+ SHARPEN YOUR PENS! +
The general election may be dominated by the economy, but every candidate needs to know that their constituents care deeply about other issues that affect them and their families. Stopping the database state will require MPs of all parties to pay attention now – and to take action for the long-term.
We’ve already asked that you express your concerns to candidates and party canvassers directly, but another important way to ensure that the database state is an issue in your area is to write a letter to your local paper.
It needn’t take long – many local papers now take letters by e-mail. Your letter should be brief (200-250 words is perfect) and to the point: write about one specific issue and why you personally are so concerned. You could challenge every candidate to say what they will do if elected.
If published, your letter will be read by thousands of people – maybe more. Even if they don’t respond directly, you can be sure that candidates in your area will be taking notice.
Your own words will always be the most powerful, but here are a few thoughts to get you started:
* National Identity Scheme (‘ID cards’). Despite recruiting just a few thousand guinea-pigs so far, the Home Office still intends that *everyone* will be fingerprinted and indexed on a central database – whether or not that involves an ID card. The start date has slipped back from 2008 to 2012, but the plan is still for you to pass control of your identity to the state when you apply for a passport.
* Medical records. The Department of Health has engineered a massive mailshot to patients in the run-up to the election. You may have received a letter. It might have gone missing. No opt out form was included, but fail to respond and your GP’s records on your family may be irreversibly locked into a central database, to be added to and accessed without your consent from that point on. Anyone with concerns should opt out now.
* ContactPoint. An index of every child in England and Wales has gone live despite technical faults and security concerns. Putting everyone on the system doesn’t make any child safer. Indeed, the existence of a “shielding” scheme denied to most families suggests the reverse. You cannot ask for your family’s data to be shielded, but MPs and celebrities can.
* DNA and criminal records. A million (and counting) innocent people are already on the largest DNA database in the world. When will they be taken off? The Criminal Records Bureau may treat you as a convicted criminal if you have been arrested. The Independent Safeguarding Authority can ban you from your career for accusations, or even for its own idea of ‘risk factors’ in your legal behaviour.
* Data surveillance and trafficking. Many government bodies collecting more personal information about you, holding it for longer – and passing it around: when and where you travel; your finances; who you contact by phone or e-mail; what you read or watch online. Mass surveillance, whether of road journeys (ANPR), overseas travel (e-Borders), in communications (data retention) or through any of the many national databases is profoundly different from the selective surveillance for a purpose that has always been part of law enforcement.
Please take the time to write to your local paper this weekend. It needn’t take long. But whoever is elected as your MP on 6th May needs to know NOW that their constituents care – and that they should care too. —
What just happened?
+ DNA report and pre-crime +
The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has published a report into The National DNA Database. In it they point out that the detection rate of DNA is not all that the government claim it is and go on to suggest that the database is actually used for pre-crime. The report states: “It is currently impossible to say with certainty how many crimes are detected, let alone how many result in convictions, due at least in part to the matching of crime scene DNA to a personal profile already on the database, but it appears that it may be as little as 0.3%—-and we note that the reason for retaining personal profiles on a database is so that the person can be linked to crimes he/she commits later”. See www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmhaff/222/222i.pdf
+ ID propaganda sent to guinea pig regions +
The government continues to roll out the ID card con to selected guinea pigs, trying to drum up trade by sending propaganda leaflets to households in selected regions. The leaflet features a smiley fingerprint character with the slogan: “idsmart, ID at your fingertips”. What follows is a letter presenting a list of half truths, signed by the ‘Head of Product Marketing’. The leaflet sweeps aside the thorny issue of how voluntary ID cards will be, stating: “Applying for an identity card is entirely voluntary. However, once you do so, you’ll discover that it’s a safer, more convenient way to prove who you are – as well as to help protect yourself against identity fraud.” In fact there are many other things that guinea pigs would discover, such as the database behind the card or the fines that will be imposed for not keeping their information up to date. See the leaflet at i39.tinypic.com/kapru0.jpg
+ Scaremongering over ID card jobs +
A number of politicians have recently turned to scaremongering about job losses they claim would result from scrapping the ID scheme. However Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to both Blackburn and Durham Identity and Passport (IPS) offices have shown that no new job roles have been created from the scheme. Workers within IPS could simply be deployed back into issuing passports. James Elsdon-Baker, NO2ID’s North of England co-ordinator said: “The claim that we need the £230,000 a day ID scheme for jobs is madness when the government is readily announcing cuts in front-line services. When the scheme is scrapped I’m sure the civil servants that have been made to work on ID cards would be happy to go back to working on useful things that people want.” Durham FOI Request – www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ips_jobs_created_as_a_result_of#incoming-78259 Blackburn FOI Request – www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/jobs_created_in_blackburn_as_a_r#comment-9385
+ The Peoples’ Movement hopes to bring campaigns together +
A new website called The Peoples’ Movement has been set up with the hope of bringing together a variety of civil liberties groups. The website says: “This movement is about reclaiming our freedoms and defining the role and organisation of the State so that we all know our own responsibilities and the governing institutions understand theirs. This will empower the people and change the way that we think about ourselves and the State.” The website was created by author and campaigner Peter Lloyd, whose book ‘Bring On A Revolution’ looks at the undermining of the British constitution, the effect this has on liberty and offers a solution in the form of a Charter. See www.peoplesmovement.org.uk
*+ 29th April – Erasing David – New Feature Length Documentary + *
‘Erasing David’ is an exciting new feature length documentary that explores our personal relationship with the Database State. On Thursday 29th April, 8.30pm there will be a nationwide screening and live satellite Q&A at participating cinemas, with speakers including Phil Booth (NO2ID), Shami Chakrabarti, Will Self, Michael Nyman, David Davis and the director David Bond. Participating venues: Aberdeen — The Belmont Picturehouse Bath — Little Theatre Cinema Brighton — Duke Of Yorks Cambridge — Cambridge Picturehouse Edinburgh — Cameo Picturehouse Exeter — Picturehouse Henley-On-Thames — Regal Picturehouse Islington – Screen on The Green Lancaster — The Dukes Cinema Liverpool — FACT London — Brixton Ritzy Picturehouse, The Lexi Cinema Kensal Rise, Greenwich Picturehouse, Stratford Picturehouse, Notting Hill Gate Newcastle — Tyneside Cinema Norwich — Cinema City Oxford — Phoenix Picturehouse Prestatyn — The Scala Southampton — Harbour Lights Picturehouse Stamford — Arts Centre Straford-upon-Avon — Stratford Picturehouse Winchester – The Screen York — Picturehouse (contact your local Cinema for further details) See www.erasingdavid.com
*+ TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK +*
In the run-up to the election, you may be visited by canvassers of one or more parties. Please don’t forget to tell them that one of your major concerns is the ID scheme and the database state. It’s just one small way in which you can help keep candidates in your constituency aware of our issue – and that it is of local concern.
*+ 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 http://www.ips.gov.uk/publicpanel or call 020 3356 8174. More details at www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/1189.htm
“ID” in the news
*+ Tories drop opposition to UK.gov DNA plans – The Register 8/4/10 +*
The Conservatives have dropped their opposition to the government’s planned changes to the National DNA Database for fear of being branded soft on crime in the run-up to the election. www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/08/dna_election/
*+ UK: GP2GP system enabled the transfer of one million electronic health records – epractice.eu 7/4/10 +*
A NHS Connecting for Health project, the GP2GP system aims to enable patients’ electronic health records to be transferred directly and securely from one General Practitioner’s (GP) practice to another. www.epractice.eu/en/news/311896
*+ Just 600 sign up to ID card scheme – This is Cheshire 7/4/10 +*
It can fit comfortably in your wallet or purse, can help you get away from the winter like weather and its introduction is highly controversial. But more than 600 people in the borough have already signed up to the National Identity Card scheme. www.thisischeshire.co.uk/news/7987745.Just_600_sign_up_to_ID_card_scheme/
*+ Just 752 patients view their SCR online – e-health Insider 7/4/10 +*
Just 752 patients out of the more than 1.2m who have a Summary Care Record have opted to view their SCR on HealthSpace. The tiny number of patients accessing their record on NHS Connecting for Health’s portal, which was launched three years ago, is equivalent to less than 0.062% of patients with an SCR. www.e-health-insider.com/news/5804/just_752_patients_view_their_scr_online
*+ UK privacy unlikely to improve under new government – v3 6/4/10 +*
Privacy in the UK has been increasingly eroded under the current Labour government with the growth of computer databases, surveillance cameras and DNA testing, and individuals’ data has been put at risk by numerous large-scale data losses in the public sector. www.v3.co.uk/v3/analysis/2260865/uk-privacy-likely-improve-under
*+ India launches biometric census – BBC News 1/4/10 +*
India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8598159.stm
*+ Gov’t plans fingerprint passport bill -ZDNet 30/3/10 +*
The home secretary has revealed plans for primary legislation requiring passport applicants to be fingerprinted and enrolled on the National Identity Register. Alan Johnson said the move would convert the current small-scale identity card programme into a scheme eventually covering the vast majority of the population. www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security-management/2010/03/30/govt-plans-fingerprint-passport-bill-40088484/
*+ Schools ‘taking pupils’ fingerprints without parental permission’ – The Telegraph 30/3/10 +*
A teachers’ leader warned that many schools were collecting fingerprints and other biometric data, despite failing to inform mothers and fathers. In most cases, information is used in high-tech security systems and to allow children to pay for school meals or take out library books without carrying cash or pin cards. www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7535838/Schools-taking-pupils-fingerprints-without-parental-permission.html
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(firstname.lastname@example.org) )
*+ 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 email@example.com to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.
_*+ Blackburn +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Blackburn mailing group at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.blackburn
_*+ Cambridge +*_
*+ 10th, 17th, 24th April & 1st May – Cambridge NO2ID Stall +*
Saturdays 10th, 17th, 24th April and 1st May – namely every Saturday until the General Election, from 1pm in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall (www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/T5LZATLS). Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.
*+ 22nd April – Joint Amnesty/Oxfam/NO2ID General Election Hustings in Cambridge +*
Thursday 22nd April, 8pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge. Amnesty International Cambridge city group, Cambridge Oxfam Group and Cambridge NO2ID are collaborating to organise a General Election Hustings. Candidates from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and UK Independence parties will be there to state their positions on all relevant issues, and answer questions from the audience. Andie Harper of BBC Cambridgeshire will be chairing. Attendance open to all, and free (but donations appreciated). Map: www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/D8VVUR2D
For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07710 469624.
_**__*+ Canterbury +*_
To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.canterbury
_*+ Derby +*_
*+ 13th April – Amnesty International & Derby NO2ID Hustings +*
Tuesday April 13th, 7.30 pm at the Friends’ Meeting House, St Helen’s Street Derby, DE1 3GY. Derby Amnesty International and Derby NO2ID are holding a joint hustings meeting with parliamentary candidates from the Derby constituencies. At least four candidates will be there. All are welcome. Questions will be put to the candidates about their respective stances on human rights and civil freedoms, and especially about the present government’s plans for ID cards and inclusion of people’s data on the National Identity Register and other state databases. For more details contact Nick Wray, Local Co-ordinator, at email@example.com or on 07763 932 176.
_*+ Dorking +*_
*+ 4th May – Dorking NO2ID Monthly Meeting (first Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday 4th May, 7:30pm – our monthly get-together at South Street Wine Bar, South Street, Dorking. All welcome.
If you would like to help or get involved, contact Geoff Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01306 631377), or just come along to our monthly get-togethers.
_*+ Dover +*_*
*To stay up to date with Dover NO2ID join our mailing list on: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.dover
_**__*+ Edinburgh + *_*****
****+ Saturdays 1pm – 3pm – Edinburgh **NO2ID** 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 (email@example.com), and for more group information see www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/
_**_ *+ Thursday 29th April – The Alternative Hustings for Edinburgh + *
Thursday 29th April, 7.00-9.30pm at the Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL. Jubilee Scotland, CND, NO2ID and other local campaigning groups. This is an Edinburgh-wide hustings and is open to all.
_*+ Exeter +*_
If you would like to join the Exeter group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and say hello! Do also join the Exeter group mailing list at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.exeter
** _*+ Hull & East Riding +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Hull mailing group here: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.hull
_*+ Glasgow +*_
*+ 4th May – Glasgow NO2ID Monthly Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday 4th May, 8pm in Mono, 10 King Street. Glasgow, G1 5QP (directions can be found at www.glasgow-no2id.org.uk/meeting.html). Our monthly meetings are relaxed and informal. If you would like to help plan our campaign, learn more about the issues, or simply chat with like-minded people, please come along.
_**__*+ Ipswich +*_* *
If you are interested in the work of the Ipswich group, please join their mailing list on: www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.ipswich
_*+ Lancaster +*_
*+ 24th April – Lancaster NO2ID Meeting and Street Stall +*
Saturday 20th April, 1pm in The Robert Gillow, Market Street, Lancaster (maps.google.co.uk/places/gb/lancaster/market-st/64/-the-robertgillow?gl=uk).
Our pre-election street stall will be aiming to raise the profile of the campaign in people’s minds and promoting the forthcoming Erasing David screening that is taking place locally at The Dukes Cinema on 29th April. We have lots of ‘Don’t be a Guinea Pig’ leaflets that we intend to give out to warn people about the scheme.
If you are interested in the work of this group, or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Lancaster mailing group at www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.lancaster
_*+ Leeds +*_
*+ 10th April – Leeds NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 10th April – our regular street stall on Briggate. We will be gathering in the Angel at 1pm for a quick meeting before heading out for the stall. Drop by and offer your services to the cause, or email email@example.com.
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Leeds mailing group at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.leeds
_*+ Liverpool +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group please join the Liverpool mailing group at no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.liverpool or email Jeff the new local coordinator at Liverpool@no2id.net
_*+ Manchester +*_
*+ 10th April – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 10th April, from 2pm-4pm in St. Ann’s Square, Manchester (down near the big Marks and Spencer) for our regular 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. manchester.no2id.net/content/street-stall-april-2010 www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=107680819254813
*+ 8th May – Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Saturday 8th May, 12:30pm-2pm in the Moon Under Water pub on Deansgate. In a change from the regular schedule, Manchester NO2ID will hold a meeting before our Saturday stall. We will probably be towards the back of the pub, and possibly upstairs.
*+ 8th May – Manchester*
Saturday 8th May, 2pm-4pm in St. Ann’s Square in Manchester (down near the big Marks and Spencer). Manchester NO2ID will be running a public information stall two days after the General Election. Help us keep up the pressure on the new Government! We’ll meet in the square itself 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!
_*+ Newcastle +*_
*+ 13th April – Newcastle NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 13th April, 7:30pm at the Jazz Cafe, Pink Lane (opposite Newcastle central railway station). Please email Newcastle@no2id.net for further information.
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Newcastle mailing group at www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.newcastle
**_*+ Norwich +*_ * **+ 10th April – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 10th April, 1-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk, Norwich. Come along to tell the public why ID cards are an intrusive waste of money. The more the merrier!
*+ 12th April – Peace Hustings +*
Monday 12th April, 7:30pm at Friends Meeting Lodge. With the election coming in May, come to the hustings event on the theme of Peace and Human Security, where we will grill representatives from each of the main parties, including Charles Clarke. Find out more at: www.norwichpeace.org/
*+ 13th April – Norwich NO2ID Election Party Meeting +*
Tuesday 13th April from 7.30-9pm at The Workshop, 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. This will probably be a more relaxed meeting than usual, to contemplate the activities that we’ve been involved in previously and what we intend to achieve before and after the election.
*+ 17th April – Norwich NO2ID Day Out to Lowestoft +*
Saturday 17th April. We will be hitting the coast to spread the NO2ID message afar. and probably have ice cream on the pier. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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 +*_
*+ 14th April – POWER2010 Hustings +*
Wednesday 14th April, 7pm at the East Oxford Community Centre.
*+ 17th April – NO2ID Oxford Street Stall +*
Saturday 17th April, 12-2pm by St Michael’s Tower on Cornmarket Street. We would be very grateful for volunteers to help hand out leaflets and gather signatures. This will be our last stall before election day and we want to make as many people as possible aware of the arguments against the ID card scheme. If you would like to help you can either contact us beforehand or turn up on the day.
*+ 13th May – NO2ID Oxford Meeting +*
Thursday 13th May, from 8pm at the Mitre pub on the High Street for a drink and a chat about the election results and future events. Everyone is welcome.
See the website for more info on Oxford NO2ID: no2id-oxford.org.uk/
_*+ Portsmouth +*_
Join the Portsmouth mailing list at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.portsmouth/
_*+ Reading +*_* *
Contact Reading NO2ID on email@example.com or join our web group at groups.yahoo.com/group/Reading-No2ID/
_*+ Sheffield +*_
*+ 28th April – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 28th April, 7.30pm at the Harlequin pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG (maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=s3+8gg). 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.
Please join the mailing list If you haven’t already: lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.sheffield
_*+ St Helens & Wigan +*_
Anyone interested in our work should join the St.Helens mailing group at lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.st-helens
_*+ Watford +*_* *
Please contact Colin Simmons on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in giving a couple of hours a month to join us.
_*+ York +*_ * **+ Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm – **
York NO2ID Street Stall ** +*
Weekly stalls continue from 10.30-12.30 on Parliament street, weather permitting. Leafleting continues throughout the city. Please email York@no2id.net or call 07870 529 299 if you would like to help.
*+ 29th April – Screening of ‘Erasing David’ +* T
hursday 29th April, 8.30pm at the York City Screen, followed by satellite Q&A with David Davies, Shami Chakrabarti and Will Self. NO2ID stall in the foyer before and after the film. All help with any of these activities welcome! Email York@no2id.net or call 07870 529 299 for more information.
You can join our Facebook group here: www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=54041617189&ref=ts
Anyone interested in the work of this group should join the York mailing group at www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.york
*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (email@example.com).
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