Spies ‘R’ Us
NO2ID Newsletter Supporter’s Newsletter No.32 – 10th November 2005
++ NO2ID ALTERNATIVE BIOMETRICS ROADSHOW APPEAL
Over £3,000 has been raised so far to fund our winter roadshow. Many thanks to all those who have generously contributed. We are planning a roadshow around Britain in response to the government’s summer biometrics roadshow. We want to offer an antidote to the government’s spin machine and highlight the some of the pitfalls of biometrics and the horrors such as the National Identity Register that lie beneath the proposed ID card scheme.
Donations can be sent to NO2ID, Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP or made online at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/donate.php
++ WHAT YOU CAN DO
We have now sent a detailed briefing to all peers. NO2ID was extensively quoted by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and also in the House of Lords 2nd reading debate. We also met with Lords on 9th November at a meeting attended by several other experts. But we can’t achieve anything without you …
+ 1. SIGN OUR NEW ‘REFUSE 2' PLEDGE
+ 2. LOBBY YOUR MP AS ID BILL MOVES THROUGH THE LORDS
+ 3. WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL PAPER
+ 4. LOBBY A LORD
Lords can also be written to by post at the House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. All male peers (except Dukes and Archbishops) should be addressed as “My Lord”, all female peers simply as “Dear Lady [surname]”. Dukes and Archbishops should be addressed as “Your Grace”
How to address Lords: www.parliament.uk/directories/house_of_lords_information_office/address.cfm
+ 5. PROMOTE NO2ID’S FLASH ANIMATIONS
+ 6. HELP US BY JOINING NO2ID / DONATING
+ 7. GET INVOLVED WITH LOCAL GROUPS
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
++ WHAT’S NEXT?
+ NORWICH – ‘ARE YOU LISTENING CHARLES?’ – MONTH OF ACTION
Various groups in Norwich have joined together to organise a month of activities against Home Secretary and Norwich South MP Charles Clarke. The month of events is aimed at reminding Charles Clarke of his responsibilities. On Saturday (5th November) The Norwich Forum On ID Cards United was held at the United Reform Church in Norwich from 10am until 6pm. The day consisted of a number of presentations and workshops. On Friday 18th November ‘Street Theatre – ID cards’ will take place at the University 11am until 1pm. A whole host of events are running until the 21st November.
+ CAMPAIGN MATERIALS
NO2ID T shirts badges, window-stickers and posters are still available. Send an A4 sae (preferably with a donation). For winter there are now warm sweatshirts with high quality woven design at £35 including p&p.
+ VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We currently need the following volunteers:
– Lawyers with appropriate experience to help improve the organisation’s constitution.
– People to do *regular* stints helping in the office (Vauxhall) during the day on weekdays.
– Bookkeeping/accounting help.
– A highly organised, pro-active person to be our speaker-booker.
+ 12th NOVEMBER, NO2ID AT PEOPLE & PLANET CONFERENCE, OXFORD
Saturday 12th November 2005, 4.15 – 5.45pm, at Gibbs Building G433, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford. NO2ID at People & Planet annual conference, ID Cards Debate & Workshop.
+ 16th NOVEMBER, ‘CIVIL LIBERTIES UNDER ATTACK’ MEETING, CAMBRIDGE
Wednesday 16th November 2005, 7:30pm, at Friends’ Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge
+ 22nd NOVEMBER, NO2ID AT NADPO CONFERENCE, WARWICK (TICKET ONLY EVENT)
Tuesday, 22nd November 2005, 11.00 – 11.45am, Scarman Conference Centre, University of Warwick
+ 22nd NOVEMBER, NO2ID BRISTOL PROTEST & COUNCIL VOTE
Bristol City Council are voting on a motion against ID Cards at a full council meeting on 22nd November. Bristol NO2ID will be holding a concurrent protest from 2pm until 6pm, 22nd November on College Green near the Council House.
++ WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
+ HOME SECRETARY ON LEWES BONFIRE
A 20ft effigy of Home Secretary Charles Clarke was the centre piece of the Lewes bonfire celebrations in Sussex, which attracted over 65,000 people. Monday’s edition of the Sussex-wide daily ‘The Argus’ had a front page picture of the effigy of Clarke, holding the scales of justice in one hand and an ID stamp in the other. The effigy of Charles Clarke was made by the Cliffe Bonfire Society, which, according to The Argus, “chose the minister as its public enemy number one because of the government’s proposals to introduce ID cards”.
+ HOUSE OF LORDS 2ND READING
The Identity Cards Bill got its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords last week (31st October). The government managed to wheel out a number of supporters of ID cards in what appeared to be a heavily whipped debate. Most notable of the pro-ID peers was Lord Campbell-Savours who said that biometric ID cards would have prevented 9/11, will vastly increase the tax take and would stop wrongful arrest. He also believe DNA should be added to the government’s proposals, stating: “I would wager that the odds on an error in a multi-biometric matching are infinitesimal. If you add to that DNA data, the chances of error must venture into the world of astrophysical calculation.” Perhaps he should take a look at John Daugman of Cambridge University’s research showing that multiple biometrics can reduce accuracy.
Lord Phillips, who commended the work of “Number Two ID”, said: “No comparable project to the one that we are contemplating exists on Earth. Apart from our track record with big computers, to which the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay referred, what is one supposed to make of the secure bank of fingerprints and genetic samples held under the provisions of our criminal law? It was audited a few years back and was found to contain over 50,000 sets of information that had been illegally retained.”
Baroness Kennedy said: “What is misunderstood is the fundamental way in which identity cards change the relationship between the citizen and the state catastrophically and permanently. You will have to ask yourselves why most of the rest of Europe has at some time or another succumbed to fascism but we have not. Was that just luck? Was that something to do with the plucky British personality? No, the reason we are as a people the way we are is that we have had institutions and law built on an inherent scepticism of the state. And a good thing, too.”
The bill passed the second reading and will now be scrutinised by a committee of the whole House of Lords, which will take between five and seven days of business. So far 15th & 16th & 29th November have been tabled.
+ EDINBURGH PEOPLE & PLANET MEETING DISCUSSES ID CARDS
On the 31st October the University of Edinburgh’s People & Planet group devoted their entire meeting to an examination of the government’s ID card proposals. Around thirty students attended, joined by two invited speakers: Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie and Edinburgh NO2ID member Dr John Welford. Following small group discussions there was a plenary session on ‘actions to be taken’. One student suggested that a copy of the film 1984 should be hired and given a university-wide showing. This could then be followed by a discussion on its relevance to the present ID cards debate.
+ GOVERNMENT CONSIDER USE OF NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER AS DATABASE INDEX
The government has released a report entitled “Transformational Government Enabled by Technology” that reveals, amongst other things, plans to consider using UK citizens’ National Insurance Numbers to index government records. The report says that the government “will create an holistic approach to identity management, based on a suite of identity management solutions that enable the public and private sectors to manage risk and provide cost-effective services trusted by customers and stakeholders”.
At the centre of the strategy will, they hope, be ID cards and the National Identity Register (NIR). Data sharing depends on the use of unique numbers or identifiers linked to each citizen, so that records do not match even if names do. The proposed NIR would give every citizen a NIR number (NIRN) that could be used to link hundreds of databases together. In the meantime the plan is to “consider the practical and legal issues of making wider use of the national insurance number to index citizen records as a transition path towards an identity card”.
The use of social security numbers in the US for a similar purpose has led to increases in fraud, identity theft and a serious erosion of privacy.
+ HUNT THE MINISTER – BIOMETRICS ROADSHOW – COSTS AND POLICY REVEALED
Information about the UK Passport Service’s biometrics roadshow has been revealed by Home Office minister Andy Burnham in a parliamentary written answer of 28th October. Adam Holloway MP asked about the cost and lack of public notification in the run up to dates. Burnham revealed that the roadshow cost £150,000 and that “the dates and locations of the road shows were not released to the public in advance. As is usual practice, Ministers’ movements are not confirmed in advance for security reasons”. Despite the secrecy, NO2ID local groups managed to attend the roadshow as it traversed the country. Burnham also revealed that “no decision on further dates has yet been taken”.
+ ID CARD PROTESTORS UPDATE
Three ID card protestors arrested in September have been told by police that charges of conspiracy to commit criminal damage have been dropped. The protestors were arrested travelling to an EU Justice Ministers’ meeting being addressed by Charles Clarke. When they were arrested they had with them orange boiler suits, handcuffs and a giant ID card to mount a peaceful demonstration against ID cards.
Now they are considering suing Northumbria Police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, and complaining to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. They were held for 20 hours, forced to give DNA samples, had their homes searched and possessions seized.
+ LUTON COUNCIL MOTION AGAINST ID CARDS NARROWLY DEFEATED
A motion put to Luton Council opposing ID cards was defeated by one vote on Tuesday night (8th November). Councillor David Franks, Liberal Democrat leader of the council who submitted the motion, pointed out that ID cards had not prevented terrorism in other countries like Spain, USA and France. Franks said: “Government’s ‘Titanic’ approach to the technology gives us no confidence. They say it will be unforgeable but the government and particularly the Home Office has an appalling track record when it comes to large-scale IT projects. This has all the hallmarks of a disaster about to happen. What is more, the card will have an immense value as an unchallengeable form of positive identity and I forecast that there will be a vast forgery industry within a week of introduction.”
+ NO2ID APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
Angela Harbutt has joined NO2ID as head of communications. Angela has worked in Broadcast media for 20 years, and is helping us to shape our media strategy.
++ “ID” In the News
+ Freeland Fights ID Cards
+ Review supports ID card costing
+ New report claims cost of ID cards will be £500 each
+ Global RFID Border Security Stalling?
+ Further official criticism about ID Card database and the lack of privacy
+ 2004 Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner finally published
+ Doubts over biometric passports
+ Rules for RFID chips in US passports
+ Balancing surveillance
+ Why Adolf Hitler relied on ID cards
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication details: © NO2ID 2005 – 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 No.412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP