Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (email@example.com).
+ MESSAGE FROM NO2ID'S NATIONAL COORDINATOR +
*”ID cards? They're already dead.” – “Oh no they're not!”*
One of the dangers once you start winning the battle for public opinion is that people think it's game over already. Don't believe it for a minute – the ID scheme is NOT dead. Nor are ContactPoint or e-Borders. There are still a million innocent people on the DNA database, with more being added every week. Comms data, travel info, medical records, car tracking, vetting and barring, profiling – despite all rumours and spin to the contrary, the database state rolls on.
The next several months are particularly risky. Even more so if people think we've already won.
Whitehall is doing what it can to entrench database state programmes and initiatives – making them as difficult as possible for a new government to scrap, roll back or disentangle. It won't often be as blatant as the latest push to upload millions of people's medical details onto the NHS Spine (newsletter 137) so we must be more vigilant than ever.
NO2ID has always been about informing yourself and informing others. Campaigning is not just about hitting the headlines, it's about engaging people where they live. You only have to look at the local groups section of each newsletter to see the phenomenal work that groups are doing – week in, week out helping spread the word, shift attitudes and build opposition all over the UK.
A huge thank you to everyone who gives so generously of their time and energy, working with a local group. And special thanks to NO2ID's local and regional coordinators – we couldn't do it without you.
As 2009 draws to a close, I wish you and your families a peaceful, surveillance-free Christmas – and here's hoping 2010 will prove to be a good year for privacy and freedom!
Phil Booth National Coordinator, NO2ID
*NO2ID Review of the Year*
Some key moments from 2009 – and several ways you can help stop the database state in 2010.
*JANUARY*: The Stop Clause 152! campaign takes off. NO2ID supporters spread the word as the government attempts to reverse data protection, and take powers to obtain and use personal information however it likes. Thousands write to their MP, refusing consent to having their information shared by ministerial fiat.
*FEBRUARY*: NO2ID joins with other civil liberties organisations in organising the Convention on Modern Liberty. The London event is webcast live around the UK. NO2ID organisers mount satellite conventions in Glasgow, Manchester, Cambridge and Bristol and we provide stewards, speakers and hold a packed database state session at the main event in Logan Hall.
NO2ID can only succeed if we keep reaching and engaging new people. You can help. Download and print off a copy of our petition from www.no2id.net/downloads/forms/NO2IDpetition.pdf and use it as a way to get your friends and neighbours talking about the ID scheme.
Please send completed forms to our London office (address on the form). Everyone who gives a postal address will be sent a FREE information pack.
*MARCH*: A campaigning victory – Clause 152 is formally withdrawn from the Coroners and Justice Bill. NO2ID responds to public outcry and fields media when plans to retain personal details of everyone leaving the UK for 10 years are revealed. The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust publishes FIPR's damning report on the Database State.
*APRIL*: NO2ID, GeneWatch and other civil liberties groups launch the Reclaim your DNA website – reclaimyourdna.org/ – to help people ask to have their DNA removed from the National DNA Database. NO2ID local groups around the country join Mark Thomas on his Manifesto tour, running stalls, signing up supporters and helping out with the show.
Are you in touch with your nearest local group? NO2ID's group network has grown throughout 2009. To find out about activities in your area, see www.no2id.net/localGroups/ – new members are always welcome.
If there isn't already a group in your area ask Matty Mitford, NO2ID local groups coordinator, about starting your own: firstname.lastname@example.org
*MAY*: Facing mounting criticism, Jacqui Smith 'cancels' a super-database of all phone calls, texts, e-mails and web browsing. Plans shift to collecting and searching data retained by comms providers. The 6-monthly cost estimate for the ID scheme creeps up, just as the first main contracts are awarded. Home Office consultancy spend *per day* is equivalent to NO2ID's annual turnover.
*JUNE*: Campaigning, outreach and media work is essential to raise awareness and build opposition to the database state. But behind the scenes, NO2ID also lobbies politicians and industry, provides briefings, responds to consultations and engages civil society on a regular basis. In June our focus was the first batch of ID cards regulations.
Campaigning costs money. NO2ID desperately needs your support. Generous regular givers fund our small London office and some printing costs, but we need many, many more. Please make a donation or, preferably, set up a regular payment: www.no2id.net/join
*JULY*: New Home Secretary Alan Johnson doesn't shelve the ID scheme but – using the standard misleading line – fools some into thinking ID cards will be “voluntary”. NO2ID points out nothing has changed. It'll still be compulsion by stealth. In the third re-launch of the scheme this year, Manchester is named as the first “beacon area”. NO2ID prepares to fight the ID con in the North West.
*AUGUST*: NO2ID tracks down one of the elusive 'ID cards for foreign nationals' and our friendly technical expert Adam Laurie cracks it in 12 minutes. He shows how information can be altered and cards cloned. The Home Office refuses a demonstration and denies there's any problem. NO2ID letter-writers tear into statements made in the press by IPS Chief Executive, James Hall.
You can have an impact, too. Take the time to write a letter to your local newspaper, saying why you think the database state is such a bad idea. Be clear and concise. The letters page is the most read part of the paper, and you will reach thousands of people that way.
*SEPTEMBER*: Conference season, and opposition parties reaffirm their intention to scrap the ID scheme and other aspects of the database state. NO2ID continues to press for repeal of the Identity Cards Act 2006. Policy papers such as the Conservatives' 'Reversing the Rise of the Surveillance State', published this month, show our agenda is being taken seriously. But there is still more work to be done on specifics.
*OCTOBER*: NO2ID groups from as far away as Scotland and the South-East converge on Manchester to kick off our 'Stop the ID con' campaign. On consecutive weekends, volunteers run stalls and distribute thousands of flyers warning Mancunians 'Don't be a guinea-pig'. An ICM poll asking NO2ID's standard 'trend' question shows public support for ID cards is at its lowest point ever – 60% anti to 38% pro.
Make the NO2ID Pledge: www.no2id.net/pledge/ and tell your friends and neighbours that you will not cooperate with any further government grab for your personal information. Print out and display your certificate proudly! If enough people publicly declare they will not cooperate, state seizure of personal identity will become impossible.
*NOVEMBER:* NO2ID contributes to a series of Database State seminars for civil servants and policy-makers. Privacy documentary 'Erasing David', featuring input from NO2ID, premieres at Sheffield Doc/Fest – look out for TV broadcast in Spring 2010. The first ID cards are issued in Manchester. NO2ID protests and matches Minister for Identity Meg Hillier blow for blow in the media.
*DECEMBER*: NO2ID holds its Annual General Meeting. Despite rumours the NHS IT programme will be binned, the Department of Health announces plans to upload 10 million people's medical details without their explicit consent. Liverpool City Council and Wirral Council pass motions banning the Identity and Passport Service from using any council-controlled premises to promote the ID scheme.
If you care about your medical privacy, think about opting out of the NHS Summary Care Record NOW. You can always opt in later, if the government can prove its system works. You don't have to wait for your Health Authority to be targeted if you use the opt-out letter we developed with TheBigOptOut: www.nhsconfidentiality.org/optoutletter .
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