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1/11/05
Statewatch News Online, 1 November 2005 (38/05)
  

Full contents see: www.statewatch.org/news

1. EU: Mandatory data retention – Guide to the issues and documents
2. UK: Information Commissioner’s report on the ID Card Bill
3. UK: Home Office reports on racial incidents
4. European Civil Liberties Network (ECLN)
5. Spain: “Transparency and silence” report on freedom of information throws up alarming results
6. EU: Schengen Information System II (SIS II) report
7. EU: Data protection reports on standards for security features and biometrics in passports
8. EU: Journalists Warn of Threats to Press Freedom in new code
9. UK: Terrorism Bill – as revised (12 October 2005)
10. UK: The head of MI5 (the UK’s internal security service), statement on torture
11. UK: House of Lords: critical report on the ID Card Bil
12. Working with the media: New IRR Guide
13. European Commission: Proposal on trafficking in human beings
14. EU-SIS: Joint Supervisory Authority (JSA) critical report on the Schengen Information System
15. European Commission publishes Proposal on the “principle of availability”
16. Italy: ALCEI – Electronic Frontiers Italy – The repression of civil rights with the pretext of terrorism
17. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 12 October 2005
18. EU: Two overviews on civil liberties, security and democracy
19. EU: Europol 2005 Organised crime report – public version

1. EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION – ISSUES & DOCUMENTATION

In the interests of ensuring an informed debate Statewatch has produced an: Annotated guide to the issues and documentation: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/dat-ret-ep.htm

In November the European Parliament will be deciding its position on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on data retention – which would log everyone’s communications (phone, fax, mobiles including location, e-mails and internet usage) and give access law enforcement agencies for the foreseeable future. The UK Council Presidency (representing the 25 EU governments) is demanding that the parliament rush through the measure by the end of November under the 1st reading procedure (”fast-tracking” intended for uncontroversial measures).

2. UK: Information Commissioner’s report on the ID Card Bill:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/uk-id-cards-info-com.pdf

3. UK: The Home Office Research Unit has published two reports:

a) Racist incidents: progress since the Lawrence Inquiry:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/ho-racial-incidents.pdf

b) Assessing the impact of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/ho-stephen-lawrence.pdf

4. European Civil Liberties Network launch

i) website: www.ecln.org/

ii) “Essays on civil liberties and democracy in Europe”: A collection of sixteen Essays were specially written for the launch:
www.ecln.org/essays.html

5. Spain: “Transparency and silence” report on freedom of information throws up alarming results: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/12spain-foi.htm

6. EU: Schengen Information System II (SIS II). Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor has issued his opinion on the proposals for SIS II (the second-generation Schengen Information System). Echoing the last week’s opinion from the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority, Mr. Hustinx criticised the absence of both an explanatory memorandum and impact assessment study, the complexity of the legal framework and the lack of clarity regarding competences. Mr. Hustinx also has serious reservations about the incorporation of biometrics into SIS II: EDPS Opinion: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/edps-Opinion-SISII.pdf

Statewatch analyses: Legislative proposals on SIS II (Professor Steve Peers):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/jun/05sisII.htm

SIS II fait accompli? Construction of EU’s Big Brother database underway:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/may/sisII-analysis-may05.pdf

7. EU: Reports from the Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection: Standards for security features and biometrics in passports:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/wp112.pdf

and Data Protection Issues Related to RFID Technology (Radio Frequency ID):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/wp111.pdf

8. EU: Journalists Warn of Threats to Press Freedom in European Union Debate over anti-Terrorism Policy (link to press statement from the European Federation of Journalists): www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=3434&Language=EN

9. UK: Terrorism Bill – as revised – dated 12 October 2005:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/uk-terrorism-bill-12-oct-05.pdf

Amnesty International briefing (link):
web.amnesty.org/library/pdf/EUR450382005ENGLISH/$File/EUR4503805.pdf

Liberty briefing for the 2nd reading (link):
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/resources/policy-papers/
2005/terrorism-bill-2nd-reading-commons.PDF

10. UK: The head of MI5 (the UK’s internal security service), Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, has submitted a statement to the Court of Appeal in the House of Lords on the use of intelligence from a third state which may have been obtained by the use of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. Submission by head of MI5:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/mi5-hol.pdf

The statement includes: “it may be apparent to the Agencies that the intelligence has been obtained from individuals in detention (”detainee reporting”).”

11. UK: House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a critical report on the ID Card Bill:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/hol-const-cttee-ID-cards.pdf

In the report, Liberal Democrat Lord Holme of Cheltenham said: “Contrary to the government’s assertions, the committee reaffirms that the bill fundamentally alters the relationship between citizens and the state.”

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (Houses of Commons and Lords) has also published its report on scrutiny which includes strong reservations about the ID Card Bill: Scrutiny report: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jt-human-rights-cttee-report.pdf

12. Working with the media: New IRR Guide (link,pdf) The Institute of Race Relations has published a new 9-page guide for anti-racist campaigners and refugee rights activists on working with the media. The guide can be downloaded at: (pdf file, 697kb): www.irr.org.uk/pdf/media_guidance.pdf

13. European Commission: Fighting trafficking in human beings – an integrated approach and proposals for an action plan:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/com-trafficking-514.pdf

14. EU-SIS: Joint Supervisory Authority (JSA) on the Schengen Information System issues critical report on SIS II proposals:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/JSA-SIS.pdf

In a detailed opinion on the Commission proposals the JSA has criticised the planned “open-ended legal structure”, suggesting it is “sometimes be unclear what is [to be] regulated by which instrument.” Neither is the JSB clear what exactly the purpose of SIS II is, meaning “the legal basis fails to comply with one of the key principles of data protection; namely, that the purpose of processing must be specified and explicit”. It is also unclear “from the proposals who will be responsible for the SIS II” and what roles there will be for European and national data protection supervisors.

15. European Commission publishes Proposal on the “principle of availability”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/com-principle-availability.pdf

16. Italy: ALCEI – Electronic Frontiers Italy – The repression of civil rights with the pretext of terrorism:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/08italy-rights.htm

17. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 12 October 2005, Luxembourg: Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jha-prel-12-oct.pdf

Background Note: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jha-background-12-oct.pdf
Main “B” Point agenda: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jha-agenda-12-oct.pdf
“A” Point agenda (adopted without any discussion): www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jha-A-pts-agenda-12-oct.pdf

The Justice and Home Affairs Council discussed: July 13 JHA Council Declaration: Updated follow-up (dated 10.10.05) which is a useful summary of anti-terrorist measures planned – and contains a number that are little or nothing to do with combating terrorism:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/jha-decl-follow-up.pdf

An associated document on “New Ideas” was drawn up later and they are not included in the Declaration. This contains: 1) A proposal to extend the members of the Prum Treaty (Germany); 2) A proposal to look at recording the entry and exit of third country nationals (Italy); and 3) “developing a common approach to the expulsion of terrorist suspects” (Italy): “New Ideas” on Counter-Terrorism from the July JHA Council: Next Steps:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/eu-next-steps-05.pdf

18. EU: Two overviews on civil liberties, security and democracy:

While Europe sleeps: under the “war on terrorism” a veneer of democracy is legitimating the creation of a coercive (and surveillance) state by Tony Bunyan:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/ecln/essay-11.pdf

There is no “balance” between security and civil liberties – just less of each by Ben Hayes:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/ecln/essay-12.pdf

19. EU: Europol 2005 Organised crime report – public version (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/oct/europol-org-crim-public.pdf

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