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NO2ID Newsletter No.122 7 May 2009

You can view this newsletter on-line in its usual format at:

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


The Home Office is in a whirl of activity on the database state. But it isn’t actually doing anything. If you look carefully you can see that it is scrambling to secure its position, covered by a lot of noise about “change”.

On ID cards – The announcement of ‘trials’ in Manchester is less than it seems. There is not yet a scheme nor even a specification. Retail chains who might take fingerprints are “in talks” with government, but it would be commercial madness for them to buy equipment for an undersigned scheme that might be cancelled in a year. Those who pre-register for the scheme are only serving to provide a number that some future Home Office minister can claim shows “the public want ID cards”. The razzamatazz around their opportunity is neatly timed to distract attention from the latest cost reports. No real change. But no change of direction either.

On the collection of communications data – though headlines have been grabbed by “cancelling” a super-database of all telephone calls, texts, emails and web-browsing, the collection and searching of the information is still intended. And the information will still be accessible to dozens of organisations without a warrant. No change.

On the DNA database in England and Wales, you will have read stories such as “Police to destroy DNA profiles of 800,000 innocent” (Guardian). Only they won’t. Not immediately. Let alone comply with the spirit of the law, or match the actual law in Scotland. The Home Office is merely consulting on a proposal that, at some indefinite point in the future it might (a) massively add to the database by sampling all convicts however long ago their convictions, and (b) remove the DNA profiles of those who are not convicted between 6 and 12 years after they are arrested — the period depending on what they are innocent of. On that basis the database will continue to grow very fast for years to come. No change.

Rest assured NO2ID will continue to fight the database state. No change.

++ What just happened? ++

+ Government dragging feet over DNA Database – time for a consultation! +
Back in December the government was defeated in a case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the retention of DNA samples for those who have not committed an offence. Since then there has been no change to the UK law – whilst ministers “consider the judgment”. Now the Home Office is launching a public consultation ‘Keeping the right people on the DNA database’ which includes proposals to automatically delete profiles of those arrested but not convicted of serious violent or sexual crimes after 12 years and automatically delete profiles of those arrested but not convicted of all other crimes after six years. Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch said: “This is a long time for innocent people to wait to have their records wiped, DNA profiles can be used to track an individual or their relatives. Where are the weighty reasons that the European Court demanded to justify retention of this data?” GeneWatch also point out that the number of crimes detected using DNA has not increased despite the database more than doubling in size. As we go to press further details of the consultation are not yet available.

+ Reclaim Your DNA website launched +

As the government ums and ahs over the retention of innocent people’s DNA, civil liberties groups including GeneWatch and NO2ID have come together to set up a new website ‘Reclaim Your DNA’ to help people ask to have their DNA removed from the National DNA database. Up to a million innocent people who have been arrested in England, Wales or Northern Ireland have had their DNA retained. This includes many children, who can be arrested from the age of ten. The site points out: “The most important thing to do first is to write a letter to the police” and the site can even generate a letter for you.

+ Blunkett and the ID Card U-Turn that wasn’t a U-Turn +

Last week the mainstream media reported a change of heart by father of the ID card scheme David Blunkett following a speech at the InfoSec security conference. Apparently Blunkett wanted ID cards to be scrapped, he’d seen the error of his ways and the project would surely now crumble. However in a letter to the Daily Telegraph Blunkett pointed out: “I am entirely committed to the whole programme and, specifically, the database”. In fact Blunkett only suggested that the plastic card could be dropped and the passport used instead – but not the usual passport. Blunkett said: “Most people already have a passport but they might want something more convenient to carry around than the current passport and may be able to have it as a piece of plastic for an extra cost.” So just to be clear – Blunkett’s U-turn was to back the National Identity Register, drop the plastic card and replace it with … er … a plastic card.

+ Latest ID scheme cost report shows cost increase +

The UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIP) has published its latest ten-year cost estimate of the National Identity Scheme. The report which specifically excludes costs to business, citizens and any part of government other than the Home Office — shows a £160 million increase in 6 months. The report also completely ignores the £250 million+ already spent on the scheme. The report even tries to re-brand the National Identity Scheme as the ‘National Identity Service’ in an attempt to suggest that there are benefits to signing up when in fact anyone who registers will be signing away their privacy for life and giving the government a blank cheque. Read the report at:

+ Court prolongs German data access curbs +

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has again renewed an interim decision restricting access to the communications data of citizens who are not suspected of any crime. The curbs will probably stay in place until the court rules on a complaint that blanket data retention violates the German constitution. Some 34,000 people have put their names to the complaint.

+ Anti-ID card song +

Rock/alternative band Guns To Caviar have added an anti-ID-card track ‘Function Creep’ to their myspace page. The band said: “The cause needs a rock anthem, we reckon!” You can check it out at

++ What’s next? ++

*+ Volunteers needed for Mark Thomas gigs +*
Mark Thomas has invited NO2ID to help at some of his shows this year. NO2ID needs volunteers to help out as Mark tours around the country – please contact the NO2ID office ( and we will put you in touch with the relevant local groups. For details of gigs see

*+ Communications Data consultation +*
The Home Office has launched a consultation on proposals for the so-called Intercept Modernisation Programme whereby the government wants internet service providers and telecommunications companies data to store details of all UK emails, phone calls and web activity so that public authorities can get hold of that information when they want it. The consultation ends on 20 July 2009. Full details and how to respond at


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.

_*+ Alexandra Palace +*_

*+ 17th June – Alexandra Palace NO2ID 1st Meeting +*
Wednesday, 17 June at 8.15pm at The Gate pub on Station Road, N22 7SS. Directions: The Gate is opposite Alexandra Palace station (overground line) and a short walk from Wood Green tube station (Picadillly Line). The W3 stops outside.(map Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. Please bring a friend. For more information contact

_*+ Birmingham +*_

*+ 26th May – Birmingham NO2ID Meeting (last Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 26th May 7.30pm in the boardroom in Bennett’s Bar, Bennett’s Hill, B2 5RS. NO2ID Birmingham holds regular monthly meetings on the last Tuesday of the month. This month’s meeting will be taking a further look at the databases that make up the database state. There will be no stall this month due to other NO2ID commitments.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

***+ 9th May – NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: ( Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.

*+ 30th May – Possible NO2ID Stall in Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds +*
Saturday, 30th May Cambridge NO2ID will be running a street stall but not necessarily in Cambridge – we may take a car load of volunteers to Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds and run it there for a change of scenery. Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’re interested in helping with a stall in either of these towns

*+ 6th June – NO2ID Stall at Cambridge Strawberry Fair +*
Volunteers needed to man the stall at Cambridge Strawberry Fair for 2 hour shifts from 10am until 6pm: please contact, or text/call Andrew Watson on 07710 469624. We signed up 500 supporters last year – we’d like to improve on that number this year. (Strawberry Fair info:

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_ ** *+
2nd June – NO2ID Camden & Islington Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 2nd June 8pm at The The Kings Head, 59 Essex Road, Islington, N1 2SF ( Directions from Angel tube: Turn right and walk up the High Street keeping to the left. Go through the antique market area and pass the Tesco’s Metro. Walk for a further 2/3 minutes (passing the Queen’s Head pub) and cross the road using the zebra crossing – the Kings Head is in front of this zebra crossing. For more info email or join the mailing list at: ( All welcome.

_*+ Canterbury +*_*

**+ 16th May – Canterbury NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 16th May 10am – 1pm in Canterbury High St: We’ll be meeting afterwards to get materials together for the Dover protest.

*+ 21st May – Canterbury NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday, 21st May, 7.30pm at the Bell and Crown, Palace St.

*+ 30th May – Joint action: Protest at Dover Interrogation Centre +*
Saturday, 30th May (joint action with Dover NO2ID) protest at Dover Interrogation Centre. More details to follow. Please contact us or come to the May meeting if you’re interested in taking part – / 07792 567087.

_*+ Cheltenham +*_

The Cheltenham NO2ID group meet on the last Thursday of the month at 19.30 in The Swan, 37 High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1DX. All welcome.

_*+ Daventry +*_

*+ 13th May – Daventry NO2ID Meeting (2nd Wednesday of month) +*
We meet at 8pm every 2nd Wednesday in the month in the “Dun Cow” pub, Brook Street, Daventry.

_*+ Derby +*_

*+ 19th May – Derby NO2ID inaugural Meeting +*
Tuesday, 19th May 7.30pm at the Friend’s Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY. For more information contact the coordinator, Nick Wray on or join the mailing list on: _**_ _*+ Dorking +*_

*+ 2nd June – Dorking NO2ID Meeting (1st Tuesday of month)+*
Tuesday, 2nd June 7.30pm at the Lincoln Arms, near Dorking mainline station. All welcome. Also beginning to prepare for our big Public Meeting / Question Time on 9 Sept with the Shadow Home Sec. We need to fill a hall with 350 people, so every bit of help is needed.

_*+ Dover +*_

*+ 9th May – Dover NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May, weather permitting, from 10am in Dover. Location: In front of War Memorial by the Town Hall (Biggin Street/High Street). Please come along and help if you can. Contact Ian Taylor —

*+ 30th May – Joint action: Protest at Dover Interrogation Centre +*
Saturday, 30th May (joint action with Canterbury NO2ID) protest at Dover Interrogation Centre. See Canterbury above.

_*+ Edinburgh + *_**** ***+ MP addresses Edinburgh meeting +*
The guest speaker at the Edinburgh group meeting 1st May was John Barrett, the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West. In fact, this was the first time that we had invited an MP, as opposed to an MSP, to our meetings. Speaking of the problem of inaccurate information in databases and getting it corrected he cited his own personal example – some time ago Companies House had mistakenly identified him as a company director and it was extremely difficult to prove this information was wrong. Given that three out of the four sitting Edinburgh MPs are currently Labour, he judged that the city would clearly be a key battleground at the next General Election. He therefore urged us to raise the issue of ID card abolition with every candidate, formally and at the hustings. * 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

_*+ Epsom +*_

Dear Epsom NO2IDers — now is the time to get involved. On Sept 9, there will be a public meeting/Question Time at Bourne Hall, with Epsom MP Chris Grayling (Shadow Home Sec) and other names to be announced. The hall seats 350 people so we will need to do plenty of advertising including street stalls, leafleting at train stations, raising awareness through local LibDems / Conservatives / Independent networks, contacting schools etc. If you can help, email Geoff on

If anyone wants to get involved in the Epsom area, please email or phone NO2ID South East Regional Coordinator Geoff Cox on or call 01306 631377. ** _*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 2nd June – Glasgow NO2ID Meeting (reverting to 1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 2nd June at 8pm in Mono. All welcome. Please contact Geraint for further details:

_*+ Hackney +*_

*+ 19th May – Hackney NO2ID re-launch Meeting +*
Tuesday, 19th May 8pm at the Penbury Tavern, Amhurst Road, E8 1JH. For more info contact Carl Reynolds at or join the mailing list at

_*+ Hammersmith & Fulham +*_

*+ 10th May – Hammersmith & Fulham NO2ID Street Stall +*
Sunday, 10th May, 11.30am-12.30pm. Stall with petitions and leaflets outside West 12 shopping centre, Shepherds Bush Green. Depending on numbers, we may spread to outside Westfield centre/Shepherds Bush tube – which is opposite West 12.

*+ 14th May, Hammersmith & Fulham NO2ID local get-together +*
Thursday, 14th May, 7.00pm. Local get-together – in the bar in the Plough and Harrow, King St, Hammersmith. More information from Brian Mooney, 07976 414913.

_*+ Hebden Bridge +*_

***+ 28th May – Hebden Bridge NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday 28th May 7.30pm at the Fox and Goose. This time around we will be planning practical activities that the groups can undertake. Please email for further information.

_*+ Kensington and Chelsea +*_

*+ May (TBC) – Kensington & Chelsea NO2ID Street Stall, Portobello Road +*
May date to be agreed but probably the 2nd Sunday in Portobello Road.

*+ 13th June – Kensington & Chelsea NO2ID Street Stall, Constitution Group Conference +*
Saturday 13th June at The British Constitution Group Conference at Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

*+ 20th June – Kensington & Chelsea NO2ID Street Stall, TUC Conference Hall +*
Saturday, 20th June 09:30-16:30 at TUC Conference Hall, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

*+ 21st June – Kensington & Chelsea NO2ID Street Stall, Earls Court +*
Sunday, 21st June Earls Court Street Fair

July date to be agreed but probably the 2nd Sunday in Portobello Road. It is with regret we will not be able to attend Levellers Day in Burford this year. All offers of help will be gratefully received (

_*+ Kingston-Upon-Thames +*_

*+ 23rd May – Kingston NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 23rd May 9am – 3pm. We are holding our first stall in Kingston Upon Thames’ market square and are hoping for local MPs and a well known political band to attend to sign the pledge.

*+ 30th May – Kingston NO2ID Meeting +*
Saturday, 30th May 4pm at the Kingston Mill pub, 58-62 High Street, Kingston, Surrey, KT1 1HN. All welcome! For more details contact Charlotte Turner at ( If you are interested in the work of the Kingston group or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Kingston-Upon-Thames mailing list here:

_*+ Lanark +*_

*+ 10th May – Lanark NO2ID 1st Meeting +*
Sunday, 10th May 3pm at the Cydesdale Inn in Lanark. Dr Geraint Bevan the Scottish coordinator for NO2ID Scotland will be present. The informal meeting will concentrate on how to raise awareness of the NO2ID campaign in and around Lanark, and seek to provide answers to any questions the attendees may have about ID cards and the database state. For more details contact Richard Clay at (, visit the website at or join the mailing list at

_*+ Manchester +*_

*+ 9th May – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May 2pm-4pm in St. Ann’s Square in Manchester City Centre (down near the big Marks and Spencer), 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!

*+ 13th May – Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Wednesday, 13th May 2009 7pm-9pm in the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us on if you have accessibility needs. We are always looking for volunteers to take and type up minutes from our meetings; it’s an easy way to help the campaign! The Town Hall Tavern serves reasonably-priced, good quality food until 9pm so you don’t need to pop home for tea – you can even order your meal brought up to the function room.

_*+ Newport +*_

*+ 15th June – Newport NO2ID 1st Meeting +*
Monday, 15th June, 7pm at House Morgain, Chelston Place, Newport NP20 5LX. Please do put this in your diary and come to meet me/ us. Coffee/ tea/ wine/ beer as you will. You can email, Shan Morgain on or join the mailing list at

* *_*+ Norwich +*_

*****+ 9th May – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May from 1pm until 3pm at The Haymarket on Gentleman’s Walk. Show your support for the campaign by spreading the word to the general public. We’re also neatly positioned to sample the manifold delights of The Puppet Man, if you so desire.

*+ 12th May – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting +*
Tuesday, 12th May at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse) on Earlham Road from 7.30pm-9pm. Action stations! Support is steadily building in the Norwich area. We’re preparing a range of events, talks, debates and activities and would like you to come along to participate. Everybody welcome from newbie to expert.

*+ 13th June – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 13th June 1pm-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk – please come along to express your discontent at this expensive and intrusive scheme. It should hopefully be sunny and cheerful, but best bring a brolly and a smile in case! (Puppet Man appreciation optional)

*+ 16th June – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting +*
Tuesday, 16th June 7.30pm-9pm at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse) on Earlham Road. It’s a friendly atmosphere so drop in and join us to discuss how we can build support for the campaign and spread the word further.

*+ 22nd June – Mark Thomas – It’s The Stupid Economy Stall +*
Monday 22nd June sees Mark Thomas bringing his political comedy to Norwich. He has helpfully agreed to let us put a stand up to inform people about the cause, starting 7pm-8pm and then after the show 10pm-11pm approx. For more information contact

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

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 25th June – Oxford NO2ID Public Meeting +*
Thursday, 25th June 8pm in the Sutro Room at Trinity College. This will feature a series of speakers discussing identity and privacy in the modern age. All welcome. Guests will include: * Robert Buckland (Tory candidate, Swindon South), * Steve Goddard (Lib Dem candidate, Oxford East), * Peter Hitchens (Columnist, Mail on Sunday), * Peter Tatchell (Human Rights Campaigner, Green candidate, Oxford East), * Glyn Wintle (Open Rights Group)

See the website for more:

_*+ Selby & York +

*_*+ 16th May – Selby & York NO2ID joint Street Stall +*
Saturday, 16th May 10.30-14.30 in Parliament Street York – Selby & York joint ID stall .

_**__*+ Sheffield +*_

*+ 9th May – Sheffield NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May 11am-2pm, Fargate

*+ 30th May – Sheffield NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 30th May 11am-2pm Fargate

*+ 6th June – Sheffield NO2ID at Peace in the Park, Ponderosa +*
Saturday, 6th June at the Ponderosa, Netherthorpe (see

** *+ 10th June – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 10th June at 7.30pm at The Harlequin Pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG (

_*+ Shrewsbury +*_

*+ 9th May – Shrewsbury NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 9th May 1.30pm Pride Hill, Shrewsbury (weather permitting).

*+ 20th May – Shrewsbury NO2ID “dining club” (NB change of date) +*
Wednesday, 20th May – our regular “dining club” is meeting at 7.15pm for a curry 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 +*_

*+ 13th May – Worcester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 13th May 8pm at The Portobello Inn, St Johns, Worcester (map available from our website Table in the Lounge Bar. 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

++ “ID” in the news ++

*+ The ID card is on its last legs – just let it die with dignity – Evening Standard 7/5/09 +*
As Jacqui Smith’s death notices are published in all the newspapers, one further Home Office corpse is still, for the moment, twitching.

*+ Lunatic’ Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians – The Register 6/5/09 +*
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today confirmed that Manchester volunteers will be allowed to pay a total of £60 for an ID card from later this year. The price tag on the ID card will remain £30, but the Home Office is now estimating the cost of biometric enrollment, payable to the high street stores it hopes to recruit, as a further £30.

*+ Manchester launch for ID cards – BBC News Online 6/5/09 +*
Manchester will this autumn become the first city where people can sign up for an ID card, Jacqui Smith has said. Anyone over 16 in the city with a UK passport will be able to apply for a card from the Home Office.

*+ Ministers to trim DNA database – BBC News Online 6/5/09 +*
Ministers are to heed a court ruling that profiles of innocent people on a national DNA database must be removed. The Home Office says the number of people on the database could be cut by up to 850,000 to bring it into line with the Court of Human Rights.

*+ Jacqui’s secret plan to ‘Master the Internet’ – The Register 3/5/09 +*
Spy chiefs are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a mass internet surveillance system, despite Jacqui Smith’s announcement earlier this week that proposals for a central warehouse of communications data had been dumped on privacy grounds.

*+ Darling hints £5bn ID cards could be dropped in favour of biometric passports – Daily Mail 30/4/09 +*
Labour’s ID card policy was in fresh disarray last night after Chancellor Alistair Darling failed to back the £5billion project. Mr Darling put the scheme in doubt by signalling the Government may just introduce biometric passports instead.

*+ Cameron: Give the UK’s health records to Google – The Register 27/4/09 +*
David Cameron has repeated his pledge to cancel the ContactPoint database and the ID card scheme if the Tories win the next election. Speaking at the weekend, Cameron said the Tories would also look closely at the National Programme for IT – the controversial and expensive NHS modernisation programme.

*+ State appoints ID card contractors for £650m – Contractor UK 17/4/09 +*
The two most IT-centric contracts for a biometric Britain have been awarded to CSC and IBM, bringing the state’s aim of a nationwide identity scheme a step closer. Computer Sciences Corporation won a £385m deal to upgrade the application and enrolment system, while IBM took a £265m contract to build the biometrics database.

*+ DNA pioneer Alec Jeffreys: drop innocent from database – The Guardian 15/4/09 +*
The inventor of genetic fingerprinting, Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, today warns that the government is putting at risk public support for the DNA national database by holding the genetic details of hundreds of thousands of innocent people

(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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