Secret police networks must be relentlessly exposed

“When police forces and intelligence services engage in international cooperation, parliamentary oversight is the loser. The increasing significance of undercover police networks is making this situation far more critical.” These comments were made by Bundestag Member Andrej Hunko in response to the Federal Government’s answer, which is now available in English (see below), to his Minor Interpellation.

The purpose of the interpellation, a written parliamentary question, was to heighten awareness of the following little-known police structures:

•    the Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group (CSW), comprising mobile task forces on surveillance techniques, drawn from 12 EU Member States and Europol;

•    Europol’s analysis work file entitled Dolphin, which entails the surveillance of left-wing activists in areas such as animal rights and anarchism;

•    the Remote Forensic Software User Group, which was created by the Bundeskriminalamt, the German Federal Criminal Police Office, to promote sales of German Trojan software abroad.

•    the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG), comprising spy chiefs from Member States of the EU and from countries such as Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine;

•    the International Working Group on Undercover Policing (IWG), comprising spy chiefs from European countries as well as from countries such as the United States, Israel, New Zealand and Australia;

Mr Hunko went on to say:

“One of the main parts of the interpellation focused on the undercover activity of British police officer Mark Kennedy, whose infiltration of European leftist movements exemplifies police cooperation conducted beyond the bounds of parliamentary oversight. It remains unclear under whose orders the undercover investigator was operating during the years of his activity.

Kennedy used his infiltration of the Icelandic environmental movement to worm his way into leftist circles from Finland to Portugal through the information events he staged. The Icelandic police are stubbornly rejecting requests from the Minister of Justice to release full details of his activity into the public domain, claiming that disclosure would prejudice British security interests. Even though Members of the Icelandic Parliament have a right to ask questions on police matters, they are not being given any information.

The exposure of the British police officer, by contrast, has been the focus of deliberations in the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG), of which Iceland is not a member. The Federal Government has not revealed the substance of German and British contributions to this discussion. The remit of the ECG, which meets behind closed doors, includes the creation of false identities and the examination of legal frameworks in the countries that send and host undercover agents.

Foreign police officers must obtain authorisation before entering the territory of a sovereign state. They must not commit any criminal offences during their stay. Kennedy, however, sought to impress activists in Berlin by setting fire to a refuse container. Arrested by the police, he even concealed his true identity from the public prosecutor. This is illegal, as the Federal Government has indicated now.

Last year, Germany, together with Britain, urged the European Commission to exempt cross-border undercover activities from a planned new directive establishing a European Investigation Order. This would also make parliamentary oversight of such activities even more difficult.

The necessity of this parliamentary oversight is illustrated by the government use of software to hack into personal computers. In 2008, the German Federal Criminal Police Office established a cross-border Remote Forensic Software User Group with a view to helping police forces in other countries to introduce German spyware.

The Federal Criminal Police Office has also sent delegations to Canada, Israel, the United States and other countries to discuss Trojan programs with police forces and intelligence services. Although the German supreme court had imposed rigid limits in 2007 on the widespread practice of searching entire computer systems, representatives of the Criminal Police Office travelled to the United Kingdom and other destinations to ‘share experience’ on that practice.

Even in the national context it is difficult to detect illegal practices on the part of police forces and intelligence services. Securing judicial convictions for criminal offences is even harder. How much more, then, must the increasingly cross-border nature of police cooperation muddy these waters.

This is why the activity of undercover police networks must be relentlessly exposed. This applies especially to cooperation with the private business sector, which became just as blatant in the case of spyware as it had been in the criminalisation of animal-rights activism, to the benefit of British companies such as Gamma International, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

I call on the UK Government to disclose all information regarding the activity of Mark Kennedy in Germany and to inform all interested parties retrospectively of his activity. This is the only way in which key questions can be answered, such as whether he had sexual relations on false pretences with targets or contacts in Germany, as he did in the UK.

I must assume in any case that the use of British undercover agents to infiltrate left-wing movements was unlawful, because no police officer is allowed to spend years investigating activists in the absence of any specific grounds for suspicion or any other defined investigative objective.”

Download the answer to the parliamentary question concerning secretly operating international networks of police forces (in English): http://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/doc_download/236-concerning-secretly-operating-international-networks-of-police-forces

Download the answer in German (International im Verborgenen agierende Netzwerke von Polizeien): http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/098/1709844.pdf

Find this story at 22 August 2012 

 

Another secretive European police working group revealed as governments remain tight-lipped on other police networks and the activities of Mark Kennedy

Statewatch can reveal the existence of a previously unknown international police working group geared towards discussing and developing covert investigative techniques. At the same time parliamentary questions in Germany have seen further details of other police networks emerge – although many questions remain unanswered – in particular on the work and activities of former policy infiltrator Mark Kennedy.

Project ISLE

Recent research by Statewatch has led to the discovery of an EU-funded project known as ISLE (International Specialist Law Enforcement), a project initiated with the aim of building “a network of [EU] Member State organisations that may develop coordination, cooperation and mutual understanding amongst law enforcement agencies using ‘specialist techniques’.” [1]

Project ISLE has its origins in a “pilot seminar consisting of twenty-six ‘specialist technique’ practitioners” held in London in 2006, and was created to increase cooperation and coordination amongst EU law enforcement authorities utilising “specialist techniques”: “covert entry into premises or vehicles and the facilitation of covert searches of property, covert forensic capabilities and covertly installed technical devices.” [2]

In 2010, as part of its programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime”, the EU awarded €115,614 for the project to the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). SOCA is one of three main “project partners”, alongside Belgium’s Commissariaat-Generaal Special Units (CGSU), and Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt (BKA).

SOCA provides a project manager and administration, and as part of the steering group with the CGSU and BKA has a mandate to “create a larger Working Group” consisting of “full-time practitioners from organisations where their countries [sic] legislation supports ‘specialist techniques’.”

The “workgroup of practitioners” will:

– “Expand on existing partnerships and create new ones, including developing Member States, to promote and develop coordination, cooperation and mutual understanding of ‘specialist techniques'”;
– “Broaden the range of ‘specialist techniques’ by sharing knowledge on capability, identifying common standards and jointly developing new technologies”; and
– “Implement an agreed control strategy with shared responsibility and engagement in achieving a long-term program of activity toward the development of ‘specialist techniques'”

A document outlining the group’s terms of reference states that:

“Participants and their organisations must be prepared to promote and encourage international, inter-agency cooperation in ‘specialist techniques’ and contribute to the establishment of a long-term program.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, secrecy is clearly the order of the day:

“Organisations with diplomatic/political responsibilities may find it difficult to participate openly during information exchanges and due consideration should be given to their role in the project.”

Europol provides a secure database and communication channels in order to permit secure communication and information exchange between participants.

ISLE’s official starting date as an EU-funded project was 9 November 2009, with one document stating that the project “will take no more than 36 months, including three months for the production and submission of the final report.”

The group should currently be moving into the phase of producing this final report. The financing, participants, practices, and accountability of the group are currently the subject of further research.

One of many

Project ISLE is the latest addition to a growing list of publicly-known but highly secretive international police networks concerned with infiltration and surveillance. They include:

– The Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group, made up of “mobile task forces on surveillance techniques, drawn from 12 EU Member States and Europol”;
– The Remote Forensic Software User Group, created “to promote the sale of German Trojan software abroad”;
– The International Working Group on Undercover Policing (IWG), made up of “spy chiefs from European countries as well as from countries such as the US, Israel, New Zealand and Australia”; and
– The European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG)

In May this year, the German MP for Die Linke, Andrej Hunko, received a lengthy response to a number of parliamentary questions that have now been translated into English. The answers to some of his questions reveal further details of these the composition and practices of these groups, although many of the government’s responses cite “reasons of confidentiality” for refusing public access to information. [3]

The Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group (CSW) first met in 2005, and its meetings have included representatives from thirteen states (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK) and Europol, whose representative contributes “Europol’s technical perspective.”

The German government has refused to say on whose initiative the group first met and what “operative and tactical options” were raised by the German delegation at CSW meetings. It has also refused to disclose what contributions Europol has made to the group in the last five years. In nine of his thirteen questions about the CSW Hunko was told that for “reasons of confidentiality” the government could not make their answer publically available.

However, there is more transparency over meetings concerned with surveillance software used for telecommunications interception and the remote searching of individuals’ computers – products that German police forces have in the past used to “surveil people’s internet activity beyond what is allowed by the law.” [4]

Details are provided in the German government’s answers at ten different meetings held since 2008, with law enforcement agencies from a number of different states attending, including France, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA and Israel.

Their answers reveal that a meeting in October 2010 was devoted to discussion of the software package FinSpy, produced by the German company Gamma International. Assessment of the product by the BKA was “fundamentally positive” from a technical point of view and they “purchased a licence for the FinSpy software for a limited period of time for test purposes in early 2011.”

Gamma has also offered its products to the authorities of countries such as Oman, Turkmenistan, Egypt, and Bahrain, and in 2012 received a Big Brother Award for its willingness to cooperate with “government agencies of countries where human rights are respected to a far lesser degree than here in Germany.” [5]

In April, the European Parliament called for the introduction of strict rules on the export of tools that could be used to block websites and monitor communications, although no new legislation has yet been drafted. [6]

The German government’s answers also confirm that the International Working Group on Undercover Activities (IWG) was established in 1989, when the BKA joined. The German Customs Investigation Service (Zollkriminalamt) began participating in 2000. Once again, however, the government declined to answer the majority of questions publicly for “reasons of confidentiality.”

The European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities was also the subject of a number of questions from Hunko, and the German government has stated the group was established for:

“The promotion of international cooperation by law enforcement agencies at the European level with respect to the deployment of undercover investigators to combat organised crime.”

It is unclear why the “covert deployment of the British police officer Mark Kennedy” was discussed at the group’s meeting in 2011, considering its apparent concern with organised crime. Despite seven years undercover, there is no clear evidence that his work succeeded in preventing or exposing any specific incidents that would amount to serious or organised crime.

Global infiltration

Kennedy was exposed as a police spy following the collapse of a prosecution against environmental activists in the UK in early 2011, sparking a public outcry and the subsequent outing of a number of other infiltrators in protest movements. [7]

Whilst deployed undercover, Kennedy visited “11 countries on more than 40 occasions,” feeding back information to the UK’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit (now the National Domestic Extremism Unit) and subsequently police intelligence units from other countries. [8]

Outside of the UK and Northern Ireland, he visited the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Spain, Denmark, the USA, Poland, France, Italy, and Iceland, and according to the ruling of the UK Court of Appeal in the case that finally led to him being exposed, “Kennedy was involved in activities which went much further than the authorisation he was given,” and was “arguably, an agent provocateur.” [9]

Oversight and accountability

Despite fairly detailed knowledge of some of Kennedy’s movements and activities [10] national parliaments are still being denied information on his work, as noted by Andrej Hunko:

“The Icelandic police are stubbornly rejecting requests from the Minister of Justice to release full details of his activity into the public domain, claiming that disclosure would prejudice British security interests. Even though Members of the Iceland Parliament have a right to ask questions on police matters, they are not being given any information.”

Invoking “British security interests” would seem to suggest that there is clearly still much more information on the deployment by British authorities of police infiltrators overseas to come to light.

A report published earlier this year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary on “national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest” was condemned by one police monitoring group, Fitwatch, as “a farce” that “fails to address any of the concerns addressed by activists.” [11]

Those concerns include the matter of sexual relations between infiltrators and activists, an issue also raised by Hunko, who has called for the British government to:

“Disclose all information regarding the activity of Mark Kennedy in Germany and to inform all interested parties retrospectively of his activity. This is the only way in which key questions can be answered, such as whether he had sexual relations on false pretences with targets or contacts in Germany, as he did in the UK.”

Numerous examples of infiltrators entering relationships with activists have come to light, and eight women are currently engaged in a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police alleging that they “were deceived into having long term intimate relationships with undercover police officers.” [12]

Yet despite one chief police officer stating that it would be “morally wrong” and “grossly unprofessional” for infiltrators to sleep with activists, the UK’s policing minister, Nick Herbert, has endorsed the practice, saying that a ban: “would provide a ready-made test for the targeted criminal group to find out whether an undercover officer was deployed among them.” [13]

Kennedy is now reported to be working for the Densus Group, “a US company that targets anti-capitalist demonstrators” run by Sam Rosenfeld, a “former British Army officer who toured Northern Ireland.” Kennedy “provides ‘risk and threat assessments’ to companies that suspect they might fall victim to ‘direct action’,” according to London’s Evening Standard [14] in an article seemingly based largely on reports originally posted on Indymedia UK. [15]

It remains unclear whether the full details of what happened during Kennedy’s seven years of undercover work will ever come to light or be comprehensively addressed by the authorities. As admitted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary: “no single authorising officer appears to have been fully aware either of the complete intelligence picture in relation to Mark Kennedy or the NPOIU’s activities overall,” and “the full extent of his activity remains unknown.” [16]

Information currently in the public domain makes up only a small piece of a global puzzle of police working groups and networks dealing with infiltration, intrusion and surveillance not just of criminal groups, but political activists.

That there is a pan-European effort to collect and collate information and intelligence on left-wing activists is clear from the existence of Europol’s Analysis Working File Dolphin, which contains information on the No Borders network and “attacks against railway transports,” taken by some to cover either protests against trains carrying nuclear waste, or the No TAV (Treno Alta Velocità) movement in Italy that opposes the construction of a high-speed railway line. [17]

The legal implications of the deployment of undercover officers and intrusive surveillance techniques are significant, as is their impact on individuals. According to Hunko, the internationalisation of police work means that “parliamentary oversight is the loser.” He has called for secret international police networks to be “relentlessly exposed”, stating that:

“Even in the national context it is difficult to detect illegal practices on the part of police forces and intelligence services. Securing judicial convictions for criminal offences is even harder. How much more, then, must the increasingly cross-border nature of police cooperation muddy these waters?” [18]

Note: This article was amended on 28 August 2012 to show the correct amount of money awarded by the EU to SOCA. This was originally published as being €70,000.

Sources
[1] ‘International Specialist Law Enforcement’, Document 1, 2009
[2] ‘International Specialist Law Enforcement’, Document 2, 2009
[3] German Bundestag, ‘Answer of the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation tabled by the Members of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko, Jan Korte, Christine Buchholz, other Members of the Bundestag and the Left Party parliamentary group’, 31 May 2012, in English and in German
[4] Statewatch Analysis: ‘State Trojans: Germany exports “spyware with a badge”‘ by Kees Hudig, March 2012
[5] ‘Category Technology’, Big Brother Awards, April 2012; Vernon Silver, ‘Cyber attacks on activists traced to FinFisher spyware of Gamma’, Bloomberg, 25 July 2012
[6] ‘Parliament wants EU rules for firms exporting internet censorship tools’, European Parliament, 18 April 2012
[7] Paul Lewis, Matthew Taylor and Rajeev Syal, ‘Third undercover police spy unmasked as scale of network emerges’, The Guardian, 15 January 2011
[8] HMIC, ‘A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest’, February 2012; Statewatch Analysis: ‘Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations’, June 2012; ‘Mark Kennedy: A mole in Tarnac’, Monitoring European Police!, 17 April 2012
[9] Eveline Lubbers, ‘HMIC’s ‘empty’ review leaves little hope for robust scrutiny of undercover cops’, SpinWatch, 28 March 2012
[10] ‘Mark Kennedy: A chronology of his activities’, PowerBase
[11] HMIC, ‘A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest’; ‘HMIC report into domestic extremism – disgusting and farcical’, Netpol, 2 February 2012
[12] Rob Evans, ‘Women start legal action against police chiefs over emotional trauma – their statement’, The Guardian, 16 December 2011
[13] Tom Whitehead, ‘Undercover police not banned from sleeping with targets’, The Telegraph, 2 February 2012; Martin Beckford, ‘Undercover police must be allowed to have sex with activists’, The Telegraph, 14 June 2012
[14] Tom Harper, ‘EXCLUSIVE: Undercover detective in eco trial fiasco now works for US firm that spies on activists’, London Evening Standard, 21 June 2012
[15] ‘Ex-police spy Mark Kennedy’s current business activities’, Indymedia UK, 1 June 2012
[16] ‘A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest’, p.24
[17] Andrej Hunko, ‘Abolish international databases on anarchy!’, 5 June 2012; ‘Europol boosts its reach, scope and information-gathering’, Statewatch News Online, 1 June 2012
[18] Andrej Hunko, ‘Secret police networks must be relentlessly exposed’, 22 August 2012

 

Find this story at 28 August 2012

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Industry experts dominate key areas of policy making: new research finds 2/3 of DG Enterprise’s advisory groups corporate-dominated

New report examines the composition of DG Enterprise and Industry expert groups. Among its findings, the shocking conclusion that there are 482 corporate lobbyists versus only 11 union representatives.

Industry experts and corporate lobbyists have effectively captured key areas of policy advice within the European Commission, according to new research carried out by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched today at a joint event with the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour [1].

The study finds that two thirds of all of DG Enterprise’s non-governmental advisory groups are dominated by big business interests [2] with some 482 corporate advisors influencing key areas of policy, such as international trade, consumer protection, food and aspects of environmental protection.

In contrast, the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises have little opportunity to influence policy decisions through advisory groups, accounting for just 5% of the total non-governmental representatives. Representatives from NGOs (non-governmental organisations) account for just 8%, and unions for 1%.

The Commission’s advisory groups provide specialist advice on policy issues and their work can form the backbone of new legislation. The European Parliament has previously criticised the Commission for engaging more with big business than with any other social group through these advisory groups.

ALTER-EU argues that allowing big companies’ interests to dominate risks that the interests of these companies are given greater priority than the public interest. It also criticises the Commission’s own rules on expert groups which stress that “Commission services shall, as far as possible, ensure a balanced representation”.

One of the report authors, Yiorgos Vassalos from ALTER-EU, said:

“DG Enterprise seems to have become the champion of big business in the Commission. Their dominance in expert groups is providing business with privileged access to influence the policy agenda, while other interests do not have a similar voice. As a result there is a very real risk that industry lobbyists may capture whole areas of policy making at the European level, to the detriment of wider society.”

Oliver Roepke from the Austrian Trade Union Federation said:

“DG Enterprise seems to have forgotten that employees and workers are at the heart of the European economy. Their expertise and experience should also lie at the heart of policy making. Far too often we see DG Enterprise working with transnational corporations which have no interest in protecting jobs and decent living standards in Europe. This one-sided policy-making must be reformed.” [suggestion only – to be amended]

ALTER-EU is calling on the Commission to make major changes in the composition of its advisory groups to ensure that the public interest is properly served. It also calls on the Commission to implement the European Parliament’s demands and introduce safeguards against corporate capture of expert groups.

Contacts:

Yiorgos Vassalos, ALTER-EU, phone: 32-484675162 and email: yiorgos@corporateeurope.org

Paul de Clerck, ALTER-EU, phone: 32-494380959 and email: paul@milieudefensie.nl

Notes:

[1] Who’s driving the agenda at DG Enterprise and Industry? ALTER-EU, July 2012, see: http://www.alter-eu.org/sites/default/files/documents/DGENTR-driving.pdf

[2] The report authors defined that a group is dominated by a certain interest if that interest has more than half of the non-government seats.

The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) is a coalition of over 200 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms concerned with the increasing influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe, the resulting loss of democracy in EU decision-making and the postponement, weakening, or blockage even, of urgently needed progress on social, environmental and consumer-protection reforms.
DGENTR-driving.pdf
Campaign:
Balanced expert groups

Publication date:
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Press release issued by:
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)

Find the report at

Große Schwester Europol

Die EU-Polizeiagentur Europol soll mehr Kompetenzen für eigene Ermittlungen erhalten. Im November will die EU-Kommission einen Vorschlag über die zukünftige Aufgaben, Struktur und Arbeitsweise vorlegen

Früher galt die EU-Grenzschutzagentur Frontex als die “Kleine Schwester” Europols: Die Polizeiagentur wurde offiziell 1999 gegründet, während die EU-Migrationsabwehr erst seit 2004 am Start ist. Doch was die Kompetenzen angeht, ist Frontex längst vorgeprescht. Jetzt soll Europol aufholen: Zur Debatte steht der Ausbau von Datensammlungen, das Einleiten von Ermittlungen und ein stärkeres Vorgehen auch gegen unerwünschte Migration. Die gleichzeitig anvisierte Ausweitung der parlamentarischen Kontrolle bleibt wohl marginal.

Bis zum Lissabon-Vertrag galt Europol als zwischenstaatliche Einrichtung der sogenannten “Dritten Säule” zur polizeilichen und justiziellen Zusammenarbeit in Strafsachen, in der die EU keine eigenen Beschlüsse fassen konnte. Mit dem seit 1. Januar 2010 gültigen neuen Europol-Beschluss[1] ist die Behörde in den Rechtsrahmen der EU überführt worden und wird aus dem Gesamtbudget der EU finanziert (Europol in der dritten Generation[2]). Die Aufgabenbereiche wurden im Vertrag von Lissabon als Bekämpfung der “schweren Kriminalität, des Terrorismus und der Kriminalitätsformen, die ein gemeinsames Interesse verletzen” sehr weitgehend definiert[3]. Voraussetzung ist immer, dass zwei oder mehr Mitgliedstaaten betroffen sind. Jedoch dürfen polizeiliche Zwangsmaßnahmen ausschließlich von den Behörden der Mitgliedstaaten vorgenommen werden.

Derzeit arbeitet Europol mit 17 Nicht-EU-Staaten, neun EU-Organen und -Agenturen sowie drei weiteren internationalen Organisationen, darunter Interpol, zusammen. Rechtlich problematisch sind die unterschiedlichen Datenschutzstandards der beteiligten Länder. Europol verhandelt beispielsweise auch mit Israel, Albanien, Bosnien, Kolumbien und Russland über eine Partnerschaft (Europol will mehr Datentausch mit Israel[4]). Im Falle Israels würde beim Abschluss eines Abkommens formal auch die Siedlungspolitik der Regierung in Tel Aviv anerkannt[5] – und damit die bislang vertretene, ablehnende Position des Rates der Europäischen Union untergraben.

Unterstützung bei der Aufrechterhaltung der “öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung”?

Im Arbeitsprogramm für 2012[6] werden ehrgeizige Pläne artikuliert: Europol will “polizeilicher Hauptansprechpartner” für Strafverfolgungsbehörden der EU und “Drehscheibe für polizeiliche Informationen” werden. Dennoch ist die Behörde vergleichsweise klein: Vor zwei Jahren waren dort 662 Mitarbeiter angestellt. Die Bundesregierung erläutert[7], dass sich die Zahl nicht nur auf das Vertragspersonal der Agentur bezieht. Einbezogen seien demnach auch Personen in den Verbindungsbüros der EU-Mitgliedstaaten bei Europol (ca. 125) sowie aus den EU-Mitgliedstaaten entsandte Sachverständige. Deutschland stellt 39 Mitarbeiter, darunter 13 aus dem Bundeskriminalamt. Im deutschen Verbindungsbüro bei Europol arbeiten weitere acht Mitarbeiter und vier Sachverständige.

Laut dem Jahresabschluss von 2010[8] hat Europol die zuständigen Behörden in den Mitgliedstaaten in 11.738 grenzüberschreitenden Fällen unterstützt. Dies entspräche gegenüber 2009 einer Steigerung von 12%. In über 150 “bedeutenden grenzüberschreitenden Ermittlungen” habe das Amt “analytische und operative Unterstützung” geleistet. 35% der Operationen betrafen “Drogenvergehen”.

Doch die Polizeiagentur hat weitaus Größeres vor: Zukünftig könnte Europol den Mitgliedstaaten sogar bei der Aufrechterhaltung der “öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung” assistieren. So jedenfalls ist es in einem Debattenbeitrag der derzeitigen dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft[9] niedergelegt. Gleichzeitig soll die Zusammenarbeit mit den anderen zehn EU-Agenturen im Bereich Justiz und Inneres intensiviert[10] werden: Die Grenzschutzagentur wünscht, dass Europol beim Erstellen der sogenannten “Risikoanalysen” zu unerwünschter Migration aushilft.

Auch mit der Agentur zur Betrugsbekämpfung (OLAF), der Europäischen Polizeiakademie (CEPOL), der Grundrechteagentur (FRA) und dem EU-Geheimdienst (SitCen) soll Europol stärker kooperieren. Das Gleiche gilt für die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (ESDP): Die Mitgliedstaaten sollen erörtern, inwieweit “Synergien” erzielt werden können. Hierbei hilft die inzwischen institutionalisierte Zusammenarbeit der Leiter der Agenturen[11]: 2010 hatte Europol den Vorsitz dieser informellen Vereinigung inne.

Europol gegen “Migrationsdruck”

Was unter “Synergien” verstanden wird, macht eine weitere Initiative der dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft deutlich: Die Regierung in Kopenhagen überraschte Ende letzten Monats mit einer “EU-Aktion gegen Migrationsdruck”[12]. Gefordert werden als “strategische Antwort” mehr Anstrengungen auch von Europol bei der Bekämpfung unerwünschter Einwanderung. Sofern es das Mandat erlaubt, könnte die EU-Kriminalisten sogar gegen Scheinehen vorgehen, die laut der dänischen Ratspräsidentschaft durch “organisierte kriminelle Gruppierungen” inszeniert würden.

Die Polizeiagentur soll in die Zusammenarbeit mit Herkunfts- und Transitländern eingebunden werden, um unentdeckte Einwanderungsrouten aufzuspüren. Auch im Rahmen des zur Zeit verhandelten Rückübernahmeabkommens zwischen der EU und der Türkei soll Europol demnach eine besondere Rolle spielen. Angestrebt wird der Ausbau der Zusammenarbeit mit türkischen Polizeikräften und der Abschluss einer hierzu notwendigen Arbeitsvereinbarung.

Laut dem Papier der dänischen Regierung könnte die Migrationsabwehr im Dreiländereck von Griechenland, Bulgarien und der Türkei in der Einrichtung eines “trilateralen gemeinsamen Kontaktzentrums für Polizei-, Grenzschutz- und Zollzusammenarbeit” münden. 38 solcher Kooperationsprojekte entstehen zur Zeit in zahlreichen EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Ihr Vorbild sind die “Zentren für Zusammenarbeit von Polizei und Zoll” (PCCC), die als Pilotprojekte an den Grenzen Deutschlands mit Frankreich (Kehl), Polen (Swiecko) und Luxemburg aufgebaut wurden. Europol ist gehalten, sich verstärkt in die Kooperation mit diesen Zentren von Polizei und Zoll einzubringen. 2010 hatte die Agentur ein entsprechendes Seminar organisiert.

Bereits jetzt ist Europol verstärkt in den Balkanstaaten[13] aktiv. Nach Vorbild Europols errichten 13 Länder unter dem Namen Southeast European Law Enforcement Center[14] (SELEC) eine neue Polizeibehörde, in der Europol eine “Schlüsselrolle” spielen soll. . Das Vorhaben wird von der EU-Kommission gefördert[15] (Wer kontrolliert Europol?[16]).

“Poweruser” Deutschland

Zu den offenen Fragen einer neuen Europol-Rechtsgrundlage gehört vor allem die Erleichterung des Informationsaustausches mit der Agentur. Dabei geht es um das Europol-Informationssystem (EIS) und die Nutzung der sogenannten “Dataloader” durch die EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Diese automatisierte Übermittlung von Informationen über Personen, Sachen oder Vorgänge wird bereits für 81% aller Einspeisungen in das EIS in Anspruch genommen.

Die Mitgliedstaaten nehmen jährlich rund 10.000 Suchabfragen vor. Laut Europol verkraftet das Informationssystem ohne Probleme die doppelte Menge. Schon jetzt gehört Deutschland zu den vier Hauptlieferanten und Datenstaubsaugern bei Europol: Rund ein Drittel aller Daten im EIS stammen vom Bundeskriminalamt, etwa die gleiche Zahl an Abfragen kam über Wiesbaden. Zur “Spitzengruppe” gehören außerdem Frankreich, Belgien und Spanien. 70% der per “Dataloader” gelieferten Datensätze werden von den vier Ländern herangeschafft.

Einige Mitgliedstaaten begründen ihre Zurückhaltung bei der automatisierten Befüllung mittels “Dataloader” damit, dass dadurch qualitativ schlechte und damit für die anderen Mitgliedstaaten unbrauchbare Daten generiert würden. Trotzdem will der Rat der Europäischen Union Schlussfolgerungen verabschieden, um auch die weniger aktiven Mitgliedstaaten unter Druck zu setzen: Die nationalen Europol-Kontaktstellen sollen dann eine feste Quote an übermitteln Datensätzen erfüllen. In der Diskussion sind zudem “finanzielle Anreize”. Der Vorschlag wird unter anderem von Polen und den Niederlanden unterstützt.

Doch der Datenhunger Europols ist damit längst nicht gestillt: Erörtert wird beispielsweise, inwiefern die Nutzung von “Daten aus dem Privatsektor” intensiviert werden könnte. Fraglich ist aber, auf welche Art und Weise diese Informationen überhaupt verwertet werden dürfen. Auch ist unbestimmt, wie Provider, Firmen oder Institute auf entsprechende Anfragen zur Herausgabe von Daten reagieren müssen. Da Europol bislang über keine operativen Kompetenzen in den Mitgliedstaaten verfügt, können entsprechende Anfragen zunächst getrost ignoriert werden. Weitaus delikater ist aber die Frage, inwiefern die privaten Stellen mit Daten von Europol beliefert werden dürfen.

Einleitung von “Ermittlungsinitiativen” anvisiert

Im Rahmen der Kompetenzerweiterung wird darüber diskutiert, ob Europol zukünftig selbst Ermittlungen anstoßen darf (sogenannte “Ermittlungsinitiativen”). Die wesentlich jüngere Agentur Frontex ist dazu im Rahmen ihrer “Gemeinsamen Operationen”[17] bereits ermächtigt. Mit derartigen “Ermittlungsinitiativen” würde Europol aber tief in die Souveränität der Mitgliedstaaten eingreifen. Im Gespräch ist deshalb eine “Subsidiaritätsprüfung”, also die Festlegung einer Schwelle, bis zu der die nationalen Polizeibehörden zuständig bleiben sollen. Gleichzeitig sollen die Zurückweisungsgründe für die Maßnahmen eingeschränkt werden: Wenn die Mitgliedstaaten also eine entsprechende Forderung ablehnen, muss dies gut begründet werden.

Die neuen Ambitionen Europols werden jetzt im “Ständigen Ausschuss für die operative Zusammenarbeit im Bereich der inneren Sicherheit” debattiert. Im November sollen die Verhandlungen in einen Verordnungsvorschlag der EU-Kommission münden, der sowohl zukünftige Aufgaben, Aufbau, Arbeitsweise und den Tätigkeitsbereich definiert.

Parallel zum Upgrade der Polizeiagentur wird auch über eine erweiterte parlamentarische Kontrolle verhandelt. Hierzu hatte die Kommission im April Vertreter nationaler Parlamente und des Europäischen Parlaments eingeladen. Doch das zweistündige Treffen kann kaum als ernsthafte Debatte gelten: Auch der neue Rechtsrahmen von Europol wurde in der kurzen Zeit behandelt.

Die Kommission bietet den Abgeordneten an, sich zukünftig durch jährliche Rechenschaftsberichte und interparlamentarische Aussprachen mit dem Direktor von Europol zu informieren. Dies beträfe aber nur die Strategie von Europol, die Beratungen über Mehrjahresprogramme oder die “Sicherheitslage in der EU”. Es soll sich dabei aber lediglich um einen Gedankenaustausch handeln. Jegliche “Ko-Administration” wird von Europol abgelehnt.

Anhang

Links
[1]

http://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/council_decision.pdf
[2]

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/31/31792/1.html
[3]

http://dejure.org/gesetze/AEUV/88.html
[4]

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/36/36540/1.html
[5]

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/36/36540/1.html
[6]

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st13/st13516.en11.pdf
[7]

http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/031/1703143.pdf
[8]

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2011:366:0179:01:DE:HTML
[9]

http://euro-police.noblogs.org/files/2012/04/Debate_on_possible_future_user_requirements_for_Europol.pdf
[10]

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2012/feb/eu-council-cosi-jha-agency-heads-24-11-11-18075-11.pdf
[11]

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2010/feb/eu-cooperation-between-agencies-5816-10.pdf
[12]

http://euro-police.noblogs.org/files/2012/05/eu-aktion-gegen-migrationsdruck.pdf
[13]

http://www.andrej-hunko.de/register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st18/st18148.en10.pdf
[14]

http://www.secicenter.org/m485/SELEC
[15]

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/mar/eu-council-draft-conclusions-seci-6504-rev1-11.pdf
[16]

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/34/34337/1.html
[17]

http://www.frontex.eu.int/structure/operations_division/joint_operations
[18]

http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/082/1708277.pdf

Find this story at & Mai 2012

Matthias Monroy 07.05.2012

Copyright © Telepolis, Heise Zeitschriften Verlag

Achtergelaten om te sterven

Op 26 maart 2011 vertrok vanuit Tripoli een bootje met aan boord 72 Afrikaanse vluchtelingen. De mannen, vrouwen en 2 baby’s waren op weg naar een nieuwe toekomst in Europa. Onderweg raakte de benzine op, en vervolgens dobberde de boot 2 weken op volle zee. Gadegeslagen door een helikopter, vissersschepen en een marineschip. Maar omdat niemand wat deed, vonden uiteindelijk 61 opvarenden de dood, waaronder de twee baby’s. Wouter Kurpershoek bericht over de schandalige gebeurtenis op de Middellandse Zee.

 

Uitzending Brandpunt 08 april 2012 

Abolish international databases on anarchy

“For four years now, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office and intelligence services have been recording what they call a ‘spectrum of potentially violent left-wing extremism in Europe’. The police and intelligence services are applying the dubious term ‘Euroanarchy’ to their work in this area. Not only are they creating a secret political database, they are degrading the original meaning of the word ‘anarchy’,” said Member of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko, expressing his criticism of the answer of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to a minor interpellation.

At the end of April, members of the Dolphin database met for a two-day conference at Europol in The Hague. The database, known as an Analysis Work File, receives information from 20 EU Member States, as well as Switzerland, Australia and Norway. During the meeting in The Hague, speakers from Italy, Switzerland and Spain also gave talks on the opposition to high-speed trains and the activities of the No Border Network.

“Previously Europol only stored data on ‘terrorism’ in Dolphin. According to the answer of the German Federal Government, however, Dolphin’s members are also interested in left-wing opposition, which is categorised as ‘extremism’ in the database. The purpose of the file was therefore amended in 2010.

Similar to Germany’s Section 129, Dolphin is about snooping in political contexts. So it does not come as much of a surprise when the Federal Government itself has to admit that the database has played no ‘significant role’ in any criminal investigations to date.

Like Germany, Europol is chiefly interested in taking action against emancipatory movements. It was only after the attacks in Norway that Europol proposed setting up a task force to combat right-wing extremism.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has been maintaining files on ‘Euroanarchy’ for four years now. During that time, the office has been actively exchanging information with political police departments in Switzerland, France, the UK, Italy and Greece. The German secret services are also involved and are sharing information on ‘Euroanarchy’ with services in other countries.

Last year saw official confirmation of reports that protests at the G8 summits in 2005 and 2007 were infiltrated by covert investigations. According to the president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, the German-British initiative was targeted at ‘Euroanarchists’. But in its answer, the Federal Government refuses to use the term ‘police spies’ to refer to the people involved in this attack on individual privacy.

At the same time, evidence is mounting that Simon Bromma, a police officer from Baden-Württemberg, was involved in spying on international activists in Brussels. The Federal Criminal Police Office also exchanged information on at least 88 protestors with the Belgian police and – despite the fact that no one was charged – stored the information in its own political databases.

Investigating cross-border left-wing activism is unacceptable. I call on the Federal Government to refrain from supplying this type of information to Europol. Above all, the government must dispense with the working groups and databases on ‘Euroanarchy’. I remain critical of the planned extensions to Europol’s competences.”

The Federal Government’s answer to the Minor Interpellation “Europol’s criminalisation of international left-wing activism and anarchy” can be downloaded at: http://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/doc_download/223-kriminalisierung-von-internationalem-linken-aktivismus-und-anarchismus-durch-europol (in German only)

5 june 2012

Andrej Hunko

Mitglied des Bundestages

Fraktion DIE LINKE

www.andrej-hunko.de

www.linksfraktion.de