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Statewatch News Online, 18 October 2007

Home page: www.statewatch.org

Statewatch publications: www.statewatch.org/swpubs.html

1. EU-USA: VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME: Exchange of letters
2. EU: Latest draft: Agencies access to VIS
3. UK: Draft IPCC Guidelines: Investigating allegations of discriminatory behaviour
4. EU-US PNR AGREEMENT: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party
5. EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT: Year 2006
6. NORTHERN IRELAND: Human Rights Commission: Tasers
7. EU: Reform Treaty: EP and analysis
8. EU-UPDATE: VIS, Prum, Schengen
9. UPDATE: EU: Data protection
10. EU: UK HoC European Scrutiny Committee: Reform Treaty
11. European Security Research Agenda: Working documents
12. UK-USA: Treaty on Defense Trade Cooperation
13. UK: Government reply on Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights
14. EU: The Commission has finally published its 2005 access report
15. EU: Shameful silence of Member States on CIA detentions
16. ALDE question on blocking of Internet searches
17. UK: Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2007
18. EU-ASYLUM: Common European Asylum System submission
19.. EU-OMBUDSMAN: MEPs’ allowances should be publicly accessible

1. EU-USA: VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME:
Letter from Commission and Council to Chertoff (US Homeland Security Secretary, dated 28 June 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/
eu-us-visa-reciprocity-letter-to-chertoff.pdf

and Reply from Chertoff (31 August 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-
us-visa-reciprocity-letter-fom-chertoff.pdf

The EU letter asks for “visa-free travel” for all its citizens “without introducing additional burdens”. It also offer to negotiate an “EU-US readmission agreement” if the EU commitment under international law is not sufficient.

Chertoff’s reply confirms the EU’s Visa Waiver entry to the USA is effectively to be abolished. Chertoff writes: “We can no longer afford to ssume that all ctizens of VWP countries represent lesser security threats, and that all citzens of non-VWP countries represent greater threats” So in addtion to booking their flight visitors to the USA will also “make a reservation with the United States” and they will be checked against watch-lists and will have to get “Electronic Travel Authorisation” (ETA) before leaving. Chertoff says that the US is keen to work with the EU “to develop compatible and complementary systems”.

See also:
– EU-US relations: Visa Waiver Programme checks for all:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jul/06eu-us-visas.htm

– US-VISIT exit system not in place, nor likely to be in the foreseeable future
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jul/o2usa-goa-exit-report.htm

– European Commission to propose EU PNR travel surveillance system:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jul/03eu-pnr.htm

2. EU: Latest draft: Council Decision concerning access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by designated authorities of Member States and by Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences (dated 11 October 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-
acess-to-vis-sec-agencies-11077-rev1-07.pdf

3. UK: Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC): Draft IPCC Guidelines: Investigating allegations of discriminatory behaviour
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/uk-ipcc-discrimination-.pdf

4. EU-US PNR AGREEMENT: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Letter to Commissioner Frattini Sets out a series of questions and concerns
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/art-29-to-frattini-pnr.pdf

5. EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant – Year 2006
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-arrest-warrant-stats.pdf

6. NORTHERN IRELAND: Human Rights Commission press release: Commission highlights concerns around Tasers:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/nihrc-tasers.pdf

7. EU: Reform Treaty: Note to the European Parliament on the “state of play” in the discussions (dated 17 October 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-reform-treaty-note-ep.pdf

Note on: Reform Treaty: Debate in the European Parliament:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/
eu-reform-treaty-ep-debate.pdf

Statewatch Analysis no 5: Analysis of the amended text of the draft Reform Treaty by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/
analysis-5-reform-treaty-oct-2007.pdf

For full background see Statewatch’s Observatory on the Constitution/Reform Treaty:
www.statewatch.org/euconstitution.htm

8. EU-UPDATE: Draft measures:

a) Council Decision concerning access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by designated authorities of Member States and by Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-
vis-pol-sec-access-11077-rev1-07.pdf

b) Prum Treaty transposition: Coucil Decision stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-prum-draft-13728-07.pdf

c) European Parliament: Amending the Common Consular Instructions on visas for diplomatic missions and consular posts in relation to the introduction of biometrics including provision on the organisation of the reception and processing of visa application:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/ep-vis-amendments.pdf

d) Schengen evaluation of the new Member States : Overview of results
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-schengen-evaluation.pdf

9. UPDATE: EU: DATA PROTECTION: Latest draft Framework Decision: EU doc no: 11365/3/07 REV 3, dated 12 October 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct
/eu-dp-draft-text-11365-rev-3.pdf

and a Council Presidency Note to the JHA Counsellors meeting on 15 October: EU doc no: 13818/07 (dated 12 October 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct
/eu-dp-jha-counsellors-113818-07.pdf

– draft: EU doc no 11365/2/07 REV 2:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
oct/eu-dp-draft-text-11365-rev-2.pdf

– EU doc no: 13496/07:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-dp-13496.pdf

The latter document sets out “five political questions” for decisions within the Council. These include inserting a clause saying that: “This Framework Decision is without prejudice: “to essential national security interests and specific intelligence activities in the field of national security.” (Art 1.4). Apparently “all delegations” accept that this data protection measure should not cover security services dealing with national security. It is noted that there can be extensive exchanges between the security agencies and the police. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“If the security agencies are not to be covered by this Framework Decision on data protection are they to be subject to another measure, or are they above the law?”

For full background documentation see Statewatch’s Observatory on data protection in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/eu-dp.htm

10. Council of Europe: Specialists refuse to consider proposals to improve access to documents:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
oct/01coe-access-response-prel.htm

Background: Chorus of voices calls for stronger access to information treaty ahead of final drafting meeting: Full-text of letter with 245 civil society organisations and 269 individuals: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/coe-access-letter.pdf

11. EU: UK House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee report on the “Reform Treaty”: European Union Intergovernmental Conference:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/
eu-uk-hoc-scrut-report-on-treaty.pdf

12. European Security Research Agenda: European Commission Working documents:

– Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research and Innovation: Summary of the Impact Assessment (SEC (2007) 1139:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/
eu-com-security-research-sec-1139.pdf

– Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research and Innovation: Impact Assessment (SEC (2007) 1138):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-com-security-research-sec-1138.pdf

See also earlier Commission press releases:

– Security research to better combat terrorism:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/
eu-com-security-research-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

– The European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF) – Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-com-esrif-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

– Commission promotes public-private dialogue to improve security of EU citizens
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu
-com-sec-res-privat-public-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

For background, see: Arming Big Brother: The EU’s Security Research Programme by Ben Hayes (Statewatch/Transnational Institute)
www.statewatch.org/news/2006/apr/bigbrother.pdf

13. UK-USA: Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America concerning Defense Trade Cooperation: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/
uk-usa-treaty-defence-trade.pdf

14. Government reply to report by the Joint Human Rights Committee: Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights: 28 days, intercept and post-charge questioning:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep
/uk-gov-reply-counter-terrorism.pdf

See also JHRC report: Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights: 28 days, intercept and post-charge questioning (160 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
jul/1uk-jhrc-rep-terr-detention.pdf

15. The Commission has finally published its report on The application in 2005 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The report is almost nine months late:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
sep/eu-com-access-2005-548.pdf.

See: Statewatch lodges two complaints against the European Commission with the European Ombudsman (press release 19 April 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/apr/
statewatch-ombuds-cases-april-2007.pdf

– the Commission failed to maintain a proper public register of documents with only a fraction of those produced listed; – the Commission failed to produce its annual report on access to documents for 2005 in the year 2006; – Statewatch says both are breaches of the Regulation and therefore cases of maladministration.

16. Shameful silence of Member States on CIA detentions (ALDE press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
sep/ep-alde-cia-statement.pdf

17. ALDE question to Commission: Blocking of Internet searches with the words “bomb”, “kill”, “genocide” or “terrorism”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/ep-check-web.pdf

18. UK: Data retention: Statutory Instrument 2007 No. 2199, Electronic Communications: The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2007 entered into force on 1 October 2007: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/uk-data-retention-regulation.pdf

All phone-calls, e-mails, faxes, mobile phone calls (including locations) have to be retained by service providers for access by law enforcement agencies and a host of
other public bodies. See Statewatch analysis: Mandatory retention of telecommunications traffic data to be “nodded” through in the UK:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/may/uk-data-ret.pdf

See also: Big Brother Britain: Government and councils to spy on ALL our phones (Evening Standard, link):
www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23414373-details/Big+
Brother+Britain%3A+Government+and+councils+to+spy+
on+ALL+our+phones/article.do

19. EU-ASYLUM: Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugees and criminal law (the “Meijers” Committee) submission to the Commission on: Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-
standing-cttee-green-paper-asylum-system.pdf

20. EU-OMBUDSMAN: Press release: Information concerning MEPs’ allowances should be publicly accessible:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-ombs-malta.pdf

Ombudsman Recommendation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/3643-2005-(GK)WP-S050813.pdf

Malta Today – article:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
sep/eu-ombs-malta-today2.pdf

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Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
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tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727 www.statewatch.org

  
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