InI Logo
Spies-R-Us
Google
 
Web www.williambowles.info
Statewatch News Online, 4 April 2008

Home page: www.statewatch.org

SEMDOC website provides comprehensive information
about EU Justice and Home Affairs policy:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/feb/01semdoc.htm

1. EU-ECJ: Court of First Instance strikes
another blow to EU “terrorist list”
2. EU: Statewatch Supplementary Analysis: The EU’s Returns Directive
3. EU: Commission stands firm on biometric passports
4. ECJ: Advocate General critical of the German foreigners’ database
5. EU-DUBLIN AGREEMENT: ECRE Letter to EU Presidency
6. EU: EP Briefing Paper: on provocation or
incitement to terrorism and related offences
7. ROMANIA-NATO: Police actions against anti-NATO protests in Bucharest
8. UK: Immigration, faith and cohesion – Joseph Rowntree Foundation
9. UK: COUNTER-TERRORISM BILL: Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
10. EU: ECRE: Sharing Responsibility for Refugee
Protection in Europe: Dublin Reconsidered
11. EU: Europol Annual Report for 2007 and Work Programme 2008
12. Netherlands: Two deaths in immigration detention in 2 months
13. UK-USA: Nuclear terror checks stepped up
14. EU: EDPS: Opinion on security features and
biometrics on passports & travel documents
15. EU: ALTER-EU: A study on the composition and transparency of Expert Groups
16. UK: Government reply Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights
17. UK: BAA grounds Heathrow T5 fingerprinting system
18. New issue of Surveillance and Society: Surveillance and Inequality
19. EU: Standing Committee of Experts: Procedural
rights in criminal proceedings
20. SCOTLAND: Town halls resort to spy tactics
21. Italy: Abu Omar trial to go ahead as government is accused of “disloyalty”
22. USA: EPIC Report on: Bill amending the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
23. UK: National Security Strategy
24. USA: NSA Dragnet Spying Confirms ACLU Surveillance Warnings
25. “States should not impose penalties on arriving asylum-seekers” (CoE)
26. Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Sur 2007
(Human Rights at the Southern Border 2007)
27. EU: Solana speech on climate change and international security
28. EU: Commission proposal: Visa Information
System (VIS) under the Schengen Borders Code
29. UK: Challenges and opportunities in identity assurance
30. UK: Border & Immigration Agency: Introducing
compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals
31. UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights
Committee: Data Protection and Human Rights
32. UK: Put young children on DNA list, urge police
33. UK: DATA PROTECTION:Government response to report on loss of records
34. GREECE: Pro Asyl report: “The truth may be bitter, but it must be told”
35. EU: Article 29 DP WP: protection of children’s personal data
36. UK: Report of the Independent Reviewer the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005

1. EU-ECJ: Court of First Instance strikes another blow to EU “terrorist list” – legality of“reformed” procedures remains in doubt.

The EU Court of First Instance has overturned decisions by the Council of the EU to include the Kurdish organisations PKK and Kongra Gel on the EU “terrorist list” (04.04.2008). In Case T-253/04

bought on behalf of Kongra Gel and 10 other individuals, the EU court ruled that the organisation was not in a position “to understand, clearly and unequivocally, the reasoning” that led the member states’ governments to include them. It reached the same conclusion in Case T-229/02 bought by Osman Ocalan on behalf of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

These judgments were widely excepted following the rulings in favour of Jose Maria Sison and Stichting al-Asqa (both based in Netherlands) in July 2007, and the precedent set in the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) ruling in December 2006. In this case the Court found that the EU’s proscription regime had denied the PMOI the right to a fair hearing in which it could challenge its designation as“terrorist list” in accordance with its fundamental right to a fair trial

See: Analysis of PMOI judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jan/04ecj-pmoi.htm

This paved the way for other proscribed groups
and individuals to challenge their inclusion in the list.

In response to the PMOI ruling, the EU “reformed” its procedures for listing and de-listing. Whereas prior to the PMOI judgment no mechanism existed for those proscribed to either receive an explanation for their inclusion or to challenge that explanation, the EU now provides affected parties with a “statement of reasons”. In turn, they those parties may then write back to the secret EU group responsible for the decision to contest the statement and request de-listing. The EU has maintained in the “terrorist list” those groups and individuals who have already successfully challenged their proscription at the EU Courts on the grounds that its “reforms” remedy the fair trial breaches that the Court has identified. This issue will not be resolved until the PMOI’s new challenge to the EU’s decision to maintain them in the list (Case T-157/07) returns to the Court, which may take several years. In the meantime, the challenges by other proscribed organisations are mounting up – as are the compensation claims.

Ben Hayes of Statewatch comments:

“There isn’t a lawyer in Europe who believes that the EU ‘reform’ of its proscription regime amounts to the fair hearing that EU law demands. On the contrary, the regime remains a recipe for arbitrary, unaccountable and politically-motivated decision making. By ignoring the increasingly clear message from the EU Courts, the member states are doing themselves a great disservice.

Instead of digging its heels in, the EU should introduce a meaningful appeals procedure for affected parties. To wait years for the EU court system or the Strasbourg Court to deliver a judgment that everyone can see coming would be an affront to the EU’s stated commitment to human rights.”

For full background see Statewatch’s Observatory:“Terrorist” lists: monitoring proscription, designation and asset freezing:
www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/terrorlists.html

2. EU-RETURNS DIRECTIVE: Statewatch Supplementary Analysis: The EU’s Returns Directive:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/eu-returns-analysis-mar-08.pdf
by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex who concludes: “The EP and the Council have to decide whether their endlessly-repeated support for the principles of fairness, human rights and human dignity is a genuine commitment, or simply empty rhetoric.”

3. EU: Commission stands firm on biometric passports: “The European Commission is pressing ahead with proposals to require the fingerprinting of children as young as six, despite high-level concerns about the efficacy and ethics of the practice” (European Voice, link):
www.europeanvoice.com/current/article.asp?id=30138&print=1

Backgound:

EU: FINGER-PRINTING CHILDREN: The high-level SCIFA/Mixed Committee, meeting on 12 February 2008 discussed the age at which children should be fingerprinted for visas, residence permits and EU passports and travel documents in: EU doc no: 6138/08 At a subsequent meeting of the Visa Working Party, on 18-19 February 2008 (EU doc no: 6952/08):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/feb/eu-council-child-printing.pdf

it was reported in SCIFA that for the: – age limit: the vast majority of delegations agreed on the age of six and even a lower age where the national legislation allows for it. Two delegations maintained the limit of twelve years.” The two governments referred to – Germany and Austria – support the 12 years old and above proposal from the European Parliament.

The “majority” support finger-printing children six years old and over while allowing any government to have a lower age “where national legislation allows for it”.

4. ECJ: An interesting opinion by the Advocate General critical of the German foreigners’ database as regards EU citizens: Case C 524/06 Heinz Huber v Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Full-text):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/apr/ecj-ag-opinion-huber.pdf

5. EU-DUBLIN AGREEMENT: European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) Letter to EU Presidency:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/apr/
eu-greece-ecre-dublin-letter.pdf

The letter says that “the unacceptable conditions for asylum claimants in Greece, the obstacles to accessing a fair determination procedure and the risk of other serious human rights violations” as its reasons. “Greece is not a safe place for those in need of protection,” Bjarte Vandvik, the head of the ECRE, said.

6. EU: European Parliament Briefing Paper:
Human rights concerns relevant to legislating on provocation or incitement to terrorism and related offences:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/apr/
ep-incitement-to-terrorism-paper.pdf

7. ROMANIA-NATO: Police actions against anti-NATO protests in Bucharest
On 2 April, hundreds of police raided the convergence centre of the anti-NATO gathering in Bucharest and arrested an estimated 46 people. All the arrests were made inside the convergence centre, no demonstration was taking place at the time. Many police reportedly wore ski masks and were hostile to journalists trying to access the scene. Romanian media did not report any violence during arrests, Indymedia however reports severe beatings by police. The repression against political activists was already stepped up a few days ago, with police arresting and detaining people arbitrarily. Once detained, the police appear to construct “offences”, such as interpreting the carrying of a pocket-knife as arms possessions. People coming to or leaving the convergence centre, set up for demonstrators from Romania and other parts of the world, were also arbitrarily detained. The detained are interrogated, photographed and fingerprinted in police stations, and held for up to 24 hours. At the Romanian border several groups of activists have been denied entry into the country.

Protests are directed in particular against NATO’s ongoing expansion to Eastern Europe, as well as the extension of its activities to areas formerly not within NATO’s mandate. On 28 February 1994, NATO took its first military action, shooting down four Bosnian Serb aircraft, thereby violating a UN-mandated no-fly zone over central Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 24 March 1999, NATO saw its first broad-scale military engagement in the Kosovo War, where it led an 11-week bombing campaign against what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A formal declaration of war never took place. After 11 September 2001, NATO confirmed that the terrorist attacks were an attack against the entire group of members. On 16 April 2003, NATO agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which was the first time in NATO’s history to take charge of a mission outside of the north Atlantic area.

Sources:

Indymedia report in English:
www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/04/02/18490151.php
Indymedia report in German: de.indymedia.org/2008/04/212209.shtml
English summary: gipfelsoli.org/Home/Bukarest_2008/4906.html
Indymedia Romania
Background information on the protests against
the NATO summit in Bucharest and protests against it:
www.wombles.org.uk/article2007111364.php

8. UK: Immigration, faith and cohesion: Evidence
from local areas with significant Muslim
populations by Hiranthi Jayaweera and Tufyal
Choudhury (Joseph Rowntree Foundation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/
apr/jrf-9-immigration-faith-cohesion.pdf

9. UK: COUNTER-TERRORISM BILL: Northern Ireland
Human Rights Commission: Press Release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-terr-bill-nihrc-prel.pdf

NIHRC Briefing:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-terr-bill-nihrc-brief.pdf

Justice: Counter Terrorism Bill Briefing for House of Commons Second Reading:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-terr-bill-justice.pdf

10. EU: European Council on Refugees and Exiles
(ECRE): Sharing Responsibility for Refugee
Protection in Europe: Dublin Reconsidered:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-ecre-dublin.pdf

Press release: www.statewatch.org/
news/2008/mar/eu-ecre-dublin-prel.pdf

11. EU: Europol Annual Report for 2007:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-europol-ann-rep-2007.pdf

EU: Europol Work Programme for 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-europol-wp-2008.pdf

Update: EU-EUROPOL: Proposal for a Council
Decision establishing the European Police Office (EUROPOL) – consolidated text:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-europol-7744-08.pdf

12. Netherlands: Two deaths in immigration detention in 2 months:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/08neth-migrant-deaths.htm

13. UK-USA: Nuclear terror checks stepped up (BBC, link):
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7317294.stm

“Channel Tunnel traffic is to be screened for nuclear material. Vehicles passing through major ports and the Channel Tunnel are to be screened for radioactive material in a bid to combat“nuclear terrorism”” and Watch out, you’re being watched (The Seattle Times)

Nuclear checks find a cat with cancer that had undergone a radiological treatment.

14. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor:
Opinion on security features and biometrics on passports and travel documents:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-edps-bio-docs.pdf

and Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-edps-bio-docs-prel.pdf

15. EU: ALTER-EU: A study on the composition and
transparency of European Commission Expert Groups: Secrecy and corporate dominance:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/alter-eu-expertgroupsreport.pdf

16. UK: Government reply to report from the Joint Human Rights Committee: Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights (Eighth Report): Counter-Terrorism Bill (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-gov-reply-terr-jhrc.pdf

17. UK: BAA grounds Heathrow T5 fingerprinting
system – Data protection forces 11th hour climbdown (The Register, link):
www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/26/bba_fingerprinting_/

ICO queries Heathrow T5's huge fingerprint scam
scan – National security now wholly funded by shopping (The Register, link):
www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/24/ico_queries_t5_fingerprinting/

and Privacy International complaint poised to
shut down Heathrow passenger fingerprinting (link):
www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-561079

18. New issue of Surveillance and Society: Surveillance and Inequality (link):
www.surveillance-and-society.org/journalv5i3.html

19. EU: Standing Committee of Experts in
international immigration, refugee and criminal law submissions: Draft Framework Decision on certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/cm-cm-procedural-rights.pdf

and Framework Decision on the European supervision order in pre-trial procedures:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/cm-supervision-pre-trial.pdf

20. SCOTLAND: Town halls resort to spy tactics (Scotland on Sunday, link)
scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/
Town-halls-resort-to-spy.3906463.jp

21. Italy: Abu Omar trial to go ahead as government is accused of “disloyalty”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/06italy-abu-omar.htm

22. USA: EPIC Report on: Bill amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/04usa-epic-fisa.htm

Statewatch earlier report from 2007: USA-EU-REST OF WORLD-FISA: US Senate agree to give immunity from prosecution to companies spy on the telecommunications of non-US citizens, that is, the rest of the world under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Senate agreed that that civil immunity should be afforded to companies that aided the warrantless surveillance program. According to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, immunity will be granted to providers who received a written request for the information stating that the program was authorised by the president and determined to be lawful.

23. UK: National Security Strategy (64 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-national-security-strategy.pdf

24. USA: Stunning New Report on Domestic NSA
Dragnet Spying Confirms ACLU Surveillance Warnings (ACLU, link):
www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/34441prs20080312.html

ACLU FOI request:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/us-aclu-nsa-foi-request.pdf

“The American Civil Liberties Union responded today to a stunning new report that the NSA has effectively revived the Orwellian “Total Information Awareness” domestic-spying program that was banned by Congress in 2003.”

25. “States should not impose penalties on arriving asylum-seekers” by Thomas Hammarberg (CoE, full-text, link):
www.coe.int/t/commissioner/Viewpoints/default_en.asp

“A minimum of solidarity with those oppressed is to receive them when they are forced to flee. The“right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” is indeed a key provision in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sadly, this right is not fully observed in parts of Europe today. Instead, refugees are met with suspicion and too often even placed in detention.”

26. Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Sur 2007 (Human Rights at the Southern Border 2007), Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/02derechos.htm

27. EU: Solana speech on climate change and international security:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-solana-int-sec.pdf

28. EU: Commission proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 as regards the use of the Visa Information System (VIS) under the Schengen Borders Code:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/eu-com-sch-bd-code-vis.pdf

29. UK: Challenges and opportunities in identity assurance:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-nat-identity-crosby-report.pdf

Report commissioned by the government to look at:“how the public and private sectors might work together in identity (ID) management for their mutual benefit and that of citizens and consumers.” Argues for a state-multinational alliance to bring about a universal ID card system. Amongst its main conclusions is that:

“an ID system will only help fulfil national security goals if it achieves mass take up and usage.If citizens don’t use a system regularly, it will be capable of providing very limited data for national security agencies.” and “Provided the universal ID assurance system infrastructure embraces public services, banking, transportation and e-commerce, it will produce an unrivalled amount of data for national security agencies.”

The report is full of assertions and assumption
and little evidence, for example:

“Provided that a universal ID assurance system infrastructure embraces public services, banking, transportation and e-commerce, it will enhance security by making it more difficult for anyone to operate outside the system. It will ensure that suspect individuals leave trails of transactions that are ultimately traceable back to unique identity records, albeit only for the purposes of national security.”

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, observes:

“We would be utterly naive to believe that mass ID surveillance, “making it difficult for anyone outside the system” and “suspect individuals” would be limited to “national security” purposes– which anyway now extends its tentacles into the everyday life of communities”.

See also: National Identity Scheme Delivery Plan 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-
nat-identity-scheme-delivery-2008.pdf

Issued by the Home Secretary to try and head-off growing opposition to ID cards. It fails to mention that everyone wanting a new passport from 2009 is going to be compulsorily finger-printed.

30. UK: Border & Immigration Agency: Introducing compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-
compulsory-id-for-foreign-nationals.pdf

31. UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights
Committee: Data Protection and Human Rights:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-jthr-dp.pdf

“In the Committee’s view, recent lapses in data protection are not unfortunate “one-off” events but are symptomatic of the Government’s failure to take safeguards sufficiently seriously.”

32. UK: Put young children on DNA list, urge police (Observer, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/mar/16/youthjustice.children

and MI5 seeks powers to trawl records in new terror hunt (Observer, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/mar/16/uksecurity.terrorism

33. UK: DATA PROTECTION & 25 MILLION LOST FILES:
House of Commons Justice Committee: Government response to report on loss of records:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-just-cttee-resp-data-loss.pdf

Justice Committee report: www.statewatch
.org/news/2008/mar/1541.pdf

34. GREECE: Pro Asyl report: “The truth may be
bitter, but it must be told” (pdf) The Situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the Practices of the Greek Coast Guard.
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/greece-pro-asyl.pdf

35. EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party:
Working Document 1/2008 on the protection of children’s personal data (General guidelines and
the special case of schools):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/wp147.pdf

36. UK: Third Report of the Independent Reviewer pursuant to Section 14(3) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, Lord Carlile:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/mar/uk-carlile-3rd-terr-rep.pdf

________________________________________________
Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK
tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727
www.statewatch.org

  
Back to Main Index | Spies R Us