Tag Archives: ‘Security’/Surveillance

UK Supreme Court rules in favour of mass surveillance of protestors

Last Wednesday a landmark protest case was lost when Metropolitan Police won its appeal against John Catt, a 90 year old anti-war campaigner from Brighton who has fought a long battle to have his details removed from the national ‘domestic extremist’ database’ (also referred to as the National Special Branch Intelligence System). The Met was appealing against a court of appeal judgement from 2013, which stated that the police had no right to retain Catt’s details on the database as this constitutes a breach of his rights to private life and that the records should be destroyed.

Bound to have wide reaching consequences, the new supreme court ruling gives the police the go ahead to continue surveillance of protestors more or less unchecked. As the Network for Police Monitoring put it in its statement about the outcome: ‘The significance of today’s ruling is that it changes the basis on which retention of data must be justified, from the individual to the general’. Or in other words, anyone who attends a public demonstration or protest can expect to be put on a database as long as the police considers it to be useful for wider, mainly undefined, data gathering purposes.

John Catt has indicated his intention to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

For detailed analysis and back ground to this case see Corporate Watch’s article Will the Supreme Court give police the ‘right’ to mass surveillance? and reports from the Network for Police Monitoring, including its statement regarding the recent verdict: Analysis of the UK Supreme Court ruling on surveillance of political activism

The full Supreme Court ruling can be read here: https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2013_0112_Judgment.pdf

Statement from the anti-militarist campaign Smash EDO, quoted in the ruling: Smash EDO response to supreme court ruling on surveillance

Israeli surveillance balloon over Palestinian farmland in ‘buffer zone’ near Beit Hanoun – 6/11/13

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An Israeli surveillance balloon was hovering above farmers working in Beit Hanoun in the ‘buffer area – 6/11/13.

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close-up of surveillance balloon – Beit Hanoun, 6/11/13

A Palestinian farmer sorts vegetables underneath the surveillance balloon - 6/11/13

A Palestinian farmer sorts vegetables underneath the surveillance balloon – 6/11/13

Israeli surveillance balloon over Palestinian homes in the 'buffer' zone - 6/11/2013

Israeli surveillance balloon over Palestinian homes in the ‘buffer’ zone – 6/11/2013

“Are you Palestinian? Are you a little bit Palestinian? They yelled at me”: Experiencing detention in Israel

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CCTV watches over an Israeli police station in the Israeli occupied West Bank

Palestinians have called for international action on April 17th 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focussing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Tom Woodhead is a Palestine solidarity and anti arms trade activist and recently volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. On March 1st 2013, he was arrested by Israeli border police whilst participating in the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum in the West Bank. Two Palestinians, Belal Jomaa and Nayif Jomaa were also arrested. Tom spent 11 days in detention in Israel before being deported to the UK. Corporate Watch caught up with him to find out about his experiences, and to get more information about companies operating in Israeli detention facilities. Continue reading

Co-Operative Asset Management confirms it has dropped G4S

The Co-operative Asset Management, owned by the Co-Ooperative Group, has confirmed that it has ditched its investment in G4S. The Co-Op owned shares in the British-Danish company through the NCH Pumpkin Fund. Andy Hammerton, Public Relations Manager at the Co-Op told Corporate Watch that these had been divested in Summer 2012. Continue reading

G4S providing security services in Gilo settlement

The multinational company G4S is providing security services in the settlement of Gilo.

On the 4th February 2013 Corporate Watch researchers photographed a G4S sign on a building on the road leading to the Gilo military checkpoint.

Gilo is an illegal Israeli settlement in the Bethlehem area with over 40,000 inhabitants.

A G4S sign on a road leading to the Gilo military checkpoint, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers 04/02/2013

A G4S sign on a road leading to the Gilo military checkpoint, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers 04/02/2013

A building bearing a G4S sign on a road leading to the Gilo military checkpoint, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers 04/02/2013

A building bearing a G4S sign on a road leading to the Gilo military checkpoint, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers 04/02/2013

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A view of Gilo settllement

Some of G4S’s other operations in illegal Israeli settlements, uncovered by Corporate Watch, can be found here. Continue reading

Securing the ethnic cleansing of Silwan: Settlements in Wadi Hilweh using Pelco security equipment

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The neighbourhood of Silwan

The Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan is experiencing harassment and home demolitions at the hands of the Israeli state and settler organisations. This ethnic cleansing is enforced by security companies and surveillance technology and facilitated by revenue from international donors and from tourism. Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles over the coming months exposing the companies and charities carrying out this ethnic cleansing and those organisations who are funding it and profiting from it.

The communities of Wadi Hilweh and Al Bustan in Silwan in East Jerusalem are watched over by hundreds of Closed Circuit Surveillance (CCTV) cameras installed by settlers and the settler/colonial organisation El Ad. Continue reading

G4S providing services to settlements in East Jerusalem

On 26th January 2013 Corporate Watch took photos of G4S signs in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Eshkol and Ramot Allon. On 31st January Corporate Watch observed Rapiscan machines at both entrances to the Western Wall compound in East Jerusalem (Rapiscan’s Israeli representative is Hashmira, which is owned by G4S – for more info see here). On 23rd January 2013 researchers photographed a G4S sign on equipment in use at at the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue in the Old City, East Jerusalem.

G4S signage on a fence in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Eshkol

G4S signage on a fence in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Eshkol

Continue reading

G4S expands business in Israel: Prisons, high street stores and migrant detention

The logo and uniform of British/Danish company G4s is becoming ubiquitous on the Israeli high street.

G4S is the largest security company in the world and the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange, operating in 125 countries worldwide.[1] It provides a variety of services in 1948 Israel and the Occupied Territories including providing security for businesses in illegal Israeli settlements, providing equipment and maintenance services to military checkpoints in the West Bank and the Erez checkpoint in Gaza, providing equipment and maintenance services to all Israeli prisons in the West Bank and Israel.[2]

In 2002 G4S purchased Hashmira, one of Israel’s largest security companies.[3]  In addition, in 2010 Hashmira purchased Aminut Moked Artzi, one of the oldest private security companies in Israel.[4] As a result the company is now omnipresent within Israel and has a substantial foothold in the occupied territories. Continue reading

G4S delivers services to Israeli prisons and illegal settlements

by Adri Nieuwhof and Basma Salem

On 11 March 2011, the Danish-British security firm G4S announced its exit from some contracts in the West Bank. The company will continue to deliver security services to illegal settlements in the West Bank and to prisons in Israel.

G4S came under scrutiny after Who Profits, part of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, and Danish financial watchdog DanWatch, revealed in November last year that the company supplied equipment and services to Israel for use at checkpoints, police stations and settlements in the occupied West Bank and at Israeli prisons.

See http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11678.shtml and http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11718.shtml

Following the disclosure of G4S involvement in the Israeli occupation, which was extensively reported in the Danish media, local politicians from socialist parties in Copenhagen, Gladsaxe, Roskilde, Odense and Aarhus have put the contracts of the municipalities with G4S on the agenda
of their city council. Continue reading

Bnei Yehuda industrial zone

BE Machinery in Bnei Yahuda industrial zone

The Bnei Yehuda industrial area is a business park connected to the Israeli Moshav settlement Bnei Yehuda in the occupied Golan. As is the case with all Israeli industrial zones, businesses operating in Bnei Yehuda enjoy preferential tax rates and other benefits and, in doing businesson occupied territory, ensure the profitability and sustainability of the settlement itself (see our previous report http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3477 ). Whilst most of the businesses trading from Bnei Yehuda, such as the skin care company Avanova (http://www.avanova.co.il ) and Kosher caterers Buffalo, seem to cater for the settlers and wider Israeli market, Corporate Watch found one company with wider international connections. BE Machinery, one part of the larger Beth El Industries, specialise in machinery and processing plants for the food industry or, in their own words “complete automation and integrated IT solutions for the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.” Their mother company Beth El is a multi faceted business which, like so many other Israeli enterprises, make most of their business from the production of various military and “safety” equipment, including bomb shelters, filtration systems and vehicle components. According to The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute’s web-site, where Beth El’s profile is located in the Aerospace and Homeland Security section, they are a supplier to many NATO forces throughout Europe, the Middle East and the far East. The UK is listed as both an importing and exporting partner of Beth El.

As is common amongst companies which trade in the settlements, BE Machinery are registered inside Israel, at the address if Beth El Industries: Food Processing Department, 1 Avshalom Road,
P.O. Box 166, Zikhron Yaaqov 30951, Israel
info@be-machinery.com http://www.be-machinery.com/

phone: 0097246601717 Fax: 0097246601919 Continue reading