• Des appareils de #surveillance de #Frontex sont utilisés par les #gardes-côtes_libyens pour intercepter illégalement des migrants

    « Le Monde » a identifié l’origine de sept images aériennes publiées par les gardes-côtes libyens sur leurs pages Facebook. Elles ont été réalisées par des appareils de surveillance de Frontex, et démontrent comment les activités de l’agence européenne facilitent des #interceptions illicites par les Libyens en Méditerranée. Frontex a toujours soutenu ne pas collaborer avec les garde-côtes libyens.

    « Le patrouilleur #Fezzan a porté secours à un chalutier en feu et a sauvé son équipage de huit personnes. » Le 24 août 2021, la page Facebook « Gardes-côtes et sécurité portuaire » publie le bilan d’une opération de sauvetage menée au cours de la journée par les gardes-côtes libyens. Pour l’illustrer, la page publie une photo du chalutier en feu.


    La présence d’informations temporelles et de localisations sur l’image indique qu’il s’agit d’une prise de vue réalisée par un appareil de #surveillance_aérienne, et non par un simple appareil photo. Ce genre d’images, entre 2018 et 2022, les gardes-côtes libyens en ont publié une douzaine, sur différents comptes et réseaux. Sauf que la #Libye n’est pas dotée d’appareils capables de réaliser ces images. Qui en est à l’origine ?

    Pour identifier leur source, Le Monde a recoupé les informations qu’elles contiennent avec des données #ADS-B, un signal émis par les #avions en vol, ainsi qu’avec les journaux de bord de plusieurs ONG actives en Méditerranée, dans les airs ou en mer. Dans le cas du 24 août 2021, par exemple, les informations présentes sur l’image indiquent les coordonnées, l’altitude et l’heure précise à laquelle l’appareil se trouvait lorsqu’il a réalisé cette image. Elles donnent aussi la position approximative du chalutier observé par l’appareil.

    Nous avons reconstitué le trafic aérien au-dessus de la Méditerranée dans la matinée du 24 août 2021. En comparant les parcours des différents appareils avec les données disponibles sur l’image, nous avons ainsi pu identifier un appareil qui se trouvait précisément aux coordonnées et à l’altitude à laquelle la photo a été prise, lorsqu’elle a été réalisée : le #drone AS2132, opéré par Frontex.

    Pour d’autres images, nous avons eu accès aux observations d’ONG, comme SeaWatch ou SOS Méditerranée, consignées dans des journaux de bord. Ceux-ci sont librement accessibles ici. Au total, ce travail nous permet d’affirmer que sur cinq dates différentes les images publiées par les gardes-côtes libyens ont été réalisées par des appareils de Frontex. Au moins une autre l’a été par un appareil de l’#EunavforMed, la force navale européenne en Méditerranée, qui collabore avec Frontex.

    Des interceptions impossibles sans renseignements extérieurs

    Sollicitée, l’agence de garde-frontière l’assure : « il n’y a pas de collaboration entre Frontex et les gardes-côtes libyens », ce qu’affirmait déjà en mars 2021 son ex-directeur Fabrice Leggeri. L’agence précise, en revanche : « Chaque fois qu’un avion de Frontex découvre une embarcation en détresse, une alerte – et une image, le cas échéant – est immédiatement envoyée au centre de coordination des sauvetages régional. L’information envoyée inclut notamment la position, la navigabilité du navire et la probabilité qu’il n’atteigne pas sa destination finale. »

    De fait, dans les cinq cas identifiés par Le Monde, les images de Frontex ont pourtant bien fini entre les mains des gardes-côtes libyens. Et certaines ont vraisemblablement rendu possible l’interception d’embarcations, autrement impossibles à localiser pour les Libyens. Dans le cas du 8 mai 2019, par exemple, l’avion de Frontex découvre une embarcation en route pour l’Europe en Méditerranée centrale. Un contact est établi entre les autorités libyennes et l’agence, mais il n’émet pas de Mayday. Ce message d’urgence aurait pu être capté par tous les avions et navires à proximité à ce moment-là, dont le Mare Jonio, de l’ONG Mediterranea Saving Humans, spécialisé dans le sauvetage. Frontex dit n’envoyer des Maydays que « lorsqu’il existe un danger imminent pour la vie des occupants ».

    Les gardes-côtes libyens retrouvent finalement sans difficulté l’embarcation, pourtant située à plus d’une centaine de kilomètres de leurs côtes. A 17 heures, ils font monter les migrants à bord de leur patrouilleur avant de les rapatrier en Libye. Une interception que les informations de Frontex ont vraisemblablement facilitée, voire rendue possible. Pendant toute la durée de l’opération, l’avion de Frontex continue de survoler la zone, et de filmer la scène. Des images auxquelles les gardes-côtes ont aussi eu accès.

    Frontex souligne que, conformément au règlement européen relatif à la surveillance des #frontières_maritimes_extérieures, ses alertes ne sont pas adressées aux gardes-côtes libyens, mais au « #centre_régional_de_coordination_des_sauvetages (#RCC) [libyen] (…) internationalement reconnu ». Une fois l’alerte envoyée, « Frontex ne coordonne pas les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage (...), c’est la responsabilité des centres de secours régionaux« . Reste à savoir si ce RCC existe réellement. Frontex s’en tient à la position de l’#Organisation_maritime_internationale (#OMI), qui a reconnu officiellement l’existence d’un RCC en 2018.

    Plusieurs enquêtes ont pourtant mis en doute l’existence d’un tel RCC libyen. Derrière les adresses e-mail et les numéros de téléphone du RCC se trouvent en réalité les gardes-côtes, selon les différentes ONG impliquées dans des opérations de sauvetage en mer Méditerranée. Et le 8 novembre 2022, le vice-président de la commission européenne, Josep Borrell, lui-même affirmait : « Le centre de coordination des secours maritime n’est pas encore opérationnel. »

    Parmi les règles européennes, que Frontex dit respecter, figure le principe du non-refoulement : « Nul ne peut être (…) débarqué, forcé à entrer, conduit dans un pays ou autrement remis aux autorités d’un pays où il existe (…) un risque sérieux qu’il soit soumis à la peine de mort, à la torture, à la persécution ou à d’autres peines ou traitements inhumains ou dégradants. » Des situations courantes en Libye, de sorte qu’en 2020 la Commission européenne affirmait que le pays n’était pas un « lieu sûr » vers lequel il serait possible de renvoyer des migrants. Dans un rapport de 2018, l’ONU constatait que « les migrants subissent des horreurs inimaginables en Libye (…). Ils s’exposent à des meurtres extrajudiciaires, à la torture et à des mauvais traitements, à la détention arbitraire (…), au viol (…), à l’esclavage et au travail forcé, à l’extorsion et à l’exploitation ».

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/11/23/enquete-comment-des-appareils-de-surveillance-de-frontex-sont-utilises-par-l

    #garde-côtes_libyens #frontières #asile #migrations #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée

  • #Route_des_Balkans : avec #Frontex, l’UE met les grands moyens pour enrayer les migrations

    La route des Balkans des réfugiés s’impose comme une priorité pour l’UE, qui accorde une enveloppe supplémentaire de 39,2 millions d’euros. Frontex va se déployer en #Albanie, en #Bosnie-Herzégovine, au #Monténégro et en #Serbie. La mission européenne vient aussi de signer un accord avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord.

    La #Commission_européenne a donné son #accord à une présence renforcée de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, dans quatre pays des Balkans occidentaux. Cette autorisation porte sur les frontières entre l’UE, l’Albanie, la Serbie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Bruxelles a aussi adopté un nouveau plan d’aides à hauteur de 39,2 millions d’euros, dans le cadre de l’#Instrument_d’aide_de_préadhésion (#IAP) pour le renforcement de la gestion des frontières dans ces pays candidats à l’intégration.

    Selon les accords actuellement en vigueur entre Frontex et l’Albanie, la Serbie et le Monténégro, des effectifs permanents de l’Agence européenne ne peuvent être déployées que sur les frontières de ces pays avec l’UE, sans exercer de compétences exécutives. Désormais, des #effectifs_permanents de Frontex pourront également être déployés sur les frontières de ces pays avec des États tiers. Cela veut dire, par exemple que des agents Frontex pourront patrouiller sur la frontière entre l’Albanie et le Monténégro ou entre la Serbie et la Bosnie-Herzégovine.

    Le plan d’aides financières annoncé servira surtout à financer du #matériel spécialisé (systèmes de #surveillance mobiles, #drones ou appareils biométriques). Ce plan financera aussi de la #formation et une aide à la mise en place et au fonctionnement de #centres_de_coordination_nationaux, dont des #centres_d’accueil et de #rétention des migrants. Ces 39,2 millions d’euros viennent renforcer les dispositifs sécuritaires pour un meilleur contrôle des frontières, dotés jusque là de 171,7 millions d’euros.

    “Nous nous concentrons sur le renforcement de la protection des frontières, la lutte contre les réseaux de trafiquants et l’intensification des #retours depuis la région.”

    La Commissaire aux Affaires intérieures #Ylva_Johansson a souligné que l’UE était très impliquée dans le soutien aux Balkans occidentaux au renforcement de la #coopération pour la gestion des migrations sur le terrain. « Voilà pourquoi nous proposons de négocier des accords de statut conformes au nouveau cadre juridique, qui permettront le déploiement de Frontex dans nos quatre pays partenaires avec la pleine force de son mandat, afin d’assurer que leurs frontières soient respectées et protégées conformément aux meilleures pratiques et normes européennes. »

    De son côté, le Commissaire européen à l’Élargissement #Oliver_Varhelyi estime que ce paquet arrive à point nommé, car les migrations restent, selon lui, un domaine dans lequel la collaboration avec les partenaires des Balkans occidentaux doit être renforcée. « Étant donné la pression migratoire accrue dans la région, nous nous concentrons sur le renforcement de la #protection_des_frontières, la lutte contre les réseaux de trafiquants et l’intensification des retours depuis la région. C’est dans ce but que nous renforçons notre soutien politique et financier. »

    Oliver Varhelyi a annoncé que la Commission avait l’intention d’augmenter ses financements en la matière d’ici 2024 pour les pays candidats des Balkans occidentaux, soit une enveloppe totale d’au moins 350 millions d’euros. Cette somme doit permettre à ces pays candidats de développer un système efficace de gestion des migrations dans tous les domaines, y compris l’asile, l’accueil, la sécurité aux frontières et les procédures de retour.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Route-des-Balkans-avec-Frontex-l-Union-europeenne-veut-mettre-les
    #Balkans #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #aide_financière #biométrie #militarisation_des_frontières #renvois #expulsions

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    • Tracking the Pact: EU seeks to seal off Balkan Route with expanded Frontex deployments

      The European Commission wants to launch negotiations with Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Albania so that EU border agency Frontex can extend its zone of operations. Currently, Frontex operations in those states can only take place at the borders they share with EU member states, in accordance with the 2016 Frontex Regulation. Upgrading the EU’s agreements with the Balkan states to take into account the powers granted to Frontex by the 2019 Regulation will make it possible to deploy EU border guards at non-EU borders - for example, between Bosnia and Serbia, or between Serbia and Montenegro. An agreement with North Macedonia has already been signed. The aim is to halt the irregular movement of people through the Balkans towards “core” EU member states.

      In order to launch negotiations the Commission needs the approval of the Council of the EU, and has thus sent to the Council four recommendations that, once they are signed off, will allow it to enter into negotiations with each of the four states:

      - Albania (COM(2022) 690 final, in Council doc. 14060/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Bosnia and Herzegovina (COM(2022) 691 final, in Council doc. 14061/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Montenegro (COM(2022) 692 final, in Council doc. 14062/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Serbia (COM(2022) 693 final, in Council doc. 14063/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)

      An upgraded agreement with North Macedonia based on the 2019 Frontex Regulation has already been approved.

      Each of the documents contains an explanatory memorandum before coming to the draft text of the proposed Council Recommendations.

      For example, the proposal on Albania notes:

      “Albania lies on the Western Balkans migration route, which sees significant irregular migration towards the core of the European Union, both via land and across the Adriatic Sea...

      Given that Albania is a neighbouring third country that remains an important country of transit for irregular migration to the European Union, the value of cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the relevant authorities of Albania remains high. Albania has been a model for the successful deployment of Frontex joint operations to third countries, and it therefore represents an ideal candidate for the expansion of such cooperation.”

      Amongst other things, the memoranda note bilateral agreements signed by each of the states - for example, Bosnia has signed “readmission agreements with all the Western Balkan countries, Türkiye, Russia, Moldova and Pakistan whose practical implementation started in August 2022.” The intention is that Balkan states will not just prevent people from arriving in “core” EU territory - they will also deport them.

      There is no mention in any of the documents of the controversy the agency is mired in for its failure to uphold fundamental rights standards within the EU, in particular at the Greek-Turkish border, as confirmed by the recently-published report of the European Anti-Fraud Office.

      An annex to each of the above documents contains the negotiating directives for the Commission to follow, subject to possible amendment and then approval by the Council.

      - Albania (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Bosnia and Herzegovina (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Montenegro (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Serbia (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)

      Although marked ’SENSITIVE’ (as are the proposals for recommendations), the annexes merely state that the agreement with each country should meet the standards set out in the model status agreement adopted by the European Commission in December last year.

      The final terms of the agreements are of course subject to negotiations with each state, with the texts then sent to the Council and Parliament for approval (or not).

      This is likely to lead to certain discrepancies. For example, the current status agreements with Balkan states contain differences on the privileges and immunities of officials deployed on Frontex operations:

      “While the agreements with Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia include the provision that the executive director’s decision [on whether to waive criminal immunity or not] will be binding upon the authorities of the host state, no such article is found in the agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.”

      Negotiations on status agreements that would allow Frontex operations in Senegal and Mauritania are also ongoing. When approved, Frontex operations in those two countries will be the first ones outside the European continent.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2022/october/tracking-the-pact-eu-seeks-to-seal-off-balkan-route-with-expanded-fronte

  • EU mulls more police powers for west Africa missions

    The EU wants to further prop up anti-terror efforts at its overseas civilian missions in places like #Niger.

    Although such missions already seek to counter terrorism, the latest proposal (framed as a “mini-concept” by the EU’s foreign policy branch, the #European_External_Action_Service, #EEAS), entails giving them so-called “semi-executive functions.”

    Such functions includes direct support to the authorities by helping them carry out investigations, as well as aiding dedicated units to prosecute and detain suspected terrorist offenders.

    The concept paper, drafted over the summer, points towards a European Union that is willing to work hand-in-glove with corrupt and rights-abusing governments when it comes to issues dealing security and migration.

    This includes getting EU missions to seal cooperation deals between EU member state intelligence and security services with the host governments.

    And although the paper highlights the importances of human rights and gender equality, the terms are couched in policy language that clearly aims to boost policing in the countries.

    From helping them develop systems to collect biometric data to preserving and sharing “evidence derived from the battlefield”, the 14-page paper specifically cites the EU missions in Niger, Mali, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Kosovo as prime examples.

    In Niger, the EU recently handed its mission a €72m budget and extended its mandate until September 2024.

    That budget includes training staff to drive armoured vehicles and piloting drones.

    Another EU internal document on Niger, also from over the summer, describes its mission there as “the main actor in the coordination of international support to Niger in the field of security.”

    It says Niger’s capacity to fight terrorism, organised crime and irregular migration has improved as a direct result of the mission’s intervention.

    The country was given €380m in EU funding spread over 2014 to 2020.

    In Mali, the EU mission there already supports the country’s dedicated units to intervene and investigate terror-related cases.

    But it had also temporarily suspended in April the operational training of formed units of the Malian armed forces and National Guard.
    Clash with Wagner in Mali

    The suspension followed reports that EU security trained forces in Mali were being co-opted by the Kremlin-linked Russian mercenary group Wagner, which was also operating in the Central African Republic.

    Mali has since withdrawn from the G5 Sahel, an anti-jihad grouping of countries in the region currently composed of Niger, Burkina, Mauritania, and Chad.

    And an internal EU paper from May posed the question of whether Malian authorities even want to cooperate with the EU mission.

    The EU’s mission there was also recently extended until 2024 with a €133.7m purse.

    The EU’s mini-concept paper on fighting terrorism, follows another idea on using specialised teams at the missions to also tackle migration.

    Part of those plans also aims to give the missions “semi-executive functions”, enabling them to provide direct support to police and carry out joint investigations on migration related issues.

    https://euobserver.com/world/156143

    #sécurité #migrations #asile #réfugiés #EU #UE #Union_européenne #externalisation #anti-terrorisme (toujours la même rhétorique) #Mali #mini-concept #semi-executive_functions #services_secrets #coopération #biométrie #données #collecte_de_données #Somalie #Libye #Kosovo #Irak #drones #complexe_militaro-industriel #G5_Sahel #budget #coût #police #collaboration

    ping @rhoumour @isskein @_kg_

  • Le Pentagone patrouille le Golfe grâce à ses nouveaux drones marins

    https://s.brsimg.com/static-000/cache/i/content/images/7/4/a/74a1b5fa8d807605447b7f1969b8664e-760x486.jpg

    https://www.boursorama.com/actualite-economique/actualites/le-pentagone-patrouille-le-golfe-grace-a-ses-nouveaux-drones-marins-561c

    La récente saisie par l’Iran d’un drone marin de l’US Navy dans le Golfe, ensuite relâché, expose au grand jour un nouveau programme du Pentagone visant à renforcer ses capacités de surveillance par drones sous-marins, aériens et à présent à la surface de la mer.

    Ce programme, qui date d’il y a un an seulement, déploie déjà plusieurs types de drones marins de surface ou USV dans les eaux autour de la péninsule arabique et dans le Golfe collectant de multiples données et images qui sont ensuite envoyées pour examen dans des centres situés dans la région.

    Le programme n’avait pas connu d’avaries jusqu’à ce que la marine iranienne tente de s’emparer de trois drones marins de type Saildrone Explorer, long de sept mètres, lors de deux incidents dans la nuit du 29 au 30 août et le 1er septembre.

    Au cours du premier incident dans le Golfe, un navire du corps des Gardiens de la Révolution iraniens a été aperçu remorquant le drone, pour ensuite le relâcher après qu’un patrouilleur américain et un hélicoptère ont été déployés sur place.

    Lors du second, un destroyer iranien s’est saisi de deux Saildrones dans la mer Rouge, les remorquant à bord.

    Il a fallu la présence de deux navires de guerre américains et d’hélicoptères pour persuader les Iraniens de les rendre le lendemain non sans les avoir d’abord dépouillés de leurs caméras, selon l’armée américaine.

    Les Iraniens soutiennent que ces USV naviguaient sur des routes maritimes internationales et qu’il s’agissait de « prévenir de possibles accidents », une version rejetée par la Marine américaine.

    Les actions de l’Iran étaient « injustifiées, et incohérentes avec le comportement d’une force maritime professionnelle », a déclaré dans un communiqué le vice-amiral américain Brad Cooper, commandant des forces navales américaines au Commandement central.
    – Un an en mer -

    Ces drones marins équipés de capteurs, de radars et de caméras, sont opérés par la Task Force 59 de la 5e Flotte basée à Bahrain, créée l’année dernière pour développer les capacités de surveillance dans cette zone grâce aux drones et à l’intelligence artificielle.

    Les drones aériens ou sous-marins sont monnaie courante mais ces engins flottants sont plus récents et jugés essentiels, explique à l’AFP le porte-parole de la 5e Flotte, Tim Hawkins.

    Le Saildrone Explorer est doté d’une aile rigide en forme de voile et comporte des panneaux solaires. Il peut être envoyé en mission pour une durée allant jusqu’à un an, en étant opéré à distance et récolte un vaste éventail de données océaniques, météorologiques, et de navigation, ainsi que des renseignements stratégiques.

    L’entreprise Saildrone, basée à San Francisco, opère une centaine de ces engins à travers le monde au bénéfice à la fois du Pentagone mais aussi d’instituts de recherche.

    « Après avoir vogué autour de l’Antarctique en 2019 et traversé l’oeil d’un ouragan de catégorie 4 l’année dernière, il n’existe vraiment aucun environnement maritime où il ne peut opérer », se félicite une porte-parole de la compagnie, Susan Ryan.
    – Surveiller l’Iran -

    La Marine américaine ne dit pas clairement à quoi servent ces drones de surveillance dans la région du Golfe, se contentant d’assurer qu’ils permettent « une vigilance accrue dans ces eaux (...) et de renforcer notre posture de dissuasion dans la région », selon M. Hawkins.

    Mais les activités de l’Iran, qui patrouille aussi dans la zone, sont vraisemblablement une cible de choix.

    Téhéran a ces dernières années déjà accosté, saisi des navires étrangers et harcelé l’US Navy lors de multiples confrontations tendues.

    Washington surveille notamment la livraison d’armes par l’Iran à ses alliés Houthis au Yémen.

    #Mer_rouge#US#Pentagone#Yemen#Corne_de_l'Afrique#houtis#Bal_el_mandeb#drones

  • Financement régional de drones policiers : l’Île-de-France dans l’embarras
    https://www.laquadrature.net/2022/09/05/financement-regional-de-drones-policiers-lile-de-france-dans-lembarras

    En début d’année, La Quadrature du Net s’associait aux élu·es de la région Île-de-France mobilisé·es contre le subventionnement illégal de drones municipaux par la région. Mise sous pression, la majorité régionale, embarrassée, commence à admettre…

    #général #Surveillance

  • Nouvelles tensions après des incursions de drones chinois au-dessus des îles taïwanaises

    Taipei et Pékin ont eu de vifs échanges à propos d’une récente série d’incursions de drones chinois au-dessus des îles taïwanaises de Kinmen, certains surveillant des postes militaires avancés. Taïwan dénonce des « voleurs » et un « harcèlement », tandis que la Chine assume ces survols.

    https://www.rfi.fr/fr/asie-pacifique/20220830-nouvelles-tensions-apr%C3%A8s-des-incursions-de-drones-chinois-au-dessu

    #Chine#chine#Taiwan#Kinmen#Quemoy#formose#Mer_de_Chine#Drones#Drone#geographie

  • Analizzare la deforestazione tramite l’utilizzo di droni

    La foresta Mau, situata nella parte occidentale del Kenya, ha subito processi di deforestazione già in epoca coloniale, inizialmente per soddisfare la richiesta di legname da usare come combustibile per lo sviluppo della ferrovia dell’Uganda. Ma è soprattutto durante la fase di transizione verso la democrazia, tra gli anni Ottanta e primi anni Duemila, che si assiste a una maggiore perdita di superficie forestale, in quanto in questo momento sono state illecitamente attribuite terre tramite programmi di insediamento rurale come mezzo per ottenere consenso politico.

    Missione in Kenya

    In agosto 2019, con la supervisione del professor Valerio Bini e il supporto dell’associazione italiana Mani Tese e dell’organizzazione svizzera #Drone_Adventures, mi sono recato in Kenya per mappare una parte della foresta #Ndoinet tramite l’ausilio di droni ad ali fisse, con l’intento di quantificare e localizzare la presenza di pascoli di bovini e ovini e analizzare la tipologia di foresta.

    Durante la missione, con 22 voli, è stata coperta una superficie forestale di 6’000 ettari. In seguito Drone Adventures ha realizzato una ortofoto di tutta l’area mappata, utile per avere un’idea generale ma non per raggiungere gli obiettivi preposti.

    Analisi delle immagini

    Si è quindi deciso di suddividere le fotografie dei singoli voli, circa 300-400 immagini per cartella, tra più studenti. Nella mia ricerca ho quindi incluso un capitolo dedicato specificatamente allo scopo di fornire linee guida ad altri studenti su come gestire ed elaborare le fotografie in modo uniforme e ottimale. Nell’ultimo capitolo ho invece analizzato le fotografie di uno specifico volo, confermando ad esempio che l’area analizzata è composta perlopiù da foresta di transizione e spazio aperto contro una minima parte di foresta densa.

    Il dato più rilevante emerso da questa analisi è rappresentato dalla distribuzione degli animali che si trovano tuttora nelle zone di insediamento abbandonate nei decenni scorsi. Ciò può influenzare in modo diretto la ricrescita o meno della foresta in quelle zone.

    Attraverso le fotografie ho potuto riscontrare la presenza indiretta dell’uomo, grazie all’osservazione di alberi caduti, ciò che fa pensare, vista la vicinanza a strade o insediamenti abbandonati, all’abbattimento volontario antropico e non a cause naturali.

    Lo stesso si può dire anche per le possibili tracce di incendio che sono raggruppate in una specifica area “corridoio” tra le due strade. In un caso si è anche potuto osservare la presenza di fuoco vivo.

    Conclusioni

    L’utilizzo dei droni in questo contesto si è dimostrato molto utile in quanto permette, in un tempo ristretto, di avere una panoramica su un determinato settore di foresta. Questo facilita l’ottenimento di informazioni vitali per proteggere la foresta, come l’individuazione di fuoco vivo, che può indicare un principio di incendio o produzione illegale di carbone, senza la necessità di ricorrere all’uso di elicotteri, molto più costosi e inquinanti.

    L’analisi della deforestazione tramite droni si è rivelata efficace e conferma che questi nuovi strumenti possono essere utilizzati anche per foreste in altre aree, così come per analizzare altre situazioni in cui è difficile accedere in altri modi.

    https://www.geograficamente.ch/analizzare-la-deforestazione-tramite-lutilizzo-di-droni

    #drones #déforestation #cartographie #forêt #Mau #Kenya

  • EU’s Drone Is Another Threat to Migrants and Refugees

    Frontex Aerial Surveillance Facilitates Return to Abuse in Libya

    “We didn’t know it was the Libyans until the boat got close enough and we could see the flag. At that point we started to scream and cry. One man tried to jump into the sea and we had to stop him. We fought off as much as we could to not be taken back, but we couldn’t do anything about it,” Dawit told us. It was July 30, 2021, and Dawit, from Eritrea, his wife, and young daughter were trying to seek refuge in Europe.

    Instead, they were among the more than 32,450 people intercepted by Libyan forces last year and hauled back to arbitrary detention and abuse in Libya.

    Despite overwhelming evidence of torture and exploitation of migrants and refugees in Libya – crimes against humanity, according to the United Nations – over the last few years the European Union has propped up Libyan forces’ efforts to intercept the boats. It has withdrawn its own vessels and installed a network of aerial assets run by private companies. Since May 2021, the EU border agency Frontex has deployed a drone out of Malta, and its flight patterns show the crucial role it plays in detecting boats close to Libyan coasts. Frontex gives the information from the drone to coastal authorities, including Libya.

    Frontex claims the surveillance is to aid rescue, but the information facilitates interceptions and returns to Libya. The day Dawit and his family were caught at sea, Libyan forces intercepted at least two other boats and took at least 228 people back to Libya. One of those boats was intercepted in international waters, inside the Maltese search-and-rescue area. The drone’s flight path suggests it was monitoring the boat’s trajectory, but Frontex never informed the nearby nongovernmental Sea-Watch rescue vessel.

    Human Rights Watch and Border Forensics, a nonprofit that uses innovative visual and spatial analysis to investigate border violence, are examining how the shift from sea to air surveillance contributes to the cycle of extreme abuse in Libya. Frontex’s lack of transparency – they have rejected ours and Sea-Watch’s requests for information about their activities on July 30, 2021 – leaves many questions about their role unanswered.

    Dawit and others panicked when they saw the Libyan boat because they knew what awaited upon return. He and his family ended up in prison for almost two months, released only after paying US$1,800. They are still in Libya, hoping for a chance to reach safety in a country that respects their rights and dignity.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/08/01/eus-drone-another-threat-migrants-and-refugees
    #Frontex #surveillance_aérienne #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #drones #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #push-backs #pull-backs #refoulements #Libye #interception

    • Libia: il drone anti-migranti di Frontex

      Frontex, la controversa agenzia di sorveglianza delle frontiere esterne dell’Unione europea, pur avendo smesso la vigilanza marittima delle coste, attraverso l’utilizzo di un drone, sta aiutando la guardia costiera libica a intercettare i barconi dei migranti e rifugiati che tentano di raggiungere le coste italiane. I migranti, perlopiù provenienti dall’Africa subsahariana, sono così ricondotti in Libia dove sono sfruttati e sottoposti a gravi abusi.

      Lo denuncia l’organizzazione internazionale Human Rights Watch. È dal maggio del 2021 che Frontex ha dislocato un drone a Malta: secondo l’ong i piani di volo dimostrerebbero che il velivolo ha un ruolo cruciale nell’individuazione dei battelli in prossimità delle coste libiche; Frontex trasmette infatti i dati raccolti dal drone alle autorità libiche.

      L’agenzia europea sostiene che l’utilizzo del drone ha lo scopo di aiutare il salvataggio dei barconi in difficoltà, ma Human Rights Watch ribatte che questa attività manca di «trasparenza». Il rapporto vuole sottolineare che all’Europa non può bastare che i migranti non arrivino sulle sue coste. E non può nemmeno fingere di non sapere qual è la situazione in Libia.

      L’instabilità politica che caratterizza la Libia dalla caduta di Gheddafi nel 2011 ha fatto del paese nordafricano una via privilegiata per decine di migliaia di migranti che cercano di raggiungere l’Europa attraverso le coste italiane che distano circa 300 km da quelle libiche. Non pochi di questi migranti sono bloccati in Libia, vivono in condizioni deprecabili e in balia di trafficanti di esseri umani.

      https://www.nigrizia.it/notizia/libia-il-drone-anti-migranti-di-frontex

  • À #Calais, une #surveillance du ciel au tunnel

    #Drones, #reconnaissance_faciale, #capteurs_de_CO2 et de battements cardiaques : face à l’afflux de réfugiés, la frontière franco-britannique est surveillée à grands coups d’#intelligence_artificielle. Premier volet de notre série sur la #cybersurveillance des frontières.

    Pablo lève les yeux au ciel et réfléchit. Brusquement, il fixe son ordinateur. Le chargé de communication et plaidoyer chez Human Rights Observers (HRO) fouille dans ses dossiers, ouvre un document d’une quinzaine de pages. « Tu vois, ce jour-là, ils ont utilisé un drone », indique-t-il en pointant l’écran du doigt. Le 9 juin, l’association pour laquelle il travaille assiste à une expulsion de réfugié·es à #Grande-Synthe. Dans son compte-rendu, elle mentionne la présence d’un drone. Des vols d’aéronefs, hélicoptères ou avions, devenus routiniers.

    En cette matinée de fin juin, Pablo a donné rendez-vous sur son lieu de travail, « l’entrepôt », comme il l’appelle. Ce vaste bâtiment désaffecté d’une zone industrielle à l’est de Calais héberge plusieurs associations locales. Les bureaux de HRO sont spartiates : un simple préfabriqué blanc planté dans la cour.

    C’est ici que ses membres se réunissent pour documenter les #violences d’État perpétrées contre les personnes en situation d’exil à la frontière franco-britannique, plus spécifiquement à Calais et à Grande-Synthe. Depuis plus de 20 ans, la ville est érigée en symbole de la crise migratoire. L’évacuation et la destruction de la jungle en octobre 2016 n’ont rien changé. Désormais réparties dans de multiples camps précaires, des centaines de migrants et migrantes tentent le passage vers l’Angleterre au péril de leur vie. Selon le ministère de l’intérieur, ils et elles étaient 52 000 en 2021, un record, contre « seulement » 10 000 en 2020.

    Sous l’impulsion des pouvoirs publics, Calais se barricade. Plus que les maisons de briques rouges, ce sont les #clôtures géantes, les rangées de #barbelés et les #marécages_artificiels qui attirent la vue. Tout semble construit pour décourager les exilé·es de rejoindre la Grande-Bretagne. « Avant, il n’y avait pas tout ça. C’est devenu assez oppressant », regrette Alexandra. Arrivée il y a sept ans dans le Pas-de-Calais, elle travaille pour l’Auberge des migrants, association qui coordonne le projet HRO.

    Quatre #caméras empilées sur un pylône à l’entrée du port rappellent que cette frontière n’est pas que physique. #Vidéosurveillance, #drones, #avions, #détecteurs_de_CO2… Le littoral nord incarne le parfait exemple de la « #smart_border ». Une frontière invisible, connectée. Un eldorado pour certaines entreprises du secteur de l’intelligence artificielle, mais un cauchemar pour les exilé·es désormais à la merci des #algorithmes.

    Si des dizaines de #caméras lorgnent déjà sur le port et le centre-ville, la tendance n’est pas près de s’inverser. La maire LR, #Natacha_Bouchart, qui n’a pas donné suite à notre demande d’interview, prévoit d’investir 558 000 euros supplémentaires en #vidéosurveillance en 2022.

    « C’est la nouvelle étape d’une politique en place depuis plusieurs décennies », analyse Pierre Bonnevalle, politologue, auteur d’un long rapport sur le sujet. À Calais, la #bunkérisation remonte, selon le chercheur, au milieu des années 1990. « À cette époque commencent les premières occupations des espaces portuaires par des personnes venues des pays de l’Est qui souhaitaient rejoindre la Grande-Bretagne. Cela entraîne les premières expulsions, puis un arrêté pris par la préfecture pour interdire l’accès au port. »

    Les années suivantes, c’est à #Sangatte que se dessinent les pratiques policières d’aujourd’hui. Dans cette commune limitrophe de Calais, un hangar préfigure ce que sera la « #jungle » et héberge jusqu’à 2 000 exilé·es. « La police cible alors tous ceux qui errent dans la ville, tentent d’ouvrir des squats, de dormir dans un espace boisé. » Une manière de « contenir le problème », de « gagner du temps ».

    En parallèle, la ville s’équipe en vidéosurveillance et en barbelés. En 2016, l’expulsion de la jungle fait émerger la politique gouvernementale actuelle : l’#expulsion par les forces de l’ordre, toutes les 24 ou 48 heures, des camps où vivent les personnes exilées.

    #Surveillance_aérienne

    Calme et grisâtre en ce jour de visite, le ciel calaisien n’est pas épargné. Depuis septembre 2020, l’armée britannique fait voler un drone #Watchkeeper, produit par l’industriel français #Thales, pour surveiller la mer. « Nous restons pleinement déterminés à soutenir le ministère de l’intérieur britannique alors qu’il s’attaque au nombre croissant de petits bateaux traversant la Manche », se félicite l’armée britannique dans un communiqué.

    Selon des données de vol consultées par Mediapart, un drone de l’#Agence_européenne_pour_la_sécurité_maritime (#AESM) survole également régulièrement les eaux, officiellement pour analyser les niveaux de pollution des navires qui transitent dans le détroit du Pas-de-Calais. Est-il parfois chargé de missions de surveillance ? L’AESM n’a pas répondu à nos questions.

    Au sein du milieu associatif calaisien, la présence de ces volatiles numériques n’étonne personne. « On en voit souvent, comme des hélicoptères équipés de caméras thermiques », confie Marguerite, salariée de l’Auberge des migrants. Chargée de mission au Secours catholique, Juliette Delaplace constate que cette présence complexifie leur travail. « On ne sait pas si ce sont des drones militaires, ou des forces de l’ordre, mais lorsque l’on intervient et que les exilés voient qu’un drone nous survole, c’est très compliqué de gagner leur confiance. »

    En décembre 2021, à la suite d’une demande expresse du ministre de l’intérieur, Gérald Darmanin, l’agence européenne #Frontex a dépêché un #avion pour surveiller la côte pendant plusieurs semaines. « Une mission toujours en cours pour patrouiller aux frontières française et belge », précise Frontex.

    « On sent une évolution des #contrôles depuis l’intervention de cet avion, qui a œuvré principalement la nuit, confie le maire d’une ville du Nord. Beaucoup de gens tentaient de monter dans des camions, mais cela a diminué depuis que les contrôles se sont durcis. »

    Il faut dire que la société #Eurotunnel, qui gère le tunnel sous la Manche, ne lésine pas sur les moyens. En 2019, elle a dépensé 15 millions d’euros pour installer des sas « #Parafe » utilisant la reconnaissance faciale du même nom, mise au point par Thales. Lors du passage de la frontière, certains camions sont examinés par des capteurs de CO2 ou de fréquence cardiaque, ainsi que par de l’#imagerie par #ondes_millimétriques, afin de détecter les personnes qui pourraient s’être cachées dans le chargement.

    « C’est un dispositif qui existe depuis 2004, lorsque Nicolas Sarkozy a fait évacuer le camp de Sangatte, informe un porte-parole d’Eurotunnel. Depuis 2015, il y a tellement de demandes de la part des routiers pour passer par ce terminal, car ils peuvent recevoir des amendes si un migrant est trouvé dans leur camion, que nous avons agrandi sa capacité d’accueil et qu’il fait partie intégrante du trajet. »

    Des outils de plus en plus perfectionnés qui coïncident avec l’évolution des modes de passage des personnes exilées, analyse le politologue Pierre Bonnevalle. « Pendant longtemps, il s’agissait de surveiller les poids lourds. Le #port et le #tunnel sont aujourd’hui tellement bunkérisés que les exilés traversent en bateau. »

    Les technologies employées suivent : en novembre 2021, le ministère de l’intérieur annonçait la mise à disposition de 4 x 4, de lunettes de vision nocturne ou de #caméras_thermiques pour équiper les gendarmes et policiers chargés de lutter contre l’immigration clandestine sur les côtes de la Manche.

    « Ces technologies ne servent à rien, à part militariser l’espace public. J’ai encore rencontré des associatifs la semaine dernière qui me disaient que cela n’a aucun impact sur le nombre de passages et les risques pris par ces gens », tempête l’eurodéputé et ancien maire de Grande-Synthe Damien Carême.

    Elles ont malgré tout un #coût : 1,28 milliard d’euros depuis 1998, selon Pierre Bonnevalle, dont 425 millions pour la seule période 2017-2021. « C’est une estimation a minima, pointe-t-il. Cela ne prend pas en compte, par exemple, le coût des forces de l’ordre. »

    Publié en novembre 2021, un rapport de la commission d’enquête parlementaire sur les migrations détaille les dépenses pour la seule année 2020 : l’État a investi 24,5 millions dans des dispositifs humanitaires d’hébergement, contre 86,4 pour la mobilisation des forces de l’ordre. Des sommes qui désespèrent Pablo, le militant de Human Rights Observers. « Cela aurait permit de bâtir de nombreux centres d’accueil pour que les exilés vivent dans des conditions dignes. » L’État semble avoir d’autres priorités.

    #technologie #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #migrations #réfugiés #surveillance_des_frontières #militarisation_des_frontières #IA #AI #complexe_militaro-industriel #Manche #La_Manche #France #UK #Angleterre
    –-

    via @olaf #merci :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/968794

  • Slovenia e flussi migratori: via il filo spinato, arrivano i droni
    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Slovenia/Slovenia-e-flussi-migratori-via-il-filo-spinato-arrivano-i-droni-219

    Il nuovo governo sloveno ha promesso, entro fine hanno, la rimozione delle famigerate barriere di filo spinato anti-migranti al confine con la Croazia. Non sarà un “liberi tutti”, ma solo la sostituzione di un rozzo meccanismo di controllo con altri più sofisticati

    • La Slovénie, la frontière et les réfugiés : des drones à la place des barbelés

      Le 15 juillet, le nouveau gouvernement slovène de gauche a entrepris la destruction du « mur » de barbelés érigé sur les frontières du pays avec la Croatie. Cela ne veut pas dire que celles-ci seront moins surveillées, bien au contraire : après les barbelés, place aux drones !

      Les premiers rouleaux de fil de fer barbelé à la frontière avec la Croatie avaient été posés en novembre 2015 près de Rigonce, dans le sud de la Styrie, un village qui était devenu l’une des principales voies d’accès à la Slovénie le long de la route des Balkans. Ensuite, les barrières se sont étendues sur toute la frontière, au grand étonnement de la population locale, qui a vu les soldats du génie militaire arriver pour placer des « barrières techniques » parfois jusque dans les jardins ou les cours des maisons. Cela n’avait pas manqué de soulever de vives protestations en Croatie et quelques manifestations symboliques ont été organisées ces dernières années le long de la frontière. La dernière a eu lieu au début de ce mois en Carniole Blanche (Bela Krajina), où des organisations non gouvernementales, l’office local du tourisme et des institutions culturelles ont descendu un tronçon de la rivière Kolpa avec une trentaine de bateaux, pour appeler le gouvernement à ôter sans attendre les barrières et à changer de politique de contrôle aux frontières.
      Durant la campagne électorale, le centre-gauche avait promis qu’en cas de victoire, il retirerait très rapidement les barbelés. Au lendemain de la victoire, certains se disaient même prêts, non sans enthousiasme, à former des équipes de volontaires pour aller détruire les barrières. Le gouvernement de Robert Golob s’est néanmoins empressé de dire aux citoyens de ne pas se ruer à l’assaut de ces clôtures honnies…

      Les 200 km de barbelés et les panneaux anti-migrants entre la Slovénie et la Croatie seront entièrement supprimés d’ici la fin de l’année, a confirmé le gouvernement. Le 15 juillet, les premiers mètres de la barrière ont été symboliquement retirés près du poste frontière de Krmačina, dans le sud-est du pays, en présence des représentants du ministère de l’Intérieur et de la police slovène. Peu avant, la ministre de l’Intérieur, Tatjana Bobnar, avait déclaré devant le Parlement que ces barrières seraient supprimées, afin que « plus personne ne meure en essayant de traverser la frontière ». La dernière victime en date est une jeune fille kurde qui s’est noyée en décembre dernier dans la Dragonja, le petit fleuve côtier qui sépare la Slovénie de la Croatie en Istrie. En tout, 23 personnes au moins sont mortes sur le sol slovène en tentant de remonter la route des Balkans. Selon les organisations qui s’occupent de l’aide aux migrants, les obstacles ont rendu la traversée des rivières plus difficile, augmentant les risques de noyade, surtout en hiver ou quand le niveau des eaux est élevé.

      “Il n’est nullement question d’ouvrir la frontière mais seulement de remplacer un mécanisme de contrôle rudimentaire par d’autres moyens plus sophistiqués.”

      Pour les ONG, cependant, le problème ne tient pas seulement aux barrières, mais surtout à l’attitude hostile contre les réfugiés adoptée par les institutions et la police, qui agissent de manière arbitraire en faisant obstacle aux demandes d’asile et en procédant à des refoulements forcés. Une stratégie qui n’a jamais été ouvertement assumée, mais qui a été mise en place dès le début de la crise, en 2015, par le gouvernement centriste de Miro Cerar. À l’époque, la Slovénie, qui redoutait de devenir un cul-de-sac pour les réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre, avait lancé toute une série de mesures pour protéger l’ordre public, dont l’attribution à l’armée de tâches de contrôle des frontières ou même des manifestations. L’achat de canons à eau très modernes pour la police n’avait alors même pas fait débat. Ces gadgets ont été largement utilisés par l’ancien gouvernement conservateur pour réprimer les manifestations antigouvernementales et les protestations contre les restrictions imposées pendant l’épidémie de Covid-19.

      La suppression des barrières ne va certainement pas marquer un tournant décisif dans l’attitude des Slovènes envers les réfugiés. En résumé, il n’est nullement question d’ouvrir la frontière mais seulement de remplacer un mécanisme de contrôle rudimentaire par d’autres moyens plus sophistiqués. L’accord de coalition prévoit en effet le remplacement des barbelés par le renforcement de dispositifs de contrôle alternatifs, comme des systèmes de vidéosurveillance et des drones.

      Ljubljana ne veut pas du tout donner l’impression d’avoir lâché prise, mais la Slovénie tient au contraire à montrer qu’elle veut continuer à s’engager dans la lutte contre les migrations clandestines. Cela ne semble pourtant pas trop convaincre les Autrichiens, qui ont suspendu de facto le régime Schengen avec la Slovénie et ont « provisoirement » rétabli les contrôles aux frontières, depuis 2015. Les protestations de Ljubljana demandant le retour de l’ouverture de la frontière n’ont pas eu d’effets, et se sont heurtées aux réponses plutôt méprisantes de Vienne, où l’on ne cesse de répéter que le flux de migrants en provenance de Slovénie augmente.

      Schengen pour améliorer les relations de voisinage
      La situation devrait toutefois s’améliorer, au moins entre la Slovénie et la Croatie, mais pas à cause de la suppression des barrières. La frontière, établie il y a plus de trente ans, lors de la proclamation d’indépendance des deux pays, était initialement présentée comme une ligne de démarcation provisoire, mais elle est rapidement devenue une véritable frontière d’État. Les contrôles devraient être suspendus entre les deux pays l’année prochaine, quand la Croatie rejoindra à son tour l’espace Schengen. Une véritable libération pour les frontaliers qui, surtout en été et pendant les vacances, sont obligés de passer des heures et des heures dans les files d’attente pour pouvoir aller travailler ou rentrer chez eux. En trente ans, les deux pays n’ont pratiquement rien fait pour améliorer ce transit. L’adhésion de la Croatie à l’espace Schengen sera aussi un moyen de rétablir le dense réseau de relations qui existe au sein des populations locales, des deux côtés de la frontière. Les contacts n’ont jamais été complètement interrompus, mais s’étaient beaucoup compliqués, dans une zone qui par le passé n’avait jamais été divisée par une frontière.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/La-Slovenie-la-frontiere-et-les-refugies-des-drones-a-la-place-de

  • Par les temps qui courent, c’est pas tous les jours qu’un Etat décide de démanteler un mur...
    Slovenia to dismantle border fence with Croatia

    Slovenia has announced that it will be taking down its border fence on the Croatian border by the end of the year. The Interior Ministry confirmed the plan to the news agency STA.

    Slovenia’s new government has vowed to remove the controversial fence that separates it from neighbouring Croatia. Construction on the fence started in late 2015 during the height of the what is often referred to as the ’European refugee crisis,’ when hundreds of thousands of people fled to EU countries from war-torn Syria.

    The fence was designed to curb irregular migration into Slovenia through the Balkans. It was extended several times since 2015, and is currently about 200 kilometers long.

    Many people have been insured trying to scale the structure, suffering considerable cuts on the barbed wire that was placed on top of the fence.
    New government wants to change direction

    Slovenia shares a 670 kilometer-long border with Croatia, meaning that roughly a third of their shared border has been fortified with a fence.

    Both countries are members of the European Union, but only Slovenia is also part of the Schengen Area — a group of European countries that have abolished border controls at their shared borders. In part because of this, Slovenia has seen a lot of people trying to cross its borders to get to other Schengen countries, like Germany, Austria or Italy.

    Both Croatia and Slovenia have repeatedly come under fire for their treatment of migrants and refugees; Croatia in particular has faced repeated accusations of conducting illegal pushbacks into neighboring Bosnia.

    The Slovanian new government, which was sworn in last week, wants to change the country’s border policies. The left-liberal government under Prime Minister Robert Golob committed itself to demolishing the border fence in its coalition agreement, and they have announced plans to instead monitor the border with drones and cameras.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/41109/slovenia-to-dismantle-border-fence-with-croatia
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Croatie #Slovénie #frontière_sud-alpine #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    Mais bon... au lieu des murs... des #drones #caméras_de_vidéosurveillance... c’est pas vraiment un changement de cap... voir :
    Slovenia e flussi migratori : via il filo spinato, arrivano i droni
    https://seenthis.net/messages/966571

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Slovenija objavila koliko će trajati rezanje ograde na granici s Hrvatskom, mijenjaju politiku prema migrantima: Učit će ih jezik i integrirati u društvo

      Slovenska vojska ovih dana počinje s uklanjanjem 200 kilometara ograde na granici prema Hrvatskoj. Kako je najavila Tatjana Bobnar, ministrica unutrašnjih poslova u vladi Roberta Goloba, vojnici dnevno mogu ukloniti 200 metara žice, što znači da će posao biti gotov za 150 radnih dana, tj. potkraj veljače naredne godine. Ministrica Bobnar najavila je i značajne promjene u migracijskoj politici zemlje

      Bobnar uvjerava da će policija nakon uklanjanja žice temeljito obavljati nadzor granice te tako nastaviti osiguravati primjerenu razinu sigurnosti pograničnom stanovništvu.

      ’Vlada i MUP zalažu se za sigurne rute migranata i siguran prelazak granice za građane, stanovnike i migrante. Zbog toga smo osnovali novo savjetodavno tijelo koje se već sastalo s predstavnicima državnih tijela, organizacijama i predstavnicima civilnog društva koji rade na području migracija te će pripremiti cjelovitu migracijsku strategiju. Oni će se usredotočiti na osiguravanje sigurnijih putova migracija, učinkovitije procedure azila i dobivanje boravišnih dozvola kako bi se olakšali uvjeti za međunarodnu zaštitu i sustavnu integraciju u društvo. Azilante je potrebno sustavno integrirati u društvo i tržište rada te im omogućiti učenje jezika, a spriječiti iskorištavanje radnika’, smatra ministrica Bobnar.
      Slovenska ministrica vanjskih poslova Tatjana Bobnar

      Dakako, desna oporba smatra da je u pitanju zabrinjavajući zaokret. Oporbena Nova Slovenija (NSi) predviđa pogoršanje sigurnosne situacije jer se zbog nedostatka pšenice očekuju veće migracije iz sjeverne Afrike, a ojačat će i balkanska krijumčarska ruta, smatraju. Policijska kontrola, kako predviđa vlada, neće biti dovoljna.

      ’Nije realno to da dodatna tehnička sredstva, poput dronova koje ministrica često spominje, mogu pružati istu razinu sigurnosti kao tehničke barijere’, komentirao je odluku zastupnik Nove Slovenije Janez Žakelj. NSi stoga predlaže selektivno uklanjanje ograde, ne svugdje.

      Podsjetimo, Slovenija je izgradila 194 kilometra ograde tijekom migrantskog vala 2015., u razdoblju u kojem je kroz državu prolazilo pola milijuna ljudi, na vrhuncu čak 14.000 dnevno. ’Tada je ta krajnja mjera bila nužna, meni je bilo krajnje neugodno, nisu se dobro osjećali ni drugi u vladi’, prisjetio se za Televiziju Slovenije tadašnji premijer Miro Cerar.

      Po njegovu mišljenju, to je bio jedini način da se kontrolira gomila ljudi i da se o pravilno brine o njima. Inače, prijetilo je zatvaranje austrijske i talijanske granice, a ni južni susjed, kako kaže, nije se ponio baš susjedski.

      ’Hrvatska tada nije bila kooperativna, znamo da se i sama ilegalno organizirala i slala izbjeglice preko zelene granice, noću, preko rijeka’, podsjetio je Cerar.

      Ogradu je privremeno postavila tadašnja vlada i najavila da će biti uklonjena u najkraćem mogućem roku.

      https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/slovenija-objavila-koliko-ce-trajati-rezanje-ograde-na-granici-s-hrvatskom-m

    • Slovenia’s interior minister faces no-confidence vote

      Opposition SDS Democrats tabled a motion of no-confidence on Tuesday against Interior Minister #Tatjana_Bobnar, alleging that he should be removed from office for his government’s decision to remove the long border fence erected to fight irregular migration between 2015 and 2016.

      The motion against Bobnar alleges misconduct and dereliction of duty and notes that his government’s decision to dismantle the fence built to stop the flow of irregular migrants has led to a surge in irregular migration.

      The government’s decision has had “security and political consequences,” said SDS lawmaker Branko Grims. Between January and August, Slovenia saw a 13% increase in irregular border crossings compared to the whole of last year, police data shows.

      Grims also pointed to the high increase in expressions of intent to apply for international protection. “Slovenia is becoming a destination country for illegal migrants,” he said.

      SDS has claimed for weeks that Bobnar has been knowingly opening borders to irregular migrants and putting citizens at risk.

      “If you work honestly and lawfully, you can face anyone in good conscience and defend your decisions at any time with reasonable arguments,” said Bobnar before the motion’s announcement, noting that she did not fear a motion that accused her of “solidarity and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

      In Slovenia, the opposition frequently uses no-confidence votes against ministers without actually being able to oust them. Instead, this allows the opposition to mount targeted attacks on the government and get significant airtime.

      The coalition parties said they firmly support Bobnar.

      https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/slovenias-interior-minister-faces-no-confidence-vote

  • #Suisse : Faute de rentabilité, la Poste renonce aux transports par drones autonomes ats/jop
    https://www.rts.ch/info/sciences-tech/technologies/13140560-faute-de-rentabilite-la-poste-renonce-aux-transports-par-drones-autonom

    La Poste va abandonner à la fin de l’année son projet de drones autonomes de transport. Faute de rentabilité en raison du cadre réglementaire suisse, ce mode de transport lancé en 2017 sera transféré au développeur californien Matternet.

    La Poste a examiné ces derniers mois la rentabilité de ses projets. Elle est arrivée à la conclusion que celui concernant les drones pour le transport d’échantillons d’analyses entre hôpitaux et laboratoires n’était pas rentable, a indiqué l’entreprise mercredi. Elle confie le projet à Matternet, qui effectuait jusqu’à présent les vols pour le compte de la Poste.


    Faute de rentabilité, la Poste renonce aux transports par drones autonomes / Le Journal horaire / 19 sec. / mercredi à 15:02

    « Les drones autonomes suscitent certes de l’intérêt dans le monde entier, mais dans l’environnement réglementaire actuel pour les véhicules aériens sans pilote, ils ne peuvent pas être utilisés à une échelle suffisamment large et ne sont pas rentables pour la Poste en Suisse », argue le communiqué.

    Les clients existants, comme l’hôpital universitaire de Zurich, pourront continuer à l’avenir d’acheter des transports par drones auprès de Matternet.

    « Travail de pionnier »
    Malgré l’interruption de l’exercice, la Poste tire un bilan positif d’un essai pionnier. Jusqu’à présent, personne en Suisse n’avait utilisé des drones autonomes à des fins commerciales. « Nous avons dû tout élaborer à partir de zéro », a expliqué leur porte-parole, évoquant par exemple, les procédures d’autorisation auprès de l’Office fédéral de l’aviation civile (OFAC).

    Le projet a également montré que les drones sans caméra et au service de la santé publique sont très bien acceptés par la population.

    Ainsi, même si l’activité des drones de transport n’est pour l’instant pas rentable, la Poste continuera à garder un œil dessus. « De tels projets montrent qu’il existe des moyens de transport qui offrent une plus-value », estime la porte-parole.

    #Poste #Livraison #Colis #drone #drones #aérien #transports #idée_à_la_con aux frais des #contribuables #Matternet

  • Rebecca Rambar sur Twitter
    https://twitter.com/RebeccaRambar/status/1531485051631767553

    Russie : Reportage vidéo d’un média d’état russe qui montre "le travail de l’équipage russe du drone Orlan-10. Le drone est contrôlé avec la manette de jeu Logitech F310.

    Le jeu vidéo s’invite dans l’armée. Ici, une manette de jeu.

    #guerre #propagande #russie #ukraine #drone #drone_orlan-10 #armée #armes #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #joypad #manette #logitech

  • [UKRAINE / RUSSIE] Progressions russes V/S montée en puissance ukrainienne : ANALYSE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JvSTRv1OI0

    Tous les 15 jours environs Xavier   #Tytelman publie une vidéo bilan assez détaillée sur la guerre en #Ukraine, l’état des forces en jeu, des avancées / reculs, du matériel, des pertes, etc.

    Ces images sont déjà terribles en elles-même ; il y a cette impression que les humains jouent à un jeu vidéo du style Words of Tanks grandeur nature… On y comprend comment sont utilisés les #drones d’observation pour guider les artilleries, ou découvre que l’armée Russe ressort du placard des très vieilles bombes et missiles (pour certaines déclassées), peu précises (probablement parce qu’ils ont utilisé déjà toutes celles qu’ils avaient de récent)…

    Une bonne partie de ce travail provient de l’#OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) qui vise à analyser les photos, vidéos, ou toute donnée devenue publique sur les réseaux sociaux, en les vérifiant, recoupant, datant, etc...

    Note : Je vous conseille d’arrêter la vidéo à 32 minutes (avant le dernier chapitre « Crimes contre l’humanité et tortures russes ») car bien qu’il ne montre pas de vidéo, le contenu est profondément *fortement choquant*.

    Je suis complètement perturbé et interloqué par comment les humains peuvent se détruire les uns les autres jusqu’à commettre de tels actes barbares sur leurs congénères. Ça parait tellement invraisemblable. Ou comment en prétextant d’éliminer le nazisme, on commet des actes tout autant dégueulasses. Comment ces soldats peuvent se permettre autant d’atrocités ? C’est affreusement dingue.

    #humanité #guerre #barbarie #torture #crimes_de_guerre #russie

  • L’ONG allemande #Sea-Watch porte #plainte contre #Frontex

    L’agence européenne des #frontières de l’Union européenne est à nouveau dans la tourmente. Mi-avril, l’ONG Sea-Watch a porté plainte contre Frontex pour #non_divulgations_d'informations concernant une interception en Méditerranée, le 31 juillet 2021, d’un canot de migrants par les garde-côtes libyens. Le navire humanitaire Sea Watch 3, pourtant à proximité immédiate de l’embarcation en détresse, n’avait pas été informé par Frontex de la présence du canot.

    L’ONG allemande Sea-Watch a porté plainte mi-avril contre l’agence européenne des frontière de l’Union européenne (UE), Frontex, devant le tribunal de l’Union européenne (CGE) à Luxembourg. L’agence de l’UE est poursuivie pour avoir refusé de divulguer des documents détaillant la nature de ses relations qui les lie aux garde-côtes libyens.

    En clair, le préjudice remonte au 30 juillet 2021. Ce jour-là, le navire Sea Watch 3 (de l’ONG allemande éponyme) assiste à l’interception d’un canot en détresse, dans les eaux maltaises, par les garde-côtes libyens. Vingt personnes étaient à bord. Selon les déclarations de l’ONG, aucune autorité maritime n’avait informé Sea-Watch de la présence de ce canot, alors que le navire humanitaire en était le plus proche. L’ONG s’étonne aussi que les autorités maltaises ne soient pas intervenues.

    Juste avant l’intervention des Libyens, un #drone de Frontex survolait la zone. L’agence européenne aurait donc dû, selon le protocole maritime internationale, envoyé un message à tous les navires de la zone pour porter secours à l’embarcation.

    « Le Sea Watch 3 était le navire le plus proche doté d’une capacité de sauvetage mais n’a été informé par aucune autorité. Les autorités maltaises ont refusé de remplir leur devoir de coordonner les efforts de sauvetage et de veiller à ce que les personnes en détresse en mer soient emmenées en lieu sûr », écrit Sea-Watch dans un communiqué.

    L’ONG accuse Frontex d’ignorer délibérément les navires de sauvetage européens pour faire appel de préférence aux garde-côtes libyens.

    « Frontex fonctionne comme un service secret qui dissimule en permanence des informations »

    À la suite de cette interception et du retour des 20 exilés en Libye, Sea-Watch aidée par la plateforme de défense de la liberté d’information FragDenStaat ont demandé des explications à Frontex sur leur déroulé des opérations ce jour-là. En vain. Les avocats des deux plaignants disent pourtant avoir identifié 73 documents liés à ce sauvetage mais Frontex refuse de les rendre publics.

    « Après une demande [de Sea-Watch, ndlr] en vertu du règlement sur la #liberté_d'information concernant les opérations de Frontex le 30 juillet 2021, l’agence des frontières a refusé à plusieurs reprises de divulguer les informations demandées » peut-on encore lire sur le communiqué de l’ONG. « Parmi eux se trouvaient 36 documents sur l’échange de communications entre Frontex et les autorités libyennes, italiennes et maltaises ce seul jour précis. »

    « Frontex fonctionne comme un service secret qui dissimule en permanence des informations », a également écrit l’ONG sur Twitter.

    Ce n’est pas la première fois que Frontex se retrouve dans la tourmente, notamment pour des faits se déroulant en mer Égée. Au mois d’octobre 2021, un cabinet néerlandais d’avocats spécialisés dans la défense des droits de l’Homme a annoncé avoir intenté une action contre l’agence européenne pour le renvoi illégal d’une famille syrienne, demandeuse d’asile, depuis la Grèce vers la Turquie.

    Au mois de mai 2021, deux demandeurs d’asile, un mineur congolais et une Burundaise, ont porté plainte contre l’agence. Après avoir atteint l’île de Lesbos, toux deux affirment avoir été refoulés illégalement vers la Turquie.

    Depuis l’automne dernier, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes est également pointée du doigt dans des incidents de refoulements de bateaux de demandeurs d’asile de Grèce vers la Turquie.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/40143/long-allemande-seawatch-porte-plainte-contre-frontex

    #sauvetage #migrations #réfugiés

  • Drone Terror from Turkey. Arms buildup and crimes under international law - with German participation

    In Kurdistan, Libya or Azerbaijan, Turkish “#Bayraktar_TB2” have already violated international law. Currently, the civilian population in Ethiopia is being bombed with combat drones. Support comes from Germany, among others.

    For almost two decades, companies from the USA and Israel were the undisputed market leaders for armed drones; today, China and Turkey can claim more and more exports for themselves. Turkey is best known for its “Bayraktar TB2,” which the military has been using since 2016 in the Turkish, Syrian and now also Iraqi parts of Kurdistan in violation of international law. In the four-month #Operation_Olive_Branch in Kurdish #Rojava alone, the “TB2” is said to have scored 449 direct hits four years ago and enabled fighter jets or helicopters to make such hits in 680 cases. It has a payload of 65 kilograms and can remain in the air for over 24 hours.

    The Turkish military also flies the “#Anka”, which is also capable of carrying weapons and is manufactured by #Turkish_Aerospace_Industries (#TAI). In a new version, it can be controlled via satellites and thus achieves a greater range than the “#TB2”. The “Anka” carries up to 200 kilograms, four times the payload of its competitors. The newest version of both drones can now stay in the air for longer than 24 hours.

    Drone industry is dependent on imports

    The “Anka” is also being exported, but the “TB2” is currently most widely used. The drone is manufactured by #Baykar, whose founder and namesake is #Selçuk_Bayraktar, a son-in-law of the Turkish president. The “TB2” also flew attacks on Armenian troops off #Nagorno-Karabakh, for the Tripoli government in Libya and for Azerbaijan; there it might have even - together with unmanned aerial vehicles of Israeli production - been decisive for the war, according to some observers.

    The aggressive operations prompted further orders; after Qatar, Ukraine, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkmenistan, Baykar is the first NATO country to sell the drone to Poland. About a dozen countries are said to have already received deliveries, and about as many are said to be considering procurement. Interest is reportedly coming from as far away as Lithuania and even the United Kingdom.

    The comparatively young Turkish drone industry is able to produce many of the components for its unmanned aerial vehicles itself or buy them from domestic suppliers, but manufacturers are still dependent on imports for key components. This applies to engines, for example, which are also produced in Turkey but are less powerful than competing products. For this reason, the “TB2” flew with Rotax engines from Austria, among others. Following Turkey’s support for the Azerbaijani war of aggression, the company stopped supplying Baykar.

    Canada imposes export ban

    According to the Kurdish news agency ANF, Baykar has also made purchases from Continental Motors, a U.S. corporation partly based in Germany that took over Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH eight years ago. A cruise control system made by the Bavarian company MT-Propeller was found in a crashed “TB2”. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, a radar altimeter manufactured by SMS Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH and a fuel filter made by Hengst were also installed in the drone.

    However, exports of these products are not subject to licensing, and sales may also have been made through intermediaries. Hengst, for example, also sells its products through automotive wholesalers; the company says it does not know how the filter came into Baykar’s possession.

    Originally, the “TB2” was also equipped with a sensor module from the Canadian manufacturer Wescam. This is effectively the eye of the drone, mounted in a hemispherical container on the fuselage. This so-called gimbal can be swiveled 360° and contains, among other things, optical and infrared-based cameras as well as various laser technologies. Wescam also finally ended its cooperation with Baykar after the government in Ottawa issued an export ban on the occasion of the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. The country had already imposed a temporary halt to deliveries following Turkish operations in the Kurdish region of Rojava in North Syria.

    “Eye” of the drone from Hensoldt

    Selçuk Bayraktar commented on the decision made by the Canadian Foreign Minister, saying that the required sensor technology could now also be produced in Turkey. In the meantime, the Turkish company Aselsan has also reported in newspapers close to the government that the sensor technology can now be produced completely domestically. Presumably, however, these devices are heavier than the imported products, so that the payload of small combat drones would be reduced.

    Hensoldt, a German company specializing in sensor technology, has been one of the suppliers. This was initially indicated by footage of a parade in the capital of Turkmenistan, where a freshly purchased “TB2” was also displayed to mark the 30th anniversary of the attainment of independence in Aşgabat last year. In this case, the drone was equipped with a gimbal from Hensoldt. It contains the ARGOS-II module, which, according to the product description, has a laser illuminator and a laser marker. This can be used, for example, to guide a missile into the target.

    Hensoldt was formed after a spinoff of several divisions of defense contractor Airbus, including its radar, optronics, avionics and electronic device jamming businesses. As a company of outstanding security importance, the German government has secured a blocking minority. The Italian defense group Leonardo is also a shareholder.

    Rocket technology from Germany

    The ARGOS module is manufactured by Hensoldt’s offshoot Optronics Pty in Pretoria, South Africa. When asked, a company spokesman confirmed the cooperation with Baykar. According to the company, the devices were delivered from South Africa to Turkey in an undisclosed quantity “as part of an order”. In the process, “all applicable national and international laws and export control regulations” were allegedly complied with.

    The arming of the “TB2” with laser-guided missiles was also carried out with German assistance. This is confirmed by answers to questions in the German Bundestag reported by the magazine “Monitor”. According to these reports, the German Foreign Ministry has issued several export licenses for warheads of an anti-tank missile since 2010. They originate from the company TDW Wirksysteme GmbH from the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, an offshoot of the European missile manufacturer MBDA.

    According to the report, the sales were presumably made to the state-owned Turkish company Roketsan. Equipment or parts for the production of the missiles are also said to have been exported to Turkey. The TDW guided missiles were of the “LRAT” and “MRAT” types, which are produced in Turkey under a different name. Based on the German exports, Roketsan is said to have developed the “MAM” missiles for drones; they are now part of the standard equipment of the “TB2”. These so-called micro-precision munitions are light warheads that can be used to destroy armored targets.

    Export licenses without end-use statement

    Roketsan sells the MAM guided missiles in three different versions, including a so-called vacuum bomb. Their development may have been carried out with the cooperation of the Bavarian company Numerics Software GmbH, according to ANF Deutsch. Numerics specializes in calculating the optimal explosive effect of armor-piercing weapons. According to the German Foreign Ministry, however, the company’s products, for which licenses have been issued for delivery to Turkey, are not suitable for the warheads in question.

    When the German government issues export licenses for military equipment, it can insist on a so-called end-use declaration. In the case of Turkey, the government would commit to obtaining German permission before reselling to a third country. The Foreign Ministry would not say whether such exchanges on missiles, sensors or other German technology have taken place. In total, export licenses for goods “for use or installation in military drones” with a total value of almost 13 million euros have been issued to Turkey, according to a response from last year.

    Deployment in Ethiopia

    As one of the current “hot spots”, the “Bayraktar TB2” is currently being deployed by Ethiopia in the civil war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). As recently as December, the Tigrinese rebels were on the verge of entering the capital Addis Ababa, but the tide has since turned. Many observers attribute this to the air force. The Ethiopian military has 22 Russian MiG-23 and Sukhoi-27 fighter jets, as well as several attack helicopters.

    But the decisive factor is said to have been armed drones, whose armament allows far more precise attacks. “There were suddenly ten drones in the sky”, the rebel general Tsadokan Gebretensae confirmed to the New York Times in an interview. In a swarm, these had attacked soldiers and convoys. The Reuters news agency quotes a foreign military who claims to have “clear indications” of a total of 20 drones in use. However, these also come from China and Iran.

    Evidence, meanwhile, shows that the Turkish combat drones are used as before in Kurdistan and other countries for crimes under international law. On several occasions, they have also flown attacks on civilians, including in convoys with refugees. Hundreds of people are reported to have died under Turkish-made bombs and missiles.

    After the “TB2” comes the significantly larger “Akıncı”

    In the future, the Turkish military could deploy a significantly larger drone with two engines, which Baykar has developed under the name “Akıncı”. This drone will be controlled via satellites, which will significantly increase its range compared to the “TB2”. Its payload is said to be nearly 1.5 tons, of which 900 kilograms can be carried under the wings as armament. According to Baykar, the “Akıncı” can also be used in aerial combat. Unarmed, it can be equipped with optical sensors, radar systems or electronic warfare technology.

    Baykar’s competitor TAI is also developing a long-range drone with two engines. The “#Aksungur” is said to have capabilities comparable to the “#Akıncı” and was first flown for tests in 2019.

    http://kurdistan-report.de/index.php/english/1282-drone-terror-from-turkey-arms-buildup-and-crimes-under-interna
    #Turquie #Kurdistan #Kurdistan_turque #drones #armes #Allemagne #drones_de_combat #drones_armés #industrie_militaire #Rotax #Continental_Motors #SMS_Smart_Microwave_Sensors #Hengst #Wescam #Aselsan #technologie #ARGOS-II #Airbus #Optronics_Pty

  • #Robo_Dogs and Refugees: The Future of the Global Border Industrial Complex

    The future is here, and it’s a nightmare for migrants. Robo-dogs are joining the global arsenal of border enforcement technologies. The consequences will be deadly.

    A painting of an eye shedding a single tear adorns the concrete rampart of the rusty wall bisecting the city of Nogales at the U.S.-Mexico border. Elsewhere, other kinds of eyes scan the Sonoran Desert—drones, artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance towers, and now military-grade “robo-dogs,” which, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a February 1 article, might soon be deployed in this vast area of the Arizona-Mexico borderlands, a frequent crossing point for refugees and people on the move from Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond.

    The robo-dogs, built by Ghost Robotics, are the latest border tech experiment. Originally designed for combat and tactical training operations, these quadruped autonomous machines are strong, fast, and sometimes armed. They can break down doors and right themselves when kicked over. Police departments are already using them, such as in Honolulu and New York (although the latter city cut short its use of them after a public outcry). On the border, DHS first tested what they call “programmable pooches” in El Paso, but officials didn’t give a clear indication of when nor where the machines would eventually be deployed.

    While these mechanical dogs may be a surprising addition to U.S. border enforcement, they join a technological infrastructure on the U.S.-Mexico border that has been developing for decades, often constructed by private companies and now championed by the Biden administration. The idea of mechanized Border Patrol agents is not exactly new either; in 2015, for example, the GuardBot company proposed that rolling, rubber spheres full of surveillance cameras (first designed for exploring Mars) “swarm” the borderlands in packs of 20 or 30. While that contract was never issued, it was a preamble to the robo-dogs. Here, now, is a glimpse into the future: an aggressive techno border fueled by a global industrial complex.

    The robo-dogs form part of a long process of border robotization on the U.S. Mexico border—from autonomous and integrated fixed towers (built by Anduril and Elbit Systems, respectively) to Predator B and medium-size drones (General Atomics), to university experiments to create miniature drones the size of locusts (as was done at the University of Arizona via a grant it received from the Department of Homeland Security for R&D).

    Petra, who was at the Arizona-Mexico border when DHS announced the robo-dogs, has been studying surveillance technologies and their effects on people crossing borders for years in Europe and globally, focusing on the real harms of automation, surveillance, and border tech experiments in spaces that have become testing grounds for innovation. The very real impacts these technologies will have is all the more stark, given the sheer number of people dying in the desert. In 2021, deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border were the highest ever recorded. Thus, although it is difficult to write about surveillance technologies—since they are hidden by design—the real-world impacts of “technosolutionism” are clear enough.

    On the rumbling roads of the West Arizona desert, Petra and colleagues traced the routes that people take after crossing the border, and this led them to various gravesites, like the modest orange cross that marks the arroyo where Elías Alvarado, a young husband and father, perished in 2020. His son was never able to see him again, only leaving a scratchy voice recording saying “I love you, papa,” which was played at Alvarado’s ceremony by a group called Battalion Search and Rescue, whose volunteers comb the desert for survivors and remains. It’s terrifying to imagine a not-so-distant future in which people like Alvarado will be pursued by high-speed, military-grade technology designed to kill. The future is not just more technology, it is more death.

    Virtual Fortress Europe

    The U.S.-Mexico frontier is by no means the only place where experimental border technology is being tested. For example, the European Union has been focusing on various surveillance and high-tech experiments in migration and border enforcement, including maritime and land drone surveillance; long-range acoustic devices (LRADs), or sound cannons; and AI-type technologies in newly built camps in Greece. The violence in many of these technologies is obvious: the sound cannons that were rolled out at the land border between Greece and Turkey emit a high-pitched sound that can hurt people’s eardrums in an attempt to deter them from getting close to the EU’s border, while AI “threat detection” surveillance monitors refugees in Greece’s new prisonlike refugee camps on the Aegean Islands. AI-driven surveillance using unpiloted drones and other types of technologies is also increasingly used along Europe’s maritime borders by actors such as Frontex, the EU’s border enforcement agency. As in the U.S.-Mexico desert, border surveillance makes the crossing more dangerous, since it forces them to take riskier routes to avoid detection.

    The increasing reliance on automation in border enforcement also brings with it a host of concerns, from privacy infringements when data is shared with repressive governments to discrimination and bias, particularly against groups that have historically borne the brunt of violent state action. For example, facial recognition has proved time and again to be biased against Brown and Black faces, as well as female faces, and yet it is increasingly used for migration control in the U.S., Canada, and soon various EU countries. These issues around discrimination and bias are not merely theoretical; they have had palpable impacts on people on the move such as Addisu, a young man from East Africa in his early 30s. He was living in an occupied building in Brussels when he told Petra, “We are Black, and border guards hate us. Their computers hate us too.”

    Tech pilot projects have also introduced AI-type lie detection into border enforcement, relying on emotion recognition and micro-expressions to apparently determine whether someone is telling the truth at the border. Yet what about differences in cross-cultural communication? Or the impact of trauma on memory, or the overreliance on Western norms of plausibility and lie detection grounded in biased and discriminatory determinations? Immigration and refugee decision-making by border enforcement officers is already replete with discretionary, opaque, and often biased reasoning that is difficult to challenge.

    Through the phenomenon of “border externalization,” the EU is also pushing its geographic borders further and further afield through biometric data collection and migration surveillance into North and sub-Saharan Africa. The United States is extending its border as well into southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, among other places. As these sorts of technological systems extend all over the world, so does the global border industrial complex, which is worth billions of dollars. Each new place becomes a testing ground for the next one.

    A Regulatory Free-for-All: Border Tech Unchecked

    Border technologies are political; they are developed and deployed in an ecosystem of private and public partnerships that are largely unregulated and unchecked. Big Tech interests are given free rein to develop and deploy technologies at the border and set the agenda of what counts as innovation and whose perspectives really matter when conversations around borders happen in national, regional, and international policy circles.

    There is big money to be made in the sharpening of borders with draconian technologies. According to the market forecast company Market and Markets, the global homeland security market will grow more than 6 percent by 2026, reaching $904.6 billion. As border and immigration budgets only continue to rise in Europe, the United States, and places beyond, there will only be more armed “robo-dogs,” drones with tasers, and border AI-lie detectors filling border zones. This coincides with forecasts for more and more people on the move in the coming decades—for various reasons, including catastrophic climate change. The collision of aggressive tech borders with human mobility has the makings of a monumental human rights disaster.

    Participation in discussions around technologies at the border is still limited to a select few, often in the suffocating constraints of the public-private nexus. The viewpoints of those most affected are routinely excluded from the discussion, particularly regarding no-go zones and ethically fraught uses of technology. Much of the discussion, such as it is, lacks contextual analysis or consideration of the ethical, social, political, and personal harm that these new technologies will have. While border and immigrant rights groups such as Mijente, Just Futures Law, the Immigrant Defense Project and others have been fighting the use of high-risk surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, the lucrative political climate of exclusion and border enforcement at all costs is what animates the move toward a surveillance dragnet. This dragnet will only increase the suffering and death along the frontier. “It’s a slow-motion genocide,” James Holeman, founder of Battalion Search Rescue, recently told Petra Molnar in the Arizona desert.

    Borders are the perfect testing ground for technologies: unregulated, increasingly politicized, and impacting groups already struggling with adequate resources. Ultimately, Big Tech and quick fixes do not address the systemic causes of marginalization and migration—historical and present-day decisions that perpetuate vast inequalities in the world and that benefit the fortressed West while disenfranchising and displacing the rest. Whether it be armed agents, imposed walls, or robo-dogs, border militarization ensures that rich countries can keep looting, exploiting, and polluting the rest of the world.

    https://www.theborderchronicle.com/p/robo-dogs-and-refugees-the-future
    #robots_dogs #complexe_militaro-industriel #robots #robots_chiens #frontières #surveillance #technologie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #robo-dog #Ghost_Robotics #Nogales #Mexique #USA #Etats-Unis #désert_du_Sonora #DHS #El_Paso #programmable_pooches #GuardBot #Anduril #Elbit_Systems #Predator_B #general_atomics #drones #robo_dog

  • Status agreement with Senegal : #Frontex might operate in Africa for the first time

    The border agency in Warsaw could deploy drones, vessels and personnel. It would be the first mission in a country that does not directly border the EU. Mauretania might be next.

    As a „priority third state“ in West Africa, Senegal has long been a partner for migration-related security cooperation with the EU. The government in Dakar is one of the addressees of the „#North_Africa_Operational_Partnership“; it also receives technical equipment and advice for border police upgrading from EU development aid funds. Now Brussels is pushing for a Frontex mission in Senegal. To this end, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled personally to the capital Dakar last week. She was accompanied by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, who said that a contract with Senegal might be finalised until summer. For the matter, Johansson met with Senegal’s armed-forces minister and foreign minister.

    For operations outside the EU, Frontex needs a so-called status agreement with the country concerned. It regulates, for example, the use of coercive police measures, the deployment of weapons or immunity from criminal and civil prosecution. The Commission will be entrusted with the negotiations for such an agreement with Senegal after the Council has given the mandate. The basis would be a „model status agreement“ drafted by the Commission on the basis of Frontex missions in the Western Balkans. Frontex launched its first mission in a third country in 2019 in Albania, followed by Montenegro in 2020 and Serbia in 2021.

    New EU Steering Group on migration issues

    The deployment to Senegal would be the first time the Border Agency would be stationed outside Europe with operational competences. Johansson also offered „#surveillance equipment such as #drones and vessels“. This would take the already established cooperation to a new level.

    Frontex is already active in the country, but without uniformed and armed police personnel. Of the only four liaison officers Frontex has seconded to third countries, one is based at the premises of the EU delegation in #Dakar. His tasks include communicating with the authorities responsible for border management and assisting with deportations from EU member states. Since 2019, Senegal has been a member of Frontex’s so-called AFIC network. In this „Risk Analysis Cell“, the agency joins forces with African police forces and secret services for exchanges on imminent migration movements. For this purpose, Frontex has negotiated a working agreement with the Senegalese police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The new talks with Senegal are coordinated in the recently created „Operational Coordination Mechanism for the External Dimension of Migration“ (MOCADEM). It is an initiative of EU member states to better manage their politics in countries of particular interest. These include Niger or Iraq, whose government recently organised return flights for its own nationals from Minsk after Belarus‘ „instrumentalisation of refugees“ at the EU’s insistence. If the countries continue to help with EU migration control, they will receive concessions for visa issuance or for labour migration.

    Senegal also demands something in return for allowing a Frontex mission. The government wants financial support for the weakened economy after the COVID pandemic. Possibilities for legal migration to the EU were also on the agenda at the meetings with the Commission. Negotiations are also likely to take place on a deportation agreement; the Senegalese authorities are to „take back“ not only their own nationals but also those of other countries if they can prove that they have travelled through the country to the EU and have received an exit order there.

    Deployment in territorial waters

    Senegal is surrounded by more than 2,600 kilometres of external border; like the neighbouring countries of Mali, Gambia, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, the government has joined the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Similar to the Schengen area, the agreement also regulates the free movement of people and goods in a total of 15 countries. Only at the border with Mauritania, which left ECOWAS in 2001, are border security measures being stepped up.

    It is therefore possible that a Frontex operation in Senegal will not focus on securing the land borders as in the Western Balkans, but on monitoring the maritime border. After the „Canary Islands crisis“ in 2006 with an increase in the number of refugee crossings, Frontex coordinated the Joint Operation „Hera“ off the islands in the Atlantic; it was the first border surveillance mission after Frontex was founded. Departures towards the Canary Islands are mostly from the coast north of Senegal’s capital Dakar, and many of the people in the boats come from neighbouring countries.

    The host country of „Hera“ has always been Spain, which itself has bilateral migration control agreements with Senegal. Authorities there participate in the communication network „Seahorse Atlantic“, with which the Spanish gendarmerie wants to improve surveillance in the Atlantic. Within the framework of „Seahorse“, the Guardia Civil is also allowed to conduct joint patrols in the territorial waters of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. The units in „Hera“ were also the only Frontex mission allowed to navigate the countries‘ twelve-mile zone with their vessels. Within the framework of „Hera“, however, it was not possible for Frontex ships to dock on the coasts of Senegal or to disembark intercepted refugees there.

    Spain wants to lead Frontex mission

    Two years ago, the government in Madrid terminated the joint maritime mission in the Atlantic. According to the daily newspaper „El Pais“, relations between Spain and Frontex were at a low point after the border agency demanded more control over the resources deployed in „Hera“. Spain was also said to be unhappy with Frontex’s role in the Canary Islands. The agency had seconded two dozen officers to the Canary Islands to fingerprint and check identity documents after a sharp increase in crossings from Senegal and Mauritania in 2020. According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 1,200 people died or went missing when the crossing in 2021. The news agency AFP quotes the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras which puts this number at over 4,400 people. Also the Commissioner Johansson said that 1,200 were likely underestimated.

    The new situation on the Canary Islands is said to have prompted Frontex and the government in Madrid to advocate the envisaged launch of the joint operation in Senegal. With a status agreement, Frontex would be able to hand over refugees taken on board to Senegalese authorities or bring them back to the country itself by ship. The Guardia Civil wants to take over the leadership of such an operation, writes El Pais with reference to Spanish government circles. The government in Dakar is also said to have already informed the EU of its readiness for such an effort.

    The idea for an operational Frontex deployment in Senegal is at least three years old. Every year, Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri assesses in a report on the implementation of the EU’s External Maritime Borders Regulation whether refugees rescued in its missions could disembark in the respective eligible third countries. In the annual report for 2018, Leggeri attested to the government in Senegal’s compliance with basic fundamental and human rights. While Frontex did not even consider disembarking refugees in Libya, Tunisia or Morocco, the director believes this would be possible with Senegal – as well as Turkey.

    Currently, the EU and its agencies have no concrete plans to conclude status agreements with other African countries, but Mauritania is also under discussion. Frontex is furthermore planning working (not status) arrangements with other governments in North and East Africa. Libya is of particular interest; after such a contract, Frontex could also complete Libya’s long-planned connection to the surveillance network EUROSUR. With a working agreement, the border agency would be able to regularly pass on information from its aerial reconnaissance in the Mediterranean to the Libyan coast guard, even outside of measures to counter distress situations at sea.

    https://digit.site36.net/2022/02/11/status-agreement-with-senegal-frontex-wants-to-operate-in-africa-for-t

    #Sénégal #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Afrique #Mauritanie #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #renvois #expulsions #AFIC #Risk_Analysis_Cell #services_secrets #police #coopération #accord #MOCADEM #Operational_Coordination_Mechanism_for_the_External_Dimension_of_Migration #accords_de_réadmission #accord_de_réadmission #frontières_maritimes #Atlantique #Seahorse_Atlantic #Hera

    –-
    ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749
    et plus précisément ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765327

    ping @isskein @reka @karine4

    • L’Union européenne veut déployer Frontex au large des côtes sénégalaises

      À l’occasion de la visite au Sénégal de cinq commissaires européennes, l’UE propose au gouvernement le déploiement de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de gardes-frontières. La Commission européenne envisagerait un déploiement d’ici à l’été en cas d’accord avec les autorités sénégalaises.

      C’est pour l’instant une proposition faite par Ylva Johansson. La commissaire chargée des Affaires intérieures a évoqué la question avec les ministres des Affaires étrangères, des forces armées et de l’Intérieur ce vendredi à Dakar.

      Pour l’Union européenne, l’intérêt immédiat est de contrôler le trafic d’êtres humains avec les embarcations qui partent des côtes sénégalaises vers l’archipel espagnol des Canaries. Mais le principe serait aussi de surveiller les mouvements migratoires vers l’Europe via la Mauritanie ou bien la route plus longue via l’Algérie et la Libye.

      L’idée est une collaboration opérationnelle des garde-côtes et gardes-frontières de l’agence Frontex avec la gendarmerie nationale sénégalaise et sous sa direction. L’UE envisage le déploiement de navires, de personnel et de matériel. La commissaire européenne aux Affaires intérieures a évoqué par exemple des drones.

      L’agence Frontex de surveillance des frontières extérieures de l’Union est en train de monter en puissance : son effectif devrait s’élever à 10 000 gardes-côtes et gardes-frontières dans quatre ans, soit dix fois plus qu’en 2018. Elle n’a jamais été déployée hors d’Europe et cette proposition faite au Sénégal illustre à l’avance la priorité que va mettre l’Europe sur les questions migratoires lors du sommet avec l’Union africaine dans une semaine.

      https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20220211-l-union-europ%C3%A9enne-veut-d%C3%A9ployer-frontex-au-large-des-c%C3%B4

    • EU seeks to deploy border agency to Senegal

      European Commissioner Ylva Johansson on Friday offered to deploy the EU’s border agency to Senegal to help combat migrant smuggling, following a surge in perilous crossings to Spain’s Canary Islands.

      At a news conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar, Johansson said the arrangement would mark the first time that the EU border agency Frontex would operate outside Europe.

      Should the Senegalese government agree, the commissioner added, the EU could send surveillance equipment such as drones and vessels, as well as Frontex personnel.

      Deployed alongside local forces, the agents would “work together to fight the smugglers,” she said.

      “This is my offer and I hope that Senegal’s government is interested in this unique opportunity,” said Johansson, the EU’s home affairs commissioner.

      The announcement comes amid a sharp jump in attempts to reach the Canary Islands — a gateway to the EU — as authorities have clamped down on crossings to Europe from Libya.

      The Spanish archipelago lies just over 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the coast of Africa at its closest point.

      But the conditions in the open Atlantic are often dangerous, and would-be migrants often brave the trip in rickety wooden canoes known as pirogues.

      About 1,200 people died or went missing attempting the crossing in 2021, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

      Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras last month put the figure at over 4,400 people.

      Johansson also said on Friday that the 1,200-person figure was likely an underestimate.

      She added that she had discussed her Frontex proposal with Senegal’s armed-forces minister and foreign minister, and was due to continue talks with the interior minister on Friday.

      An agreement that would see Frontex agents deployed in Senegal could be finalised by the summer, she said.

      EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who was also at the news conference, said a Frontex mission in Senegal could also help tackle illegal fishing.

      Several top European Commission officials, including President Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in Senegal this week to prepare for a summit between the EU and the African Union on February 17-18.

      https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220211-eu-seeks-to-deploy-border-agency-to-senegal

    • EU: Tracking the Pact: Plan for Frontex to deploy “vessels, surveillance equipment, and carry out operational tasks” in Senegal and Mauritania

      The EU’s border agency is also due to open a “risk analysis cell” in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in autumn this year, according to documents obtained by Statewatch and published here. The two “action files” put heavy emphasis on the “prevention of irregular departures” towards the Canary Islands and increased cooperation on border management and anti-smuggling activities. Earlier this month, the Council authorised the opening of negotiations on status agreements that would allow Frontex to operate in both countries.

      Senegal: Fiche Action - Sénégal - Renforcement de la coopération avec l’agence Frontex (WK 7990/2022 INIT, LIMITE, 7 June 2022, pdf)

      Action 1: Jointly pursue contacts with the Senegalese authorities - and in particular the Ministry of the Interior, as well as other relevant authorities - at political and diplomatic level to achieve progress on the commitments made during the visit of President von der Leyen and Commissioners on 9-11 February 2022, in particular with regard to the fight against irregular immigration, and Frontex cooperation, as part of a comprehensive EU-Senegal partnership on migration and mobility. Take stock of Senegal’s political context (i.a. Casamance) and suggestions in order to agree on next steps and a calendar.

      Action 2: Taking up the elements of the previous negotiations with the relevant Senegalese authorities, and in the framework of the new working arrangement model, propose a working arrangement with Frontex in the short term, depending on the will and the interest of the Senegalese authorities to conclude such an arrangement.

      Action 3: Depending on the response from the Senegalese authorities, initiate steps towards the negotiation and, in the medium term, the conclusion of a status agreement allowing direct operational support from Frontex to Senegal, particularly in terms of prevention of crime and irregular migration, including in the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

      Action 4 Give substance to the messages expressed by the Senegalese authorities in the framework of policy exchanges and work on joint programming (Joint Strategy Paper - JSP). Identify support and cooperation measures of major interest to the Senegalese authorities (e.g. explore with Senegal the interest in concluding a Talent Partnership with voluntary Member States, if progress is made in other aspects of migration cooperation; propose an anti-smuggling operational partnership and explore possibilities to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information with Europol). Make use of the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic route to frame cooperation projects on migration issues. Promote cooperation with Frontex on border management also in the broader framework of cooperation and exchanges with the Senegalese authorities.

      –-

      Mauretania: Fiche Action - Mauritanie - Renforcement de la coopération avec l’agence Frontex (WK 7989/2022 INIT, LIMITE, 7 June 2022, pdf):

      Action 1: On the basis of the exchanges initiated and the cooperation undertaken with the Mauritanian authorities, identify the main priorities of the migration relationship. Determine the support and cooperation measures of major interest (e.g. support for the implementation of the National Migration Management Strategy, continuation of maritime strategy actions, protection of refugees and asylum seekers, support for reintegration, fight against smuggling networks, deployment of an additional surveillance and intervention unit of the “GAR-SI” type, creation of jobs for young people, involvement of the diaspora in the development of the country, etc.). Use the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic route to coordinate cooperation projects on migration issues, including on root causes.

      Action 2: Propose to the Mauritanian authorities the holding of an informal migration dialogue between the EU and Mauritania, focusing notably on the fight against migrant smuggling and border management, in order to best determine their needs in this area and identify the possibilities for Frontex support.

      Action 3: On the basis of the exchanges that took place between Frontex and the Mauritanian authorities in the first semester of 2022, finalise the exchanges on a working arrangement with Frontex, depending on their interest to conclude it.

      Action 4: Depending on the interest shown by the Mauritanian authorities, initiate diplomatic steps to propose the negotiation and conclusion of a status agreement allowing direct operational support from Frontex at Mauritania’s borders, in particular in the area of prevention of irregular departures, but also in the fight against migrant smuggling and other areas of interest to Mauritania, in the framework of the Frontex mandate.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2022/july/eu-tracking-the-pact-plan-for-frontex-to-deploy-vessels-surveillance-equ
      #Mauritanie #surveillance

  • France: New surveillance cameras to stop migrant smuggling

    Dozens of new surveillance cameras are to be installed along the coast of northern France. The aim is to prevent migrant smuggling across the English Channel.

    Surveillance equipment will be installed in more than 20 locations on France’s northern coast to detect migrant smugglers, the broadcaster BFMTV reported on Thursday. The cameras will be installed on roads near the coast with the aim of filming smugglers’ vehicles and recording their license plates.

    Dubbed ’Terminus’, the operation is financed by the UK. The total cost is not yet known, according to the news agency dpa.

    About 50 cameras are to be installed between Montreuil and Calais by the middle of this year, the newspaper La Voix du Nord reported. The prefecture of Pas-de-Calais said more than 20 municipalities wished to register for the surveillance devices, according to the AFP news agency.

    Laurence Prouvot, the mayor of #Wissant, told AFP that the cameras will be more advanced than those already existing in the town. Wissant, about 20 km from Calais, will need 14 of the cameras, he said.

    British will not have access

    Local government authorities in France as well as French police will have access to the images, but they will not be shared with their British counterparts, dpa reports.

    Meanwhile some local authorities were critical of the surveillance project. The mayor of Merlimont, Mary Bonvoisin Alves Dos Santos, told BFMTV that the money would have been better spent on supporting those who rescue migrants in distress trying to cross the Channel.

    “I have the impression that we are the armed guard of British migration policy,” she said. At the same time, nothing is being done to provide the children, women and men with a decent place to live, she added.

    Record number of Channel crossings in 2021

    The UK and France have been discussing the issue of Channel crossings for years. In 2021 relations between the two countries became strained as the number of arrivals in the UK, compared to the previous year, tripled to around 28,000, and 27 people died in a shipwreck in November.

    A large amount of surveillance equipment has already been installed in an effort to prevent crossings. In November the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, announced the deployment of ultra-modern equipment.
    In December, Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, provided a plane to support border control in the Channel and the North Sea coast region which it said was “equipped with modern sensors and radars.” A surviellance drone was also deployed in January in #Pointe_aux_Oies, #Wimereux, according to the local prefecture.

    Migrants have continued to cross the Channel this year despite the increased surveillance measures. In January, more than 1,300 people reached the United Kingdom, five times as many as at the same time last year.

    https://gw.infomigrants.net/media/resize/my_image_big/a3fa3fa1d2c415ff168845f3f1578337a89d1e52.jpg

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/38473/france-new-surveillance-cameras-to-stop-migrant-smuggling

    #surveillance #caméras_de_surveillance #migrations #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #réfugiés #Calais #Manche #France #UK #Angleterre #drones

  • Les drones policiers autorisés par le Conseil constitutionnel
    21 janvier 2022 – La Quadrature du Net
    https://www.laquadrature.net/2022/01/21/les-drones-policiers-autorises-par-le-conseil-constitutionnel

    Le Conseil constitutionnel vient de rendre sa décision sur la loi « responsabilité pénale et sécurité intérieure ». Ce texte, adopté le 18 novembre 2021 par le Parlement, prévoyait notamment de ré-autoriser les drones policiers. Si les drones avaient été interdits à quatre reprises depuis 2020 (deux fois par le Conseil d’État, une fois par la CNIL et une fois par le Conseil constitutionnel), l’entêtement du gouvernement a porté ses fruits. Après deux années d’illégalité, les drones vont ré-occuper le ciel et restaurer la surveillance de masse.

    Cette mauvaise nouvelle ne vient pas seule : le Conseil constitutionnel valide aussi les caméras embarquées sur les véhicules de police (hélicoptères, voitures…) ainsi que la vidéosurveillance des cellules de garde-à-vue. À côté, le Conseil ne prend même pas la peine d’examiner les nombreuses autres dispositions de cette loi qui s’en prennent à d’autres libertés fondamentales (amendes forfaitaires, prise d’empreintes forcée, répression des mineurs isolés, modification du régime d’irresponsabilité pénale – voir notre analyse commune avec le SAF, le SM et la LDH). (...)

  • With drones and thermal cameras, Greek officials monitor refugees

    Athens says a new surveillance system will boost security, but critics raise alarm over its implications for privacy.

    “Let’s go see something that looks really nice,” says Anastasios Salis, head of information and communications technology at the Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry in Athens, before entering an airtight room sealed behind two interlocking doors, accessible only with an ID card and fingerprint scan.

    Beyond these doors is the ministry’s newly-installed centralised surveillance room.

    The front wall is covered by a vast screen. More than a dozen rectangles and squares display footage from three refugee camps already connected to the system.

    Some show a basketball court in a refugee camp on the island of Samos. Another screen shows the playground and another the inside of one of the containers where people socialise.

    Overhead, lights suddenly flash red. A potential threat has been detected in one of the camps. This “threat” has been flagged by Centaur, a high-tech security system the Greek Migration Ministry is piloting and rolling out at all of the nearly 40 refugee camps in the country.

    Centaur includes cameras and motion sensors. It uses algorithms to automatically predict and flag threats such as the presence of guns, unauthorised vehicles, or unusual visits into restricted areas.

    The system subsequently alerts the appropriate authorities, such as the police, fire brigade, and private security working in the camps.

    From the control room, operators deploy camera-equipped drones and instruct officers stationed at the camp to rush to the location of the reported threat.

    Officers carry smartphones loaded with software that allows them to communicate with the control centre.

    Once they determine the nature and severity of the threat, the control room guides them on the ground to resolve the incident.

    Video footage and other data collected as part of the operation can then be stored under an “incident card” in the system.

    This particular incident is merely a simulation, presented to Al Jazeera during an exclusive tour and preview of the Centaur system.

    The aim of the programme, according to Greek officials, is to ensure the safety of those who live inside the camps and in surrounding communities.

    “We use technology to prevent violence, to prevent events like we had in Moria – the arson of the camp. Because safety is critical for everyone,” Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told Al Jazeera at the November inauguration of a new, EU-funded “closed-controlled” refugee camp on Kos island, one of the first facilities to be connected to the Centaur system.

    ‘Dystopian’ surveillance project

    Nearly 40 cameras are being installed in each camp, which can be operated from the control room.

    There will also be thermal cameras, drones, and other technology – including augmented reality glasses, which will be distributed to police and private security personnel.

    “This was not to monitor and invade the privacy of the people [in the camps],” said Salis, one of the architects of Centaur. “You’re not monitoring them. You’re trying to prevent bad things from happening.”

    Greek authorities headline this new surveillance as a form of security but civil society groups and European lawmakers have criticised the move.

    “This fits a broader trend of the EU pouring public money into dystopian and experimental surveillance projects, which treat human beings as lab rats,” Ella Jakubowska, policy and campaigns officer at European Digital Rights (EDRi), told Al Jazeera. “Money which could be used to help people is instead used to punish them, all while the surveillance industry makes vast profits selling false promises of magical technology that claims to fix complex structural issues.”

    Recent reporting, which revealed Centaur will be partly financed by the EU COVID Recovery fund, has led a group of European lawmakers to write to the European Commission with their concerns about its implementation.

    Homo Digitalis, a Greek digital rights advocacy group, and EDRi said they made several requests for information on what data protection assessments were carried out before the development and deployment of Centaur.

    Such analysis is required under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They have also asked what data will be collected and how long it will be held by authorities. Those requests, they said, have gone unanswered.

    The Greek Migration Ministry did not respond to Al Jazeera’s query on whether an impact assessment was completed, and on policies regarding data retention and the processing of data related to children.

    In Samos, mixed feelings

    Advocates in Samos told Al Jazeera they raised concerns about camp residents being adequately notified about the presence of these technologies.

    But Salis, at the control centre, said this has been achieved through “signs – a lot of signs”, in the camps.

    The system does not currently incorporate facial recognition technology, at least “not yet”, according to Leonidas Petavrakis, a digital software specialist with ESA Security Solutions S.A., one of the companies contracted for the Centaur project.

    The potential use of facial recognition in this context is “a big concern”, said Konstantinos Kakavoulis of Homo Digitalis.

    Facial recognition systems often misidentify people of colour and can lead to wrongful arrests and convictions, according to studies. Human rights organisations globally have called for their use to be limited or banned.

    An EU proposal on regulating artificial intelligence, unveiled by the European Commission in April, does not go far enough to prevent the misuse of AI systems, critics claim.

    For some of those living under the glare of this EU-funded surveillance system, the feeling is mixed.

    Mohammed, a 25-year-old refugee from Palestine living in the new Samos camp, said that he did not always mind the cameras as he thought they might prevent fights, which broke out frequently at the former Samos camp.

    “Sometimes it’s [a] good feeling because it makes you feel safe, sometimes not,” he said but added that the sense of security came at a price.

    “There’s not a lot of difference between this camp and a prison.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/24/greece-pilots-high-tech-surveillance-system-in-refugee-camps
    #Grèce #réfugiés #asile #migrations #surveillance #complexe_militaro-industriel #drones #caméras_thérmiques #Samos #îles #camps_de_réfugiés #Centaur #algorythme #salle_de_contrôle #menace #technologie #EU_COVID_Recovery_fund #reconnaissance_faciale #intelligence_artificielle #AI #IA

    –—

    sur ces nouveaux camps de réfugiés fermés (et surveillés) dans les #îles grecques notamment :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/917173

    ping @etraces

    • Greece plans automated drones to spot people crossing border

      The Greek Migration Ministry announced it would use EU-funded drones with “Artificial Intelligence” to track people seeking refuge at the border. Promises that they will also improve search and rescue operations ring hollow.

      At the opening of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair this September, Greek migration minister Notis Mitarakis – otherwise known for dismissing the ongoing evidence of Greek border guards’ brutal and illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers as “fake news” – made national headlines when he introduced his ministry’s latest project: €3.7m funding for drones with “innovative algorithms” that can “automatically identify defined targets of interest” at the Greek border.

      What did he mean? In a demo video, two men – one in sunglasses and a red shirt, another blurred – walk next to a line drawn through a field, with boxes marking them as “person”. As the guy in sunglasses walks closer towards the line, he gets labeled as “person of interest”. He starts running, jumps over the line, runs, lies down on a bench, disappearing from view. When he gets up, the box keeps tracking him.

      EU funding for Greek security projects

      “I actually recognize people from my department in this video”, one IT researcher told us, chuckling, at the Greek Ministry for Migration’s stall at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair on 13 September.

      His department – the Information Technologies Institute at the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) – is in a quiet building in the outskirts of Thessaloniki. Here, researchers work on 27 different projects, mostly funded by the European Commission.

      The first time CERTH got funding for a security project was in 2017, when the European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020 paid them to coordinate “ROBORDER”, an €8m project which aimed to develop and pilot “a fully autonomous border surveillance system” where, researchers said, robots will be able to identify humans and independently decide if they represent a threat. These days, the CERTH researcher says, there is a lot of interest from European institutions for funding “security projects”.

      REACTION

      Now, REACTION, or “Real-Time Artificial Intelligence for Border Surveillance” will also be CERTH-coordinated and funded by the European Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs Fund. It is set to start in November 2022, and run for 36 months.

      Computer scientist Stathes Hadjiefthymiades, who is part of the REACTION team, said they want to combine the research from ROBORDER and “AIDERS” – another EU-funded project aimed at processing data from drones, sensors and cameras to “improve emergency responses” in case of a fire, flood or shipwreck. The aim, he says, is to bring the technologies – “or goodies”, as he calls them – into the hands of the police, who want drones (as well as thermal sensors, motion detectors and cameras already installed at the Greek border) to alert them of border crossings.

      Once alerted, law enforcement will “not necessarily” stop people from crossing into Greece, Mr Hadjiefthymiades said. They could also be arrested or brought to camps and be instructed on how to apply for asylum. He added that pushbacks, which Amnesty International describes as “Greece’s de facto border policy”, are “in the news” but he does not believe that Greek border guards are pushing boats of asylum seekers back to Turkey.

      “Innovative algorithms”

      In his speech at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, migration minister Mr Mitarakis said REACTION’s “use of artificial intelligence” will allow drones to identify and monitor “targets of interest”. However, one young man from the research consortium told us that “[the Migration Ministry] do not really know anything about what we are doing”, because they are “in a different field” and are “end users”.

      At the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, three drones were on display at the Greek Migration Ministry’s stall. Two were from the Chinese commercial drone maker DJI. The third was wrapped in wires and was, a presenter explained, trained to do what Mr Mitarakis said: scan an area, and, if it spots something “more interesting”, like a person crossing a border, independently change its course to track this person. However, the presenter told us, it is the only drone they have that can do this, because “on-board processing” is very expensive and requires a lot of energy.

      Mr Hadjiefthymiades confirmed that they were “dealing with reduced-size drones with limited on-board power. We are struggling to do on-board intelligence with off-the-shelf drones.”

      In the brochure for REACTION, the Greek migration ministry says that one of the project’s aims is “to use the funding to buy equipment needed for the border project.”

      Search and Rescue

      After police are alerted about a person or vehicle crossing the Greek border, “they will go see what is happening”, the young man from the research consortium told us. A woman, overhearing this, said angrily, “I will tell you what they do, they will either come with guns to shoot, or they will beat them”. Later, the young man admitted, “For me, the one thing is, I don’t know exactly what the police will do to the migrants after we alert them.” He grimaced. “But what can I do,” he said.

      When asked about REACTION’s claim that it will be used for “search and rescue”, the young man said he believed that people at the “Multimedia Knowledge Lab” at CERTH are training an algorithm to spot if someone is injured at the border. But Yiannis Kompatsiaris, a senior researcher there, told us that his lab is not currently training such an algorithm.

      In recent years, the Greek Coast Guard, like other European authorities, was repeatedly accused of delaying rescue operations. Earlier this month, Deutsche Welle published a report which showed that Greek authorities left a group of 38 asylum-seekers stranded on an islet on the Evros river, which marks most of the border between Greece and Turkey, despite a nearby pylon with heat sensors and cameras, which should have been able to immediately locate the group.

      Since 2017, open-source researcher Phevos Simeonidis tracks local and EU-funded border surveillance projects in Greece. So far, he says, “this ever-increasing apparatus always seems to fall short of assisting search and rescue, and also evidently turns a blind eye when footage or data could help individuals substantiate claims that they have been victims of human rights violations.”

      https://algorithmwatch.org/en/greece-plans-automated-drones

      #AI #IA #intelligence_artificielle #Real-Time_Artificial_Intelligence_for_Border_Surveillance #REACTION #ROBORDER #AIDERS #CERTH

  • Attaque au drone en août | Pas de sanctions après la mort de civils dans une frappe à Kaboul | La Presse
    https://www.lapresse.ca/international/etats-unis/2021-12-13/attaque-au-drone-en-aout/pas-de-sanctions-apres-la-mort-de-civils-dans-une-frappe-a-kaboul.php

    Parce que, dit le porte-parole du Pentagone :

    « Ce qu’il s’est passé, c’est un dysfonctionnement du processus de décision et d’exécution, et ce n’est le résultat ni d’une négligence, ni d’une faute, ni d’un mauvais commandement »

    #langage

  • Etats-Unis : Des ingénieurs conçoivent un robot capable d’agir comme un oiseau
    https://www.20minutes.fr/sciences/3187443-20211202-etats-unis-ingenieurs-concoivent-robot-capable-agir-comme

    Au final, l’oiseau robot est parvenu à attraper des objets qu’on lui lançait, comme des balles de tennis, et de se poser en conditions réelles dans des forêts du nord-ouest des Etats-Unis.

    #drones