Archive for the ‘No2Id’ Category

BTC – Today I heard about the retirement of Phillip Booth, a hero in the international fight against national ID cards and data surveillance.  Phil led the UK to the first of several victories in the nation’s fight against eruptive onslaughts of gestating identity programs.

“No one should underestimate the debt the whole country owes to Phil Booth. His incredible energy and hard work has been key in making NO2ID the fastest growing and most successful campaign group in modern British history, killing the Home Office’s identity scheme dead. Our task now is to use that invaluable legacy and experience and take the fight to the surveillance state.” — Guy Herbert, Phil Booth’s successor

Booth led NO2ID six years from inception through this February, 2011.

Without a doubt, Booth’s conscientious delivery towards the goal of protecting citizens from identity abuses will be what he is known for.

There was talk that he would return to a life as sculpture artist.

One could see the allure of having achievements carved in stone or cast in metal.  The evidence of legislative art is more akin to a sand mandala; which upon completion is then taken by monks and dumped into the river to return to the earth.  This type of work is symbolic, impermanent and eternally slavish to the process of death. The iterations of strength are exercised as freedom from attachment. However, this disallows observance of a more final permanent work past the hourly, weekly, monthly and even yearly institution of the labors granted.

Activism as an artform doesn’t necessarily ground to renew with impartiality. One can be left imbued with a visceral understanding of the baser natures of man creatures.  The experience taken in excess or without adequate relief will make one recalcitrant, apathetic or insensitive to legal versions of collateral damage resulting in compassion fatigue.

Reporting and news sources don’t help longevity of messaging.  They can turn over the foundation of great work like a faddish “hit”; which came and went in the washes of a 24 hour news cycle.  It can be about as satisfying as being fed into a hamburger grinder.

Some of us certainly feel a loss in arms, possibly envy, as Booth returns to the mystery of life-in-general or life after the charitable fight.

The following clip is relatable.  In the film Alien 3, the beleaguered protagonist Ripley is caught off guard and unarmed by a pursuant alien.  The team was not yet free of the consumptive menace of her alien foe or of the fight itself.

http://www.hulu.com/edp/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymotion.com%2Fvideo%2Fx7mpkf_alien-3-xenocide-step-one_shortfilms/embed/DgyOmAAjm16qFjE90WCLkw

c/o No2ID UK  –The Cabinet Office has outlined plans for a new Public Data Corporation which the government intends to set up this year. The Cabinet Office press release states:

“The Corporation will, for the first time, bring together Government bodies and data into one organisation and provide an unprecedented level of easily accessible public information and drive further efficiency in the delivery of public services.”

Little detailed information is available at this time.

SCOTLAND’S BACK-DOOR ID CARD BATTLE

Among the most dedicated opponents of the Blair government’s Identity Cards Act were the SNP. However, as the government of Scotland they seem to have other ideas, as Geraint Bevan, coordinator of NO2ID Scotland, explains:

UK ID cards are no longer valid, but National Entitlement Cards (ID cards by another name) continue to be issued in Scotland. These multi-purpose cards, which masquerade under a wide range of guises including concessionary travel and YoungScot cards, are issued by local authorities and provide access to various services.

According to ministers, the cards are voluntary and alternative means of accessing services should be made available, except for concessionary travel. In practice, many schoolchildren have been told that they *must* apply for a card to buy school meals – or even to enter school premises.

Each card is linked to a “Citizens Account” unless card-holders explicitly reject data-sharing on the application form. Citizens Accounts are records of personal information stored on a network of databases operated by Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Even when not linked to a Citizens Account, the cards are privacy deficient. For example, when used as a bus pass, personal information about the card-holder is transmitted to the bus operator and details of the passenger and journey are recorded and logged on central government
databases.

The scheme was introduced under the previous Labour/Lib Dem coalition, but has continued under the current SNP administration.

Related news: TrackCare, A new Patient Management System for Scotland goes live.

IN OTHER NEWS:

ID Card Report Was Supressed

The publication of a report which raised concerns about the ID-scheme was delayed – leading to the suggestion that it was suppressed in the run up to the general election. The report by the Independent Scheme Assurance Panel (ISAP) was given to the Home Office in late 2009, but
only published this month. A February 2010 response to the ISAP report has also been released.

NHS (National Health System)review includes Opt-Out forms

The Summary Care Record system will make medical information about tens of millions of patients in England available to over 800,000 NHS staff. Patients have a right to opt out of having a Record. Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats promised to scrap Summary Care Records before they took power.

A judgement by the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was illegal for the Government to keep the DNA details of those arrested – but not convicted – for an offence.

EU/US: Transatlantic eHealth agreement signed 01-17-02011–Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes and United States Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Washington to promote a common approach on the interoperability of electronic health records and on education programmes for information technology and health professionals. [The US healthcare bill was repealed two days later.]

Border Agency plans £36.4m biometric collection contract

Destruction of ID card data to cost £400,000

STARTING OVER – “Too many people believe we’ve won.”
c/o No2ID

If you have an occasion to ask a member of the Government one question, it could be this: ‘Why review what you promised to scrap?’

ID cards for UK citizens have been abandoned, as has ContactPoint. But one by one the other privacy-threatening databases that we were told would be stoppedare being ‘reviewed’. A Civil Service review means business as usual for an indefinite period, even if it does not come back recommending no change.

An example: It is almost 2 years since the Human Rights Court ruled that retaining DNA and fingerprints once charges have been dropped is a fundamental invasion of privacy. But the police in England and Wales carry on collecting and retaining samples from almost everyone arrested for any reason. The coalition stated it would “adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database” – but no plans have been issued for doing even this.

The public debate has fallen quiet and needs to be woken up. Too many people think we have won. In a way we are starting the campaign again – but we are not starting from scratch.

NO2ID has *you*: the most effective support network of any civil liberties campaign. Together we can rouse the public and shake up complacent press and politicians.

And as with ID cards, the more people know about it the less they like it.

A PLEDGE TO CONTINUE

In late 2005, when the ID Cards Bill was being pushed through Parliament, over 11,000 people signed NO2ID’s pledge to refuse to register for an ID card and to donate £10 to a legal defence fund to assist those who challenged the Scheme. When we called in the pledge in November 2007 thousands of people donated and the money has been held in a dedicated bank account, untouched.

The Coalition is now scrapping ID cards and the National Identity Register, and the Identity Cards Act 2006 will soon be repealed. The compulsion to register was never imposed and has ceased to be a likelihood for the foreseeable future, but the bureaucratic obsession;with ID, mass surveillance and information trafficking goes on.

We therefore give notice that NO2ID intends to cease to hold a separate legal defence fund when the Identity Documents Bill, the repealing legislation, has passed both Houses, and to apply the funds to the general purposes of the campaign against the database state.

Much was given anonymously. The administrative cost of identifying and tracing everyone who gave by name could easily exceed the amount given. But we will respect your wishes if you were only against ID cards and do not want your donation used in our future fight against the database state.

If you gave and would like your pledge returned write to NO2ID:

PLEDGEBANK,
Box 412, 19-21
Crawford Street, London W1H 1PJ
(with evidenceof your donation.)

If you would like to help our continuing campaign to:

* STOP all unnecessary collection by government of personal information about law-abiding residents of the United Kingdom;

* STOP sharing of personal information between government bodies, orits use for new purposes, without the genuine, informed consent of the persons concerned or a specific warrant from a court;

* BUILD positive protections in law for individual privacy; and

* CREATE a right to compensation for unauthorised use of personal information;

-then you can of course send a further donation to the same address.

*+ 17th November – Identity Documents Bill Report Stage/3rd Reading House of Lords +*

The Identity Documents [repeal] Bill has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and will next move on to Committee Stage in the House of Lords.

Follow the bill’s progress at:  http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/identitydocuments.html

“From medical confidentiality and the right to opt out of the Summary Care Record to the unlawful retention of innocent people’s profiles on the DNA database; from snooping on communications data (your phone, e-mail and browsing records) to rampant government sponsored data trafficking, such as was proposed in Clause 152 of the Coroners & Justice Bill; from highlighting the dangers of population registers and systems like Contactpoint to pressing for more meaningful control over our own personal information – NO2ID must go on.”

Related news:

UK child protection database audit scrutinized
ID cards raised £196k in fees income
UK’s first digital rights conference, Open Rights Group 
Nick Clegg’s “laws you want axed” 
  

c/o No2ID

This Monday (8th Feb) the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) began the next phase of the ID Card Con – targeting 16-24 year olds living in London.

Minister for Identity, Meg Hillier invited the media to come and see the first ‘volunteer’ be fingerprinted at 8:30am. A dozen or more hardy NO2ID supporters mounted a chilly white protest in biting winds and the odd flurry of snow outside Victoria passport office. IPS security decided to stay in the warm, and keep an eye on us through the window.

Getting there half an hour before the minister meant we caught the media going in – and also coming out. Phil Booth gave interviews to ITV news and the Press Association cameras, and reporters from several London university newspapers. Guy Herbert spoke to news radio.

Inside the passport office, according to one person watching, the volunteer actually referred to himself as a guinea-pig. Shame he didn’t get the full message on the flyers we were handing out, which is *don’t* be a guinea-pig.

Bizarrely, one young man walking past our protest waved what looked like an ID card at us. He was turned away from the front door, but headed in by the side entrance. Members of the media said later he was a member of an IPS Public Panel “independent scrutiny” groups, hand-picked by IPS – which may explain how he came to be issued with a card before the
‘first’ volunteer…

Glimpsing Ms Hillier through the glass around 9:30am, we rapidly relocated our protest round the corner. But to no avail. The Minister snuck out another way, leaving another decidedly low-key media event without directly engaging her critics.

For more information, flyers to download and print off, and notice of upcoming ‘Stop the ID Card Con’ events in London and across the North West [UK], please visit: http://www.no2id.net/idcardcon/

Guy Fawke’s Day

with Phil Booth of No2ID

Tune in tomorrow for a special program featuring international identity advocate, Phil Booth of No2ID.

No2ID runs continual campaigns against every successive incarnation of national ID card manufactured by the current UK Parlament & Home Security Office. In previous entries we have presented news of their successes and struggles.

To date, no other nation suffers with the level of closed circuit televised surveillance (CCTV) of independent citizens than the UK. The level of public surveillance surpasses that of Red China. This practice is very conspicuous for a democratic government.

This 5th of November, we adjust our format for an organizer very clearly committed to bringing forward the result of a life freed of the vices of national identity, an end to a pre-emptive criminal databases and the UK database state.
Listen in tomorrow on Waking Up Orwell 9AM CST on BlogTalkRadio.com/beatthechiporg.

NEXT WEEK ON Waking Up Orwell : Dahr Jamail, bestselling author of Beyond The Green Zone distills the struggle of GI resisters. He reports on the post-military process for active service members who either cannot or will not return to the call of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of his recent work covers the digital censorship of their voice, GI resisters campaigning for office and of those who become political prisoners of conscience.

c/o No2ID

The biggest cheer that Brown got at the Labour Party Conference was when delegates thought he had announced that the ID scheme had been cancelled. He did not. He only repeated the same misleading things that every Home Secretary has said about the scheme since it was first mooted. But he did so with a flourish, as if announcing something new.

This seems to have fooled a lot of people to judge from newspaper reports and our own mailbag. All Brown said was that the scheme would be ‘voluntary’ to start and would not be compulsory for a while. As ever he focused public attention on the cards and said nothing about the database.

Remember that the Home Office’s idea of “voluntary” is probably different from yours. It means a scheme you cannot ever leave (unless it dies before you do) once you “agree” to be included. And it is a scheme that you will be compelled to “volunteer” for if you ever wish to apply for any official document “designated” by the Home Secretary, the first of which is planned to be a passport – from some point in 2011.


More explanation of the Home Office’s clever plan here.