Last push before local elections
With the local elections just a week away it’s not too late to contact your local candidates and ask them their position on the National Identity Register and ID cards. Make it clear to them that you will never vote for a supporter of compulsory registration or ID cards.
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May’s Passports renewal campaign launches – ‘renew for freedom’
At our London volunteers meeting last week (18th April), NO2ID announced our new “renew for freedom” campaign. A factsheet and renew for freedom website were also launched. The aim is to encourage supporters to renew their passports in May, ahead of the linkage between the passport and the National Identity Register. Last month the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, said that “anyone who feels strongly enough about the linkage […] will be free to surrender their existing passport and apply for a new passport before the designation order takes effect.” As detailed in our factsheet it is possible to renew your passport at any time without having to pretend the dog ate it.
The price of a standard 10-year adult passport is set to rise to £93 when the ID card scheme kicks in. If you renew now you get 10 years of freedom for just £51 rather than waiting to pay £93 for lifelong surveillance.
The UK Passport and Identity Service(UKIPS) is currently phasing in new biometric passports(digital facial image only at present) which contain an RFID(Radio Frequency Identification) chip. May 31st is the last date on which it will be possible to guarantee not getting an RFID chipped passport. To get an old-style ‘digital’ passport you have to use the Premier (one day) renewal service, costing £96.50, in a provincial Passport Office that isn’t issuing passports from the main production area (this will not work in London). Check the NO2ID discussion forum for news of which passport centres people have used.
UKIPS is also building a network of 69 new interrogation offices for face-to-face interviews for all first-time passport applicants. When the ID card scheme begins to roll out they will extend interviews to all passport applications, including renewals, for the purpose of fingerprinting applicants and enrolling them onto the National Identity Register. As Baroness Seccombe put it during and ID card debate in the House of Lords last year: “How many people know that when their passport runs out they will be summoned to an interrogation centre before being allowed to buy a few cans of beer in Calais?”
A passport that lasts until May 2016 will take you through not only the next general election, but the one after that! £51 spent in May could prove to be one of the wisest investments you and your family ever make in their privacy and freedom. It’s that simple.
For more details and to download the Factsheet go to www.renewforfreedom.org/
N.B. At peak capacity the Passport Service issues over 300,000 passports per month. It is not our goal to crash the system or inconvenience families wanting to go on holiday in the summer.
New local groups
New groups are being set up around the country every week. Recently set up local groups include Leek, Morden and Doncaster . A list of groups can be found at www.no2id.net/localGroups
27th April – North Staffs NO2ID Meeting
Thursday, 27th April 8pm at the Swan pub, St Edward Street, Leek, the first meeting of the North Staffs NO2ID group. As it’s a largely rural area, it is planned that meetings will be moved around to also take in Cheadle, Biddulph, Stoke, Hanley and Newcastle. Contact email@example.com for more details.
2nd May – Glasgow NO2ID Meeting
Tuesday, 2nd May 7.30pm at Mono. We have to start arranging a NO2ID Scotland public meeting to take place later in the year. We also need to decide if we are going to plan any stunts to go with the new Renew for Freedom campaign. Everyone is very welcome to attend. Hope to see you there! (Alternative arrangements: If for any reason Mono is not suitable on that evening then we will instead go to Laurie’s across the road). See www.no2id-scotland.net/glasgow/meeting.html
3rd May – Science and Technology Committee Evidence Session
Wednesday, 3 May 9.30am in Committee Room 8, Houses of Parliament, Westminster. Evidence regarding the technologies supporting identity cards will be heard. from a range of experts. See www.parliament.uk/what_s_on/hoc_news3.cfm#May
5th May – The ID card debate – seminar
Friday, 5th May from 7pm to 9pm at 89 Bickersteth Road, Tooting, London SW17. Organised by the Mauritian Lawyers Society. Free admission. Contact Salina Somanah on 020 8516 7730 or 07870 773 792 for more details.
11th May - Swindon NO2ID Meeting
Thursday, 11th May 7.30pm at the Clifton Inn , Clifton street (off Kings Hill), all welcome. Contact Lynda at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
16th May – NO2ID Volunteers Meting, Central London
Tuesday, 16th May 7.00pm central London venue to be confirmed. All are welcome to NO2ID’s next volunteers’ meeting. The meeting will have a theme of ‘Work and ID cards’, looking at issues such as Criminal Records Bureau checks and the National Identity Register. The meeting is free to attend but we will be asking for donations to help cover the cost of the room hire.
4th July – Homeland and Border Security Conference (£695+vat)
Tuesday, 4 July at QEII Conference Centre, London, UK. a one-day event that will look at the next steps for the security community. Featuring “key figures from the IT sector, government, the police, justice, and the international community”. Cost – £695+vat for private sector, £175+VAT for public sector.
What just happened?
Swindon NO2ID makes ID cards a local election issue
The Swindon NO2ID group has been working hard making ID cards and the National Identity Register(NIR) an issue at the May 4th elections. Each of the 70 council candidates have been surveyed. Group co-ordinator Lynda Warren said: “We have asked candidates to return their responses in good time for us to notify the electorate of their position. All replies will be posted on the public forum(www.talkswindon.org). Let the debate begin! Indeed, it already has!” Swindon Borough Council passed a motion opposing the use of national ID cards for access to local services in January of this year.
Pennine Way sponsored walk ends
Congratulations to NO2ID supporter Bob who has completed his sponsored walk of the Penine Way. Its not too late to make a donation to at www.no2id.net/walkfree.php
National Union of Journalists(NUJ) Supports resistance to ID cards
At its Annual Delegates Meeting last month the NUJ passed a number of motions against ID cards. The motions declared total opposition to the ID card scheme, affiliated the NUJ to NO2ID and called on the NUJ to campaign against the National Identity Register.
UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) publishes plans
UKIPS have published their 10 year corporate and business plans and their “Framework Agreement”. The agency proclaims that their mission is: “Safeguarding your identity”, whilst their vision is: “Leadership in identity authentication and verification”. The business plan states that: “From late 2007, we expect to pilot the recording of additional biometrics for passports (fingerprints), which will enable us to create second-generation biometric passports designed to keep us in line with developing European Union (EU) standards.” Yet another reason to take part in our renew for freedom campaign.
International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) admits that e-Passport may serve as a beacon
In a supplement to the ICAO e-passport specifications, upon which new UK biometric passports are based, they have admitted the risk of skimming(unauthorised reading by eavesdroppers). The report says: “The e-passport may serve as a ‘beacon’ in which the chip emits when initially activated data (the UID number) that might allow identification of the issuing authority.” The report goes on to recommend that states do not transmit a unique identifier(such as the National Identity Register Number) from their passport chips but acknowledge that some may states may choose to for security reasons. The UK Passport and Identity Service(UKIPS) say that UK passports will be protected against skimming by an “advanced digital encryption technique”. In January it was reported that the Dutch biometric passport had already been cracked.
Correction to last newsletter: Transformational Government – Implementation Plan published
In our last newsletter we reported on the publication of the government’s Transformational Government Implementation Plan. In our piece it may have seemed that we suggested that Andersen Consulting(which has been re-branded as Accenture) was involved in the Enron scandal. It was of course another part of the Andersen group, the accountants Arthur Andersen, who were linked to the Enron scandal. Andersen Consulting was a separate unit of Andersen Worldwide and in 2000 broke its ties with Arthur Andersen, changing its name to Accenture in 2001. In the 1990s Andersen Consulting oversaw the NISR2 project to modernise the national insurance computer system which ran three years behind schedule and cost more that twice the original projected cost.
Charles Clarke: ‘Ordinary people have the right to be protected’
The Independent this week published an edited version of a speech given by Charles Clarke this evening at the London School of Economics.
“ID” in the news
Schneier: ID cards will worsen ID theft
Security expert Bruce Schneier has slated the UK’s ID card scheme, saying that not only will it not solve e-crime, it will also make ID theft worse.
Head of visitor tracking program wants global ID system
The head of the Homeland Security Department’s visitor tracking program on Tuesday called for the creation of a “global ID management system” to make travel easier while enhancing security.
Andy Burnham has another snipe at the LSE Identity Project Report
Junior Home Office Minister Andy Burnham is, yet again, hiding behind Parliamentary privilege to repeat his false accusations about the alleged authorship of the widely quoted London School of Economics Identity Project Report.
ID cards ‘taking focus away from e-crime’
The government is ploughing too many resources into the ID cards scheme while failing to fight e-crime, a member of the House of Lords has claimed. Lord Erroll today said plans to roll out ID cards in the UK have been promoted by the government as a way of fighting crime, but he questioned their validity.
ID card spending doubles to £56m
The new Identity and Passport Service will spend £56m on setting up the controversial ID cards project this year.
Tony Blair’s authoritarian populism is indefensible and dangerous – The Guardian 24/4/06
The rules of parliamentary procedure are arcane and the vast majority of electors assume that ID cards are little more than a driving licence with chip.
Providers identify glitches in the state ID card plan – Sunday Telegraph 23/4/06
In the next few weeks the Home Office will invite tenders for work on the flagship national identity card programme. It is set to cost billions of pounds, create the most comprehensive population database the world has seen, and is already being called Labour’s “plastic poll tax”.
Labour U-turn over ID card medical details – The Sunday Times 23/4/06
Identity cards are to carry medical details, despite repeated government assurances that concerns about privacy meant it would not happen.
Britain’s liberties: The great debate – The Observer 23/4/06
I have nothing to hide, but I fear this scheme beyond any of your measures, for it is the dream of every authoritarian government to be able to monitor its citizens around the clock.
‘Big Brother’ scheme axed – The Guardian 19/4/06
A £400m scheme to create a new national population database dubbed a building block of the “surveillance society” was finally killed off yesterday. Des Browne said this should be done through the national identity card scheme instead. The decision is expected to add £200m to the cost of the ID card scheme.
Move to store ‘ID card’ details for children – The Scotsman 19/4/06
A register of children’s details similar to that to be kept under the government’s controversial ID card scheme has been recommended by officials.
Minister in race to push through ID cards
The government will push ahead with the introduction of identity cards so the Tories cannot make the policy an election issue, according to a Home Office minister.
Aussies to get pseudo-ID Card
It looks like an ID Card. It smells like an ID Card. Heck, it even spooks you like an ID Card. But, as Australia’s carbon copy Commonwealth Prime Minister says, “it ain’t no ID card”.
City card planned for Westminster – Card Technology Today March 2006
Westminster is to become the first council in London, UK, to launch a chip-based city card for its residents. The card, based on the Oyster card platform will be used for leisure services, library services, youth passport payments and public transport.
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(email@example.com) )
What you can do
In the run up to the May local elections you can help us by:
1. Promoting our ‘renew for freedom’ campaign throughout May
The ID card Act turns your passport into a one-way ticket to control of your identity by the government. If you renew your passport now you can buy ten years of freedom for £51. Encourage others to do the same and promote our renew for freedom website: www.renewforfreedom.org
2. Writing to local election candidates and your local paper
Now that the ID bill has passed into law it is essential that we keep compulsory registration of citizens on the National Identity Register in people’s minds. The media debate is likely to mis-report the plastic card opt-out. Write to your local paper telling them about the renewal for freedom campaign.
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
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