InI Logo
Spies-R-Us
Google
 
Web www.williambowles.info
Statewatch News Online, 22 January 2008

Home page: www.statewatch.org

In the year 2007 there were 1,693,941 user sessions with 6,464,960 “hits” on our site Statewatch News Online is a good way to reach a lot of people Please send Reports, articles, documents, meetings, interesting links etc to office@statewatch.org

1. UK-EU: Foreign Affairs Select Committee report on the Lisbon Treaty
2. EU-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: MEPs’ quick-deal concerns
3. Malta: Courts set yet another dangerous precedent against the Free Press
4. EU-FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AGENCY (FRA)
5. ECJ-TERRORIST LISTS: Opinion by the Advocate-General in the Kadi case
6. UK-USA: 1948 UKUSA agreement and ECHELON states behind “Server
in the Sky” project
7. CANADA: Court decides that the USA is not a “safe third country”
8. EU: Seven EU governments propose mutual recognition of offences
and convictions
9. UK: Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’
10. UK: Parliament Square Peace Campaign
11. UK: Liberty’s “Charge or release” campaign
12. EU: European Commission: Co-Decision Procedure
13. EU: Justice and Home Affairs: External relations programme
14. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: Draft agendas
15. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: “Against the outrageous Directive!”
16. UK: Official secrets prosecution collapses
17. Poland: Infringements of the right to fair trial and personal freedom
18. UK: Barnados’s: Asylum seeker children entrapped in poverty
19. EU: European Commission Annual Report on access to documents
20. UK: MI5 exemption from the Data Protection Act Certificate
21. UK: Border and Immigration Agency report:
22. UK: Parliamentary Committee slams government data security
23. UK: Data Sharing Review
24. EU-Poland: Opt-out Protocol to the Charter of Fundamental Rights
25. EU: Fingerprinting children
26. Informed Choice? Armed forces recrutment practices in the UK
27. EU-JHA: Council Presidency programme
28. EU: Consolidated text of the Lisbon Treaty – UK Foreign Office

1. UK-EU: Foreign Affairs Select Committee report on the Lisbon Treaty (full-text):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/uk-eu-fasc-lisbon-treaty.pdf

It says:

“We conclude that there is no material difference between the provisions on foreign affairs in the Constitutional Treaty which the Government made subject to approval in a referendum and those in the Lisbon Treaty on which a referendum is being denied.”

2. EU-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: MEPs’ quick-deal concerns (European Voice, link):
www.europeanvoice.com/current/article.asp?id=29621

“MEPs are concerned that the increasing trend for reaching quick deals with the Council of Ministers is detrimental to the Parliament’s” Under the co-decision procedure (between the parliament and the Council) 80% of measures have been agreed at 1st reading including 19 out of 23 measures going before the Civil Liberties Committee.

Background: – Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit by Tony Bunyan (first published in Statewatch bulletin November-December 2006):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/
ep-co-decision-secret-trilogues.pdf

Under a new agreement between the Council and the European Parliament the efficiency of decision-making is enhanced at the expense of transparency, openness and accountability. This is particularly the case on border controls, asylum and immigration measures.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“It is to be hope that the European Parliament follows this advice and resists pressure from the Council to decide new laws in closed meetings. To reverse present practice the parliament needs to insist on a revision of the 2007 Joint Declaration which presumes that secret trilogues and first reading agreements are the norm”

3. Malta: Courts set yet another dangerous precedent against the Free Press:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/04malta-court-decision.htm

4. EU-FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AGENCY (FRA): ALDE disappointed with lack of ambition of EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/ep-fra-alde.pdf

The is precluded from looking into police and internal security matters in the EU member states and “Key areas are excluded from its remit – homophobia, anti-gypsism, violation of privacy and the erosion of civil liberties in the fight against terrorism are of very real concern in a number of Member States.”

5. ECJ-TERRORIST LISTS: Excellent Opinion by the Advocate-General who finds that in the Kadi case the Court of First Instance was wrong to say that it could not rule on a person placed on the UN list and the EU list. The Opinion now goes to the Court of Justice:

Press release: Advocate General Poiares Maduro suggest that the Court annul the Council Regulation freezing the funds of Mr Kadi:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-terr-list-kadi-ag-opin-ecj.pdf

Full-text of Opinion:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/ecj-kadi-ag-opinion.pdf

6. UK-USA: 1948 UKUSA agreement and ECHELON states behind “Server in the Sky” project: Press coverage reporting that the FBI is seeking to set up a global alliance to target suspected terrorists and criminals has not so far noted the historical origins of “Server in the Sky” project to collect and exchange personal biometrics and data. The group behind the initiative is the “International Information Consortium” comprised of the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The same five states started intelligence gathering in the Cold War era under the 1948 UKUSA agreement which set up a global monitoring system led by the NSA (USA) and Government Communications HQ in the UK (GCHQ).

And the very same five states set up the ECHELON surveillance system in the 1980s which extended communications gathering on a huge scale from military objectives to political and economic targets by trawling the ether for keywords, phrases and groups.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“The USA and the UK have been running global surveillance systems since the start of the Cold War through the NSA and GCHQ and their scope was extended by the ECHELON system in the 1980s. For nearly 60 years, since 1948, these hidden systems have been beyond democratic control and now we see this alliance extending its tentacles to cover not just suspected terrorists but criminals as well. Its activities are likely to be as unaccountable as ever, by-passing standards of privacy and data protection.”

Background

– European Parliament: Echelon report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2001/sep/echelon.pdf

– Appraisal of technologies of political control (for the EP STOA Committee):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/may/steve-wright-stoa-rep.pdf

– European Union and the FBI launch global surveillance system: A Statewatch report, 10 February 1997:
www.statewatch.org/NEWS4A.HTM

– News report: FBI wants instant access to British identity data– Americans seek international database to carry iris, palm and finger prints (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/print/0%2C%2
C332065468-103690%2C00.html

7. CANADA: Court decides that the USA is not a “safe third country: In a 124-page decision Mr. Justice Michael Phelan ruled that the Safe Third Country Agreement, which came into effect on Dec. 29, 2004 and regulated refugee movement between Canada and the U.S., violates refugee rights and that the United States did not meet the conditions required to be considered a “Safe Country” under the terms of the Agreement. Full text of judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
canada-judg-third-countries.pdf

8. EU: Seven EU governments propose mutual recognition of offences and convictions where the person is not present at their trial: Slovenia, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, UK and Germany: Full-text of proposal:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/ei-in-absentia-trials.pdf

To: “establish common rules for the recognition and (or) execution of judicial decisions in one Member State (executing Member State) issued by another Member State (issuing Member State) following proceedings where the person was not personally present”

9. UK: Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ (Independent, link)
news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article3333852.ece

10. UK: Parliament Square Peace Campaign: supporters of Brian Haw and the right to protest: Briefing paper on SOCPA:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/uk-socpa-protests.pdf

and see: Website: www.parliament-square.org.uk/

11. UK: Liberty’s “Charge or release” campaign against extension of detention period (link):
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/issues/2-terrorism
/extension-of-pre-charge-detention/index.shtml

12. EU: European Commission: Co-Decision Procedure: Guide to Internal Procedures (Introduction in French, text in English):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/eu-com-codecision-guide.pdf

Detailed description of the co-decision process.

13. EU: Justice and Home Affairs: External relations programme for Slovenian Council Presidency:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/eu-jha-ext-5005-08.pdf

14. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: Draft agenda items for February, April and June: Draft JHA agendas:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/eu-jha-draft-agendas.pdf

15. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: “Against the outrageous Directive!”, full-text of speech given by Yasha Maccanico (Statewatch) at the hearing with NGOs organised by the GUE group, European Parliament, Strasbourg on 12 December 2007:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/
eu-outrageuos-directive-maccanico.pdf

16. UK: Official secrets prosecution collapses (Bindmans, link):
www.bindmans.com/index.php?id=376

17. Poland: Infringements of the right to fair trial and personal freedom Key case on the infringement of presumption of innocence and the abuse of pre-trial detention pending in the European Court of Human Rights Germany: High Court rules police raids against anti-G8 protesters unlawful:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/
jan/03poland-echr.htm

18. UK: Barnados’s: Asylum seeker children entrapped in poverty (Press release, link):
www.barnardos.org.uk/news_and_events/
media_centre/press_releases.htm?ref=33812

Executive Summary:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
uk-barnados-like-any-other-child-summ.pdf

19. EU: European Commission publishes Annual Report on access to documents for 2006:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-com-access-report-2006.pdf

20. UK: MI5 exemption from the Data Protection Act Certificate:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/uk-MI5-dp-exemption-cert.pdf

21. UK: Border and Immigration Agency report: Border and Immigration Agency Detention Estate:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
uk-border-agency-det-report.pdf

Racism at immigration centres revealed in report (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/print/0%2C%
2C331950674-103690%2C00.html

22. UK: Parliamentary Committee slams government data security: Protection of private data (Full-text of report by Justice Committee):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
uk-data-protection-security.pdf

23. UK: Data Sharing Review: A consultation paper on the use and sharing of personal information in the public and private sectors and Consultation response form
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/
uk-data-sharing-review-consultation.pdf

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“Current data protection laws are utterly worthless. The right to privacy and the protection of personal data will only become meaningful if all public and private bodies have a legal obligation to inform every person on whom they hold data each time data is transferred and to provide an annual statement of how it has been used. This should include: details of data held, every instance of exactly who it has been passed to and when and for what purpose, whether in the UK, the EU or outside.”

24. EU-Poland: Opt-out Protocol to the Charter of Fundamental Rights
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/01eu-poland.htm

25. EU: Fingerprinting children – VIS (Visa Information System): This document shows the latest position of the Council of the European Union (27 governments): There would be limited use of the fingerprints of children aged 6-12: See: EU doc no: 16598/07:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-fingerpritng-16598-07.pdf

“Fingerprints given by children aged between 6-12 at the time of collection may only be used for verification purposes”

“Verification” means that only “on-to-one” checks can be carried out to confirm that the child is the same as that recorded in the travel document. But Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria and Estonia want childrens’ fingerprints to be checked “one-to-many”, that is against the whole database.

The European Parliament wants the age from which children can be fingerprinted to be set at 12 years old and more, the EU governments want it to be 6 years old. The standard set for visas is likely also to apply to resident third country nationals and all EU citizens too.

26. Informed Choice? Armed forces recrutment practices in the UK. An independent report by David Gee. Research and publication funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: Executive Summary:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/uk-informed-choice-exec.pdf

27. EU-JHA: Council Presidency:

– Slovenian Presidency programme
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/eu-council-jha-prog.pdf

– Priority tasks of the Slovenian Presidency in the field of Justice and Home Affairs. Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament Brussels, 22 January 2008
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-slovenian%3Dpres-jha-libe-ep.pdf

– Minister of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia, in Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament, 22 January 2008
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-slovenian%3Dpres-justice-libe-ep.pdf

28. EU: Consolidated text of the Lisbon Treaty published by the UK Foreign Office (336 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-lisbon-treaty-consilidated.pdf

Comparative tables:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jan/
eu-lisbon-treaty-consilidated-tables.pdf

The Statewatch website was launched in 1999. News Online is now in its 10th year of monitoring and reporting on civil liberties in the EU

________________________________________________
Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK
tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727
www.statewatch.org

  
Back to Main Index | Spies R Us