Archive for the ‘UK. identity’ Category

Philip Johnston argues that there always was a much better alternative to this costly plan.

UK Register’s Philip Johnston 

The Coalition’s first Bill will be debated in the House of Commons tomorrow and, fittingly, it involves the repeal of a measure that is emblematic of the last Labour government’s time in office: ID cards.

  :::MORE HERE:::

*UK dances to their success*

Keeping Up The Pressure
c/o  No2ID

With Second Reading of the Identity Documents Bill 2010-11 (i.e. the first debate in the Commons) scheduled for Wednesday 9th June, moves to dismantle the National Identity Scheme are truly under way.

The Bill as drafted is not quite perfect – there remain some technical issues which we shall be briefing Parliamentarians to amend or remove at Committee stage (where changes are actually made) – but it should do the job. And we shall continue to do ours: lobbying, analysis, briefings… the fight against the database state in Westminster and Whitehall, though often less visible than other forms of campaigning, is a vital part of NO2ID’s work.

It is a positive sign that the very first Bill introduced by the coalition government is one to repeal the Identity Cards Act. But the government’s continued failure to act on Summary Care Record uploads, despite promising in the Coalition Agreement to “[put] patients in charge of making decisions about their care, including control of their health records” is far less encouraging.

The new Health ministers may need time to review the entire programme, but there’s no reason to allow even more people’s records to be sucked into the system while they do.

Some GP practices have uploaded patient records since the election, despite the supposed halt announced by the Department of Health earlier this year – and while uploads continue, every week or month that goes by puts more people’s medical confidentiality at risk.

Please, if you haven’t done so already, write to your new MP urging him or her to call for an *immediate* halt to Summary Care Record uploads.

The online letter-writing tool that POWER2010 kindly built for us makes it straightforward and quick to do:


Government aims to pass Identity Documents Bill by summer holidays

Identity Commissioner and Identity Panels scrapped

ID Documents Bill caution – the Devil is in the detail


BTC _ The United Kingdom has cited “civil liberties” as the chief reason for cancelling the national ID card program and to scrap the National ID registry.   The ID card program was instated as part of the Labour party’s agenda to control immigration and and fight terrorism.  Privacy advocates, like NO2ID,  still seek to repeal  eablished laws on the books.


Anyone remember,  Tim “Congress must Repeal Real ID” Sparapani ?   While we know defending public identity doesn’t pay much, Sparapani did what he had to do.  Right now he’s the legal counsel for Facebook.   It only feels slightly better that we have one of our own on the inside of the Facebook fight.  While we are still working through our abandonment and betrayal issues, privacy needs more advocacy at Facebook.   WIRED magazine reports Facebook is working on “simplistic user controls” to unsnare profiles from complicated privacy controls which some consider unfair. So unfair, in fact, that transparency gauges were developed for people to watch certain Facebook applications. 

It is an important observation that the user controls at Facebook to delete accounts are hidden.  You’ll have to go off site and dig through WikiHows to figure out how to actually delete your account.   

Whatever… Facecrook is an immense high maintenance pain in the duff.  It’s time to move your clique to another fugee camp – try Diaspora.  While discussions say it is not as well developed or funded , it doesn’t mean it won’t be.  For now, it’s all the buzz amongst privacy pros.  

c/o No2ID /UK

Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family’s personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.

Last year’s public outcry against a Communications Data Database -intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing – forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn’t end there.

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it isheld, forms a digital dossier on YOU… and your family.

Even national security is no excuse for blanket surveillance of everyone’s communications, but the Digital Economy Bill would now make allegations of copyright infringement sufficient grounds for ‘fishing expeditions’ (speculative searches) in the data retained by ISPs – thereby ensuring the technology must be in place to enable mass surveillance by other agencies and organisations.

With a new unit set up at the Home Office just last month to push forward the £2 billion ‘Interception Modernisation Programme’ (IMP), it isn’t hard to imagine who else’ll be snooping too.

Open Rights Group ( and others continue to campaign against measures in the Digital Economy Bill. They have various objections – but as NO2ID we have to be concerned about any pretext for mass surveillance without any form of warrant or oversight.

Interception of communications was historically so sensitive that it was made into a power exercised only on the approval of the Home Secretary that cannot be even mentioned in court. We fail to see why recording all your communications (and providing technical means for them to be arbitrarily investigated) is any different to opening your letters orsecretly breaking into your home.

Please do write to your MP ( in your own words, expressing your concerns.


Data Sharing escalates UK for e-government and UN status, accolades

The UK has the dubious accolade of jumping several places in the United Nations’ 2010 e-Government Development Index, from tenth place in 2008 to fourth place in 2010. This puts the UK “ahead” of all other European countries, and behind South Korea, the United States, and Canada. Much of the e-government agenda is about smoothing the way for wholesale data sharing. A UN overview of the report states that: “The public trust that is gained through transparency can be further enhanced through the free sharing of government data based on open standards.” Not a view that many privacy conscious UK citizens share.

The full report will be online soon at

c/o UK Morning Advertiser

The man heading the national ID card scheme PASS has criticised a new survey that claims just 4% of young people would use the scheme.

A poll of 1,200 16 to 20-year-olds also found 71% had never heard of PASS.

The survey was conducted by technology firm Clarity Commerce, which has been involved in CCTV-based systems for avoiding underage sales in Holland.

PASS chairman Robert Humphreys said: “This alarmist and illiterate announcement appears grossly to overstate the problems in order to advance the commercial interests of the company.

“The PASS system is relatively simple, low cost, effective and appropriate to the task it addresses. We have seen no robust evidence suggesting that more costly and complex intrusive measures are called for.”
Clarity Commerce said the survey shows ID schemes have “had their day”. “While the PASS scheme no doubt has its merits, results prove ID cards on their own just do not work.”

The poll says 45% admit to asking an older sibling or friend to buy them alcohol.
In addition, 78% of over-18s admit they’ve lent their IDs to children to get into a club and 27% to get into a pub.

One in five has lent their ID to under-18s to buy alcohol. The same proportion of under-18s has bought fake ID over the internet to buy alcohol.

c/o NO2ID

“ID cards? They’re already dead.” – “Oh no they’re not!”

[BTC – No2ID keeps us from going absolutely crazy with speculation about national ID cards as globalist agenda item.]

One of the dangers once you start winning the battle for public opinion is that people think it’s game over already. Don’t believe it for a minute – the ID scheme is NOT dead. Nor are ContactPoint or e-Borders. There are still a million innocent people on the DNA database, with more being added every week. Comms data, travel info, medical records, car
tracking, vetting and barring, profiling – despite all rumours and spin to the contrary, the database state rolls on.

The next several months are particularly risky. Even more so if people think we’ve already won.

Whitehall is doing what it can to entrench database state programmes and initiatives – making them as difficult as possible for a new government to scrap, roll back or disentangle. It won’t often be as blatant as the latest push to upload millions of people’s medical details onto the NHS Spine (newsletter 137) so we must be more vigilant than ever.

NO2ID has always been about informing yourself and informing others. Campaigning is not just about hitting the headlines, it’s about engaging people where they live. You only have to look at the local groups section of each newsletter to see the phenomenal work that groups are doing – week in, week out helping spread the word, shift attitudes and
build opposition all over the UK.

A huge thank you to everyone who gives so generously of their time and energy, working with a local group. And special thanks to NO2ID’s local and regional coordinators – we couldn’t do it without you.

As 2009 draws to a close, I wish you and your families a peaceful, surveillance-free Christmas – and here’s hoping 2010 will prove to be a good year for privacy and freedom!

Phil Booth
National Coordinator, NO2ID

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.