Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No. 112  (Read 657 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No. 112
« on: December 08, 2008, 10:20:03 pm »
++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 112 - 4th December 2008 ++

The Coroners and Justice Bill, announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech
will contain extraordinary new data-sharing powers which could be
exercised without Parliamentary debate. The government is trying to
sneak through new powers in a bill "to create the new role of The Office
of the Chief Coroner". Supporters need to be aware of the danger of this
bill and be ready to contact MPs as this legislation passes through
The new powers follow on from the Thomas/Walport Data Sharing Review [1]
which recommended "that where there is a genuine case for removing or
modifying an existing legal barrier to data sharing, a new statutory
fast-track procedure should be created". Jack Straw highlighted these
new 'fast track' data-sharing powers which he said will "simplify the
data protection framework and remove any unnecessary obstacles to data
These powers would allow the government effectively to set aside not
just the Data Protection Act and data protection principles when it
suits, but the much more fundamental protections of Articles 6 and 8 of
the ECHR/HRA [2], of common law confidentiality and of ultra vires[3].
This goes far beyond data protection into administrative and
constitutional law.
Rather than protecting our personal information as it should, the
government is cutting away safeguards for its own data-trafficking
convenience. This bill as it stands smashes the rule of law and builds
the database state in its place. We need to do everything we can to stop
these powers being passed otherwise it really could mean the end of
privacy as we know it.
[1] Thomas/Walport Data Sharing Review can be found at
[2] The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights
Act 1998 (HRA). Article 8 is the right to privacy and Article 6 the
presumption of innocence - both of which e.g. data profiling or matching
or false biometric matches will contravene.
[3] Ultra vires refers to acts of a public body which fall beyond its
jurisdiction or remit
+ Thanks to local groups +
Many thanks to all groups who got a multisignatory NO2ID letter
published in their local press to coincide with the launch of "ID cards"
for foreign nationals. The letter even found its way into the Daily
Telegraph (see
What just happened?
+ Landmark judgment for DNA privacy at European Court of Human
Rights +
The government has been defeated in a case at the European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR) over the retention of DNA samples for those who have
not committed an offence. The case of 'S' and Marper should force the
government to destroy 4.5m samples taken from people acquitted or never
charged that are currently stored in the national DNA database. The
court said: "The retention in question constituted a disproportionate
interference with the applicants' right to respect for private life and
could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society." The court
also ordered the British authorities to pay 42,000 euros to the two men
for legal fees. The court's rulings are binding on all EU member states.
The Home Secretary has stated that the existing law will remain in place
while ministers consider the judgment.
+ Government publishes response to data sharing review +
Last week the government published its response to the Data Sharing
Review written by Richard Thomas (the current Information Commissioner
but working "in an independent capacity") and Dr Mark Walport (Director
of the Wellcome Trust). Back in Newsletter 102 we warned that
recommendations in the Data Sharing review to remove existing data
sharing firewalls will lead to the abolition of privacy. Right on queue
the government has seized on the recommendations. Their response states:
"Government will legislate to create a gateway for data sharing powers,
which will be subject to the Parliamentary Affirmative Resolution
procedure. This will create a more streamlined process, retaining the
element of parliamentary scrutiny to ensure transparency in data sharing
policy and ensuring such power is proportionate." As detailed above the
Ministry of Justice will be putting new data sharing powers into the
Coroners and Justice bill, for apparent want of anywhere better to put
Download the full response at
+ Details of ID scheme penalties emerge +
Last week, as the government launched a consultation into secondary
legislation under the ID cards act, some details of the civil penalties
under the act have emerged. For instance you could have £1000 penalties
sent to you by e-mail if you fail to turn up at a time and place of
their choosing, refuse to be fingerprinted, photographed or hand over
documents (e.g. birth or marriage certificates), or fail to tell them
you've moved house for 3 months. Anything that the Identity and Passport
service think is "deliberate or reckless" provision of incorrect
information could lead to 2 years in prison. Other dubious 'highlights'
include: a tax on marriage -- women who change their name will have to
buy a new card; those without bank accounts won't be able to get ID as
you can only pay by credit or debit card, or cheque; and the homeless
will be able to nominate a park bench as their 'address'. Welcome to a
lifetime of state identity control!
+ Freedom Not Fear protest video goes online +
Back in October a protest was staged at Scotland Yard in London as part
of Europe wide 'Freedom Not Fear' actions. A video of the protest
featuring interviews with some of those present, including NO2ID
campaigner 'Panda', has been posted on google video.
What's next?
*+ ID cards secondary legislation consultation launched +*
The Identity and Passport Service has launched a consultation on
secondary legislation proposed under the Identity Cards Act 2006,
including a draft Code of Practice on Civil Penalties. Any comments
should be sent to: Robin Woodland, Identity Cards Act Secondary
Legislation Consultation, Home Office, Identity and Passport Service,
Allington Towers, 19 Allington Street, London SW1E 5EB. Comments may
also be sent by email to: If commenting by
email then include the words "consultation response" in the subject
title. Closing date 13th February 2009.
*+ Connecting for Health and secondary uses of patient data consultation +*
"NHS Connecting for Health are gathering people's views to help them
make important decisions about the ways the NHS can use information it
collects about patients. Such patient data is mainly used to provide
care and treatment but can also have additional uses such as research,
auditing the quality and safety of care, management planning, etc. This
consultation is focusing on additional uses." Responses should be sent
to Chrissy Brand (FREEPOST RRXB-TTRR-HJGB, Tribal Consulting, Palatine
Road, Manchester, M22 4DB) by 10th December.
The size, influence and activity of NO2ID's local group network is
unique amongst single-issue campaigning and is growing all the time.
Groups raise awareness of the work of NO2ID, inform their local
politicians and journalists about the depth of the ID scheme and provide
us with our now main method of attracting new members and supporters.
Their work is vital and effective and enables us to maintain a
relatively high local media presence that many campaigning groups envy.
To see if there's a group in your area check our list at
Or, if you're interested in starting a group yourself, please contact
Matty on to discuss what's involved and what we
have in place to support coordinators and their groups.
_*+ Cambridge +*_
***+ 6th December - NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
Saturday, 6th December at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge
Guildhall. Location Map: ( As
ever, volunteers to help very welcome - please email, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.
_*+ Canterbury +*_
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has supported us, joined the list,
signed a petition, signed a pledge and/or become a member of NO2ID.
There are now over 600 NO2ID members in Canterbury!
*+ 13th December - Canterbury NO2ID Street Stall + *
Saturday, 13th December 10am - 1pm (or later depending on numbers) on
the High Street. If you would like to get involved and can commit to a
specific time that would be very helpful - the more the merrier at what
will probably be a very busy time. Potential for getting our message
out and getting new sign-ups is high so it should be a rewarding day.
Contact or call 07792 567087.
_*+ Cardiff +*_
*+ 10th December - No Borders South Wales protest, UK Border Agency +*
Wednesday, 10th December 12 noon outside the UK Border Agency, 31-33
Newport Road where registration of non-EEA students and spouses will
begin in Cardiff. We invite all opponents of ID cards to join us. This
is a follow up to the demonstration when ID cards came into force on the
25th November in the same place, which was part of a national day of
action by No Borders.
More info at:
_*+ Coventry +
*Coventry held their first stall on Saturday 29th November and it was a
success, coinciding with their letter on ID cards for non-EU foreign
nationals being printed in the Evening Telegraph.
If you are interested in the activity of the group, please join the
Coventry mailing list on:
_*+ Deptford +*_
*+ 12th December - Deptford NO2ID Film Night - 'Taking Liberties' +*
Friday, 12th December at the Deptford Arms, 52 Deptford High St, London,
SE8 4RT Tel: 0871 917 000. Deptford NO2ID is showing "Taking Liberties",
contact for more info.
_*+ Dorking +*_
It's not quite a year since we started Dorking NO2ID. We didn't really
get going until 21st March when we had our first street stall. In the 8
months since then we have done 13 street stalls, collected 2500
signatures, held a public meeting which was attended by about 100
people, and we have persuaded Mole Valley Council and Surrey County
Council to pass motions against ID Cards.
Meetings every first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm, The Lincoln Arms
near Dorking mainline station. Come along and set the agenda for 2009.
_*+ Edinburgh +*_
*The guest speaker at the Edinburgh group meeting on 26th November was
Lord George Foulkes, MSP. As far as we know, this was the first time
in Scotland that a Labour politician had been prepared to debate in
public about ID cards and the evening was conducted in a wholly amicable
and constructive manner. Interestingly, having been concerned with
parliamentary security committees, he thought that the use of ID cards
to combat terrorism had been 'oversold'. Otherwise it appeared that he
supported the standard Home Office line and said that opposition to ID
cards was based on misunderstandings. The long discussion after his
talk should have disabused him. It was disappointing that he came out
with the tired old line that opposition by other parties was based on
political opportunism. Still, we were very grateful that he was willing
to come and talk to us.
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
_**__*+ Glasgow +*_
*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:
_*+ Leicester +*_
*+ 10th December - Leicester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 10th December 8pm in the Blues pub on Uplands/Severn Rd
corner, Oadby.
_*+ Liverpool +*_
*Liverpool ID Card Protests at Immigration Centre
*On Tuesday 25th November 2008, the day when UK identity cards for
foreign nationals were introduced, a number of groups from around the
north west gathered at the Liverpool immigration centre in Reliant
House, 20 Water Street. This was one of a series of demonstrations at
immigration centres around the UK. NO2ID, Defy-ID and No Borders
campaigners were present, along with the Rhythms of Resistance band.
Most demonstrators were wearing barcodes strung around their necks. The
public reaction was mixed but mostly positive, with people coming from
surrounding streets to observe the demonstration and talk to people
about the issues surrounding identity cards and immigration. People
queuing at the centre itself were also keen to discuss these issues and
their concerns. Many seemed unaware of the Government's new scheme. The
demonstration ran from before its official noon start to beyond its
official 1pm finish, finally disbanding closer to 2pm.
_*+ London +*_
*+ January 2009 - Superheroes Against National ID Cards protest +*
January 2009 (Date TBC shortly) Parliament Square, London. A fun protest
against: the National Identity Register, the erosion of our civil
liberties, the database state & the monopolisation of superhero
protests! Help end this Orwellian nightmare...!
_*+ Manchester +*_
*+ 13th December - Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 13th December, from 2pm in St. Anne's Square, Manchester.
We'll be running a Saturday afternoon stall in St. Ann's Square to raise
awareness among the public and engage people in discussion about the
National Identity Register. We'll meet in the square itself at 2pm 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!
_*+ Oxford +*_
*+ 4th December - Oxford NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday, 4th December, 8pm at the Mitre on the High Street, Oxford.
See the website for more:
_*+ Shrewsbury +*_
*+ 15th December - Shrewsbury NO2ID "dining club" (3rd Monday of the
month) +*
Monday, 15th December - our regular "dining club" is meeting at about
7.15pm somewhere in the town centre. Do join us for a meal, or just come
along for a drink. We need to book the table a few days in advance, so
contact Rob Findlay on (or 07973 848910) if you'd
like to come along.
"ID" in the news
*+ DNA database 'breach of rights' - BBC News online 4/12/08 +*
Two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained
by police, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Home Secretary
Jacqui Smith said she was "disappointed" by the European Court of Human
Rights' decision. The database may now have to be scaled back following
the unanimous judgement by 17 senior judges from across Europe.
*+ ID cards are not voluntary - Telegraph 3/12/08 +*
When the Government introduced its ID card legislation several years
ago, it made one thing clear. Even though it would be obligatory to
register on the ID database when obtaining a new passport, it would not
be compulsory to carry a card.
*+ New bills could affect civil liberties - Public Service 3/12/08 +*
Two bills announced in the Queen's Speech will contain "extraordinary"
data sharing and enforcement powers for the government. NO2ID has
accused the government of burying the new proposed powers in "obscure
bills", with a controversial data sharing proposal included in the
Coroners and Justice Bill and a power to demand a member of the public
to present his/her ID card in the Immigration and Citizenship Bill.
*+ Arrests made after protest against ID card scheme - Sheffield
Telegraph 3/12/08 +*
Police made a dozen arrests after a group of anarchists staged a protest
at the Home Office buildings in Sheffield. Members of the Anarchists'
Federation arrived at Vulcan House in Millsands on the Riverside in
Sheffield city centre at around 8.30am to mount a protest against the
Government's ID card scheme.
*+ Big Brother police to get 'war-time' power to demand ID in the street
- on pain of sending you to jail - Daily Mail 3/12/08 +*
State officials are to be given powers previously reserved for times of
war to demand a person's proof of identity at any time. Anybody who
refuses the Big Brother demand could face arrest and a possible prison
sentence. The new rules come in legislation to be unveiled in today's
Queen's Speech.
*+ Britain can't afford ID cards - Telegraph 26/11/08 +*
Instead of driving us further into penury, the Chancellor should
announce he is scrapping the ID scheme because he cannot justify the
*+ ID cards: Rely on 'visual check' as biometrics unreadable - 25/11/08 +*
The first UK ID cards will be of limited use for full biometric ID
checks on foreign workers, with the government yet to reveal a timetable
for the deployment of scanners capable of reading the cards. Employers
who doubted the authenticity of the card had been told to flick it to
check for a distinctive sound.,3800010403,39352003,00.htm
*+ £1,000 fine for wrong ID details - BBC News online 21/11/08 +*
Women who change their name after marriage could face fines of up to
£1,000 if they fail to tell the government, under new proposals. Anyone
with a biometric passport or ID card will be required to notify the
National Identity Register of changes to the personal data it holds
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter -
Editor( )


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