Statewatch News Online, 6 May 2014: GCHQ is authorised to “spy on the world” but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is “lawful”

6 May 2014 — Statewatch • E-mail: office@statewatch.org

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http://www.statewatch.org/news/

1.   UK: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to “spy on the world” but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is “lawful”
2.   EU: More from the Draft Impact Assessment on the “modernisation of the EU copyright acquis”
3.   UK: New acoustic weapon for police to undergo Home Office tests
4.   EU: CLOUD COMPUTING
5.   UK forces in Afghanistan detaining prisoners illegally, High Court rules
6.   US: BIG DATA: White House report: Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values:
7.   SWITZERLAND: DATA SURVEILLANCE
8.   ITALY: Italian police conference applauds officers convicted of manslaughter
9.   UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New ‘revealed documents’ from freesnowden.is on 2012 London Olympics:
10. UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged to Play in NSA’s Data Pools
12. EU: Court of Justice of the European Union: family reunification and detain in prison a third-country national awaiting his removal
13, EU: Draft Impact Assessment on the “modernisation of the EU copyright acquis”
14. NORWAY: INTELLIGENCE GATHERING: NIS aquires supercomputer
15. USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance court rejected Verizon challenge to NSA calls
17. GREECE: ROSA LUXEMBURG STIFTUNG: Mapping Ultra-Right Extremism, Xenophobia and Racism
18. STATEWATCH: Calling the agencies to account: Frontex, Europol & Eurojust: Statewatch complaints
19. EU: SECRECY: Constructing the secret EU state: “Restricted” and “Limite” documents hidden from view by the Council
20. EU: SECRECY: Statewatch, the European Commission and the Dutch Senate
21. EU: Frontex Work Programme for 2014
22. ETHIOPA: SURVEILLANCE: “They Know Everything We Do” – Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia

1. UK: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to “spy on the world” but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is “lawful”, by Tony Bunyan
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-244-gchq-intercept-commissioner.pdf

This analysis finds that UK “law” allows security and intelligence agencies to “lawfully spy on the world”, a problem compounded by the agencies’ use of new technologies to act outside of their legal powers. This analysis also questions whether the Interception Commissioner is capable of providing effective oversight of state surveillance activities.

2. EU: More from the Draft Impact Assessment on the “modernisation of the EU copyright acquis”

Enforcement – with EU “to clarify the extent to which intermediaries can be involved to help putting an end to copyright infringements on the Internet”
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/copyright-ia-enforcement.pdf

Private copying – including levies and downloading
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/copyright-ia-private-copying.pdf

3. UK: New acoustic weapon for police to undergo Home Office tests
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/police-a-wasp.htm

The UK Home Office is to undertake an evaluation of an acoustic weapon which fires “a highly directional beam of sound towards targeted individuals or small groups” from a distance of up to 400 feet. The purpose of the device, called the A-WASP, is to “disrupt perpetrators of violence or crime and make them aware that they are individually the subject of asserted police attention,” according to the manufacturers.

4. EU: CLOUD COMPUTING:

– Letter from Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Chairman of European Parliament LIBE Committee to Neelie Kroes on the FP7-funded CoCo (Confidential and Compliant): Cloud project: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/eu-cloud-project-Lopez-Kroes.pdf

– Response from Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/eu-cloud-project-Lopez-Kroes-response.pdf

López Aguilar seeks more information on certain aspects of the CoCo Cloud project, funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme, fearing that the project may involve the transfer of EU citizens’ personal data to the US. Kroes confirms in her response that only “synthetic fictional or fabricated data, which does not relate to real existing data subjects” will be used, and that “only servers located in the EU will be used” during the project.

However, there are wider questions about the EU’s cloud computing strategy, particularly in relation to data transfers to the US, which are not raised in López Aguilar’s letter and which are yet to be addressed by the Commission. See: sections 2.2.4 and 2.3 in European Parliament Briefing Note: The US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programmes (PRISM) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activities and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights:http://www.statewatch.org/news/2013/sep/ep-briefing-note-nsa-prism.pdf

See also: PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers (The Independent, link)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/prism-the-eu-must-take-steps-to-protect-cloud-data-from-us-snoopers-8701175.html

Coco Cloud website: http://www.coco-cloud.eu/
Coco Cloud on CORDIS: http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/111298_en.html

5. UK forces in Afghanistan detaining prisoners illegally, High Court rules (The Independent, link)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uk-forces-in-afghanistan-detaining-prisoners-illegally-high-court-rules-9317286.html

“The detention policy adopted by the UK’s armed forces in Afghanistan is unlawful, the High Court has ruled. Justice George Leggatt examined the case of Serdar Mohammed, an Afghan farmer who was held without charge for over three months. He found that the farmer was fairly captured and held for four days but his continued imprisonment in UK military bases for 106 more days violated Afghan, British and international law.”

See: Full text of judgment: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/uk-high-court-mohammed-v-mod-may-2014.pdf

6. US: BIG DATA: White House report: Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/us-big-data-privacy-report-may-2014.pdf

And: Fact sheet: Big Data and Privacy Working Group Review (link)
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/01/fact-sheet-big-data-and-privacy-working-group-review

“In January, President Obama asked his Counselor John Podesta to lead a 90-day review of big data and privacy…Today, Podesta and the big data working group presented their findings and recommendations to the President… by evaluating the opportunities and challenges presented by big data, the working group was able to draw important conclusions and make concrete recommendations to the President for Administration attention and policy development.”

7. SWITZERLAND: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Data retention in Switzerland – the monitored life of National Councillor Balthasar Glättli (link):
http://apps.opendatacity.de/vds/index_en.html

“Balthasar Glättli, member of the National Council for The Green Party, has provided OpenDataCity with parts of his retained data of six month for this visualization. As a result, these retained data reveal what secret services and law inforcement call “profile” – a comprehensive picture of the entire life of the monitored person.”

8.  ITALY: Italian police conference applauds officers convicted of manslaughter (Guardian, link)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/30/italian-police-applauded-conviction-manslaughter-ferrara

“A major police union in Italy has provoked outrage after giving a five-minute standing ovation to three officers convicted of the manslaughter of an 18-year-old.”

9.  UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New ‘revealed documents’ from freesnowden.is on 2012 London Olympics:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/nsa-prism-olympics.pdf

PRISM Operations Highlight: Olympics Support – GCHQ Using PRISM Access (pdf)
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/nsa-prism-olympics.pdf

This slide from a presentation on PRISM describes access granted to GCHQ employees during the 2012 London Olympics.

Identifier Lead Triage with ECHOBASE:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/nsa-ghostmachine-echobase.pdf

This SIGDEV presentation dated June 2012 describes techniques for filtering very large datasets through the cloud-based GHOSTMACHINE framework. Cooperation between NSA and GCHQ during the 2012 London Olympics – the “Olympic Option” – is used as a case study (as covered in The Intercept article below).

10. UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged to Play in NSA’s Data Pools (The Intercept, link)
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/04/30/gchq-prism-nsa-fisa-unsupervised-access-snowden/

“Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Headquarters, has long presented its collaboration with the National Security Agency’s massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. But according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA’s vast troves of private communications and sought “unsupervised access” to its data as recently as last year – essentially begging to feast at the NSA’s table while insisting that it only nibbles on the occasional crumb.”

See: Visit précis: Sir Iain Lobban, KCMG, CB Director, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) 30 April 2013 – 1 May 2013:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/nsa-gchq-lobban-visit.pdf

11.  European Court of Human Rights judgment: Disclosure of medical records breached patient’s human rights – Strasbourg (UK human rights blog, link):
http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2014/04/30/disclosure-of-medical-records-breached-patients-human-rights-strasbourg/

“The release of confidential patient details to a state medical institution in the course of her negotiations with a hospital over a lawsuit was an unjustified interference with her right to respect for private life under Article 8.”

See: judgment in case of L.H. v Latvia [2014] ECHR 453 (29 April 2014)
http://www.bailii.org/eu/cases/ECHR/2014/453.html

12. EU: Court of Justice of the European Union press releases:

Advocate General Mengozzi considers that the age limit laid down by EU law for those seeking family reunification with their spouse may also be reached after the relevant application has been submitted (press release No 67/14):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/eu-ecj-fam-reun-prel.pdf

“EU law identifies the group of family members of third country nationals residing in a Member State who may be entitled to a residence permit on the ground of family reunification. With regard to spouses, in order to ensure better integration and to prevent forced marriages, Directive 2003/86/EC provides that Member States may impose a minimum age (no more than 21 years) for the purpose of family reunification. The directive does not, however, specify the point at which the sponsor and his or her spouse must have reached that minimum age limit.”

According to Advocate General Bot, a Member State may not, except in exceptional circumstances, rely on the lack of specialised centres in part of its territory in order to detain in prison a third-country national awaiting his removal, even with the consent of that third-country national (press release No 68/14): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/may/eu-ecj-ag-detention-prel.pdf

“The ‘Returns’ Directive provides that, where third-country nationals are awaiting removal, the Member States must use the least coercive measures possible, according to a gradation which goes from the granting of a period for voluntary departure to detention. Where the authorities opt for detention, this must take place in a specialised facility and can only take place on an exceptional basis in a prison, the Member State then having to ensure that the third-country national is separated from ordinary prisoners.”

13,  EU: More excerpts from Draft Impact Assessment on the “modernisation of the EU copyright acquis”: (1) Text and data mining, including “licensing of subscription based content”: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/copyright-IA-TDM.pdf

(2) Disabilities, including impact of WIPO Treaty:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/copyright-IA-disabilities.pdf

(3) Legislative scenarios, including an “ambitious” and “much deeper level of harmonisation”:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/copyright-IA-Legislative-Intervention.pdf

See also: Previous leaked documents: (1) The role of copyright, the economic dimension, new technologies and the internet value chain:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/eu-com-IA-value-tree.pdf

and (2) Copyright and user generated content:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/eu-com-copyright-ia-draft.pdf

14. NORWAY: INTELLIGENCE GATHERING: NIS aquires supercomputer: It´s codenamed Steelwinter and is part of a 100 million dollar investment program. The supercomputer will crack heavy cryptology and analyze the vast amounts of data Norwegian Inteligence Service (NIS) collects (Dagbladet Nyheter, link):http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/04/26/nyheter/snowden_i_norge/edward_snowden/nsa/etterretningstjenesten/32991102/

“The Norwegian military intelligence service collects vast amounts of signal intelligence, known as «sigint». In Afghanistan alone NIS collected 33 million registrations from telecommunication during 30 days around Christmas 2012, according to their own revelations. Additionally they listen to satellites and radio communication in our own region. The listening post in Vardø, close to the Russian-Norwegian border at the top of Europe, is basically a giant ear eastward.

NIS sources states that the purpose of the acquisition is to analyze large amounts of data and find the needles they’re looking for in the haystacks. They also want to do more of this work in Norway. As it is now, and has been in the past, large amounts of data is being sent to the NSA to be analyzed there.”

See also: NSA Intelligence relationship with Norway:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/DagbladetDecensor.pdf

15. USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance court rejected Verizon challenge to NSA calls program (Washington Post, link): “Verizon in January filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s program that collects billions of Americans’ call-detail records, but a surveillance court rejected it…”: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/surveillance-court-rejected-verizon-challenge-to-nsa-calls-program/2014/04/25/78d430c2-ccc2-11e3-93eb-6c0037dde2ad_print.html

See: Seven telcos named as providing fiber optic cable access to UK spies – New Snowden leaks show Verizon, Vodafone, and BT share direct data (Statewatch News Online, August 2013)
http://database.statewatch.org/article.asp?aid=32607

and also: (“Microsoft”) moves to quash a search warrant to the extent that it directs Microsoft to produce the contents of one of its customer’s e-mails where that information is stored on a server located in Dublin, Ireland: Microsoft contends that courts in the United States are not authorized to issue warrants for extraterritorial search and seizure, and that this is such a warrant. For the reasons that follow, Microsoft’s motion is denied..” (Judgment):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/apr/usa-ireland-microsoft-court.pdf

17. GREECE: ROSA LUXEMBURG STIFTUNG: Mapping Ultra-Right Extremism, Xenophobia and Racism within the Greek State Apparatus (100 pages, link): http://rosalux-europa.info/userfiles/file/RightWing_A4_WEB.pdf

18. STATEWATCH: ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: Calling the agencies to account: Frontex, Europol & Eurojust: Statewatch complaints & Ombudsman’s own initiative Inquiry: http://www.statewatch.org/ombudsman-cases/calling-the-agencies-to-account-frontex-europol-eurojust.htm

– Frontex given until end of March 2014 to comply with the Ombudsman’s Recommendations to change its Management Board Decision putting into effect the Regulation on public access to EU documents
– Eurojust seeks to avoid any compliance until some undefined point in the future
– Europol meets four Ombudsman Recommendations – but the launch of its public register of documents “planned for completion by the end of 2013” is overdue

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “Access to documents is the lifeblood of accountability and democratic standards so why has it taken nine, seven and ten years respectively for these Agencies to start coming into line with EU law on public access to documents? Who is responsible for the failure to ensure compliance with EU law? Is it the European Commission which, since December 2009, has been charged under Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty with ensuring the application of EU law?

It is high-time that these three agencies were made fully accountable to EU law and to the public by adopting and fully implementing the right of access to documents. I look forward to the Ombudsman re-visiting these complaints.”

19. EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Constructing the secret EU state: “Restricted” and “Limite” documents hidden from view by the Council (pdf)
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-240-restricted-documents.pdf

• Over 117,000 “RESTRICTED” documents produced or handled by the Council since 2001 but only 13,184 are listed in its public register of documents
• 103,839 “RESTRICTED” documents not listed in the Council’s public register due to the “originators” right of veto?
• The Council seeks to stop the publication of unreleased “LIMITE” documents, which are defined as “sensitive unclassified documents”
• The Commission has failed to implement the Lisbon Treaty to ensure that all legislative documents are made public as they are produced – this means that 60% of Council documents relating to legislative decision-making are made public after “the final adoption” of measures
• The Council uses Article 4.3, the “space to think”, to refuse access to 50% of requests for access to legislative documents under discussion

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “The Council have constructed a two-tier system of secrecy to keep from public view thousands and thousands of documents. This has been compounded by the failure of the European Commission to put forward proposals to implement the provision in the Lisbon Treaty to make all documents concerning the legislative procedure public.

In place of the need to deepen democratic openness and accountability in EU the Council has entrenched a system of secrecy based on its discretion to decide whether and when to make documents public. The result is that the European legislature – the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament – meet in secret trilogues to decide over 80% of new laws going through the EU.”

20. EU: SECRECY: Statewatch Analysis: Statewatch, the European Commission and the Dutch Senate (pdf)
http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-239-statewatch-com-dutch-senate.pdf

• Parliamentary sovereignty in the EU under threat?
• The EU-USA agreement on the exchange of personal data, the later US intervention on draft new EU Data Protection Regulation and the Snowden revelations

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

“Subsequent events have shown that it was clearly in the public interest to make public the inadequate EU negotiating position back in 2010. The USA’s hostile reaction to the draft new EU Regulation on data protection in 2011 and the Snowden revelations from June 2013 demonstrate the need for binding privacy rights in the EU that cannot be negotiated away in secret meetings.

This case highlights the limits that have been put in place to try and restrict the sovereignty of national parliaments’ to decide for themselves what documents can be placed in the public domain in order that the people can understand what is being decided in their name.”

21.  EU: Frontex Work Programme for 2014 (pdf) Note that on p96 there is still no commitment by Frontex to revise its Decision on public access to documents and provide a register of documents produced and handled:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2014/mar/eu-frontex-wp-2014.pdf

22.  ETHIOPA: SURVEILLANCE: “They Know Everything We Do” – Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia (HRW, link)
http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ethiopia0314_ForUpload_0.pdf

“The 137 page report details the technologies the Ethiopian government has acquired from several countries and uses to facilitate surveillance of perceived political opponents inside the country and among the diaspora. The government’s surveillance practices violate the rights to freedom of expression, association, and access to information. The government’s monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers.”

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