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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 142 – 11th February 2010

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

+ REPORT FROM LONDON LAUNCH OF ID CARDS FOR 16-24s +

This Monday (8th Feb) the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) began the next phase of the ID Card Con – targeting 16-24 year olds living in London.

Minister for Identity, Meg Hillier invited the media to come and see the first ‘volunteer’ be fingerprinted at 8:30am. A dozen or more hardy NO2ID supporters mounted a chilly white protest in biting winds and the odd flurry of snow outside Victoria passport office. IPS security decided to stay in the warm, and keep an eye on us through the window.

Getting there half an hour before the minister meant we caught the media going in – and also coming out. Phil Booth gave interviews to ITV news and the Press Association cameras, and reporters from several London university newspapers. Guy Herbert spoke to news radio.

Inside the passport office, according to one person watching, the volunteer actually referred to himself as a guinea-pig. Shame he didn’t get the full message on the flyers we were handing out, which is *don’t* be a guinea-pig.

Bizarrely, one young man walking past our protest waved what looked like an ID card at us. He was turned away from the front door, but headed in by the side entrance. Members of the media said later he was a member of an IPS Public Panel – “independent scrutiny” groups, hand-picked by IPS – which may explain how he came to be issued with a card before the ‘first’ volunteer…

Glimpsing Ms Hillier through the glass around 9:30am, we rapidly relocated our protest round the corner. But to no avail. The Minister snuck out another way, leaving another decidedly low-key media event without directly engaging her critics.

For more information, flyers to download and print off, and notice of upcoming ‘Stop the ID Card Con’ events in London and across the North West, please visit: www.no2id.net/idcardcon/

+ NO2ID in Europe +

Project STORK is a European Union programme to set up standards for the interoperability of electronic ID systems across Europe. It has hitherto been a somewhat obscure process in which organisations such as the IPS and its equivalents have been discussing the matter with industry. That is not calculated to produce good results for privacy. After careful negotiation over several months, NO2ID has been formally admitted as a member of the Project STORK industry group as a representative of civil society interests. As far as we know, we are the first non-governmental and non-corporate organisation to be given such a level of access. A grant from Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility fund will cover the expenses of NO2ID representatives attending group meetings. As things stand the Home Office’s scheme is by far the most pernicious ID scheme in the continent, if not the world. But if developing European standards starts to present a threat to privacy and civil liberties, then we are now in a much better position to know about it and lobby against it.

What just happened?

*+ THANKS for Summary Care Records info +

*Many thanks to everyone who sent in details about Summary Care Records (SCR) mailings in response to our lead item in the last newsletter (‘PROTECT MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY NOW’). The information we have received looks like forming a good basis for a complaint to the Information Commissioner. If you receive a letter about the SCR then please continue to let us know at (office@no2id.net).

+ The People’s Manifesto +

We would like to thank all the local groups across the country who have been helping out with Mark Thomas’ latest tour ‘It’s the Economy Stupid’. Mark has been collecting manifesto ideas from his audiences up and down the length and breadth of Britain. The brightest and the best (and not just most humorous) have been collected in his recently published new book the People’s Manifesto (www.markthomasinfo.com/section_store/). We would recommend taking a look to see if any of your NO2ID ideas got a mention!

+ Compulsion – the dreaded C word +

We have repeatedly pointed out the semantic gymnastics performed by the government in calling the ID scheme “voluntary” (e.g see Newsletter 126) and this week the Identity Minsiter Meg Hillier appeared on the BBC’s ‘The Politics Show’ to demonstrate just how bad at gymnastics (and databases) she is. When confonted with the dreaded question of compulsion with regards to entry onto the ID database the following exchange ensued between Hillier and host Tim Donovan: Hillier: “There are no plans to make the database complusory, no.” Donovan: “They haven’t got plans to make the database compulsory?” Hillier: “No, there are no plans to make the database compulsory.” Donovan: “Because you only go on that database if you take this card-” Hillier: “Yes … and a passport in time-” Donovan: “And a passport, so eventually everyone will go on this database, because you’ll have to renew your passport?” Hillier: “Well eight out of ten people currently have a passport that’s true, yes -” Donovan: “So they will …” Hillier: “Well that doesn’t make it .. it’s not ..” Donovan: “It’s compulsory-” Hillier: “Well I think that’s a bit of a jump to make it .. it’s not a compulsory .. it’s not compulsory to have a card or to go on the database but if you do have a card or a passport yes you’ll be on the database just as you are now on the passport database, just as in 1916 you had paper records”. The programme is online until 14th Feb at: (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/the_politics_show_london) – item starts 33 minutes in.

+ ID cards – the cheapest form of losing it and then rebuying it +

The first young Londoner to get an ID card, 21 year old Peter Fawcett, was also featured on ‘The Politics Show’ this week, where he coined a new catchphrase to promote ID cards as a proof of age card, Fawcett told the BBC: “I’ve looked at other ways of getting an Identity card, er you know, getting a provisional license – and that’s more expensive, and really this is the cheapest option for me, so I can put this er identity card in my wallet which is really good, er and plus also a passport, you know, if you lose it its so much more expensive to replace it, so err, yeah – its like its the cheapest form of losing it again and then rebuying it”. The only problem with this argument of course is that young people can buy a £10 proof-of-age card from an independent charity with no fingerprinting requirement, no government database and no fines regime.

+ More Creeping demands for ID +

More evidence of the shift towards an ID culture in the UK has been supplied by a NO2ID supporter who runs a Bed and Breakfast in Cornwall. They told us about a strange ID check requested by a guest: “She was a librarian working for Liverpool Council. In response to my invoice, I was informed that my National Insurance number was required before any payment could be approved. I refused. On speaking to the lady who stayed, she said she thought she could circumnavigate the problem.” Eventually the payment was made without the National Insurance number being supplied.

+ Don’t Visit Britain — You Have Been Warned +

Inflight magazines are always a good place to boost your country as a travel destination. The February issue of ‘b.there!’ is no exception. The Brussels Airlines magazine promises a ‘Fiesta of Flavours’ in Andalucia, catwalk chic in Milan and moonlit ski slopes in France. All lavishly illustrated. As there is also a write-up of the airline’s new improved services to the UK, the time was ripe for the sceptred isle to blow its own trumpet. Sure enough, the British taxpayer has taken out a half-page ad. What does it show? A nice red phone box? No. Smiling bobbies bursting to tell you what time it is? Nope. A pink-washed B&B with roses round the door? Wrong again. Perhaps the most striking images are taken from body scanners. One is skin-deep. The other will appeal more to those who like bones and internal organs. Skull bowed, the apparition seems to be walking on crutches. We are also treated to a swarthy digit being squashed onto a fingerprinting pad by plastic-gloved officialdom, a man staring at something through a magnifying glass and a still life of what looks like a ticket machine but turns out to be a passport gate. Proudly, the ad explains all: “The UK Border Agency uses new technologies to support our staff, combat fraud and secure the UK border.” Welcome to the UK.

What’s next?

*+WANTED – leaflet distribution in London + *
We have in the Vauxhall office 150,000 ‘Don’t be a Guinea Pig’ leaflets hot off the presses and we need to distribute them to places where they will get into the hands of London’s young adult population, who are being targeted by the Home Office as potential ID-card applicants. This is *not* a matter of door to door distribution. And it is specifically for London. We need volunteers able to make contact with universities, colleges, and entertainment venues, who will take responsibility for locating and regularly replenishing a handful of identified distribution points. Perhaps you work in academia or entertainment and already know some appropriate sites. Or perhaps you live close to a college and know the cafes and bars frequented by students. Contact the office: office@no2id.net with the subject line: “leaflets” if you would like to help.

*+ Volunteers Needed +*
In the run up to the general election we will have an increased amount of post to send out and will need the help of volunteers to stuff envelopes. If you can spare a few hours occasionally and are able to come to the NO2ID office in Vauxhall please contact Stephanie at administrator@no2id.net or 07005 800 651.

***+ Call for North West Volunteers +*
If you fancy doing something practical then we have a large supply of our new “Don’t be a Guinea Pig” leaflets, that warn of the dangers of being foolish enough to volunteer for the scheme. Ensuring as many people as possible are aware of what they are really signing up for helps us ensure people are not conned by the marketing. If you fancy helping out then email north@no2id.net with the number you would be happy to distribute and we will send them to you. Even better, come along to the next meeting of your local group to pick some up and meet some like-minded people. Check out www.no2id.net/localgroups/ for a list of groups in your area.

*+ POWER2010 public vote +*
NO2ID supporters will be glad to hear that ‘Scrap ID cards and roll back the database state’ was one of the reforms shortlisted for the POWER2010 public vote, which now runs until 22nd February 2010. The top 5 ideas at the end of the voting process will then become the POWER2010 Pledge – the backbone of a nationwide campaign for change at the next election. You can cast your vote online at www.power2010.org.uk/no2id (you will need to provide an e-mail address). You can of course vote for as many reforms as you like, but just once for each reform.

*+ Have your say – National Identity Service Public Panels +*
The UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) is setting up public panels around the country to get the views of members of the public as they build the “National Identity Service”. Public panels will be made up of 11 members, and will meet for half a day up to three times a year. The aim is to “produce an Identity Rights Charter. This will set out the rights and responsibilities people, businesses and the Government have under the NIS”. To join a panel you can fill in the online form at www.ips.gov.uk/publicpanel or call 020 3356 8174. More details at www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/1189.htm

“ID” in the news

*+ ID commissioner sees risks in IPS’s two-stage IT – ZDNet 9/2/10 +*
Identity commissioner Sir Joseph Pilling has expressed concerns about the Identity and Passport Service’s two-stage approach to its core technology. One system has been put in place for the small-scale launch of the scheme, but another will be introduced when it is expanded by forcing passport applicants to enrol. news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,40031992,00.htm

*+ Government petitioned to abandon centralised IT projects – Computing 9/2/10 +*
An e-petition on the 10 Downing Street web site calling on the government to abandon centralised IT projects has received 199 signatures. The petition, which has been in place for a week, says the failure of such projects is mainly the result of the nature in which they are procured and delivered, with commitments to all the requirements of a project made in advance of the work. www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2257595/government-petitioned-abandon

*+ London SCR roll out complete in a year – e-Health Insider 9/2/10 +*
NHS London is aiming to create Summary Care Records for 100% of the people living in the capital that want one by March 2011. The five PCTs which have sent out letters to patients this week are NHS Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Southwark and Waltham Forest. www.e-health-insider.com/news/5624/london_scr_roll_out_complete_in_a_year

*+ Gov tempts young London onto ID database with booze, ‘games’ – The Register 8/2/10 +*
Youngsters between the ages of 16 and 24 are being tempted into the scheme – and therefore onto the National Identity Register – with the prospect of being able to buy “alcohol, computer games and DVDs, going to the cinema or to a club.” www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/08/london_id_cards/

*+ 500,000 EU computers can access private British data – The Guardian 7/2/10 +*
Privacy campaigners expressed shock last night after it emerged that large amounts of confidential personal information held about British citizens on a giant computer network spanning the European Union could be accessed by more than 500,000 terminals www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/feb/07/eu-computers-access-private-data

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

*+ LOCAL GROUPS NEWS + *

To see if there’s a group in your area check our list at www.no2id.net/localgroups/ Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact Matty on local.groups@no2id.net to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.

_*+ Birmingham +*_

*+ 24th February – Birmingham NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 24th February, 7:30pm at Bennetts Bar, Bennetts Hill. Call 07943 951 816 or email birmingham@no2id.net for more details.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 27th February – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 27th February in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/T5LZATLS) from 1pm (note earlier time). Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.

*+ 3rd March – Cambridge NO2ID Pub Meeting + *
Wednesday 3rd February, 7:30pm at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/CYXNES29) for Cambridge NO2ID’s usual monthly pub meeting.

For more details email andrew.watson@no2id.net or call 07710 469624.

_**__*+ Canterbury +*_

To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.canterbury

*_+ Coventry +_*

*+ 18th February – Coventry NO2ID Meeting + *
Thursday 18th February, 18:30-19:30 at the Squirrel Pub [New Union Street, city centre]. We’ll be discussing arrangements for the Saturday stall and other ways we can get involved in the fight against the database state. Everyone welcome; bring a friend.

*+ 20th February – Coventry NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 20th February, 9:30am onwards. The street stall is back. We’ll be setting up by the Bull-Yard, near the Glasshouse Bar in the city centre. If you’re free to lend a hand, even for an hour, please get in touch with Claire [coventry@no2id.net] or come to the meeting on Thursday 18th to find out more.

_*+ Dorking +*_

*+ 2nd March – Dorking NO2ID Monthly Meeting (first Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday 2nd March, at 7.30pm – our monthly get-together at South Street Wine Bar, 43 South Street, Dorking.

*+ 13th March – Dorking NO2ID Street Stall in Guildford +*
Saturday 13th March – any help appreciated.

*+ 25th March – Election Question Time on Civil Liberties +*
Thursday 25th March, 7.30pm at the Civic Hall, Crawley. We’ll be holding 3 street stalls in Crawley and much else to promote this event.

If you would like to help or get involved, email Geoff Cox at dorking@no2id.net or come along to our monthly get-togethers.

_*+ Dover +*_*

*To stay up to date with Dover NO2ID join our mailing list on: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.dover

_**__*+ 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 (edinburgh@no2id.net), and for more group information see www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/

_**_ *+ 23rd February – NO2ID Edinburgh Meeting +*
Tuesday 23rd February, 7.00pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL. We shall be drawing up our campaign plans for the run up to the general election. Also reviewing progress with the IPS Public Panel for Scotland, where some members have been invited for interview. More details at (www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/). All welcome.

_*+ Exeter +*_

If you would like to join the Exeter group, please email exeter@no2id.net and say hello! Do also join the Exeter group mailing list at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.exeter

** _*+ Hull +*_

If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Hull mailing group here: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.hull

_**__*+ Ipswich +*_* *

If you are interested in the work of the Ipswich group, please join their mailing list on: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.ipswich

_*+ Lancaster +*_

*+ 13th February – Lancaster NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 13th February, 1pm in The Robert Gillow (Market Street, Lancaster). The Lancaster NO2ID branch is holding a street stall to raise awareness of the ID card roll out in the North West, and try to raise support for the group locally. We’ll be meeting at 1pm for a swift discussion of the main points we’ll be raising while talking to people on the street. It should be a comparatively short afternoon of campaignign, aiming to pack up and go home no later than 5pm – but feel free to attend for any time you have available. This is an excellent opportunity to really help get the Lancaster branch moving, so it’d be great to see as many people there as possible. If you plan to attend or have any questions please email the local coordinator at owenpearman@yahoo.com

If you are interested in the work of this group please join the Lancaster mailing group at www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.lancaster

_*+ Liverpool +*_

If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Liverpool mailing group at no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.liverpool

_*+ Manchester +*_ _* *_*+

10th March – Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Wednesday 10th March, 7pm in the Salmon Rooms at the Lass O’Gowrie pub, Manchester. Unfortunately this room is on the first floor; we will attempt to secure stair-free access for future meetings. We’re also getting the room at a discount, so please show your gratitude at the bar with the excellent selection of real ales and tasty pies. 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 on our site.

*+ 13th March – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 13th March, from 2 til 4pm in St Ann’s Square, Manchester (down near the big Marks and Spencer). The Home Office is trying to trick people into being Guinea Pigs for the ID Card Con. Many people have fallen for spin that the National Identity Scheme has been cancelled, that it isn’t a threat or is voluntary. It’s more important than ever to get the word out about the Database State. We’ll be running a public information stall 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!

**_*+ Norwich +*_ * **+

13th February – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 13th February, 1-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk. Tell the government where they can stick their precious ID cards.

*+ 16th February – Norwich NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 16th February, 7:30-9pm, Norwich NO2ID will be meeting at The Workshop Cafe (opposite The Black Horse), 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. Discuss the current developments with ID cards and the connected databases, and ways of rolling back The Database State.

* + 19th February — Norwich NO2ID & Power2010 Event +*
Friday 19th February, The Cube Room at The Forum – please check the Norwich NO2ID blog for further details of this event: norwichno2id.wordpress.com/

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.norwich

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 13th February – Power2010 Meeting +*
Saturday 13th February, 4pm at the East Oxford Community Centre – the director of POWER2010 Pam Giddy will be on hand to talk about the campaign so do go along if you are interested in getting involved.

See the website for more info on Oxford NO2ID: no2id-oxford.org.uk/

_*+ Portsmouth +*_

Join the Portsmouth mailing list at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.portsmouth/

_*+ Reading +*_* *

Contact Reading NO2ID on reading@no2id.net or join our web group at groups.yahoo.com/group/Reading-No2ID/

_*+ Sheffield +*_

*+ 24th February – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 24th February, 7:30pm at the Harlequin pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG (maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=s3+8gg). Everybody is welcome. If you would like to get involved in the campaign or want to find out more about the issues then please come along. The meeting room is upstairs. We usually congregate in the bar shortly before the meeting. Please ask the bar staff if you can’t find us.

If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Sheffield mailing group here: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.sheffield

_*+ Watford +*_* *
Please contact Colin Simmons on watford@no2id.net if you are interested in giving a couple of hours a month to join us.

_*+ York +*_ * *
If you are interested in the work of this group please join the York mailing group here: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.york

Publication details: © NO2ID 2010 – 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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