Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No 153  (Read 1074 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No 153
« on: July 30, 2010, 09:03:59 am »
Sorry - this is a bit late for the events mentioned but the linked articles are still interesting.

++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 153 - 15th July 2010 ++

The Identity Documents Bill - the legislation to repeal the Identity Cards Act 2006 - will shortly move to 'Report and Third Reading' in the House of Commons.

For those of you who haven't followed the progress of the various Bills that NO2ID has fought over the past 6 years, this means that the draft legislation has been considered by a cross-party Committee of MPs and will be voted on one more time by the whole House of Commons before being sent to the House of Lords.

Unfortunately, though NO2ID identified some serious problems with the Bill as originally drafted - by the Home Office - and has briefed MPs and members of the government on those problems, they have NOT yet been fixed.

Those who are interested in the detail may wish to read our briefing [1] but, put bluntly, the Bill as currently drafted will create a shadow of the National Identity Register (not an actual Register, but the essence of one) in relation to every 'identity document' in circulation - a list of information that potentially must, under criminal penalties, be kept
in line with an official truth.

We clearly don't want this, and will continue to work on getting the Bill fixed.

There is a great danger that the Coalition's first piece of legislation will fail to achieve its stated objectives, were the Act supposed to dismantle the National Identity Scheme to end up preserving some of the more malign features of the Scheme.

Were the Identity Documents Bill to pass in its current form, rather than the complete victory on 'ID cards' that everyone seems to be assuming, we fear we shall be left with serious unfinished business.

Links: [1]
What just happened?

+ Identity Documents bill Committee Stage concludes +
The Identity Documents bill completed its Committee Stage on 6th July after just five sittings and with no amendments made to the bill as drafted. Meg Hillier MP (former Identity Minister) was on top form as usual. She told the committee that she received a letter from an irate ID card guinea pig who was upset that he would not receive a refund for the defunct card, he told Hillier: "Please do what is necessary to kill this bill." Hillier lamented: "I have had to let Mr Turberville down, in that we are not killing the bill as a whole, because we recognise the democratic process". Hillier proposed an amendment to make issued cards remain valid until they expire, which was defeated 10 votes to 7. At the end of the final committee session Hillier, upset that the UK population will not be fingerprinted in line with the previous government's plans, issued a science fiction baddie-style warning: "I wish to put on the record that the Opposition will look to pursue what we do about security of identity documents when we are, one day, again in Government, which may be sooner than the Minister hopes." Don't have nightmares.
Listen to the last two committee sessions at:

+ Summary Care Records too open and transparent +
Health Minister Simon Burns has been issuing cut and paste standard responses to many NO2ID supporters worried about the government's U-turn on Summary Care Records. Burns says: "Our view is that both patients and clinicians should be able to access patient records in an electronic form. This is part of our thinking about making information transparent and available, and involve patients in decisions about their healthcare." What Burns seems to miss is that the electronic records system that is the Summary Care Record is far too "open and transparent" - that's the problem! In 2005, the Foundation for Information Policy Research (fipr) in their response to an NHS Confidentiality Consultation said: "FIPR believes that no one in central government – whether ministers, DoH [Department of Health] officials or NHS central managers - should have access to identifiable health information on the whole UK population. This is backed up by studies showing that although patients trust their carers with medical information, the majority do not trust NHS administrators."  Read fipr's full response at

+ Policy laundering and not scrapped enough ID cards +
As we have reported previously, the Identity Documents bill currently making its way through parliament does not scrap ID cards for foreign nationals (otherwise known as biometric visas). The UK Identity and Passport Service's Frequently Asked Questions on the cancellation of ID cards claims that "European law requires non-EEA foreign nationals to be provided with biometric residence permits". The law they are referring
to is Council Regulation (EC) No 380/2008, but there's one small point they forgot to mention - that the UK only has to follow this regulation because the previous government asked to be bound by it. The regulation applies to member states implementing the Schengen Convention - of which Britain is not one. This technique of volunteering to be bound by an EU law so that you can claim that you have to do something to comply with
an EU law is known as policy laundering and it raises questions as to why the new government has not exposed the previous government's double dealing.
Read the EU regulation at

+ Summary Care Records Motion continues to slowly gain support +
An Early Day Motion (EDM 186) introduced in the House of Commons calling on the government to halt all Summary Care Record updates has gained the support of a few more MPs since the last newsletter. If you have not already done so please consider writing to your MP asking them to sign Early Day Motion 186.  Read the motion at

*+ NO2ID London Coordinator +*
Lawrence Gould has been appointed NO2ID London Coordinator, with responsibility for ID Action and targeted campaign activities across London.
What's next?

*+ 22nd July - ID Action relaunch drinks, London +*
Thursday, 22nd July from 7pm at The Dartmouth Castle, 26 Glenthorne Road, London W6 0LS (; nearest tube Hammersmith - Piccadilly, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines). To relaunch ID Action join Lawrence Gould (London coordinator) and Phil Booth (national coordinator) for drinks, a catch-up and an outlining of NO2ID's new strategy. Campaigns always operate better when conducted by people who know and like each other, so if you haven't had a chance to meet other volunteers, please come along and bring anyone who you think may be interested.

*+ Date TBC - Identity Documents Bill 3rd Reading +*
The Identity Documents bill has now completed its Committee Stage and will next have its Report Stage and 3rd Reading in the House of Commons before moving on to the House of Lords.Follow the bill's progress at

*+ 24th July - Open Rights Group Conference +*
On Saturday 24th July The Open Rights Group (ORG) will be holding the ORGCon conference in London. The event is describe as "the first ever conference dedicated to digital rights in the UK". Top of the agenda at ORGCon is tackling the Digital Economy Act and the new Government. Also in the agenda will be a discussion 'Dismantling the Database State' with speakers including Phil Booth (NO2ID), Terry Dowty (ARCH) and Alex Deane (Big Brother Watch).
Location: College Building, City University London, St John St, London EC1
Tickets and further details:
"ID" in the news

*+ Government to review powers to intercept electronic communications - Computer Weekly 14/7/10 +*
State powers to intercept electronic communications will be scrutinized in an urgent review of counter-terrorism legislation, the government said, fulfilling a pre-election promise to reverse the erosion of civil liberties under the Labour government.

*+ Coalition spends £3.75m on ContactPoint - The Register 13/7/10 +*
A minister has revealed that the government spent £3.75m over two months on the soon to be scrapped children's database. Conservative education minister Tim Loughton said that because ContactPoint "remains in limited operation", the Department for Education paid £3.75m to cover the costs of operating the database from April to June 2010.

*+ NHS National Programme for IT set for major changes- Computer Weekly 12/7/10 +*
The controversial £12bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) looks set for a major overhaul as a result of the reorganisation of the health service announced by the government today.

*+ BMA calls for halt to SCR uploads - eHealth Insider 12/7/10 +*
BMA GP representatives are calling on the government to halt the uploading of any more Summary Care Records while a review of the programme takes place.

*+ Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards – The Register 12/7/10 +*
New Labour never give up. Even out of government, they are still looking for groups of individuals who, they believe, are just salivating at the prospect of the chance to carry a shiny new ID card.

*+ Almost £100m spent on fast-growing SCR - eHealth Insider 7/7/10 +*
Two hundred thousand Summary Care Records were created in a seven day period in June, as the Department of Health considered the scheme as part of its review of the use of IT in the NHS.

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


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