*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
+ BILL TO BUILD THE DATABASE STATE GETS ROUGH RECEPTION IN PARLIAMENT +
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
+ 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
*+ Volunteers with accountancy skills needed +*
*+ 28th February – The Convention on Modern Liberty +*
*+ ID cards secondary legislation consultation +*
+ LOCAL GROUPS NEWS +
To see if there’s a group in your area check our list at
_*+ Belfast +*_
*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
_*+ Birmingham +*_
*+ 24th February – Birmingham NO2ID Meeting (Last Tuesday of month) +*
_*+ Brighton +*_
*+ 24th February – Brighton NO2ID Meeting +*
*+ 7th & 21st February – Brighton NO2ID Street Stalls +*
_*+ Bristol +*_
*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
_*+ Cambridge +*_
*+ 14th February – NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
*+ 28th February – Cambridge satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
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) +*
_*+ Cheltenham +*_
We have a new Cheltenham group. They are just in the process of getting started so please email the coordinator, Lynda Warren on email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
*+ 3rd March – NO2ID Dorking Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
_*+ Edinburgh +*_ *** Saturdays 1pm – 3pm – NO2ID Edinburgh street stall*
*+ 24th February – Edinburgh NO2ID Meeting +*
_*+ 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 Glasgow@NO2ID.net 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 Glasgow@ModernLiberty.net
The event is being organised jointly by NO2ID and the Institute for Advanced Studies (www.instituteforadvancedstudies.org.uk)
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 + *
*+ 11th March – NO2ID Great Missenden Meeting +*
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 +*
_*+ Manchester +*_
*+ 14th February – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
*+ 18th February – Student Stall +*
*+ 18th February – Manchester NO2ID Meeting +*
*+ 28th February – Manchester satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
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 +*
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Tom Read on email@example.com.
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 +*_
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) +*
_*+ Worcester +*_
*+ 11th February – Worcester NO2ID Meeting +*
*+ York +*
*+ 7th February – York NO2ID Street Stall +*
“ID” in the news
*+ ID cards should conceal as well as reveal identity – The Guardian 5/2/09 +*
*+ New identity card tsar to cost the taxpayer up to £250,000 – Daily Mail 4/2/09 +*
*+ ID cards are here – but police can’t read them – silicon.com 4/2/09 +*
*+ Information sharing consultation – E-Health Insider 3/2/09 +*
*+ EU security agency draws ‘privacy baseline’ for ID cards – The Register 3/2/09 +*
*+ James Crosby appointed chairman of Misys – Computer Weekly 3/2/09 +*
*+ Blunkett and Straw slip up – The Guardian 2/2/09 +*
+ Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree – The Register 2/2/09 +
*+ Government brings forward ID card launch – Computer Active 29/1/09 +*
*+ Manchester ‘could pilot ID cards’ – BBC News 29/1/09 +*
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(firstname.lastname@example.org) )
NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ