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NO2ID Newsletter No.115 22 January, 2009

You can view this newsletter on-line in its usual format at:
www.no2id.net/news/newsletters/newsletter.php?issue=115

++ NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 115 – 22nd January 2009 ++

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

+ A CONCEALED ASSAULT ON PRIVACY +

NO2ID has been warning since 2006/7 about the stated intentions of government “to overcome current barriers to information sharing within the public sector” [1]. Now the Ministry of Justice has launched an extraordinary coup. It is about to convert the Data Protection Act into its exact opposite, a means for any government department to obtain and use any information however it likes.

Hidden in the new Coroners and Justice Bill [2] is one clause (cl.152) amending the Data Protection Act. It would allow ministers to make ‘Information Sharing Orders’, that can alter any Act of Parliament and cancel all rules of confidentiality in order to use information obtained for one purpose to be used for another.

This single clause is as grave a threat to privacy as the entire ID Scheme. Combine it with the index to your life formed by the planned National Identity Register [3] and everything recorded about you anywhere could be accessible to any official body.

The Database State is now a direct threat not a theory.

Quite apart from the powers in the Identity Cards Act, if Information Sharing Orders come to pass, they could (for example) immediately be used to suck up material such as tax records or electoral registers to build an early version of the National Identity Register. But the powers apply to any information, not just official information. They would permit data trafficking between government agencies and private companies – your medical records are firmly in their sights – and even with foreign governments.

ACT NOW!

We urge you to write to your MP straight away via www.WriteToThem.com – don’t wait. The Bill is being rushed through Parliament, even as we write. It contains a number of controversial provisions, but to the casual reader appears mainly to be about reforming inquests and sentencing.

As it progresses, NO2ID will be publishing more information but it is crucial that every MP realises how dangerous the information sharing clauses in the Coroners and Justice Bill really are. This will only happen if YOU tell them.

*In your own words*, please ask your MP to read Part 8 (clauses 151 – 154) of the Coroners and Justice Bill, and to oppose the massive enabling powers in the “Information sharing” clause. The Bill is due its Second Reading in the Commons on 26th January 2009.

Request them to demand the clause be given proper Parliamentary scrutiny. This is something that will affect every single one of their constituents, unlike the rest of the Bill. There is a grave danger that the government will set a timetable that will cut off debate before these proposals – which are at the end of the Bill – are discussed.

With support for the ID scheme crumbling, even in the Home Office’s own skewed polls – the last of which showed a 5% drop [4] – trust in the government’s handling of our personal information is at an all-time low.

A YouGov poll in the Sunday Times on 18th January shows that the public opposes these new powers by a factor of 3 to 1 *against*. 65% of people asked said they give government “too much power”, only 19% thought not [5]. The government can’t pretend a popular mandate for what it is doing. And it is a mechanism designed to by-pass parliament in future. It is being done only for the convenience of the bureaucrats.

Please write NOW – www.WriteToThem.com – it won’t take long, and we are going to ask you again. But if you don’t start now, our battle is going to be much harder.

Please ALSO pass on or forward this part of the newsletter to friends, family and colleagues who might share your concerns. The more people it reaches, the more we hope will act.

We really can’t afford not to win.


References

1) Joining the dots on ‘data sharing’ – www.no2id.net/datasharing.php

2) Coroners & Justice Bill –
services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/coronersandjustice.html

3) The National Identity Register –
www.ips.gov.uk/identity/scheme-what-run.asp#nir

4) ID support slumps –
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3710113/Public-faith-in-
ID-card-slumped.html

5) Jan 2009 YouGov poll – extras.timesonline.co.uk/pollresults.htm
(halfway down the page)
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++ What just happened? ++

+ Many thanks for Modern Liberty volunteers +

A big thank you for the fantastic response we had from our request in the last newsletter for volunteers to steward at the Modern Liberty Convention in London on 28th February. Many thanks to all those who have agreed to help out on the day.
More details of the event at: www.modernliberty.net

+ STOP PRESS: Information Commissioner takes enforcement action against the Home Office +

The Information Commissioner’s Office has found the Home Office in breach of the Data Protection Act after a contractor, PA Consulting, lost an unencrypted memory stick holding sensitive personal details of thousands of individuals in August 2008. Details lost included information about individuals serving custodial sentences and those who had previously been convicted of criminal offences. Read more at
www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/pressreleases
/2009/home_office_undertaking_release.pdf

+ NO2ID’s Take Jane advert hits a nerve with Hillier

Meg Hillier the minister responsible for the ID scheme has written an angry letter to the Spectator magazine after they ran NO2ID’s ‘Take Jane’ advert. Take Jane shows a glimpse of one woman’s story, in a future Britain where the omnipresent databases make hiding impossible. The grim message is that the ID scheme isn’t simple and isn’t safe. Clearly the video hit a raw nerve with Hillier, in her letter she said:

“In the circumstance portrayed in the advert, we would work with such a woman, or the organisation providing her with sheltered housing, to find a mutually agreeable, third-party address for her to use”. Strange that Hillier would suggest that this is government policy as they specifically rejected amendments to the ID cards bill that would have provided for the National Identity Register to contain a contact address rather than place of residence.

Read Hillier’s letter at:
www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/the-week/3212856/part_3/letters.thtml
Watch our Take Jane video at www.no2id.net/TakeJane/

+ New Data Protection guidance on ID scanning in pubs and clubs

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published new data protection guidelines with reagards to the use of ID scanning equipment in pubs and clubs. NO2ID has been concerned for some time about developments in ID checking and fingerprinting in clubs and pubs. The new guidelines to do not call into question the use of such technology, they simply offer “good practice recommendations”. For instance they state that: “Handy credit card sized notices can be distributed at the door” which explain why the system is operated and “if any sharing with other scheme (such as Pub Watch) is involved.
www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_
application/scanning_devices_in_pubs_and_clubs_v1.0_130109.pdf

+ Security check point toy goes on sale

A Playmobil toy has been produced that lets children experience the joys of security check points. Comments on the amazon website, who sell the toy include: “I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said ‘that’s the worst security ever!’”
------------------------------------------------------------------------

++ What’s next? ++

*+ 28th February – The Convention on Modern Liberty +*
On Saturday 28th February NO2ID, along with other UK civil liberties organisations, will be hosting Convention on Modern Liberty events across the UK and in London. The main event will take place at the Logan Hall but simultaneously meetings with live video feeds from London will take place in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Manchester, Cambridge and Bristol.
More details here: www.modernliberty.net

*+ ID cards secondary legislation consultation +*
The Identity and Passport Service has launched a consultation on secondary legislation proposed under the Identity Cards Act 2006, including a draft Code of Practice on Civil Penalties. Any comments should be sent to: Robin Woodland, Identity Cards Act Secondary Legislation Consultation, Home Office, Identity and Passport Service, Allington Towers, 19 Allington Street, London SW1E 5EB. Comments may also be sent by email to: identitycards@ips.gsi.gov.uk. If commenting by email then include the words “consultation response” in the subject title. Closing date 13th February 2009. See www.ips.gov.uk/identity/downloads/NIS_Legislation.pdf

+ 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.

_*+ Aberdeen +*_

*+ 31st January – Aberdeen NO2ID 1st Meeting +*
Saturday. 31st January 11am at Starbucks, Holburn Junction at the top end of Union Street. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. Bring a friend, if you’d like. Further details: Mathew Dickson on aberdeen@no2id.net

If you are interested in the work of the Aberdeen group, please join their mailing list on:
lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.aberdeen

_*+ Belfast +*_

*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
Saturday, 28th February from 9am at Room 212, Peter Froggatt Centre Queen’s University Belfast.Presented by Amnesty International NI and Queen’s University Belfast, School of Law. Registration for the Belfast convention will open in January 2009. For further information please contact: (nireland@amnesty.org.uk). See (www.modernliberty.net/satellite-conventions/belfast). Entry to this event is free.

_*+ Bristol +*_

*+ 4th February – Bristol NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 4th February 7pm at Deco Lounge, Cotham Hill.

*+ 28th February – Modern Liberty satellite Convention +*
Saturday, 28th February at New Trinity Hall we will be holding a Modern Liberty satellite convention in conjunction with An Adventure in Technology. More details at (www.modernliberty.net/satellite-conventions/bristol) as they become available. This event is free to attend.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 24th January & 14th February – NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
Saturday, 24th January & 14th February at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map:
(www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/T5LZATLS) As ever, volunteers to help very welcome – please email cambridge@no2id.net, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.

*+ 4th February – Cambridge NO2ID pub meeting (1st Wednesday of each month) +*
Wednesday, 4th February 7.30pm at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/CYXNES29). For more details contact cambridge@no2id.net, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

*+ 28th February – Cambridge satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
Cambridge NO2ID is helping to organise the Cambridge stream of the Convention on Modern Liberty on Saturday 28th February at the Cambridge Union, 9a Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UA:
(www.cus.org/where_we_are/) ,
(www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/HYSSNEOA)

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 and a Union-style debate on whether Civil Liberties really are under threat. Attendance free (donations accepted). Doors open 0900. Check the Modern Liberty web site for updates as the Cambridge programme develops: www.modernliberty.net

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_

*+ 3rd February – NO2ID Camden & Islington Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 3rd February 8pm at The Castle, 54 Pentonville Road. For more info email camden@no2id.net or join the mailing list at:
(www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.camden). All welcome.

_*+ Cheltenham +*_

We have a new Cheltenham group. They are just in the process of getting started so please email the coordinator, Lynda Warren on cheltenham@no2id.net, if you’d like to be involved.

Please also join the Cheltenham mailing list on:
lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.cheltenham

_*+ Dorking +*_

Dorking Group are starting 2009 with a street stall in Crawley on 31st January. Our target for this year is to collect 4000 signatures. Also we will push more councils into passing anti-ID Card motions and we are looking to organise another public meeting.

*+ 31st January – NO2ID Dorking Street Stall, Crawley +*
Saturday, 31st January – Dorking NO2ID are starting 2009 with a street stall in Crawley.

*+ 3rd February – NO2ID Dorking Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 3rd February 7.30pm at The Lincoln Arms, near Dorking mainline station. Come along if you are local, we always need your help.

_*+ 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/

_*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 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, “a place for unconstrained thinking where ground-breaking concepts can be developed and explored to benefit the culture, society and economy of Scotland and the UK and their future scientific and technological capabilities. The Institute funds programmes bringing together key participants from around the world in a physical location in central Glasgow, hosted by the University of Strathclyde. By crossing disciplinary boundaries, and with knowledge exchange with the public at their heart, programmes aim to inform public policy and practice.” www.instituteforadvancedstudies.org.uk

_*+ Hackney +*_

*+ 4th February – NO2ID Hackney Meeting +*
Wednesday, 4th February at the Pembury Tavern pub (junction of Pembury Road, Amhurst Road and Dalston Lane E8)from 7pm. Come and discuss activities for late winter / spring: there’s lots of work to do to build NO2ID in East London, and the moment there’s not enough of us to do it!

_*+ Leeds +*_

*+ 14th February – Leeds NO2ID Meeting +*
Saturday, 14th February 11am at Victoria Inn (near Millennium square) Leeds NO2ID will be holding a meeting for new supporters and to plan the year ahead’s actions against ID cards and the Database State. Weather permitting this may be followed by a street stall. For more details email Nadine at Leeds@no2id.net – look forward to seeing you there!”

_*+ London +*_

*+ EVENT CANCELLED – January 2009 – Superheroes Against National ID Cards protest +*
The superheroes tell us that: “For legal reasons the event can no longer take place as it would have”. See www.superheroesagainst.org.uk/

_*+ Manchester +*_

*+ 14th February – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 14th February 2pm – 4pm in St. Ann’s Square 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!

*+ 18th February – Manchester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday, 18th February 7pm in the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us if you have accessibility needs (e-mail us on
manchester@no2id.net or call us on 07982 814441).

*+ 28th February – Manchester satellite Convention on Modern Liberty +*
Saturday 28th February, 9:00am- 7:00pm

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 (tbc), Oxford Road, Manchester on Saturday 28th February from 9am to 7pm. For more information, watch this space or contact Manchester NO2ID.

Full details at manchester.no2id.net/

_*+ Norwich +*_

*+ 9th February – Norwich NO2ID relaunch meeting +*
Monday, 9th February at 8pm at Norwich Friend’s Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich, NR2 1EW. The Norwich NO2ID group is re-starting with a new coordinator. Consider yourself invited to our inaugural meeting at which Andrew Watson, NO2ID’s East of England Regional Coordinator will be speaking on the current state of the Government’s identity scheme and about NO2ID’s history and achievements. Tom Read, the new Norwich Coordinator will be discussing future activities of the Norwich branch of NO2ID. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. We hope to build on the successful action held previously in Norwich.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Tom Read on norwich@no2id.net.

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: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.norwich

_*+ Oxford +*_
*
*Our Facebook group is gathering momentum having only been set up a couple of months ago. If you are not already a member, join up and get your friends to do the same:
(www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36417302438). Also we are hoping to organise the showing of the film Taking Liberties quite soon, so stay tuned for details of that…

*+ 31st January – Oxford NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 31st January from 11am on Cornmarket Street for a couple of hours as usual, gathering signatures and talking to people.

*+ 5th February – Oxford NO2ID Meeting (1st Thursday of month) +*
Thursday, 5th February 8p, at The Mitre on the High Street. Drop by for a drink and a chat.

See the website for more: no2id-oxford.org.uk/

_*+ Portsmouth +*_

*+ 4th February – Portsmouth NO2ID 1st Meeting (1st Wednesday of month
thereafter) +*
Wednesday, 4th February from 7-9pm at Bar 38, Boulevard Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3TW. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. Please bring a friend. Further details: Ricky Bartlett on portsmouth@no2id.net

If you’re unable to attend, but are interested in the activity of the group, please join the Portsmouth mailing list on: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.portsmouth/

_*+ Shrewsbury +*_

*+ 16th February – Shrewsbury NO2ID “dining club” (3rd Monday of the month) +*
Monday, 16th February – our regular “dining club” is meeting at about 7.15pm somewhere in the town centre. Do join us for a meal, or just come along for a drink. We need to book the table a few days in advance, so contact Rob Findlay on shrewsbury@no2id.net (or 07973 848910) if you’d like to come along.

_*+ York +*_

A York group of NO2ID has now been formed with Ruth Prosser acting as the local co-ordinator. An inaugural meeting is currently being planned and will be advertised shortly. In the meantime if you live in the area Ruth can be contacted at York@no2id.net or you can contact James Elsdon-Baker the regional Yorkshire co-ordinator at Yorkshire@no2id.net

*+ 20th January – Free Spirits Meeting +*
On 20th January, Free Spirits, a youth group based around the University of York had their inaugural meeting. Speakers included James Elsdon-Baker, NO2ID Yorks Regional Co-ordinator, and Brian Mooney, NO2ID Hammersmith. Brian is also preparing to address a college group in London who have set up their own NO2ID society.

_*+ Yorkshire +*_

*+ 31st January – Yorskhire NO2ID Street Stall, Hebden Bridge +*
Saturday, 31st January meeting in St George’s Square at 12pm. Yorkshire NO2ID will be taking to the streets of Hebden Bridge to run a street stall and petition. If you fancy coming to lend a hand please email Yorkshire@no2id.net
------------------------------------------------------------------------

++ “ID” in the news ++

*+ Explainer: Data sharing – The Guardian 22/1/09 +*
Public bodies do not — yet — have a free hand with personal information. The Coroners and Justice Bill, published on 14 January, proposes turning some of these ideas in to law. In particular, it empowers the “appropriate minister” to make an “information sharing order” that would “any person to share information which consists of or includes personal data”.
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/liberty
central/2009/jan/22/explainer-data-sharing

*+ Facebook ‘super database’ protesters plan to spam Home Office – Computerworld UK 22/1/09 +*
A Facebook protest against the government’s planned £12 billion ‘super database’ of electronic communications has called on people to forward all their emails to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for one day.
www.computerworlduk.com/management/online/
new-media/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsId=12924

*+ It’s going to be a long, hard road to defend our liberties – The Independent 19/1/09 +*
Of course we are in the vanguard, we always are. And for those who think the Database State is a self-evident abomination, the Domesday Book was one of England’s founding documents.
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/simon-carr/simon-
carr-its-going-to-be-a-long-hard-road-to-defend-our-liberties-1419297.html

*+ Let the war on hypocrisy begin – The Observer 18/1/09 +*
Look no further than the news of recent days to know why the Convention on Modern Liberty, launched last week in London by Baroness Kennedy, is so critical and is inspiring such support.
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/
jan/18/henry-porter-freedom-convention

*+ Whitehall departments to share personal data – The Guardian 15/1/09 +*
Controversial fast-track powers to remove the barriers to the widespread bulk sharing of personal data across Whitehall departments and throughout the public sector were unveiled yesterday by the justice secretary, Jack Straw.
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jan/
15/sharing-personal-data-whitehall

+ New giant database will store private details of EVERY person in ‘Big Brother’ Britain – Daily Mail 15/1/09 +*
Under controversial plans unveiled yesterday, all public bodies will be able to request private details held by every Government department, agency or council. The data will be transferred around the country in bulk, effectively creating giant databases of information.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1116066/New-giant-database
-store-private-details-EVERY-person-Big-Brother-Britain.html

*+ MEPs set to debate new biometric rules for passports – europarl
13/1/09 +*
Later this year all European Union members and 3 other states will start issuing biometric passports which contain fingerprints and facial recognition features. The UK is excluded from the Regulation as it is not part of the Schengen zone. However, it has said it will keep in step with regulation to ensure its documents are not perceived as “2nd class”.
www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/story_page/019-45732-012
-01-03-902-20090108STO45593-2009-12-01-2009/default_en.htm

*+ School bosses tell pupils: no meals without an ID card – Sunday Herald 11/1/09 +*
Education chiefs have been accused of trying to force secondary pupils to carry ID cards by refusing to serve school dinners to dissenters. Scottish Borders Council told parents children not carrying the electronic microchipped National Entitlement Card (NEC) will not be fed.
www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2480794.
0.school_bosses_tell_pupils_no_meals_without_an_id_card.php

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(newsletter@no2id.net) )
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Publication details: © NO2ID 2008 – 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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