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NO2ID Newsletter No.120 2 April 2009

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


The government may have stepped back from universal information sharing in the Coroners and Justice Bill, but that doesn’t mean it has given up on any number of “joined-up” database projects. Nor has NO2ID given up resisting them.

The victory against clause 152 shows that our strategy of building up our network, and preparing the resistance in advance, really works. So please help us continue to do that by spreading the word.

There are several active campaigns at the moment to get behind:

* Taking and displaying the NO2ID Pledge [1] and getting others to do so will help spread knowledge of what the ID scheme really means for control of our personal information and just what the HomeOffice means by “voluntary”.

* If you have not already written to your GP asking him or her not to upload your medical records to “the spine”, then please consider doing so [2]. The Department of Health is *still* pushing that forward despite all medical objection.

* If you have children, then write to your local authority demanding that their details are “shielded” on the ContactPoint database.

* If you have ever been arrested and not convicted, or know someone who has, then in the light of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Marper [3] the time is right to contact the Chief Constable of the force involved and ask them to delete DNA, fingerprint and police records, and destroy the DNA sample as required by the European Court of Human Rights.

These government programmes only thrive if we treat them as though they are inevitable. They are not. If it meets resistance at every turn, then slowly officialdom may get the message: We don’t want the database state!

References: [1] [2] [3]

What just happened?

+ Report slams Database State +

The Joseph Rowntree Trust, along with the Foundation for Information Policy Research (fipr), has produced a report into the UK’s database state. The report aptly named ‘Database State’ assesses 46 databases across the major government departments, and finds that: “A quarter of the public-sector databases reviewed are almost certainly illegal under human rights or data protection law; they should be scrapped or substantially redesigned”. The databases are graded using a traffic light system. Amongst those graded as red are the National Identity register, the National DNA Database, Contact Point and the communications database. The report also highlights some bizarre databases, such as the National Childhood Obesity Database which contains “the results of height and weight measurements taken from school pupils in Year 1 (age 5—6) and Year 6 (10—11) since 2005" and whilst it is the largest of its kind in the world, it is “simply unnecessary”. Download the report at

+Government defeated over Common Travel Area passport checks +

On Wednesday Lords voted to remove Clause 48 from the Border, Citizenship and Immigration bill that would have allowed the government to remove the passport-free zone known as the Common Travel Area (comprising of Republic of Ireland, UK, Isle of Man & Guernsey). Once again the government was accused of asking for a blank cheque – Lord Pannick said: “It is, in my view, wrong in principle for the Government to invite this House to approve a clause that confers powers that are far wider than the Government wish to exercise, when the width of the powers that would be conferred affect fundamental and historic rights to freedom of movement. That is undoubtedly the position in relation to Clause 48.” Read the debate transcript at
Watch the debate at (starts 01h 46m in):

+ German Court rules against blanked data retention +

A court in Germany has ruled that blanket recording of the entire population’s telephone, mobile phone, e-mail and Internet usage (known as data retention) is disproportionate. The ruling states: “The court is of the opinion that data retention violates the fundamental right to privacy. It is not necessary in a democratic society. The individual does not provoke the interference but can be intimidated by the risks of abuse and the feeling of being under surveillance […] The directive [on data retention] does not respect the principle of proportionality guaranteed in Article 8 ECHR, which is why it is invalid.” The proposed Communications Data bill will bring the EU directive on communications data into UK law. For more information see,en/

What’s next?

*+ Volunteers needed for Mark Thomas gigs +*
Mark Thomas has invited NO2ID to help at some of his shows this year. NO2ID needs volunteers to help out as Mark tours around the country – please contact the NO2ID office ( and we will put you in touch with relevant local group. For details of gigs see

*+ UK Tour of Anti-ID play +*
The UK tour of the play ‘Another Paradise’ is now underway. The play asks “What will it actually mean if all our personal information is at the fingertips of a civil servant … or a hacker? Does that violate our individuality – who we are, what we are?”. The tour will visit Yorkshire, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Stockton-on-Tees, Leeds, Plymouth, Coventry and London Details at


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.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 18th April – NO2ID Cambridge Stall +*
Saturday, 18th April at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: ( Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.

*+ 20th & 21st April – Mark Thomas Gigs in Cambridge +*
Mark Thomas has invited NO2ID to help at some of his shows this year. Although details are still being finalised, Cambridge NO2ID is likely to be providing volunteers for at least one of Mark’s Cambridge shows, on 20th & 21st April: If you’d like to volunteer (and incidentally also see a show for free), please contact, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

*+ 6th May – Cambridge NO2ID pub meeting (1st Wednesday of each month) +*
Wednesday, 6th May 7.30pm at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW ( For more details contact, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_

*+ 7th April – NO2ID Camden & Islington Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 7th April 8pm at The Castle, 54 Pentonville Road. For more info email or join the mailing list at: ( All welcome.

_*+ Canterbury +

*_*+ 16th April – Canterbury NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday, 16th April 7.30pm at the Hobgoblin, Canterbury. We’re looking at some actions and events for the summer, including coming together with other local groups to protest against the interrogation centres in Kent. Please come and get involved! High profile actions and events take lots of work and people power – we need you!

*+ 16th May – Canterbury NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 16th May 10am til 1pm Canterbury High St.

If you know of any events that are running where a NO2ID presence would be welcome please get in touch. There are lots of resources such as banners, sign up sheets, leaflets, badges available. If you would like to go on our local mailing list please e-mail or phone Caz on 07792 567087.

_*+ Deptford+ *_

*+ 12th April – Deptford NO2ID Meeting (2nd Sunday of month) +*
Sunday, 12th April 7.30pm at the Royal Albert pub, New Cross Road, SE8. For further details contact Robin Tudge on

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

_*+ Dorking +*_

Dorking Group has an informal get together every first Tuesday of the month at the Lincoln Arms 7.30pm near Dorking mainline station — newcomers welcome.

Also a meeting has been organised with Chris Grayling Shadow Home Secretary for 9th September 7.30pm, Bourne Hall, Ewell (see Epsom for more info). Help needed to promote and organise this large scale event.

_*+ 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 (, and for more group information see

*+ 1st May – Edinburgh NO2ID Meeting +*
Friday, 1st May at 7.00pm in The Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House,7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

_*+ Epsom +*_

A date for your diary: 9th September 7.30pm, Bourne Hall. The Epsom Group in conjunction with Sutton and Dorking are holding a Question Time / Public Meeting with Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Home Secretary and 3 or 4 other panellists. This will be a great opportunity to have your say directly to a possible new Home Secretary if the Conservatives win the next election. Volunteers needed to help promote the meeting.

If anyone wants to get involved in the Epsom area, please email or phone NO2ID South East Regional Coordinator Geoff Cox on or call 01306 631377.

* * _*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 7th April – Glasgow NO2ID Meeting (reverting to 1st Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday, 7th April at 8pm in Mono. All welcome. Please contact Geraint for further details:

_*+ Hebden Bridge +*_

*+ 16th April – Hebden Bridge NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday, 16th April 7.30 pm at the Fox and Goose. We are pleased to welcome along Councillor Nader Fekri from the local Liberal Democrats who will be joined by regional co-ordinator James Elsdon-Baker in saying a few words at the meeting. Can you please email if you intend to come along so we have an idea of numbers.

_*+ Norwich +*_

*+ 4th April – 1up Fest Music Event in support of NO2ID at The Queen Charlotte (and subsequently across the country) +*
On Saturday 4th April ska punkers The Faintest Idea ( will be giving out NO2ID paraphernalia on their merchandise stall, here playing along with Random Hand and The Skints at the 1up Fest weekender event.

*+ 11th April – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 11th April from 1pm until 3pm at The Haymarket on Gentleman’s Walk. Come to show your support and engage in database state debate.

*+ 14th April – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting +*
Tuesday, 14th April at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse) on Earlham Road from 7.30pm- 9pm. We will discuss events happening in the area, what we can do to raise awareness of this issue and further positive action we can take. Parking can be found nearby on Mill Hill Road and Park Lane.

*+ 24th April – Norwich NO2ID Stall at Mark Thomas Event at The Playhouse +*
Friday, 24th April sees Mark Thomas bringing his political comedy to Norwich. He has helpfully agreed to let us put a stand up to inform people about the cause, starting 7pm-8pm and then after the show 10pm-11pm approx.

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

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 25th April – Faringdon Peace Group ‘TAKING LIBERTIES’ event +*
Saturday, 25th April 2-6pm at the Corn Exchange, Faringdon. Admission free. All welcome. Refreshments. An afternoon of speeches and debate on the theme of the erosion of our civil liberties. Speakers: Tony Benn, Henry Porter, Scilla Elworthy, Derek Wall and Ed Vaizey MP. Chair: Malcolm Harper. More information from Jennie Chesterton 01367-710308, or Karen Vogt 01367-241707 or email

See the website for more:

_*+ Reading +*_

*+ 6th April – Reading NO2ID Meeting +*
Monday, 6th April 8pm in The Great Expectations pub

_*+ Selby +*_

*+ 4th April – Selby NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 4th April 10.30am Parliament Street, York – Selby group joining York group for a street stall.

_*+ Sheffield +*_

*+ 18th April – Sheffield NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 18th April 11am-2pm at the top of Fargate and the Peace Gardens the newly formed Sheffield NO2ID will be holding a street stall. Any people wishing to volunteer should contact

*+ 6th May – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting (1st Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday, 6th May at 7.30pm upstairs at The Harlequin Pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG ( The plan is to carry on meeting on the first Wednesday of every month. We hope to welcome along all those who wished to come to the first meeting but were not able!

_*+ Shrewsbury +*_

*+ 20th April – Shrewsbury NO2ID “dining club” (3rd Monday of the month) +*
Monday, 20th April – 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 (or 07973 848910) if you’d like to come along.

_*+ Worcester +*_

*+ 8th April – Worcester NO2ID Meeting (2nd Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday, 8th April 8pm at The Portobello Inn, St Johns, Worcester (map available from our website Look out for the NO2ID logo to spot us if you have not been before. Its an open door policy. Anyone can come along regardless of your stance, experience or awareness on the issues regarding or related to the National Identity Scheme. Why not bring a friend and join us for some drinks!

Stay tuned for the details of the meeting’s outcome on our website blog

“ID” in the news

*+ Tough New Rules Target Bogus Colleges And Education Cheats – The Sikh Times 31/3/09 +*
Institutions have to register with the UK Border Agency before they are allowed to sponsor international students to come here under the student tier of Britain’s tough new points system.

*+ Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed – The Guardian 31/3/09 +*
Under the proposals, vehicles will emit a constant “heartbeat” revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. Roads in the UK are already subject to the closest surveillance of any in the world. Police control a database that is fed information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, and are able to deduce the journeys of as many as 10 million drivers a day. Details are stored for up to five years.

*+ Government may lift lid on NHS IT project secrecy – ComputerWorldUK 27/3/09 +*
The government may do a dramatic U-turn and start releasing the findings of its Gateway Review project management reports on major IT projects.

*+ Data sharing plans face further scrutiny – Computing 26/3/09 +*
The government will face a continued fight to introduce plans for greater public sector information sharing despite dropping controversial proposals last week. Privacy campaigners know that legislation is almost certain to be re-introduced —? but next time as a law of its own, rather than as an addition to a largely unrelated bill, which was the case with the now-scrapped Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill.

*+ Warning to Tories that abolishing ID cards will cost £40m – Scotsman 24/3/09 +*
Scrappimg plans for a national identity card scheme would cost £40 million, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said yesterday. In an attack on the Conservatives, who have pledged to abolish the scheme, Ms Smith said doing so would “not free up a large fund of money to spend on other priorities”.

*+ Home Office details early ID vendors – Kable 24/3/09 +*
The Home Office has listed 3M and nCipher as providers to the early stage of the National Identity Scheme. Home secretary Jacqui Smith said that, as well as Thales’ £18m contract for development of technology and processes — which was publicised last year — nCipher will be paid about £1.3m for a contract to provide “public key infrastructure and security related work”.

*+ ID cards not compulsory after all, says Home Office – The Register 24/3/09 +*
Plans to make ID cards compulsory for UK citizens at some point in the middle distance have been officially abandoned, apparently. According to the Home Office’s revised counter-terrorism strategy document, published today, “It is not our intention that identity cards should be mandatory for UK nationals.”

*+ Security flaws halt work on ContactPoint child database – The Times 24/3/09 +*
Security flaws have halted work on the internet database designed to hold the details of 11 million children and teenagers. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) admitted last night that it had uncovered problems in the system for shielding details of an estimated 55,000 vulnerable children.

*+ Stasi HQ UK… where details of all your journeys are secretly logged and kept for a decade – Daily Mail 21/3/09 +*
This anonymous office building on a business park near Heathrow Airport is where the Government has begun monitoring millions of British holidaymakers using its controversial new ‘terrorist detector’ database.

*+ Government flags ID cost increase – Kable 18/3/09 +*
Meg Hillier told Parliament on 11 March 2009 that introducing and producing passports containing fingerprints will cost “about 70%” of the ten year budget of the National Identity Scheme for UK nationals, currently £4.785m. This would put the specific costs of identity cards at around £1.44bn.

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

NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ

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