Web www.williambowles.info
Statewatch News Online, 27 September, 2007

NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 81 - 28th September 2007

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 not a working email address)


Preparing to relaunch their anti-ID single, 'Integral', the Pet Shop Boys - outspoken critics of the government's National Identity Scheme - asked NO2ID to create some new pages on our website. We were more than happy to oblige: http://www.no2id.net/psbs/

Picking up on the song's themes of ID cards and the erosion of civil liberties by the government, Pet Shop Boys worked with new creative group the Rumpus Room to create a sinister mix of surveillance type footage and information technology as content for their new music video.

Embedded in the dystopian film are single frames of Quick Response Code, a new barcode technology which works in a similar way to supermarket checkout scanners. Fans are able to access embedded codes linking to featured websites, such as NO2ID's, by pausing the video on the QR Code frame and taking a snapshot with their mobile camera.

*** STOP PRESS ***

Thanks to everyone who joined in the anti-ID debate at Friction.tv - we are now one of the top Hot Debates on the site. Why not upload your own video, and start a new debate on the aspect of the database state that disturbs you the most? Or continue debating at: http://www.friction.tv/debate.php?debateno=851

What's next?

Local groups news

We have new local groups in Newcastle and Gateshead (see below for details of their first meeting), the groups can be contacted at (newcastle@no2id.net) and (gateshead@no2id.net). We now have groups in 36 of the 69 locations of ID interrogation centres (see www.no2id.net/getInvolved/idCentres.php). If you can help to set up a local group in one of the remaining towns then please contact us at (office@no2id.net). A full list of local groups can be found at www.no2id.net/localGroups

Taunton NO2ID needs your help

Our Taunton local group co-ordinator is stepping down. Anyone in the Taunton area interested in taking over this role should contact local.groups@not2id.net

Still showing - "Taking Liberties" documentary film featuring NO2ID at cinemas around the country

The documentary which features NO2ID is still showing at a few cinemas across the UK. The film is described as "a shocking but hilarious polemic documentary that charts the destruction of all your Basic Liberties under 10 Years of New Labour". More info at http://www.noliberties.com/cinema.htm

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 (edinburgh@no2id.net), and for more group information see http://www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/

Most Saturdays 2pm - NO2ID Glasgow Street Stall

Most Saturdays there are stalls in Glasgow city centre (usually Buchanan Street) from about 2pm. Volunteers are always welcome, please contact Geraint if you would like to help: glasgow@no2id.net

Passport interrogations (Glasgow)

Glasgow NO2ID are keen to hear from anyone who has been summoned to attend the interrogation centre at Blythswood House after applying for their first passport. Please contact Geraint at glasgow@no2id.net or Charlie at myspace.com/no2idglasgow

October - Proposed Liverpool NO2ID meeting

Liverpool NO2ID are currently scouting for venues to get something together for an evening meeting in October. If anybody can make the meeting, the objective will really be to throw ideas into the hat and discuss things.  If people can't make the meeting, they can fire stuff over via email for the meeting to discuss. Contact liverpool@no2id for more information.

2nd October - Newcastle & Gateshead NO2ID meeting

Tuesday, 2nd October 7pm at Bridge Hotel in Newcastle
The Newcastle and Gateshead group will be holding their inaugural meeting.

2nd October - Highbury NO2ID Meeting

Tuesday, 2nd October 7:30pm. Highbury NO2ID has a question tabled at the council's public meeting.  The meeting starts at 7.30pm and you will need to be there at this time, however our question has an early slot on the agenda and you can leave afterwards. NO2ID supporters are very welcome to come along! Venue: Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UD. Contact highbury@no2id.net for more information.

2nd & 3rd October - Cambridge University Student Union Societies' Fair

Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd October - Cambridge NO2ID will have a presence at the Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) Societies' Fair (http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/societies/fair/). Volunteers to help very welcome - contact Andrew on 07710 469624, or email cambridge@no2id.net.

3rd October - Cambridge NO2ID pub meeting

Wednesday, 3rd October 7.30pm at the Free Press (pub), 7 Prospect Row, Cambridge CB1 1DU - Cambridge NO2ID's informal pub meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month. Location map at (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=cb1+1du). For more details contact cambridge@no2id.net, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

4th October - Hull NO2ID Meeting CANCELLED

Hull NO2ID runs a monthly meeting on the first Thursday of every month. October's meeting is cancelled due to holidays etc. Contact hull@no2id.net for more information.

13th October - NO2ID Cambridge Stall

Saturday, 13th October at 10am - Cambridge NO2ID'S next street stall will be in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall. Location Map: http://tinyurl.com/eo42r. As ever, volunteers to help very welcome - please email cambridge@no2id.net, or text/call Alex on 07811 917096 if you can make it.

13th October - Manchester NO2ID Street Stall

Saturday, 13th October 1-3pm in St. Anne's Square. The main objectives of the afternoon will be to raise awareness among the  public, engage people in discussion about the NIR, and collect petitions for the NO2ID petition to keep people in touch with the campaign. We'll meet in the square itself at 1pm 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!

17th October - Manchester NO2ID Meeting

Wednesday, 17th October 7-9pm in the upstairs function room of the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us if you have accessibility needs. 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. The Town Hall Tavern serves reasonably-priced, good quality food until 8pm so you don't need to pop home for tea - you can even order your meal brought up to the function room.

What just happened?

More than 15,000 attend "Freedom not Fear" demo in Berlin

On Saturday, 22 September more than 15,000 took to the streets of Berlin under the slogan "Liberty instead of Fear - stop the Surveillance Mania!". Several civil liberty organisations affiliated in the "Working Group Data Retention" (Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung) organised the march. "This is the largest protest for civil liberties and privacy protection since the census in 1987", Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein said to news portal tagesschau.de. Rena Tangens of FoeBuD e.V. said: "The overwhelming success of this protest shows that by now a large proportion of the population are worried about our constitutional state. Citizens do not want our democracy to be turned into a surveillance state." There have been reports on Indymedia Germany of heavy-handed police action including use of tear gas against a person carrying a mask of minister Schauble as well as widespread filming of demo participants which was naturally seen as provocation at a march against surveillance. A German TV news report of the demo can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOJZCGAcniI

Bus pass wars in Edinburgh

Four sixth-formers researching for projects on ID cards, along with a teacher, were a welcome addition to the usual audience at the Edinburgh group meeting on 20 September.  They heard a talk by retired academic John Welford describing his campaign to publicise the fact the the Scottish National Entitlement Card (SNEC), an ID card in all but name, has been deceitfully foisted on to pensioners and the disabled under the guise of a bus pass.  Dundee for example is already extending its use to cover libraries - classical function creep - and there are proposals to extend it to other council services and to health services.  The introduction of the system is reminiscent of the Poll Tax, being tried out in Scotland before being imposed in England.  Having returned his SNEC John Welford has been campaigning for over a year to receive a 'proper' bus pass and has meanwhile collected over £300 worth of tickets.

Manchester NO2ID relaunches Students Against ID

Manchester NO2ID, with support from OpenMedia, Liberal Democrat Youth and Students, the Industrial Workers of the World Union and Young Greens, has relaunched the "Students Against ID" society at Manchester University. This society will work to spread the word of the National Identity Register among students and encourage the Students' Union to oppose the scheme. Similar societies will be launched at Manchester Met and other universities soon.

Kensington & Chelsea NO2ID News

On the 1st September we had a successful stall at St Barnabas Community Fete where we attracted attention and obtained 219 signatures and over £40 in donations. We were greatly helped by members from Islington and Brixton. There was an element in favour of ID cards but few could produce a coherent reason for their view. Kensington and Chelsea still have NO2ID mugs - £7 by mail order, contact kensington@no2id.net for more details of how to order.

AC Grayling presents the principled argument against ID cards

The philosopher A. C. Grayling has answered the question 'Are ID cards either philosophically or pragmatically justifiable?' in October's Prospect Magazine. And Professor Grayling's answer is: "Emphatically no. A requirement for every citizen to carry a device that enables the authorities to demand immediate information about them dramatically changes the relationship of individuals to the state, from being private citizens to being numbered conscripts. An ID card or device (technology will rapidly supplant plastic cards because the latter are too easily lost or stolen) is a surveillance instrument, a tracking device, like a car number plate or the kind of tag punched into a cow's ear". See http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9816

Banking and the Government's Data-sharing Agenda

As the credit-crunch hits the financial market surely it won't be too long before we hear once again about the government's proposals for data-sharing, this time in the banking sector. Back in January they closed a consultation into "the removal of barriers to the sharing of non-consensual credit data". The government has suggested allowing banks and lenders to share details of 33 million current accounts with credit reference agencies, without the consent of the individuals concerned. Such proposals are part of an ongoing data-sharing agenda that if allowed to proceed will abolish privacy in the UK.  Groups such as checkmyfile have raised concerns about the sharing of bank details that the government claim will help tackle over-indebtedness. Barry Stamp, Joint Managing Director of checkmyfile.com, the online supplier of credit reports to UK consumers, said: "For the Government’s proposal to come into effect it would have to change the law in such a way that it would drive a coach and horses through consumer civil rights, data protection and banking confidentiality laws."
Details of the proposals can be found at

Germany to introduce electronic national ID card

According to a report by the "Koelner Anzeiger" ("Cologne Advertiser"), the German coalition government is planning to introduce an electronic national ID card. The paper was quoting the main points in the amendment to the German "Personalausweis-gesetz" (German National ID Card Act). The Koelner Anzeiger went on to say that the proposal by the German Interior Ministry was met with agreement from home affairs experts in the conservative CDU/CSU coalition and the SPD. The new ID card will reportedly be the size of a cheque card and - as is the case at the moment - carry a visible digital photo of the holder. Two fingerprints, i.e., one each of the holder's left and right index fingers, and a PIN code will also be stored invisibly on the card. The report said that holders will have to use the PIN code to register themselves in future when dealing with the authorities, e.g., when registering a new car or obtaining official information. The report said that the new card could also be used when registering to vote.

Government responds to child fingerprinting petition

This week the government responded to a number 10 website e-petition against child fingerprinting. The predictable response can be read at

"ID" in the news

Patient records found on drive sold on eBay - e-Health Insider 26/9/07

A hard drive of a trust computer containing patient data was sold using auction website eBay, with data improperly wiped. The trust has now launched an investigation into how the computer part was made available online. It is feared the hard disk may have been stolen from one of the trust’s hospitals.

Government awards biometric IT deal - IT Pro 21/9/07

The Home Office has placed an order worth $4.4 million (£2.2 million) for fingerprint scanning devices as part of its new UKvisas programme. The Florida-based scanner vendor, Cross Match today announced it had been awarded a contract through the UK's Home Office Biometrics Framework Agreement.

Celebrity's details illicitly viewed by NHS staff - e-Health Insider 20/9/07

Reports that the records of a celebrity were illicitly viewed by over 50 members of staff at an NHS hospital look set to further fan fears about the confidentiality of patient records in the NHS Care Records Service now under development. Ironically, the incident was cited in board papers for North Tees Primary Care Trust only as an illustration of why it was necessary to tighten procedures for staff to access sensitive personal medical records.

The rest of Britain must follow in the footsteps of the Scots when it comes to DNA record storage - The Guardian 19/9/07

The question we need to ask about the storing of DNA samples is the same as the one bedevilling our approach to identity cards, and stiff anti-terrorism legislation. Crudely, it is this: how much interference with our liberties are we - as a society, as individuals - prepared to countenance in the cause of public safety?

UK ID card bidders in conference with IPS - Security Document World 18/9/07

In the region of fifty interested suppliers have met with the UK’s Identity & Passport Service (IPS) at a conference last week especially designed to explain the goals of the complex procurement process. IPS commercial director Bill Crothers said: "Today’s bidder’s conference for the National Identity Scheme (NIS) marks the successful conclusion of the next stage of the procurement process for the Scheme. The conference was very well attended and the Identity & Passport Service and its partner agencies engaged effectively with a good mix of suppliers.”

Whitehall stalls release of reports using FOI Act - Computer Weekly 17/9/07

The government is exploiting a feature in the Freedom of Information Act which allows it put off indefinitely the release of internal reports on the ID cards scheme and the NHS IT programme, despite rulings that they should be published. Until any final decision is taken, which is likely to be 2009 or 2010, the Cabinet Office is entitled to keep the Downing Street papers secret. The papers are already five years old.

Treaty could pave way for European ID card - Daily Telegraph 17/9/07

Euro passports and ID cards could be on the way under new powers written into the EU Treaty, it was disclosed yesterday. The Daily Telegraph has learned that existing safeguards preventing EU interference with national identity documents have been quietly dropped.

US: Fingerprinting kids Simple step helps police with ID - CantonRep.com 16/9/07

Not one of the 300 youngsters that Stark sheriff's deputies fingerprinted at the Stark County Fair this summer was a criminal. Like thousands of law enforcement agencies, civic groups and organizations across the nation, the sheriff's department asked children to place their pinkies and all of their other digits on record in the name of safety.

Firms invited to bid for tenders to supply controversial smart cards - The Scotsman 16/9/07

Every adult Scot is to be offered a controversial smart card to access council services as part of an expansion of the use of electronic information. As part of a move described by a Scottish Government official as the "tip of the iceberg", the 'National Entitlement Card' will store personal details and could potentially be used to access healthcare and to pay for public transport.

Spain: eID scores a million - epractice.eu 14/9/07

Spain’s national basketball squad got their new eID cards from the country’s interior minister in person, to mark the issuing of Spain’s millionth electronic identity card. According to the interior ministry, the eID project will “put Spain in the world vanguard of security and identity technologies”.

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

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