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NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 53 - 31 August 2006

NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 53 - 31st August 2006

Contacting us: Call or email the office - 020-7793-4005 or (office@no2id.net).

25 DOWN - 44 TO GO

Over the summer several new local groups have been established around the country. Amongst them we now have groups in 25 of the 69 towns in which passport processing centres will open this Autumn. From October all first time passport applicants will require a face to face interview. These interviews will eventually be extended to all applicants, as compulsory registration on the National Identity Register is introduced. It is essential that we have a group in each of these locations to effectively campaign in the months ahead. There are still 44 towns where we need a presence. If you live in one of these locations please consider helping us by setting up a local group. The remaining towns are:

Aberdeen, Andover, Armagh, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blackburn, Boston, Bury St Edmunds, Camborne, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Coleraine, Crawley, Derby, Dover, Dumfries, Exeter, Galashiels, Hastings, Ipswich, Kendal, Kilmarnock, Kings Lynn, Lincoln, Liverpool, Luton, Maidstone, Middlesbrough, Newport, Northallerton, Northampton, Norwich, Oban, Omagh, Peterborough, Scarborough, Shrewsbury, St Austell, Stirling, Stoke on Trent, Swansea, Warwick, Wick, Wrexham, Yeovil.

If you can set up a local group in one of these towns then please contact us at (office@no2id.net). A local group can start with just one person but we will help you to grow.

What's next?

New Local Groups

We now have a local groups in Barnstaple, Hemel Hepstead, and Harrow. To find out more contact barnstaple@no2id.net, hemel.hempstead@no2id.net or harrow@no2id.net. We still need many more local groups particularly in the locations of the new 69 passport processing centres that are opening this autumn.

Party conference season - Volunteers required

We need volunteers to help at the forthcoming party conferences in Manchester (Labour 24th-28th Sept), Bournemouth (Tory 1st-4th Oct), and Brighton (LibDem 16th-21st Sept) and Hove (Green 21st-24th Sept). We also intend to cover Perth (Scottish National Party 11th-14th Oct) and Swansea (Plaid Cymru 21st-24th Sept). Presence is important. Even a couple hours handing out leaflets to delegates is well worth while. In Manchester, there will be much more fun. Contact us at office@no2id.net if you can spare some time.

Writing to trade journals

In a previous newsletter we suggested that supporters wrote to local papers in the summer when news is not at a peak and many have to great effect. Writing to trade and interest groups can get through to even more people - 'First Voice' for instance, which is the bimonthly journal of the Federation of Small Businesses, has a circulation of approaching 200,000. One of NO2ID's affiliates, the Association of British Drivers, provided readers of its members' magazine with an update on the campaign against ID cards and a plug for our 'Renew For Freedom' campaign.

12th September NO2ID Volunteers Meeting Central London - 'The European Dimension'

Tuesday, 12th September at 7.00pm in the Brockway Hall at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 (nearest tube: Holborn). All are welcome to NO2ID's next regular volunteers' meeting. The meeting will be on the theme of ID cards and the EU. The meeting is free to attend but we will be asking for donations to help cover the cost of the room hire.

New Barnstaple NO2ID group needs your help - meeting 12th or 13th September

A new NO2ID group is being established in Barnstaple to raise awareness before a passport processing centre is opened there this autumn. Group co-ordinator Paul Haines told us: "The response has been good and we are also receiving strong support from our Liberal MP and the Green Party. As yet trades unions and other bodies have failed to respond to our invitations, maybe because it’s the holiday season. We will be meeting in Barnstaple on 11th or 12th September.  If you live in North Devon and would like to help, please contact barnstaple@no2id.net and I’ll get back to you. If you have any contacts in the area who might like to attend, pass the word on to them."

September NO2ID Cambridge Campaign stall

Cambridge NO2ID will be running street stalls outside the Guildhall, Cambridge, from 10am onwards on Saturday 2nd and Saturday 23rd September. Location:(http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=cb2+3qj&ie=
). Drop round to collect a badge and car sticker, or just to say "Hello". Volunteers to help run the stall also welcome. Contact Andrew Watson via cambridge@no2id.net, or on 07710 469624.

Cambridge NO2ID - Student volunteers needed

Cambridge NO2ID is preparing to spread the word about government ID card legislation to students arriving for the new term at both Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge. If you're studying at either University, and would like to help publicise NO2ID to your fellow students, please contact cambridge@no2id.net as soon as possible (and preferably before term starts).

3rd & 4th September  - Inverness NO2ID Campaign stall

NO2ID Inverness will have a campaign stall on the 3rd & 4th Sept at the Glamis Castle Country Fair
See http://www.no2id-scotland.net/local/inverness.html

4th September NO2ID Shrewsbury Initial Planning Meeting

Monday 4th September 8.15pm at the Inn on the Green, Bank Farm Road, Radbrook Green, Shrewsbury, SY3 6DU. The pub is next to the Radbrook Green shopping centre, and there is plenty of parking. The function room has been booked - inside the pub and turn right. See (www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?lat=52.6968&lon=-2.7754&scale=5000&icon=x). For more details contact shrewsbury@no2id.net

5th September - NO2ID Glasgow Meeting

Tuesday, 5th September at 7:30pm in Mono. Alternative arrangements: If for any reason Mono is not suitable then we will instead go to Laurie's across the road. Everyone is very welcome to attend.
Map: http://www.no2id-scotland.net/glasgow/meeting.html

5th September - Aberystwyth NO2ID Meeting

Tuesday, 5th September 8-9pm, venue to be confirmed. We'll be organising our video petition, giving away badges and car stickers and deciding on our strategy to recruit volunteers over the coming months. All are welcome. For more information see http://aberno2id.blogspot.com/

6th September - Manchester NO2ID Flyering

Wednesday 6th September, 5:30pm - 6:30pm: Oxford Road Station Flyering. we'll be meeting at the bottom of the Oxford Road station approach for an hour to raise awareness. See http://manchester.no2id.net/ for more information.

9th September - Manchester NO2ID - Oldham Day of Action

Saturday, 9th September, 1pm - 3pm: We'll be taking our NO2ID mission out to the people of Oldham for a few hours on Saturday 9th September. We'll meet at Manchester Victoria Station at noon for a 12:15 train, or at Oldham Station at 12:30pm, ready for a 1pm start. See http://manchester.no2id.net/ for more information.

Saturdays throughout September - Highbury NO2ID stall/leafleting - volunteers needed

Highbury NO2ID is trying to run a stall / hand out leaflets on each Saturday during September in order promote the 'Renew for Freedom' campaign before the 1st October passport changes.  Anyone in the North London area who can help out for an hour or so should contact Caroline Day at (highbury@no2id.net). The dates planned are Sept 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd.  Times: 11pm to 2-3pm ish. Place: Highbury & Islington tube station.

1st October - NO2ID Comedy fund raiser gig - "Who do you think you are?" at the Hackney Empire

Sunday, 1st October, Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ. Doors 7.30 pm. Stewart Lee, Paul Sinha (Perrier award nominee 2006), Joise Long (Perrier best newcomer 2006), Kevin Eldon, Will Hodgeson (Perrier best newcomer 2004), Gary Le Strange (Perrier best newcomner 2003), Andrew O'Neill, Janie Phayre, Ben Norris with compere Lucy Porter and others TBC.
Box Office 020 8985 2424 or book online at www.hackneyempire.co.uk, Tickets £12.50

What just happened?

Newly formed Shrewsbury NO2ID make front page news

The newly formed NO2ID group in Shrewsbury are off to a flying start after getting NO2ID mentioned on the front page of the Shropshire Star on Saturday. The lead story was about the passport processing centre opening in Shrewsbury as well as 69 other locations around the country in September. The article described ID cards as 'controversial' and contained 2 paragraphs about the new NO2ID group. Unfortunately the article also saw the passport centre as a source of new jobs. Local supporters should write to the paper countering this "any job is a good job" sentiment.

Government to expand data sharing powers

The Ministerial Committee on Data Sharing (MISC31) has decided to alter UK Data Protection principles from September. Back in 2002 the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit (now the Strategy Unit) produced a report, Privacy and Data sharing. Following on from this report a draft data sharing bill was promised in spring 2004. However the bill never appeared and the government has now decided to side-step the normal parliamentary process and instead introduce data sharing with no public debate or act of parliament. The current policy requires public bodies to find a legal justification each time they want to share data about individuals. From September, the new data sharing agenda will allow public bodies to assume they are free to share citizens' personal data with other arms of the state, so long as it is "in the public interest". In June 2004 Dr Chris Pounder, editor of 'Data Protection and Privacy Practise' warned the Home Affairs committee that the draft ID cards bill was "all about service delivery", adding that "if the Government wants earnestly a data sharing linkage agenda they should put a public consultation document out". The change could break the Council of Europe Convention on Data Protection, the EU Framework Directive on Data Protection.

Plans to sell data to marketers could fall foul of EU data protection

Gordon Brown's plans to expand the ID cards project, whereby companies would pay for access to the national identity register, also look set to breach EU data protection laws following a recent EU ruling. In 2004, a German citizen complained to the EU Commission about the State of Hamburg who had handed over personal data to enterprises, knowing that they would use them for direct marketing purposes. The Commission said that the Directive did not provide any protection against this but the European Ombudsman intervened and the Commission agreed to review its assessment. The Ombudsman concluded that the EU Data Protection Directive could also provide protection against decisions by public authorities to hand over personal data to enterprises, while knowing that they would be used for direct marketing purposes.
See http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/decision/en/042467.htm

Co-op fingerprint payment system wins award

The Midcounties Co-operative Society have won the 'Most Effective Use of IT in Retail' award as part of the Effective IT 2006 awards. The Co-op won the award for the introduction of a biometric payment system 'pay by touch' which allows shoppers to pay for goods using a fingerprint reader. The Co-op are the first retailer in the UK to use such a system. Whilst this is not part of the government's identity card scheme it represents a worrying step towards normalisation of biometric technology. Effectively the co-op are testing the sort of technology that the government scheme will use and trying to make it acceptable for people to submit to fingerprinting to buy a bottle of milk. This along with increased age verification demands/identity checks for young people since new licensing laws came into effect in November of last year, money laundering legislation, fingerprinting of children by schools and the such like are all part of a normalisation process that allows the creep towards the total surveillance state.

More Dutch fines

2,909 fines for failure to show ID were handed out in the Netherlands during July. 270 of them were to children aged 14-15. Officially, the number of fines imposed since showing ID became compulsory on 1 January 2005 stood at 91,353 by the end of July 2006. Proportionately, that is equivalent to about 350,000 fines in the UK. But Dutch campaigners MMI say the real number of ID fines is much higher.

Belgium to merge ID and health cards

Belgians will soon be asked for their electronic ID cards when using health services - for example, when attending clinics or buying prescribed medicines. The government has announced that the IDs will start taking over the functions of the present electronic health insurance entitlement cards around the end of 2008. Health insurance information will not be added to the IDs, but will be checked online in real time by the insurers. For the time being, the health card system will continue to operate in parallel.

US: Lost in translation? Alabama fingerprinting policy for teachers

A report in US newspaper 'The Demopolis Times' this month details a teacher fingerprinting and criminal records checking system in Alabama that makes UK Criminal Records Bureau checks look tame. In the report a superintendent for Demopolis City Schools said: "Our teachers are fingerprinted. Now, teachers that graduate from an Alabama college are already fingerprinted before they even start in the state school system. The local school system will do fingerprinting on teachers coming in from out of state". The superintendent goes on to say: "We reserve the right to terminate a person if they have lied about their criminal history, and usually we do. As for falsifying educational history, we look at that case-by-case. Sometimes we terminate them immediately unless they are a contracted employee. In that case, we wait until the end of the year. We had one employee lie about their background and, of course, they were terminated." Seems a little harsh.
See http://www.demopolistimes.com/articles/2006/08/14/news/news02.txt

"ID" in the news

Children's Index will only devalue parents - Daily Telegraph 31/8/06

The intentions may be honourable, but the solution is both sinister and flawed. There are already worries that the index could fall foul of data protection legislation, while a challenge under human rights laws looks inevitable.

Baroness criticises ID card proposals - The Herald 29/8/06

Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, one of Britain's leading defenders of human rights law, yesterday lambasted the proposed introduction of ID cards. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, she said she would "go to the wall" rather than accept their introduction in Britain. "I am damned if they (the government) will introduce them," she said.

NHS IT: Unhealthy tale of NAO report - ComputerWeekly 29/8/06

Three draft NAO reports on the NPfIT released to Computer Weekly under the Freedom of Information Act show that many of the most serious criticisms of the NPfIT were omitted from the final publication. Between the drafts there had been a "clearance" process with health officials in Whitehall.

Home Office admits to five database breaches - OUT-LAW News, 29/8/06

Security at the British Home Office's Identity and Passport Service database has been compromised four times, with individuals' data used inappropriately by Home Office employees and contractors. A fifth breach has hit a Prison Service database. In three of the cases workers were able to access data they had no authority to use and in the fourth a worker who did have authority to access data used it inappropriately. The fifth case involves a worker accessing the Prison Service sentencing database, said a Home Office spokesman.

Oz 'pseudo-ID card' database racked by identity fraud claims - The Register 28/8/06

Australia's citizen database was routinely searched for personal reasons by government agency employees, some of whom have been sacked. Police are now investigating allegations of identity fraud resulting from the security breaches. There were 790 security breaches at government agency Centrelink involving 600 staff. Staff were found to have inappropriately accessed databases containing citizens' information.

Accenture threatens NHS blow - Accountancy Age 28/8/06

The £12bn IT upgrade of the NHS is facing more problems with fears that Accenture, the consulting group and the biggest contractor on the scheme, may resign from the project. The program is already £6bn over budget and more than two years behind schedule. According to reports, Accenture is in negotiations with the authorities in a bid to ditch its £2bn contract.

Fingerprinting plan for pupils angers parents - Sunday Times 27/8/06

A pioneering comprehensive known for progressive, liberal policies has upset parents by seeking to fingerprint every one of its 1,500 pupils when they return from their summer holidays next week.

ID card fears as staff hack into Home Office database - Mail on Sunday 27/8/06

John Tullett, the technology editor of Secure Computing magazine, said the Home Office would be 'naive' to assume that the total of recorded breaches reflects the real number of security violations at the department. He said: 'The trend in IT crime is towards "silent" breaches where very competent criminals get into a system and cover their tracks so they can get in again in future, all without the victim ever knowing.'

Blair's ID card plan undermined by security breaches - The Scotsman 25/8/06

Tony Blair's plan for a national identity card has been dealt a fresh blow by the revelation that several government officials have been sacked for breaching security around the databases on which the scheme will be based.

OGC must reveal findings - SupplyManagement.com 24/8/06

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has been ordered to reveal the outcome of its reviews of the ID card scheme. The ruling follows Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, upholding two complaints made against the OGC and the Treasury. The Treasury and the OGC have until 31 August to appeal against the ruling. If they do not appeal, they have until 7 September to disclose the information.

Europe-wide security net to counter terrorism - The Guardian 17/8/06

EU ministers want airlines to provide advance passenger lists for all flights inside Europe as well as in and out of Europe, including domestic routes. These will be checked against the "biometric identifier" - electronic eye scan or fingerprint - in the passenger's passport or identity card when they check in.

HMRC seeks to fingerprint suspects - Accountancy Age 14/8/06

HM Revenue & Customs is seeking to significantly widen its powers to include the right to digitally fingerprint suspects. In a new consultation document, Criminal Investigation Powers: A Technical Consultation Document, the HMRC said the power to use new technologies such as digital fingerprint readers would significantly help the authority with its investigations. The Revenue is also asking for powers to charge or bail suspects.

ID card fee could make government a profit - The Sunday Times 6/8/06

Tony Blair's identity card scheme could make up to £11 billion in "profits" for the government by imposing a range of additional charges on the public, a confidential Home Office memo claims. The document says that the "unit cost" at today’s prices will be £55 for a card and £90 for a combined card and passport. The fee for non-British citizens is £143. Card holders will also be charged an extra addition £8 for every time they need to change their details, to record a change in name, marital status or address. Approximately one in ten households move house in a single year, and the Home Office would be able to impose hefty fines for failing to inform it of changes.

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

What you can do

You can help us by:

1. Joining NO2ID/donating

Please join NO2ID, if you are not already a paid-up member.(There's a membership form at http://www.no2id.net/downloads/membForm.pdf) OR Donate some money towards campaign expenses. NO2ID, Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP

2. Encouraging friends/family to renew their passport now

The ID Cards Act turns your passport into a one-way ticket to control of your identity by the government. In October the price of a passport will by nearly 30% to £66. If you renew your passport now you can buy ten years of freedom for £51. Encourage others to do the same and promote our renew for freedom website http://www.renewforfreedom.org

* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
Publication details: © NO2ID 2006 - 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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