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10/11/05
Statewatch News Online, 10 November 2005 (39/05)
  

Full contents see: www.statewatch.org/news

  1. Observatory on the surveillance of telecommunications in the EU
  2. UK-EU: Data retention and police access in the UK – a warning for Europe
  3. UK: Statement from the families of the men who have been detained pending deportation
  4. France: Statement opposing the state of emergency
  5. UK: Top figures contradict need to detain people to tackle decryption
  6. Statewatch’s Observatory on: Telephone tapping and mail-opening figures 1937- 2004
  7. UK: Report of the Interception Commissioner for 2004
  8. UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2004
  9. UK: Terrorism Bill – as amended – 9 November 2005 (after government defeat)
  10. EU: Draft Council Framework Decision on the European enforcement order
  11. UK: Racial violence after 7 July – week 17 (IRR News Service)
  12. The right to know or the right to try and find out? The need for an EU freedom of information law
  13. Ireland: Immigration-related detention

1. Statewatch OBSERVATORY ON THE SURVEILLANCE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN THE EU

Statewatch has launched an Observatory on the surveillance of telecommunications in the EU – under mandatory data retention a record will be kept of everyone’s phone-calls, e-mails, mobile phone calls (including location) and internet usage. The Council (the 25 EU governments) are proposing the data can be accessed by law enforcement agencies for any suspected crime, however minor. The proposal is now being discussed in the European Parliament:

Observatory: www.statewatch.org/eu-data-retention.htm

and Critical Opinion of the Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/WP113.pdf

2. UK-EU: Data retention and police access in the UK – a warning for Europe:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/01uk-eu-police-access-to-data.htm

3. UK: Statement from the families of the men who have been detained pending deportation to countries where they are certain to be tortured and even killed:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/deportees-statement.pdf

and Letter from the families to Tony Blair, the Prime Minister:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/deportees-blair-letter.pdf

4. France: Statement opposing the state of emergency:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/02france-emergency.htm

5. UK: Two top establishment figures, Lord Brown (the Intelligence Services Commissioner) and the Rt Hon Sir Swinton Thomas (Interception of Communications Commissioner), have both – in their annual reports published last week – thrown doubt on the police and government’s argument for holding terrorist suspects for 90 days. One of the main arguments put forward is that people need to be detained for questioning (without charge) for more than 14 days because of the difficulty and complexity of decryption. Extraordinarily both reports use exactly the same words on the question of encryption in Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) which is not yet in force:

“the use of information security and encryption products by terrorist and criminal suspects is not, I understand, as widespread as had been expected when RIPA was approved by Parliament in the year 2000. Equally the Government’s investment in the National Technical Assistance Centre – a Home Office managed facility to undertake complex data processing – is enabling law enforcement agencies to understand, as far as is necessary, protected electronic data”

6. UK: Telephone and communication interception reaches new high – now three times more than when the Labour government came to powe in 1997: Statewatch’s Observatory on: Telephone tapping and mail-opening figures 1937- 2004:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/uk-tel-tap-rep-2004.htm

It is interesting to compare the UK figures with those for the USA, see: The Centre for Democracy and Technology (USA, link):
www.cdt.org/wiretap/wiretap_overview.html

The comparable figures showed that in 2003 there were more interception warrants issued in the UK than the whole of the USA. Figures for warrants issued by the UK Foreign Office (for the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6 and for GCHQ) were only published 1980-1984.

7. UK: Report of the Interception Commissioner for 2004:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/teltap-2004.pdf

8. UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2004:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/int-rep-2004.pdf

9. UK: Terrorism Bill – as amended – 9 November 2005:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/terrorism-Bill-9-11-05.pdf

10. EU: Comments on the Draft Council Framework Decision on the European enforcement order and the transfer of sentenced persons between Member States of the EU (Initiative of Austria, Finland, Sweden) from the Permanente commissie van deskundigen in internationaal vreemdelingen – vluchtelingen- en strafrecht (The Standing Committee of experts in international immigration, refugee and criminal law – The “Meijers Committee”):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/meijers-FWD-EEO.pdf

11. UK: Racial violence after 7 July – week 17 (IRR News Service):
www.irr.org.uk/2005/november/ha000010.html

12. The right to know or the right to try and find out? The need for an EU freedom of information law, by Ben Hayes:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-FOI.pdf

13. Ireland: Immigration-related detention in Ireland A research report for the Irish Refugee Council Irish Penal Reform Trust and Immigrant Council of Ireland (link):
www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/press05/detention.pdf

BOOKMARK

News online – full contents:
www.statewatch.org/news
What’s New on the Statewatch site:
www.statewatch.org/whatsnew.htm
Statewatch European Monitor:
www.statewatch.org/monitor/monitor.html

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