New Report: “A Comparison between US and EU Data Protection Legislation for Law Enforcement”

Please see this report, “commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department
for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE
Committee [Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs],” here.

From the Executive Summary of the report:

Generally, it can be concluded that the EU data protection framework in the law enforcement sector is shaped by comprehensive data protection guarantees, which are codified in EU primary and secondary law and are accompanied by EU and ECtHR case law. In contrast, US data protection guarantees in the law enforcement and national security contexts are sector specific and are therefore contained within the specific instruments which empower US agencies to process personal data. They vary according to the instruments in place and are far less comprehensive.
Above all, constitutional protection is limited. US citizens may invoke protection through the Fourth Amendment and the Privacy Act, but the data protection rights granted in the law enforcement sector are limitedly interpreted with a general tendency to privilege law enforcement and national security interests. Moreover, restrictions to data protection in the law enforcement sector are typically not restricted by proportionality considerations, reinforcing the structural and regular preference of law enforcement and national security interests over the interests of individuals. Regarding the scope and applicability of rights, non-US persons are usually not protected by the existing, already narrowly interpreted, guarantees. The same is true with regards to other US law. When data protection guarantees do exist in federal law, they usually do not include protection for non-US persons.

Legal Affairs Committee of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly States that Mass Surveillance Practices “Endanger Fundamental Human Rights”

A new report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Council of Europe states that the mass surveillance practices disclosed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden “endanger fundamental human rights.”

The report is here.

Please see the accompanying press release here.

U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) “Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)”

The U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued its “Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702″ [50 U.S. Code § 1881a – Procedures for targeting certain persons outside the United States other than United States persons] of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on July 2, 2014.

The accompanying PCLOB press release is here.

For some explanation of and materials about FISA please see here and here and here.

CRS Report on Tax Issues Regarding Corporate Expatriation, Inversions and Mergers

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently published a new report:

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues (R43568 – May 27, 2014)
Donald J. Marples, Specialist in Public Finance
&
Jane G. Gravelle, Senior Specialist in Economic Policy

Here is the table of contents:

Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
U.S. International Tax System…………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Anatomy of an Inversion………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Substantial Business Presence ……………………………………………………………………………….. 2
U.S. Corporation Acquired by a Larger Foreign Corporation ………………………………………. 3
A Smaller Foreign Corporation Acquired by a U.S. Corporation ………………………………….. 3
Response to Initial Inversions: The American Jobs Creation Act ………………………………….. 4
Post-2004 Inversions and Treasury Regulations ………………………………………………………… 5
Policy Options ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
U.S. Corporate Tax Reform …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Lower the Corporate Tax Rate  ……………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Adopt a Territorial Tax System   ………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Tax Reform Proposals  …………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
Targeted Approaches ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Concluding Thoughts …………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Amnesty International (AI): “Torture is Flourishing”

Amnesty International (AI) earlier this month posted the sad report

Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises

For the accompanying AI press release, please see here.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change” (see the “Summary for Policymakers” here and the unedited, accepted final draft report here) — its 5th Assessment Report (AR5) — has been released (as of March 31, 2014).

The AR5 is intended to “provide a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.”

As prominently stated in the “Summary for Policymakers” (page 3):

Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. [footnote and figure omitted]

For some background information on the IPCC, a scientific intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) which was created per the request of member state governments, please see here.

Hat tip to DocuTicker.com.

Another Timely CRS Report — “Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress”

Another timely Congressional Research Service (CRS) report

  • Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
    Issues for Congress
    By Mary Beth D. Nikitin
    Specialist in Nonproliferation
    & Paul K. Kerr
    Analyst in Nonproliferation
    & Andrew Feickert
    Specialist in Military Ground Forces
    August 20, 2013 [R42848]

is here.

Hat tip to Docuticker.com.

Cross-posted at Law Librarian Blog.

Oxford University Press Launches New Online Law Products

Oxford University Press (OUP) has launched a number of new online products.

Please see:

Oxford University Press Announces a New Age in Law Publishing Online: Oxford University Press is launching three brand new products and re-launching 3 existing products on Oxford Law Online

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

Summary of Current Climate Change Findings and Figures from World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

As contentious as the issue of climate change is, it is useful and valuable to have the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) latest summary of current climate change findings and figures here.

Note: the WMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, endeavors to maintain its independence and to “embody the highest aspirations of the people of the world” — please see its Code of Ethics.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

UNRIC Backgrounders

The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe Backgrounders are a great resource for locating UN documents and sites covering international law topics and selected countries
These guides provide links to treaties, UN resolutions, UN press releases, UN reports and UN Web sites. Many thanks to the UNRIC Library staff for posting these useful guides online.

UNRIC Library Backgrounders
http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library-backgrounders

Backgrounders are available for the following countries:
Afghanistan
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Gaza
Iraq
Kosovo
Libya
Mali
Myanmar
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan/Darfur
Sri Lanka
Syria
Yemen

Backgrounders are available for the following topics:
Biodiversity
Climate Change
Desertification
Disability
Disarmament
Educational Resources
Food Waste
Forests
Genocide
Global Food Crisis
Human Rights
Human Rights Council
Middle East
Migration
Millennium Development Goals
Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations
Peacebuilding Commission
Peacekeeping
Poverty
Protection of civilians in armed conflict
Racism
Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Sustainable Development
Terrorism
Youth