Spies ‘R’ Us
NO2ID NEWSLETTER Supporter’s Newsletter No.31 – 27th October 2005
+ NEW PLEDGE – CALLING ALL ID REFUSENIKS
To mark the passage of the Identity Cards Bill into the Lords, Simon Davies (Chairman of NO2ID and veteran of ID card battles across the globe) has launched a new pledge at www.pledgebank.com/refuse2
“I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 15,000 other people will also make this same pledge.”
When Phil Booth, NO2ID National Coordinator, made the same pledge in the summer almost 10,000 people signed within the first month. NO2ID want to show the government and media that public opposition to their ID proposals is growing stronger than ever, so we need even more people to sign even faster than before. Don’t wait – this pledge will close more quickly then the last one.
If you didn’t sign our previous pledge and absolutely refuse to go along with the government’s plan to fingerprint you and scan your eyes, compel you to be registered and numbered so you can be tracked throughout your life by a card, and charge you for the privilege(!) then visit www.pledgebank.com/refuse2 and sign the pledge now. And don’t forget to tell all your friends.
If you did sign the last pledge, then we still need you to spread the word and encourage as many people as possible to pledge their refusal to comply. If all 11,368 refuseniks found just one other person *this week* who would sign up, we’d be over 2/3rds of our way to the target. And don’t forget that you can get people to sign up by texting ‘pledge refuse2' to 60022 [normal rates apply] on their mobile phone.
++ 3RD READING REPORT
++ GOVERNMENT WIN ID CARDS BILL 3RD READING , WITH REDUCED MAJORITY++
Last Tuesday (18th October) the House of Commons approved the Identity Cards Bill by 309 votes to 284, reducing the government’s 66-strong majority to just 25. 22 Labour, 20 Conservative and 2 Lib Dem MPs abstained.
The bill now moves on to the House of Lords (for its 2nd Reading there) on Monday (31st October) where it is expected to get a rougher ride. However, the government can now use the Parliament Act to force the bill through if they wish, though when asked by Charles Kennedy the day after 3rd Reading the Prime Minister refused to say whether the government would use it.
During the Report Stage debates and 3rd Reading a total of 32 Labour backbenchers took part in six separate rebellions against the government. But as revolts.co.uk pointed out: “the government survived comfortably by repeating the whipping tactics of the last two Parliaments: encouraging Labour backbenchers not to oppose all aspects of the bill at the same time”.
The government once again used a guillotine motion to curtail parliamentary discussion. As Richard Shepherd MP put it: “the government rule by guillotine, not by winning arguments in debate”.
Robert Marshall-Andrews MP said: “Not since the Domesday book in 1068 have we seen anything like it. That was a system of registration put into effect by the Normans—or the new Normans, as I suspect they were known at the time.”
Matthew Taylor MP pointed out that the use of a person’s identity number in a multitude of databases could lead to a “system for allowing the collection of an almost infinite amount of information about individuals—by the government”.
Tim Farron MP said: “In passing the bill and allowing this provision to remain unamended, we are providing the apparatus for authoritarianism.”
Outside of parliament intrepid NO2ID supporters braved the October air, with only mock ID cards to hide their modesty, to make the point that even those with nothing to hide have plenty to fear from the impending Big Brother state.
Watch the debate at: www.parliamentlive.tv/Console.aspx?Encoding=3350&StartAt=2005-10-18T14:43:08
Transcript at: theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2005-10-18c.708.0
++ WHAT YOU CAN DO
+ 1. SIGN OUR NEW ‘REFUSE 2' PLEDGE
+ 2. LOBBY A LORD
How to address Lords: www.parliament.uk/directories/house_of_lords_information_office/address.cfm
+ 3. PROMOTE NO2ID’S FLASH ANIMATIONS
+ 4. HELP US BY JOINING NO2ID / DONATING
+ 5. 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?
+ 31st OCTOBER, HOUSE OF LORDS 2ND READING
The Identity Cards Bill has already had a formal 1st Reading in the Lords. The 2nd Reading is next Monday and is a general debate. If the bill passes 2nd Reading then it will progress later this year to detailed discussions with amendments at the committee and report stages, followed by a concluding debate at the 3rd Reading.
+ 28th OCTOBER, SIMON DAVIES LECTURE, LEEDS
Friday, 28th October 2005 , 12-2pm at Leeds Met Headingley Campus, LS6.
+ 28th OCTOBER, ID CARD MEETING IN STROUD, ORGANISED BY STROUD GREEN PARTY
Friday 28th October: between 7.30 and 9.30pm at Star Anise Arts Cafe at the Painswick Inn, Gloucester Street, Stroud. The cafe doors open at 7.00 to reduce queuing time for coffee and cakes.
+ 28th OCTOBER, G8 / NO2ID BENEFIT, SUMAC CENTRE, NOTTINGHAM
Friday, 28th October 2005, 8-11pm at Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX (£2.50 recommended donation).
+ 3rd NOVEMBER, NO2ID PUBLIC MEETING BIRMINGHAM
Tuesday, 3rd November 2005, venue and times to be confirmed.
++ WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
+ JOINT COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS & CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTE RELEASE SCATHING REPORTS
Both the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) and the House of Lords Constitution Committee have both produced reports this week that criticise the government’s ID cards bill.
The JCHR report points out a number of areas where they believe the bill contravenes the Human Rights Act. When the previous committee produced similar findings in November of last year, the Home Secretary responded: “I consider that all the powers in the bill are capable of being exercised compatibly and its human rights compliance has to be judged ultimately by looking at the bill and all the orders and regulations made under it.” So that’s alright then. NO2ID are referenced several times in the JCHR report & our submission is reproduced in full in the Appendix.
The chairman of the House of Lords Constitution Committee, Lord Holme of Cheltenham, said: “Contrary to the Government’s assertions, the Committee reaffirms that the bill fundamentally alters the relationship between citizens and the State. The Committee firmly reject Government claims that, in respect of privacy, ID cards are comparable to driving licenses and passports.”
Constitution Committee: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldconst/44/4402.htm
+ CLARKE APPOINTS “GOVERNMENT SPIN DOCTOR” TO OVERSEE ID CARD TECHNICAL COMMITTEE
Charles Clark has this week appointed Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King to head up a new committee to oversee technological aspects of the ID cards scheme. In a Guardian article, also this week, George Monbiot said of King: “I fear that the government’s chief scientist is mutating into its chief spin doctor.”
+ THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH £30
On the 13th October Charles Clarke announced that: “It will be affordable to set a charge of £30 at current prices for a stand-alone ID card which is valid for 10 years.” Actually most people will still be conned out of at least £93. The total cost of the scheme is still projected to be £5.8 billion, getting on for £150 per person. So where’s the rest of the money coming from? Well, an FT report says that the Home Secretary “hopes to meet any additional costs from within his own budget and from other departments such as health, education and work and pensions that he believes could benefit from the savings the scheme is expected to generate.”
So, other departments can be relieved of money that they would otherwise spend on actual public services, to fund the Home Office’s white elephant. Previously the government claimed that ID cards and the National Identity Register would be financed out of new spending. Now they acknowledge that the money will be taken away from actual public services.
+ OXFORD NO2ID PUBLIC MEETING
NO2ID Oxford held a public meeting at Oxford town hall on a October 13th, which saw Green, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians united in their opposition to ID cards. Ed Vaisey MP warned that the government are proposing to use “technology that is relatively untried and untested on a scale that has never before been envisaged”.
Anna Ellis, a senior database administrator for a multinational blue chip company, gave a presentation explaining the technical deficiencies of the proposed card. Anna drew attention to the possibility of Identity theft (fingerprints can be spoofed), and warned that it would be possible for “criminal gangs” to scan the contactless cards without the owners’ knowing it.
+ BIOMETRICS 2005 CONFERENCE – ANIMAL TESTING
The Biometric industry gathered in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament last week to rub their hands in glee at the riches that await them as the world goes biometric. The Biometrics 2005 conference and exhibition took place at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster.
Various trade journals and literature was available, such as Smart Card News, which reveals that “EU legislation has recently mandated the use of identification techniques for dogs, cats and ferrets travelling into and between member countries.” An eight year transitional period began in October 2004 allowing pets to have either an ID tattoo or a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponder injected into the animal. After that only the RFID transponder will be allowed. UK, Ireland and Malta already require such technology.
+ SMARTEX SMARTCARD GROUP FOUNDER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST GOVERMENT ID SCHEME
Richard Poynder, founder and chairman of the Smartex Group, has written an article for ‘Keesing Journal of Documents & Identity’ which is highly critical of the government’s proposed ID card scheme. Poynder points out that: “Once people become aware of the full scope for centralised control that a national database facilitates, dissent will spread beyond the single-interest libertarian groups who have voiced their disapproval to date.”
+ OXFORD & NOTTINGHM NO2ID GROUPS GAIN OFFICIAL BACKING OF LOCAL MPS
The Nottingham NO2ID group is now officially supported by Alan Simpson, the Labour MP for Nottingham South. The Oxford Group is backed by Dr Evan Harris MP (Lib Dem, Oxford West & Abingdon) and Ed Vaizey MP (Con, Wantage).
++ “ID” In the News
+ Changes proposed to ID cards plan
+ No mandate for this attack
+ Chief scientist to put ID biometrics under the microscope
+ Is it a passport, an ID card, or a fiddle? A minister explains
+ Search warning over ID cards plan
+ Biometric ID – are they counting on your fingers?
+ ID checks ‘may damage pharmacy relationships’
+ Iris recognition needs work, says UKPS
+ ID cards give ‘audit trail’ of holders’ lives
+ Microsoft slams UK ID card database
+ U-turn on child protection database
+ South Africa pushes electronic ID cards
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor mailto: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.
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