSA: New documents show how the NSA infers relationships based on mobile location data

4. UK-USA: Surveillance: complacency, secrecy – Britain’s great vices

5. UK-USA: GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief

6. USA: Obama review panel: strip NSA of power to collect phone data records

7. EU-US: European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs working documents

8. USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal

9. EU-UK-NSA: European Parliament: REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States

1. UK: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ’s mass data collection:

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “The government claims that GCHQ’s interception of fibre-optic cable telecommunications traffic (and of satellite communications) is lawful under under RIPA 2000 Section 8(4) certificates issued by the Foreign Secretary. These certificates grant sweeping general powers which are meant to be overseen by the Interception Commissioner who is responsible reporting on Sections 1-11 of RIPA 2000. His Report is silent on this crucial issue – this is yet another reason for a wholesale review of the role and accountability of the security and intelligence agencies in a democratic society.”

• Interception warrants and modifications at all-time high • Collection of communications data (“metadata”) at all-time high • Surveillance Commissioner unable to monitor all undercover police as Home Office fails to provide details of exactly which units are to be overseen

2. UK: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to inquest verdict of lawful killing – Jury decides Duggan was lawfully killed despite concluding he was not holding gun when police shot him (Guardian, link):


” In a statement, the family of Mark Duggan said: “We are shocked by the jury’s conclusion given the evidence we have heard over the past few months. We will continue to fight for justice for Mark.” Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said: “The jury’s conclusion is both perverse and incomprehensible. We cannot have a situation where unarmed citizens are shot dead on the streets of London and no-one is held to account.”

See: Inquest jury verdict – full-text:

3. Italy: RAI 3 programme lifts the veil on police beatings leading to deaths and their aftermath:

On 6 January, Rai 3 television channel broadcast the first episode of Presa Diretta, an information programme directed by Riccardo Iacona, for 2014. Its title was Morti di Stato (State Deaths) and it recounts a catalogue of cases (many of them well known) in which police officers attacked people with whom they came into contact, generally in the exercise in their duties, several of whom died as a result of these encounters and the beatings that followed. Statewatch has reported on several of these cases over the years (including Stefano Cucchi, Federico Aldrovandi and others). The programme is in Italian, lasts for two hours, and is visible on the RAI Replay service until Monday 12 January 2014.

4. EU-UK-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP:

5. EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: EU anti-terror law puts German coalition to the test (euractiv, link)

6. CYPRUS: Refugees say death is their only option now (Cyprus Mail, link):

“TWO Iranian-born citizens, who have been on a hunger strike for 46 days, informed Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos in an open letter that as of Tuesday they would stop taking liquids, unless they are granted citizenship so they can leave Cyprus.” and See: Open Letter to the Minister of Interior (KISA, link)

7. EU recognises need for INTERPOL talks (Fair Trials International, link):

“The EU Commission has acknowledged Fair Trials’ report on INTERPOL, committing to raise with the international policing organisation the existing procedures for issuing INTERPOL notices and to consider whether further action is needed to strengthen the organisation’s mechanisms to avoid politically-motivated cases.” and: Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission (link):

See also: Letter from MEPs to Commission: Political abuse of INTERPOL systems:

and INTERPOL’s computer systems wide open to abuse by states trying to persecute refugees, journalists and political activists, says new report (Statewatch):


See: Pressure grows over EU data watchdog replacement (euractiv, link):

9. UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Legislative Scrutiny: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill (second Report): “Intrusive powers over travellers at ports and airports require greater safeguards, says Human Rights Committee”: Dr Hywel Francis MP, the Chair of the Committee, said concerning Schedule 7 detentions:

“We understand that there is a need for a without suspicion power to stop, question and search travellers at ports and airports. We have considered the Independent Reviewer’s recommendation that a subjective suspicion threshold be required to be met before the powers to detain and to download data from mobile phones and laptops can be exercised. However , we believe that reasonable suspicion is the absolute minimum that is required to qualify as a safeguard because it opens up the possibility of independent scrutiny and review.”

See also: At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything – Protesters, buskers, preachers, the young: all could end up with ‘ipnas’. Of course, if you’re rich, you have nothing to fear (Guardian, link)

10. EU: DATA PROTECTION DIRECTIVE ON LEA DATA EXCHANGE: Latest “state of play” in the Council of the European Union: Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection: Discussions on its negotiating position regarding the Directive for Member State law enforcement agencies exchanging data and intelligence:

– Draft Council position: 11624-rev1-13 (88 pages) Council Presidency report on re-drafting of the Council’s position with Member State positions:

– Compilation of Member State responses to the above Council Presidency draft (14901-rev-2-13, 121 pages)

With the positions of: Germany, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Finland and Switzerland (This is a Mixed Committee proposal) and Sweden’s position (14901-add5-13) 5 pages

– UK position (14901-add-4-13, 17 pages). The UK “opposes” or strongly opposes eight points in the Commission proposal and the supports the “removal” of 21 points in the Commission proposal. The UK proposes or opposes a large number of proposals for rights of access and mechanism for accountability. In general the UK feels that: “the text does not reflect the move towards privatisation of law enforcement activity”.

– Commission proposal: Proposal for a Directive 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 (COM 10-12):

11. France jumps EU law and follows UK with mass surveillance of air travellers (Mediapart, link)

12. EU: European Council: DEFENCE POLICY: European Council, 19-120 December 2013: Conclusions on common security and defence policy:

Includes Battle Groups deployment, migration, the development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), role of the European Defence Agency, the European defence technological and industrial base (EDTIB), Research – dual-use:

“The European Council calls on the Member States to deepen defence cooperation by improving the capacity to conduct missions and operations and by making full use of synergies in order to improve the development and availability of the required civilian and military capabilities, supported by a more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). This will also bring benefits in terms of growth, jobs and innovation to the broader European industrial sector.”

“The numerous civilian and military crisis management missions and operations throughout the world are a tangible expression of the Union’s commitment to international peace and security. Through CSDP, the Union today deploys more than 7000 staff in 12 civilian missions and four military operations.”

See also: Preparing the December 2013 European Council on Security and Defence Final Report by the High Representative/Head of the EDA on the Common Security and Defence Policy:

13. EU: Council of the European Union: Greek Council Presidency: Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings, January-June 2013: Draft Agendas:

14. UNHCR-UK: UK immigration bill could create ‘climate of ethnic profiling’ – UNHCR: UN refugee agency condemns bill which seeks to restrict access to benefits and force temporary migrants to pay for services (Guardian, link):

15. Italy: ASGI statement over Lampedusa video highlights: Following the shocking images of naked migrants being sprayed with disinfectant that was aired on the Rai 2 evening news programme, ASGI has issued a statement (translation):

“Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione (A.S.G.I.) expresses its disdain for the practices – documented by the national media – that migrants from both sexes were subjected to in the first aid and reception centre (CPSA) in Lampedusa. They are inhuman and degrading treatments, forbidden by the Convention for the protection of human rights and which constitute possible criminal offences that, beyond their judicial categorisation, are symbolic of living conditions in the administrative detention centres: they are a further reason to forcefully call for their immediate closure.”


1. USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal (Guardian, link)

• Appeal is against verdict by New York federal judge

• Federal appeals courts drawn into controversy

And see: NSA statement does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress

• Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders

• Statement cites ‘same privacy protections as all US persons’

2. USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit (Der Spiegel, link):

“The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.”

Cited document: COTTONMOUTH:

See also: Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox (Der Spiegel, link)

and: NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware (The Verge, link):

“The report indicates that the NSA, in collaboration with the CIA and FBI, routinely and secretly intercepts shipping deliveries for laptops or other computer accessories in order to implant bugs before they reach their destinations. According to Der Spiegel, the NSA’s TAO group is able to divert shipping deliveries to its own “secret workshops” in a method called interdiction, where agents load malware onto the electronics or install malicious hardware that can give US intelligence agencies remote access.”

And: NSA Spying on Europe/Asia SEA-ME-WE-4 Undersea Telecom Cables (including document, link)

3. USA-NSA: New documents show how the NSA infers relationships based on mobile location data (Washington Poost, link):

“Everyone who carries a cellphone generates a trail of electronic breadcrumbs that records everywhere they go. Those breadcrumbs reveal a wealth of information about who we are, where we live, who our friends are and much more. And as we reported last week, the National Security Agency is collecting location information in bulk — 5 billion records per day worldwide — and using sophisticated algorithms to assist with U.S. intelligence-gathering operations.” See: Cotraveler document:

And: “In the view of the NSA, signals intelligence, or electronic eavesdropping, was a matter of life and death, “without which America would cease to exist as we know it,” according to an internal presentation” (Washington Post): NSA/CSS Mission: Provide and Protect vital information for the nation (dated 24-2-08):

4. UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance: complacency, secrecy –Britain’s great vices: Democracy’s real responses to state surveillance begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say (Observer Editorial, link):

“the two worlds of DC and Cheltenham intersect at last. There is no absolute security, just as there are no definitive reforms. There is always desperate peril to secrecy. Horrible things happen when nobody knows. Exaggeration – about everything from terrorist threats to budget cuts – is endemic behind closed doors. Perhaps America, in the decade after 9/11, has feared and promised too much. But certainly Britain, drifting in a haze of conspiratorial chappishness, has changed far too little. The answer to both ailments is out there for us all to register. It is what we expect, what we understand and demand, that matters most. This secret world is our world, too. Democracy’s real responses begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say.”

5. UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief (Guardian, link) “British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal.”:

Friendly Fire: How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel and the EU (Der Spiegel, link) “Documents from the archive of whistleblower and former NSA worker Edward Snowden show that Britain’s GCHQ signals intelligence agency has targeted European, German and Israeli politicians for surveillance.”

N.S.A. Dragnet Included Allies, Aid Groups and Business Elite (New York Times, link) “Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses.” &

Statement by Commission spokeswoman on the newspaper allegations of surveillance of Vice-President Almunia (, link) “This piece of news follows a series of other revelations which, as we clearly stated in the past, if proven true, are unacceptable and deserve our strongest condemnation. This is not the type of behaviour that we expect from strategic partners, let alone from our own Member States.”

6. USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama review panel: strip NSA of power to collect phone data records (Guardian, link):

“Review proposes greater authority for spying on foreign leaders; Government ‘should be banned from undermining encryption’; Forty-six recommendations in 300-page report released early”

However, there is little comfort for EU concerns over surveillance of people and groups outside the USA: “the report proposes only minimal overseas reforms, merely requiring higher clearance to “identify both the uses and the limits of surveillance on foreign leaders and in foreign nations.”

See: full report:

7. EU-US: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs working documents :

Working document 1 on the US and EU Surveillance programmes and their impact on EU citizens fundamental rights

Working document 3 on the relation between the surveillance practices in the EU and the US and the EU data protection provisions

Working document 4 on US Surveillance activities with respect to EU data and its possible legal implications on transatlantic agreements and cooperation

Working document 5 on Democratic oversight of Member State intelligence services and of EU intelligence bodies

8. USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal (Guardian, link)

• Appeal is against verdict by New York federal judge

• Federal appeals courts drawn into controversy

And see: NSA statement does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress

• Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders

• Statement cites ‘same privacy protections as all US persons’

9. EU-UK-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP:

“Condemns in the strongest possible terms the vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information; emphasises that the systems of mass, indiscriminate surveillance by intelligence services constitute a serious interference with the fundamental rights of citizens; stresses that privacy is not a luxury right, but that it is the foundation stone of a free and democratic society; points out, furthermore, that mass surveillance has potentially severe effects on the freedom of the press, thought and speech, as well as a significant potential for abuse of the information gathered against political adversaries; emphasises that these mass surveillance activities appear also to entail illegal actions by intelligence services and raise questions regarding the extra-territoriality of national laws”

July 25, 2013

Letter from Martin Schulz, MEP, President of the European Parliament to the Council Presidency: Asking how the European Parliament is going to be informed on the meetings taking place between the EU and the USA:

‘Key Partners’: The Secret Link Between Germany and the NSA (Spiegel Online, link): “Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said she knew nothing about American surveillance activities in Germany. But documents seen by SPIEGEL show that German intelligence cooperates closely with the NSA and even uses spy software provided by the US”: 
Extract from the Minutes of the 4 July 2013 meeting of COREPER II: EU-US High Level expert group on security and data protection: COREPER is the Council of the European Union’s Committee of permanent Brussels-based epresentatives of the 28 EU Member States:

Facebook, Skype challenged in EU over spy affair (euobserver, link): ” A group of Austrians, led by law
student Max Schrems, has challenged the EU-based subsidiaries of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo on data privacy following revelations that they allowed US intelligence services to search to Europeans’ data.”:
Statement from the Intelligence and Security Committee clears GCHQ on use of PRISM: Statement on GCHQ’s
Alleged Interception of Communications under the US PRISM Programme:

” It has been alleged that GCHQ circumvented UK law by using the NSA’s PRISM programme to access the content of private communications. From the evidence we have seen, we have concluded that this is unfounded.”
and: Inquiry into snooping laws as committee clears GCHQ: Intelligence and security committee also confirms GCHQ’s use of NSA
Prism surveillance material for first time (Guardian, link): also: Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament: Annual Report 2012–2013: As usual this is peppered with *** (censored sections). The report does draw attention to a little publicised fact that: “The Security Service continues to work closely with the police, and has a network of regional stations ***.” In 2011 MI5 set up eight new regional stations – around a quarter of MI5’s 4,000+ officers are based in the regions:
The PRISM scandal gets bigger (EDRI, link)
The Power of Britain’s Data Vacuum (Spiegel Online, link)
High Court Refuses Provisional Arrest Warrant for Edward Snowden: What Next? (Human Rights in Ireland, link): The USA’s application for provisional arrest to Ireland is dated 5 July – three days after Morales’ jet forced to land:
9. USA:
In ‘Chilling’ Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists’ Private Internet Data: “Sweeping” subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant’s devastating actions in Ecuador (link):
Merkel calls for EU data protection law after US spy affair (euobserver, link):
and Prism case prompts Merkel to seek tougher EU data protection laws (euractiv, link)
and see: Privacy campaigners demand review of snooping laws – Groups write to select committee raising concerns about the way ministers and intelligence agencies have interpreted law (Guardian, link):
Guardian report: Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages (link):
European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee MEPs agree on surveillance inquiry’s next steps (link)
The European Parliament inquiry into alleged spying by the US and EU countries will hold hearings with their authorities, legal and IT experts, NGOs, data protection authorities, national parliaments following this issue and private firms involved in data transfers, the Civil Liberties Committee decided on Wednesday. The first hearing takes place on 5 September.
Congressional Research Service report: NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress (2.7.13:
Recent attention concerning National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance pertains to unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. Since these programs were publicly disclosed over the course of two days in June, there has been confusion about what information is being collected and what authorities the NSA is acting under. This report clarifies the differences between the two programs and identifies potential issues that may help Members of Congress assess legislative proposals pertaining to NSA surveillance authorities.
Federal Judge Allows Electronic Frontier Foundation’s NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed (link)

And: Why “we only spy on foreigners” doesn’t work any more for the NSA (Washington Post, link)

US attempts to block Edward Snowden are ‘bolstering’ case for asylum – As Venezuela and Nicaragua offer help
to whistleblower, experts say US actions are strengthening his case for safe haven (The Observer, link) see: The NSA/GCHQ metadata reassurances are breathtakingly cynical – The public is being told that the NSA and GCHQ have ‘only’ been collecting metadata, not content. That’s nothing to be thankful for (The Observer, link)

Me and my metadata – thoughts on online surveillance (link): Betrayed by our own data: Mobile phones are tracking devices that
reveal much about our lives. One look at our interactive map of data provided by the Green party politician Malte Spitz shows why (link):
NSA leaks: UK blocks crucial espionage talks between US and Europe – First talks to soothe transatlantic tensions to be restricted to data privacy and Prism programme after Britain and Sweden’s veto (Guardian, link):“While Grybauskaite [Lithuanian Council Presidency] said on Thursday that the Europeans wanted to hold two separate sets of talks with the U.S., just a day later she said one was dropped, along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. “Intelligence matters and those of national security are not the competence of the EU,” Barroso said.” (Activist Post, link): Bunyan, Statewatch Director, observes: “Instead of creating two EU-USA working groups as promised, the UK and Sweden veto means there will only be one working group on PRISM and data protection. The working group that has been vetoed would have covered intelligence and espionage collection and usage – the role of the USA’s NSA and UK’s GCHQ gathering all forms of communications not just between EU governments but also those of individuals and groups
“of interest to the state” in Europe and the rest of the world..”

Venezuela and Nicaragua make Snowden asylum offers (BBC News, link)
MEPs slam US snooping, amid revelations France does the same (euobserver, link):– France ‘runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style methods’: Intelligence agency has spied on French public’s phone calls, emails and internet activity, says Le Monde newspaper (Guardian, link):– Kroes: Spy scandal could harm US Cloud firms (euobserver, link):– US and Germany to hold talks over European NSA surveillance concerns: Obama tells Merkel US ‘takes seriously the concerns’ but French interior minister admonishes US ambassador at 4 July party (Guardian, link):– Latin American leaders slam US, EU on Morales flight (euobserver, link):– John Pilger: Forcing down Evo Morales’s plane was an act of air piracy: Denying the Bolivian president air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world (Guardian, link):

– In English : Revelations on the French Big Brother (Société, link)

European Parliament: Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes: resolution, approved by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions. The Resolution:
http: // see: TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance (La Quadrature du net, link):
Révélations sur le Big Brother français (Le Monde, link)
EU-US counter-terrorism pacts at risk over snooping affair (euobserver, link): Snowden Claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot (Spiegel Online, link)

European NGO statement: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Transnational Institute and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights: Grounding of Bolivian presidential jet in attempt to render whistleblower shames European Union:

“The refusal of entry into their airspace by European states for the
Bolivian presidential jet on the basis of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board was an astonishing manoeuvre that flies in the face of the EU’s commitment to democracy, human rights and international law. The potential damage that this action does to both the reputation of the European Union and respect for international law within and beyond its borders cannot be understated. The forcing down and searching the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of fundamental principles of diplomatic immunity and inviolability. Such principles are the bedrock of good international relations and customary international law.”

Bolivian President: ““kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe”

“According to media reports, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal .. denied his plane the right to fly over their airspace.” : EU states ground Bolivian leader’s plane in Snowden affair (euobserver, link):

“Saavedrd said he considered the whole fiasco as a hostile act perpetrated by the United States which uses EU governments as proxies.” [Bolivian Defence Minister] and “Bolivia’s vice president, Alvaro Garcia, went further. He said Morales had been “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe.”

– Bolivians bitter as Snowden stand-off triggers ‘hostile act’ (CQ News, link): “Just days after the US President’s claim that he would not ‘‘be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker’’, the Obama administration was accused of doing precisely that.”

A blast from the past: ECHELON report and follow up: 1999 :

Barroso orders security sweep after allegations of US spying (European Voice, link):
EU data bill is likely target of NSA snoops (euobserver, link): Statement by the spokespersons of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on the press reports of US surveillance of EU premises (link):
The Washington Post publishes new documents on PRISM: NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program (link) 

And see: U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program (Washington Post, link):

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies – Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets
including EU, France and Italy (Guardian, link): 

See also: Press release: Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the alleged surveillance of EU premises:

EU-US relations at risk after new bugging scandal (euobserver, link) EU calls for US wiretapping to ‘stop immediately’ (euractiv, link):

This is not the first time this has happened, do you remember this from 2003: Telephone lines in EU Council building tapped (euobserver, link)

Consortium How to Thwart Internet Spying (link) DATA SURVEILLANCE: Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices (Der Spiegel, link):

Documents obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel from whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the USA’s NSA has been spying on the diplomatic missions of the EU at the UN in New York and and its offices in Washington. This involved placing bugs in their offices and intercepting its computer networks. The NSA was able to listen in to discussion as well as getting access to emails and documents.The documents also show that just over five years ago the NSA conducted an electronic eavesdropping operation in the Council of the European Union’s Justis Lipsius headquarters in Rue de la Loi.

For those that missed here are three three original leaks by Snowden:

Top Secret: Exhibit A:

Secret: Exhibit B:

Secret: Certification Order:

European Parliament: Schulz on alleged bugging of EU office by the US authorities (link):

Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl: Minister questions legality of mass tapping of calls and
internet and demands to know extent to which Germans were targeted (Guardian, link):

August 20, 2012

1. European Court of Human Rights to examine complaint against ban on anonymous prepaid mobile phone cards

A member of the Schleswig-Holstein parliament and a civil liberties activist have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights against a German law which makes identification compulsory when buying prepaid mobile phone SIM cards. Laws to that effect exist in 9 of the 27 EU Member States (Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Spain). The applicants hope that the Court will recognize their right to anonymous communications and anonymous Internet access.

2. GREECE: Racist Violence Recording Network: Fatal attack in Iraqi in Athens:”Prompted by the fatal attack on a young Iraqi, on Sunday 12 August 2012, in the centre of Athens, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) along with the 19 NGOs and other bodies that constitute the Racist Violence Recording Network* strongly condemn, once again, acts of racist violence and call on the Greek Government and competent authorities to take immediate measures to address the escalation of racist attacks.”

3. EU: Council of the European Union: False documents, HLWG Asylum & Migration, ICAO, Civilian Capability, SOCTA, Public Order
– FALSE DOCUMENTS: Working Party on Frontiers/False Documents – Mixed Committee (EU – Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway/Switzerland) dated: 30 May 2012 Subject: Summary of discussions (pdf) Includes “State of FADO play” in Appendix: HLWG: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG) (Doc no: 11927-12) Includes in Annex:”GAMM UPDATE, 21 May 2012: This document provides an updated overview of the main external migration dialogue processes implemented in the framework of the EU Global Approach. The document is compiled for the information of the EU High Level Working Group on Migration and Asylum by the responsible European Commission services, in association with the EEAS.”- HLWG High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG) (Doc no: 11928-12,pdf) Includes in Annex:”GAMMUPDATE 15 June 2012: This document provides an updated overview of the main external migration dialogue processes implemented in the framework of the EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). The document is compiled for the information of the EU High Level Working Group on Migration and Asylum by the responsible European Commission services, in association with the EEAS.”- EU-ICAO: Preparation of the ICAO High Level Conference on Aviation Security (Montreal, 12-14 September 2012) – European Union coordination of a common position. With detailed Annex for meeting in Montréal, 12 to 14 September 2012:

– European External Action Service (EEAS): To: : Political and Security Committee (PSC) Subject : Multi-annual Civilian Capability Development Plan (Doc no: 12110-12):

– European External Action Service (EEAS) To: Political and Security Committee (PSC): Subject : Multi-annual Civilian Capability Development Plan: Action Lines for 2012-2013 (12111-12):

– SOCTA: Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) – Methodology (28 pages):

– PUBLIC ORDER: List of permanent contact points concerning public order:

4. France: Ministry of Interior unveils “hotspot” policy to tackle “rooted delinquency” a note released on 30 July 2012, the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the launch of a new security policy targeting newly identified “priority security areas” (Zone prioritaires de sécurité, ZPS). [1] The project will be launched in 15 pilot cities in September 2012.

5. EU: Revision of Data Retention Directive put on hold with “no precise timetable” for a new proposal of the controversial EU Data Retention Directive – which requires the storage of internet and phone records for between six months and two years – has been put on hold by the European Commission. It is now seeking to establish a new data protection regime before revising the Data Retention Directive at the same time as a conflicting piece of legislation, the e-Privacy Directive.

See also Statewatch’s Observatory: The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU (from 2004 and ongoing):

6. UK: Commissioner’s annual reports: Interception of Communications and Surveillance: More information or a lot less? Interception Commissioner cuts three of four annual aggregate statistics and claims giving more information would aid criminals
– Surveillance Commissioner complains again about the lack of resources to do the job properlyTony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:”To suggest that providing aggregate figures – as has been the case for the last fourteen years – on the number of warrants in force on 31 December and the number of warrant “modifications” would aid criminals or endanger national security is simple nonsense.The voluminous report of the Interception Commissioner is primarily concerned with showing how good a job he does on inspecting the agencies. But as an exercise in democratic accountability it is greatly wanting with the Commissioner releasing less information that ever before.”See also Statewatch’s Observatory on: UK: Surveillance Statistics: 1937-2011:
7. UK: Interception, Surveillance, Intelligence and Security Service Annual Reports:
– 2011 Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner: Annual Report of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner: 2011-2012: Intelligence Services Commissioner: 2011: Intelligence and Security Committee Annual Report: 2011-2013: Investigatory Powers Tribunal 2011: Statistical report: 180 complaints none of which were upheld PM Written Statement:

8. GREECE: Pro Asyl: The systematic ill-treatment of migrants and refugees by state agewnts in Patras (link):
9. EU: Council of the European Union: Report on: European Police Chiefs Convention (29 pages): by All 27 EU Member States plus Albania, Australia, Colombia, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. Includes sections on cyber-crime and “Itinerant organised crime groups”

“But there are two main reasons why the criminal offences deriving from itinerant groups cannot be tolerated. The first one is of course the fact that the criminal offences cannot be viewed as isolated incidents, as they are pearls on either a string of poverty-led actions, or on a string of well-organised persons…

It seems that itinerant is the right word to use – the opposite of a sedentary life – no base, constantly on the move. It calls to mind the idea of perpetual movement, of a wandering way of life, a lack of permanent base or registered address. It is the opposite of a sedentary lifestyle.”

10. USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Federal Law Should Be Updated to Address Changing Technology Landscape):”Technological developments since the Privacy Act became law in 1974 have changed the way information is organised and shared among organisations and individuals. Such advances have rendered some of the provisions of the Privacy Act and the E-Government Act of 2002 inadequate to fully protect all personally identifiable information collected, used, and maintained by the federal government. For example, GAO has reported on challenges in protecting the privacy of personal information relative to agencies’ use of Web 2.0 and data-mining technologies.”

11. EU: NEW REGULATION ON DATA PROTECTION: National concerns over the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation (Infosecurity, link):”Statewatch, an independent organisation that keeps an eye on civil liberties in the EU, has released a leaked copy of European nations’ initial response to the proposed new Data Protection Regulation…It shows a wide difference in attitude. For example, a very common concern is the Regulation’s reliance on ‘delegations’; that is, the ability of the EU to arbitrarily add to or amend the agreed Regulation in the future.”

See also: UK submits concerns over proposed data protection reforms (Outlaw, link)

and see: Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the ‘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)’ :

“clarifications can be made to the proposed text. It gives some detailed examples in this opinion in relation to a number of articles, helping to provide a better definition of rights, of stronger protection for the public in general and of workers in particular, of the nature of consent, of the lawfulness of processing and, in particular, of the duties of data protection officers and data processing in the context of employment.The EESC also considers that some aspects that have not been addressed should be included, not least the need to broaden the scope of the regulation, the processing of sensitive data and collective actions.”

12. UK: Thousands of workers ‘blacklisted’ over political views – Commissioner urged to investigate ‘secret database’ used by the construction industry (Independent, link)
13. GREECE: “Xenios Zeus” campaign continues (Athens News, link):″Greek police continued the “Xenios Zeus” campaign on Monday, sweeping through areas of Athens and beyond, in an attempt to battle unregistered migration. Over the weekend, according to an official announcement by police headquarters, 1130 arrests were documented in the Athenian capital, all those arrested failing to meet the legal requirements for their continued stay in the country.”

14. EU: Council of the European Union: Internal Security Fund, Asylum and Migration Fund and Croatia: International agreements
– INTERNAL SECURITY FUND: Developing Council position: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament of the Council establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management – Revised compromise proposal by the Presidency: ASYLUM FUND: Developing Council position: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions on the Asylum and Migration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management – Revised Compromise proposal by the Presidency on certain Articles: Commission: Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations for the adaptation of agreements (referred to in the attached Annex) signed or concluded between the European Union, or the European Union and its Member States, with one or more third countries or international organisations, in view of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union: Annex: 17 page list of third state Agreements that applicant countries have to sign up to.
15. EU: Statewatch Analysis: “Tackling new threats upon which the security and prosperity of our free societies increasingly depend”: the EU]US Working Group on Cyber Security and Cyber crime by Chris Jones:

“A trans-Atlantic working group has been created to share best practices, exchange information, and look at specific issues such as cyber incident management and child pornography. The group’s activities promote increased internet regulation and the development of military capabilities for cyberspace, which invariably come at the expense of individual rights and freedoms.”

16. EU: Council of the European Union: JSB & Eurojust, EU Ombudsman and the Council and PRUM
– Activity Report of the Joint Supervisory Body of Eurojust for the year 2011: Replies to European Ombudsman enquiries addressed to the European Council or to the Council in relation to public access to documents: procedure: PRUM: Belgian delegation: Evaluation procedure for implementing the data exchange provisions pursuant to Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA (Prüm Decisions)
– reply to questionnaire on exchange of DNA data:
17. EU: Council of the European Union: Eurodac & LEAs, Eurosur and EASO
– EURODAC: Council Presidency re-draft: Access to Eurodac database of aslyum applicants’ fingerprints: Amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of ‘EURODAC’ for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No […/…] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version): EUROSUR: Outcome of disucssions on Council’s position: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR): EUROSUR: Council Presidency re-draft: Subject as above: European Asylum Support Office (EASO): 2011 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union and on the Activities of the European Asylum Support Office (5 MB file):
18. EU: Statewatch Analysis: State Trojans: Germany exports “spyware with a badge” (pdf) by Kees Hudig:”German police have been using software to surveil people’s internet activity beyond what is allowed by the law. There has also been increased cross]border cooperation with the police forces of neighbouring countries, with an informal working group meeting twice a year without the knowledge of parliamentarians.”

19. ITALY-GREECE: Human Cargo: Arbitrary readmissions from the Italian sea ports to Greece (pdf) by PRO ASYL Foundation and Friends of PRO ASYL in co-operation with the Greek Council for Refugees:

“While official statistics indicate that a certain number of people are being readmitted annually from Italy to Greece, NGOs in Greece in their daily operations have registered a much greater number of people who have been readmitted from Italy.”

20. EU institutions fail to improve governance of EU regulatory agencies a few years of negotiations, the EU recently adopted a Common Approach for improved governance of EU 31 regulatory agencies. However, the agreed text seems to fall short of the Commission’s objectives of greater transparency and accountability.

21. EU: Council of the European Union: State of play: Implementation of the Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union – Information provided to the General Secretariat :
22. UK: Statewatch Analysis: A “clean city”: the Olympic Games and civil liberties by Chris Jones:”Sponsors of the Games – including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Cadbury’s, BP and, perhaps most controversially, Dow Chemical – were promised “what is chillingly called a “clean city”, handing them ownership of everything within camera distance of the games.” In combination with measures put in place to deal with what have been described as the “four key risks” of terrorism, protest, organised crime and natural disasters, these measures have led to a number of detrimental impacts upon civil liberties, dealt with here under the headings of freedom of expression; freedom of movement; freedom of assembly; and the right to protest”

23. EU: European Commission: SECURITY INDUSTRY: Communication on Security Industrial Policy: Action Plan for an innovative and competitive Security Industry The Commission presents an Industrial Policy for the Security Industry (Press release, link):
24. EU: European Commission: Submission of the 2011 Activity Report of the Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice:

July 10, 2012

1. EU: Borderline: The EU’s New Border Surveillance Initiatives:
Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the “Smart Borders” Proposals: A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen:“Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values – under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane.”
2. EU: Statewatch Analysis: “We are not animals”: Concern intensifies over detention of migrants in Europe by Marie Martin:

“Recent reports on very poor detention conditions of migrants in some EU countries present a concerning picture of current detention standards and practices. They emphasise systemic issues at stake with the implementation of the Returns Directive now transposed in all EU national legislations and further question the compatibility of administrative detention with the respect of fundamental rights.”

3. UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants concludes second country visit in his regional study on the human rights of migrants at the borders of the European Union:
Visit to Turkey:
4. UN Human Rights Council: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau:

5. Germany: Plan to export hundreds of tanks to Saudi Arabia sparks fierce opposition:

“Campaigners, activists and politicians in Germany have denounced the proposed sale to Saudi Arabia of hundreds of tanks designed for “urban warfare”, with the deal described as “scandalous” and “against democracy and human rights”.

6. UK/Northern Ireland:
Police use of plastic bullets would be “a recipe for disaster”:
7. EU: Council of the European Union: Turkey, Migration, UN peacekeeping, Sanctions
– TURKEY: Council Conclusions on developing cooperation with Turkey in the areas of Justice and Home Affairs:– TURKEY READMISSION: Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and Republic of Turkey on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation: COMMON GUIDELINES:– Note from Spanish delegation: To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group on combatting irregular migration and trafficking: Final report of COSI project group on “Measure 16” (Doc no: 9338-rev1-12, 16 pages) Detailed report on operations:– European External Action Service: To: Political and Security Committee: Plan of Action to enhance EU CSDP support to UN peacekeeping:– General Secretariat of the Council: Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy:
8. UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: Private Investigators (130 pages):

9. UK: The Terrorism Acts in 2011:
Report of the Independent Reviewer on the operation of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 by David Anderson QC (143 pages):
10. MALTA: Bishops say migrant’s killing raises serious questions – suggest review of detention policy (Times of Malta, links):

Magistrate quizzed over delayed migrant death inquiry and One man, many names:

11. EU: European Court of Justice:Advocate General Opinion finds for the Commission: European Commission v Republic of Austria:

“Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations – Protection of natural persons with regard of the processing of personal data – Duties of national supervisory authorities responsible for supervising the processing of personal data to be carried out with complete independence – Close personal and organisational connections between the supervisory authority and the Federal Chancellery”

12. EU-USA: TFTP: Questions to the Commission from ALDE group MEPs:
The implementation of the EU-US TFTP Agreement:
13. EU: Commission failing to follow the rules on the operation of EURODAC

14. Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly:
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons: Roma migrants in Europe:“The perception of Roma is guided by myths and misconceptions. Being a Roma and being a migrant commonly means for the wider public being a nomad and an irregular migrant. This is how Roma migrants are perceived.
European Parliament rejects ACTA (Press releas): Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), was rejected by the European Parliament on Wednesday, and hence cannot become law in the EU. This was the first time that Parliament exercised its Lisbon Treaty power to reject an international trade agreement. 478 MEPs voted against ACTA, 39 in favour, and 165 abstained.
16. Boats 4 People: solidarity flotilla in the Mediterranean

17. EU: UNITED: List of 16,264 documented refugee deaths through Fortress Europe
18. EU: Council of the European Union:
– “MIGRATORY PRESSURES”: CARROT & STICK: Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion/Mixed Committee (EU-Iceland/Norway/Switzerland/Liechtenstein): Preliminary synthesis on Member States’ responses to a questionnaire following up on “EU Action on Migratory Pressures – A Strategic Response” regarding readmission and return (Doc no: 11317-12, 31 pages): synthesis of a total of 5 delegations’ detailed responses who have so far replied to the questionnaire (Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands and Poland) in answer to the following questions: “to identify and prioritize the three third countries, with which concluding an EU readmission agreement would be of interest, focusing on countries of origin of illegal migration” and “to indicate the main tailor-made incentives that may be offered in order to ensure the proper level of cooperation” and “to identify the main challenges regarding voluntary and/or forced returns to those three third countries previously identified”
The targeted countries are: Afghanistan, India, Iraq and Tunisia.-“MIGRATORY PRESSURE”: Policy cycle: Links between the EU Action on Migratory Pressures and several EU Crime Priorities in the framework of the EU Policy Cycle (Doc no: 11568-12):– “MIGRATORY PRESSURE”: EU Action on Migratory Pressures – A Strategic Response (Doc no: 9650-12)
19. EU: Council of the European Union: PRUM, Internal security and the RABAT process
– PRUM: 2011 report: Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border-crime, Council Decision 2008/616/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the implementation of Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border-crime (“Prüm Decisions”) – statistics and reports on automated data exchange for 2011 (Doc no: 1367-12):– Internal security: Standing Committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI): Initial discussion on: Internal Security Strategy – Second implementation report (Commission):– RABAT: High-Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration: The Rabat process: the road ahead 2012-2014:“The Euro-African Process on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) brings together more than fifty countries of origin, transit and destination, which have a shared vision of a rational, balanced and efficient management of migration flows from and via West and Central Africa.”
20. EU: Council of the European Union: “Illegals” roadmap, Trafficking and Western Balkans:
“Drivers”, “Co-drivers” and “Guardian angels”: EU Action Plan on migratory
Pressures: Strategic response: State of play on follow up (Doc no: 12024-12):
21. UN: Human Rights Council:
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association:
22. UN: Human Rights Council:
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue:
23. Italy/Hungary: Court annuls Afghan’s Dublin II return to Hungary

On 27 April 2012, the Lazio Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale (TAR, Regional Administrative Court) upheld an appeal (no. 05292/2012) by an Afghan citizen against his return to Hungary in application of the Dublin II Regulation (decision deposited on 15 June 2012).

The Court defines the scope of the right of access to documents of the EU institutions in the context of merger control proceedings (Press release): “The Commission may, subject to certain conditions, refuse access to documents relating to merger control proceedings without first carrying out a concrete, individual examination of those documents”: of judgment:
25 TURKEY: International delegation to attend trial of Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu) in Turkey:

26. EU: Cyprus Council Presidency: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, Nicosia, 23-24 July 2012:
Agenda (pdf)
Letter from Director of Frontex: Subject: Ombudsman Own Initiative Enquiry: Answers: Annexes:
28. EU: REGULATION ON ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Final “State of play” from Danish Council Presidency:
Recast of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents: the Presidency perspective on the failed attempt to amend Regulation 1049. It presented an “adjusted” draft Council position but the “WPI [Working Party on Information] did however not share this assessment” “Some delegations” wanted to abandon the process, and “others” wanted a “limited package” covering the Arhus Convention, data protection, information officers and “improving” access to legislative documents “based on the Commission 2008 proposal.The EU institutions are left with the dilemma of implementing the Commission’s 2011 proposal to “Lisbonise” the Regulation by formally extending the scope of the Regulation to cover EU agencies and bodies but even this is contentious,See Statewatch Analyses: Proposed Commission changes to Regulation on access to documents fail to meet Lisbon Treaty commitments: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit: Statewatch’s Observatory: Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-ongoing
29.SWEDEN: Sweden’s national counter-terrorism strategy:

30. EU-UK: UK opts-out of Proceeds of Crime Directive:
see: Hansard (link): “That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 7641/12 and Addenda 1 and 2, a draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union; and supports the Government’s intention to not opt-in under Protocol (No. 21) to the European Union Treaties at this stage.”

May 10, 2011

1. EU: Welcome to the new world of the interception of telecommunications

– under the new forms of interception Member States simply authorise themselves
– Italian government survey response: “it is probably possible that the telecommunications are in a way “deviated” to the requesting state without listening in Italy.”
– “the legal framework with respect to transnational searches of such devices is not well-developed.” (EU-G6 Interior Ministers)

2. EU: Council of the European Union: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
3. EU: European Commission: Operational Guidance on Fundamental Rights in Commission Impact Assessments
4. EU: European Investigation Order (EIO): Council of the European Union: grounds for refusal to execute
5. EU: Statewatch Analysis: Commission Communication on migration: Adapting the Schengen Border Code
On 4th May 2011, the European Commission published a new Communication on Migration. In light of the on-going political turmoil in North Africa and the subsequent impact on southern EU member states – notably Italy and Malta – the Communication outlines current and future proposals with regard to migration issues. However, it is not limited to policy areas affected by the situation in North Africa, and is in fact a vehicle for demanding a range of political and institutional changes at both EU and Member State level.
6. EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Council of the European Union: Perverse decision
A perverse decision by the Council to refuse access to the Opinion of the Council Legal Services concerning the Council’s use of powers under the Comitology Regulation (implementation). Four Member States – Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden voted against the refusal of access to the document as it “does not contain particularly sensitive information” and they did not agree with “the interpretation of the Turco case-law”.
7. EU: Statewatch Analysis: The effects of security policies on rights and liberties in the European Union, and their export beyond the EU’s borders
Far-reaching analysis: 1) The introduction of the so-called “security package” in Italy, which institutionalises discrimination as a general rule; 2) Exceptional practices to counter terrorism in UK and exception turned into routine in the functioning of Italian courts; 3) The criminalisation of behaviour that is not criminal per se; 4) The state of emergency declared in France when there were disturbances in the banlieues [suburbs]; 5) Identification of problem groups and introduction of norms against them; 6) Events in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco; 7) Subcontracting border controls, detention and returns.
8. EU: FRONTEX: FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS: Latest Council position on the Frontex Regulation
Fundamental rights: The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament proposed that an Advisory Board on Fundamental Rights should be created “positioned above the Agency” (emphasis added). At the meeting of the Council’s Working Party on Frontiers (comprising representatives of Member State delegations): “no delegation could accept the proposal”. Instead the Council is proposing: 1) that Frontex should “further develop” its Fundamental Rights Strategy” (drawn up and agreed by Frontex); 2) a Consultative Forum should be set up whose composition would be decided by Frontex; and 3) A Fundamental Rights Officer, through open competition, appointed by Frontex.Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “The Council’s proposals on ensuring fundamental rights are respected in all Frontex activities are utterly toothless and provide a fig-leaf of accountability. Frontex, like now, would remain a law unto itself.
9. EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Latest draft of the Council’s position: now includes “intra-EU flights”
10. EU-USA: US Congressional Research Service: US-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism
11. EU: Historical documents: Council of the European Union: Questionnaire: electronic recording of entries and exits
12. GREECE: NGO “AITIMA”: Asylum seekers are put in jail!
“The police authorities, punishing with imprisonment everyone who is trying to practice his/her right to apply for asylum, are basically demolishing such entitlement. This practice is a cruel violation of human rights of the refugees. The rights of the refugees are ratified in the international conventions and therefore compel our country.”
13. Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: An overview of work on issues relating to human rights and terrorism
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “The Council’s Discussion Paper raises fundamental issues about the legality of Member States continuing to to gather and retain details of all communications under the Directive.”
15. EU: Historical documents: EU-USA: TFTP/SWIFT Agreement
16. ECJ: Judgment: Italy told it cannot send a person to prison because they are unable to remove them from the country
17. EU: FRONTEX: Multicolumn document on the Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament
18. EU: LIST OF TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Multicolumn document on the Trilogue discussions between the Council and the EP
19. EU: RIGHT TO INFORMATION IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDING: Trilogue discussions between the Council and the EP
20. EU: European Investigation Order (EIO)
21. EU: SCHENGEN: France and Italy propose reform of EU border rules
22. EU: Mandatory data retention: Press release by the German Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat)
23. EU: Council of the European Union: Internal security, 29 Measures, TCNs

March 30, 2011

Statewatch News Online

1. EU: Council of the European Union: FRONTEX: Proposal for a Regulation
Very useful summary of the positions of the Council, Commission and European Parliament on the amendments to the Frontex Regulation:
2. EU: Council of the European Union: Handbook on EU-U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Agreements (MLATs)
This spells out the formal legal position.
3. EU: Council of the European Union: Includes FRONTEX information exchanges with EU agencies and Member States
“In the context of the 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of external borders and combating illegal immigration (6975/10), the Project Group on Measure 6 has produced its final report. The objective of this Project Group “Measure 6” is: “To improve the collection, processing and systematic exchange of relevant information between FRONTEX, other EU Agencies and Member States”.
4. EU-UK: HoL Select Committee on EU: The United Kingdom opt-in to the Passenger Name Record directive
The Committee supports a UK opt-in. But it is concerned, as is the government, that the draft Directive allows the use of data collected but is unclear on the collection of passenger data – which the UK already does on intra-EU flights:
5. UK: Sixth police spy in protest movement unmasked
6. UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Facilitating peaceful protests
“We were surprised to find that there appears to be no specific guidance setting out the circumstances in which the use of the baton against the head might be justifiable…. we remain concerned about kettling and the use of batons: clearer operational guidance is needed on both of these if the police are to meet their commitment to human rights successfully.”
7. EU Classified Information (EUCI): Agreement extending its Classified information rules to Member States
The Agreement primarily concerns the exchange of Top Secret, Secret and Confidential information. But also cover the classification: “Restricted” which is defined as:“This marking is applied to information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which could be disadvantageous to the interests of the European Union or of one or more of the Member States.” (emphasis added).There is always the temptation open to officials to push a “LIMITE” document, which is not a classified document, up to the “RESTRICTED” level to deny access as this could be “disadvantageous” and lead to a public debate.Background: The Council’s EUCI: Council Decision on the security rules for protecting EU classified information:
8. ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: Carlo Giuliani judgment

Seven judges dissented from the majority verdict.

9. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

Background Paper:

“Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: “Reconciling data protection, privacy and public access to documents is a challenge at EU as well as Member State level. Whilst the fundamental right to data protection must be respected by the institutions, care should be taken that data protection is not used as a pretext for not being transparent. This is detrimental to good governance and not in the interest of data protection either. The EU administration should therefore give the right example. Our analysis has shown that a proactive approach serves all interests best.”

10. USA: US court validates spying fears of journalists, activists

Under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which allows the unlimited, uncontrolled, surveillance of the communications of individuals outside the USA both within and outside the country they live in.

– Court judgment:
– Naomi Klein submission to the court:

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “FISA presents the threat of surveillance to journalists, lawyers and activists in the EU and elsewhere”

12. Netherlands-USA: SWIFT data and MLA treaty
13. ECJ: Highlights of the Access Info Europe judgment
The Council claimed that Statewatch’s publication of the document EU doc no: 16338/08: had:
– seriously undermined the Council’s decision-making procedures
– had led the Council to change it procedures so as not to record the Member State positions and
– disclosure lead to a “hostile media reception” or “sharp criticism on the part of the public”The Court found that none of these allegations were substantiated – and observed on the third allegation that: “it is in the nature of democratic debate that a proposal for amendment of a draft regulation, of general scope, binding in all of its elements and directly applicable in all the Member States, can be subject to both positive and negative comments on the part of the public and media.”Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:“The case for the repeal of Article 4.3 of the Regulation on access to EU documents which allows the Council to routinely refuse access to documents “under discussion” on the grounds that to do so would “seriously undermine” the decision-making procedure could not be put better:The Commission’s recent proposal to amend the Regulation to reflect the changes in the Lisbon Treaty provides an excellent opportunity for the European Parliament to effect this judgment by getting rid of Article 4.3 and open up the Council’s legislative role to public scrutiny and accountability”
14. ECJ: Major victory for openness
The General Court of the ECJ has found in favour of the NGO Access Info Europe for access to a Council document containing the position of Member States concerning amendments to the EU Regulation on public access to documents: Full-text of ECJ judgment:
15. EU: ROAD SAFETY: European Commission
6th Working Meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the accession of the EU to the ECHR:
17. COE: Draft Outline Structure of the Recommendation concerning Foreign Prisoners
18. EU: SECURITY RESEARCH: Lobbyists delight
19 EU: Proposed Commission changes to Regulation on access to documents fail to meet Lisbon Treaty commitments

January 21, 2011

UK: Statewatch analysis: Six months on: An update on the UK coalition government

Statewatch publishes a follow-up to its June 2010 analysis of the coalition government’s commitment to civil liberties: Within weeks of its formation in May 2010, the coalition government announced with much fanfare its intention of encroaching state power. Bankrupt National Identity Scheme followed, but since then the government rather than an
unerring commitment to liberty.

This is largely because there are splits within government on many of the key civil liberties issues that fundamentally define the relationship between citizen and state: how long and under what conditions can the government detain us, to what extent should the state surveil us, and what data on us should it hold? These internal divisions have been compounded by significant pressure from the civil service and security agencies to retain Labour policies that served to empower them.

On intrinsically divisive topics such as the future of the Human Rights Act and counter-terrorism legislation, commissions of enquiry have been used as a stalling tactic to avoid creating friction within the coalition and to provide time during which common ground can be found. Difficult decisions cannot be delayed indefinitely and it remains unclear which
party will hold sway. The contents of the much anticipated Freedom Bill will go a long way towards revealing the extent of the coalition commitment to civil liberties.

Original June 2010 analysis:

December 30, 2010

1. EU: Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty
2. EU: Statewatch Analysis: The EU Justice and Home Affairs agenda in 2011
3. EU: Council Presidency (Hungary): Provisional Justice and Home Affairs Council Agendas
4. Statewatch Analysis: Case Law Summary: EU access to documents Regulation
5. Germany: Under permanent observation
6. EU: European Parliament: Draft report: combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children
7. European Parliament: Frontex proposal draft report
8. EU-funded police research on policing protests
9. SWEDEN-USA: Wikileaks: exchanges of intelligence information


Free access to two unique resources on civil liberties in Europe

Statewatch is pleased to announce free access to its specialist civil liberties websites
Full access to these resources was previously only available to paid subscribers

1. THE STATEWATCH DATABASE with 27,000 articles on civil liberties in Europe dating back 20 years

2. The SEMDOC website: Statewatch European Monitoring Centre on EU Justice and Home Affairs policy

Download the Press Release:

1. UK: Student protester operated on after being ‘hit with police baton’
Alfie Meadows, 20, treated for bleeding on the brain over incident at tuition fees demo which has been referred to IPCC (Guardian, link):
… and Police dragged me from wheelchair twice during protests, says demonstrator – A disabled protester is to lodge a complaint against the Metropolitan Police, claiming he was twice dragged out of his wheelchair by riot officers during last week’s chaotic protests against student fees
2. Council of Europe: The role of judges in the enforcement of judicial decisions
(Press release):
and Opinion: full-text:
3. EU: European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR):
New ECCHR-Report – Blacklisted: Targeted sanctions, preemptive security and fundamental rights
(Press release):
and Full-report: Full report (130 pages) written by Gavin Sullivan and Ben Hayes with a foreword by Martin Scheinin, the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism:
European Court of Justice: Case T-452/09 before the General Court – ClientEarth v. Council of the European Union:
This case taken by Client Earth concerns the refusal of access to the advice of the Council of the European Union’s Legal Service on the European Parliament’s amendments to the European Commission’s proposals to change the EU Regulation on access to documents (1049/2001) because it:”failed to explain how full disclosure would damage the protection of legal advice, in particular in the light of the Turco judgment of the Court of Justice”See Turco judgment full-text:“The Court takes the view that disclosure of documents containing the advice of an institution’s legal service on legal questions arising when legislative initiatives are being debated increases transparency and strengthens the democratic right of European citizens to scrutinise the information which has formed the basis of a legislative act.”The released version of the Council’s Legal Service is massively censored containing no information on the issues: Opinion of the Legal Service (dated 17 February 2009):, the substantive point in the Council Legal Service’s Opinion was clearly stated in Council document no: 7791/09 (pdf).

The Council Legal Service argued that the EP could amend the Commission proposals but could not introduce new amendments of its own – this rejecting 27 EP amendments. The Opinion of the Legal Service of the European Parliament’s (EP): Opinion on the EPs’ amendments (issued in 14 April 2009)
took on, and rejected, the arguments used by the Council Legal Service. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “The opinion of the Council’s Legal Service was an “open” secret.”

5. France: Statement by Collectif Liberté Egalité Justice (CLEJ, Collective for Freedom, Equality and Justice):
LOPPSI 2: not in our name!“In the name of the protection of the State against its “enemies”, measures that derogate common law are about to become the norm, surveillance and social control are extended,”
Data Retention Directive evaluation: expect the unexpected? (Bits of Freedom, link):

“The evaluation of the controversial Data Retention Directive takes an unexpected turn, for the worse. At a crucial one-day conference in Brussels, aimed at gathering input for the evaluation, long-term critic of the Directive Commissioner Malmström (Home Affairs) surprisingly announced that ‘data retention is here to stay’.”

Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said of the “notorious” Directive

“Let me underline this today: retaining communication and location data of all persons in the EU, whenever they use the telephone or the internet, constitutes a huge interference with the right to privacy of all citizens. The Directive is without doubt the most privacy invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU in terms of scale and the number of people it affects.”

– Commissioner Cecilia Malmström speech: Taking on the Data Retention Directive (3 December 2010):

– European Data Protection Supervisor: speech (3 December 2010):

and Press release:

– Data retention conference, 3 December 2010: Discussion paper:

– Note on the consultation meeting, 3 December 2010 :

– Directive on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC:

See also Statewatch Observatory The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU on the controversial adoption of the Directive and what followed:

7. EU: Joint Letter: NGOs’ perspective on the EU accession to the ECHR:
The proposed co-respondent procedure and consultation with civil society signed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, Justice, International Commission of Jurists, European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Aire Centre:

8. EU: Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) :
Commission proposal for a Council Decision amending Decision (2008/203/EC) of 28 February 2008 implementing Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 as regards the adoption of a Multi-annual Framework for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2007-2012. At last this would extend the remit of the FRA to enable it to cover polcing and criminal law:

9. EU: European Parliament: Question to Council of the European Union:
‘Radicalisation’ and data collection from MEPs Sarah Ludford, Rui Tavares, Hélène Flautre: Statewatch Analyses: Intensive surveillance of “violent radicalisation” extended to embrace suspected “radicals” from across the political spectrum Targets include: “Extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist, anti-globalisation etc”: Protests in the EU: “Troublemakers” and “travelling violent offenders [undefined] to be recorded on database and targeted:
10. EU: Issuing visas:
Lists of the authorities and organisations to which the persons designated by the Member States to represent them belong (pdf).

Kurdish community leaders questioned by MI5 officers (Press release, pdf):

12. EU Fundamental Rights Agency reports:
Separated, asylum-seeking children in European Union Member States Comparative Report:
and Developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union:
13. UK: Citizens Advice Bureau report: Uncivil Recovery:
Major retailers’ use of threatened civil recovery against those accused of shoplifting or employee theft (link): Original CAB report: Unreasonable demands? Threatened civil recovery against those accused of shoplifting or employee theft (link): also Statewatch Analysis: UK: “Speculative invoicing” schemes target internet file-sharers and individuals accused of minor retail crime, by Max Rowlands:
14. EU: Statewatch Analysis:
Extending EU long-term resident status to refugees and persons with subsidiary protection status (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
15. Norway/Italy:
Wholesale seizure of activist e-communications service provider’s data 6 November 2010, on request from the Italian police, the Norwegian police seized the data on the Norwegian servers of Autistici/Inventati (A/I) “a group of people who mantain and develop electronic communication services for individuals, associations, informal groups and movements and, among their particular aims, defend the freedom of expression and privacy” by confiscating and cloning the disks in its server. It hosts mailboxes and a number of activist discussion groups, providing encryption services.
16. EU: Statewatch Analysis:
The new Directive on trafficking in persons (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex.“The European Parliament (EP) and the Council have agreed on the first substantive criminal law measure to be adopted by the EU after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty – a Directive on trafficking in persons. The following analysis examines the content of the new measure, the negotiations of the new measure, and the particular position of the UK,
which has opted out of the negotiations but could opt in to the Directive at any time after its formal adoption.”
17. EU: Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (JHA Council)
2-3 December 2010, Brussels: Press release, 2-3 December 2010:

– B Points Agenda:
– A Points Agenda: non-legislative:

Displaced Iraqis: Integrated International Strategy Needed to Reintegrate Iraq’s Internally Displaced and Returning
Refugees (link): also Statewatch Analysis: EU-IRAQ: The forgotten causalities of the war (pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Update, The Proposed European Investigation Order (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor
of Law, University of Essex:

National Archive publishes details of the 1946 UK-USA agreement for first time

The documents are very large so here is the: 1946 Agreement – full-text: British-USA Communications Intelligence Agreement (pdf).

See: Not so secret: deal at the heart of UK-US intelligence• 1946 agreement tied allies into spying network by Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian, link).

Finally the 1946 UKUSA Agreement is public. It created a world-wide network of listening posts run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which endures today. In 1948 Canada joined and in 1956 Australia and New Zealand too – though they have always been junior partners. The latter, being Commonwealth countries, provide an important geographical spread as does GCHQ in Cyprus (which monitors the Middle East).

An extended UK/USA-run surveillance network known as ECHELON emerged in the 1960s. Although created for the Cold War era it has has adapted to new roles under the “war on terrorism. GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, employs 5,500 people and is significantly larger than MI5 (internal security) and MI6 (external).

Background: European Parliament: Report: on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI)) (pdf)