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Statewatch News Online, 14 August 2008 (14/08)

Home page: www.statewatch.org

1. UK: MANDATORY RETENTION OF ALL INTERNET USAGE
2. ITALY: Fundamental Rights Agency Incident Report
3. EU-PNR: European travel operators and travel agents’ comments
4. EU/US security “channel” – a one-way street?
5. EU: Secret report by the Future Group, inc EU-USA Area of cooperation
6. EU: FUTURE GROUP – JUSTICE REPORT
7. EU: Schengen police cooperation handbook
8. Italy: European Race Bulletin
9. UK: Home Office: Police use of taser figures
10. UK-USA: European Court of Human Rights
11. EU: UK HoL Select Committee: Initiation of EU Legislation
12. UK: TERRORIST LAW – 42 DAYS
13, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Atlanta Declaration
14. UK-USA-RENDITION: Reprieve
15. ITALY: Deployment of armed forces
16. UK: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
17. UK: Statement from The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade
18. UK: Human Genetics Commission on DNA
19. COE-ITALY: Memorandum
20. EU-USA: United States Plans New Travel Procedures
21. UK: Annual Report: Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2007
22. Greece: “Humanitarian crisis” at Greek migrant camp
23. EU: VISA WAIVER RECIPROCITY
24. UK: Joint Human Rights Committee: Torture in Iraq
25. ITALY: “State emergency” extended from three regions to whole country
26. EU-ECJ: Judgment: third country national family members
27. UK-IRELAND: Common Travel Area
28. EU-PNR: EU endorses idea of collecting air passenger data
29. EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS COUNCIL, 24-25 JULY

1. UK: MANDATORY RETENTION OF ALL INTERNET USAGE:
Home Office consultation: Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/uk-ho-consult-mand-ret-internet.pdf

which concerns: “the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks.. [to] ensure that certain data is retained to enable public authorities to undertake their lawful activities to investigate, detect and prosecute crime and to protect the public.”

In plain english the government wants to keep and access everyone’s internet usage and internet telephony in the UK – more than 1 billion items a day.

See: ‘Snooper’s charter’ to check texts and emails (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/13/privacy.civilliberties/print

Statewatch’s Observatory: The Surveillance of telecommunications in the EU
www.statewatch.org/eu-data-retention.htm

2. ITALY: Fundamental Rights Agency Incident Report: Violent attacks against Roma in the Ponticelli district of Naples:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/italy-fra-incident-report.pdf

3. EU-PNR: European travel operators and travel agents’ comments on the EU-PNR (passenger name record) system reveal strong reservations on the proposal: European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations letter to Council Presidency (EU doc no: 12360/08, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/eu-pnr-ectaa-comments.pdf

– Scope: the Framework Decision: “ECTAA considers that the proposal for a Framework Decision should only cover data for passengers on flight into and out of the EU. It is essential that it is not extended to intra-EU flights.”

– Scope: “it is fundamental that data will not be used other than for border purposes”

– Costs: “This proposal will have significant technical, operational and financial consequences for carriers. Inevitably that cost will be passed on by the carriers to the end user, the passenger” – so we will be paying for our own surveillance

– US demands: PNR data is currently transmitted to the USA after a flight departs. The USA demand for data 24 hours in advance and immediately after flight closure is called “an uneccessary duplication”. In addition: “Charter carriers in particular rarely receive such information in advance of 24 hours” and “To put in place an advance system for charter carriers would be costly and require considerable time as the current systems used by tour operators do not lend themselves to this.”

Background: The Council working party has abandoned discussions on the Commission’s proposal for an EU-PNR scheme and are going to start again drawing up their own proposal because a number of EU governments want to go much further. With the UK in the lead a number of member states want:

– the system to cover not just flights in and out of the EU but also flights between EU countries plus all flights within each country;– the system to cover not just all flights but all sea and land travel as well;– the data and information gathered to be used not just for entry-exit but also for any law enforcement purpose.

See: Note from the Austrian delegation: EU doc no: 11724/08:

4. EU/US security “channel” – a one-way street?
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/03eu-usa-sw-art.htm

What the “Outcomes” of EU-US meetings show is the extraordinary influence that the US has on EU justice and home affairs policies and practice. The dominant theme is US demands for access to EU data, intelligence and databases and ensuring that US interests are not threatened (eg: by EU data protection standards). There is also evidence of “policy-laundering”, for example, detailed G8 questionnaires drafted by the US which all EU governments have to respond to (eg: use of intelligence in criminal investigation and prosecution).

5. EU: Secret report by the Future Group on new five year plan for “European Home Affairs” proposes creation of an EU-USA Area of cooperation for “freedom, security and justice” (justice and home affairs): Future Report: Freedom, Security, Privacy ? European Home Affairs in an open world (full-text):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-futures-jha-report.pdf

“By 2014 the European Union should make up its mind with regard to the political objective to realise a Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation in the field of freedom, security and justice with the United States.”

Contrary to some press reports (see below) the proposed Area of EU-USA JHA cooperation would not just cover terrorism and passenger data but would cover the whole area of justice and home affairs– policing, immigration, sharing database data and biometrics and harmonising laws.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“All the evidence from dozens of high-level EU-USA meetings on justice and home affairs since 11 September 2001 shows that it is a one-way street with the EU trying to fend off USA demands. When the EU does not cave in the USA simply negotiates bilateral deals with individual member states. A permanent EU-USA pact would be disastrous for privacy and civil liberties.”

See:
– Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US personal data (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/07/eu.uksecurity/print

– EU plan: The rise and rise of the securocrats (Daily Telegraph, link):
blogs.telegraph.co.uk/bruno_waterfield/blog/2008/
08/07/eu_plan_the_rise_and_rise_of_the_securocrats

– Interesting background: Bush letter to the EU, 16 October 2001:
www.statewatch.org/news/2001/nov/06Ausalet.htm

6. EU: FUTURE GROUP – JUSTICE REPORT: In addition to the above report on “European Home Affairs” the EU Future Group has also presented a report by the High Level Advisory Group on: The Future of European Justice Policy Proposed Solutions for the Future EU Justice Programme:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-futures-justice-report.pdf

7. EU: Schengen police cooperation handbook– National Fact Sheets: Contains useful summary of national laws/powers concerning the carrying of guns by officers, surveillance and pursuit plus listing of relevant agencies:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/schengen-
police-cooperation-handbook8698-add1-08.pdf

8. Italy: European Race Bulletin: The Italian general election and its aftermath (IRR link):
www.irr.org.uk/pdf/ERB_64_summer.pdf

9. UK: Home Office: Police use of taser figures as at August 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/uk-taser-figures-august-08.pdf

and Police: Amnesty voices concern as use of Taser guns grows (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/aug/06/police.humanrights/print

10. UK-USA: European Court of Human Rights (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/02sabu-mamza-echr.htm

and Abu Hamza extradition postponed for hearing (Channel 4 News, link):
www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics
/abu+hamza+extradition+postponed+for+hearing+/2378567

11. EU: Report from UK House of Lords Select Committee: Initiation of EU Legislation (216 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/eu-hol-report-eu-legislation.pdf

“The purpose of this report is to explore the processes by which ideas are transformed into EU legislation, principally by the Commission, and to draw conclusions as to the appropriateness of those processes in today’s EU. Our starting point was to ask: “Where do the ideas for legislation come from?” and “How are ideas developed to the point when they are brought forward as formal legislative proposals?”

12. UK: TERRORIST LAW – 42 DAYS: House of Lords: Select Committee on the Constitution: Counter-Terrorism Bill: The Role of Ministers, Parliament and the Judiciary:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/uk
-hol-cttee-rep-42-days-detention.pdf

See: Terrorism: Lords say 42-day law will put fair trials at risk (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/aug/05/terrorism.lords/print

13, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/foi-atlanta
-declaration-and-plan-of-action.pdf

“We, over 125 members of the global access to information community from 40 countries, representing governments, civil society organizations, international bodies and financial institutions, donor agencies and foundations, private sector companies, media outlets and scholars, gathered in Atlanta, Georgia from February 27-29, 2008, under the auspices of the Carter Center and hereby adopt the following Declaration and Plan of Action to advance the passage, implementation, enforcement, and exercise of the right of access to information”

14. UK-USA-RENDITION: Reprieve Press Release: As New Evidence Emerges that ‘War on Terror’ Prisoners were Held on Diego Garcia, Reprieve Demands Immediate Action from the British Government:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/uk-usa-reprieve-rendition.pdf

15. ITALY: Deployment of armed forces to guarantee security in cities
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/03italy-troops.htm

16. UK: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-ni-
discimination-against%20women.pdf

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Press release: UN urges greater protection for women’s rights in Northern Ireland:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-ni-
discimination-against%20women-nihrc.pdf

NIHRC Submission: Shadow Report on the Sixth Periodic Report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-ni-
discimination-against%20women-nihrc-sub.pdf

17. UK: Statement from The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade in response to Law Lords’ judgments in BAE-Saudi appeal by The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (link):
www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/item.shtml?x=562186

Full-text of Lords judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/
uk-bae-corner-house-hol-judgment.pdf

18. UK: Human Genetics Commission report: A Citizens’ Inquiry into the Forensic Use of DNA and the National DNA Database (1 MB):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-dna-citizens-report.pdf

Summary of report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-dna-citizens-report-summary.pdf

See: DNA records ‘criminalise people’ (BBC News, link):
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7531588.stm

“Thousands of DNA samples from innocent people are now retained. DNA profiles of those not convicted of a crime should be removed from the database in England and Wales, a government-funded inquiry has said.”

19. COE-ITALY: Memorandum: full-text (38 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/coe-report-italy-roma.pdf

Press release: Italy: “Immigration policy must be based on human rights principles and not only on perceived security concerns”, says Commissioner Hammarberg presenting a special report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/coe-report-italy-roma-prel.pdf

“Mr Hammarberg also criticised the decision to criminalise migrants’ entry and irregular stay. He sees this as a worrying departure from established international law principles. “These measures may make it more difficult for refugees to ask for asylum and is likely to result in a further social stigmatisation and marginalisation of all migrants – including Roma” . “Commissioner Hammarberg also noted with grave concern that Italy had forcibly returned migrants to certain countries with proven records of torture.”

20. EU-USA: United States Plans New Travel
Procedures for 27 Countries (US EU Mission, link)
useu.usmission.gov/Article.asp?ID=6B
967862-42D6-4412-9882-3E2414217C4B

Known as ESTA (Electronic System of Travel Authorisation). An application to travel to the USA has to be made and authorisation given prior to boarding a plane or boat.

This will apply to the EU countries currently included in the Visa Waiver Programme who are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the following are being considered for inclusion at a later date include Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Malta – all of whom have signed MOUs with the USA.

The ESTA form asks about health, any criminal record including those “involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance” (whether spent or not under EU law), whether you are seeking “entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities” and whether you have ever been involved in espionage, sabotage or terrorism.

The European Commission has yet to decide whether ESTA constitutes a breach of the visa waiver programme (see below). See also: US to screen foreign air passengers (euobserver, link): euobserver.com/9/26555

21. UK: Annual Report: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2007 (pdf). As usual a bland repetition of the legal position and little more.
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-intell-comm-report-2007.pdf

22. Greece: “Humanitarian crisis” at Greek migrant camp – MSF (Reuters, link):
www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L8641636.htm

23. EU: VISA WAIVER RECIPROCITY: Commission:
Fourth Report on certain third countries’ maintenance of visa requirements in breach of the principle of reciprocity.. the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders (COM 486):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-com-visa-reciprocity-report.pdf

Press release: “No tangible progress has been made regarding the USA” Threat to impose visa conditions on US diplomats threatened:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-usa-visas-rep.pdf

24. UK: Report from the parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: UN Convention Against Torture: Discrepancies in Evidence Given to the Committee About the Use of Prohibited Interrogation Techniques in Iraq:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-jhrc-torture.pdf

MPs ‘misled’ over interrogation (BBC News, link):
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7527369.stm

“MPs and peers have said they may have been misled over UK troops’ use of banned interrogation methods in Iraq. Not all troops had known “conditioning” techniques such as hooding and sleep deprivation were banned, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said.”

25. ITALY: “State emergency” extended from three regions to whole country: According to a press release from the Italian Council of Ministers meeting of today (25 July 2008), the government has declared the “state of emergency” for the whole of Italy in relation to the persistent and extraordinary influx of non-EU citizens, as proposed by the Interior Minister Maroni, with the aim of strengthening the activities of fighting and management of the phenomena. The“state of emergency” is thus enlarged from 3 regions to all Italian territory. A decree will probably be issued by the government together with orders, as for the “nomads’ emergency”.

26. EU-ECJ: Grand Chamber judgment: Judgment overturning Akrich and making it absolutely clear that third country national family members can enter without any requirement of prior lawful residence in another MS: Full-text of judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/ecj-tcn-judgment-jul-08.pdf

See: Court gives backing to foreign spouses of EU citizens (euobserver, link)
euobserver.com/9/26547?print=1

27. UK-IRELAND: Since 1925, 83 years ago, there has been a Common Travel Area between the Republic of Ireland and the UK. The UK Home Office is proposing to introduce border controls and biometric checks: Home office consultation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-ireland-border-checks-consult.pdf

Partial Impact Assessment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-ireland-border-checks-partial-ia.pdf

Proposals for controls on UK and Ireland travel (Irish Times, link)
www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0725/1216917539739.html

28. EU-PNR: EU endorses idea of collecting air
passenger data (euobserver, link):
euobserver.com/9/26539?print=1

EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers say they have “reached an agreement on the principle of the European PNR”. In fact, they have abandoned discussions on the Commission’s proposal for an EU-PNR scheme and are going to start again drawing up their own proposal because a number of EU governments want to go much further. With the UK in the lead a number of member states want:

– the system to cover not just flights in and out of the EU but also flights between EU countries plus all flights within each country;
– the system to cover not just all flights but all sea and land travel as well;
– the data and information gathered to be used not just for entry-exit but also for any law enforcement purpose.

See: Note from the Austrian delegation: EU doc no: 11724/08:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-pnr-austria-note-11724-08.pdf

Council Presidency Note: EU do no: 11281/08
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-pnr-11281-08.pdf

Council Presidency Note: 11772/09:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-pnr-117721-08.pdf

plus penultimate draft of the proposal during discussions in the Council’s Multidisciplinary group on organised crime: EU doc no: 7656/08 Rev 2
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-pnr-7656-rev2-08.pdf

29. EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS COUNCIL
Brussels, 24-25 JULY 2008: Press release for 24-25 July 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/jha-prel-24-25-july-2008.pdf
.
Background Note:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/jha-back-note-24-25-july-2008.pdf
“A” Points agenda:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/jha-a-point-agenda-24-25-july-2008.pdf
“B” Points agenda:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/jha-b-point-agenda-24-25-july-2008.pdf

Correction, new link: UK-UN REPORT ON HUMAN
RIGHTS LEVELS VERY STRONG CRITICISMS AT UK
GOVERNMENT: Concluding Observations of the Human
Rights Committee: www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/uk-un-hr.pdf

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