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Statewatch News Online, 17 February 2009

Home page: www.statewatch.org

Watching us, via Europe’s back door: The ECJ ruling on retention of our communications data shows that threats to our liberties are now originating in the EU:
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/feb/11/eu-liberty-central

1.    Statewatch analysis: On the targeting of activists in the “war on terror”
2.    EP-CIA: Resolution: On CIA use of transport and illegal detention of prisoners
3.    International Commission of Jurists: Report: Assessing Damage – Urging Action
4.    EU: Council: Draft Conclusions: “Building Migration Partnerships” (Prague, 27-28.4.09)
5.    Sex, slaves and citizens: the politics of anti-trafficking
6.    EU: Council: E-JUSTICE: Draft Manual
7.    UK: De Menezes family to sue
8.    UK: Statewatch analysis: Media freedoms in the UK curtailed by police
9.    UK: Mandatory data retention: The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009
10.  EU: Study for EP: Equal treatment between persons
11.  EU: EFJ API Blast “Spies” Smear As European Commission Targets Journalists
12.  USA: U.S. stimulus bill pushes e-health records for all
14.  EU: Study EP: European Arrest Warrant and Joint Investigation Teams
15.  EU: Study EP: right of citizens of the Union and their family members
16.  Nordic Cooperation on foreign and security policy
17.  EU: Highly detailed “Catalogue”: Updated Schengen catalogue on External borders
18.  EU: European Commission: Annual report of the EURODAC Central Unit in 2007
19.  Italy: Appeal warns of imminent risk of widespread human rights violations in Lampedusa
20.  EU: Exchange of information of data files on passports and identity documents
21.  EGF: European Gendarmerie Force
22.  UK: A life under curfew by Victoria Brittain
23.  EU-ECRIS: European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)
24.  Open letter: Readmission agreements
25.  EU-EP: Study: Strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the internet
26.  EU: Moves to standardise agreements between the “law enforcement agencies”

1. Statewatch analysis: On the targeting of activists in the “war on terror” by Gene Ray:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-74-targeting-activists.pdf

“There is a clear tendency among states, almost without exception, to criminalise established form of dissent and protest and to re-categorise forms of civil disobedience and direct action as “terrorism””

2. EP-CIA: Resolution tabled by the ALDE (Liberal group), PSE (Socialist group) Verts (Green group and GUE (United Left): On the Alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep-res-alleged-use-of-eu-cia.pdf

3. International Commission of Jurists: Report: Leading Jurists Call for Urgent Steps to Restore Human Rights in efforts to counter terrorism: Assessing Damage – Urging Action (link):
www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=4453&lang=en

4. EU: Council Presidency: Draft Conclusions: Ministerial Conference “Building Migration Partnerships” (Prague, 27-28.4.09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-conf
-migraiton-partnerships-6093-rev1-09.pdf

5. Sex, slaves and citizens: the politics of anti-trafficking:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/soundings.pdf

by Bridget Anderson and Rutvica Andrijasevic: “A focus on the evils of trafficking is a way of depoliticising the debate on migration.” from Soundings (link):
www.soundings.org.uk/

6. Council: E-JUSTICE: Draft Manual:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu
-e-justice-draft-manual-5378-09.pdf

7. UK: De Menezes family to sue as police escape charges (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/14/
jean-charles-de-menezes-case/print

and Crown Prosecution Service: Press release (link):
www.cps.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/103_09.html

8. UK: Statewatch analysis: Media freedoms in the UK curtailed by police “culture of suspicion” and double standards by Max Rowlands:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-73-uk-police-press-and-protests.pdf

“Examines the damaging attack on the media of new police powers and practices and calls for urgent police training on guidelines and legislation to protect journalists”

9. UK: Mandatory data retention: Statutory Instrument: Electronic Communications: The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-si-data-ret.pdf

Impact Assessment of The Final Transposition of the EU Data Retention Directive:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-ho-ia-data-ret.pdf

Home Office consultation: Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/uk-ho-consult-mand-ret-internet.pdf

and Government Response to the Public Consultation on the Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-data-ret-consult-response.pdf

The retention of communications data in the UK has moved from a voluntary to a mandatory system in line with the EU Directive of 2006. By completing the transposition of the EU Directive the UK will extend retention to internet usage (inc internet e-mails) as well as phone-calls, mobile phone-calls (inc location), faxes and e-mails. The Home Office say that only traffic data will be retained but internet usage effectively reveals “content” too by tracking the web pages visited.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“ It is quite improper for the government to introduce a major extension to mandatory data retention covering internet usage by means of secondary legislation – Statutory Instruments are simply nodded through by parliament.”

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

10. EU: Study for the European Parliament: Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep-equal-treatment.pdf

11. EU: European Federation of Journalists and API Blast “Spies” Smear As European Commission Targets Journalists (link):
europe.ifj.org/en/articles/efj-and-api-blast-spies-smear
-as-european-commission-targets-journalists

“The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Press Association (API) representing foreign press correspondents in Brussels, today condemned a recent statement by the European Commission’s security services which hints that journalists and lobbyists can provide cover for potential spies to search for sensitive and classified information.

“This sort of loose talk ends up smearing everyone working in journalism by casting a cloud of suspicion over them,” said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “Security concerns are one thing, but this sort of comment puts journalists at risk and makes their job of scrutinising public officials and the work of the Commission more difficult. European Union officials should do their jobs without raising scares about the honesty and integrity of correspondents working in Brussels”

12. USA: U.S. stimulus bill pushes e-health records for all (link):
news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10161233-38.html

14. EU: Study for the European Parliament: Implementation of the European Arrest Warrant and Joint Investigation Teams at EU and national level:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep
-study-european-arrest-warrant.pdf

15. EU: Study for the European Parliament: Application of Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members on the right  of citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep-free-movement-report.pdf

16. Nordic Cooperation on foreign and security policy: Proposals presented to the extraordinary meeting of Nordic foreign ministers in Oslo on 9 February 2009 by Thorvald Stoltenberg:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/nordic-security-defence-report.pdf

See: Nordic countries to pool troops and intelligence (euobserver, link):
euobserver.com/9/27574

Denmark, Finland and Sweden are in the EU, but Norway and Iceland are not (though they take part in the Justice and Home Affairs “Mixed Committee”). Denmark, Norway and Iceland are in NATO.

17. EU: Highly detailed “Catalogue” (Manual): Updated Schengen catalogue on External borders control, Return and readmission (62 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-schegen
-returns-readmmission-catalogue-draft.pdf

and accompanying Policy statement: Catalogue of recommendations and best practices for external borders, return and readmission (27.1.09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-schegen-returns
-readmmission-catalogue-draft-5176-09.pdf

18. EU: European Commission: Annual report to the Council and the European Parliament on the activities of the EURODAC Central Unit in 2007:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-com-eurodac-annual-report.pdf

19. Italy: Appeal warns about the imminent risk of widespread human rights violations in Lampedusa
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/04italy-lampedusa-appeal.htm

20. EU: Exchange of information about data files on the issuing of passports and identity documents (passport / identity document registration systems) (EU doc no: 15658/1/07):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-data
-files-travel-docs-survey-15658-rev1-07.pdf

21. EGF: European Gendarmerie Force – An enhanced role is adovcated in the EU Future Group report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/
eu-european-gendarmerie-force.pdf

22. UK: A life under curfew: Did you know … the extraordinary restrictions a control order places on the suspect and their family? by Victoria Brittain (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/
2009/jan/22/control-orders-justice

23. EU-ECRIS: Council Decision on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/
eu-council-decision-ecris-14571-08.pdf

and Council Framework Decision on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between Member States:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-fd-ecris-13017-08.pdf

ECRIS is intended to create: “efficient mechanism of exchange of information extracted from criminal records.”

24. Open letter about readmission agreements: To European Council and European Commission (Migreurop network, link), signed by 76 NGOs including Statewatch:
www.migreurop.org/article1350.html

25. European Parliament: Study for the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the internet – an EU policy on the fight against cyber crime by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/ep-study-cyber-crime.pdf

26. EU: Two interesting documents on moves to standardise agreements between the “law enforcement agencies” (police. customs and immigration/borders) – this is foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty: Summary: Evaluation of the implementation of the Council Recommendation of 27 April 2006 on the drawing up of agreements between police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services in relation to the prevention and combating of crime:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-leas
-agreements-inc-customs-summary-17064-08.pdf

and Detailed responses from 21 EU state setting out national agreements (89 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-leas-
agreements-inc-customs-17064-add1-08.pdf

  
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