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Statewatch News Online, 31 December 2007

Home page: www.statewatch.org

Statewatch Observatory on FOI in the EU: www.statewatch.org/foi/foi.htm

  1. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: No! To the Outrageous Directive petition
  2. UK-LOST FILES & DATA PROTECTION
  3. EU-RFID: Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor
  4. EU-UK: Bill on the Lisbon (”Reform”) Treaty published
  5. EU: Slovenian Council Presidency meetings programme
  6. EU: Detention Centres report for European Parliament
  7. EDPS: Implementing rules of Prüm Initiative should ensure accuracy
  8. US-CIA: Detention sites
  9. UK/Spain: Spanish lawyer questioned using antiterrorist powers in King’s Cross
  10. UK: 42 DAYS DETENTION PROPOSAL rejected by Committees
  11. Statewatch’s Observatory on the “terrorist lists” has been updated
  12. CIA RENDITION-IRISH HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION report
  13. EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS COUNCIL, 6-7 December 2007

1. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: The petition against the adoption of this EU Directive has now been signed by over 18,000 inidividuals and 600 organisations. Updated compliation: No! To the Outrageous Directive (pdf, 2.4MB):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-returns-ngo-compilation.pdf

Website: outrageousdirective.org (link):
www.outrageousdirective.org/

See also:

Council of Europe: On eve of International Migrants Day, PACE committee head slams EU proposals for irregular migrants (press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-returns-coe-pace-prel.pdf

“An EU proposal to fix at 18 months the maximum period of detention for irregular migrants in Europe “flies in the face of humanity”, according to the Chair of the Migration Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).”

CoE PACE: Resolution:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/
eu-returns-coe-pace-resolution.pdf

CoE PACE Recommendations:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu
-returns-coe-pace-recommendations.pdf

Full Background is on:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/04eu-ret-dir.htm

2. UK-LOST FILES & DATA PROTECTION: On 17 December 2007 the UK Transport Minister, Ruth Kelly, announced that the records of over 3 million driving test applicants – including their names, home addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers – had been lost in Iowa in the USA. The hard drive with all the data was lost after it had been taken to Minnesota to be backed-up. The UK data was held at the “worldwide data centre” in Iowa of the global multinational Pearsons (USA) – Pearson Driving Assessments Limited which got the contract is registered in the UK. See: Three million L-drivers hit in lost data fiasco (Daily Telegraph, link):
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml
?xml=/news/2007/12/18/ndata118.xml

and Personal details of millions of learner drivers lost by contractor in Iowa (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/print/0%2C%2
C331585051-103685%2C00.html

In November 2007 Raytheon Systems Ltd of the UK headed a consortium which won a £650 million Home Office contract to track, profile and check against “watch-lists” everyone entering and leaving the UK – see Trusted Borders:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/
uk-trusted-borders-ho-project.pdf

The parent company Raytheon USA, has 73,000 employees world-wide and describes itself as:”a technology leader specialising in defence, homeland security, and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning more than 80 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; command, control, communications and intelligence systems.” See: We must not tolerate this putsch against our freedoms by Henry Porter (Observer, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/
story/0%2C%2C2212990%2C00.html

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“The loss of personal data of 3 million people, following the loss by the UK’s Revenue and Customs loss of 25 million personal records, raises serious questions about data security.

However, another arises when personal data gathered in the UK, under government contract, is held in the USA. We know from the money transfer SWIFT scandal and the EU-PNR personal data transfer scheme that any data held in the USA can be made available to US security and law enforcement agencies in connection with any violation of US law. So it has to be asked: What data protection rights do people in the UK have over the use, processing and further transfer of their data if it is held in the USA?”

3. EU-RFID: Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (Press release)
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-edps-rfid-prel.pdf

Full-text of Opinion:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-edps-rfid.pdf

The EDPS says that with the commonplace use of RFID chips:

“the risk increases that the Information Society moves closer to a situation where automated decisions will be taken and where technology will be abused in order to regulate the human behaviour.”

He goes on to observe that:

“Self-regulation alone may not be enough to meet the challenge” and that legislation might be needed if self-regulation fails and that such “measures should notably lay down the opt-in principle at the point of sale as a precise and undeniable legal obligation”

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“To wait to see if self regulation fails before laying down the opt-in principle at the point of sale as a precise and undeniable legal obligation should not be an option. The great majority of commercial companies will not voluntary do this as it is not in their interests and will cost them money”

4. EU-UK: Bill on the Lisbon (”Reform”) Treaty published: Full-text of Bill:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk-eu-lisbon-treaty-bill.pdf

Explanatory Notes:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk
-eu-lisbon-treaty-bill-explan-notes.pdf

5. EU: Slovenian Council Presidency meetings programme:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu
-slovenian-council-presidency-calendar.pdf

6. EU: Detention Centres report for European Parliament: The conditions in centres for third country national (detention camps, open centres as well as transit centres and transit zones) with a particular focus on provisions and facilities for persons with special needs in the 25 EU member states (2.35 MB, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/
dec/eu-ep-detention-centres-report.pdf

7. EDPS: Implementing rules of Prüm Initiative should ensure accuracy in DNA and fingerprint data exchanges (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-edps-prum-prel.pdf

Full-text of Opinion:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/eu-edps-prum-opinion.pdf

8. US-CIA: Detention sites (press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/cia-detention-sites.pdf

Full-text of report (link):
www.chrgj.org/projects/docs/survivingthedarkness.pdf%20

9. UK/Spain: Spanish lawyer questioned using antiterrorist powers in King’s Cross:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/03uk-spain-kurd.htm

Gustavo Garcia, a lawyer from Vigo (Galicia) and member of the civil liberties and human rights observatory Esculca, and Mahmut Colak, a Kurd who has Spanish nationality and resides in London, were held and questioned separately for over three hours on arrival at 8 a.m. at London’s Saint Pancras train station from Brussels on 6 December 2007. They were returning from participating in the “Fourth International Conference about the EU, Turkey and the Kurds” on 3 and 4 December, endorsed by the European Parliament and whose patrons included bishop Desmond Tutu and Norman Mailer.

10. UK: 42 DAYS DETENTION PROPOSAL REJECTED:
Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee report urges government to drop 42 days detention:
Counter?Terrorism Policy and Human Rights: 42 days (4.35 MB, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk-jhrc-42-days.pdf

This follows a similar rejection of the proposal by the House of Commons, Home Affairs Select
Committee: The Government’s Counter?Terrorism Proposals:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk-hasc-42-days.pdf

See also: Liberty: Terrorism pre-charge detention – Comparative law study:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/nov/liberty-report
-pre-charge-detention-comparative-law-study.pdf

and Report on proposed measures for inclusion in a Counter Terrorism Bill by Lord Carlile:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk-carlile-terr-bill.pdf

and Summary of responses to the Counter Terrorism
Bill consultation – Home Office (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/uk-consult-resp-terr-bill.pdf

11. Statewatch’s Observatory on the “terrorist lists” has been updated with the following items:
www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/terrorlists.html

– Pakistan launches fresh offensive in Baluchistan, Britain accused of Baluchi “prisoner swap”;
– Denmark: Seven activists facing prison for symbolic support of PLFP and FARC;
– UK: POAC rules proscription of the People’s
Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) unlawful;
– Procedures for blacklisting individuals suspected of terrorist links are unworthy of the UN Security Council and EU, says Council of Europe;
– European Court of Justice strikes down European Commission’s decision to grant anti-terrorism assistance to the Philippines government;
– Four new challenges against EU ‘terrorist’ lists lodged at Court of First Instance;
– European Court of Justice rules that it is illegal to sell property to people whose assets have been frozen under Community law.

12. CIA RENDITION-IRISH HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION report: “Extraordinary rendition” inspection and monitoring regime must be established as a matter of urgency: Diplomatic assurances not enough says Irish Human Rights Commission (Press release, 11 December 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/ihrc-rendition-report-prel.pdf

The full text of the IHRC Report (20 MB, link):
www.ihrc.ie/_fileupload/publications/IHRC_Rendition_Report.pdf

“The report concludes that diplomatic assurances received from the US Government are not sufficient for Ireland to satisfy its human rights obligations with regard to the issue of ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights passing through Irish territory.

The Commission recommends that an effective inspection regime be put in place to ensure that no foreign aircraft which might be suspected of involvement in the illegal practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’ may land and refuel in Ireland. An effective inspection regime will ensure that no prisoners are transited through the State en route to a situation of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

13. EU: JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS COUNCIL, 6-7
December 2007, Brussels: Final press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/jha-council-dec-07-prel.pdf

Adopted as “A” Point at the Council: Council Recommendation concerning a Handbook for police and security authorities concerning cooperation at major events with an international dimension:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/dec/
eu-public-order-security-handbook-final-07.pdf

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