UK, France, On Verge Of Kafkaesque Police State

The Guardian sounds a warning about the acceleration of surveillance in the UK and France:

Two British MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, crossed the party divide and with campaigning organisation Liberty, won a legal challenge against the rushed, undemocratic Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Dripa), passed in July 2014.

The High Court found that Dripa was unlawful because it did not adequately ensure that access to, and use of, communications data (though not its collection) was limited to what was necessary, appropriate and proportionate for preventing and detecting serious crime.

The decision has been welcomed for, finally, recognising in the UK what a number of other countries and a slew of independent examiners have demanded: proper judicial oversight of a “general retention regime on a potentially massive scale”. Where it falls down, as do many of those reports, is in accepting, implicitly or explicitly, the euphemistic re-characterisation of mass surveillance as “bulk interception” or “bulk collection”, thus endorsing an incursion into our private lives, papers, thoughts and communications that has no precedent in the law of the land.
Advertisement

Disappointingly, however, the Dripa victory is likely short-lived. Immediately, the Home Office declared its disagreement with the High Court’s decision, pledging to appeal. And of course, the Conservative government has already made abundantly clear its intention to enact a single, comprehensive law – the so-called “snooper’s charter” – which many fear would unleash a tidal wave of surveillance at political and executive discretion.

This is where the other side of the channel comes in. Late on Thursday 23 July, in France’s highest constitutional body, the last safeguard of the rule of law fell, approving what is, by all measures, an intrusive, comprehensive, virtually-unchecked surveillance law.

A pipe-dream for two years, the French law gathered momentum in March this year in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and was put together in the French parliament under emergency procedures, drastically reducing discussion time and preventing any meaningful debate. The law was overwhelmingly approved by parliament in June and immediately referred to the constitutional council by nearly everyone who could do so, including François Hollande – the first time the president has deferred a law voted by parliament in the Fifth Republic.
France approves ‘Big Brother’ surveillance powers despite UN concern

The case also attracted an unheard of number of amicus briefs, many of which were made public, and most of which involved an impassioned cry about the unprecedented incursion on civil liberties that the law mandates.

And yet, despite this, the French council approved, with very few exceptions, a law that allows intelligence agencies to monitor phone calls and emails without prior judicial authorisation; to require internet service providers to install “black boxes” that filter all internet traffic, combing everyone’s metadata in order to identify deviant behaviours based on unknown parameters and provide access to the agencies; and to bug cars, homes and keyboards for images, sound and data.

All of this, of course, is discussed as being targeted at “suspected terrorists”. But all of it, equally and more significantly, touches us all; anyone and everyone who traverses the internet. The law’s goal is to improve the agencies’ tools for a large variety of vaguely stated purposes: terrorism, but also political surveillance, competitive intelligence for France’s major economic, industrial and scientific interests, the fight against organised crime, and goodness knows what else to come.”

4-Star General: US Dissidents Should Be Interned

From earlier this summer, comes a report that General Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, has publicly demanded concentration camps for those Americans who are sufficiently disloyal:

The statements made by retired four-star general and former NATO commander Wesley Clark to MSNBC News last Friday in support of placing “radicalized” and “disloyal” Americans in World War II-style internment camps must be taken as an urgent warning by the working class.

Clark, America’s most prominent political general, was speaking not just for himself, but for powerful layers within the US military/intelligence apparatus and ruling oligarchy who fear the growth of social opposition and are preparing to defend their interests, no matter what the cost.

The event that prompted Clark’s televised remarks was the recent killing of four Marines and one sailor at an armed forces recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Clark’s proposal for mass internment was advanced as a response to the so-called “self radicalized,” “lone wolf” phenomenon—labels that have been applied to a handful of terrorist incidents over the course of more than a decade. The vast majority of such “lone wolf” incidents have involved hapless and, in some cases, mentally disturbed individuals who were set up by FBI and police agent provocateurs.

If Clark’s proposal were implemented, such “sting” operations and subsequent frame-up trials could be dispensed with, as the “self-radicalized” were identified by their thoughts, statements or Internet postings and summarily thrown into concentration camps.

The scale of his proposed response is so disproportionate to the actual threat—which has claimed far fewer victims than mass shootings carried out by individuals who have shown no sign of being “radicalized”—that it is impossible not to conclude that there are deeper and hidden motives and processes at work.

If one takes Clark’s statements at their face value, the term “Orwellian” does not do them justice. “We have got to identify people who are most likely to be radicalized,” he said in his television interview. “We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning.” In other words, the massive and ongoing surveillance of the American population must be intensified to identify potential radicals and jail them based on their alleged thoughts or expressions.

“In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war,” he added.

Making the implications of his reasoning unmistakable, Clark continued: “If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right, and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal communityfor the duration of the conflict.”

And for how long would that be, General Clark?

Police State Hungary Arrives

From Politico.com:

According to a law passed by the Hungarian parliament last week and set to take effect on September 15, the Hungarian government may declare a “state of migration emergency” to cope with the thousands of refugees crossing the border. If, on average, more than 500 migrants seek asylum each day for a month, or if more than 1,600 migrants are in reception camps each day for a week, or if migrants riot or commit violent crimes anywhere in the country, a state of migration emergency can be invoked. The emergency can cover particular regions or the entire country. It would initially last for six months — and then be renewed if necessary……..

…….”Refugees’ asylum claims would be speedily processed because, under a law that came into effect on August 1, no refugee will be eligible for asylum if they have passed through a “safe country” before entering Hungary. Since Serbia and all EU states were declared safe under this law, the only way a refugee traveling by land could enter Hungary without passing through a safe state is if the refugee entered through Ukraine. And that’s not where these refugees are coming from.

Virtually every asylum application will now be denied; judges will not even get to the stage of assessing the merits of the refugees’ cases.”

……”The state of emergency scheduled for September 15 will eventually feature draconian military and police powers. Under a law working its way through parliament, a state of migration emergency will permit soldiers to be sent to guard the borders, fully armed. They will be authorized to use dogs, rubber bullets, tear gas and nets to apprehend migrants entering illegally. Deadly force can be used against the migrants if soldiers believe that their own lives are endangered. This law passed the Committee on Police and Defense on September 9 and is scheduled to pass in the parliament on September 22, taking effect immediately.”

….”To create a more permanent police state, the government has more laws waiting in the wings.

Under a draft law recently discovered by napi.hu (with the text of the laws linked at 444.hu), the Hungarian government will create, starting January 1, 2016, a national database with a file on every Hungarian citizen. The Center for Facial Profile Analysis will adapt the photograph on Hungarian citizens’ national identity cards for use with facial recognition technology. Each photograph will be tagged with a “connection code” that will link the biometric bits with a particular person. While the law does not authorize this information to be linked to other files containing personal data, it would be very easy to do so. This new database will be a permanent contribution to the security landscape in Hungary.”

Of course, the author, a Princeton U. professor fails to analyze the other side  – the refugee/migrant flows and the connivance of intelligence agencies from NATO countries in creating this sudden crisis.

If population flows are being used to create “color revolutions” in countries surely a country has a right to defend itself.

But the sad part is that both sides only further policies already anticipated and needed by the powers-that-be.

Thus Police State Hungary it will be.

Germany Reinstates Passport Checks At Border

Germany, as part of the Schengen regime of Europe, did not have passport checks at its borders, making it easy for EU residents and nationals to move freely among Schengen members.

With the influx of Syrian refugees, Merkel has now found the unassailable pretext to reintroduce checks at the Austrian border to prevent “chaos,” chaos that could entirely have been predicted…and probably was:

 Germany is to reinstate controls at the border with Austria as Europe’s top economy struggles to cope with a record influx of refugees, according to media reports Sunday.”

The prospect of European demographic decline coupled with an influx of  high-fertility Muslims from the surrounding regions has been the staple of European nationalist nightmares, from which the notion of Eurabia emerged – a Europe created by Franco-Islamic conspiracy that is hostile equally to the United States and to Israel, or rather, in some views, to Christianity and Judaism.

What is omitted from “Eurabian” style analysis is the rather obvious point that the version of “Christianity” that holds political center-stage in America today is one so thoroughly Judaized as to be a heresy that traditionalist Christians might consider worth opposing.

The same could be said of the liberal Judaism of American Jews, let alone the thoroughly anti-Christian secular spirit of  most cultural Jews and cultural Christians.

On the other side of the equation, “France” and  “Islam” too can be deconstructed:

They  too are golems of the Zionist entity.

As for Islamicization, the chances are much greater that enforced proximity of  Islamic immigrants to European native will give rise to further restraints on speech and thought.

Those restraints, combined with the dissolution of traditional mores, will create nihilism and moral ennui.

In the end, neither Muslim nor Christian will be profited…. nor even the ordinary religious Jew.

This deracinated Europe will only benefit the ruling Sanhedrin.

Eurabia?

If we had one hundredth of the frankness that we devote to sexual matters to give to politics, we would call it Eunuch-rabia.

 

Privacy Expert Questions Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Privacy Surgeon.com:

I’m starting to believe the so-called “migration crisis” facing Europe is little more than a tragic confidence trick. Worryingly, however, it involves dangerous consequences for the rights of every EU resident.

I’m not being heartless. Yes, thousands of refugees have lost their lives in the struggle to reach EU borders. Many more are living in a desperate plight, often at the mercy of human traffickers. That’s not my point.

Relatively few of us have genuinely got to grips with the realities of this situation. It’s a massively complex issue that goes to the heart of geopolitics and national dynamics, but intelligent people should not be sucked into the orchestrated rhetoric that is being peddled. This isn’t the first time we’ve faced such circumstances – and it certainly won’t be the last.

The migration issue is trending across the political landscape of nearly all EU countries. Emerging from the hysteria over rising numbers of asylum seekers is a mix of innovative and humane solutions. Sadly, the “crisis” is also spotlighting the very worst of Europe, spewing out a raft of reactions that defy the very basis of the values that Europe is supposed to uphold.

Instead of making an effort to find a rational way through the difficult issues, some governments have cheered on a contagion mentality which has genuinely terrified entire populations that the barbarians are at the gate. It feels like Donald Trump’s shadow has fallen across Europe.

At one level (though certainly not for the migrants themselves) the situation is nowhere near as dramatic as some media outlets are portraying. At another level, the crisis is far worse for Europe than anyone could imagine. This situation could trigger a backlash for civil liberties across the EU.

Let’s deal first with the raw figures.

At the risk of simplification, here is the top level statistic. The EU’s external border force, Frontex, which monitors the flow of people arriving at Europe’s borders, says some 340,000 migrants have been detected at EU borders since the beginning of 2015. That compares with 123,500 in the same period last year.

My response is “what’s the big deal?

[Lila: Exactly my reaction. Anyone who has actually been in populous, poor, or war-torn countries, would find the numbers nothing so extraordinary.]

…….

During World War II, refugees flooded from Germany to Switzerland, as any Sound of Music fan will remember. Between 1933 and 1939, about 200,000 Jews fleeing Nazism were able to find refuge in France. At around that time several hundred thousand Spanish Republicans fled to France after their loss to the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Unlike the EU of today, nations coped with such circumstances.

It’s true that the current headline figures can look dramatic. More than 300,000 migrants have risked their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to the UN. This compares with 219,000 for the whole of 2014.

Nearly 200,000 people have landed in Greece since January this year, while another 110,000 made it to Italy.

To put the current situation into a statistical perspective, imagine a town of 10,000 people calling emergency meetings and getting into a froth of paranoia because ten migrants show up at the town hall office. 

Having said that, the total population of the EU member states is just over half a billion. Is anyone seriously arguing on any basis of rationality that a region of five hundred million people can’t find a way to absorb a peak of an extra half million migrants? In the view of many observers, this isn’t so much a migrant crisis as it is a crisis of political fragility over Europe’s teetering economy and employment.

To put the current situation into a statistical perspective, imagine a town of 10,000 people calling emergency meetings and getting into a froth of paranoia because ten migrants show up at the town hall office. Most of us would condemn such a response.

In line with this reasoning, let’s try to put the situation is a historical context.

Some people might like to forget that the decade leading up to 2001 saw the one of the bloodiest conflicts of modern times – and right on Europe’s doorstep. The Bosnian and Yugoslav wars saw genocide that murdered between 100,000 and 200,000 people (depending on whose figures you accept). States that are now happily part of the European family of nations were obliterating entire communities at the time your fifteen year old child was born. Now, all is forgiven – and almost forgotten.

But at the time, there was misery and human displacement at a scale that people these days can barely understand. Vast waves of refugees poured out of the carnage and tried for a new life in Europe and elsewhere.

Europe whines about a “crisis” of having to deal with an overflow that’s equivalent to less than one tenth of one percent of its population. Compare this to what Croatia agreed to burden at the time of the conflict.

The U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, tried to put the number of refugees in Croatia into perspective during an interview in 1993. He said the situation would be the equivalent of the United States taking in 30,000,000 refugees. The number of Bosnian refugees in Croatia stood at 588,000. Serbia took in 252,130 refugees from Bosnia, while other former Yugoslav republics received a total of 148,657 people.”