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1. EU: European Commission extends security code and vetting to private sector
1. EU: European Commission extends security code and vetting to private sector contracts and agreements
The main security code, adopted in 2001, covers classified documents handled by Commission and member state officials and external contractors in member states: 2001 security code, pdf: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/aug/com-security-code-2001-844.pdf
This new measure extends the scope to cover contract or agreement made by the Commission itself. It will cover industry and universities where they handle classified documents (”Confidential” and above, or as decided at national level “Restricted” or above). Each member state will designate a “National Security Authority” (NSA) and all staff involved in a contract (or bid) will be subject to “Personnel Security Clearance” (PSC). The timing of this measure may have something to do with EU plans for developing a industrial-security complex. See: Arming Big Brother: new research reveals the European security-industrial complex:
2. EU criminal records to be exchanged: A simple question or is there more to it? – Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor – considered and received little “support”: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/aug/01eu-convictions.htm
3. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: Annual Report for 2005 (pdf):
4. UK: Report by the Joint Human Rights Committee in parliament on future working practices:
Based on a report prepared by Francesca Klug, Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the LSE it proposes extended pre-legislative and post-legislative scrutiny.
5. EU-USA: Status of ratifications on EU-USA Agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance and bilateral instruments:
The two Agreements signed by the EU and USA on 25 June 2003 still have to be ratified by both sides – the US side will not start until the procedures in the EU member states are completed. Twelve of the member states in the old EU of 15 had to go through constitutional procedures as did the ten new states. Twelve member states still have to complete constitutional procedures. And although all 25 member states have signed the accompanying bilateral instruments with the USA the majority still have to ratify these. It is interesting to note that had the agreement on extradition been in place EU government could request the extradition of suspected CIA agents operating in the EU.
6. EU: EU Action Plan on combating terrorism (dated 20 July 2006, pdf):
7. UK: Chief Surveillance Commissioner: Annual report for 2005-6:
Includes figures on the number of CHIS (Covert Human Information Sources): 4,559 were “recruited by law enforcement agencies during the year” and 5,211 were “cancelled” – giving a minimum of 9,770 used during the 12 months. There was a “significant” increase in the number of CHIS used by local authorities, from 308 recruited in 2004-5 and 437 in 2005-6.
8. Dutch researchers develop anti-RFID device (link):
9. UK: ID card plans criticised by House of Commons Committee (Science and Technology): Identity Card Technologies: Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence:
10. EU: European Commission: Strategy on children’s rights:
11. UK: Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Terrorism: prosecution, detention and evidence:
12. EU: European Committee of the UK House of Lords report: The Criminal Law Competence of the European Community:
13. UK: Research project by Bail for Immigration Detainees: Working against the clock: inadequacy and injustice in the fast track system:
14. EU-USA PNR scheme:
Legislative act withdrawing the existing agreement:
Letter from the President of the European Parliament, Mr Borrell to Mr Barossi, President of the European Commission:
15. USA: General Accountability Office report on human rights implications for security aid to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in the “war on terrorism”:
16. UK: Control orders illegal – Court of Appeal rules:
17. UN: Damning report on USA human rights record:
Among the UN Human Right’s Committee’s concerns are the use of secret detention centres, rendition, torture and NSA spying.
18. EU: Biometrics and national ID cards back on the table: despite admitting that “there is no legal basis in the Treaty governing these issues” the EU is still pushing for harmonisation on this highly contentious issue: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/jul/09eu-id-cards.htm
19. The Implications of the Introduction of Biometrics and Identity Management:
A fine report by Julian Ashbourn that concludes:
“The current focus upon identity management and the globalisation of identity management is somewhat bizarre. It is out of all proportion to the claimed benefits and clearly politically inspired. This is somewhat distressing to see, particularly within European Union member states who, typically, one would like to think would adopt a more societally sympathetic stance. Proposals are consequently being rushed through without proper debate, without an understanding of the societal implications and without reference to an agreed longer term strategy… The problem is we have an ‘emperors new clothes’ syndrome, whereby there are few who are prepared to stand up and take an objective view of things, and even fewer who are prepared to listen. This situation must change if we are to avoid the more negative associations of identity management.