Interview with 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
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
More security-critical behaviour in Europe!
At the latest since 9/11, the EU took severe changes in their home affairs policy. New agreements and institutions were created to facilitate police networking (Europol, Frontex, CEPOL, new databases and their shared access). The european „cross border crime fighting“ has become an EU framework. Providing that this should help to win a „war on terrorism“, lots of the changes follow the US model of „Homeland Security“. Risks“ should be minimized by taking more and more „proactive“ measures and foresee possible „threats“.
This includes the development of an „Homeland Security Industrial Complex“, whose budget is growing rapidly since 2001. The EU set up the research program „FP7“, that should help to find technical solutions for the discrete, but efficient surveillance and control. Both the research and the implementation of these new technologies are common projects of the security industry, military and police. This includes the usage of satellite pictures (whose resolution is now down to 50cm), drones (that are used in the EU already for catching migrants), geo-data/ mapping and several technics for border control. Satellites help to detect for example automatically deviant behaviour of vehicles (like migrants vessels). „Collapsing the European security architecture“ weiterlesen