++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 161 - 4th November 2010 ++
+ STARTING OVER +
If you have an occasion to ask a member of the Government one question, it could be this: 'Why review what you promised to scrap?' ID cards for UK citizens have been abandoned, as has ContactPoint. But one by one the other privacy-threatening databases that we were told would be stopped are being 'reviewed'. A Civil Service review means business as usual for an indefinite period, even if it does not come back recommending no change.
An example: It is almost 2 years since the Human Rights Court ruled that retaining DNA and fingerprints once charges have been dropped is a fundamental invasion of privacy. But the police in England and Wales carry on collecting and retaining samples from almost everyone arrested for any reason. The coalition stated it would "adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database" - but no plans have been issued
for doing even this.
The public debate has fallen quiet and needs to be woken up. Too many people think we have won. In a way we are starting the campaign again - but we are not starting from scratch. NO2ID has *you*: the most effective support network of any civil liberties campaign. Together we can rouse the public and shake up complacent press and politicians.
And as with ID cards, the more people know about it the less they like it. So as part of renewing the campaign we are arranging a series of meetings around the country to discuss aspects of the Database State. The second, as advertised in the last newsletter on children's databases and DNA, takes place in central London on Monday 22nd November(see below). If you would like to hold such a meeting in your area - or know
an organisation that would like to hear a speaker on the subject of the database state, then please contact the office: firstname.lastname@example.org
What just happened?
+ Identity Documents Bill - House of Lords Grand Committee +
This week the Identity Documents Bill (the bill to repeal the Identity Cards Act 2006) moved though its Committee Stage in the House of Lords. The bill was committed for clause by clause scrutiny to a 'Grand Committee', where voting is not allowed and all decisions must be made unanimously. A number of suggested amendments were championed by Lord Phillips of Sudbury who said of Clause 4: "If you read subsection (3) six times, I almost guarantee sleep". For those who want to test Lord Phillip's claim, the subsection reads: "In subsection (2)(b) the reference to P or anyone else does not include, in the case of a document within subsection (1)(c), the individual to whom it relates". On checking the destruction of data in the National Identity Register (NIR), Home Office Minister Baroness Neville-Jones said: "The Information Commissioner needs to be satisfied that the destruction process has been proper, thorough and complete". Clause 10 of the bill, which was discussed on Wednesday (3rd November), will introduce yet more data sharing powers and is of great concern. Some peers queried the Clause 10 powers and the use of credit reference agencies such as Experian - Baroness Neville-Jones told the committee: "The IPS [Identity and Passport Service] makes use of a credit reference agency because it provides the most up-to-date information on addresses and is able to provide a relevant historical perspective which is particularly useful during interviews." All amendments to the bill were withdrawn or not put and so the bill passed its committee stage with no amendments made to it.
Read the committee transcripts at:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101101-gc0001.htm#10110119000202http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101103-gc0001.htm#10110365000123
Watch the committee at:http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6879http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6815
NO2ID's Commons 2nd Reading briefing is at:http://www.no2id.net/IDSchemes/2010-06-08-identity-documents-bill-briefing.pdf
+ AGM Report +
The NO2ID AGM on 23rd October elected a new Advisory Board: James Cronin, Mark Dziecielewski, Matty Mitford, Andy Robson, Andrew Watson. It also endorsed the decision to apply the former ID card defence fund to the future fight against the database state.
+ Open Rights Group launches petition against Interception Modernisation +
The Open Rights Group has launched an on-line petition against government plans to resurrect the so-called 'Interception Modernisation Programme' (IMP). As detailed in the last newsletter the IMP was an initiative of the previous government to intercept and record every phone call, text message, email, chat-room discussion and website visit
made in the UK. Whilst petitions may be a good way of raising awareness please do not think that simply signing this petition is enough. Please also lobby your Members of Parliament or other elected representatives (in Westminster, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or in Europe) â€“ you can contact them via WriteToThem.com. Seehttp://action.openrightsgroup.org/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=1422&ea.campaign.id=8227
+ Transformational Government guru ranked in influential IT chart +
Computer Weekly this week ranked Ian Watmore (Chief operating officer, Cabinet Office Efficiency & Reform Group) at number 14 in the UKtech50 list - the 50 most influential people in UK IT. They also listed him in the top five in the public sector. Watmore has been a major champion of the Database State and launched the previous government's 'Transformational Government' programme in 2005, when he was head of the Cabinet Office's e-government unit. Computer Weekly wrote: "Ian Watmore has one of the most powerful positions in government IT, being one of the leading members of the panel that determines the fate of many IT projects."
*+ NOTICE - Pledgebank +*
In late 2005, when the ID Cards Bill was being pushed through Parliament, over 11,000 people signed NO2ID's pledge to refuse to register for an ID card and to donate Â£10 to a legal defence fund to assist those who challenged the Scheme. When we called in the pledge in November 2007 thousands of people donated and the money has been held in
a dedicated bank account, untouched.
The Coalition is now scrapping ID cards and the National Identity Register, and the Identity Cards Act 2006 will soon be repealed. The compulsion to register was never imposed and has ceased to be a likelihood for the foreseeable future, but the bureaucratic obsession with ID, mass surveillance and information trafficking goes on.
We therefore give notice that NO2ID intends to cease to hold a separate legal defence fund when the Identity Documents Bill, the repealing legislation, has passed both Houses, and to apply the funds to the general purposes of the campaign against the database state.
Much was given anonymously. The administrative cost of identifying and tracing everyone who gave by name could easily exceed the amount given. But we will respect your wishes if you were only against ID cards and do not want your donation used in our future fight against the database state.
If you gave and would like your pledge returned write to NO2ID PLEDGEBANK, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, London W1H 1PJ with evidence of your donation.
If you would like to help our continuing campaign to:
* STOP all unnecessary collection by government of personal information about law-abiding residents of the United Kingdom;
* STOP sharing of personal information between government bodies, or its use for new purposes, without the genuine, informed consent of the persons concerned or a specific warrant from a court;
* BUILD positive protections in law for individual privacy; and
* CREATE a right to compensation for unauthorised use of personal
then you can of course send a further donation to the same address.
*+ 17th November - Identity Documents Bill Report Stage/3rd Reading House of Lords
The Identity Documents Bill has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and will next move on to Committee Stage in the House of Lords. Follow the bill's progress at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/identitydocuments.html
*+ November - Database State talks, London + *
Former Hammersmith local coordinator Brian Mooney has organised some autumn talks on aspects of the database state - see the local groups section below.
"ID" in the news
*+ Brussels blocks UK from biometric superdatabase - The Register 4/11/10 +*
European judges have rejected an attempt by British security officials to gain access to a huge new store of visa application data being set up to combat illegal immigration, organised crime and terrorism. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/04/visa_eu_schengen/
*+ Sacked: The PCSO who trawled confidential police database to check out her potential lovers - Daily Mail 4/11/10 +*
Most singletons looking for love log-on to dating websites or go on blind dates. But when you're a police community support officer there is, of course, one further resource available. For PCSO Lucy Bevan, 25, the police national computer was an invaluable tool when it came to checking on potential suitors. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1326619/Female-PCSO-trawled-police-records-check-potential-lovers.html
*+ Has the Information Commissioners' Office lost its bottle? â€“ New Stateman 4/11/10
The news that the Information Commissioners' Office (ICO) will not issue Google with a fine for what it described as a "significant breach" of the Data Protection Act has enraged privacy advocates. http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/11/google-ico-data-office
*+ GP trainees left 'twiddling their thumbs' by three-month wait for CRB checks - Pulse 2/11/10 +*
GP practices are having to wait months for registrars to receive criminal record bureau (CRB) checks, new figures show. http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=35&storycode=4127568&c=2
*+ Papers please! - Computer Weekly 1/11/10 +*
The House of Lords has been scrapping Identity Cards this last fortnight. Sort of. It's not simply a matter of "scrap the ID scheme", as the coalition government promised. It's like one of those magic tricks: the Identity Documents Bill will make ID cards vanish but -
tadaah! - the government will still be holding the powers that made them so objectionable in the first place. http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/public-sector/2010/11/papers-please.html
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter - Editor(email@example.com
*+ LOCAL GROUPS NEWS + *
To see if there's a group in your area check our list at http://www.no2id.net/localgroups/
Or, if you're interested in starting a group yourself, please contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss what's involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.
*+ NO2ID goes on tour with Erasing David +*
Groups across the country are helping to facilitate a nationwide tour of Erasing David -- a documentary about privacy, surveillance and the database state. Phil Booth, our national co-ordinator is hitting the road with David Bond the film maker and producer Ashley Jones to help raise awareness of the victims of the Database State that lie behind the
headlines of privacy abuses. Tour Locations:
University of East Anglia, 11th November, Time 7pm
Manchester - to be confirmed
Glasgow - to be confirmed
_*+ Cambridge +*_
The Cambridge group is planning a celebration when the bill abolishing the ID Cards scheme is actually passed. This now seems likely to be later in December or January. Watch this space for details ...
_*+ Camden & Islington +*_
*+ 7th December - Camden & Islington NO2ID Meeting +*
7th December -- Camden & Islington (1st Tuesday of the month) - 8.00pm at The Kings Head, 59 Essex Rd, Islington. All welcome.
For more info email email@example.com
or join the mailing list at:(http://www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.camden
_*+ Edinburgh +
*+ 22nd November - Edinburgh NO2ID discussion meeting +*
ID cards are being scrapped but the government's obsession with collecting and sharing personal data, on travel, email, telephone usage, medical records, etc continues unabated. The Edinburgh group will hold a discussion meeting at 7.00pm on Monday 22 November in the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL to consider its
future strategy. All welcome.
+ 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org
), and for more group information see http://www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/
_*+ London +*_
*+ Database State talks - London + *
Former Hammersmith local coordinator Brian Mooney has organised some autumn talks on aspects of the database state. More info: 020 7385 9757 / email@example.com
*Thursday, 4th November, 7pm nominal start*
Zoe McLeod, Consumer Focus - Subject: 'Smart Meters: Who's watching you?' Function Room, The Hop Poles, King Street, Hammersmith W6 9HR http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=w6+9hr&countryCode=GB#map=51.49277,-0.22561
*Monday, 22nd November, 7pm nominal start*
Terri Dowty, ARCH - Subject: Children's Databases
Helen Wallace, Genewatch - Subject: DNA Database
Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall; 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RLhttp://www.conwayhall.org.uk/where.htm
_*+ Manchester +*_
For information on Manchester NO2ID see http://manchester.no2id.net/
or contact Dave Page on firstname.lastname@example.org
07722 615 398.
**_*+ Norwich +*_
*+ 11th November - Erasing David Screening With Special Guests +*
On Thursday 11th November a showing of the documentary film 'Erasing David' is taking place at the UEA, ARTS 01.02, starting 7.00pm. The film follows the life of film-maker David Bond, who upon receiving a letter from HMRC informing him that his daughter's details were amongst the 25 million lost by the child benefit agency, embarks on a journey to discover just how much information is held about him by government and
private companies. Along the way David meets people who have been caught in the crossfire of the database state, some who have had their lives shattered. After the screening there will be a discussion taken by director David Bond and NO2ID's Phil Booth, so please come with your probing questions! To watch the ERASING DAVID trailer please visit: www.erasingdavid.com
If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on: http://lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.norwich