Data retention and decryption: Justice and Home Affairs Council wants more surveillance

EU member states will call for bypassing encryption also for counterterrorism and law enforcement. In addition, the entry of extremism suspects should be prevented and their assets frozen in the Union.

Tomorrow, the EU justice ministers will hold their regular meeting in Luxembourg, followed the next day by the interior ministers. Together, they form the Justice and Home Affairs Council, where member states adopt pending legislation or make policy statements.

In addition to the legislative projects, the interior ministers also want to adopt conclusions on the fight against terrorism on Friday. Under the title „Protecting Europeans from terrorism: achievements and next steps“, measures are called for in various areas. There are now several versions of the document, all of which have so far been classified. However, the British civil liberties organization Statewatch has posted an April 11 version online. „Data retention and decryption: Justice and Home Affairs Council wants more surveillance“ weiterlesen

Joint Investigation Teams: European authorities get digital cooperation platform

EU investigators want to set up a new information system for the exchange of digital evidence. Criminal justice authorities would be connected, but not customs. The German Ministry of Justice therefore issues a protocol declaration.

With a new regulation, the European Union wants to facilitate cross-border cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities in difficult investigations. The format of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) is to be given a central point for the exchange of digital evidence and other information for this purpose. Other EU agencies would also be connected to this, including Eurojust, Europol, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the anti-fraud agency OLAF.

The proposal for the establishment of such a „platform“ was presented by the EU Commission in December. As a building block of the „digitalisation initiative“ in the area of criminal justice, it is intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing systems. According to the proposal, the development and technical management of the „platform“ will be entrusted to the Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems (eu-LISA). „Joint Investigation Teams: European authorities get digital cooperation platform“ weiterlesen

EU PNR Directive: Germany stored and processed 63 million passengers

Four years ago, the German parliament passed a Passenger Data Act, and since then, more and more travellers have been dragnetted. Federal police and customs take over „follow-up measures“.

German police authorities processed around 212 million passenger data last year. Corrected for double counting, this concerned about 63 million travellers at German commercial airports. The figures come from the Federal Ministry of the Interior’s answer to a parliamentary question.

Compared to 2020, the numbers have more than doubled. At that time, a good 100 million data records from around 31 million passengers were processed in cross-border civil air traffic. In 2019, one year after the start of the system, the figures were about a third lower. „EU PNR Directive: Germany stored and processed 63 million passengers“ weiterlesen

Ukraine war: USA plans to deliver large armed drones

Equipping the Ukrainian military with the successor of the well-known Predator drones means three revolutions in warfare with drones at once.

The U.S. government plans to deliver four MQ-1C Gray Eagle armed drones to Ukraine in the coming days and also provide training for pilots and operators. This was reported by Reuters news agency last week in an exclusive report, citing three different sources.

Before a public announcement of the weapons delivery, however, Congress will be informed, a U.S. official told the agency. A White House spokesman, meanwhile, commented when asked by Reuters that there was nothing to announce. „Ukraine war: USA plans to deliver large armed drones“ weiterlesen

Against school massacres: Axon wanted to develop taser drone

The leading manufacturer of taser devices wants to mount them on quadrocopters in the future. Civil rights organization EFF warns against normalization of arming drones and robots.

After the recent school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, it is unclear whether the United States government will be able to prevent similar acts in the future. Stricter gun laws are failing because of the gun lobby. Even the proposal to equip teachers with rifles, which seems absurd from our point of view, is unlikely to succeed. This would mean that school personnel would also have to be trained with weapons.

The inventor and manufacturer of the taser, of all things, is now promising a remedy to this dilemma. The company Axon announced Thursday that it has „formally“ begun development of a taser drone system. So writes Rick Smith, Axon’s founder and CEO, on the blog of the world’s leading supplier of stun guns. He says the initiative is part of a long-term plan to combat mass shootings. „Against school massacres: Axon wanted to develop taser drone“ weiterlesen

EU instead of EC: New directive facilitates cross-border data exchange

The 2006 „Swedish Initiative“ is being replaced by a new set of rules. This „Lisbonization“ of EU-wide information exchange comes with a uniform case management system and file format, and requires shorter deadlines for processing requests.

The European Union could soon adopt a new directive on information exchange between law enforcement agencies. The Commission had presented a proposal to this effect in December as part of its „Police Code“.

At the upcoming Council of Interior Ministers in Luxembourg on June 10, the member states want to decide their position vis-à-vis the Parliament. Then the so-called trilogue negotiations of the three EU legislative bodies can begin. „EU instead of EC: New directive facilitates cross-border data exchange“ weiterlesen

New regulation: Europol becomes the Big Data police

Following the decision of the EU interior ministers, the new Europol law will come into force in June. The police agency will thus receive new areas of responsibility and powers.

Comparatively quickly, EU member states and the Parliament have launched a new Europol regulation. Once set up to fight drug trafficking, the agency is being given even more powers. However, the agency in The Hague is still not a „European FBI“.

At the end of 2020, the Commission had presented its proposal for the new regulation; in May this year, the three EU decision-making bodies agreed on a final version. After the Parliament, the EU interior ministers also confirmed the final version last week. Now only the publication in the Official Journal is missing, then the new law will apply. „New regulation: Europol becomes the Big Data police“ weiterlesen

Third accident in three years: Hermes 900 becomes a crash drone

An Elbit drone has crashed in the Philippines. In Israel, the manufacturer received the world’s only permission to fly in civil airspace, despite similar incidents. Soon Switzerland will follow.

An unmanned aerial vehicle of the type Hermes 900 suffered total damage in an accident in the Philippines on Saturday. The crash landing occurred on approach to Lumbia Airport on Mindanao Island, apparently after communications with the drone were interrupted. It was reportedly on a test flight to test various functions.

No people or buildings are reported to have been harmed in the crash in forested terrain. The drone is now being recovered. The Philippine Air Force is investigating the cause of the incident. For the time being, all drones of the same type must remain on the ground. „Third accident in three years: Hermes 900 becomes a crash drone“ weiterlesen

Prüm II: EU Committee criticises planned obligation for facial recognition

All EU member states are to network their police facial images and investigation files across Europe. This puts pressure on some governments without such systems.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has criticised plans to oblige all EU member states to set up a uniform system for police searches of facial images. The EU Commission had presented such a proposal for a new regulation in December. It is to extend the automated data exchange under the Prüm decisions to facial recognition.

In its opinion, the EESC writes that member states should decide for themselves whether to follow the extension of the Prüm system to facial recognition, which was adopted in 2008. So far, such matching is only possible for fingerprints and non-coding DNA data. „Prüm II: EU Committee criticises planned obligation for facial recognition“ weiterlesen

Traveller screening: Europol wants to collect data on Europeans crossing borders

Frontex and Europol want to create an indivdual file for all travellers and check it against various databases. The analysis is to be carried out with AI.

EU agencies Europol and Frontex are proposing to link different databases to improve the screening of business travellers and tourists. A profile is to be automatically created for every person who wants to cross an external European border. The information contained in this „traveller file“ would then be subject to risk analysis.

The proposal can be found in the final report of a „Future Group for Travel Intelligence and Border Management“, in which Europol and Frontex have joined forces with unspecified experts from police, secret services, border and customs authorities. The envisaged platform is called the European System for Traveller Surveillance (ESTS). „Traveller screening: Europol wants to collect data on Europeans crossing borders“ weiterlesen