InI Logo
Spies-R-Us
Google
 
Web www.williambowles.info
Statewatch News Online, 30 March 2009 (06/09)

Home page: www.statewatch.org/
What’s News: www.statewatch.org/whatsnew.htm
News Online: www.statewatch.org/news/
Observatories: www.statewatch.org/observatories.htm

1.   ITALY: Statewatch Analysis: THE GENOA 2001 TRIALS
2.   EU:New use of Customs data using information technology
3.   EP Studies: Dublin System and border security in the EU and the USA
4.   EP: Call for action to safeguard internet privacy
5.   EU: FRA: Protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child
6.   EU: SIS II IN A MESS
7.   EU-UK: AGREEMENT ON MILITARY STAFF
8.   EU: HoL Committee: UK opt-in: problems with amendment and codification
9.   UK: Strategy for Countering International Terrorism
10. EU: Creation of a: Black Sea Cooperation Platform
11. EU-USA PNR AGREEMENT: State of Play – 11 EU states have to ratify
12. EU: Exchange of EU classified information (EUCI) with third States
13. UK: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust report: Database state
14. UK: JCHR report: A human rights approach to policing protest
15. EU: E-PRIVACY DIRECTIVE: Working Party on data retention
16. CANADA: Press Release: British MP banned from Canada
17. GERMANY: Administrative Court: Data retention is “invalid”
18. UK: How I got my genes deleted – I’ve had my DNA struck from police records
19. USA: Domestic Intelligence System Grows without Controls
20. Statewatch Briefing: “Terrorist” lists: proscription, designation and asset-freezing
21. EU: Meijers Committee:the Dublin Regulation
22. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: Journalists angry
23. UK: TORTURE: FCO admits silence over torture victims
24. US: GAO: Tests Reveal Vulnerabilities in Passport Issuance Process
25. EU: Access to documents Analysis: European Parliament report
26. EU-UNHCR: Minimum standards for the reception of asylum-seekers
27, UK: E-BORDERS: All travel plans to be tracked by Government
28. EU: Yet another, quick, 1st reading agreement: Code on Visas

1. ITALY: THE GENOA 2001 TRIALS: Statewatch Analysis: Italy: Making sense of the Genoa G8 trials and aftermath by Yasha Maccanico examines the trials of the protestors and the police and their outcomes:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-77-genoa-aftermath.pdf

This analysis seeks to identify some of the key points for understanding the outcome of the trials involving demonstrators and police officers in relation to events during the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, and to investigate the implications for public order policing and the right to demonstrate.

See also: Statewatch’s Statewatch’s Observatory on reactions to protests in the EU (from 2001 – ongoing)
www.statewatch.org/observatory3.htm

2. EU:New use of Customs data: Draft Council Decision on the use of information technology for customs purposes:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-customs-
info-systems-convergence-5903-rev2-09.pdf

.
Intended to allow direct access by national law enforcement agencies and the recording of personal data. This personal data may relate to a surveillance request or discrete checks. Customs officials’s powers have long extended beyond the checking of goods or articles to questioning individuals as to their movement and contacts.

3. European Parliament Studies: Reflection Note on the evaluation of the Dublin System and the Dublin III proposal:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/pe410690_en.pdf

and The tools called to support the “delivery” of Freedom, Security and Justice: A comparison of border security in the EU and the USA:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-usa-borders.pdf

4. EU-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: EU call for urgent action to safeguard internet privacy while combating cyber-crime (PSE group, link):
www.socialistgroup.eu/gpes/newsdeta
il.do?lg=en&id=126073&href=home

“The European Parliament today called for EU legislation to fully protect fundamental rights of citizens in the electronic age, including the right to free access of all citizens to the Internet and the right to privacy, while effectively combating cyber-crime.”

Proposed report as adopted by the LIBE Committee:Report on strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet Stavros Lambrinidis: Rapporteur: Stavros Lambrinidis MEP:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
ep-internet-report-lambrinidis.pdf

5. EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-
fra-rights-of-child-summary-report.pdf

6. EU: SIS II IN A MESS: European Commission: Communication on the Development of the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) Progress Report: July 2008 – December 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-com-sis-II-133-09.pdf

“In order to accurately identify the underlying causes of remaining problems affecting the system, the Commission will complete an in-depth analysis of SIS II…The Operational System Test demonstrates that the number of bugs in the central SIS II reduced  between November and December 2008 and that the SIS II functionalities work. However, during this phase, a number of problems have persisted…”

It was planned to .launch SIS II in September 2009, however, major problems have emerged and the talk is of introducing yet another “stop-gap” SIS I + R – this despite the fact that many Member States have already invested millions to meet official specifications.

See Report of the SIS II Task Force: (EU doc no: 7789/09, 19.3.09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-sis-II-problems-7789-09.pdf

“There are 7 MS with serious budget problems, 9 MS with serious problems in resources and 6 MS with serious contract problems. These three elements are also the top 3 risks for MS participation in the SIS II as well as in the SIS 1+R(evolution) alternative.”

7. EU-UK: AGREEMENT ON MILITARY STAFF: Agreement between the Member States of the European Union concerning the status of military and civilian staff seconded to the institutions of the European Union, of the headquarters and forces which may be made available to the European Union in the context of the preparation and execution of tasks referred to in Article 17(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including exercises, and of the military and civilian staff of the Member States put at the disposal of the European Union to act in this context (EU SOFA):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
eu-uk-military-staff-agreement.pdf

including: “Military or civilian staff seconded to the EU institutions shall enjoy immunity from legal process of any kind in respect of words spoken or written, and of acts performed by them in the exercise of their official functions; that immunity shall continue even after their secondment has ceased. The immunity referred to in this Article shall be granted in the interests of the EU, and not for the benefit of the staff concerned” – should there be a dispute this will be resolved by the Council of the European Union.

8. EU: House of Lords European Union Committee: The United Kingdom opt-in: problems with amendment and codification:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-uk-hol-rep-uk-opt-in.pdf

9. UK: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism (large file):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-terr-strategy.pdf

See: New anti-terror strategy warns of chemical attack threat (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/
24/anti-terror-strategy-government/print

and Government’s social engineering project doomed to fail (Islamic Human Rights Commission):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/06ihrc-press-release.htm

10. EU: Creation of a: Black Sea Cooperation Platform (pdf): “for the prevention of future migration-born insecurity at the Eastern EU border”
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-black-
sea-cooperation-platform-7241-rev1-09.pdf

The countries expected to participate are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom plus “all Black Sea riparian states, including Armenia and Azerbaijan”.

11. EU-USA PNR AGREEMENT: Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Declarations made in accordance with Article 24(5) TEU – State of Play – Eleven EU member states have to ratify agreement before it comes “officially” into operation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-usa
-pnr-data-state-of-play-5311-rev1-09.pdf

See: Statewatch’s: Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA
www.statewatch.org/pnrobservatory.htm

12. EU: Exchange of EU classified information (EUCI) with third States and international organisations:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-euci-
classified-info-exchanges%3Dint-agreements.pdf

The Council of the European Union has set up a series of international agreements for the exchange of classified information with the EU – this document sets out the third states and the levels of exchange.

13. UK: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust report: Database state:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-jrrt-database-state-report.pdf

and Executive Summary:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-
jrrt-database-state-report-summary.pdf

“Of the 46 databases assessed in this report only six are given the green light. That is, only six are found to have a proper legal basis for any privacy intrusions and are proportionate and necessary in a democratic society. Nearly twice as many are almost certainly illegal under human rights or data protection law and should be scrapped or substantially redesigned, while the remaining 29 databases have significant problems and should be subject to an independent review.

We hope this report will help to highlight the scale of the problem we are facing and inform the ongoing debate about the sort of society we want to live in and how new information systems can help us get there.”

14. UK: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: Demonstrating respect for rights? A human rights approach to policing protest :Vol 1: Report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk
-jhrc-report-on-policing-protests.pdf

and Vol 2 Evidence:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-jhrc
-report-on-policing-protests-evidence.pdf

See also: 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

15. EU: E-PRIVACY DIRECTIVE: Working Party on data retention: 21 March 2009: Position on the processing of traffic data for “security purposes”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-dat
-ret-wg-e-security-position-paper.pdf

16. CANADA: Press Release: British MP banned from Canada: Ottawa must reverse shameful decision OTTAWA – March 20, 2009 – The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group is calling on Ottawa to reverse its decision and allow well-known British MP and peace acitivist, George Galloway, to enter to Canada:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/03canada-galloway-ban.htm

17.GERMANY: Administrative Court: Data retention is “invalid”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/04germany-data-retention.htm

“As the first German court, the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden has found the blanket recording of the entire population’s telephone, mobile phone, e-mail and Internet usage (known as data retention) disproportionate.”

18. UK: How I got my genes deleted – I’ve had my DNA struck from police records – now it’s over to the rest of you 799,999 innocents by Mark Thomas (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/
mar/19/dna-database-comment/print

19. USA: Domestic Intelligence System Grows without Controls (Centre for Democracy and Technology, link):
cdt.org/publications/policyposts/2009/1

20. Statewatch: Statewatch Briefing: “Terrorist” lists: monitoring proscription, designation and asset freezing – Update March 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/sw-terrorist
-list-observatory-update-march-2009.pdf

For full background see: Observatory
www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/terrorlists.html

21. EU: Meijers Committee: Standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law: The proposals to amend the Dublin Regulation, COM(2008) 820 final of 3.12.2008 and the Reception Conditions Directive, COM(2008) 815 final:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
eu0dublin-reception-meijers-cttee.pdf

22. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: Journalists angry over the European Parliament’s views on transparency – Swedish Union of Journalists
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
02sweden-journalists-access-reg.htm

23. UK: TORTURE: FCO admits silence over torture victims – No complaints made on cases of alleged abuse – Lawyers see silence as proof of official complicity (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar
/17/pakistan-foreign-office-torture/print

24. US: Government Accountability Office report: Undercover Tests Reveal Significant Vulnerabilities in State’s Passport Issuance Process:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/us-gao-false-passport.pdf

“GAO’s investigation shows that terrorists or criminals could steal an American citizen’s identity, use basic counterfeiting skills to create fraudulent documentation for that identity, and obtain a genuine U.S. passport”

25. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents (1049/2001): Statewatch analysis: European Parliament report on the Regulation on public access to EU documents by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-access-
reg-cashman-11-march-adopted-sw-analysis.pdf

The analysis refers to the amendments in: Resolution on Commission proposals as adopted on 11 March 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-access
-reg-cashman-11-march-adopted.pdf

Overall 10 amendments are “strongly supported”, 13 are “supported” (including two where further amendments are needed, 7 are “opposed”, 1 is “strongly opposed” and in two instance amendments are proposed (including adding FOI requests, which was voted down by the parliament):

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

    “To outside observers the process must be a bit of a mystery. The Commission has put forward proposals to amend the 2001
    Regulation on access to EU documents. The European Parliament has agreed amendments to these proposals – but has not
    formally adopted them as a 1st reading Resolution. This means that the Commission can amend its proposals but will only
    consider doing so after the Council has adopted its position, which it does not seem close to.

    The Council will agreed amendments to the Commission proposals, however, the parliament’s amendments go furher and put
    forward changes not covered by the Commission and therefore they will not be considered by the Council in reaching its position.

    It is then likely that there will be a series of protracted “trialogues” (in secret) between the three institutions to reach a
    “compromise”.”

Background: At the plenary session Mr Verheugen, Vice-President of the Commission made the following declaration on behalf of the Commission said: “The Commission takes note of the amendments voted by Parliament that it will study in detail. The Commission confirms its willingness to seek a compromise with Parliament and Council. The Commission will only consider its proposal after the two branches.. have adopted their positions.”

See all background documentation on the Observatory: The regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-2009:
www.statewatch.org/foi/observatory-access-reg-2008-2009.htm

26. EU-UNHCR: UNHCR Comments on the European Commission’s Proposal for a recast of the Directive laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum-seekers:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/unhcr-min-recept-standards.pdf

27. UK E-BORDERS: All travel plans to be tracked by Government (Daily Telegraph, link): “The travel plans and personal details of every holidaymaker, business traveller and day-tripper who leaves Britain are to be tracked by the Government…”
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4987415/All-
travel-plans-to-be-tracked-by-Government.html

Background:

– Statewatch: UK: e-Borders plan to tackle “threats” The scheme is one of the most advanced in the world – but will not be fully in place until at least 2018
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/aug/ebord.pdf

– e-Borders: Friends of the Presidency Group: UK contribution
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/may/uk-pnr-semaphore.pdf

28. EU: Yet another, quick, 1st reading agreement between the Council and the European Parliament – agreed text: Draft Regulation establishing a Community Code on Visas:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-
visa-code-1st-reading-agreement.pdf

Back to Main Index | Spies R Us