Statewatch News Online, 7 September 2011: UK: Internet censorship looms as government finds alternatives to flawed Digital Economy Act

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e-mail: office@statewatch.org

STATEWATCH ANALYSES

1.  Statewatch Analysis: UK: Internet censorhip looms as government finds alternatives to flawed Digital Economy Act
2.  Statewatch Analysis: Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations
3.  EU: New Statewatch Analysis: Implementing the “principle of availability”: The European Criminal Records Information System – The European Police Records Index System – The Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Authorities

NEWS ONLINE

1.   EU: European Investigation Order: Investigative measures
2.   EU: Council of the European Union: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG)
3.   USA: Congressional Research Service: U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism
4.   EU: Council of the European Union: European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS): Draft Manual
5.   EU: Council of the European Union: Europol Work Programme 2012
6.   EU: European Commission: Proposal for amending Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)
7.   EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Joint Police Operation EUROCAR
8.   EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions on Counter-Terrorism
9.   EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative: European Protection order
10. EU: Council of the European Union: ACTA
11. EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the “Prüm Decisions”
12. European Commission: Research and Innovation: Consultation on scientific information in the digital age
13. EU: “Troublemakers” database still on the agenda
14. EU: Article 29 data protection working party: Opinion Geolocation services on smart mobile devices
15. EU-USA: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the MLA/Extradition Agreements with the US – next steps

STATEWATCH ANALYSES

1.  Statewatch Analysis: UK: Internet censorhip looms as government finds alternatives to flawed Digital Economy Act by Max Rowlands:

The routine blocking of websites believed to facilitate copyright infringement has moved a step closer – despite concerns about the proportionality and effectiveness of the practice – following a landmark High Court ruling on the application of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Meanwhile, the much criticised Digital Economy Act continues to flounder, with the introduction of its controversial copyright protection scheme – which would allow the government to suspend the internet connections of individuals accused of persistent copyright infringement – now delayed until 2012 at the earliest.
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-147-internet-censorship.pdf

2.  Statewatch Analysis: Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations (pdf) by Matthias Monroy: http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-146-undercover-exchange-protests.pdf

Examination of several recently exposed cases suggests that the main targets of police public order operations are anti-globalisation networks, the climate change movement and animal rights activists.

3.  EU: New Statewatch Analysis: Implementing the “principle of availability”: The European Criminal Records Information System – The European Police Records Index System – The Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Authorities by Chris Jones:
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-145-ecris-epris-ixp.pdf

““All three systems demonstrate that attempts to permit law enforcement agencies to function inside the borderless EU frequently take place at the expense of the individual rights that the European Union is supposedly founded upon.”

See also Statewatch’s Observatory: IT Systems and Information Exchange for Police and Judicial Cooperation in the European Union:
http://www.statewatch.org/observatories_files/informationexchange_observatory/index.html

NEWS ONLINE

1.  EU: European Investigation Order: Investigative measures: The EIO would introduce a single regime for obtaining evidence held and gathered in another EU Member States: – Scope to cover all investigative measures (including covert ones) to gather evidence. This would cover “interception of telecommunications, infiltration, observations etc” – A request from another Member State cannot be refused even if it would not be authorised under national law:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/sep/01-eu-eio.htm

2.  EU: Council of the European Union: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG) – Summary of discussions, includes 10 page Annex on: RELEX general overview on Migration from the Presidency:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-hlwg-12589-11.pdf

3.  USA: Congressional Research Service: U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-usa-cooperation-against-terrorism-crs.pdf

“some observers note that U.S.-EU counterterrorism cooperation is complicated by different EU and member state competencies, and U.S. policy references. An increasing number of policy areas relevant to counterterrorism—including data protection, customs, and visas—fall under the competence of the Union (i.e., EU members adopt a common policy, agree to abide by its terms, and negotiate collectively with other countries). However, at times, the United States continues to prefer to negotiate on some issues—such as the VWP—bilaterally, and observers assert that this disconnect can lead to frictions in the U.S.-EU relationship.”

4. EU: Council of the European Union: European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS): Draft Manual for practitioners – ECRIS (48 pages):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-ecris-manual-for-practitioners-9300-rev1-11.pdf

5.  EU: Council of the European Union: Europol Work Programme 2012:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-europol-work-prog-2012-13516-11.pdf

6.  EU: European Commission: Proposal for amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-com-visa-code-516-11.pdf

7.  EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Joint Police Operation EUROCAR:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-eurocar-12214.11.pdf

A new EU-wide policing operation is planned for September 2011. See: Final report on Joint Police Operation AUTOMOTOR:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-automotor-10713-11.pdf

See also: Final report on Joint Police Operation RAILS (24-Blue):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/jul/eu-council-jpo-rails-12392-11.pdf

8.  EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions on Counter-Terrorism:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-ct-draft-conclusions-13562-11.pdf

“the Council underlines the importance of respecting international law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and promoting the rule of law and criminal justice approach to counter-terrorism.”

9.  EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative.. for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Protection order – Follow-up to the meeting of the COPEN Working Party on 25 July 2011:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-epo-12879-11.pdf

10. EU: Council of the European Union: ACTA: Legislative Act: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore, the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-acta-legislative-text-12196-11.pdf

See also: EU-ACTA: Opinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/jul/acta-academics-opinion.pdf

11.  EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the “Prüm Decisions” – overview of documents and procedures – overview of declarations – state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (EU doc no: 6077-rev-6-11):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu–council-prum-implementation-6077-rev6-11.pdf

12. European Commission: Research and Innovation: Consultation on scientific information in the digital age (link):
http://ec.europa.eu/research/consultations/scientific_information/consultation_en.htm

13. EU: “Troublemakers” database still on the agenda: See the Outcomes of the Council of the European Union DAPIX Working Party: 11891/11 (p5):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-dapix-outcomes-11891-11.pdf

It will be recalled that the notion of creating an EU-wide database on “troublemakers” regarding public order was resurrected by the Swedish Presidency and put into the Stockholm Programme. These Outcome state that, unlike the usual EU process of “harmonising” existing national laws, on the issue (defined as “travelling violent offenders”: “no legal definition of the term exists in any of the MS” so Commission is funding a study to come up with “at least three definitions of the term”. It should be noted that discussions in Council Working Parties in 2008-2009 were not limited to “offenders” (ie: those convicted of a public order offence) but extended to “suspected” or potential “troublemakers”.

See: The right to protest: “Troublemakers” and “travelling violent offenders [undefined] to be recorded on database and targeted by Tony Bunyan: “Since the onset of the EU’s response to the “war on terrorism” the prime targets have been Muslim and migrant communities together with refugees and asylum-seekers. Now there is an emerging picture across the EU that demonstrations and the democratic right to protest are among the next to be targeted to enforce “internal security.”:
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-93-troublemakers-apr-10.pdf

14. EU: Article 29 data protection working party: Opinion 13/2011 on Geolocation services on smart mobile devices (WP 185):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-art-29-geo-location-wp-185.pdf

15.  EU-USA: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the MLA/Extradition Agreements with the US – next steps:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-eu-usa-mla-agreement-13341-11.pdf

See: Agreements on Extradition and on Mutual Legal Assistance between the EU and the US (2003):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2003/jun/useu09153.pdf

In 2003 the EU and he USA signed two agreements: one on extradition and the other on mutual legal assistance. This took six years to formalise (28 October 2009) and both Agreement came into force on 1 February 2010. Under Article 3 of the Agreements their scope is defined in relation to, first, existing US bilateral mutual legal assistance agreements with EU Member States and second, to come into play where existing agreements are silent. This requires lawyers, journalists and researchers in each EU state to track through bilateral treaties with the USA and the case-law related to them.

This is confirmed in this CATS (Article 36 Committee) document which discusses the idea of a common Handbook and concluded that: “The majority of delegations was of the opinion that a Handbook… serve little practical purpose, as the practitioners did not base their requests on the EU-US Agreements, but rather on the bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties each Member State had with the United States.” [emphasis added]

See: Draft Handbook: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/mar/eu-council-eu-usa-mla-handbook-8024-11.pdf

The Presidency also reported: “a number of problems in the cooperation with the US arise from differences in the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the agreements, for example the Article 4 of the MLA Agreement (identification of bank information).”

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