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NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 54 - 14 September 2006

NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 54 - 14th September 2006

Contacting us: Call or email the office - 020-7793-4005 or (office@no2id.net). Please do not reply to this email. (The from address is the not a working email address)


As we have reported over the last few weeks the government are planning to begin face to face interviews for first time passport applicant from autumn of this year. The project named 'Authentication by Interview' (AbI) was due to launch in October, though UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) literature is now talking of "from late 2006"[1]. To facilitate this new program they will be opening 69 interrogation centres around the country. Eventually many more will be opened and by 2009 face-to-face interviews will be compulsory for all passport applicants, even renewals, as part of the ID card programme. UKIPS have announced the towns and cities where these 69 offices are to be located[2] but the specific properties have still not been revealed. The contract to set up a new network of passport offices was won by Mapeley (the controversial property company that bought the offices off the Inland Revenue in a controversial outsourcing deal five years ago)[3].

Can you help us locate the 69 centres? Has there been a story in your local paper or a planning application notice? If you have any information about the exact address of one of the interrogation centres then please contact us at (office@no2id.net).

Over the coming months these centres will be a focus of our campaigning against the ID card scheme. NO2ID has now set up local groups in 27 of the 69 locations and many of these groups have already brought the issue to the attention of the local media[4]. If you live in one of the locations that we do not yet have a group[5] then please consider setting one up (contact us at office@no2id.net).


[1] http://www.passport.gov.uk/downloads/Passport-Interview-Network-May2006_new.pdf
[2] Map of centres - http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,295266,00.jpg
[3] See 'Passport offices deal won by Mapeley' in Newsletter 41
[4] 'ID office Big Brother fear' - http://tinyurl.co.uk/bfag
[5] The remaining locations are: Aberdeen, Andover, Armagh, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blackburn, Boston, Bury St Edmunds, Camborne, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Crawley, Derby, Dover, Dumfries, Exeter, Galashiels, Hastings, Ipswich, Kendal, Kilmarnock, Kings Lynn, Lincoln, Liverpool, Luton, Maidstone, Middlesbrough, Newport, Northallerton, Northampton, Norwich, Oban, Omagh, Peterborough, Scarborough, Shrewsbury, St Austell, Stirling, Stoke on Trent, Warwick, Wick, Wrexham, Yeovil.

What's next?

Stop Press: Finalised comedy fundraiser line up

The full line up for the NO2ID comedy benefit event (1st October) has now been announced: Dara O'Briain will headline and Daniel Kitson will MC. Full details below.

New Local Groups

We have new local groups in two of the regions earmarked for passport interrogation centres - Swansea in Wales and Coleraine in Northern Ireland. The groups can be contacted at swansea@no2id.net and coleraine@no2id.net respectively. We still need many more local groups particularly in the locations of the passport interrogation centres that are opening this autumn (we now have groups in 27 out of 69 locations). A full list of local groups can be found at www.no2id.net/localGroups/index.php.

Party conference season - Volunteers required

We need volunteers to help at the forthcoming party conferences in Manchester (Labour 24th-28th Sept), Bournemouth (Tory 1st-4th Oct), and Brighton (LibDem 16th-21st Sept) and Hove (Green 21st-24th Sept). We also intend to cover Telford(UKIP 7th-8th October), Perth (Scottish National Party 11th-14th Oct) and Swansea (Plaid Cymru 21st-24th Sept). Presence is important. Even a couple hours handing out leaflets to delegates is well worth while. In Manchester, there will be much more fun. Contact us at office@no2id.net if you can spare some time.

Mass Lone Protest

A few NO2ID members went to the last Mass Lone Protest on Parliament Square a week or two back. There will be another one on Friday 22 September. Basically the protest is a ridiculing / challenge to the SOCPA law that prohibits protest on Parliament Square and the surrounding area. But these protests give individuals the chance of expressing exactly what they want to express. You could, for example, denounce the need for fatter wallets upon the introduction of ID Cards, or something a lot more serious, such as the severe invasion of privacy or the infringement of civil liberties. Check the website of Mark Thomas (comedian and activist) for details, or read the previous Guardian articles tell your mates and come down for one of the strangest protests you'll ever see! For all the necessary forms and stuff, drop and email to guyt@mac.hush.com
See: Mark Thomas: www.markthomasinfo.com
Guardian article: http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1857181,00.html

18th, 19th & 21st September - Manchester University Freshers Fair

Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th & Thursday 21st September, 10pm - 4pm at the Fresher's Fair at the
Manchester Academy (and the Underground on the Sackville Street campus on the Monday). Manchester NO2ID will be helping to advertise a new University society opposed to the National ID Register, and need volunteers to take signatures and hand out flyers. Please e-mail Dave Page (manchester@no2id.net)or join the Manchester NO2ID mailing list if you're able to help out! (See http://manchester.no2id.net)

20th September - Manchester NO2ID Flyering

Wednesday 20th September, 5:30pm - 6:30pm at Victoria Station. The Fortnightly Flyering takes on the elegant surroundings of Manchester Victoria station!

24th -28th September - Manchester NO2ID - Labour Party Conference 2006

Sunday 24th - Thursday 28th September. New Labour, the blinkered authoritarians behind the National Identity Register, will be holding their Party Conference in Manchester.  Tens of thousands of Mancunians have already been subject to expensive and inaccurate Criminal Records Bureau checks, but we'll make sure that New Labour get the message from Manchester NO2ID that their plans are expensive, invasive and flawed! Details to be announced closer to the time, keep an eye on the Manchester NO2ID mailing list for up-to-the-minute information. (See http://manchester.no2id.net)

NO2ID Cambridge Campaign stall & student volunteers

Cambridge NO2ID will be running Saturday street stalls outside Cambridge Guildhall from 10am to noon on 23rd September, 14th October, and every third Saturday into the new year. Location: (http://tinyurl.com/eo42r). Volunteers to help very welcome - contact Andrew Watson via cambridge@no2id.net, or on 07710 469624. We will also have a presence at Cambridge University Student Union's Societies Fair in Cambridge's Kelsey Kerridge Sports Hall on October 3rd and 4th. If you're studying at the university and would like to help publicise NO2ID to your fellow students, please contact cambridge@no2id.net as soon as possible. (http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/societies/fair/)

Saturdays throughout September - Highbury NO2ID stall/leafleting - volunteers needed

Highbury NO2ID is trying to run a stall / hand out leaflets on each Saturday during September in order promote the 'Renew for Freedom' campaign before the 1st October passport changes.  Anyone in the North London area who can help out for an hour or so should contact Caroline Day at (highbury@no2id.net). The dates planned are Sept 16th, 23rd.  Times: 11pm to 2-3pm ish. Place: Highbury & Islington tube station.

Saturdays 1pm - 3pm - NO2ID Edinburgh Campaign stall

After a short break during the Edinburgh Festival NO2ID Edinburgh has resumed its regular Princes Street campaigning stall on Saturdays. We shall be at our usual location at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel, from 1pm - 3pm this coming Saturday.  We use our stall to raise public awareness of the Identity Cards scheme, collect donations and entries for the NO2ID petition, and also to increase membership of our group.  Please do pop by for a chat if you happen to be around.   We shall be aiming to have the stall up and running most Saturdays, and new volunteers are always very welcome. You can see photos of our stall and contact details at: www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/.

1st October - NO2ID Comedy Fundraiser gig - "Who do you think you are?" at the Hackney Empire

Sunday, 1st October, Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ. Doors 7.30 pm. Featuring Paul Sinha (Perrier award nominee 2006), Joise Long (Perrier best newcomer 2006), Kevin Eldon, Wil Hodgson (Perrier best newcomer 2004), Gary Le Strange (Perrier best newcomer 2003), Andrew O'Neill, Janie Phayre with MC Lucy Porter. All proceeds will go to NO2ID.
Box Office 020 8985 2424 or book online at www.hackneyempire.co.uk, Tickets £12.50

29th November - NO2ID Kensington and Chelsea Public Meeting

Speakers to include Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP. Other speakers and venue to be confirmed later. Contact kensington@no2id.net for more details

What just happened?

Abolition of privacy - government outlines its Dataveillance Agenda

On Wednesday (13th September) the government released details of their plans to extend data-sharing between public services. The Department for Constitutional Affairs published an 'Information sharing vision statement' which sets out their "vision for better, more customer-focused services supported by greater information-sharing which will protect and support individuals and society as a whole". The new data sharing agenda was launched alongside the Social Exclusion Action Plan and is being sold to the public as a way of improving "the life chances of those who suffer, or may suffer in the future, from disadvantage". In fact data sharing is a cornerstone of the government's national identity database - allowing complete data surveillance or 'Dataveillance'. Once the entire population is numbered via their National Identity Register Number (NIRN) then this will become the key to link all the records stored on all government databases. So whilst it may be true that medical records will not actually be stored on the National Identity Register, the identity register number combined with the data sharing agenda will allow medical records to be linked to the identity register. Effectively a huge virtual database will be constructed from hundreds of databases within government. Privacy will be destroyed. Yet this change in government policy has barely got a mention in mainstream news and there has been no public debate or consultation. A comprehensive plan for information-sharing across the public sector will be published in April 2007.
See http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/sharing/information-sharing.pdf
More on Dataveillance at http://tinyurl.co.uk/5kfo

Preston NO2ID protest at fingerprint school

Last Thursday (7th September) Preston NO2ID held a demo at Brockholes CP school in Preston. Campaigners held placards saying 'Beware Big Brother' and handed out leaflets following an article in Preston Citizen by journalist Chris Gee on the fingerprinting of small children for library cards. Prior to the demo Tracey Gillibrand, local co-ordinator for Preston NO2ID, went into the school to inform staff of their reasons for being there. Tracey said: "At first they said they didn't understand what we were protesting about, then I mentioned the newspaper article, to which they replied that it wasn't relevant any more, since the teacher who knew how to use the technology had left and gone abroad." There was a lot of interest from parents several of whom took leaflets. "It became rather interesting at one point, when I happened to speak to a woman who told me she was on the Board of Governors at the school", Tracey continued, "she told me that she'd asked the staff about the fingerprinting and they informed her they had already been doing it, but had now stopped. She was disgusted, because she had never been informed, despite her position on the Board". Tracey also heard of another school in Preston that sent a note to parents asking permission for their children to be fingerprinted, which had been worded in such a way that parents were "unable to comprehend" it.

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council passes anti ID motion

Last Wednesday (6th September) Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council passed a motion against the government's ID card scheme. The council voted to "only co-operate with the National Identity Card scheme where to do so would otherwise be unlawful". The motion was proposed by Lib Dem Councillor Richard Silvester, and all Liberal Democrat and Conservative Councillors voted to support it. The Labour Councillors voted against apart from a couple that abstained. A list of councils that have passed similar motions can be found at www.no2id.net/resources/motions/index.php.

Scottish Parliament motion against fingerprinting of children

A motion against the fingerprinting of school children was submitted to the Scottish Parliament by Green MSP Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) this week. The motion "notes that school libraries have managed to function for generations without needing to treat schoolchildren like criminals; believes that children should be taught in an environment which respects their autonomy and privacy and, indeed, encourages them to hold their civil liberties in high regard".

Blair on ID cards at TUC conference

Tony Blair used a speech at the TUC conference on Tuesday (12th September) to claim that a hi-tech identification system is required to allow our "open economy" to function. Blair said that the first UK citizen ID cards will be issued by 2009 and that they are needed because "the sophistication of document forgery means we can only be confident of people's identities if we have their biometrics - their fingerprints, irises and digital measures of their face". He also said that "we will have to have a system of electronic borders, checking in and checking out all our visitors". He failed to mention the loss of privacy, total surveillance, enormous cost or security risk of such measures.

"ID" in the news

ID card scheme changes tack - Computing 14/9/06

The government is taking the first steps to creating the national identity card project from existing systems, confirming a shift away from earlier plans to build the scheme from scratch. Under the new approach ID cards will be developed where possible from existing Whitehall technology, procedures and information, replacing the original plan for a traditional, monolithic, multibillion-pound programme.

More Britons applying for Irish passports - The Guardian 13/9/06

Applications from UK-born citizens for Irish passports have more than doubled in the past year. As many as 6 million people in the UK have an Irish grandfather or grandmother, which entitles them to claim citizenship in the Republic.

Headmaster justifies fingerprinting pupils - The Register 11/9/06

The headmaster of Porth County Comprehensive School in South Wales has defended fingerprinting all 1,400 of his pupils days after their parents were told about the scheme last Wednesday. Children had their fingers scanned for a system that will replace the old fashioned school register with biometric scanners in every class room.

Prints 'just a bit of fun' says Head - thisisscunthorpe.co.uk 11/9/06

A Headteacher has defended a system which scans fingerprints of children as young as five to allow them to borrow books, saying it was simply meant to be a fun way of using technology. The decision to introduce the scheme at Eastoft Church of England Primary School sparked anger and concern, with two parents objecting to their six-year-old daughter's fingerprint being scanned.

US: Sioux City hosts child ID program - Sioux City Journal 11/9/06

Nebraska and Iowa Masonic Lodge members put on Sioux City's first comprehensive Child Identification Program, called CHIP, on Saturday, recording crucial personal information for more than 60 area children. The five different methods of identification used -- photo, video, DNA swab, dental impression and fingerprinting -- have been a part of Nebraska's CHIP program for the past two years.

Great Britain's National ID Card: What Does it Mean for The United States? - public cio.com 8/9/06

Many have called the implementation of national ID cards a shift toward totalitarianism. With the strict requirement to register residential moves, the audit trail of every card use, and the sheer amount of personal data collected, the Orwellian tone of the scheme becomes ever more noticeable.

Schools can fingerprint children without parental consent - The Register 7/9/06

Parents cannot prevent schools from taking their children's fingerprints, according to the Department for Education and Skills and the Information Commissioner. But parents who have campaigned against school fingerprinting might still be able to bring individual complaints against schools under the Data Protection Act (DPA).

Tell the EC about surveillance - The Register 6/9/06

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the use of surveillance technology in civil society. At the initiative's heart is the desire to work with industry to create more and better surveillance systems that it can use to monitor the public in order to prevent terrorist attacks.

Canada: E-Passports may unlock doors to your privacy - Straight.com 7/9/06

As early as 2008, your old Canadian passport may be replaced by a digitally encoded document that exposes you to the risks of identity theft, government abuse, and widespread electronic surveillance.

NHS IT: NAO planning to look again at NPfIT - E-Health Insider 5/9/06

The National Audit Office (NAO) has confirmed that it plans to carry out a second study of the late-running £12bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT). No date has yet been set for this new study to be carried out.

Child database attacked over celebrity exclusions - The Guardian 31/8/06

Government plans to exclude details of celebrities' children from a new national child database were today seized on as evidence that the system may pose a safety risk to those it is supposed to protect. The index, due to be introduced in 2008, will link sensitive information about England's 11 million children and their families in one database accessible to hundreds of thousands of officials.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter - Editor(newsletter@no2id.net) )

What you can do

You can help us by:

1. Getting involved with a local group

Organise leafleting, a stall or a public meeting to educate the public about the database that lies behind the proposed ID card scheme.
See http://www.no2id.net/localGroups

2. Helping to spread our message

Tell your friends and any organisations that you belong to about the NO2ID campaign and that you are supporting it. Most people are scarcely aware of the government's ID database project, and few understand the dangers. Feel free to redistribute this newsletter to acquaintances.

* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
Publication details: © NO2ID 2006 - 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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