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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 43 – 13th April 2006

NO2ID Local groups hit 100 but we still need more

We are pleased to announce that over one hundred NO2ID local groups have now been set-up around the country. Local groups are the key to getting the facts about ID cards and the National Identity Register to people at a grass roots level. Our groups have been holding public meetings, encouraging local councils to pass anti-ID motions, setting up street stalls, handing out leaflets and collecting signatures from Inverness to Torquay. What is more local groups were instrumental in delaying the ID bill as it moved through parliament, particularly the extraordinary five rejections by the House of Lords. Well done to all involved.

But we still need more groups particularly in Northern Ireland, South Wales, the Midlands and Lancashire. If you don’t have a local group near you why not set one up. If there is one then get involved. More information about local groups can be found at (www.no2id.net/localGroups/index.php).

Since our last newsletter many of our supporters have been lobbying election candidates for the upcoming local elections on 4th May. Our Doncaster group have even managed to get our web address on Liberal Democrat candidates’ leaflets. If you haven’t contacted your local candidates yet please do. Ask them their position on ID cards and make it clear to them that you will never vote for a supporter of compulsory registration or ID cards.  ID cards are a local issue, the astronomical costs of implementing the scheme will be passed to councils who will be forced to increase council tax.

You can also find some local election resources (such as fliers and poster designs) on the NO2ID submissions forum (forum.no2id.net/viewforum.php?f=43 – you will need to register to access this forum).

And finally, next Tuesday (18th April) we’ll be launching a new action at our volunteers meeting in London but don’t worry if your not in London, we will be notifying our supporters across the UK after the meeting.

What’s next?
Youth against ID
Could anyone who responded to the plea for young NO2ID supporters to get in touch, please do so again. Unfortunately thanks to a technical hitch your details didn’t get through. Anyone else who’d like to get involved, the doors are still open to you (as long as you’re under say, 26). Send an email to guyt@no2id.net or call 07956 681 328. A small group of young activists got together last week and we’re wanting to organise a larger but informal get-together to discuss a few ideas and potential strategies. Anyone else who’s not getting this newsletter would be welcome along as well.

Pennine Way sponsored walk continues
One of our supporters has kindly agreed to donate sponsorship income from his walk to the NO2ID campaign. You can follow Bob’s progress and make a donation here: www.no2id.net/walkfree.php

New local groups
We have new local groups in Farnham, Morden, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Bath, and Doncaster. To get involved with your local group drop and email to the group co-ordinator, a list of groups can be found at www.no2id.net/localGroups

15th April Bristol No2ID stall & leafleting
Saturday 15th April, afternoon by fountains near waterfront. For more details contact Dave Gould at bristol@no2id.net, or phone 07989 693646.

18th April NO2ID Glasgow meeting
Tuesday 18th April, 7.30pm at Mono, Kings Court, off King Street near the Trongate.
Now that the Identity Cards Bill has become the Identity Cards Act 2006, we need to gather ideas on how to move forward as a campaign and to build a movement which will be able to resist the introduction of compulsory ID cards and registration on the National Identity Register in 2010. Everyone is very welcome to attend. Please bring your thinking caps. For more details contact glasgow@n2id.net or visit www.no2id-scotland.net/glasgow/

18th April – NO2ID London Volunteers Meeting, Central London – Note new venue
Tuesday, 18th April 7.00pm at  Brockway Room in Conway Hall – which is in the north easterly corner of Red Lion Square, Holborn WC1 (nearest tube: Holborn). All are welcome to NO2ID’s  next volunteers’ meetings. The meeting will have a legal theme – Liz Norman, an immigration lawyer and member of NO2ID staff, will speak and we have invited along a number of other legal friends of the campaign. The meeting is free to attend but we will be asking for donations to help cover the cost of the room hire.
20th April NO2ID Swindon Meeting
Thursday, 20th April 7.30pm at the Clifton Inn, Clifton Street (off Kingshill in Swindon). This will be the Swindon group’s last meeting in April. Please come to collect your election packs. All welcome. for more details contact Lynda at swindon@no2id.net

21st April NO2ID Morden Planning Meeting
Friday, 21st April 7.00pm at the Princess of Wales pub, Morden Road (on the 93 bus route and 5 minutes from Croydon Tramlink Morden Road stop). The newly formed Morden group will holding their first planning meeting. For more information contact Mark Austin at morden@no2id.net

26th April “Identity Cards: The Debate” – British Computer Society, Northampton Branch
Wednesday, 26th April 7.30pm at University of Northampton (Park Campus), Boughton Green Rd. The BCS will be holding “what should be a lively and informative session led by students from the University of Northampton”. Refreshments provided. Both BCS members and non-members are welcome.

See northampton.bcs.org/events/2006/260406.asp for more details
5th May – The ID card debate – seminar
Friday, 5th May from 7pm to 9pm at 89 Bickersteth Road, Tooting, London SW17. Organised by the Mauritian Lawyers Society. Free admission. Contact Salina Somanah on 020 8516 7730 or 07870 773 792 for more details.

What just happened?
Web server appeal success
Many thanks to everyone who generously donated towards our new web server appeal. The new server is now up and running and helping us to deal with the ever expanding number of visitors.

Lewisham NO2ID Launch “Heroes and Villains” website for Local Elections 
NO2ID Lewisham have launched a website to inform voters of candidates’ opinions on compulsory ID cards and the National Identity Register. The “Heroes and Villains” website, which can be found at www.lewisham-no2id.org.uk, will clearly label every candidate standing in the local and mayoral elections on 4th May as either a hero or a villain, depending on their response to one simple question: “Do you support the the introduction of the National Identity Card and National Identity Register?”.  This question has been sent in a personalised letter to every candidate. Richard Grainger of Lewisham NO2ID said “Over time it will become impossible to access Council services without registering your fingerprints and eye scans on the database and carrying a card.  Lewisham residents should show their displeasure at the Government’s intention to nationalise their identities. They can do this by voting for the heroic candidates who oppose the scheme, whatever their political party”. For information contact: lewisham@no2id.net

NO2ID Edinburgh builds up its campaign
We may have lost the vote in parliament, but the campaign is really steaming ahead in Edinburgh.  As we build up our membership we have been able to institute a regular fortnightly stall on  Saturday afternoons at the east end of Princes Street. This is doing really well, and in due course we shall be making this a weekly  event. A member who is a professional graphics designer has produced  some really eye-catching displays for our stall, so that now even  passengers aboard the buses and cars which whiz past along Princes Street can be left in no doubt that Edinburgh does not want ID cards!  We also have a new gem of a website at: www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/  If you live in the Edinburgh area, why not contact us (edinburgh@no2id.net) and get involved.

New Agency – UKIPS – The UK Identity and Passport Service
On April fool’s day the government established a new agency (UKIPS) to deal with passports and identity cards as they move towards their foolish ID card scheme. The new agency should not be confused with UK Investment Property Services (UKIPS) or the United Kingdom Investment Performance Standard (UKIPS) or the United Kingdom Independence Party(UKIP). Seems like they might have a bit of an identity crisis.
See www.ukips.gov.uk

Transformational Government – Implementation Plan published
The government have now released a report detailing the implementation plan of their ‘Transformational Government’ strategy. The report has an introduction from Ian Watmore, ex-head of Accenture(formerly Andersen Consulting of the Enron scandal notoriety), now ‘Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit’. The report reveals that a study is under way by HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions “to look at the possibility of wider use of the National Insurance Number for indexing information held in public sector databases, whilst respecting confidentiality”. The study is expected to report by November. Also there is another study “into the market for biometric identity systems” which will report this month
The report can be downloaded from www.cio.gov.uk/documents/pdf/transgov/transgovt.pdf

Going Dutch? Where’s your ID?
78,917 fines have been handed out in the Netherlands over the past 15 months for failure to show ID, the research centre MDI reports. Although various forms of ID have existed in Holland for decades, showing them only became compulsory on 1 January 2005 – something that the Dutch had long been assured would never happen. Adjusted for population size, the Dutch figure is the equivalent of about 284,000 fines in the UK. Half of those fined have refused to pay and are being taken to court. The backlog of cases is continuing to build.

Low-hanging fruit for identity thieves
A preview of the joys of having a single, widely-used National Identity Register Number for every UK resident – courtesy of South Korea, where everyone already has one, and they’re suffering an epidemic of identity fraud as a result.

“ID” in the news
Does the ID cards scheme have a ‘self-destruct’ button?
A Conservative MP has asked the government to reveal whether the planned ID card database will have a ‘self-destruct’ system which could be used in case of foreign invasion.

Firms to pay for ID card checks – IT Week 10/4/06
The government confirmed last week that firms will have to pay if they want to use the national ID card system to carry out authentication checks – though exact charges have yet to be set.

Database state : MPs warned of ‘flaws’ in NHS supercomputer – The Times 11/4/06
Leading academics called yesterday for a formal audit of the National Health Service’s 6.2 billion IT scheme over fears that it is behind schedule, over budget and not secure.

Drivers use address scam to cheat speed cameras – The Observer 9/4/06
Rogue drivers are evading thousands of speeding tickets. The scam involves offenders registering their cars at one of a network of ‘mass-mailing’ addresses used legitimately by businesses instead of at their own homes. A Home Office spokesman said the national identity register being introduced to back up planned ID cards would help.

Blair’s inner circle and its ferocious grab for power – The Guardian 6/4/06
The ID cards bill will allow the authorities unprecedented surveillance of our lives, and the power to curtail our ordinary activities by withdrawing that card.

France : Launch of ePassports – timetable of introduction
The French Ministry for Internal Affairs has announced the imminent introduction of the first electronic passports in France. The new passports will be made available to French citizens progressively, depending on the administrative region in which they live.

Switzerland to introduce first biometric passports in September
The Swiss Federal Council has adopted a regulation that will pave the way for the trial introduction of biometric passports. New ‘Pass 06’ passports, containing electronically-stored biometric data, will be offered as an alternative to the current ‘Pass 03’ passports in selected regions from 4 September 2006, when the regulation comes into force.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(newsletter@no2id.net) )

What you can do
In the run up to the May local elections you can help us by:
1. Getting involved with your local group
Organise leafleting, a stall or a public meeting to educate the public about the database that lies behind the ID card scheme.
See www.no2id.net/localGroups

2. Writing to local elections candidates and your local paper
Now that the ID bill has passed into law it is essential that we keep compulsory registration of citizens on the National Identity Register in people’s minds. The media debate is likely to mis-report the plastic card opt-out.

* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php

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

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