NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 143 – 25th February 2010: Dangers of data retention

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (


Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family’s personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.

Last year’s public outcry against a Communications Data Database – intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing – forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn’t end there.

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it is held, forms a digital dossier on YOU… and your family.

Even national security is no excuse for blanket surveillance of everyone’s communications, but the Digital Economy Bill would now make allegations of copyright infringement sufficient grounds for ‘fishing expeditions’ (speculative searches) in the data retained by ISPs – thereby ensuring the technology must be in place to enable mass surveillance by other agencies and organisations.

With a new unit set up at the Home Office just last month to push forward the £2 billion ‘Interception Modernisation Programme’ (IMP), it isn’t hard to imagine who else’ll be snooping too.

Open Rights Group ( and others continue to campaign against measures in the Digital Economy Bill. They have various objections – but as NO2ID we have to be concerned about any pretext for mass surveillance without any form of warrant or oversight.

Interception of communications was historically so sensitive that it was made into a power exercised only on the approval of the Home Secretary that cannot be even mentioned in court. We fail to see why recording all your communications (and providing technical means for them to be arbitrarily investigated) is any different to opening your letters or secretly breaking into your home.

Please do write to your MP ( in your own words, expressing your concerns.

What just happened?

+ ID commissioner releases his first report +

The Identity Commissioner, Sir Joseph Pilling today published his first annual report to the Home Secretary into the ID scheme. In the report Pilling attempts to reach out to NO2ID, saying: “I would have welcomed a chance to meet and listen to NO2ID and have written to them twice to ask them to meet me. They replied to my first letter by saying that they would be willing to speak with me if there were any prospect that our meeting could lead to a restriction or abandonment of the identity card scheme. I await a response to my second letter.” Pilling later goes on to point out that: “My remit on complaints does not extend to whether or not there should be a national identity card and where correspondents have lobbied on this I have directed them to IPS [Identity and Passport Service].” So that’ll be a “no” to his being able to assist in the abandonment of the identity card scheme then. The report can be downloaded at

+ Stop ID cards/database state makes it into POWER2010 pledge +

The POWER2010’s campaign has produced its final list of the most popular proposals that will make up their ‘Power Plegde’ and “Scrap ID cards and roll back the database state” made it into the pledge at number two with just over 10,000 votes. The other proposals are to introduce: a proportional voting system, an elected House of Lords, English votes on English laws, and a commitment to drawing up a written constitution. The next aim for Power2010 is to get as many people as possible to sign the Pledge and then take it to the candidates in their constituency, by writing to them, calling them, and attending local hustings, public meetings and MPs’ surgeries. The idea is to ask every candidate standing at the next election to make a public commitment – a pledge – “to clean up and reform our politics”. For more info or to take the pledge visit

+ UK climbs the UN’s e-government hit parade +

The UK has the dubious accolade of jumping several places in the United Nations’ 2010 e-Government Development Index, from tenth place in 2008 to fourth place in 2010. This puts the UK “ahead” of all other European countries, and behind South Korea, the United States, and Canada. Much of the e-government agenda is about smoothing the way for wholesale data sharing. A UN overview of the report states that: “The public trust that is gained through transparency can be further enhanced through the free sharing of government data based on open standards.” Not a view that many privacy conscious UK citizens share. The UK data page is at The full report will be online soon at

+ Changes to ICO Data Sharing code of practice +

The Department of Justice has released a circular that outlines key provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 that came into force on 1st February. One such provision is an amendment to the Data Protection Act which places a duty on the Information Commissioner “to produce, issue and keep under review a code of practice containing practical guidance about the sharing of personal data”. Any failure to act in accordance with the terms of the new code … “will not render anyone liable to proceedings in a court or tribunal”! See

+ Home Office release details of airside workers ID evaluation +

The Home Office Research, Development and Statistics department has released ‘Home Office Research Report 31’ which details the ‘Baseline for the evaluation of airside workers’ identity cards’. The document explains how the success or failure of the 18-month review period of ID cards for airside workers will be measured. The report states that: “Currently, only foreign airside workers who possess a UKBA [UK Borders Agency] issued Foreign National Identity Card have biometric identity assurance and these are estimated to represent less than three per cent of employees with immediate airside access”. The report can be downloaded at

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: 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 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 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 for a list of groups in your area.

*+ 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 or call 020 3356 8174. More details at

“ID” in the news

*+ ID card tsar understands public reaction – Manchester Evening News 25/2/10
ID card tsar Sir Joseph Pilling has admitted he can see why people don’t understand why the scheme is needed. The Rochdale-born, former top civil servant is the government’s independent identity commissioner, whose role it is to ensure the controversial ID scheme is run properly.

*+ Impossible to know how many fake ID cards issued, says watchdog – Computing 25/2/10
It is impossible to tell whether identity cards have been obtained fraudulently, according to the first report of the identity commissioner. The independent commissioner Sir Joseph Pilling was put in place to oversee the government’s £5.4bn National Identity Scheme and issued his first update today.

*+ ID card scheme ditches DWP database – Computer Weekly 24/2/10
The Identity and Passport Service is rethinking its ID card scheme after ditching a major design component. The IPS dropped its plan to use another government database to keep biographical details of identity card holders, one of three core architectural principles established for the scheme in 2006.

*+ Is our fear of identity cards harming us? – Law Gazette 22/2/10
Here is a topic to raise the blood pressure of every patriotic UK citizen. Whereas on the continent, benign democratic societies flourish with a population which carries ID cards, somehow it is thought that darkness will descend on the UK if ID cards are ever introduced.

*+ Second thoughts about Britain’s ID cards and privacy – CSMonitor 22/2/10
A new survey suggests public support for the cards has fallen and worries about government intrusions into privacy are on the rise.

*+ Cop Jailed – Willesdesn and Brent Times 18/2/10
A corrupt police officer who tipped off crooks by leaking information from police databases was jailed for seven months.

*+ ID cards: there’s more than money to lose – Spiked 15/2/10
With the UK government’s accounts seriously in the red, opposition politicians have been queuing up to cite the unpopular and costly National Identity Card scheme as top of their list of New Labour initiatives to be culled. However, unless the argument against this intrusive scheme is won on the grounds of defending privacy, rather than shoring up the state’s balance sheet, the demise of ID cards could be a hollow and temporary victory for freedom campaigners.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor( )


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

_*+ Blackburn +*_

*+ 15th March – Blackburn NO2ID Official Launch Meeting
Monday 15th March, 7:30pm at meeting room 1 in Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall St, Blackburn, Lancashire BB2 1AH. We are pleased to announce Blackburn NO2ID’s official launch meeting! The meeting is free to attend and after a short talk by our North of England coordinator, Frankie the new Blackburn coordinator will be leading a group discussion on getting the campaign going within Blackburn. If you would like to attend this meeting please email

If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Blackburn mailing group at

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 27th February – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall
Saturday 27th February in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall ( 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 ( for Cambridge NO2ID’s usual monthly pub meeting.

For more details email or call 07710 469624.

_**__*+ Canterbury +*_

To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on:

_*+ 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.

*+ 6th, 13th & 20th March – Dorking NO2ID Street Stalls, Crawley
Saturday 6th/13th/20th March in Crawley, contact for more info.

*+ 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 or come along to our monthly get-togethers.

_*+ Dover +*_*

*To stay up to date with Dover NO2ID join our mailing list on:

_**__*+ Edinburgh + *_***** ****

Pre Election Hustings Planned* The main topic at our last Edinburgh group meeting (23rd February) was planning for the run up to the general election. It was decided to organise hustings in collaboration with other party-independent voluntary groups and to target a single local constituency, either Edinburgh East or North. Planning continues: anyone with relevant expertise or experience is most welcome to join in.

* + 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 (, and for more group information see

_**_ _*+ Exeter +*_

If you would like to join the Exeter group, please email and say hello! Do also join the Exeter group mailing list at

** _*+ Hull & East Riding +*_

*+ 27th February – Hull & East Riding NO2ID meeting
Saturday 27 February 2010, 12 noon at The Mission pub, followed by street stall from 1.00pm, Hull City Centre. Meeting to discuss street stalls for the year and events/activity in the run up to local and national elections. All welcome! No need to commit to anything – all welcome to learn more about the work of the local group and contribute ideas. Contact for more info or call 07931 115738

*+ 1st March – Official Hull & East Riding NO2ID Launch event and photocall
Monday 1 March 2010, 11am at Queen Victoria Square. Just a quick heads up that Cllr Carl Minns (Leader of Hull City Council) has agreed to attend our formal launch / photocall as discussed at the meeting. All welcome to help launch the local campaign! Contact for more info or call 07931 115738

If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Hull mailing group here:

_**__*+ Ipswich +*_* *
If you are interested in the work of the Ipswich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Lancaster +*_

*+ 20th March – Lancaster NO2ID Meeting and Street Stall
Saturday 20th March, 12pm in The Robert Gillow (Market Street, Lancaster). Following the success of the first Lancaster NO2ID street stall, we are planning another meeting to be followed directly by our second stall (which we hope we have slightly warmer weather !) . We will be having a relaxed and informal meeting at 12pm to discuss news and plan future events , then if you feel like it you are welcome to come on and join us to help distribute ‘Don’t Be a Guinea Pig Leaflets’ and collect signatures on our petition on a street stall. If you plan to attend or have any questions please email the local coordinator at

If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Lancaster mailing group at

_*+ Liverpool +*_

*Co-ordinator Wanted for Liverpool NO2ID*
‘Don’t be a Guinea Pig’ leaflets are now being distributed across the city by people who have come forward to help with the campaign. A special thanks goes to Cllrs Radford and Keaveney for their efforts in this regard. Yet the City still lacks a group that meets regular and needs someone to take on the coordinator role. If you are interested in this position please email James Elsdon-Baker our North of England coordinator on

The city also has a local NO2ID mailing list you can join, which then enables you to contact other supporters in the area to start planning activities together, join the Liverpool mailing group here:

_*+ 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 March – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall
Saturday 13th March, 1-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk. Come along to tell the public why ID cards are an intrusive waste of money.

*+ 16th March – Norwich NO2ID Meeting
Tuesday 16th March, 7:30-9pm, Norwich NO2ID will be meeting at The Workshop Cafe (opposite The Black Horse), 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. Join us to discuss general election tactics and other interesting things like that.

* *If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 27th February – NO2ID Oxford Street Stall
Saturday 27th February, as usual, we’ll meet up by St Michael’s Tower on Cornmarket St at 11am and be there for a couple of hours talking to people and gathering signatures.

*+ 4th March – NO2ID Oxford Meeting
Thursday 4th March, from 8pm at the Mitre pub on the High Street.

See the website for more info on Oxford NO2ID:

_*+ Portsmouth +*_

Join the Portsmouth mailing list at

_*+ Reading +*_* *

Contact Reading NO2ID on or join our web group at

_*+ Sheffield +*_

*+ 24th March – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting
Wednesday 24th March, 7:30pm at the Harlequin pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG ( This is our regular monthly meeting where we’ll be discussing how the campaign is progressing and organising local activities. 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:

_*+ Watford +*_* *

Please contact Colin Simmons on if you are interested in giving a couple of hours a month to join us.

_*+ York +*_ * +

27th February – York NO2ID Weekly Street Stall, and every Saturday until election
Saturday 27th February, and every Saturday until the election, from 10.30-12.30. The stalls will be taking place on Parliament Street. Please email or call 07870 529 299 if you would like to get involved.

If you are interested in the work of this group please join the York mailing group here:

—- 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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