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Tuesday, March 21, 2006 2:31 PM
Statewatch News Online, 21 March 2006 (06/06)

Full contents see: www.statewatch.org

1. UK: British airports handled 73 CIA flights – details
2. Brussels: Press Conference: Statistical data on international migration and asylum.
3. Greece: The Regulation of migration, asylum and movement in the “new Europe” – Conference
4. EU: A total of 503 EU citizens wrongly put on the Schengen Information System (SIS)
5. MEPs demand that the report on EU-US PNR (passenger name records) is de-classified
6. Dutch Government will not approve European Fundamental Rights Agency unless conditions are met
7. EU: “The collision of chips” – visa chips dropped
8. European Data Protection Supervisor critical report on: Interoperability of European data bases:

1. UK: British airports handled 73 CIA flights – details:
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/04uk-cia-flights.htm

2. Brussels: Journalists at Your Service – Press Conference: For the publication of the results of a Europe-wide research project on the harmonisation of statistical data on international migration and asylum. Michel Poulain (University of Louvain), Ann Singleton (University of Bristol) and Nicolas Perrin (UCL) present the current situation on international migration in Europe and in Belgium. Thursday 30th March at 10h30am In the Rˇsidence Palace, rue de la Loi 155, Brussels (Reading Room, ground floor) Press Conference Calling Notice:
English: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/brussels-migration-press-conf-30-March.pdf
French: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/brussels-migration-press-conf-30-March-fr.pdf

3. The Regulation of migration, asylum and movement in the “new Europe”: 34th Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, 31 August to 3 September 2006, Corinth, Peloponnese, Greece. Call:
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/european-group-2006-call-Greece.pdf

4. EU: A total of 503 EU citizens wrongly put on the Schengen Information System (SIS) under Article 96 which allows aliens to be refused entry. Article 96 concerns data placed on the SIS “relating to aliens who are reported for the purpose of being refused entry” by a member state (from its own state or other EU states). The grounds include “a threat to public order or national security” (Art 96.2). In April 2005 the Heads of national units (SIRENE Bureaux) “were kindly requested to check their national data and to delete the respective data from the system”. In June 2005 a report from the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority recommended that member states: “prevent Article 96 alerts on nationals from EU Member States.”

Yet a check on 16 February 2006 found 503 citizens from the EU and associated countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) register under Article 96. Top of the list was Switzerland with 389 people registered – which perhaps begs the question whether the people registered are protesters at the World Economic Forums held in Davros, Switzerland? For the full list see: EU doc 7005/05 (pdf): www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/sis-art-96-eu-citizens-07005-06.pdf
Article 96 is primarily used to exclude from entry “illegal aliens” including refugees deported from the EU, See: Three-quarters of a million “illegal aliens” banned from Schengen area: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/apr/08SISart96.htm

and Report of the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority on an inspection of the use of Article 96 alerts in the Schengen Information System (pdf):

See also: SIS II fait accompli? Construction of EU’s Big Brother database underway:

5. MEPs demand that the report on EU-US PNR (passenger name records) is de-classified: Letter to US from Liberal group MEPs (pdf):
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/eu-usa-pnr-letter-to-Michael-Chertoff.pdf

For full background see Statewatch’s Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA:

6. Dutch Government will not approve European Fundamental Rights Agency unless conditions of Dutch Senate are met (press release, pdf):
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/eu-hra-dutch-senate.pdf

7. EU: “The collision of chips”: European Commission: Modified proposal for a Regulation on Amending Regulation (EC) 1030/2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals (pdf): www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/com-visa-modified-com-110.pdf

This modified proposal says that it is “optional” for member state to insert a chip with biometrics (fingerprints) into residence permits. It also announces that the plan to insert biometric chips into visas is being withdrawn – this is due to the fact that no technological fix has been found to the “clash of chips”, that is, between a biometric chip inserted by the third country in its passport clashing with the EU visa chip. Now “biometric identifiers will only be stored in the Visa Information System”. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“Only storing biometrics (fingerprints) on the central VIS system, would seem to present an obvious problem (just about as obvious as the “collision problem” was back in 2003). If the biometric data is not in the visa the only way to carry out a check will be to take the fingerprints of people entering the EU with a visa on entry, either at an airport, seaport or land border. This would be very time-consuming, costly and in some cases lead to long queues while peoples’ details are checked and cleared”

For full background: Statewatch analysis: EU biometric visa policy unworkable (January 2005):
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2004/dec/07visas-residence-biometrics.htm

8. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor issues highly critical report on: Communication of the Commission on interoperability of European data bases:
See: www.statewatch.org/news/2006/mar/EDPS-2006-4-interoperability.pdf

He says that the linking of databases raises legal and political issues not just “technical” ones as suggested by the Commission. Moreover, the EDPS concludes that the: “aggregation of databases also increases the risk of “function creep” when the interlinking of two databases designed for two distinct purposes will provide a third one for which they have not been built, a result which is in a clear contradiction of the purpose limitation principle.”


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