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Statewatch News Online, 11 August 2009 (14/09)

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1.   G8 meetings: Justice and Home Affairs and Declaration on Counter Terrorism
2.   Statewatch analysis: EU agrees rules for remote computer access
3.   Greece: Migrant woes mounting – Almost 600 Samos immigrants go on hunger strike
4.   EU: No justice in EU extradition system: European arrest warrants
5.   EU/Africa: Fortress Europe bulletin for July 2009
6.   UK: Joint Committee on Human Rights: Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture
7.   UK: Annual Report of Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2008
8.   EU: UK HoL Select Committee on EU: Codecision and national parliamentary scrutiny
9.   EU: UK HoL Select Committee on EU:: Money laundering and the financing of terrorism
10. UK: The Myth of Policing By Consent
11. EU-USA “SWIFT”: EU bank data move ignored legal advice
12. UK: Joint Human Rights Committee: Closing the Impunity Gap: genocide and redress for torture victims

1.  G8 meetings: Final Declaration: Rome, 30th May, 2009: G8 ministerial meeting of Justice and Home Affairs:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/g8-jha-may-2009-declaration.pdf

and G8 Declaration on Counter Terrorism (Summit: L’Aquila, 8-10 July 2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/g8-counterterrorism-2009.pdf

The role of the little publicised, and even less open to scrutiny, G8 Roma-Lyon Group is openly referred to: It is reported to have organised a “ground-breaking” operation on bulk cash smuggling (”Operation Mantis”); “practical guidance” on cyberc-crime; charged with measures to:

“identify and promote best practices for expanding biometric identity management practices for travellers and improving security in all modes of transportation”

and on the new subject on the agenda “Urban security” in which “local communities need to be involved in the development of security policies, particularly as it assists in fostering a culture of legality” the Roma-Lyon Group is to investigate the “dynamics of urban security”.

2.  Statewatch analysis: EU agrees rules for remote computer access by police forces – but fails, as usual, to mention – the security and intelligence agencies (pdf) by Tony Bunyan:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-83-remote-computer-access.pdf

A quote from Senator Frank Church, who headed a seminal inquiry in 1975 into the surveillance of the peace movement in the USA (the “Church Committee report”), seems pertinent:

     “If a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of government to know. Such is the capacity of technology.”

And that was more than 30 years ago.

3. Greece: Migrant woes mounting – Almost 600 Samos immigrants go on hunger strike over transfers, expulsions (link):
www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles
_politics_100002_06/08/2009_109598

“The recent government policy of moving illegal immigrants to reception centers in northern Greece before expelling them from the country ran into more trouble yesterday, as 580 migrants being held on Samos went on hunger strike to protest the measure.”

4. EU: No justice in EU extradition system: European arrest warrants are issued with no regard for the human cost to those caught up in spurious requests (Guardian, link) by David Cronin:
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/
aug/05/extradition-european-arrest-warrants/print

See: European Arrest Warrant (EAW) Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant – Year 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-eaw-figures-9734-09.pdf

and Final report on the fourth round of mutual evaluations – The practical application of the European Arrest Warrant and corresponding surrender procedures between Member States:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-eaw-evaluation-8302-rev4-09.pdf

5. EU/Africa: Fortress Europe bulletin for July 2009: Fourteen victims in July in Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Spain. The Egyptian police shoots again at the border with Israel: three killed, including two Somali refugees:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/aug/01fortress-europe.htm

6.  UK: Report by the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture (140 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/aug/uk-jhrc-torture-report.pdf

“Complicity in torture is a direct breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations. In our view, complicity in torture exists where a state:

     – asks a foreign intelligence service known to use torture to detain and question an individual
     – provides information to a foreign intelligence service known to use torture, enabling that intelligence service to apprehend an individual
     – gives questions to a foreign intelligence service to put to a detainee who has been, is being or is likely to be tortured
     – sends interrogators to question a detainee who is known to have been tortured by those detaining and interrogating him
     – has intelligence personnel present at an interview with a detainee in a place where he is being, or might have been tortured
     – systematically receives information known or thought likely to have been obtained from detainees subjected to torture.”

See: MPs and peers call for inquiry into torture (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/04/mps
-government-inquiry-torture-complicity/print

7. UK: Annual Report of Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/aug/uk-
interception-of-communications-2008.pdf

The number of new warrants issued in England and Wales 2008 fell from 1,881 to 1,508 as did the number of “modifications” (for which new warrants used to be issued).

However, the numbers were up in Scotland with 43 new warrants (previously 28 in 2007) so too were the number of “modifications”
www.statewatch.org/news/2004/jul/uk-tel-tap-procedures.htm

from 367 to 610. The total number of warrants and “modifications” for England, Wales and Scotland totalled 7,466 (previously 7,970). In addition the number of times communications data was accessed was 504,073 slightly down on the previous year (519,260) – the great majority are carried out by the police or MI5 who both have automated access to service providers. The UK figures do not include warrants issued by the Foreign Office to GCHQ and MI6 nor those issued by the Northern Ireland Secretary of State.

See also: Statewatch’s Observatory on telephone-tapping warrants 1937-2008:
www.statewatch.org/uk-tel-tap-reports.htm

It is salutary to compare the official reports provided on telephone-tapping and interception in the UK and the USA. In the USA detailed reports with tables including historical data including – unlike in the UK – how many arrests and convictions resulted are provided: Arrests and Convictions Resulting From Intercepts Installed in Calendar Years 1997 Through 2007:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/sep/us-intercept-figs.pdf

Authorized Intercepts Granted Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2519 as Reported in Wiretap Reports for Calendar Years 1997 – 2007:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/sep/us-intercept-installed-figs.pdf

and Types of Surveillance Used, Arrests, and Convictions for Intercepts Installed January 1 Through December 31, 2007:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/sep/us-intercept-surveillance-figs.pdf

8.  EU: House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union report: Codecision and national parliamentary scrutiny:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-hol-codecision-nat-scrutiny.pdf

9. EU: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union: Money laundering and the financing of terrorism: Volume I: Report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-hol-money-laundering-terr.pdf

and Volume II: Evidence:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-hol-money-laundering-terr-vol-2.pdf

10. UK: The Myth of Policing By Consent by Kevin Blowe (link)
www.blowe.org.uk/2009/07/myth-of-policing-by-consent.html

11. EU-USA “SWIFT”: EU bank data move ignored legal advice (euobserver, link):
euobserver.com/9/28506

“EU member states laid aside the advice of their own legal experts in cutting MEPs out of talks on a new bank data-sharing deal with the US. The legal services of the EU council (the member states’ secretariat in Brussels) in July put forward a confidential paper saying that the European Parliament should have co-legislative powers on the pact under articles 95 and 300 of the EU treaty, EUobserver has learned. But EU foreign ministers on Monday (27 July) opted to give the Swedish presidency the exclusive right to handle talks, citing articles 38 and 24 instead.”

Council of the European Union: The General Affairs Council agreed the following at its meeting on 27 July 2009: “EU/United States – negotiations on payment data: The Council approved guidelines for negotiations with the United States for an international agreement to make financial payment messaging data available to the US Treasury Department in order to prevent terrorism and terrorist financing (”Swift system”) (Council press release).” European Parliament: Letter to Commissioner Barrot (French):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/ep-swift-deprez-beres-barrot.pdf

See also: EU wants to share more bank details with the US authorities (EDRI, link)
www.edri.org/edri-gram/number7.15/new-swift-problems-us-eu

Background:

– Current agreement: EU-USA “SWIFT” agreement – documentation
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/06eu-usa-swift-agreement.htm

– EU-US data sharing causes uproar in Germany (euactiv, link)
www.euractiv.com/en/justice/eu-us-data-
sharing-causes-uproar-germany/article-184443

– EU agrees US demands to re-write data protection agreement (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-78-eu-us-dp.pdf

12.  UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Closing the Impunity Gap: UK law on genocide (and related crimes) and redress for torture victims:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/aug/uk-
jhrc-redress-for-torture-victimes.pdf

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