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Statewatch News Online,  28 January 2010 (02/10)

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1.    EU: The Schengen Information System (SIS) has “over half a million terminals”
2.    EU: Draft Council Decision the surveillance of the sea external borders
3.    EU: Readmission Agreements: Overview
4.    UK: Supreme Court quashes law: UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN 'terrorism list'
5.    EU-USA: Pressure on the European Parliament to “fast-track” the EU-USA SWIFT agreement
6.    Security before liberty – powerful influence of US homeland security policy on EU
7.    EU: Migreurop: 2010, the year of the right to migrate?
8.    UK: CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones
9.    Privacy and security can be reconciled by Martin Scheinin
10.  Just over the horizon — the surveillance society and the state in the EU
11.  Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meeting in Toleda, Spain
12.  ITALY: Migreurop fact-finding mission nce, racism and lies, from Rosarno to Bari
13.  EU: Statewatch Briefing: Internal Security Strategy for the EU
13.  EP: Transcript for Commissioner Malstrom (Home Affairs: Internal security and immigration)
14.  EU: Access to EU documents: Ombudsman: “has no intention of trying to complete its registers”
15.  EU: European Ombudsman re-elected
16.  Greece: UNHCR call to stop Dublin II returns to Greece
17.  EU: Home Affairs and Fundamental Rights need separate Directorate-Generals (DG)
18.  UN: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Special Rapporteur human rights while countering terrorism
19.  CYPRUS: Reports
20.  GREECE: The Athens Affair
21.  France: Statements in support of the Kurdish refugees who landed in Corsica
22.  Spain: Vic town council norms to stop sans papiers becoming residents withdrawn

1. EU: The Schengen Information System (SIS) has “over half a million terminals located in the security services of the Member States”: The reference to “security services” refers to police, immigration, customs and internal security agencies. See EU doc no: 13305/09 (see p3, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-sis-access-13305-09.pdf

This extraordinary figure of more than 500,000 access terminals is given in a Note from the French delegation bidding to house the planned Agency for large-scale IT systems. The previously known figure for the number of terminals with access to the SIS was given in 2003 when there were 13 member states with of access to the Schengen Information System (SIS) when the figures clearly surprised the Council of the European Union (the EU governments) who found there were:

“125,000 access points !!!” (exclamation marks in original) (EU doc no: 8857/03):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/eu-databases-8857-03.pdf

Now there are now 25 Schengen member states. Moreover, the new SIS II system will allow access by all agencies to all the data held – under the existing SIS system data can only be access by agencies in the same field, ie: police agencies can only access police data.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“The number of access points throughout the EU there will be as new databases are started and new agencies are created is going to be gigantic. It is well known that the greater the points of access the greater the number of people who have access the greater is the chance that data will be misplaced, lost or illegally accessed. Private security firms, multinationals and internal and foreign agencies as well as criminals all use their “contacts” to get unauthorised access to personal data.The idea that mass databases can be totally secure and that privacy can be guaranteed is a fallacy.”

2. EU: Draft Council Decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards the surveillance of the sea external borders in the context of the operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-council-surv-sea-borders-draft-decsion-5223-rev1-10.pdf

and and EP Briefing Note: Draft Council Decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards sea border surveillance in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by FRONTEX (COM(2009)658) as amended by the Council on 25 January 2010:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/ep-frontex-note.pdf

3. EU: Briefing Note for the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): EU Readmission Agreements: Overview:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-readmission-agreements.pdf

4. UK: Supreme Court quashes Statutory Orders implementing UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN 'terrorism list':
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/04uk-terr-assets.htm

5. EU-USA: Council of the European Union (27 governments) put pressure on the European Parliament to “fast-track” the EU-USA SWIFT (transfer of all financial transactions in order to counter terrorism) while the EU's Article 29 Working Party on data protection and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) express strong criticisms:

– Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/edps-opinion-pnr-swift-jan-2010.pdf

– Opinion of the Article 29 Working Party:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-art-29-cttee-swift.pdf

– Draft Agreement:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-usa-council-draft-swift-agreement-16110-09.pdf

– Draft Council Decision (21.1.10):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-usa-council-draft-swift-decision-5305-10.pdf

The EDPS concludes that the Interim SWIFT agreement “leave some dangerous lacunae”. The “necessity” is not demonstrated and for legal certainty and foreseeability, “many important data protection elements are still absent or not clearly defined”; no limits are placed on the bulk transfer of data and:

“Furthermore, sharing of personal data with other national authorities as well as third countries is neither clearly defined not subject to appropriate guarantees.. [and] many data subjects rights… are either disregarded or have no concrete and clear way to be enforced”

The Article 29 Working Party observes that the scope of the definition of terrorism differs from that in the EU's Framework Decision (2002); there has been do assessment that the level of data protection meets EU standards; and it questions whether any form of redress “will prove feasible/practicable for European citizens in practice.”

6. Security before liberty – An EU-US joint declaration on aviation security shows the powerful influence of US homeland security policy (Guardian, link) by Tony Bunyan:
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/jan/25/eu-us-aviation-security/print

7. EU: Migreurop: 2010, the year of the right to migrate?
www.migreurop.org/article1605.html

– Italian: www.migreurop.org/article1606.html
– French: www.migreurop.org/article1607.html

8. UK: CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones – Arms manufacturer BAE Systems developing national strategy with consortium of government agencies (Guardian, link): www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/23/cctv-sky-police-plan-drones/print

“Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­ protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.”

9. Privacy and security can be reconciled – There are better ways than body scanners and group-related profiling to improve security at airports (Guardian, link)
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/jan/20/privacy-airport-security/print

by Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism:

     “some measures are, and ought to remain, prohibited because they nullify the right to privacy and therefore conflict with foundational
     principles of a free society. Further, the most privacy intrusive measures are not always the most effective ones from the perspective of
     preventing terrorism… body scanners are ineffective. They are unlikely to detect 80 grams of PETN explosives hidden in the underware of
     a person. And once it is known that body scanners are in use, they are easy to avoid by hiding this type of explosives in a body cavity or in
     a commercial item in one's hand luggage. Further, as body scanners will slow down the security checks at airports, it is likely, although not
     unavoidable, that their use will result in a new wave of discriminatory profiling based directly or indirectly on nationality, ethnicity or religion.”

10. Just over the horizon — the surveillance society and the state in the EU, by Tony Bunyan, Race & Class, January 2010 (SAGE, link):
rac.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/51/3/1

    “In cold war times, the West espoused liberal democracy and freedom from surveillance and control. It is thus ironic that with the cold war
     a distant memory — though it only ended less than twenty years ago — the EU and its member states are set on a path which will, in just a
     few years time, turn it into the most surveilled, monitored region in the world. The wider context for all this is increased state racism (both at
     the national and EU levels), combined with the emergence of the ‘policing state , engendered by a political and governmental
     authoritarianism that legitimises itself through the trappings of representative democracy.”

11. Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meeting in Toleda, Spain: EU-USA Joint Declaration on Aviation Security: Joint Declaration:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-usa-avaition-security-jan-2010.pdf

In addition to covering body scanners and biometrics the possibility of an EU PNR (Passenger Name Record) database is raised again. The current proposal in the EU is for a PNR system which would record data on people flying in and out of the EU – not flights within the EU (EU doc no: 5618/2/09, June 2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-council-pnr-propoals-5618-rev2-09.pdf

Press statement (22.01.10): “The Vice-president of the European Commission and head of security, Jacques Barrot, stated that the Community Executive “is going to speed up its report on technologies and body scanners” and restart the project to create a common passenger name record (PNR) for Europe with “the urgency the ministers have undertaken to back this project”.

12. ITALY: Migreurop publishes a report following the fact-finding mission on 15 January 2010: Press release: Violence, racism and lies, from Rosarno to Bari:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/migreurop-mission-prel.pdf

– French: www.migreurop.org/article1602.html?lang=en
– Italian: www.migreurop.org/article1604.html
– Spanish: www.migreurop.org/article1608.html
and Report (French): www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_finale_mission_BARI-Migreurop_2010-2.pdf

13. EU: Statewatch Briefing: Internal Security Strategy for the European Union by Artur Gruszczak, European Centre Natolin, Warsaw:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-89-internal-security-briefing.pdf

See: Spanish Council Presidency: Informal Meeting of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs, Toledo, 20-22 January 2010: Agenda:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/informal-jha-spain.pdf

13. European Parliament: Transcript of the hearing for Commissioner Malstrom (Home Affairs: Internal security and immigration):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/ep-malmstrom-transcript.pdf

14. EU: Regulation on public access to EU documents: European Ombudsman finds that the European Commission “has no intention of trying to complete its registers” . Ombudsman: Follow-up to Critical and further remarks: How the EU institutions: How the EU institutions responded to the Ombudsman's Recommendations in 2008 (December 2009, see p35-36, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/dec/eu-ombudsman-follow-up-report-for-2008.pdf

In 2006 Statewatch lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman against the European Commission for its failure to maintain a proper public register of documents as required under Article 11 of the Regulation on access to EU documents. The Ombudsman found there was a case of maladministration and that “”The Commission should, as soon as possible, include references to all the documents within the meaning of Article 3(a) that are in its possession in the register foreseen by Article 11 of this regulation, to the extent that this has not yet been done.” The Commission reject the Ombudsman's Recommendation.

In compiling his Follow-up report the Commission was invited to comment on any progress and again refused to accept that it had any obligation to list references to all documents as it is required to do under Article 11 of the Regulation: President Barroso's letter to the Ombudsman:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-ombs-barroso-reply-2009.pdf

The Ombudsman's Follow-up Report comments:

“The Ombudsman recalls that during his inquiry, the Commission consistently argued that it was going to expand the scope of its registers and led the Ombudsman to believe that the problem was mainly a technical one (i.e., the absence of a harmonised data base for the registration of documents). The Ombudsman notes, with regret, that the Commission’s new argument suggests that it has no intention of trying to complete its registers.”

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“Public access to documents is the life-blood of democracy and EU public registers listing all documents provide a rich resource for public debate, discussion and participation. The Commission continued intransigence undermines the democratic process and is utterly contrary to the much cited principles of openness, transparency and accountability in the EU.”

Background: Statewatch Analysis & Postscript: Statewatch wins European Ombudsman complaint against the European Commission over its public register of documents – but it refuses to comply: www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-82-eu-commission-register.pdf

15. EU: European Ombudsman re-elected (European Parliament press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/eu-ombudsman-prel.pdf

16. Greece: UNHCR call to stop Dublin II returns to Greece:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/03greece-unhcr-dublin.htm

17. EU: New European Commission: Home Affairs (Internal security and immigration) and Fundamental Rights (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship) need to have separate Directorate-Generals (DG) As the European Parliament hearings of the new Commissioners nears completion a major question remain unanswered. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

     “We have two Commissioners but one DG dealing with both internal security and immigration on the one hand and fundamenttal rights and
     justice on the other. Experience at national level shows that there should be a complete separation between Home Affairs and
     Justice/Fundamental Rights. By keeping a single Directorate-General (under a single Director-General) there is a real danger that the
     already pervading culture of internal security and control will continue to contaminate justice and rights.

18. UN: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/un-ct-privacy.pdf

     “The Special Rapporteur highlights the erosion of the right to privacy in the fight against terrorism in section C. This erosion takes place
     through the use of surveillance powers and new technologies, which are used without adequate legal safeguards. States have endangered
     the protection of the right to privacy by not extending pre-existing safeguards in their cooperation with third countries and private actors.
     These measures have not only led to violations of the right to privacy, but also have an impact on due process rights and the freedom of
     movement – especially at borders – and can have a chilling effect on the freedom of association and the freedom of expression.”

19. CYPRUS:

– The situation concerning homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation by Nicos Trimikliniotis and Stavros Stavrou Karayanni:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/cyprus-homophobia-report.pdf

– Trafficking, Profiteering and State Complicity: Researching the Demand Side of Prostitution and Trafficking in Cyprus by Nicos Trimikliniotis, International Peace Research Institute, Nicosia Cyprus
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/cyprus-trafficking-profiteering-prostitution-translocations-2009.pdf

– Nationality and citizenship in Cyprus since 1945: Communal citizenship, gendered nationality and the adventures of a post-colonial subject in a divided country (pdf) by Nicos Trimikliniotis
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/cyprus-nationality-citizenship.pdf

20. GREECE: The Athens Affair – How some extremely smart hackers pulled off the most audacious cell-network break-in ever (IEEE Spectrum, link):
spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-athens-affair/0

Article on the technical side of the interception of government Ministers and state officials' communications in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games widely believed to be on behalf of the CIA.

21. France: Statements in support of the Kurdish refugees who landed in Corsica: Fourteen Corsican organisations issued a joint statement in support of the Kurds from Syria who landed in Bonifacio on 22 January:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/06kurds-corsica.htm

22. Spain: Vic town council norms to stop sans papiers becoming residents withdrawn:
  www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jan/05catalan-vic.htm

Following opposition from trade unions, migrant and anti-racist groups and social organisations, and the intervention of the central government, the town council of Vic (Catalunya) has withdrawn a norm that amended the criteria for registration in the residents' register (padrón) which excluded irregular migrants, as it would not have allowed foreigners to register unless they had a valid residence permit or could offer proof that procedures for it to be issued or renewed were underway.

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