(BBC) Plans for a super-database containing the details of all phone calls and e-mails sent in the UK have been heavily criticised by experts. The government is considering the changes as part of its ongoing fight against serious crime and terrorism.
(RAPID) The Council reached a common approach on the amendment of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism proposed by the Commission on 6 November 2008. The amendment up-dates the Framework Decision making public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment and training for terrorism punishable behaviour, also when committed through the Internet.
Visitors to Europe will face biometric screening and automated security checks under proposals for a shake-up of EU border controls. Under plans to strengthen checks at European borders laid out by the European Commission, international travelers would also have their stay logged and monitored by an electronic system, which could become operational by 2015.
(BBC) The home secretary has outlined plans to target websites promoting extremism, as part of efforts to stop people being drawn towards radical groups.
Jacqui Smith says she wants to use technology to stop "vulnerable people" being "groomed for violent extremism".
Police in the U.K. are in talks with the FBI about establishing an international biometric database for tracking down the world's most wanted criminals and terrorists. The so-called "server in the sky" database would share criminals' biometric data, such as fingerprints and iris scans, internationally. The Washington Post reported last month that the FBI is spending $1 billion to develop the world's largest centralized biometrics database, a system the agency calls Next Generation Identification.
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a new package of proposals aimed at improving the EU?s capabilities in the fight against terrorism. The package contains a series of proposals dealing with the criminalization of terrorist training, recruitment and public provocation to commit terrorist offences, the prevention of the use of explosives by terrorists and the use of airline passenger information in law enforcement investigations. It also contains a report on the mplementation of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism. The Commission proposes amending the Framework Decision to make public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment and training for terrorism punishable behaviour, also when committed through the Internet.
A new Senate bill would protect not only telephone companies from lawsuits claiming illegal cooperation with the National Security Agency. It would retroactively immunize e-mail providers, search engines, Internet service providers and instant-messaging services too.
(New York Sun) Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence after the leak of Osama bin Laden's September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that we had penetrated the enemy's system. The intelligence blunder started with what appeared at the time as an American intelligence victory, namely that the federal government had intercepted, a full four days before it was to be aired, a video of Osama bin Laden's first appearance in three years in a video address marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The European Commission will commit $212.16 million to research on counterterrorism technologies. The grants will cover 44 research projects, including the development of automatic surveillance systems for water distribution systems. Funding will also be allocated for the development of a European ballistic database, which will analyze and store firearms information and allow sharing of information among European police forces, the Commission said in a statement.
In a presentation before the European Parliament last week, EU security commissioner Franco Frattini outlined a new set of anti-terror proposals, including plans for a Europol explosives database, airplane passenger list databases, and legislation that would criminalize publication of bomb-making instructions on the Internet. The proposals are based on the findings of a research group that included law enforcement officials and experts from private industry.
In a setback for foes of a controversial Bush administration wiretapping program, a federal appeals court threw out an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that alleged illicit snooping on Americans' calls and e-mails.
(Reuters) Three men said to be linked to al-Qaeda, including one using an Arabic name meaning "Terrorist 007", have admitted inciting terrorism over the internet in the first case of its kind in Britain. The men, said by prosecutors to have close ties to Osama Bin Laden's network, pleaded guilty to inciting acts of terrorism "wholly or partly" outside Britain via websites which advocated the killing of non-Muslims.
(BBC) The European Commission is drafting new Europe-wide measures to bolster the fight against terrorism, including sharing air passenger data. EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said that all states needed to co-operate more closely.
The measure is expected to require air passengers travelling into the EU to submit data for security agencies. Other proposals include creating a "rapid-alert" system for stolen explosives, a network of bomb disposal squads and making the spread of bomb-making instructions online a criminal offence.
(Silicon) The EU's data protection head has hit out at claims that privacy advocates are blocking governments' attempts to pass so-called anti-terror legislation. The EU Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Peter Hustinx said effective legislation cannot exist without data protection controls. Including such measures in new laws can only improve them by introducing safeguards to make sure only the right individuals can access sensitive details, added Hustinx. Hustinx said in a statement: 'It is a misconception that protection of privacy and personal data holds back the fight against terrorism and organised crime.' see EU and the right to privacy: EDPS on mid-term state of play.
(Press Association) The whole of Europe faces a 'very real' and 'persistent' threat from terrorism, the home secretary, John Reid, warned, as an EU commissioner called for a crackdown on extremist websites. Mr Frattini also called for a crackdown on extremist internet sites and a meeting at European-level with schoolteachers to prevent classroom violence eventually leading to extremist radicalisation.
(EDRI) After many complaints from Russia, the Swedish authorities closed up on 5 May, Kavkazcenter.com, a Chechen separatist Web site that allegedly encouraged terrorism. The police arrived at PRQ Web hosting company in Stockholm with a search warrant and confiscated two servers.
(BBC) Plans for new anti-terrorism controls on websites have led to a government defeat in the Lords - by just one vote. The original plans would have allowed a police constable to decide that information on the internet could be related to terrorism. But peers changed the Terrorism Bill to ensure police have to ask judges before telling internet providers that web pages should be removed.
(RAPID) Terrorist attacks using explosives or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances on mainline or metropolitan railway systems pose a clear and present danger to EU citizens. This is why the European Commission has decided to fund a research project to design and demonstrate an anti-terrorist security system architecture to better detect these terrorist threats and hence better protect railway passengers. The project will combine information from combine information from sensors, remote control or autonomous cameras, ground penetrating radars and line scanners. This is one of 13 projects selected under the ?Preparatory Action for Security Research? to improve the security of EU citizens and strengthen the European industrial base. The eight technology projects and five supporting activities selected will receive EU funding of ?15 million. Given the increasing importance of security research, the Commission proposed to substantially increase the yearly budget from ?15 million to roughly ?250 million a year from 2007. Full list of 13 projects.
(BBC) Five European governments are setting up a hi-tech team to monitor how terrorists and criminals use the net. The group will make recommendations on shutting down websites that break terrorism laws. The plans for the initiative came out of a meeting of the G5 interior ministers in Spain that discussed ways to tackle these threats. The five countries also agreed to make it easier to swap data about terror suspects and thefts of explosives. The interior ministers of Spain, Britain, France, Germany and Italy - the G5 - met in Granada this week for an anti-terrorism summit.
(FT) Gangs linked to international terrorism and organised crime are relying increasingly on music piracy to fund their operations, according to music industry figures. Leading music groups saw the value of pirated sales rise by 4 per cent to $4.5bn (?3.7bn, £2.4bn) last year, and claimed the proceeds were being used for money laundering, drugs trafficking and terrorism. The International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), representing music labels in 70 countries, said it had uncovered evidence of links between gangs involved in music piracy and Middle East terrorists. IFPI press release and Report
(USIP) The great virtues of the Internet?ease of access, lack of regulation, vast potential audiences, and fast flow of information, among others?have been turned to the advantage of groups committed to terrorizing societies to achieve their goals. Today, all active terrorist groups have established their presence on the Internet. Our scan of the Internet in 2003?4 revealed hundreds of websites serving terrorists and their supporters.
(Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly) by Clive Walker and Yaman Akdeniz. The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 signals a determined response to the attacks of September 11th. One aspect involves the facilitation of the use of electronic surveillance in order to prevent, detect or prosecute the perpetrators of terrorism. The role of Part XI of the 2001 Act is to augment existing surveillance powers in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. This papers plots the relationships between those two statutes and also their relationship to data protection laws. Delays and difficulties in enforcement are noted and are related to a process of return to greater normality after an initial period of panic.
EU - Combatting terrorism - Speech by António Vitorino (RAPID) European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs at the 'Justice en Mouvement' Conference Brussels, 16 September 2002. I would like to use this occasion to outline a range of initiatives that the EU has taken to combat terrorism, both internally and externally with the US and others. In doing so, I hope to provide an illustration of the evolving nature of 'justice' in the European context, as we develop new collective mechanisms of 'justice' as part of our efforts to build an area of freedom, security and justice that effectively combats terrorism and organised crime.
Study: Most Support Gov't Web Action (Washington Post) More than two-thirds of Americans say it's OK for government agencies to remove public information from the Internet, even though many didn't believe it would make a difference in fighting terrorism, a new study finds. But Americans were evenly divided on whether governments should be able to monitor e-mail and Web activities, with 47 percent opposed and 45 percent in support. see September 11 and the Internet (Pew Internet and American Life Project)
Anti-terrorist measures 'threaten web freedom' (Guardian) The freedom of information available on the internet has been seriously curtailed since last year's terrorist attacks on America on September 11, a report by media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres has warned. RSF argued the campaign against terrorism and the resulting tightening of security has caused governments to clamp down on the free flow of information on the web.
E-terrorism: Digital myth or true threat? (CNET News.com) Doomsday predictions of a "digital Pearl Harbor" have persisted in the year since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
The specter was a driving force behind controversial new law enforcement measures portrayed as necessary by the government but decried by civil libertarians as an assault on constitutional rights to privacy. Yet security experts, network managers and public safety officials say privately that the threat of cyberterrorism has been overblown and misunderstood - and that physical attacks remain far easier to carry out. As a result, government officials and industry leaders may have spent needless effort addressing an arguably nonexistent enemy at a time when all resources are needed to guard against more realistic dangers.
Net monitoring scheme under fire (BBC) UK Government plans to archive all internet traffic and e-mail has been singled out for a controversial award at this year's Big Brother Award ceremony. The awards - established in 1998 by Human Rights watchdog Privacy International - are designed to expose the state erosions of privacy as well as honouring those that made an outstanding contribution to preserving privacy. The plan to store all communication data won in the Most Appalling Project category. The scheme was the brainchild of the National Criminal Intelligence Service and is outlined in the government's Anti-Terrorism Act.
Terrorism And The Global Digital Divide (FindLaw) by Peter K. Yu. The digital divide, defined as the gap between the information haves and have-nots, separates those who can make effective use of computers and information technology and those who cannot. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the digital divide has been increasingly linked to the war on terrorism in major international forums. Whether coincidental or intentional, the link between the two makes a lot of sense.
Spain urges EU to share secrets in anti-terror war (The Guardian ) Spain is pressing the European Union formally to incorporate the war against international terrorism into its security and defence policy, requiring member states to pool intelligence resources in an unprecedented way.
Online encyclopedia of terrorism (Markle Foundation ) The Council on Foreign Relations launched a unique online encyclopedia of terrorism. Terrorism: Questions And Answers rroduced in cooperation with the Markle Foundation, will provide up-to-date, authoritative information in a crisp and clear question and answer format.
UK anti-terror bill alarms ISPs (vnunet) UK companies are concerned about higher internet access costs and the erosion of consumer privacy following new government proposals for data traffic laws, and warn that e-commerce could suffer. The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill, published last Wednesday, would allow law enforcement agencies to compel internet service providers (ISPs) to retain traffic data.
Canada Works on Terror Bill, Too (Wired) The Canadian government capped a week of anti-terrorist measures with the announcement of a $47 million injection of technology funding for two of its security agencies. The increased money for technology is part of the government's sweeping new Anti-Terrorism Act currently being rushed through the Canadian parliament, that could become law as soon as December.