Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Former DPP predicts information 'hellhouse'

In his most scathing attack yet on the proposed communications superdatabase, former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald has told the Guardian that government assurances on security would prove worthless and warned that a ‘hellhouse’ of personal private information would be created. The cost to the taxpayer could be as high as £12bn, twice the cost of the national ID card scheme.

In a consultation paper to be published next month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will outline plans to invite the private sector to manage and run the database that will keep track of everyone’s phone calls, emails, texts and internet use. The paper follows on from Ms Smith’s October announcement to postpone the database legislation to allow her to set out proposals for the protection of civil liberties

Mr Macdonald told the Guardian: "The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people."

You can read the full story here.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Local politicians unite against ID cards for foreigners

At the end of November, the first of seven centres due to issue 'ID cards for foreign nationals' opened for business. Birmingham NO2ID wrote a letter to local newspapers, signed by a broad range of politicans, to draw attention to what was going on.

Dear Editor

You may be aware that from this month the government begins issuing what it calls, with an obvious nasty spin, ‘ID cards for foreigners’. You may not be aware what this means for Birmingham. First affected will be students and those marrying Britons. The plan is that gradually residents from outside Europe will be fingerprinted and have to account for their movements. (Later, so would we all.)

Successful foreigners such as Randy Learner or Brad Friedel and the overseas students at Birmingham’s universities have a lot of choice where they study or exercise their talents. Some will decide Britain has become too unfriendly. When the US introduced more hostile visa conditions three or four years ago, the numbers applying to study there fell by 15% and Bill Gates complained that Microsoft could no longer hire some of the best software engineers.

If this scheme is continued it will lead to less fee-income and lower international status for Birmingham. British students will have to pay higher tuition to make up, and will have less money to spend with local businesses. Fewer of the world's star performers in every field will choose to make their homes here than do now.

We, the undersigned, value the contribution that these gifted people currently make to our institutions and our society. We think our country should treat them as guests, not criminal suspects. ‘ID cards for foreigners’ is not just a small-minded slogan – Birmingham will suffer culturally and economically.

Yours faithfully

Lorely Burt MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

John Hemming MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Dr Lynne Jones MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Andrew Mitchell MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Clare Short MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Councillor Matt Bennett
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Councillor Iain Bowen
15 Coppice Oaks, Birmingham, B13 9DP

Councillor Gareth Compton
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Councillor Alistair Dow
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Councillor Jerry Evans
67 Dovey Road, Birmingham, B13 9NT

Councillor Roger Harmer
71 Oak Farm Road, Birmingham, B30 1ET

Councillor Colin Hughes
172 Daisy Farm Road, Birmingham, B14 4QQ

Councillor Jon Hunt
52 Perry Avenue, Birmingham, B42 2NE

Councillor David Osborne
27 Elan Road, Birmingham, B31 5EP

Councillor David Radcliffe
46 Regent Street, Birmingham, B30 2LG

Councillor Peter Smallbone
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Councillor Robert Wright
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Councillor Salma Yaqoob
c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Felicity Norman, Prospective MEP, Green Party
c/o West Midlands Green Party

Sunday, 7 December 2008

New NO2ID advert

NO2ID has launched a video dramatising some of the dangers of the ID scheme and in particular the national register. The advert is available from:

Please forward the links to anyone you think may be interested.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

NO2ID defies weather in joint Coventry stall

Defying the icy cold weather, NO2ID Coventry Co-ordinator Claire Boylan and her fellow supporters were joined by two members of the Birmingham group when they set up a stall in their first attempt to give Coventry residents the chance to say no to ID. Birmingham’s co-ordinator Michelle Graham and assistant co-ordinator Ghiyas Somra lent an experienced hand in doling out NO2ID leaflets and pointing people to the petition.

Early Christmas shoppers were keen to add their names to the petition calling for the card and its underlying database to be scrapped, telling the campaigners that they were not happy for this or any other government to be allowed to snoop on every citizen in the country. Privacy seemed to trump cost on the list of priorities expressed by those signing the petition, though at £93 per card this was also a big factor.

By the end of the day, Christine, Phil, Claire, Ghiyas and Ron [not pictured] had collected 65 signatures – a massive success on their first outing. Well done Coventry and thanks too to Nikki who brought free coffee and biscuits.

Friday, 28 November 2008

'Big Brother' database plan shelved

The Independent reports that the Data Communications Bill has been dropped from the Queen's Speech, which outlines the government's legislative plans for the coming parliamentary year.

The paper notes that:

The Home Office has been stung by the strength of opposition. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, has condemned it as a "step too far" while Lord Carlile of Berriew, the Government's terrorism watchdog, said it was "awful" as a "raw idea".

Some ministers are also worried about the wisdom of pressing ahead with the measures in the face of public hostility to the scheme, particularly in the light of a succession of embarrassing data losses by the Government.

Thanks to Andy.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

NO2ID Birmingham November meeting

The next NO2ID Birmingham meeting will be on Thursday 27 November at 7:30pm. As usual, we'll be meeting in the Boardroom at Bennett's Bar.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

£1,000 fine for wrong ID details

On the BBC News website:

Women who change their name after marriage could face fines of up to £1,000 if they fail to tell the government, under new proposals.

Anyone with a biometric passport or ID card will be required to notify the National Identity Register of changes to the personal data it holds.

The £30 fixed fee for an ID card is likely to rise after 2010, draft laws published earlier also reveal.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Redditch stall massive success

Birmingham NO2ID took to the streets of Redditch to make the case against ID cards in Jacqui Smith's constituency. With local journalists reporting on the event and the town's Conservative party spokesperson lending a hand, the stall was a massive success.

The group gathered 86 signatures on the petition, which was a massive spur of encouragement for what was an icy cold day of campaigning.

Ghiyas Somra, Birmingham's Assistant Co-ordinator said: " I think people realise that spending £20 billion on this scheme in today's economic climate just isn't worth it."

Tory Party spokesperson for Redditch Karen Lumley said: "I was delighted to see so many people signing up to the NO2ID campaign. We have seen again this week data being lost and many people are unsure how exactly an ID card they are going to have to pay for is going to make this country safer."

Karen Lumley, Tory Party spokesperson for Redditch, joins Gill, Steve W, Lesley and Ghiyas. Also there on the day: Steve A, Kelvin, Anthony, Jennie, Andy M and Michelle.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Gordon Brown's terror claims are 'bunkum' says GCHQ expert

In today's Telegraph:

Speaking at an IT security conference in Wales, Mr Mattinson, a former senior official at the Cabinet Office who now advises GCHQ's Communications-Electronics Security Group, rubbished ministers' claims that the multi-billion pound scheme would enhance national security.

Mr Mattinson is not the first figure from Britain's intelligence community to reject Government claims for ID cards. Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has also questioned their value in fighting terrorism.

Thanks to Val.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Taking Liberties at the British Library

Taking Liberties: the struggle for Britain's freedoms and rights 31 October 2008 – 1 March 2009

The British Library will be holding a free exhibition, 'Taking Liberties: the struggle for Britain’s freedoms and rights', uncovering the roots of British democracy over a period of more than 900 years.

The exhibition will include:

  • iconic documents that paved the way for liberty and democracy, many of them rarely displayed, from Magna Carta to the Good Friday Agreement
  • computer interactives that compare your views on liberty and freedom with everyone else's
  • a series of outstanding events with top speakers who address today's hottest political debates, such as human rights, ID cards, and detention without charge
  • learning workshops on history and citizenship

One of the iconic documents, the Magna Carta, can be see using the British Library's Magna Carta Viewer here.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Birmingham NO2ID October Meeting

The next NO2ID Birmingham meeting will be on Tuesday 28 October at 7:30pm. As usual, we'll be meeting in the Boardroom at Bennett's Bar.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

ID cards plan in crisis as the ‘guinea pigs’ revolt

Toby Helm writes in The Observer:

Plans to build support for identity cards by introducing them among ‘guinea pig’ groups, such as airport staff and students, are in crisis after 10,000 airline pilots vowed to take legal action to block them and opposition swept through Britain’s universities and councils.

In a move that could wreck the government’s strategy for a phased introduction beginning next year, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said it would seek a judicial review rather than see its members forced to adopt ID cards at a time when pilots are already exhaustively vetted.

Balpa’s vehement opposition is a hammer blow for the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, who had hoped to win the wider public over to ID cards by demonstrating that they were crucial to anti-terrorism policies. She intends to introduce them among groups "who operate in positions of trust in our society".

Monday, 13 October 2008

NO2ID General Secretary on the database state

NO2ID General Secretary Guy Herbert talking about the database state at the UKIP Conference.

Part One

Click here for part two.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The all-seeing state is about to end privacy as we know it

Jenni Russell writes in the Guardian:

The shocking element to the new plan is that the authorities want their own database only because they find the current limitations frustrating. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act rules, the 700 or so bodies already licensed to watch us must make a certified request to phone or internet firms for individual records. More than 500,000 such requests were made last year. But the companies are reluctant to hang on to the data, and the security services would find a single, accessible database so much more convenient.

Stop and consider this for a moment. Think about how happy any of us would be to have our lives laid out to official view. All our weaknesses, our private fears and interests, would be exposed. Our web searches are guides to what is going on in our minds. A married man might spend a lot of time on porn websites; a successful manager might be researching depression; a businessman might be looking up bankruptcy law.

We all have a gulf between who we really are and the face we present to the world. Suddenly that barrier will be taken away. Would a protester at the Kingsnorth power station feel quite so confident in facing the police if she knew that the minute she was arrested, the police could find out that she'd just spent a week looking at abortion on the web? Would a rebel politician stand up against the prime minister if he knew security services had access to the 100 text messages a week he exchanged with a woman who wasn't his wife? It isn't just the certainty that such data would be used against people that is a deterrent, it's the fear. As the realisation of this power grew, we would gradually start living in the prison of our minds.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Phil Booth Guest Speaker at September NO2ID meeting

The next NO2ID Birmingham meeting will be on Tuesday 30 September at 7:30pm. We'll be meeting in the Boardroom at Bennett's Bar.

The month's guest speaker is NO2ID National Co-ordinator Phil Booth.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Birmingham NO2ID in the news

Staff at Birmingham International Airport are set to be among the first people in the UK to be issued with a compulsory national identity card, reports the BBC.

The video features comment from Birmingham NO2ID.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

EU approves proposal to try Britons in their absence in foreign courts

British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament, according to The Times.

The article continues:

The proposals would allow citizens to be extradited automatically under fast-track procedures at the request of another European Union country on the basis of a decision by the foreign court.

The overwhelming adoption by the Parliament of the proposals, which now go to the Council of Ministers, was condemned yesterday as "throwing habeas corpus out of the window".

The new proposal has led some to draw comparisons with the case of Gary McKinnon as another example of the erosion of our liberties.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

August news round-up

Data losses
There were three major data loss news stories this month. In the first, a member of staff at PA Consulting lost a memory stick containing the names, dates of birth and, in some cases, the expected prison release dates of all 84,000 prisoners held in England and Wales.

PA Consulting has also worked on the ID card project. Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: "The public will be alarmed that the government is happy to entrust their £20bn ID card project to the firm involved in this fiasco, at a cost of millions of pounds to the UK taxpayer."

In the second case, a computer holding personal details of high street bank customers was sold on eBay for £35. Information including the bank account numbers, phone numbers, mothers' maiden names and signatures of 1 million customers of American Express, NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland were reportedly found on the computer.

Finally, research undertaken by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that more than 3,200 laptops and mobile phones have been lost or stolen from Government departments since 2001. That's more than one every day.

It was also announced that the launch of the government's £224m ContactPoint database is to be delayed for a second time.

ContactPoint is a planned government database that will hold information on all children under 18 in England. Just days before the Telegraph reported on concerns that ContactPoint would be used to increase the criminalisation and surveillance of young people in England. Vickie Woods wrote, also in the Telegraph:

"I thank heaven I'm not bringing up three-year-olds any more but when I was the mother around here,I would have raged about a children's database. It's marginally worse than the grown-ups' database: the National Identity Register. That piece of lunacy was sold to me as a nice big present from the Government, to keep my identity nice and snug and safe and stop it being stolen by those vicious scofflaws, the global 'identity thieves'."

Jacqui Smith's 'secret police'
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith intends to create an 'extended police family' by giving 1,600 'accredited workers' sub-police powers (see below), according to the Daily Mail.

Community safety accreditation schemes, which were introduced under the Police Reform Act 2002, were set up to give civilians working in the community more powers to deal with the public.

Workers wearing special accredited badges are able to seize alcohol from underage drinkers, issue fines for graffiti and littering, and demand people's names and addresses.


Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Safe in our cages

AC Grayling writes in the Guardian:

In the Queen's speech this autumn Gordon Brown's government will announce a scheme to institute a database of every telephone call, email, and act of online usage by every resident of the UK. It will propose that this information will be gathered, stored, and "made accessible" to the security and law enforcement agencies, local councils, and "other public bodies".

This fact should be in equal parts incredible and nauseating. It is certainly enraging and despicable. Not even George Orwell in his most febrile moments could have envisaged a world in which every citizen could be so thoroughly monitored every moment of the day, spied upon, eavesdropped, watched, tracked, followed by CCTV cameras, recorded and scrutinised. Our words and web searches, our messages and intimacies, are to be stored and made available to the police, the spooks, the local council – the local council! – and "other public bodies".

This Orwellian nightmare, additionally, is proposed for a world in which leading soi-disant liberal democracies run, and/or permit rendition flights to, Guantanamo Bay. How many steps separate an innocent British citizen from some misinterpretation or interference or error in the collected and 'made accessible' data of text messages and emails, and a forthcoming home-grown version of Guantanamo Bay for people whose pattern of phone calls does not fit the police definition of acceptable?

As mentioned before, here is the Information Commissioner's response to the Data Communications Bill.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

NO2ID Birmingham to hold free screening of Taking Liberties

No2ID Birmingham will be holding a free screening of Taking Liberties on Tuesday 26 August at Birmingham University.

Everyone is welcome to attend, although it is advised that you book in advance as places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve your seats email

Saturday, 9 August 2008

NO2ID responds to 'fundamentalist' claims

NO2ID General Secretary Guy Herbert responds to a claim that opponents of ID cards are "cousins of the market fundamentalists, who believe that in the beginning were private property and free markets, and ever since the state has been muscling in...[They are] information fundamentalists who think that in the beginning was 'me', fully formed, and that national insurance numbers, CCTV, passports and - the ultimate betrayal - identity cards are forms of assault."

In response the article says:

What unites us is we are thinking of society rather than the goals of the state. To criticise a bureaucratic grand project in principle is not "implying personal information is property rather than a social construction that would not exist but for government". Quite the contrary. To ask important questions about what personal information and privacy are, and should be, is to repudiate such know-nothing nostrums. Personal information is important because it is constructed in relationships, because it mediates trust, and because making official relationships obey coherent rules maintains the legitimacy of government functions. It is the stuff of all our lives - not property - but worthy of at least as much respect.

Thanks to Steve for highlighting this.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

The real political divide is authoritarian and liberal

Jenni Russell writes in The Guardian:

The new dividing line between Labour and the Tories is less about a left-right split than about an authoritarian approach on one side and a more liberal one on the other. And Labour are on the wrong side of it. Many of their social and economic policies may have failed, but where they have succeeded is in developing a targeting, controlling, distrustful state. From the micromanagement of civil servants, teachers, doctors and the police, to ID cards, super databases and the growth of surveillance, the government’s answer to too many problems has been the removal of autonomy from individuals and more oversight from Whitehall.

The Conservative analysis is that this over-controlling state is not only disastrously unpopular, it is also one of the key reasons why Labour, despite all its spending, has failed to achieve its goals. Endless supervision has been an expensive distraction, and has sapped energy and morale out of public life.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Birmingham NO2ID July meeting

The next NO2ID Birmingham meeting will be on Tuesday 29 July at 7:30pm.

We'll be meeting in the Boardroom at Bennett's Bar.

Remember, meetings take place on the last Tuesday of every month and everyone is welcome.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Cameron pledges repeal of Identity Cards Act

As part of his 'Cameron Direct' campaign, Conservative leader David Cameron visited Swindon on 11 July and reaffirmed his commitment to repeal the Identity Cards Act, identifying the National Identity Register at the heart of the scheme as the 'nanny state'.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Big Brother state costs £20 billion

Andrew Porter writes in the Daily Telegraph:

The cost of Britain’s “surveillance society” measures is now running at £20 billion, a new report reveals today.

The amount is equivalent to £800 per household and includes £19 billion for the planned ID card system and £500 million for CCTV cameras.

The report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance was highlighted by David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, who stands in a by-election this week on the issue of civil liberties. Mr Davis resigned as an MP after the opposition failed to defeat Government plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days.

Mr Davis said: “This is yet further damning evidence of Big Brother’s expensive tastes. ID cards, CCTV, the DNA database and other measures are a huge waste of taxpayers’ money on policies that undermine freedom and are utterly ineffective in fighting crime or terrorism.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance report can be downloaded here.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Tony Benn discusses civil liberties

Tony Benn talks about ID cards and a range of other civil liberties issues on BBC News' HARDtalk.

Part Two

Part Three

Friday, 27 June 2008

ID cards face fingerprint error, say experts

Nick Heath writes on the ZDnet web site:

Experts have warned that the ID-card scheme risks being derailed by mistakes in fingerprint matches.

The £4.4bn National Identity Scheme’s (NIS’s) reliance on fingerprint and facial-recognition biometrics exposes the system to error, according to the independent Biometrics Assurance Group (BAG).

BAG urged the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) to adopt iris scans as a ‘fallback’, for when there are problems taking or matching a fingerprint.

However, it seems the experts’ advice will be ignored:

An IPS spokesman said: “It is unlikely that iris scans will be used in the scheme. Suppliers can use whichever biometric they choose in their solution but they will have to show it meets minimum standards and provides cost benefits.”

The BAG report can be downloaded here.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

NO2ID Birmingham June Meeting

The next NO2ID Birmingham meeting will be on Tuesday 24 June at 7:30pm.

We'll be meeting in the Boardroom at Bennett's Bar.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

David Davis acknowledges threat to our freedoms

NO2ID National Co-ordinator Phil Booth commented on David Davis' decision:

"This principled move by such a serious and respected politician clearly acknowledges the database state as one of the principal threats to our freedoms."

While Baroness Helena Kennedy QC wrote in The Independent:

The Government has justified its abandonment of civil liberties on the basis that this is what is required for security reasons and it is what the public wants. Yet when people are given the real facts, they are usually aghast at the catalogue of inroads into our liberties, often unaware of just how extensive the salami slicing has been. The steady flow of power away from the citizen to the state has been extraordinary.

One of the great values of being a British citizen has been the strong sense that we are not here at the behest of the state; the state is here at our behest. That was why policemen could not just stop us and demand to know who we were or where we were going. It was why we did not have to have an internal passport, as is now being put in train with ID cards. It was also why, if we were arrested, we would have to be charged promptly. We knew that to give police the power to lock people up for weeks on end while they went looking for evidence was a recipe for serious abuse.

It is the existence of these quiet but enduring entitlements that are at the core of our national being. When people hear the evidence they often take a different view of what government should be doing. David Davis knows that and wants to win the argument so that his own party sees it is not an electoral handicap but a bonus to espouse liberty.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

ID cards could be used to spy on people

"Britain is in danger of becoming a 'surveillance society' and new safeguards are needed to protect people's privacy, an influential committee of MPs has warned. Fears are growing that the compulsory ID card scheme may be used to carry out surveillance on people and that a new children's database may be used to identify likely future criminals," reports The Telegraph.

"Last week it emerged that councils are now using covert surveillance hundreds of times every month to investigate petty offences - such as putting out domestic waste incorrectly and dog fouling - and to check applications for popular schools."

To listen to Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, talk about the extent of the surveillance society click here.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Government plans to hold every citizen's phone and internet record

"A government database holding details of every phone call made, email sent and minute spent on the internet by the public could be created as part of a centralised fight against crime and terrorism," reports The Guardian.

"The information would be stored for at least 12 months and police, security services and other agencies across Europe would be able to access the database with court permission.

"There are also concerns about the ability of the government to manage a system containing billions of records. About 3bn emails are sent in Britain every day and last year 57bn text messages were sent.

To comment on the Bill click here (the link will take you to the government's Draft Legislative Programme consultation website).

To see the response from the Information Commissioner's Office click here.

This BBC story shows that it was the British government pushing through the legislation they now say they are required to enforce.

Finally, here's what industry insiders think of the idea.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

NO2ID Birmingham sets out its stall

Braving the wind, but thankfully not the rain, nine supporters from the recently formed NO2ID Birmingham group quite literally set out their stall today in Birmingham city centre in a bid to raise public awareness around the identity card scheme and the controversial National Identity Register, the database underpinning it.

The stall, on New Street from 10am till 3pm, attracted lots of interest from city shoppers wanting to know more about ID cards and the personal data required under the scheme, which will cost anything between the government's most recent £4.7 billion estimate [1] and the highest estimate of £19.2 billion [2] the London School of Economics put on the scheme.

Fifty-six people, including some of the nearby Hare Krishna singers, signed the petition opposing the scheme and many more took away NO2ID leaflets to read and ideas to chew over. Campaigners got a bit jittery when two community support police officers approached the stall, as they had been warned about overzealous officials, but it turned out one of them simply wanted to sign the petition!

NO2ID Birmingham Co-ordinator Michelle Graham said: "The public are largely unaware of the details of this scheme, which we believe is intrusive, expensive and unnecessary. We were delighted by the level of support we got from local people. We're hoping to make our campaign stall a regular feature on the streets of Birmingham."

Pictured: Stall organiser Lesley (right) with (left to right) Ghiyas, Kelvin, Val and Steve. Also there on the day: Anthony, who helped organise the stall, plus Jennie, David and Michelle. Well done everyone!

1 IPS Identity Cards Scheme Cost Report (pdf)
2 LSE ID Card Final Report

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Going public

The NO2ID call will be heard on the streets of Birmingham for the first time this weekend as the city's local group holds its first campaign stall in the city centre this Saturday 24 May.

We're aiming to raise awareness of the ID card scheme across the city through face-to-face discussion with the public, distributing leaflets and collecting signatures for the petition. Support from any NO2ID sympathisers in the local area will be most welcome!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

NO2ID Birmingham May meeting

The next meeting of NO2ID Birmingham will be in the Seminar Room at The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Birmingham B6 4UU on Tuesday 27 May from 7.30pm till 9pm. The Drum is behind The Bartons Arms pub in Aston and has both on-site and street parking. It can also be reached on bus numbers 8, 33, 34, 51, 52, 107 and 113.

Among other things this month, we'll be learning how to write a successful letter to the press or your MP. And our stall volunteers will no doubt be full of news of NO2ID Birmingham's first of what we hope will be many actions.

We've got a number of other events lined up for the summer, so come along and get involved.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Without due process

If your boss accuses you of theft or property damage, you'd rightly expect to be able to have your day in court. Well, this may be an expectation too far now that your employer can put you on a database of workers 'accused' of such misdemeanours.

BBC News reveals that later this month the National Staff Dismissal Register (NSDR) is expected to go live. Regardless of whether they have been convicted of any crime, 'suspects' can be added to an online database of workers accused of theft and dishonesty, which bosses can access when vetting potential employees.

Harrods, HMV, Mothercare, Selfridges and Reed Managed Services have already signed up to the scheme and by the end of May they will be able to check whether job candidates have faced allegations of stealing, forgery, fraud, damaging company property or causing a loss to their employers and suppliers.

Workers sacked for these offences will be included on the register, irrespective of whether police had enough evidence to convict them. Employees who resign before they face disciplinary proceedings at work will also be on the list.

Though the project attracted little publicity, the BBC News website reveals that trade unions and civil liberties campaigners are warning that it leaves workers vulnerable to the threat of false accusations.

Hannah Reed, TUC policy officer, says: "The TUC is seriously concerned that this register can only lead to people being shut out from the job market by an employer who falsely accuses them of misconduct or sacks them because they bear them a grudge. Individuals would be treated as criminals, even though the police have never been contacted.

"The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) already provides appropriate and properly regulated protection for employers. Under this register, an employee may not be aware they have been blacklisted or have any right to appeal."

James Welch, legal director of human rights group Liberty, says he is concerned that anyone falsely accused will not be offered sufficient redress: "This scheme appears to bypass existing laws which protect employees by limiting the circumstances when information about possible criminal activity can be shared with potential employers."

The initiative, set up by Hicom Business Solutions, is an Action Against Business Crime (AABC) initiative. AABC is "a Home Office supported body set up to help businesses better protect themselves against crime." The Home Office says it stopped funding the scheme last year, having granted it almost £1m during its first three years, but a Home Office spokeswoman says the register is a "commercial scheme" and it was not consulted.

Mike Schuck, chief executive of AABC and formerly of Scotland Yard, says that theft by members of staff costs the British economy billions of pounds each year and rejects the notion that the register is a blacklist.

He says that workers named on the AABC-maintained database will have the right, under the reputedly complex Data Protection Act, to change their entries if they are inaccurate. Should a dispute take place between an employee and an employer about whether an incident occurred, Mr Schuck adds, the worker will be able to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which enforces the Act.

Is Britain sleepwalking into a dystopian nightmare of suspicion and fear, with society edging away from the burden of proof of guilt or liability towards a society where we are required to prove our innocence? The principle underpinning our legal system is that the citizen is free to go about his life without interference unless he is shown by due process of the law to have committed an offence. Only then can his liberties be curtailed.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

No business case for ID cards says government

"The government has, for the first time, admitted publicly that it cannot justify its controversial £5.4bn National Identity Scheme in financial terms," reports Computer Weekly.

"The admission came from James Hall, chief executive of the Identity & Passport Service, in a response to the report from the scheme's external watchdog, the Independent Scheme Assurance Panel, published this week.

"Hall said, 'Many of these benefits [of the NIS] may be hard to quantify and potentially harder to articulate in financial terms within the scheme business case.'"

The article closes with Computer Weekly stating its opposition to the government's attempts to suppress the findings of its Gateway Reviews, which assessed the Scheme's viability. The government fought in court to keep these details secret, even in the face of recommendations by the Information Tribunal to publish them.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The truth about the ‘surveillance society’

Brendan O’Neill in spiked:

The surveillance/data society radically transforms what it means to be a free citizen. The slogan of the champions of surveillance is that ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. In short, we must now continually prove our goodness and innocence to the powers-that-be. In the past, we were generally seen as free, self-determining individuals who should largely be left alone unless or until it could be proven that we had done something illegal. Today, under the organising principle of ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’, we must constantly demonstrate that we are decent people, for the benefit of CCTV operators, vetting officials, and the ID database operators. This represents a dangerous new dawn in the relationship between the state and individual. The burden of proof now falls on the citizen to prove that he is good rather than on the state to prove that we have been bad. A new conception of the citizen is emerging: no longer seen as free, adult and due some respect, the citizen has been turned into an object of suspicion who must make a daily performance of his goodness for the watching authorities.

The surveillance/data society degrades the idea of individuals as political subjects. Increasingly, the authorities engage with us, not through political debate and argument, but through monitoring our behaviour and collecting and sharing our data. This is a reductionist view of the public, where we come to be seen as a collection of fingerprints, DOBs, iris scans or as pixels on a CCTV screen rather than as individuals with beliefs, ambitions and desires. The more that the government seeks to connect with us on a technical level, the less it views us as political or active subjects. Where once an individual might have been defined as Labour or Conservative, left or right, progressive or traditionalist, today we are defined as numbers on a spreadsheet.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Boris Johnson on ID cards

New London Mayor Boris Johnson speaking at the recent NO2ID hustings. You may need to turn your volume up as the sound quality isn't the best.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Government allows foreign countries to spy on motorists

"Routine journeys carried out by millions of British motorists can be monitored by authorities in the United States and other enforcement agencies across the world under anti-terrorism rules introduced discreetly by Jacqui Smith," reveals the Daily Telegraph.

Under the authorisation signed on 4 July 2007 by Jacqui Smith, video feeds and still images captured from roadside TV cameras, along with personal data derived from them, can be transmitted out of the UK to countries such as the US that are outside the European Economic Area.

Even given how keen the Government is on information sharing, this is surprising (not least because Smith failed to mention it in a statement she made to Parliament less than two weeks later when outlining Metropolitan Police exemptions to the 1998 Data Protection Act). Of course, it raises the obvious question of who will have access to information stored on the National Identity Register.

Fortunately, Meg Hillier, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Identity, and Duncan Hine, Director of Security at IPS, explained all during a session with the Home Affairs Committee. The first question is asked by Conservative MP David Davies:

David Davies: Will non-European enforcement agencies have access to the database [the National Identity Register]? For example, will the American law enforcement agencies have access to this database?

Meg Hillier: European nations are currently signing a protocol with the United States on passenger name records. The existing protocols that we have would govern the data from the National Identity Register.

David Davies: That is a yes, then, basically.

Later, Labour MP Karen Buck asked:

Karen Buck: In terms of other government departments that can seek access to the information on the database without my consent, in each case is it always that that information will be a data request and that those agencies will not have direct access to the database?

Meg Hillier: Yes.

Ms Buck: It will not be, for example, the Police or Customs will have any access to the database itself? It will always be filtered through that one to 100 members of staff who are vetted and trained for the purpose of managing this database.

Dr Hine: Broadly, we will be following the same policy we do with the passport database, which is to provide verification against a specific question rather than wholesale complete extracts of the data.

Ms Buck: The word 'broadly' alarms me. What we are talking about here is: what are the exceptions as a general assurance?

Dr Hine: A number of exceptions are picked out in the original legislation around law enforcement and intelligence services.

Ms Buck: I am sorry, Chairman, I think this is really important. We need to drill down into those exceptions, not into the generality, on which I am perfectly happy to accept assurances, but those exceptions. What are the criteria and how many people, because in the end all of this data loss and the anxiety of that data loss relates to those exceptions, to those extra people, to that chain that can open up quite quickly.

Dr Hine: For even the exceptions, I would say that we still consider ourselves the stewards of that information; so any information is only passed to another party after they have satisfied us that they have got the security processes, the right accreditations, the right business process and procedures and we continue to audit those on a regular basis.

Which brings us back to the Home Office's generosity with our vehicular information. Refusing to say how many times images had been sent from London to other countries, a Government spokesman did add:

“We would like to reassure the public that robust controls have been put in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, the information.”

So if you were wondering what the Government's stance was on data sharing, that statement and Dr Hines' reply sum it up quite neatly: "Trust us".

Friday, 18 April 2008

NO2ID Birmingham April meeting

A date for your diary: the next meeting of NO2ID Birmingham will be in the Deritend Training Room in St Martin's church in the Bull Ring on Monday 28 April from 7.30pm till 9pm.

We'll have a special guest speaker: Matty Mitford, NO2ID Local Groups Co-ordinator.

On arrival, the church asks that we use the Arts Café entrance on the side of the church opposite Borders bookshop. Room allocations are displayed on a plasma screen in reception.

Room sponsored by Martin Graham -

Saturday, 12 April 2008

The spiralling cost of ID cards

"Spending on consultants by the Home Office has rocketed by 2,000 per cent under Labour to almost £150m a year," reveals the Daily Mail.

"One of the major reasons for the expenditure is trying to get the controversial ID cards project off the ground.

"The cash could otherwise have been spent putting 10,900 extra police on streets for a year."

In the period 1997/98 to 2006/07 spending by the Identity and Passport Service - the arm of the Home Office in charge of the ID cards project - rocketed from £237,000 to £30m.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Wanted - for crimes of identity theft

Wanted - Smith and BrownNO2ID Birmingham followed up the national organisers' fingerprints campaign today by calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Home Secretary and Redditch MP Jacqui Smith to prove their faith in the National Identity Register by adding their own name and prints with the following press statement.

Press release
9 April 2008


Civil liberties groups NO2ID and Privacy International are joining forces to offer £1,000 to anyone who can get hold of the Prime Minister’s or Home Secretary’s fingerprints in a campaign designed to highlight the dangers of the universal collection of fingerprints in central Government databases.

NO2ID and Privacy International have issued Wild West-style ‘Wanted’ posters accusing Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith of ‘identity theft’ and endangering personal security. The poster states that ‘the fingerprint must be obtained lawfully.’ The £1,000 reward will be paid to the charity of the ‘bounty hunter’s choice’.

Michelle Graham, NO2ID’s Birmingham Co-ordinator, said: “Fingerprints can be reproduced from prints left on beer glasses, doorknobs or anything with a hard surface. When Jacqui Smith says that linking us by our fingerprints to the national database is a security measure, what she’s actually doing is opening the door for fraudsters and criminals to have one central point of access to our identities. If the Identity Register is such a great thing, why is the Government targeting foreign nationals and students instead of signing up MPs themselves?”

The move could leave both groups open to prosecution for incitement. Speaking in The Observer on 6 April, Simon Davies, director of Privacy International said: “I'm sure the Government will seek legal advice to see if we can be prosecuted. But it would be a foolish government that would try to charge civil rights groups.”


Notes for editors:
1. For further information please contact Michelle Graham on 07734 087470 or email

2. A pdf of the poster is attached. For a PNG or jpeg, visit:[347]=x-347-561230
3. German hackers recently obtained the fingerprint of the German Interior Minister and printed 4,000 copies of it. The fingerprint came from a glass the Minister drank from while speaking at a University in Berlin. The image was printed on a plastic foil that can be fixed to a person’s finger and used to replicate an individual's prints on doors, telephones or biometric readers. For more information see:
4. NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. Scroll down for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

I feel safer already

Jacqui Smith raised an interesting point in her speech at Demos last month.

"Because your name will be linked by your fingerprints to a unique entry on the National Identity Register," she said, "you will have much greater protection from identity theft. No-one will be able to impersonate you, like they can now, just by finding our your name and address and personal details."

And she's probably right: no-one will be able to impersonate you like they can now.

No, they'll find new ways of doing that.

Take the good people of The Chaos Computer Club. In protest at proposed laws to add fingerprints to German passports, the 'hacker club' has published what it says is the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's interior minister.

The Register explains:

In the most recent issue of Die Datenschleuder, the Chaos Computer Club printed the image on a plastic foil that leaves fingerprints when it is pressed against biometric readers.

No-one from the Germany-based group has been able to test the foil to see if it can fool a computer into believing it came from Schauble. But the technique has been shown to work with a variety of other people's prints on almost two-dozen readers, according to a colleague of the hacker who pulled off the demonstration.

The whole research has always been inspired by showing how insecure biometrics are, especially a biometric that you leave all over the place," said Karsten Nohl, a colleague of the researcher who engineered the hack. "It's basically like leaving the password to your computer everywhere you go without you being able to control it anymore."

The print is included in more than 4,000 copies of the latest issue of the magazine, which is published by the CCC. The image is printed two ways: one using traditional ink on paper, and the other on a film of flexible rubber that contains partially dried glue. The latter medium can be covertly affixed to a person's finger and used to leave an individual's prints on doors, telephones or biometric readers.

I feel safer already.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Nick Clegg on ID cards

Channel 4 Political Slot: No to ID cards - Nick Clegg

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

If you've got nothing to hide...'ve got nothing to fear - one of the most common phrases levelled at people arguing against the National Identity Register. The answer will be the subject of some forthcoming blogs; but as a starter, here's A C Grayling's retort:

"The assumption behind the 'if you have nothing to hide' claim is that the authorities will always be benign, will always reliably identify and interfere with genuinely bad people only, will never find themselves engaging in 'mission creep' with more and more uses to put their new powers and capabilities to, will not redefine crimes, and even various behaviours or views now regarded as acceptable."

Thursday, 20 March 2008

NO2ID Birmingham March meeting

A date for your diary: the next NO2ID Birmingham meeting is on Monday 31 March at The Midlands Art Centre. Meeting starts at 7:30pm. All are welcome.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

The private life in Britain...

OK, this piece by Clive James isn't explicitly about the erosion of our civil liberties, but in many ways it goes to the heart of what the current civil liberties debate is about: how valuable is privacy?

The answer, James says, is that it is as fundamental to civilisation as language:

"Private life is an institution, like the English language, which is collapsing too, and proving, even as it falls to bits, that it's a structure our lives depend on...Until recently, the concept of private life was basic to civilisation. Its value could be measured by the thoroughness with which totalitarian states and religions always did their best to stamp it out. But now we have to face the possibility that the latest stage of civilisation might also be trying to stamp it out."

Incidentally, if you scroll down you can see the first comment is from NO2ID's very own Guy Herbert.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

MoD: Missing our Data?

"The Ministry of Defence is at the centre of a new security row after it emerged an 'extraordinary' 11,000 military ID cards were lost or stolen in the past two years," reports Sky News.

Given that the armed forces number about 190,000 personnel, that works out at a loss rate of about 3%. For a country the size of the UK - 60 million people - that 3% rate would mean a staggering 1.8 million cards lost a year.

And the price of replacing a lost card? £30.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Responding to Jacqui Smith's Demos speech

It can seem daunting to us newcomers to try to evaluate what's going on in the media and respond intelligently to it. We had a hectic day yesterday trying to keep up with the news following Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's Demos speech whilst also trying to put in a respectable day's work!

We sent out a press release (see below) at lunch time and got phone calls from two local radio stations almost immediately. Michelle Graham did prerecorded interviews for both BRMB and Kerrang FM and, although we're not sure they aired our response, we do feel that we've gone some small way to putting ourselves on the local media map.

If we got no other benefit out of yesterday, we're now convinced that our press releases work!

Press release
6 March 2008


Local opponents of Government's ID card scheme have condemned plans announced today to force airport workers to get the controversial cards, saying that it will not improve airport security.

In her latest attempt to get the controversial scheme off the ground, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced that about 100,000 airport workers with airside access will be forced to get the new cards, or risk losing their jobs.

The NO2ID Birmingham Group is inviting people worried by the proposals to attend the group’s next meeting on Monday 31 March at the Midlands Arts Centre.

Andrew Mitchell MP, Conservative Shadow Minister for Birmingham, said: “The ID card project, pursued single-mindedly by this government, is a terrible, perhaps fatal, error of judgement. It will prove to be a white elephant and a waste of money of extraordinary proportions. In due course, the public will not forgive them.”

Michelle Graham, Birmingham coordinator of the NO2ID campaign, said: "This highlights the Home Secretary's sheer desperation to find a plausible reason for her ID card scheme. Airline pilots and other airside workers are the most carefully vetted employees in the country. How can issuing them with the same ID card as you or me possibly improve security?

"The Government is trying to introduce the scheme through the back door. They will start with airport workers, but gradually target more and more groups. It could be students or even nurses and teachers who are targeted next.

"I would urge anyone concerned by the announcement today to get involved in their local group.”


Notes for editors:
1. For further information please contact Michelle Graham on 07734 087470 or email
2. A recent leaked memo shows that the Home Office plans to ‘coerce’ the public into getting ID cards, despite ministerial claims that they would be voluntary:
3. A recent ICM poll shows more people opposed to the government's ID cards scheme than in favour:

4. NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. Scroll down for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Leaked plan reveals backdoor coercion tactics

A leaked Home Office document reveals that teachers, nurses and 16-year-olds will be the new soft targets for the ID card scheme and National Identity Register (NIR). 'The National Identity Scheme Options Analysis' describes how the Government intends to go about 'coercing' citizens onto the National Identity Register and sets out a possible marketing strategy for the scheme.

It was published on Wikileaks on 29 January 2008 and could represent government thinking possibly as recent as December 2007. The document suggests that the government is moving away from the idea of introducing ID cards via passport renewals.

Ironically, the document goes on to recommend an approach that targets a 'trusted relationship' group - those who already undergo vetting/CRB checks, such as teachers, nurses and carers - in the second half of 2009, followed by a group of young people in 2010.

It goes on to reveal that the NIR may be introduced surreptitiously, by allowing individuals to 'enrol at a lower level of assurance' only later to be asked to provide fingerprints.

NO2ID National Co-ordinator Phil Booth says: "The charade is over. While ministers try to bamboozle the British public with fairy tales about fingerprints, officials are plotting how to dupe and bully the population into surrendering control of their own identities."

Sunday, 17 February 2008

The facts behind 'The Last Enemy'

The Last Enemy, beginning at 9pm tonight on BBC1, is a five-part predictive drama set in Britain in the wake of a terrorist attack. Britain has become a security state, using technology to put every citizen under surveillance, threatening relationships and destroying trust.

Stephen Ezard (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns to a country he no longer recognises for his brother's funeral. His investigations into his brother's death lead him to become an enemy of the state.

Some facts behind the drama:

  • Britain has about five million CCTV cameras, one for every 12 people. More cameras than any other country. (The Times, 27 March 2007)

  • "ID cards will link your basic personal information to something uniquely yours - like the pattern of your iris, your face shape or your fingerprint. It will protect your identity from people fraudulently claiming to be you and make it easier for you to prove your identity when you need to - like opening a bank account, moving house, applying for benefits or starting a job." (Identity & Passport Service Website)

  • Millions of children as young as 11 are to have their fingerprints taken and stored on a Government database, according to leaked Whitehall plans. The Home Office wants to include children in its biometric passport scheme in three years' time, and automatically transfer their details and fingerprints to the controversial new national identity database when they turn 16. (This is London Website, 4 March 2007)

  • 21 of the 25 EU Member States have already introduced ID cards. (Home Office Website)• The costs of the identity cards project were revealed to have risen by £840m in the last six months to £5.75 billion. (The Guardian, May 2007)

  • British citizens will be quizzed on up to 200 different pieces of personal information in a 30 minute grilling if they want a passport... Those who fail to convince the bureaucrats they are who they say will be denied a travel document or face a full investigation by anti-fraud experts. There is no formal appeal process. (Daily Mail, 21 March 2007)

  • Advances in surveillance technology could seriously damage individual privacy unless drastic measures are taken to protect personal data, scientists have said. The report by the Royal Academy of Engineering said that travel passes, supermarket loyalty cards and mobile phones could be used to track individuals' every move. They also predicted that CCTV footage could [be] available for public consumption and that terrorists could hijack the biometric chips in passports and rig them up as a trigger for explosives. (The Times, 27 March 2007)

(Source: BBC website)

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

NO2ID Birmingham inaugural meeting

After a very positive response from people who either signed the petition or just took a leaflet at the Kula Shaker Academy gig on Saturday, NO2ID Birmingham are shaping up for their first supporters' meeting.

We're holding an informal gathering of the NO2ID Birmingham group at the mac (Midlands Arts Centre) café on the 25th February at 7.30pm. The mac is about a mile south of Birmingham city centre in Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston Road, Birmingham B12 9QH, opposite the Warwickshire County Cricket Club. There's plenty of parking space and it's accessible by buses running along Bristol Road, Pershore Road and Salisbury Road.

The main purpose of this meeting is to introduce ourselves and decide what we can do in our local communities to publicise the campaign and win the argument. Bring along any ideas you have - and a friend. I'll be hovering round by the entrance wearing my NO2ID badge so feel free to tap me on the shoulder if you can't find the café.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Kula Shaker - Birmingham Academy

The list of NO2ID celebrity supporters continues to grow with Kula Shaker, appearing at The Academy in Birmingham city centre on Saturday 9 February, planning to mention NO2ID from the stage and on their website (see NO2ID on Extras). We'll have a local group at the venue to give out information and sign people up to the cause. Anyone interested in helping out on the stall should email

More to follow...

A list as long as your arm - plus your fingerprints

The full list of the 49 types of information that the Identity Cards Act says may be on the register (courtesy of the BBC). You can see the schedule here.

Personal information

  • full name
  • other names by which person is or has been known
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • gender
  • address of principal place of residence in the United Kingdom
  • the address of every other place in the United Kingdom or elsewhere where person has a place of residence
Identifying information
  • a photograph of head and shoulders
  • signature
  • fingerprints
  • other biometric information
Residential status
  • nationality
  • entitlement to remain in the United Kingdom where that entitlement derives from a grant of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, the terms and conditions of that leave
Personal reference numbers
  • National Identity Registration Number
  • the number of any ID card issued
  • allocated national insurance number
  • the number of any relevant immigration document
  • the number of their United Kingdom passport
  • the number of any passport issued to the individual by or on behalf of the authorities of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom or by or on behalf of an international organisation
  • the number of any document that can be used by them (in some or all circumstances) instead of a passport
  • the number of any identity card issued to him/her by the authorities of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom
  • any reference number allocated to him/her by the secretary of state in connection with an application made by him for permission to enter or to remain in the United Kingdom
  • the number of any work permit relating to him/her
  • any driver number given to him/her by a driving licence
  • the number of any designated document which is held by him/her and is a document the number of which does not fall within any of the preceding sub-paragraphs
  • the date of expiry or period of validity of a document the number of which is recorded by virtue of this paragraph
Record history
  • information falling within the preceding paragraphs that has previously been recorded about him/her in the Register
  • particulars of changes affecting that information and of changes made to his/her entry in the Register
  • date of death
Registration and ID card history
  • the date of every application for registration made by him/her
  • the date of every application by him/her for a modification of the contents of his entry
  • the date of every application by him/her confirming the contents of his entry (with or without changes)
  • the reason for any omission from the information recorded in his/her entry
  • particulars (in addition to its number) of every ID card issued to him/her
  • whether each such card is in force and, if not, why not
  • particulars of every person who has countersigned an application by him/her for an ID card or a designated document, so far as those particulars were included on the application
  • particulars of every notification given about lost, stolen and damaged ID cards
  • particulars of every requirement by the secretary of state for the individual to surrender an ID card issued to him
Validation information
  • the information provided in connection with every application to be entered in the Register, for a modification of the contents of his entry or for the issue of an ID card
  • the information provided in connection with every application confirming entry in the Register (with or without changes)
  • particulars of the steps taken, in connection with an application mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or otherwise, for identifying the applicant or for verifying the information provided in connection with the application
  • particulars of any other steps taken or information obtained for ensuring that there is a complete, up-to-date and accurate entry about that individual in the Register
  • particulars of every notification given by that individual for changing details in the register
Security information
  • a personal identification number to be used for facilitating the making of applications for information recorded in his/her entry, and for facilitating the provision of the information
  • a password or other code to be used for that purpose or particulars of a method of generating such a password or code
  • questions and answers to be used for identifying a person seeking to make such an application or to apply for or to make a modification of that entry
Records of provision of information
  • particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual's entry has been provided to a person
  • particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion
  • other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information

Monday, 21 January 2008

NO2ID Birmingham campaign

We at NO2ID are deeply concerned about the encroachment of Government into the private lives of the ordinary UK public - regardless of race, religion or politics. The relationship between state and citizen is undergoing extensive and unwelcome change.

There is no evidence that either the National Identity Register nor the ID card scheme can deliver the benefits to security and the protection against fraud that the Government claims, nor is there any evidence that they can competently protect our privacy. The ID card scheme uses untested technologies and the Government's record on data security is poor. The extent of the information required is astonishing.

Dame Stella Rimington, ex-MI5 chief, has said that ID cards could be rendered "useless" by forgery, but, despite rumours to the contrary, Gordon Brown is recently said to have made it "very clear" to a home office minister that he still supports ID cards. Meg Hillier MP has indicated that there is no question of a U-turn on the controversial scheme.

With the loss of 25 million records by the tax office, the theft of a laptop from the MOD and hundreds of thousands of patient records going missing from hospital trusts behind them, the Government will be issuing the first ID cards to foreign nationals this year as they push ahead with the initial stages of their plan.

So, should you be worried about data sharing and is there anything you can you do about it? Here are the main points of NO2ID's summary of the scheme:

Details of the scheme can be found on NO2ID's FAQ on ID cards or there's a list of the ways in which you can get involved.

If you have any questions about the scheme or how you can help the campaign, please contact us at and we will send you more information.

We will shortly be posting details of meetings and events on this site.