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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 116 – 5th February 2009

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (


The Coroners and Justice Bill had its ‘Second Reading’ – actually the first debate and round of voting – in the House of Commons on Monday 26th January.

In one of the more colourful contributions to the debate, Henry Bellingham (Con) said: “The Bill contains some good ladders, but it has one appalling snake – it is a 50-ft python – in the form of the data protection proposals … the proposals are very worrying, because they would undermine the whole essence of the data protection legislation.”

Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill is an assault on fundamental data protection principles. It is all by itself as grave a threat to privacy as the entire ID Scheme. To find out more, see

Huge thanks to every NO2ID supporter who wrote to their MP in the run up to this debate – the impact of your letters was immediate and apparent. You have helped to raise the profile of measures the government tried to sneak into a long and complex Bill. Extracts from your correspondence were read out by opposition MPs and from the Labour benches, illustrating the depth of public feeling.

Writing to Marsha Singh (Lab), someone made it absolutely clear: “I do not consent to such an abuse of my personal information.”

Many other MPs spoke out against the new powers – ‘Information Sharing Orders’ – that would provide the means for any government department to obtain and use any information however it likes, allowing ministers to alter any Act of Parliament and cancel all rules of confidentiality.

David Howarth (Lib Dem) cited a number of reasons in moving an amendment to strike the entire Bill, in particular “because it will allow unlimited data sharing to occur between any organisations or persons for the purposes of supporting unspecified government policies, regardless of the safeguards contained in other legislation.”

Dominic Grieve (Con), the new Shadow Secretary for Justice, said Clause 152 would open the door to “massive and uncontrolled data sharing” and told Secretary for Justice Jack Straw, “we will seek to remove it from the Bill”.

With the chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Andrew Dismore (Lab), also wading in with serious concerns it is clear that Section 8 information sharing – clauses 151-154 of this 162-clause Bill – is in for a rough ride.

Unfortunately, the assault on our privacy and liberties is not limited to this Bill alone.

Yet more broad ID and data-trafficking powers will appear in the upcoming Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill; the detail of the Identity Cards Act is being sketched in by secondary legislation now out for ‘consultation’; and more news is imminent on both Communications Data and the Interception Modernisation Programme, and roadside checking by police (ID cards? Biometrics?)…

It is *vital* we all keep informed and up to date, and that we maintain the pressure (or encouragement, where appropriate) on MPs and peers as these various Bills and regulations progress through Parliament. Tell other people. Pass this newsletter on. Now, more than ever, we need your support –

For it is only with YOUR help that we can defeat these dangerous new powers, defend privacy and preserve our fundamental freedoms.


What just happened?

+ Privacy International releases Data Sharing Report +

Privacy International has published a report into the data sharing powers contained in the Coroners and Justice Bill. The report entitled ‘Sharing the Misery – The UK’s strategy to circumvent data privacy protections’ gives examples of the way in which such powers could be used, such as: “Data on students’ course attendance and library borrowing passed to immigration and security services in bulk; Information from party conference registrations passed on from police to government departments and electoral commission; Census data passed to government departments”. The document also highlights the lack of proper consultation regarding the powers: “the Data Sharing Review cannot be viewed as a formal public consultation. Instead, it is a question-based document containing no substance or options”. The report can be downloaded at[347]=x-347-563468

+ ID beacon cities – ID scheme in meltdown +

The Home Office has announced that they hope to roll out ID cards this year in several “beacon areas”. The reason given by the Home Secretary, at yet another ID card launch this time in Manchester, was to “ensure that the systems are operating smoothly”. The fact is that the ID scheme is already years behind schedule, there is no National Identity Register or card reading equipment and the project is becoming more and more unpopular. Perhaps the choice of the word “beacon” is a cleverly disguised clue as to the truth of this latest scheme as it could just be-a-con.

+ Coroners Bill Committee Stage +

The Coroners and Justice Bill began its Committee Stage in the House of Commons this week. In the 1st session Edward Garnier MP said: “When looking at the index of the Bill, a reasonable person could, quite legitimately, comment that Ministers have been running around the Department pulling things off shelves and sticking them into the shopping trolley to create a long Bill.” Liberty Policy Officer, Anita Coles told the committee that they have extreme concerns about the data sharing powers as “the way that it is drafted at the moment is that it enables any person to share any information, which not only includes personal data but other data such as company information, simply by ministerial order”. Read transcripts of the Committee Stage at Follow the 2nd Reading debate at


What’s next?

*+ Volunteers with accountancy skills needed +*
NO2ID needs volunteers with accountancy skills to help us with bookkeeping and reconciliation. If you can help please contact * + 6th February – Lords Constitution Committee to release Surveillance and Data Collection Inquiry Report +*
On Friday, 6th February the House of Lords Constitution Committee will publish the report of their Surveillance and Data Collection Inquiry. See

*+ 28th February – The Convention on Modern Liberty +*
On Saturday 28th February NO2ID, along with other UK civil liberties organisations, will be hosting Convention on Modern Liberty events across the UK and in London. The main event will take place at the Logan Hall but simultaneously meetings with live video feeds from London will take place in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Manchester, Cambridge and Bristol. More details here:

*+ ID cards secondary legislation consultation +*
The Identity and Passport Service has launched a consultation on secondary legislation proposed under the Identity Cards Act 2006, including a draft Code of Practice on Civil Penalties. Any comments should be sent to: Robin Woodland, Identity Cards Act Secondary Legislation Consultation, Home Office, Identity and Passport Service, Allington Towers, 19 Allington Street, London SW1E 5EB. Comments may also be sent by email to: If commenting by email then include the words “consultation response” in the subject title. Closing date 13th February 2009. See


To see if there’s a group in your area check our list at Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact Matty on to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.

_*+ Belfast +*_

*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
Saturday, 28th February from 9am at Room 212, Peter Froggatt Centre Queen’s University Belfast. Presented by Amnesty International NI and Queen’s University Belfast, School of Law. Registration for the Belfast convention will open in January 2009. For further information please contact: ( See ( Entry to this event is free.

_*+ Birmingham +*_

*+ 24th February – Birmingham NO2ID Meeting (Last Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 24th February 7.30pm int the boardroom in Bennett’s Bar, Bennett’s Hill, B2 5RS. NO2ID Birmingham holds regular monthly meetings on the last Tuesday of the month. February marks our first anniversary and we’ll be looking at what we’ve achieved so far and setting some targets for 2009.

_*+ Brighton +*_

*+ 24th February – Brighton NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday, 24th February 7.30pm upstairs at the Caroline of Brunswick – National Coordinator, Phil Booth will be joining us. There’ll be a short film and the opportunity to quiz the National Coordinator.

*+ 7th & 21st February – Brighton NO2ID Street Stalls +*
Saturday, 7th and 21st February. The first stall will be on Gardner Street, just near Komedia. Feel free to contact Alice, the local coordinator on or 07766918387 for more info and/or general questions.

_*+ Bristol +*_

*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
Saturday, 28th February at New Trinity Hall we will be holding a Modern Liberty satellite convention in conjunction with An Adventure in Technology. More details at ( as they become available. This event is free to attend.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 14th February – NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
Saturday 14th February at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: ( As ever, volunteers to help very welcome – please email, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.

*+ 28th February – Cambridge satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
Cambridge NO2ID is helping to organise the Cambridge stream of the Convention on Modern Liberty on Saturday 28th February at the Cambridge Union, 9a Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UA: ( , (

We will see a webcast of the London opening and closing plenaries, and in between run panel sessions with local experts on civil liberties topics. From 2pm there will be a Union-style debate featuring: Bill Rammell MP (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), David Howarth MP (Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Justice), Tariq Sadiq (Labour Parliamentary spokesman for South Cambridgeshire), Prof. Andrew Gamble (Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge). Attendance free (donations welcome!). Doors open 0900. Check the Modern Liberty web site for updates as the Cambridge programme develops:

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_

*+ 3rd March – NO2ID Camden & Islington Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 3rd March 8pm at The Castle, 54 Pentonville Road. For more info email or join the mailing list at: ( All welcome.

_*+ Cheltenham +*_

We have a new Cheltenham group. They are just in the process of getting started so please email the coordinator, Lynda Warren on, if you’d like to be involved.

Please also join the Cheltenham mailing list on:

_*+ Dorking +*_

We have set about our target to get 4000 petition signatures in 2009 with a poor 128 in Crawley last Saturday. Next up probably Redhill or maybe Crawley again with a more dynamic sales pitch. We need a few more active members now, so please come along to our monthly meeting on the first Tuesday every month or get in touch with us on

*+ 3rd March – NO2ID Dorking Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 3rd March 7.30pm at The Lincoln Arms, near Dorking mainline station. Come along if you are local, we always need your help.

_*+ 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 (, and for more group information see

*+ 24th February – Edinburgh NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday, 24th February at 6.30pm in The Bow Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL. Guest speaker: Bill Aitken, Conservative MSP and convenor of the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Further details are at All welcome.

_*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 18th February – Glasgow NO2ID extra Meeting (Now usually 1st Weds of month)+* Wednesday, 18th February 8pm in Mono. NO2ID meetings in Glasgow are now changing to the first *Wednesday* of every month, still at 8pm in Mono. All welcome; please contact Geraint at for further details. This is an additional meeting to prepare for the Scottish Convention on Modern Liberty

*+ 28th February – **Scottish satellite Convention on Modern Liberty (in Glasgow) +*

The Scottish Convention on Modern Liberty will be taking place on Saturday 28th February (9:30am to 5:30pm), in parallel with other conventions across the UK. Its focus will be “Surveillance in Scottish Society”. There will be speakers and debates on related topics, as well as live broadcasts of key note and plenary sessions from the London event.

The venue is the Institute for Advanced Studies, James Weir Building, University of Strathclyde, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ, which is less than 10 minutes walk from the main bus and train stations in the city centre.

Entrance is free but donations would be greatly appreciated to cover the costs of a buffet lunch and drinks. To reserve a place, please contact Geraint at

The event is being organised jointly by NO2ID and the Institute for Advanced Studies (

Speakers in Glasgow include: Dr Ken Macdonald – Assistant Information Commissioner for Scotland Patrick Harvie MSP – Co-Convenor of Scottish Green Party & member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Prof Mike Nellis – Professor of Community and Criminal Justice Strathclyde University, Institute for Advanced Studies, Dr Richard Jones – Lecturer in Criminology University of Edinburgh, School of Law, Dr William Webster – Lecturer in Public Management University of Stirling, Stirling Management School Other speakers are to be confirmed.

_*+ Great Missenden +*_

*+ 26th February – ID scheme talk, Chesham + *
Thursday, 26th February 6.30 – 8.00 pm at Chesham High School, Whitehill Road, Chesham – presentation on the ID card scheme hosted by the Liberal Democrats. The evening will finish with a question and answer session. All are welcome.

*+ 11th March – NO2ID Great Missenden Meeting +*
Wednesday, 11th March 8.00pm at The George Pub, Great Missenden. All welcome.

If you are interested in the work of the Great Missenden group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Hammersmith +*_

Brian Mooney, NO2ID Hammersmith, gave a lunchtime talk to the ‘People & Planet’ society at Roehampton University. As the college is a centre for teacher training, we are now considering an even bigger event focusing on the issue of ID cards for students and the children’s databases.

_*+ Leeds +*_

*+ 14th February – Leeds NO2ID Meeting for New supporters +*
Saturday, 14th February 11am in the private function room of the Victoria Hotel, Great George Street, Leeds. A meeting for new supporters and to plan the year ahead’s actions against ID cards and the Database State. Weather permitting this may be followed by a street stall. For more details email Nadine at – look forward to seeing you there!”

_*+ Manchester +*_

*+ 14th February – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 14th February 2pm – 4pm in St. Ann’s Square to raise awareness among the public and engage people in discussion about the National Identity Register. We’ll be collecting signatures for the NO2ID petition to keep people in touch with the campaign. We’ll meet in the square itself at 2pm to set up shop; feel free to join us to lend a hand or just chat. You don’t need any experience or equipment, just a bit of time to spare and a friendly smile!

*+ 18th February – Student Stall +*
Wednesday, 18th February 10am-1pm outside the Student’s Union. Manchester Students Against ID will be publicising the anti-ID-card motion at this afternoon’s General Meeting with a street stall outside the Student’s Union. We will also be highlighting the upcoming Convention on Modern Liberty, and the evening’s Manchester NO2ID meeting. If you’d like to volunteer for the stall, please contact or just turn up and show support.

*+ 18th February – Manchester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 18th February 7pm in the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us if you have accessibility needs (e-mail us on or call us on 07982 814441). At our monthly meetings we discuss the state of the NO2ID campaign, what we’ve been up to recently and where we’re going in future. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. See minutes of our previous meetings at

*+ 28th February – Manchester satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
Saturday 28th February, 9:00am- 7:00pm

The Convention on Modern Liberty is a call to all concerned with attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms under pressure from counter-terrorism, financial breakdown and the database state.

Manchester NO2ID is organising a breakout convention alongside the main event in London, featuring live video feeds of the keynote speeches and panel sessions, during which the Manchester audience will be able to relay questions directly to London for the panels. There will also be two sets of discussion sessions covering different aspects of civil liberties in which our guests are encouraged to participate.

Our breakout Convention takes place at Manchester University Student’s Union, Oxford Road, Manchester on Saturday 28th February from 9am to 7pm. For more information, see

Full details at

_*+ Norwich +*_

*+ 9th February – Norwich NO2ID relaunch meeting +*
Monday, 9th February at 8pm at Norwich Friend’s Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich, NR2 1EW. The Norwich NO2ID group is re-starting with a new coordinator. Consider yourself invited to our inaugural meeting at which Andrew Watson, NO2ID’s East of England Regional Coordinator will be speaking on the current state of the Government’s identity scheme and about NO2ID’s history and achievements. Tom Read, the new Norwich Coordinator will be discussing future activities of the Norwich branch of NO2ID. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. We hope to build on the successful action held previously in Norwich.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Tom Read on

We hope to see you on the 9th and thank you for your continued support of our campaign.

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_* *__*+ Selby & York +*_

*7th February – Selby & York NO2ID Street Stall* Saturday, 7th February 10.30-13.00 at Parliament Street, York. Contact or for more details.

Stay in touch with Selby NO2ID at:

Stay in touch with York NO2ID at:

_*+ Shrewsbury +*_

*+ 16th February – Shrewsbury NO2ID “dining club” (3rd Monday of the month) +*
Monday, 16th February – our regular “dining club” is meeting at about 7.15pm somewhere in the town centre. Do join us for a meal, or just come along for a drink. We need to book the table a few days in advance, so contact Rob Findlay on (or 07973 848910) if you’d like to come along.

_*+ Worcester +*_

*+ 11th February – Worcester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 11th February 8pm at The Portobello Inn, St Johns, Worcester (map available from our website @ Look out for the NO2ID Logo to spot us if you have not been before. Its an open door policy. Anyone can come along regardless of your stance, experience or awareness on the issues regarding or related to the National Identity Scheme. Why not bring a friend and join us for some drinks! If you cannot make it stay tuned for the details of the meeting’s outcome on our website blog @

*+ York +*

*+ 7th February – York NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 7th February from 10:30 – 13:00 on Parliment Street. Please email if you can lend a hand.


“ID” in the news

*+ ID cards should conceal as well as reveal identity – The Guardian 5/2/09 +*
Mug that I am, I expect to be an early adopter. The personal convenience of having a backup travel document for trips within Europe seems worth the personal hassle of enrolling for a UK government ID card when they go on general sale next year.

*+ New identity card tsar to cost the taxpayer up to £250,000 – Daily Mail 4/2/09 +*
Ministers are to hire a National Identity Scheme Commissioner, who will receive a six-figure salary and a gold-plated pension.

*+ ID cards are here – but police can’t read them – 4/2/09 +*
The first UK ID cards have already been issued – but no UK police officers or border guards have any way of reading the data stored on them.,3800010403,39391135,00.htm

*+ Information sharing consultation – E-Health Insider 3/2/09 +*
The government has launched a consultation on information sharing across health, social care and wider community support services. The consultation will examine how the assessment process for people who need health and social care should work in future.

*+ EU security agency draws ‘privacy baseline’ for ID cards – The Register 3/2/09 +*
ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) argues that the “vast disparity between privacy features in electronic ID cards across Europe” is creating a recipe for future trouble. Typical current applications for identity cards include their use for tax declarations and other e-government services, but more ambitious commercial application are in the pipeline.

*+ James Crosby appointed chairman of Misys – Computer Weekly 3/2/09 +*
Sir James Crosby, who produced a report highly critical of the government’s plans to introduce ID cards, has been appointed to chairman-designate of the board of Misys, the banking and health software company.

*+ Blunkett and Straw slip up – The Guardian 2/2/09 +*
The pure joy of new snow has only been equalled in the last few days by watching two home secretaries slipping and sliding in the press. First there was David Blunkett, who appeared to be criticising government plans to record every email, internet connection and telephone call, saying it was a threat to civil liberties. This is puzzling. Is he ignorant of the measures in the coroners and justice bill, which propose a vast data sharing operation between government departments?

+ Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree – The Register 2/2/09 +
Paget’s device has a range of about 30 feet, making it ideal for discretely skimming the EDL and passport card tags of people who pass by his vehicle. With modifications, Paget says his device could read RFID identifiers that are more than a mile away.

*+ Government brings forward ID card launch – Computer Active 29/1/09 +*
The Government is bringing forward its plans to launch identity cards to the British public. Eager to stress the benefits of ID cards, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today announced that British nationals will be able to get the cards on a voluntary basis this year.

*+ Manchester ‘could pilot ID cards’ – BBC News 29/1/09 +*
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith explains the government’s ID card scheme to a class of school children Ministers say public support for ID cards is high Manchester could be one of the testing grounds for the government’s ID cards scheme, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said during a visit to the city.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor( )
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

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