*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
+ RECLAIM YOUR DNA +
Conservative MP Damian Green has won his battle to have his DNA removed from the National DNA Database but, as he himself acknowledged, “…this is only a first step. I want every innocent person who has been arrested and whose records are being wrongly held to be treated the same as me.”
While a high profile public figure may successfully argue that he is an “exceptional case”, this still leaves hundreds of thousands of people never charged or convicted of a crime on the database – with thousands more being added every month. Mr Green’s case highlights how arbitrary and unfair the system is, and reveals how little the government has done in the nine months since the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the blanket and indiscriminate retention of the DNA profiles and fingerprints of innocent people was unlawful.
It’s time to take action. If they won’t, we must.
Most people simply don’t know in what circumstances they can apply to have their DNA profiles removed, or how. Which is why NO2ID joined forces with Genewatch UK, Open Rights Group, Liberty and others to build www.ReclaimYourDNA.org – an advice site that can walk you through the process and even help you draft the necessary letter. Labour MP Diane Abbott and lawyers from Liberty will be holding a ‘DNA clinic’ in Hackney to provide help and advice to those who want their DNA profiles removed from the national database.
We desperately need to raise public awareness and keep the pressure on – the Parliamentary battle will resume this autumn – so please write a letter to your local paper suggesting that people who are innocent and want to have their DNA removed use www.ReclaimYourDNA.org – or, if you are in a city, asking whether something similar to Ms Abbott’s ‘DNA clinic’ can be done in your area.
With nearly 5 million people on the DNA database, almost 1 million of them children, you may not be directly affected – but you probably know someone who is.
What just happened?
*+ “DNA can be faked” say researchers +
*The UK has the largest per capita DNA database in the world and the government often stresses the infallibility of DNA evidence to justify the expansion of the database. But now researchers at forensic DNA technology company Nucleix say that DNA samples can be faked. They have demonstrated how artificial DNA could be implanted into real blood giving the blood a new profile. A modified blood sample was sent to a US laboratory that works with FBI forensic teams and they failed to catch the forgery. Interestingly though, Nucleix has come up with the solution – an authentication method that distinguishes between real and fake samples. However the mere fact that DNA can be faked may question the reliance on DNA in criminal cases. US defence attorney Michael Cardoza told CNN news: “it opens up an entire avenue of cross examination that was never there before. Can you imagine their expert, the prosecution’s expert on the stand – we will now be able to ask them: ‘It’s possible to fabricate DNA?’”, adding “it will give a lot of defence attorneys something to talk about in court, it will make prosecutors work a lot harder”. Read Nucleix’s research at
*+ ‘Politics of Identity’ video online +
*A new video on the ‘Politics of Identity’ by Dr Edgar Whitley of the London School of Economics has been posted online. In the video Whitely “questions whether the government’s plan to protect us from identity fraud through its proposed ID card scheme could backfire”. Watch the video at
*+ More travel ID check requirements +
*In newsletter 123 we reported on photo ID requirements to travel to Orkney by ferry and the government’s CONTEST strategy that lays out plans for “police powers to collect advance passenger data on some domestic air and sea journeys”. A NO2ID supporter wrote this week to tell us that Advanced Passenger Information (API) is now a requirement when booking flights with many carriers. “British Airways and Easyjet now make passengers booking a flight online fill in passport information (number, date of issue, expiry, nationality, date of birth) with a threat that failure to do so may mean one cannot fly. This data has to be given before travelling and before the day of departure. When asked an Easyjet operative said: ‘it is a government/EU requirement’.”
*+ 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”. The UKIPS website states that “Independent scrutiny is vital to the success of the National Identity Service (NIS)”. Apparently they want to “put the public at the heart of our service” and are “committed to making sure that the way we work is completely transparent and that people, businesses and the Government know their rights and responsibilities”. 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”. Recruitment for the first two regional groups (in the North and South of England) started on 12th August. To join a panel you can fill in the online form at www.ips.gov.uk/publicpanel or call 020 3356 8174. More details at
*+ CLARIFICATION: Freedom Not Fear Day 12th September +*
Following our listing of this event in the last newsletter some supporters may have inferred that NO2ID endorses the whole Freedom Not Fear Day event and that the protest was offered as an ‘agenda item’ for supporters rather than a matter of related interest. NO2ID doesn’t have any control over external websites, and certainly not over groups at further remove, that choose to associate themselves with any third party protest that might be mentioned in the newsletter. NO2ID certainly has no links with “Confidential Action” who are listed on the Freedom Not Fear UK action web page.
“ID” in the news
*+ UK ID cards will be accepted in Europe – The Inquirer 21/8/09 +*
According to the Home Office, ID cards will be accepted as travel documents across Europe when they are launched, whenever that is. On Friday we reported that in an interview with the Oldham Evening Chronicle the UK’s Identity Minister, Lord Brett, said the ID cards might not be recognised outside the UK by other EU member states.
*+ Govt on the back foot as scientists replicate DNA – Politics.co.uk 20/8/09 +*
The way Britain undertakes crime scene investigations and the existence of the DNA database have both come under intense scrutiny following the news scientists in Israel have successfully replicated DNA samples.
*+ The day I came face to face with our surveillance state – Daily Mail 19/8/09 +*
In 5,000 schools, children are required to give fingerprints to use the library. And the king of databases will be the national ID card scheme which, the Government hopes, will eventually hold data for identifying every one of us.
*+ Home Office unlikely to accept ID card cloner’s offer of demonstration – Computer Weekly 19/8/09 +*
The Home Office is unlikely to respond to an invitation to see how a UK identity card was cracked and cloned. A Home Office spokesman confirmed it had received an offer from Adam Laurie, an expert in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, to demonstrate how he cloned a government-issued ID card with little more than a mobile phone and a laptop
*+ Gov’t says scrapping ID cards won’t save it £3bn – ZDNet 14/8/09 +*
The Identity and Passport Service has said that getting rid of ID cards won’t save the taxpayer “£3bn over 10 years” as the costs are to be met by people who apply for passports and ID cards.
*+ Collar the lot of us! The biometric delusion – The Register 14/8/09 +*
On 29 June 2009, the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) published their latest paper on the National Identity Service (NIS). According to Safeguarding Identity, “the vision for the NIS is that it will become an essential part of everyday life, underpinning interactions and transactions between individuals, public services and businesses and supporting people to protect their identity”.
*+ ID Cards – A government mandated Facebook? – Politics.co.uk 14/8/09 +*
ID cards’ main purpose is to make life easier for officials. When all the fake arguments are cast to one side, you’re left with a mandatory, government-led Facebook account.
*+ Two convicted for refusal to decrypt data – The Register 11/8/09 +*
Two people have been successfully prosecuted for refusing to provide authorities with their encryption keys, resulting in landmark convictions that may have carried jail sentences of up to five years.
*+ High Court shields database state from blame – The Register 5/8/09 +*
An entrepreneur whose fledgling business was ruined by a false entry in a court database has had his claim for compensation rejected by a High Court judge. The decision could set a broad and troubling precedent, because Mr Justice Bill Blair QC – brother of the former PM Tony Blair – ruled that the civil service cannot be found liable for the damage caused by its record keeping mistakes.
(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 www.no2id.net/localgroups/ Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact Matty on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.
_*+ Alexandra Palace +*_
*+ 9th September – Alexandra Palace NO2ID Monthly Meeting (2nd Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday 9th September, 8:15pm at The Gate pub on Station Road (N22 7SS). All welcome. For further details please contact email@example.com
_*+ Brighton +*_ * + 22nd September – Brighton NO2ID Meeting (4th Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 22nd September 8:00pm at the Brighton Peace and Environment Centre (BPEC) opposite Brighton Station. Our meeting is for one hour and we will be working to update our leaflets, website, organise our next public event and more! We will be at the Battle of Trafalgar in Guildford Road at 9.00pm for an informal chat afterwards you would prefer.
_*+ Cambridge +*_
*+ 2nd September **- Cambridge NO2ID Pub Meeting (1st Wednesday of month) +*
Cambridge NO2ID’s informal pub meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month. Join us at 7:30pm on Wednesday 2nd September at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/CYXNES29). For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.
*+ 10th September – Cambridge Amnesty ID cards talk +*
Thursday, 10th September 7.30pm at Jesus Lane Friends’ Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge. Cambridge NO2ID members will speak at a Cambridge Amnesty meeting about the Home Office’s ID cards scheme and the Database State. For more details, see:
*+ 12th September – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 22nd August, in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/T5LZATLS) from 11am. Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.
_*+ Camden and Islington +*_ ** *+
1st September – Camden & Islington NO2ID Monthly Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +* Camden & Islington NO2ID meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 8pm at The The Kings Head, 59 Essex Road, Islington, N1 2SF. For more info email email@example.com or join the mailing list at: (www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.camden).
_*+ Canterbury +*_
To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on:
_**__*+ Daventry +*_
*+ 9th September – Daventry NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 9th September, 8pm at the Dun Cow, Brook Street, Daventry. There is no meeting in August.
_*+ Dorking +*_
*+ 9th September – Question Time on Civil Liberties, Ewell +*
Wednesday 9th September, 7:30pm at Bourne Hall, Ewell. In the run up to our Question Time on Civil Liberties we are looking for people to hand out leaflets at local railway stations. If you want to get involved, nothing could be easier. Promotional flyer can be found at
No Dorking Group get together in September as it is just a week before our Question Time.
_*+ Edinburgh + *_***** + 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 www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/
*+ Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe show ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’*
‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’ is performed by Tom Read, the Norwich NO2ID Coordinator and part-time stand up comedian. Go to the NO2ID Edinburgh announce list or the NO2ID Forum (forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?t=28844) for more information on this and two other Fringe shows.
_*+ Epsom +*_
*+ 29th August – Epsom NO2ID Street Stall, Ewell +*
Saturday 29th August, afternoon street stall in Ewell — come and say hello.
* **+ 5th September – Epsom NO2ID Street Stall, Epsom +*
Saturday 5th September, street stall in Epsom.
If you can’t make it to our street stalls but want to help out, we will be handing out leaflets to promote our Question Time on Civil Liberties at Epsom, Ewell East, Ewell West, Sutton and Cheam stations in the week leading up to the event. Let me know if you can help.
*+ 9th September – Question Time on Civil Liberties, Ewell +*
If you have not yet decided about coming along to NO2ID’s Question Time on Civil Liberties in Bourne Hall, Ewell, check out our promotional flyer on Liberty’s web site
See you there.
If anyone wants to get involved in the Epsom area, please email or phone NO2ID South East Regional Coordinator Geoff Cox on email@example.com or call 01306 631377.
** _*+ Glasgow +*_
*+ 1st September – Glasgow NO2ID Meeting +*
Glasgow NO2ID meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 8pm in Mono. All welcome. Please contact Geraint for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
_*+ Hackney +*_
*+ 5th September – Hackney NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 5th of September 2009, 12 til 7 at Wennington Green, BOW E3 5TG
_*+ Hammersmith & Fulham + *_ *+
29th August – NO2ID Street Stall, Acton +*
Saturday, 29th August 2009, approx 11.00-12:30 outside Morrison’s, Acton High Street.
*+ 20th September – NO2ID Street Stall, Ealing +*
Sunday, 20th September 2009, approx 11.00-12:30 outside the Broadway Centre, The Broadway.
Maps for both events on www.no2id-handf.org.uk/act.htm, more information from Brian, email@example.com or 07976-414913.
*+ 24th September – Another ‘Database State’ Evening +*
Thursday, 24th September – “Tagged, tracked and tailed? – our speakers explore the claims made for CCTV cameras; the privacy implications of ANPR and other vehicle tracking technology”. Charles Farrier – NO CCTV campaign; Martin Kicks – Privacy campaigner. All NO2ID colleagues welcome.
More information on www.no2id-handf.org.uk/db240909.htm
_*+ Lancaster +*_
Subscribe to the Lancaster NO2ID e-mail list at www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.lancaster
_*+ Leicester +*_*
+ 29th August – Leicester NO2ID Leafletting +*
Saturday, 29th August – weather/commitments permitting I may be handing out leaflets/collecting signatures in town centre.
* + 2nd September – Leicester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Wednesday, 2nd September at 8pm in the Blues on Uplands/Severn Road, Oadby.
_*+ Manchester +*_
ID cards are to be introduced in Manchester this autumn. Recent spin from the Home Office has convinced people that the National Identity Scheme has been cancelled, that it isn’t a threat and it’s voluntary. It’s more important than ever to get the word out about the Database State.
_*+ Newcastle +*_*
+ 8th September – Newcastle NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 8th September, 7:30pm at the Jazz Cafe in Pink Lane, (opposite Newcastle Central Station). Provisional items on the agenda:- Progress on Film Show, biometrics in schools result of FoI request, Manchester event info, production of information flyers, talk “ID Cards and repression – An Historical Overview”.
** _*+ Newport + *_
If you are interested in the work of the Newport group, please join their mailing list on:
* *_*+ Norwich +*_
*+ 1st-29th August – Photo-ID Exhibition +*
1st-29th August, 7am-midnight, Norwich City Centre. Identity is a fluid and complex set of overlapping and sometimes contradictory properties and assertions. The complexity of personal and social identity will be explored in Photo-ID, a major exhibition in Norwich City Centre centred around The Forum throughout August 2009. Free. For more info see: www.photo-id.org.uk
*+ 12th September – Street Stall on Freedom Not Fear Day +*
On Saturday 15th September it’s the Norwich NO2ID street stall from 1pm-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk, so please come along for ID card and database-related antics. Fresher or seasoned protester, anyone welcome to say no to Big Bro! People are still frighteningly unaware about what the government is doing, so it’s up to us to tell them. See you there!
*+ 15th September – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting +*
Our next meeting is Tuesday 15th September at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse), 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD at 7.30pm-9pm. Discuss the intrusive ID card scheme, the numerous, highly expensive government databases and ways of holding them back.
If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:
_*+ Oxford +*_
*+ 29th August – Oxford NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 29th August in Cornmarket Street – we usually meet by St Michael’s tower and we’ll be there from 11am for a couple of hours. Let’s hope for some better weather than the soggy stall at the start of August!
*+ 3rd September – NO2ID Oxford monthly pub meeting (first Thursday of month) +*
3rd September at the Mitre on the High Street from 8pm for an hour or so for a chat and to discuss the campaign. All welcome.
See the website for more:
Publication details: © NO2ID 2009 – This document may be freely redistributed in one-to-one communications or physical copies as long as it is reproduced in its entirety including this notice. It may not be mass-mailed without the prior permission of NO2ID.
NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ