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France: Imminent "Humanitarian Fingerprinting" of Roma with OSCAR

8 September, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Frankreich: Drohende Stigmatisierung von Roma durch OSCAR

The xenophobic anti-Roma campaign run by the French government following President Sarkozy's discourse at the end of July has led to the brutal dismantling of numerous Roma camps, and to the expulsion of 1 000 foreign Roma people from the country within the last month. How could this happen, given that most if not all of them are either from Romania or Bulgaria? As EU citizens since 1 January 2007, they should normally benefit from freedom of movement in the Union.

Romanian Government wants to issue Electronic ID cards

25 August, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Rumänische Regierung plant elektronische ID-Karten

The Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Administration (MAI) submitted for public consultation, in the middle of August 2010, a new draft Ordinance for issuing mandatory electronic ID cards for Romanians starting with 1 January 2011.

Even though the decision of having an electronic ID card was taken in 2002 by Ordinance 69/29.08.2002, the practical implementation has been postponed several times since then, due to financial difficulties.

ENDitorial: French biometric passport: case still pending after 2 years

14 July, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: Beschwerde gegen französische Biometrie-Pässe nach 2 Jah...

It took more than two years after the complaint against the French biometric passport was filed to have the conclusions of the "public rapporteur" publicly presented at the Conseil d'Etat (French highest administrative Court), on 30 June 2010.

An Irish law for a DNA Database

13 January, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Irisches Gesetz für eine DNA-Datenbank

The Irish Government has announced that it will publish legislation this week to set up a national DNA database. The Bill follows a 2005 Report of the Law Reform Commission on Establishment of a DNA Database but was delayed by the European Court of Human Rights action in S and Marper vs. the United Kingdom and has since been revised in light of that case.

The legislation proposes to allow Gardaí (Police) to forcibly take samples (such as hair, saliva, nail clippings or blood) from those suspected of committing a criminal offence carrying a possible sentence of five years imprisonment or more.

Italian DNA database: The devil is in the details

26 August, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Italienische DNA-Datenbank: der Teufel steckt im Detail

On 30 June 2009, the Italian Parliament finally passed Law No. 85 that ratifies the Prum Convention and forms the legal ground for the creation of an Italian National DNA Database (NDNAD).

Although this law might have benefited from UK and USA court experience in the field of DNA forensics, the current text indicates that neither British nor American case law have been taken into consideration. Furthermore, the law is flawed by a foggy understanding of the technicalities behind DNA profiling and sloppy wording that certainly will not facilitate the work of lawyers, prosecutors or judges.

Stockholm programme - the new EU dangerous surveillance system

17 June, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Das Stockholmprogramm – das neue gefährliche Überwachungssystem de...

Civil rights groups are worried about a new EU proposal that would enhance a "dangerously authoritarian" European surveillance and security system that will include ID card register, Internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.

On 15 June 2009, EU justice ministers discussed on the so called Stockholm programme trying to set up the first EU "domestic security strategy for the EU", by the end of this year.

Lucky win for the Swiss biometric passports

20 May, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Glücklicher Sieg für biometrische Pässe in der Schweiz

A referendum that took place in Switzerland on Sunday, 17 May 2009 was in favour of the biometric passports law by a very narrow margin. Thus the official results show that 50.14% of the voters approved the law, with just 5 504 votes separating the two sides.

With one of the closest results in recent Swiss history, the vote on the law was influenced by the low turnout (38%) and by the number of Swiss citizens who voted from abroad for such a project. 14 cantons (including Bern, Geneva or Basel City) voted against the biometric passports.

Reclaim your DNA from the UK database

6 May, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Fordern Sie Ihre DNA aus der britischen Datenbank ein!

Macedonian: Акција за повлекување на профили од бр...

A coallition of Human rights groups in UK has launched "Reclaim your DNA" website that helps innocent people contact the police to seek destruction of their DNA and database records. Five months after the European Court of Human Rights decision in the case Marper vs UK, no bill has been introduced in the Parliament to deal with this situation.

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