NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 88 - 3rd January 2008
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JOIN THE NEW YEAR'S REVOLUTIONFirstly, thank you all for helping NO2ID become Our Kingdom's "Most effective campaign of the year" and top Iain Dale's 'Pressure Group of 2007' poll, with 21% of the vote. By working together across boundaries, we're showing just what can be achieved.
Yet another 'data protection' review (published by the Justice Committee on 3/1/08) has missed the point entirely. Punishments for data leaks, however harsh, will make no difference to fools or criminals. A fraudster or a stalker set on abusing a person is hardly likely to worry about penalties for abusing records. And once your information is out, the damage is done.
People are beginning to realise that the only way to stop abuse of your confidential information is not to give it to the authorities in the first place. If enough people say *now*, "No, I will not cooperate", then the ID system simply cannot be implemented.
If you haven't done so already and you want to resist, please make the NO2ID Pledge - and tell your friends and family too. NO2ID Pledge certificates and instructions can be downloaded from www.no2id.net/pledge
The NO2ID Pledge is perfectly legal, but it is as revolutionary in implication as the ID scheme itself. It says there are limits to what we will take from officialdom. Why not start a New Year's Revolution of your own?
Data sharing - Have your say (consultation closes 15th February)A consultation on the use and sharing of personal information in the public and private sectors has been launched by the Ministry of Justice. The consultation document contains a questionnaire for your views on data sharing (see www.justice.gov.uk/publications/data-sharing-review-consultation.htm). Please also send NO2ID details (with evidence) of occasions where public authorities or others are demanding more information than necessary for the purpose. Our address is NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, London W1H 1PJ or send by e-mail to (firstname.lastname@example.org). The consultation ends on 15th February.
Show you support usWe are upgrading our records and notice that many supporters live in the same street as others. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise now that there are 40,000 registered NO2ID supporters.
We will of course never give anyone any of your information without your consent, but one way you can make yourself discreetly known to your neighbours (and advertise the campaign!) is to display a NO2ID window sticker on your house or car. Send the office a DL (business letter size) stamped addressed envelope - if possible with a donation to cover the costs - and we will send you one. (Members get a free window sticker and badge when they join: http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/join.php )
Local groups newsWe have local groups all over the country and in 36 of the 69 locations of ID interrogation centres (see www.no2id.net/getInvolved/idCentres.php). If you can help to set up a local group in one of the remaining towns then please contact us at (email@example.com). A full list of local groups can be found at www.no2id.net/localGroups
New local group mailing listsWe have been setting up mailing lists for all of our local groups (by the end of the year all groups should have a list). The mailing lists are a way for local group members to find out about local events and share information. Go to the local groups page (www.no2id.net/localGroups) and see if your local group has a list, then just click the link and complete the form to join the list. Once you're signed up you can send a message to the list and say 'hello' so that others know you're out there.
Bradford19th January - Bradford NO2ID meeting
Saturday, 19th January at The Old Dolphin, Highgate Rd, Clayton Heights, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 1DR. Contact Jason Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
CambridgeIpswich Borough Council rejects ID cards
On Wednesday 12th December Ipswich Borough Council passed a motion noting that the disadvantages of the ID cards scheme "will outweigh any likely benefits to the people of Ipswich" and to "make it a policy of the Council to ensure that national identity cards would not be required to access council services or benefits unless specifically required to do so by law". The council also voted to affiliate to NO2ID. The motion was proposed by Cllr Nadia Cenci (Conservative), and supported by Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors, several of whom spoke in support of the motion. No-one from the Labour group spoke during the debate, and all Labour councillors abstained on the vote. Full minutes (MS Word): http://tinyurl.com/2vhjcc
5th January - NO2ID Cambridge Stall
Saturday, 5th January 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: http://tinyurl.com/eo42r. As ever, volunteers to help very welcome - please email email@example.com, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.
Dorking8th January - Dorking NO2ID meeting
Tuesday, 8th January 7.30pm at the Surrey Oaks pub, Parkgate Road, Newdigate.
EdinburghScottish Parliament gives resounding thumbs down to ID cards
There was a lengthy debate in the Scottish Parliament 13th December and the result was a firm thumbs down. See item 10 of the following: www.jwelford.demon.co.uk/snecnews.htm
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and for more group information see http://www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/
GlasgowMost 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: email@example.com.
8th January - Glasgow NO2ID meeting
Tuesday, 8th January 8pm at Mono. The first of Glasgow NO2ID's fortnightly meetings this year at the usual time and place. All welcome! Map:
LiverpoolLiverpool council votes against ID cards
On 12th December Liverpool City Council passed a motion entitled 'Police not plastic' against ID cards and the National Identity Register. The motion stated that: "these plans will unfairly penalise those residents in the poorer communities in Liverpool" and proposed that "this Council wishes to endorse the Campaign Organisation NO2ID". More details can be found at http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/ieListDoc
Lowestoft* 17th January - Lowestoft NO2ID meeting - * Please note change of date *
Thursday, 17th January 7.00pm for 7.30 at The Hotel Victoria, Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, Suffolk (http://www.thehotelvictoria.co.uk).
Newcastle/GatesheadOur stall held on 8th December was cold and windswept but saw double the number of people sign up to the petition than usual. There is a lot of strong feeling out there!
8th January - Newcastle NO2ID meeting
Tuesday, 8th January at 7.00pm at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle. All welcome.
12th January - Newcastle NO2ID stall
Saturday, 12th January from 11.00am to 1.00pm at the Monument in Newcastle. All welcome.
20th February - Taking Liberties showing
Wednesday, 20th February 7.30pm at the Star and Shadow Cinema. The acclaimed film Taking Liberties, featuring NO2ID, will be shown.
StainesSpelthorne council passes anti ID motion
On 13th December Spelthorne Borough Council passed a motion opposing ID cards and the National Identity Register. The council declared they would not take part in any trials or make the registering of a card a condition of access to local services. Full details at http://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/13dec07_mins.doc
Thanet25th January Thanet NO2ID Meeting
Friday,25th January 7pm at Pascucci Cafe,14 Buenos Ayres Rd, Margate. The café owner agreed to open especially in the evening for our meeting. The café is right opposite Margate railway station, and next to a pub which will be the backup venue. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
WorcesterJust before Christmas we had the first batch of our original Cathy Simpson cartoons printed appropriately using her "Santa barred for having no ID". We have three other of Cathy's cartoons ready to use in the coming year. The current format is as a postcard, with big bold bullet points on the back. We still have two other publications ready to print (when we get the funds) - an A4 summary of what ID and databases will and won't do for you, and a similar more detailed one on two A4 pages.
6th February - Worcester NO2ID pub meeting (No meeting in January)Wednesday, 6 February at The Portobello, Bransford Road, St John's, Worcester (http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dl
l?G2M?X=383268&Y=253763&A=Y&Z=1). Our regular, meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month. This month: Roles, Recruitment and the Rest of Worcestershire. Contact Worcester@no2id.net or 01905 735986
What just happened?
UK is an "endemic surveillance society"Privacy International, together with the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, has released its latest survey of global privacy. The report described as "probably the most comprehensive single volume report published in the human rights field" is over 1,100 pages long and includes 6,000 footnotes. The US is the worst ranking country in the so-called democratic world. In terms of overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly, being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the "black" category, denoting endemic surveillance. The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again fell into the "black" category along with Russia and Singapore. For more information and to download the report go to http://tinyurl.com/3bt4a4
As others see usIt is becoming a familiar pattern on continental TV - producers in search of The Threat to Privacy dispatch a crew to the world's leading surveillance state, which just happens to be a big island conveniently close to Calais. The resulting footage will not warm the cockles of the British Tourist Authority's heart ("A romantic weekend away from it all? Why not visit the world's most-watched country?"). And the latest example of the genre will have been seen more widely than most. It went out on Arte, a channel which transmits in both German and French to a large swathe of Europe. This time, Gloucester was doing the honours. Proud bobbies showed how a man dropping litter in front of a surveillance camera will get told off by a loudspeaker. At least, he will do if the policewoman is watching her screens. Later, the reporter gleefully proved that erring foreigners can dump rather large pieces of litter in front of the selfsame camera without provoking any response at all. But Arte's point was a serious one, and it asked a question that should be of real concern in the UK: what will life be like in a society which combines widespread video surveillance with electronic ID cards backed by a database? For the ID side of that equation it turned to Belgium where electronic ID is already the norm. As Arte pointed out, the Belgian cards have a lot of unused storage capacity on their chips. What, it asked the man in charge, would happen if Belgium ever became a dictatorship? He neatly sidestepped the question: "Er, if ever we get invaded again, I suppose we'll manage to erase the database."
German ePassport woesSince November all new German passports have been of the second-generation biometric type incorporating two fingerprints. But the security of the data transmissions from local passport offices to the central manufacturing plant has been called into question. In one federal state, the data protection officer publicly declared that “legal data protection provisions are in no way being observed”. Similar lapses are reported from three other states. Another criticism is that the readers in the passport issuing offices do not meet EU requirements. Holders of new passports are supposed to be able to check all the data on them at the time of delivery – including the fingerprints. But the readers in the passport offices do not let them do so. So if the wrong fingerprints are included in a passport, its bearer will be unaware of the problem until he or she is stopped, and probably arrested, at a border.
Austrian anti-surveillance initiativeAn “Initiative for Protection Against the Surveillance State” was launched in Austria on 17 December. Its initial aim is to reopen parliamentary scrutiny of new police powers. Police will be able to demand immediate disclosure of IP address owners and mobile phone tracking data. No warrant will be required if the police argue that there is an “imminent danger”. The powers were added to the new Security Police Law at the last minute, during a late-night sitting on 6 December. Behind the Initiative are several professors of IT, the Judges’ Association, the Austrian Computer Association and an MP. It has opened two websites and aims to collect at least 10,000 signatures. “Citizens do have security needs,” an Initiative spokesman said at the press launch, “but they don’t want to live in a surveillance state.”
"ID" in the news
Four-fifths of doctors say electronic record insecure - e-Health Insider 3/1/08Four-fifths of doctors are concerned that current plans for patients' health records to be available from a central database – the summary care record - will make them insecure, according to a survey for the Times.
Give up ID cards for new year, Gordon - The Guardian 1/1/08As he looked back on a year that was going so right until it went horribly wrong, the prime minister yesterday received unsolicited advice from the new Liberal Democrat leader about how to ensure 2008 turns out more happily. Scrap ID cards, Nick Clegg urged.
NHS e-records programme launched - BBC News Online 31/12/07The first patients' electronic records have been uploaded to the new NHS online database. Around 20 GP surgeries in Bolton and Bury have added 110,000 patients' details to the system, part of the £12bn NHS IT upgrade project.
Beware the state’s ID card sharks - The Sunday Times - 30/12/07If Gordon Brown picks one failure from his first six months to learn from, it should be the loss of 25m people’s personal details. If he makes one resolution for 2008, it should be to scrap his reckless plan to introduce compulsory ID cards.
Byrne puts fake ID frighteners on illegal employers - The Register 28/12/07Immigration Minister Liam Byrne is to celebrate the first wave of the ID card rollout next year with a scary ad campaign threatening employers of illegal immigrants with fines of £10,000 per offence and up to two years in prison. But even by the low standards of the Home Office, "the biggest shake-up of the immigration system for 40 years" promises to be impressively toothless - if Byrne is depending on the fine income for the 2009 New Year party, he will be a disappointed man.
Police data details found at dump - BBC News Online 26/12/07A senior police officer has apologised after confidential details of staff were found on a dump in Devon.
Australia's controversial national ID program hits the dumpster - ars technica 24/12/07Opponents of Australia's controversial Access Card received an early Christmas present earlier this month when the incoming Rudd Labor Government finally axed the controversial ID program.
Thousands of driver details lost - BBC News Online 11/12/07The Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland has lost the personal details of 6,000 people. The data was on two discs and went missing after being sent to the agency's headquarters in Swansea.
US: A scanning system beyond fingerprinting - timesunion.com 11/12/07
Washington County sheriff's deputies are now able to use eye-scanning
technology to identify missing children, should the need arise. Iris
recognition technology uses high-resolution digital photography to
remember the unique patterns in the eye's soft tissue. Since 2005, DCJS
has enrolled some 186,300 children in Operation SAFE Child, a program
that records a child's name, date of birth, height, weight, hair color,
eye color and a fingerprint of both index fingers on a photo
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