Thursday, July 20, 2006 3:29 PM
++ Lobby MPs as Lords further amend ID bill
The House of Lords has further amended the ID cards bill during the last two days of its Report Stage(23rd and 30th January). Most importantly they removed compulsory registration for an ID card when a passport or other designated document is renewed – in line with the government’s manifesto which stated that cards would be introduced on a voluntary basis. During the debate only the government minister spoke in favour of compulsion.
The bill will next get a third and final reading in the Lords on the 6th of February. After that the bill will return to the House of Commons where MPs will vote to accept or reject the Lords’ amendments. The government only won the last vote on the bill in the Commons by 31 votes. There were 19 MPs from opposition parties that did not vote during that last vote. Acceptance of peers’ amendments looks achievable in light of the government’s defeat this week, when MPs voted to accept Lords’ amendments to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.
If your MP was one of those opposition MPs that failed to vote on ID cards last time then write to them and encourage them to vote when the bill returns to the Commons. Details of the MPs that failed to vote are at the end of this newsletter(’Absentee opposition party MPs’ section).
If your MP is a member of the Labour party then write to them and ask them to support the entirely reasonable and justified Lords’ amendments relating to cost and compulsion. You could mention the fact that the National Audit Office has just refused to sign off the Home Office’s accounts, “they can’t even balance their own books, how can they be trusted with the billions they want to spend on ID?” etc. Also useful on cost could be the draft report of a meeting between the European Information Society Group, EURIM, and the ID Technology Advisory Group (ID-Entity) on 12/01/06 – PDF copy here: www.eurim.org.uk/activities/pi/060112pireport.pdf – particularly section 2.4.
On compulsion, you could remind your MP that the Labour manifesto stated that ID cards would be voluntary to begin with, “but how is it voluntary if I can’t renew my passport and take my family on holiday without being registered? Or if they designate my driving license, or some other document that I need for my job or profession? This isn’t a choice, it’s a personal attack on my freedom to travel, to work, to live freely…” etc.
If you are a union or Labour party member then please contact the office (mailto:email@example.com as we may be able to assist you in lobbying.
We have a lobbying tool at mps.no2id.net which can be used to write to your MP.
++ What’s next?
+ 3rd February Cambridge NO2ID Informal Meeting
NO2ID Cambridge will be having an informal pub meeting this Friday (3rd February) 8pm onwards at The Old Spring, Ferry Path, Cambridge CB4 1HB. This is a chance to meet local NO2ID supporters over a beer, get a badge and a car sticker (if you don’t already have one), and plan future activities. Text/call Andrew Watson(07710 469624) for details, or just turn up on the night.
+ 6th February House of Lords 3rd reading of ID cards bill
On Monday 6th February the House of Lords will give the ID cards bill its third and final reading. Webcasts of the proceedings can be viewed at
+ 11th February, London, NO2ID AGM (Members paid up by 4th Feb only)
By now all members should have been notified of the NO2ID AGM that will take place on Saturday 11th February 2006, from 11:30am at: St. Gabriel’s Church Hall, Glasgow Terrace, off Lupus Street, Pimlico, London SW1V 3AA. Participation is limited to paid-up members. For this purpose the membership roll will be taken as at 4th February 2004, so if your membership has lapsed or will lapse by the date of the AGM, please renew before the 4th.
+ 11th February, London, NO2ID Action Day (All welcome)
Saturday 11th February 2006, from about 2:30pm at: St. Gabriel’s Church Hall, Glasgow Terrace, off Lupus Street, Pimlico, London SW1V 3AA. Following the NO2ID AGM there will be an Action Day (training workshops) – all welcome.
+ 14th February Keynote Seminar – ‘Implementing ID Cards’ – (£58.75 to attend)
On Tuesday 14th February 2006 ‘Guest of Honour’ Andy Burnham MP, Home Office Minister responsible for ID Cards and Passports, will deliver a keynote address ‘Implementing ID Cards’. Venue: Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ. The cost to attend for “unfunded individuals” is £58.75.
++ What just happened?
+ Stop Press: Government claim Identity Fraud now costs £1.7bn
Today the government announced that identity fraud has risen from £1.3 billion a year to £1.7 billion. The previous figures and claims that ID cards would cut identity fraud were heavily discredited, see the below link for more details.
+ Swindon Council vote against ID cards
Last Thursday (26th January) Swindon Council voted to oppose the use of ID cards for access to local services. The motion proposed by Conservative councillor Peter Greenhalgh warned that the ID cards bill will affect all the people of Swindon. The council also voted to affiliate to NO2ID. Swindon NO2ID worked hard behind the scenes to bring about the motion and were on hand to speak to the local media afterwards.
+ House of Lords Report Stage
Peers continued scrutinising the ID cards bill during its Report Stage (23rd & 30th January). Amongst their amendments to the bill were removal of compulsion, the need for a new act of parliament to introduce compulsion (as opposed to a vote in both houses of parliament) and appointment of the scheme’s watchdog commissioner by the Crown rather than the home secretary.
Lord Phillips opened the debate about compulsion with a stirring speech about the creeping powers of the surveillance state. He invited peers to “consider how Parliament has dealt with the illegal retention in police records of 50,000 sets of fingerprints and DNA samples. Instead of expunging them and making sure that the illegality did not recur, this Government forced through Section 64 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act in 2001 to validate the illegality and, much worse, allowed fingerprints and DNA to be stored in future, whether or not any citizen had been convicted or even charged with an offence.”
Baroness Anelay summed up the government’s proposal of linking ID card registration to passport renewal when she said: “It is a case of ‘have an ID card or don‚t leave the country’. That is not right.”
Lord Stoddart raised the issue of support for ID cards and a straw poll conducted in Swindon. He said: “They found that of the 400 people they contacted, eight were in favour of ID cards, and of those eight, six were uninformed about the national identity register. When they found out about it, they changed their minds. The poll suggested 398 to two against ID cards in my former constituency.”
It also emerged during the debate that the government plans to include an RFID style “contactless or proximity chip” in the ID card. They say this is to comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) standards. The information would be unencrypted but would require “that the machine readable zone ˜ the MRZ˜printed on the face of the card is scanned and the information then used to unlock the read and request data from the chip”. Meanwhile the US are took look again at the security of RFID chips in their forthcoming e-passports.
+ Edinburgh NO2ID hears from Green MSP
Last Wednesday (25th January) Mark Ballard, MSP (Scottish Green Party) addressed a meeting of NO2ID Edinburgh members. His presentation concentrated on the political aspects of the proposals. He noted that since abolition in 1952 identity cards had been continually resurrected as the solution to contemporary problems, for example football hooliganism in the 1980s. Apart from government intransigence, it was IT companies who were now pushing the scheme. With the as yet untested technology and changing requirements, the scheme was heading for technological disaster. Because of the compromises which would be necessary to gain Commons majorities, it seemed we would finish up with the worst of all possible schemes. The talk was followed by 45 minutes of wide-ranging discussion.
+ LSE Director answers Blair’s snipe
LSE Director Howard Davies has written to Tony Blair following his recent comments about the LSE’s report ‘The Identity Project’ (see newsletter 37). The letter points out that the report was compiled by some 60 academics rather than the work of Simon Davies of privacy International on his own as Blair suggested.
+ Fine time in Holland
66,241 fines for failure to show ID were handed out by the Dutch police last year, according to the research group MMI. It gathers data on abuse of the legal obligation to carry ID, which came into force in the Netherlands on 1 January 2005. Around half of those fined refused to pay, so they had to go to court. Or will have to go to court. A backlog has been building up. Adjusted for population size, 66,241 fines in the Netherlands is the equivalent of about 240,000 fines in the UK. Meanwhile, Dutch campaigners Geen ID are offering an insurance package against ID fines.
+ Official: Home Office can‚t do its sums – failure to provide adequate accounts
As we already know, the Home Office is rather challenged when it comes to working out how much things cost.
+ Dutch Biometric Passport Security Breached
Researchers at Riscure have managed to crack biometric data held on Dutch passports from a distance of 10 metres.
More news is available from the NO2ID newsblog at
++ “ID” in the news
+ ID protester stopped and filmed under terror law will have police record for life
+ ID cards will be “snooper’s paradise” say critics
+ Carlisle changes mind on ID cards
+ ID plans to go ahead despite Lords defeat
+ Former US spy slams UK’s national ID card plans
+ Plan B from Petty France – the other UK ID card
+ Ancient freedoms chiselled away – Lord Phillips
+ ID cards ‘should be compulsory’
+ The business of ID
+ China’s rise prompts Malaysia’s hi-tech search for sense of identity
+ Iris Scanning For New Jersey Grade School
+ US: Social Security number theft hard to handle
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(
++ What you can do
+ 1. Lobbying your MP
+ 2. Writing to your local paper
+ 3. Joining NO2ID / donating
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at
++ Absentee opposition party MPs
There were two crucial votes on the ID cards bill in October 2005. Division 58 was to remove compulsion, Division 60 was to give the bill its third reading. Please note that a few of the MPs listed *did* vote against the Bill at Third Reading, but not necessarily on both divisions. This will not be good enough when the Bill returns to the Commons for consideration of Lords’ amendments.
The following opposition party MPs did not vote in one or both of the key votes:
Tony Baldry, Banbury Con absent for div 58
Publication details: © NO2ID 2005 – 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 No.412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP