German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to revolutions

The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) instructed the authorities of multiple North African and Middle Eastern countries in internet surveillance in the years running up to the Arab Spring, according to information released by the German government following questioning by Die Linke (Left Party) in April 2013. [1] Training in Tunisia and Egypt occurred shortly before the revolts in those countries, where control of the internet played a key role in allowing the government to undermine the uprisings.

Participants in the BKA-run courses were secret service-like police forces, such as the Egyptian State Security Service („Staatssicherheitsdienst“). Agencies from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Algeria also benefited from the seminars. Furthermore, Moroccan agencies received material aid including, among other things, police analytic software developed by IBM. German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to revolutions weiterlesen

Implementing the „solidarity clause“: EU secret service to be reinforced?

The „solidarity clause“, known more formally as Article 222 of the Lisbon Treaty, regulates the use of police, secret service and military means in case of a crisis within the EU. The EU Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy issued a proposal in December for the legal implementation of the clause. [1]

When the clause is implemented, Member States and EU institutions will be bound to assist one another in the case of a disaster („any situation, which has or may have an adverse impact on people, the environment or property,“ according to the Commission’s proposal) or terrorist attack, as defined in the 2002 Council Framework Decision on combating terrorism. The clause determines that engagement in the territory of another state shall only be allowed at the „request of its political authorities“. Implementing the „solidarity clause“: EU secret service to be reinforced? weiterlesen

Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations

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.

The internationalisation of protest has brought with it an increasing number of controversial undercover cross‐border police operations. In spite of questions about the legality of the methods used in these operations, the EU is working towards simplifying the cross‐border exchange of undercover officers, with the relevant steps initiated under the German EU presidency in 2007.

In October 2010 [1], “Mark Stone,” a political activist with far‐reaching international contacts, was revealed to be British police officer Mark Kennedy [2] prompting widespread debate on the cross‐border exchange of undercover police officers. Activists had noted Kennedy’s suspicious behaviour during a court case and then came across his real passport at his home. Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations weiterlesen

The EU Security-Industrial Complex

Ben Hayes about his book „NeoConOpticon“

On the occasion of the current Swedish EU Council Presidency, on 29-30 September 2009, the Fourth European Security Research Conference takes place in Stockholm. This „major component in the evolution of civil European security research“ is organized by the European Commission and the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems within the „European Security Research Programme“ (ESRP) of 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7).

Timely for this event that tries to bring together „stake-holders“ and „policy and business decision-makers“, a quite critical report elucidates the incorporations of European security politics and industry. NeoConOpticon – The EU Security-Industrial Complex, written by Ben Hayes and published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), in association with Statewatch, gives a comprehensive overview about new applications and gadgets that are alleged to produce „security“ for European citizens. But most notably, the report identifies the actors on the „supply side“ and „demand side“ of a „security“, that has become a highly profitable and sellable product.

Ben Hayes is part of the civil liberties organisation Statewatch in London since 1996. He also works for the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin and the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. The EU Security-Industrial Complex weiterlesen

Turn off the Stockholm Programme!

Campaign against the next five-years plan for EU homeland affairs

Following Tampere 1999 and Hague 2004, the EU plans to decide the next five-year plan on „Justice and Home Affairs“ (JHA) this year.

After the implementation of data retention and new databases, the creation of „Frontex“ and the „European Security Research Programme“, the „harmonization“ of terrorism laws and more surveillance of the internet, next severe changes are foreseen to bet set in the new guideline.

Under swedish EU presidency in the second half of 2009, probably in November or December, the ministers of interior and justice will meet to agree the new „Stockholm Programme“. Turn off the Stockholm Programme! weiterlesen

Social Movements Against the Global Security Architecture!

A Critique of the Militarisation of Social Conflict and the Securitisation of Everyday Life

Assessment of the Strategy Papers of the ‘Future Group’ (on the future of EU Home Affairs policies) and the ‘new strategic directions’ of NATO, put forward in the publication, ‘Towards a Grand Strategy in an Uncertain World’

Proposal for a campaign against the new EU policies to be ratified under the Swedish Presidency of the EU in 2009

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Recent unrest due to food price hikes, protests against rising energy costs, visions and realities of a climate crisis and growing concerns over scarce resources, in conjunction with the continued turmoil of financial markets, are creating a sense of insecurity for a neoliberal regime in severe crisis. The G8 states and their allies are seeking to contain these conflicts and the evident accumulation crisis of the global economy through market-orientated solutions in order to restore economic growth whilst calls for more state intervention in the regulation of financial markets are rife. At the same time, the ‘war on terror’ serves to justify ever-more militarisation of all spheres of life. Wars are waged to secure new markets, transport routes and resources. New techniques of governance are emerging within a logic of waging war against who- or whatever cannot be made profitable. Social Movements Against the Global Security Architecture! weiterlesen