Spies ‘R’ Us
NO2ID NEWSLETTER – Supporter’s Newsletter No.29– 22th September 2005
++ HOME OFFICE SUMMER ROADSHOW – HUNT THE MINISTER
The Home Office has begun its seven-date roadshow to promote identity cards, and at several stops NO2ID has been there to welcome them. So far, NO2ID has had media coverage from each event – Manchester, Edinburgh, Dudley and Newcastle – and we’re lining up a reception for the remaining dates on the tour as well.
Last Wednesday(14th September) Edinburgh and Glasgow NO2ID groups joined forces when Home Office Minister Andy Burnham led the roadshow to Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh. The roadshow features “interactive demonstrations of biometric technology from both UKPS[UK Passport Service] and Home Office projects”. What the roadshow does not feature is figures relating to the high failure rates encountered when the Home Office tried using these technologies in its Biometric Enrolment Trial last year. NO2ID in Scotland made sure that the visiting media and general public heard the other side of the story.
On Wednesday four NO2ID supporters were ejected from the Metro Centre in Gateshead. Stephen Hodgson, the organiser of the NO2ID presence in the Metro Centre, said: “The police ejected us from the Metro Centre, saying that our leaflets were ‘inappropriate’. It beats me how.”
The roadshow is due to visit Bristol and Southampton (dates TBA) and we encourage supporters in those areas to turn out and put the other side of the argument. If you hear any further details of when and where the roadshow is going to be then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
++ WHAT YOU CAN DO
+ HAPPY BIRTHDAY NO2ID
The NO2ID campaign is a year old this month. We now have approximately 20,000 supporters, nearly 500 of whom have become paid up members. If only one in ten supporters decides to become a member we can quintuple our campaigning efforts.
We are about to face our toughest test yet, with the 3rd Reading (last vote in the House of Commons) due in the autumn. We will need to use all our efforts and limited funds to lobby key MPs and run public meetings in more big cities.
+ 1. WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR LOCAL PAPER NO2ID needs more Labour MPs to oppose/abstain on the Identity Cards Bill when it returns to the House of Commons next month. Personal letters to your MP or the local press can be effective persuaders. It may be worth lobbying affected community groups to write too; remember that lists can sometimes be obtained from a local library or council office by enquiring discreetly.
+ 2. SEND A LINK TO OUR ‘SWIZZ OF THE CARDS’ COMEDY ANIMATION Send a link to our comedy flash animation (eclectech.co.uk/swizz.php) to all of your friends.
+ 3. SIGN OUR NEW MILLION POUND PLEDGE Please, if you can, make your pledge at www.pledgebank.com/resist or by texting ‘pledge resist’ to 60022 [standard text rate]. Pass on or promote this message/link to as many sympathetic people and groups, mailing lists, bulletin boards and publications as you can *without spamming*.
+ 4. LOBBY/WRITE TO YOUR MP The NO2ID website has a lobbying tool (mps.no2id.net) to help you lobby your MP. Write or lobby/speak to your MP (in constituency surgeries) and encourage them to vote against the bill at 3rd Reading and to sign EDM 263 against identity cards now. Fax Westminster MPs – www.faxyourmp.com/ Early Day Motion(EDM) 263 edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=28464
+ 5. HELP US BY JOINING NO2ID / DONATING Please join NO2ID, if you are not already a paid-up member. (There’s a membership form at www.no2id.net/downloads/membForm.pdf) OR Donate some money towards campaign expenses. NO2ID, Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP
+ 6. GET INVOLVED WITH LOCAL GROUPS Organise leafleting, a stall or a public meeting to educate the public about the database that lies behind the proposed ID card scheme. See www.no2id.net/localGroups
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
++ WHAT’S NEXT?
+ CAMPAIGN MATERIALS
We have plenty of posters, A2 and A4, and “How to WIN…” booklets in the office. People can send in for these free (though a donation always helps). T-shirts are also available in B&W in all sizes @ £10(incl p&p) and now a special-edition high-quality sweatshirt (black) with woven badge on the front and rear for £35(incl).
There’s also a selection of experimental merchandise at US online store cafe-press (www.cafepress.com/no2idshop).
+ USEFUL CAMPAIGNING INFO
The below link is focused on campaigning against council tax rises but there are ideas for lobbying and groups to contact. The same groups might object to the ‘tax on existence’ that is the identity cards scheme. www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/A2352232
+ 24th SEPTEMBER & 1st OCTOBER, STREET STALLS, HARLOW & IPSWICH
There are NO2ID street stalls planned in Harlow (Saturday 24th September) and Ipswich (Saturday 1st October). If you live in or near either town and can spare an hour to help sign up new NO2ID supporters, please contact Andrew Watson (email@example.com).
+ 10th OCTOBER, NO2ID KENSINGTON & CHELSEA PUBLIC MEETING
Monday, 10th October 2005, 7-9pm at St Mary Abbot’s Church Hall, Vicarage Gate, London W8. Speakers include Jonathon Fryer and Nigel Farage(UKIP) with more to be confirmed. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
+ 15th OCTOBER, NO2ID BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC MEETING
Saturday, 15th October 2005, 2.30pm at The Old Royal public house, Church Street, Birmingham B3 2DP – close to Snowhill station. Speakers: Richard Shepherd MP, Christopher Gill (Chairman of the Freedom Association), Ron Dorman of the Campaign Against Euro Federalism (CAEF), plus one other speaker to be announced. For more information contact Nick Drew, NO2ID Birmingham at email@example.com
+ PARTY CONFERENCES
NO2ID will be holding fringe meetings at the party conferences this year, which will take place in September/October.
Confirmed to date: + 26 September NO2ID at Labour Party Conference Monday, 26 September 2005, 7.00pm – 8.30pm at Brighthelm Auditorium, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD. We are looking for Brighton based volunteers to help at this event.
++ WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
+ ID CARD PROTESTORS ARRESTED
Six people, including a 17 year old girl on her first ever protest, were held in custody for 20 hours on 8th/9th September by Northumbria police. They were heading towards an EU Justice Ministers’ meeting being (unsuccessfully, as it turns out) 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.
Whilst in custody, the reason for their arrest was changed from ‘possible breach of the peace’ to ‘conspiracy to cause criminal damage’. Simply arresting them gave the police the excuse to then fingerprint them and take their DNA. They also confiscated their mobile phones and sent other officers to search their homes. Released at 4:30am the following day, the protestors must return to the police station on 28th October to see what, if any, charges will be brought.
+ BOURNEMOUTH NO2ID SPREADS THE MESSAGE
Bournemouth NO2ID has been out leafleting and chatting to people in the main shopping areas of Bournemouth/Boscombe and Poole. They have also recently had a letter published in Bournemouth Echo about the campaign and promoting the NO2ID website. Bournemouth co-ordinator Raymond Wills said: “The public are more than willing to take the material and the vast majority read it there or put in their pockets.”
Any supporters that live in the Dorset/Bournemouth area who would like to get involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
+ OXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL PASSES ANTI-ID CARD MOTION
Last Tuesday (13th September) Oxfordshire County Council passed a motion calling on the council to deliver public services without requiring the production of an ID card. The motion was passed by 56 votes to 8, with Liberal Democrats, Greens and Conservatives voting for it, and Labour voting against (except for one of their number, who abstained). The Tories tried to introduce a wrecking amendment which was ruled out of order by the Chair.
NO2ID Oxford is hoping to hold a public meeting in Oxford on the 13th October if they can find a suitable venue in the area.
+ MATTHEW TAYLOR MP JOINS NO2ID AS PARLIAMENTARY SPOKESMAN
This week Matthew Taylor MP was appointed as NO2ID’s new Parliamentary spokesman. Mr Taylor said: “Government plans for ID cards and the compulsory registration of everyone in the country will permanently undermine civil liberties in Britain. The threat is so serious that it transcends party politics, and I look forward to working with colleagues of all parties to defeat this illiberal and utterly unjustifiable attack on our way of life.”
+ HOME OFFICE RELEASES FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH
The Home Office have released the results of focus group research entitled ‘Identity Cards: The Public’s Response to proposed customer propositions’. The report says what NO2ID has been saying consistently when it states that: “at this stage, there is relatively low public understanding of the details of how the ID card system will work”. Furthermore it points out that “respondents understand that ID cards could be used to access non-core services; but because they do not perceive a problem with the way services are accessed at the moment, this is not a resonant benefit”. The term ‘solution looking for a problem’ springs to mind.
Read the report at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs4/ID-cards-621rpfinalv1.pdf
++ “ID” In the News
+ Hughes: I’ll go to jail over ID cards Leading Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes has said he is prepared to face jail rather than carry a compulsory identity card. tinyurl.co.uk/hby7
+ UK businesses to use ID cards for recruitment checks The Home Office is working with companies to encourage them to use ID cards for verifying the identities of their staff and customers. One of the first applications will be to use ID cards to automate checks against the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), reducing the turnaround time from four months to 72 hours. tinyurl.co.uk/xm9g
+ UK.gov ID card costings fit on back of (small) envelope Analysis earlier this year the home secretary condemned research from the LSE and Kable which costed his proposed ID card proposals at three times the government’s preferred numbers. Charles Clarke described the figures as “mad” and naturally backed the Government’s “best estimate” of £93 per ID Card. www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/13/id_costs/
+ ID card proposal just ‘red herring’ Campaigners have blasted Government claims a national identity card could replace passports. But members of Cambridge NO2ID said the proposal was a “red herring”. tinyurl.co.uk/767q
+ `We don’t want your ID cards’ Determined councillors in West Yorkshire are planning a boycott of controversial ID cards. They want Kirklees Council to say no to the Government’s proposed security measure. The Kirklees councillors are mounting a protest against Government plans to introduce compulsory ID cards. tinyurl.co.uk/kms0 (The motion was defeated on the 14/9/05)
+ UK ID card access to be graded The Home Office has outlined plans for controlling access to ID card information in a bid to allay fears over misuse and to manage the possible load on the database system. www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2142286/uk-id-card-access-graded
+ Businesses will have graded access to ID database – That’s OK then The Home Office said yesterday that businesses and public sector agency access to the national identity card database will be allowed on a graded basis, according to need. The idea is that so-called trivial checks on people’s biometrics should not be allowed to overload the system. www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/13/id_access_database/
+ Six NO2ID peaceful protestors arrested for “conspiracy” before they even get near the EU Summit A spokesman for the group NO2ID said two cars were driving towards the venue of the meeting in Gosforth on Thursday when police stopped them. The NO2ID group said they were arrested on Thursday morning on the grounds they may cause a breach of the peace. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/4225858.stm
+ Biometric information campaign on ePassports A roadshow to raise awareness amongst current and future passport holders about the introduction of biometrics and how they are recorded has been launched in the UK. www.securitypark.co.uk/article.asp?articleid=24290&CategoryID=1
+ Swiss citizens may ‘opt-out’ of biometric passports until 2011 At least until 2011, Swiss nationals applying for a passport will only be issued a biometric document if they have to travel to the United States. europa.eu.int/idabc/en/document/4595/194
+ Flaws found in Dutch biometric passports A recent trial in the Netherlands to test the new biometric passport has revealed several practical problems and some technical flaws. They report that fingerprinting children, especially babies, proved challenging. www.digitalmediaasia.com/default.asp?ArticleID=10271
+ ID cards: a story I thought I’d never write Freedom is buried in ‘Apartheid’ state The Netherlands: from the 1st of Jan. 2006 all 16 million people in the country will get a new ‘Citizen’s Service Number’, turning the country into one big jail. The first Apartheid process against 250 people – out of ten thousands who could not show an ID Card – starts next week. publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/09/323866.html
+ DVLA Database Errors When you send in your old licence it’s destroyed by the DVLA after three months. So if your records have been entered into their database incorrectly, you could be in trouble. According to official reports, a third of the DVLA’s records may be wrong. www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/reports/transport/transport_20050906.shtml
+ US : REAL ID goes too far If the REAL ID Act were such a great idea, why did Congress attach it to a military spending bill and pass it without public hearings? The answer, of course, is that it is not a great idea. It is a hacker’s dream come true. Personal data on virtually every adult in the United States will become highly vulnerable when this law is fully implemented. www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=60637
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor (email@example.com) )
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