Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No. 85  (Read 846 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No. 85
« on: November 28, 2007, 12:16:54 pm »
NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 85 - 22nd November 2007
Contacting us: Call or email the office - 020-7793-4005 or ( Please do not reply to this email. (The from address is not a working email address)


With the scandal around the HMRC Child Benefit data breach intensifying, even some sceptical Labour MPs are calling for a (temporary) halt to the ID cards scheme.  This is not enough.  MPs of all parties should be calling for the immediate and permanent scrapping of the Home Office's 'identity management' programme.

Not just the card, not just the database, but also the mass 'data-sharing' that lies at the heart of government ID policy.

Please take the time this weekend or sooner to write to your MP via asking that he or she demand an immediate and permanent stop to all development of ID cards and a National Identity Register.  If you don't already know his or her position, you can check how your MP voted on the ID cards legislation at

Be polite, be concise and make your points clearly.  The following may help you, but please DON'T just cut & paste:

Having shown such contempt for personal privacy and security, the government simply cannot be trusted with all the information that the National Identity Register will demand.  Fingerprints, and a detailed record of all your ID-verified transactions is data that has NEVER been collected before, counter to some MPs' claims that "we have it all already".

The HMRC data scandal clearly demonstrates the fallacy of "nothing to hide, nothing to fear".  It is bad enough that the government can't look after families' financial details - if allowed to proceed, in a few short years the Home Office will be leaking or losing people's complete identity records.  And the more data it has, the worse it will get.

Contrary to government assertion, biometrics WILL NOT secure your official record - but they will make it more valuable to fraudsters and organised crime.  If the government really locked your ID record with your fingerprint, it would have to ask you every time that any official wanted to look at your information.  This is plainly not the intention - and when breaches do happen, you won't be able to change your fingers like you can an account number.

+++ STOP PRESS +++


Connecting for Health says that a letter about the NHS Care Records Service has been sent to every patient registered with a GP in each of its "early adopter" practices. But some people have contacted us and our colleagues at (TBOO) to say that they haven't received such a letter.

TBOO would very much like to hear from anyone registered at any of the GP practices listed on the following webpage, who has NOT yet received a letter about the NHS Care Records Service:

Clearly, people can't make an informed choice to opt out if they have not been made aware of what is happening.

If you are registered with a GP at any of the listed practices and haven't received a letter, please send an e-mail to or phone 01494 882 458, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

On 14 November 2007, NO2ID launched the legal defence fund promised in our 2005 PledgeBank pledge. With the help of friendly lawyers working for little or nothing in fees, this will allow us to take up the cases of people fighting the application of the National Identity Scheme and test the legislation in the courts. Some people could fall liable to prosecution as early as next year. And, despite the HMRC scandal, we fully expect the government to keep going with as much of the ID scheme as it can.

For more information or to make a donation* or fulfil your pledge, please visit

The response within the first week has been fantastic, many thanks to everyone who has already made a payment or sent in a cheque.
*The fund is not just for pledgers, though 11,361 people have already pledged to pay £10.


What's next?
Local groups news
We now have groups in 36 of the 69 locations of ID interrogation centres (see If you can help to set up a local group in one of the remaining towns then please contact our Local Groups liaisons Matty and Deborah at ( A full list of local groups can be found at

An apology from Staines NO2ID
Rupert Jackson of NO2ID Staines writes: "I would just like to apologise to anyone who tried to attend the meeting as advertised in last month's newsletter for Staines NO2ID. Unfortunately the name of the pub had been changed a while ago and I had not realised which made the venue rather difficult to find. I will endeavour to make sure a meeting takes place in the near future". 

Saturdays 1pm - 3pm - NO2ID Edinburgh street stall
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel.  Do drop by for a chat.  New volunteers - please contact John (, and for more group information see

Most Saturdays 2pm - NO2ID Glasgow Street Stall
Most Saturdays there are stalls in Glasgow city centre (usually Buchanan Street) from about 2pm. Volunteers are always welcome, please contact Geraint if you would like to help:

Passport interrogations (Glasgow)

Glasgow NO2ID are keen to hear from anyone who has been summoned to attend the interrogation centre at Blythswood House after applying for their first passport. Please contact Geraint at or Charlie at

Phil Booth, National Coordinator, will be coming to Birmingham for a meeting of all NO2ID groups in the West Midlands, open to everyone who wants to do something in the fight against ID cards and the database state on their patch. Come and learn how to set up a group and campaign in your area; meet other campaigners and share ideas; find out where the ID scheme and related initiatives are heading, and what you can do about it.
DATE & TIME: Saturday 24th November 2007, 10:30am for 11:00am start.
VENUE: The Priory Rooms, Friends Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF
[Heading on after 13:00 to The Old Contemptibles, 175 Edmund Street for lunch/beer and further planning.]
24th November - NO2ID Brighton Social Event
Saturday 24th November 3pm-6pm at the Lord Nelson on Trafalgar Street. In the coming months Brighton & Hove NO2ID want to help students at the Universities of Brighton & Sussex start their own NO2ID societies. We'd like to work with local politicians to introduce a motion to the council declaring Brighton & Hove's opposition to ID cards, and the difficulties they would cause for local government. Most of all, we'd like to get more people involved in the campaign so that by the time the next election comes we can really get lobbying, force candidates to take a stance on the issue, and work towards electing a government that will repeal the Identity Cards Act 2006 and put an end to the ID cards folly for good. To kick-start these plans we're organising a social event - it's open to all and is the perfect opportunity to ask questions, volunteer or even become a paid-up member of NO2ID. If nothing else, we'd love you to come and meet us, enjoy a chat over a drink and have some nibbles! There's no obligation to do anything at all, but we hope you might want to. There'll be a buffet and entry is free.

24th November - NO2ID Cambridge Stall
Saturday, 24th November, 10am at Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: Cambridge NO2ID'S next street stall will be in the usual spot. As ever, volunteers to help very welcome - please email, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.

27th November - Edinburgh NO2ID Meeting - 'Taking Liberties' - revisited
Tuesday, 27th November at 7.00pm in The Library, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL (map After appearing (fleetingly) in the film "Taking Liberties", the Edinburgh group will be viewing and discussing some of the extra items on the DVD of the film.  These include interviews with ID and technical experts and people like Tony Benn, Mark Thomas and Andrew Gilligan. All are welcome. Posters and fliers for the meeting can be downloaded at

27th November - Glasgow NO2ID fortnightly meeting
Tuesday, 27th November at 8pm in Mono. Glasgow NO2ID's regular fortnightly meetings. All welcome. Map:

28th November - Leicester NO2ID last monthly meeting of the year
Wednesday, 28th November 8pm at the Blues pub in Oadby. Ring Avtar on 07866 302229 if needs be for directions etc.

1st December - Canterbury NO2ID Street Stall
Saturday, 1st December, 10.30am - 4pm. We'll be somewhere near the library, handing out postcards, tri-fold leaflets and taking petition signatures. Dover NO2ID are helping out. If anyone's lurking down this way who's interested in helping they're encouraged to get in touch... the rota is yet to be worked out, and help is always appreciated.

5th December - Worcester NO2ID Meeting
Wednesday, 5th December, 8pm at The Portobello, 139 Bransford Road, St John's, Worcester. At the meeting we'll find out just what we've been able to achieve with our councils and MPs... by then, Labour's Michael Foster may already be in hot water with the Parliamentary Ombudsman over snubbing the latest on the dastardly pay-or-else curb on city centre street stalls. And Shrewsbury Coordinator Rob Findlay's coming along to steer us to wiser, more productive ways of campaigning sans the pitfalls.

5th December - Cambridge NO2ID pub meeting (1st Wednesday of each month)
Wednesday, 5th December, 7.30pm at the Free Press (pub), 7 Prospect Row, Cambridge CB1 1DU ( Cambridge NO2ID's informal pub meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month. Join us at 7:30pm on Wednesday 5th December . For more details contact, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

5th December - Southampton NO2ID Meeting (1st Wednesday of each month)
Wednesday, 5th December at 8:00 pm in the Dolphin Pub in St Denys. For more information contact

6th December - NO2D Oxford Meeting (1st Thursday of each month)
Thursday, 6th December, 8pm the Mitre on the High Street ( We're trying to make this a regular thing, so count on it being on the first Thursday of the month from now on. We'll be discussing progress on the public meeting and the other campaigning  ideas. See you there!

8th December - Manchester NO2ID Street Stall
Saturday, 8th December, 1pm-3pm, we'll be running a Saturday afternoon stall in St. Anne's Square. We'll meet in the square itself at 1pm to set up shop; feel free to join us to lend a hand or just chat. You don't need any experience or equipment, just a bit of time to spare and a friendly smile!

9th December - NO2ID stall Swiss Cottage (Joint Initiative by Southwark Kensington & Chelsea and Camden)
On 4th November three groups manned a stall at Swiss Cottage and collected signatures and donations.  We will repeat the same exercise on Sunday 9th December.  While someone mans the stall, the rest spread out walking round Swiss Cottage shopping areas with the petition collecting signatures and donations. If you live in London and you are free on 9th December, please come and join us. For more information email, or

11th December - "Surveillance Society: Turning Debate into Action" - Manchester  (Free with Limited places) + NO2ID flyering

Tuesday, 11th December, 9:30am-6:30pm at the Bridgewater Hall in central Manchester. The Information Commissioner's Office will be hosting a conference that aims to build on their previous report, A Surveillance Society, and will be looking forward to actions that can be taken to deal with the consequences of a surveillance society.  The Information Commissioner also intends to launch a handbook on Privacy Impact Assessments at the conference. If anybody is free to flyer for NO2ID outside the venue at the start or end of the day, please contact us on

12th December - Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, 12th December, 7pm-9pm in the upstairs function room of the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us if you have accessibility needs. The Town Hall Tavern serves reasonably-priced, good quality food until 8pm so you don't need to pop home for tea - you can even order your meal brought up to the function room.


What just happened?
Manchester NO2ID gets new website
NO2ID Manchester launched a new website last week. The new site features more ways of getting informed about news and events via a calendar and news feeds, a Frequently Asked Questions section, details of how to get involved and an Internet Relay Chat feature that allows supporters to chat to each other in real time.

Information Commissioner on Surveillance and Data Collection
Last week (14th November) the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution to discuss surveillance and data collection. When asked if there were any policy initiatives that pose a particular threat either to the privacy of the individual or the well being of society Thomas listed: "the identity card debate and the national identity register, the database behind that is an area that has been of particular concern to us. The e-borders programme; Connecting for Health, the National Health Service project to have full electronic health records in due course on every person in this country; the road user charging possibility if we have intrusive means of tracking vehicles as they are driving around the country; the Serious Crime Act which has just very recently received Royal Assent is an example of authorising public sector access to private sector databases in the fight against fraud; the new rules recently brought forward for the retention of Telecom’s details by telephone companies with access to that by the police".
You can listen to the session at
Or read the transcript at

Biometrics stop bullying - 'A Surveillance Society?' evidence session
On Tuesday (20th November) the Home Affairs Committee heard evidence from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Department of Health, Department for Transport and Transport for London and the Ministry of Justice. The committee asked Tim Wright, Chief Information Officer, Department for Children, Schools and Families about the use of biometrics in schools for monitoring attendance, taking out library books and purchasing school meals. Wright said that "the department is quite content with use of biometrics in that way". Wright showed an incredible lack of understanding of both biometrics and children when he said: "There are a number of benefits of using biometric based systems over other technologies such as smart cards, principally the fact that the child doesn't actually have to carry anything with them and therefore don't lay themselves open to bullying tactics from other children who wish to get hold of their card in order to access the service they have". Wright makes no mention of the normalising effect on children of using biometric technology and seems to imagine that children bully other children to get their hands on more library books.
You can listen to the session at
A transcript will be on the Home Affairs Committee website soon

CCTV and the database-state
The Home Office's 'National CCTV Strategy' released last month reveals the government's plans to link CCTV into the database-state. The document lays out proposals to create CCTV networks and cross-match data from other databases which could be used for data-matching/mining and profiling: "It is hoped, in future, as technology is developed, that such a network will allow the use of automated search techniques (i.e. face recognition) and can be integrated with other systems such as ANPR [Automatic Number Plate Recognition], and police despatch systems to further increase the effectiveness of CCTV."
The strategy document can be downloaded at

Information Commissioner's Office releases report on understanding Data Protection

Last week (14th November) the Information Commissioner’s Office released their annual track report, a nationwide survey that looks at understanding of the Data Protection Act. The research showed that 94% of individuals are concerned that organisations are selling their personal details to other organisations without permission and that people now consider protecting their personal information as the second most socially important issue above the NHS, national security and environmental issues.
The report can be downloaded from

EU Conflict over how young to fingerprint children
The European Commission is proposing that all children over 6 are fingerprinted for EU passports (and nationally-issued ID cards) - the only reason that those less than six years old are not to be fingerprinted is a technical one: "the fingerprints of children under the age of 6 seemed not to be of sufficient quality for one-to-one verification of identity". Meanwhile the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament adopted a report on visas for visitors entering the EU which sets the limit for the fingerprinting of children at 12 years old and above. If the standard for fingerprinting children is set at 12 years old and above for visas the same standard would have to apply to EU passports and ID cards.
For more information see htp://

EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) scheme
Statewatch has been reporting extensively on the proposed EU Passenger Name Record scheme. They report: "All passengers to be 'profiled' and the data kept for 13 years". The EU PNR plan mirrors the controversial EU-US PNR scheme and the European Parliament is only to be "consulted". Press reports in the UK this week revealed UK plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.


"ID" in the news
Cameron calls for ID card re-think - KableNet 22/11/07
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, called on prime minister Gordon Brown to re-think his plans for a national identity register, following the "appalling blunder" which led to the huge loss of child benefit data from HM Revenue and Customs.

Data fiasco forces ministers into ID cards review - The Guardian 22/11/07
Ministers are to look at scaling back plans for identity cards in response to the catastrophic loss of the personal information of 25 million people, including their bank records and addresses. The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, urged ministers yesterday to review the amount of data they intend to amass on the national identity register, and Labour backbenchers previously supportive of ID cards backed his view.,,2215081,00.html

Health records a target for 'the wicked' - E-Health insider 21/11/07
Richard Jeavons, senior responsible owner for service implementation at Connecting for Health has admitted to the Commons Home Affairs Committee that the NHS Care Records Service database is open to misuse by “the wicked”.'the_wicked'

Passengers forced to answer 53 questions BEFORE they travel - Evening Standard 15/11/07
Travellers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain. For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.

Austria: Data-retention law on the way - 12/11/07
Austria is working on new legislation to bring it into line with the EU Directive on data retention. Data retention is controversial in Austria, but the word from the Infrastructure Ministry is that a new draft law is almost ready. Until now, Austrian law has specifically forbidden the storage of personalised telecoms traffic data.

ID card scheme 'to cost £5.6bn' - BBC News Online 8/11/07
The projected cost of the identity card scheme will be £5.612bn over the next 10 years, the Home Office says.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter - Editor( )

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NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ



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