[Ticker] Putin real target of Panama leaks, Kremlin says

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 13:16
The "principal target" of the Panama leaks detailing how the super-rich hide their money is Russian president Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Other targets included "Russia, our country, our stability and the next elections", he said. The leaks show how Putin's associates hid up to $2 billion.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] 43 Syrian refugees resettled today to Germany and Finland

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 12:40
Forty-three Syrian refugees were resettled from Turkey Monday. Thirty-two arrived in Germany and 11 in Finland, the European Commission said. Another group will be resettled in the Netherlands on Tuesday. The scheme started as migrants began to be sent back from Greece to Turkey according to an EU-Turkey deal.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

Denver Police Officers Improperly Access Sensitive Crime Database Because Department Has No Interest In Stopping Them

van TechDirt - ma, 04/04/2016 - 12:25

Massive databases full of personal information are in the hands of law enforcement. There are many legitimate uses for these databases, but like anything containing sensitive information, the temptation to abuse access privileges is omnipresent. This is highly problematic when the violator is a law enforcement officer. Not only does this violate internal policies and local statutes, but it puts sensitive info in the hands of someone who has plenty of power but little apparent interest in wielding it properly.

Officers have run suspect background checks on police review board members, used sensitive databases to screen potential dates, and spy on their ex-wives. So, it's unsurprising that another law enforcement agency has been found to be housing abusers of sensitive databases. [Independent Monitor Nicholas] Mitchell said 25 Denver officers have been punished for inappropriate use of the databases since 2006. Most of them received reprimands rather than the harsher penalties some police agencies impose for the same offense. None of the 25 was charged with a crime. The abuse will continue at the Denver PD unless something changes. Officers are warned that improper access of the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database may result in criminal charges, but that's obviously not true. The report says that, in the last decade, no officer caught abusing access to the database has received anything more severe than a three-day suspension. It further notes that these officers may not have even received this minimal suspension if it weren't for previous misconduct on the records prior to the improper access violation.

This improper access was used to facilitate activities that could themselves be considered criminal. The Denver cases include an officer who looked up the phone number of a hospital employee with whom he chatted during a sex assault investigation and called at home against her wishes.

Another officer ran a man’s license plate seeking information for a friend, who then began driving by the man’s house and threatening him, according to the monitor’s report. Unsurprisingly, the monitor has suggested the Denver PD immediately institute harsher punishments for improper access. The Denver PD has responded by saying the punishments are harsh. And they are. It can fire officers and bring criminal charges against them for improper access. It just has never done so. I guess a theoretical deterrent is better than no deterrent at all?

And, while 25 officers may seem like a really low number of abusers, the monitor says his office has no idea how widespread this abuse is. The Denver PD never audits its officers' use of the database. It only responds to complaints of possible improper access. Its internal oversight is just as weak as its half-hearted wrist slaps in response to verified abuse.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

[Ticker] France and UK promise action on Panama leaks

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 12:20
"Investigations will be carried out, cases will be opened and trials will be held," Francois Hollande said in response to the Panama Papers, leaked documents detailing how the wealthy hide their money. UK tax official Jennie Grainger said she had asked for the data and would "act on it swiftly".

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] EU jurisdictions, banks at heart of Panama leaks

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 12:09
The UK, Luxembourg and Cyprus hosted thousands of highly-active offshore firms created by the Panama-based law firm in the Panama Papers leak. UK and Luxembourg-based banks also topped the list of companies which requested the Panama company's services for their clients, putting a spotlight on EU anti-tax avoidance policies.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] First refugees under EU-Turkey deal land in Germany

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 11:39
Sixteen UN-registered Syrian refugees landed in Hannover, Germany, on Monday, becoming the first group of people to be resettled from Turkey under a deal which is to see Turkey take back migrants from Greece. German media said the Syrians looked tired but happy. Sixteen more are expected at noon.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] EU commissioner: Panama Papers are 'excellent news'

van EU Observer - ma, 04/04/2016 - 10:28
The publication of the "Panama Papers" revealing the scope of tax cheating is "excellent news, because it gives us weapons to say: 'Enough is enough'," EU finance and tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Monday. "This is a decisive political fight for the European commission," he told French RTL radio.

Categorieën: Europees nieuws