New FRONTEX agency: satellite reconnaissance and drones over the Mediterranean

The EU is taking its maritime surveillance to a new level. The three agencies responsible for coastal and maritime surveillance are to be merged. 81 million euros has been earmarked for unmanned aerial vehicles alone, with hundreds of millions also being spent on the necessary satellite capabilities. The money is flowing into the coffers of arms companies.

The FRONTEX border agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) have signed a new cooperation agreement. Its aims include improving border surveillance, intercepting vessels suspected of “engaging in criminal activities” and combating illegal fishing. The agreement was signed on the margins of a conference at which the agencies discussed new forms of maritime surveillance, information sharing and capacity building. New FRONTEX agency: satellite reconnaissance and drones over the Mediterranean weiterlesen

EU adds facial recognition capabilities to police databases

Last week, the European Commission published its proposal to recast the EURODAC Regulation, which includes plans for longer storage periods, an expansion of data categories and comparison capabilities, and mandatory fingerprinting and photographing. To date, EURODAC has been used for comparison of fingerprints.

Now the system is also to store facial images and facial recognition capabilities are to be added. There are two different search options. When checks are taking place, people’s images can be compared with available personal data to verify their identity (known as 1:1 matching). However, it is also possible to search for a face in the entire database (1:n). EU adds facial recognition capabilities to police databases 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

Collapsing the European security architecture

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