Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No 145  (Read 797 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No 145
« on: March 26, 2010, 08:59:05 am »
++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 145 - 25th March 2010 ++
While the Minister for Identity tries conjuring up possible uses for the ID card - more fantasy than reality, but telling nonetheless [1] – the Home Office has continued to use every trick in the book to manufacture 'demand'.
Its latest manoeuvre, buried in yet another obscure regulation – The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010 - is due to come into force this October. This measure, undebated by MPs and passed on the nod, is one of the first cases where showing ID for an ordinary everyday function is being written into statute.
Less formal age checks creep ever wider, but from this autumn a pub or club MUST have an age verification policy, and MUST ask anyone who looks as if they might be under the age specified in that policy (which could be 18 but could equally be any arbitrarily chosen age which makes the premises safe(?)) to show "identification bearing their photograph, date of birth and a holographic mark".
Note 'identification' not 'proof of age', and the conveniently limited definition of what constitutes valid ID. Mandating forms of ID is a step closer to compulsion - they can't entice enough young people to apply for an ID card, so they'll coerce them instead.
Moves like this, as trivial as they may seem, are designed to entrench state identity control - serving Whitehall agendas that will not die easy, no matter which party is in power.
If you receive our newsletter you may well be better informed than most Parliamentary candidates on the realities of the ID scheme and the database state. In the run-up to the election, please do take the time to express your concerns to candidates and party canvassers in your area. It'll be time well spent.
Be specific. Show them you care. Rooting out the database state is going to require continued pressure and MPs who pay attention and take action - and who won't let ministers or officials sneak things like mandatory forms of ID in by the back door.

What just happened?

+ Summary Care Records -- Opting Out +
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) Blogs website carries an article expressing concern about the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR – see Newsletter 141 & 144). In the piece Stephen Ginn, a psychiatrist in training, says: "As with other large database projects -- of which this country now has legion - the advantages of sharing information must be
balanced with the possible pitfalls. The SCR's benefits are most obvious for forgetful people who have a serious medical condition or allergy and are visiting friends out of town. This is a relatively small number of people and for the rest of us the benefits appear to be marginal. The rollout of the SCR raises serious questions around the issues of privacy, legality, effectiveness, and cost". If you live in London or one of the four other strategic health authorities currently receiving information in the post about the rollout of the SCR system then below are links to the opt-out forms that you can use to preserve
your medical confidentiality.  Links to opt-out forms:
Read Ginn's article at

+ State sanctioned snooping? More criminal records checks trialled +
Following on from the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) debacle the government has been piloting more ways to run criminal database checks on individuals who have "unsupervised access to children". The new system being trialled would allow members of the public to make applications for disclosure from police records about anybody who meets the "unsupervised" criteria. The Home Office has now published a research report into the 'Public Disclosure Pilots'. Over on the Amberhawk Training blog, Data Protection expert Chris Pounder has written an article that looks at the research, he reveals that: "Table 7 of the research report indicates that 'over half (i.e. 54% of applications) did not have unsupervised contact with children'. In other words, it appears that most 'applications' for disclosure did not meet the stated criteria for an 'application'." Pounder points out the problem with this: "There are likely to be audit trails in criminal
intelligence that the subject was checked in connection with an inquiry under the 'risk to children' disclosure procedure." So effectively the mere act of being checked could show up in subsequent checks and a sprinkling of "there's no smoke without fire" could barr innocent people from working with children.  See
+ When is a bus pass just a bus pass? by John Welford, NO2ID Edinburgh co-ordinator +
In her desperation to tease out new uses for the ID card Meg Hillier has come up with a brainwave. Why not get rid of the free pensioner bus pass, and instead supply every pensioner with an ID card, possibly offering them for free! That would mean many more millions of people carrying ID cards, and with free bus travel as the tempting bribe it would be a sure-fire winner. But wait, haven't we been down this bus lane before? We surely have, and it started in Scotland just four years ago. Old-style simple cardboard bus passes were abolished everywhere, to be replaced by shiny new plastic ones. But while these cards were widely advertised merely as 'new bus passes', in the smallprint it was clear that they were cleverer than the old ones, because in time they were to have other uses, such as local library access. Oh, and the posh name for these cards? - National Entitlement Cards (NEC). And school students were to be treated to them too, in the form of the Young Scot card. The reality behind this story is, of course, that these NEC cards are in fact RFID-chipped, ITSO-standard ID cards, which can indeed be used to log every pensioner's bus journeys and library borrowings. Moreover, in the card registration process each pensioner has been issued with a Unique Citizen Reference Number (UCRN) and placed on a national database. So, in short, these so-called 'bus passes' are actually Trojan Horse ID cards, and indeed they are so intrusive that they would not be permitted as ID cards in Germany for example. When the Scottish card was introduced in 2006 I refused to have one. This has meant that I have forgone free bus travel in favour of defending privacy. I urge all pensioners to consider doing likewise. Through such acts of lawful non-compliance we can defeat the government's ghastly ID scheme.  More info at

+ Data retention: German verdict could hit EU rules +
Blanket retention of telecommunications data is a breach of privacy, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court has ruled. Dated 2nd March, the verdict confirms that parts of the current German data retention law are unconstitutional. That could spell more trouble for the EU directive underlying the legislation. The main anti-surveillance campaign in Germany says the country's government must now work to scrap the European requirements. "If it makes such a move, the federal government can count on the support of many states such as Austria, Sweden and Romania, which are still refusing to implement data retention." The campaigners also want the European Court to rule against blanket data retention, as one member state cannot effectively protect privacy "while other countries carry on storing communications data without good reason". Around 70% of Germans are currently against data retention, opinion polls show. One in two said it would dissuade them from contacting marriage guidance counsellors, psychotherapists or drugs advice centres by phone or e-mail. The German campaign will be using the new legal precedent to challenge other surveillance measures.
What's next?

In the run-up to the election, you may be visited by canvassers of one or more parties. PLEASE DON'T FORGET to tell them that one of your major concerns is the ID scheme and the database state. It's just one small way in which you can help keep candidates in your constituency aware of our issue - and that it is of local concern.

*+ Call for North West Volunteers +*
If you fancy doing something practical then we have a large supply of our new "Don't be a Guinea Pig" leaflets, that warn of the dangers of being foolish enough to volunteer for the scheme. Ensuring as many people as possible are aware of what they are really signing up for helps us ensure people are not conned by the marketing. If you fancy helping out then email with the number you would be happy to distribute and we will send them to you. Even better, come along to the next meeting of your local group to pick some up and meet some like-minded people. Check out for a list of groups in your area.

*+ Have your say - National Identity Service Public Panels +*
The UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) is setting up public panels around the country to get the views of members of the public as they build the "National Identity Service". Public panels will be made up of 11 members, and will meet for half a day up to three times a year. The aim is to "produce an Identity Rights Charter. This will set out the rights and responsibilities people, businesses and the Government have under the NIS". To join a panel you can fill in the online form at or call 020 3356 8174. More details at
"ID" in the news

*+ Biometric harvest network can handle just 700k a year - The Register 15/3/10 +*
Home Sec Alan Johnson gave another insight into how big a trickle of applications for ID cards the government expects when he revealed the full extent of its biometric enrolment network yesterday.
*+ IPS turns to asylum for help with ID scheme database - The Register 23/3/10 +*
Plans to use the Department of Work & Pensions' giant Customer Information Systems database for the UK's identity scheme have been officially abandoned, in favour of an enhancement of the UK Border Agency's biometric database for asylum seekers. First they came for the foreigners, as they say...

*+ Region next target for ID card scheme - Northern Echo 19/3/10 +*
Identity cards could be introduced across the North- East by the end of the year, it has been revealed. Centres in Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Berwick, Northumberland would be fitted with biometric software to create biographical footprints, the Home Office has announced.

*+ Government looking to increase ID card use - Financial Advice 18/3/10 +*
Despite reservations from the UK public and an array of consumer protection associations the UK government seems determined to push through its ID card program. This is a program which has ballooned in cost and been delayed and amended on a number of occasions but still appears to be central to the UK government's future policies. The government has asked the business arena to suggest more uses for the ID
card which would eventually dictate that everybody in the UK would need one.

***+ Pensioners could be forced to show ID for bus travel – The Telegraph 18/3/10 +*
Campaigners last night attacked the plans, with some suggesting that it could stop retired people who are opposed to the controversial scheme from using buses altogether.

*+ Could an ID card replace the bus pass for over-60s? - 18/3/10*
Home Office Minister Meg Hillier suggested millions of elderly people could be asked to carry the controversial cards to prove their age when they travel. But civil liberty campaigners have accused the Government of targeting vulnerable people to widen the unpopular scheme.

*+ Next-generation super ID card on the cards for 2012 - Silicon 17/3/10 +*
The government is considering introducing a new generation of ID cards for British citizens in 2012, complete with a raft of new features. More than 7,000 ID cards have been issued to British people since the UK cards were made available in November last year, starting in Manchester before rolling out across the North West and to select groups across the UK.

*+ ID card database split into three - Kable 16/3/10 +*
Identity minister Meg Hillier says that the Identity and Passport Service has 'custom built' its own database for the identity card scheme.

*+ Government calls on businesses to extend ID card use – Computer Weekly 15/3/10 +*
The government has called on business to come up with ideas on how to extend the use of identity cards and to speed up their roll-out. Home Office minister Meg Hillier said new technology would allow the national ID card to be used for new applications, similar to iPhones. She said there was "no reason" not to use the Sim card in mobile phones in some way to verify a person's identity.

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

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.

_*+ Blackburn +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join theBlackburn mailing group at

_*+ Cambridge +*_
*+ 27th March - Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 27th February, in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall ( from 1pm (note earlier time).
Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you'd like to help.

*+ 7th April - Cambridge NO2ID Pub Meeting +
*Wednesday 7th April, 7:30pm at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW ( for Cambridge NO2ID's usual monthly pub meeting.

*+ 10th & 17th April - Cambridge NO2ID Stall +*
Saturdays 10th & 17th April, in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall ( from 1pm both Saturdays. Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you'd like to help.

*+ 22nd April - Joint Amnesty/Oxfam/NO2ID General Election Hustings in Cambridge
Thursday 22nd April, 8pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge. Amnesty International Cambridge city group, Cambridge Oxfam Group and Cambridge NO2ID are collaborating to organise a General Election Hustings. Candidates from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and UK Independence parties will be there to state their positions on all relevant issues, and answer questions from the
audience. Andie Harper of BBC Cambridgeshire will be chairing. Attendance open to all, and free (but donations appreciated). Map:

For more details email or call 07710 469624.

_*+ Canterbury +*_
To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on:

_*+ Dorking +*_
If you would like to help or get involved, email Geoff Cox at or come along to our monthly get-togethers.

_*+ Dover +*_*
**+ 29th March - Dover NO2ID Annual Branch Meeting in Folkestone +*
Monday 29th March, 8.30pm start, at The Bar Below, The View, Aspen Terrace, Folkestone (by roundabout at eastern end of The Leas). We havethe basement bar -- enter main bar and turn left for stairs. All membersand supporters welcome. After a very small amount of "formal business",there'll be discussion and planning of activities and items of currentinterest; an address from Matty Mitford, NO2ID's Local Groups Officer, visiting from London, and at the Folkestone meeting only, a showing of a comedy DVD about ID cards. Further information from Ian Taylor:*

*To stay up to date with Dover NO2ID join our mailing list on:

_**__*+ Edinburgh +*_*****
****+ Saturdays 1pm - 3pm - Edinburgh **NO2ID** 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

_*+ Exeter +*_
If you would like to join the Exeter group, please email and say hello! Do also join the Exeter group mailing list at

_*+ Hull & East Riding +*_
*+ 27th March - Hull & East Riding NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 27 March, 1.00 pm, Jameson Street, Hull City Centre (outside Starbucks and McDonalds)

If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Hull mailing group here:

_*+ Glasgow +*_
*+ 6th April - Glasgow NO2ID Monthly Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday 6th April, 8pm in Mono, 10 King Street. Glasgow, G1 5QP (directions can be found at Our monthly meetings are
relaxed and informal. If you would like to help plan our campaign, learn more about the issues, or simply chat with like-minded people, please come along.

_**__*+ Ipswich +*_*
If you are interested in the work of the Ipswich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Lancaster +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Lancaster mailing group at

_*+ Leeds +*_
*+ 27th March - Leeds NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 27th March from 1.30pm, on Briggate, probably opposite Harvey Nichols or thereabouts (weather permitting). Meet at 1pm. Drop by and offer your services to the cause, or email

If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Leeds mailing group at

_*+ Liverpool +*_
*New Co-ordinator for Liverpool NO2ID*
Jeff Orr has very kindly agreed to take on Liverpool NO2ID and the surrounding Merseyside area. If you have a group nearby then please get in touch at and share ideas, moral support and local campaigning tactics.
You can also join the Liverpool NO2ID mailing group at:

_*+ Manchester +*_
*+ 7th April - Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Wednesday 10th March, 7pm-9pm in the Salmon Rooms at the Lass O'Gowrie pub, Manchester. Unfortunately this room is on the first floor; we will attempt to secure stair-free access for future meetings. We will be in the bar beforehand, enjoying the food and drink, so look out for us if you arrive early. If you arrive after the start, just ask the bar staff to direct you upstairs.

*+ 10th April - Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 10th April, from 2pm-4pm in St. Ann's Square, Manchester (down near the big Marks and Spencer) for our regular public information stall.

*+ 8th May - Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Saturday 8th May, 12:30pm-2pm in the Moon Under Water pub on Deansgate. In a change from the regular schedule, Manchester NO2ID will hold a meeting before our Saturday stall. We will probably be towards the back of the pub, and possibly upstairs.

*+ 8th May - Manchester*
Saturday 8th May, 2pm-4pm in St. Ann's Square in Manchester (down near the big Marks and Spencer). Manchester NO2ID will be running a public information stall two days after the likely General Election. Help us keep up the pressure on the new Government! We'll meet in the square itself 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!

_*+ Newcastle +*_
*+ 13th April - Newcastle NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 13th April, 7:30pm at the Jazz Cafe, Pink Lane (opposite Newcastle central railway station). Please email for further information.

If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Newcastle mailing group at

**_*+ Norwich +*_
**+ 27th March - NHS Database Day of Action +*
Saturday 27th March, 12pm at the Castle Meadow entrance to the Castle Mall. We will raise public awareness about opting out with banners, flyers, handouts and hearty discussion.

*+ 10th April - Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 10th April, 1-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman's Walk, Norwich. Come along to tell the public why ID cards are an intrusive waste of money. The more the merrier!

*+ 12th April - Peace Hustings +*
Monday 12th April, 7pm (time TBC) at Friends Meeting Lodge. With the election looking likely to be held in May, we're having a husting event on the theme of Peace and Social Justice, where we will grill representatives from each of the main parties, including Charles Clarke. Find out more at:

*+ 13th April - Norwich NO2ID Election Party Meeting +*
Tuesday 13th April from 7.30-9pm at The Workshop, 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. This will probably be a more relaxed meeting than usual, to contemplate the activities that we've been involved in previously and what we intend to achieve before and after the election.

*+ 17th April - Norwich NO2ID Day Out to Lowestoft +*
Saturday 17th April. We will be hitting the coast to spread the NO2ID message afar. and probably have ice cream on the pier. Email for more details.

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Oxford +*_
*+ 27th March - NO2ID Oxford Street Stall +*
Saturday 27th February, 11am by St Michael's Tower on Cornmarket Street for a couple of hours talking to people and gathering signatures.

*+ 1st April - NO2ID Oxford Meeting +*
Thursday 1st April, from 8pm at the Mitre pub on the High Street for a drink and a chat about campaigning opportunities in the run up to the general election -- everyone is welcome.

See the website for more info on Oxford NO2ID:

_*+ Portsmouth +*_
Join the Portsmouth mailing list at

_*+ Reading +*_*
Contact Reading NO2ID on or join our web group at

_*+ Sheffield +*_
Please join the mailing list If you haven't already:

_*+ St Helens & Wigan +*_
*+ 3rd April - St Helens & Wigan NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 3rd April. Our first street stall further to our first meeting which took place on the 23rd March. Contact Terry Vasey at for details.
*+ 6th April - St Helens & Wigan NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 6th April, 7pm at St.Helens Central library. Please email Terry Vasey at for further information and to confirm attendance.

Anyone interested in our work should join the St.Helens mailing group at

_*+ Watford +*_*
Please contact Colin Simmons on if you are interested in giving a couple of hours a month to join us.

_*+ York +*_
**+ Saturdays 10:30am - 12:30pm - **York NO2ID Street Stall ** +*
Weekly stalls continue from 10.30-12.30 on Parliament street. Any help with this and/or leafleting gratefully received. Email Ross at or call 07870 529 299 for more info.

You can join our Facebook group here:!/group.php?gid=54041617189&ref=ts

Anyone interested in the work of this group should join the York mailing group at


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