Friday, 11 December 2009


In this video (it's on google videos--see sidebar below) Phil Booth, NO2ID National Co-ordiantor, and Peter Tatchell talk about the ID Scheme. The interview makes for compelling viewing, and Phil sums up very well all that is wrong with this disasterous and politically dangerous project. Although the video was done a little while ago, I feel this highly relevant discussion serves as a good recap for the Thanet NO2ID (+ Dover NO2ID + Canterbury NO2ID) blog to end the decade with--unless something really stunning happens in the next 20 days :)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Liverpool Labour rebel councillors say No 2 ID

I am delighted to pass on the following “hot” press release which indicates yet more resistance to the governments'looney ID scheme:

Last night Liverpool City Council passed a motion - with the full support of the Labour group - rejecting the government's ID card scheme. The motion, prompted by reports that Liverpool may follow Manchester as a 'beacon city' for the roll out of the National Identity Scheme, bans the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) from using any council-controlled premises or facilities to promote the scheme. It also suggests that Gordon Brown set out to mislead last autumn's Labour Party Conference about the scheme. NO2ID says the 'voluntary' pilot scheme is an ID Card Con. Anyone induced to pay £30 for an ID card also has to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed by the IPS, and becomes subject for life to regulations issued by the Home Office under the Identity Cards Act. Their personal information may be passed to other government departments, their use of the card is tracked, and they must report any change in personal circumstances to the IPS or face penalties of up to £1,000.

Phil Booth, NO2ID's National Coordinator, said:'Neither the people of Liverpool nor their elected representatives have been conned. We particularly congratulate Labour councillors for taking their constituents' sides against the Home Office's favourite surveillance scheme, even if a Labour Home Secretary complacently lets the bureaucrats steam on, spending uncounted millions in the biggest ID theft of all.'

--Your people Stephen.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

"Secure database"--what a joke

Another of our predictions, i.e.that the national register databse is NOT secure and WILL be compromised, has already come true. OK, so nine people have been sacked for data breach. But it's not their fault--the hairbrained ID scheme is inherently flawed in design and concept. Unyet our dumbo government are pushing ahead with ID cards and the associated database in an appalling display of ignorant stubborness.

NO2ID states on the national website:

IT providers find that identity systems work best when limited in design. The Home Office scheme combines untested technologies on an unparalleled scale. Its many inchoate purposes create innumerable points for failure. The government record with computer projects is poor, and the ID system is likely to end up a broken mess.

We told you so folks...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

NO2ID applauds Laura Sandys' position on ID cards

Thanet Tory Laura Sandys, who is standing for the Conservatives in Thanet South at the next general election, has come out loud and clear against ID cards. Her position on the duff ID card scheme, and her general orientation against state snooping, is highly commendable. As Laura says on her website, "Governments want to regulate our behaviour, our freedom of speech and now planning to monitor our every move through the introduction of Identity cards." It is encouraging to see that someone who might well gain power in the not too distant future grasps the fact that the government's insidious ID card scheme is really all about social control.
Note: NO2ID is a non-party pressure group and we do not tell people how to vote.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

ID Cards? No thanks.

Parliament recently passed some legislative “tools” to allow the authorities to impose fines on people for not updating their British ID Card—when and IF (don’t do it!) they get one. This just makes a mockery of the governments’ talk about ID cards being “voluntary.”

Opposition to, or at least suspicion of, the ID card scheme has bloomed greatly among the British public this year, and I am grateful to NO2ID colleague Ian for forwarding his latest press release which addresses this trend:

Home Secretary Alan Johnson plans to go ahead with the ID Cards scheme and the new database of personal information behind it, despite polls showing that 68% of the population think state databases already hold too much information about them, and 79% believing the £5bn cost would be better spent elsewhere. Ian Taylor, Dover Branch Co-ordinator of the NO2ID campaign, said: "The cards' appearance is a distraction from the real issues. This is another step towards the snooper state. Anyone accepting one of these cards will be fingerprinted and have their daily lives monitored via a £5bn database gathering details of how they use it. ID Card holders would be forced to report every change in their personal details for the rest of their life, and would never be allowed to hand the card back. Only three weeks ago the government enacted fines of up to £1000 for anyone losing an ID card, or failing to buy a new one every ten years.” Whitehall's identity cards scheme has no place in our country, and must be scrapped immediately.

On another, technical, note I was intrigued to learn from this post on the excellent Spy Blog that an ID card could conceivably make you a bomb target. Still want an ID Card? No thanks.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Saying “No” to ID cards, and all that they entail

NO2ID is a non-partisan (i.e. non-party) campaign group which is fighting to keep Britain free. The biggest threat to our democracy, curiously enough, is our own government’s ID scheme, which if implemented will have the whole population numbered, tagged and tracked for life. I didn’t think it could happen in this country, but as soon as I heard the words “identity cards” I knew something was wrong.

It is true that in many countries identity cards are a fact of life, and no one blinks an eyelid over their existence. It is also true that identity cards are first and foremost a means of social control. In no way are they a convenience—so let’s get that straight right from the start. Also, very few countries have centralised database-linked identity cards, and those that do are highly authoritarian states.

The ID scheme system being pushed through by this government, against all advice, is an expensive monstrosity, but it is also—and here is the nub of the matter—demonstrably politically dangerous, so dangerous that it is just unconscionable that a British government could be responsible for its implementation. Let’s be very clear about this: information is power and the ID scheme is a grab for power.

What am I talking about? Well, when you troop off to apply for a British Identity card you will be asked to surrender a large amount of information about yourself, and have your biometrics (fingerprints, iris scans) taken. This, really, is the whole trick—you are told that ID cards are going to improve your security, that they are a wonderful idea, and in exchange you give up your information. Is this a fair exchange? Not really: you just gave up your privacy for life; your inconvenience has just begun, and you are not the slightest bit more secure, far from it.

The information you surrender will be held on a centralised government database—the National Identity Register. So what? So now thousands of government officials will potentially be able to access your information. (The reverse is not true—you cannot see their information). Every time your Identity card is used to verify your identity, a record will be kept on the computer. This means that an “audit trail” of all your public transactions will be available to government officials, for life: you have been tagged. (And you will be paying for the verification checks—your ID is now something you will have to pay for constantly!)

Although I personally don’t think they are necessary or desirable, there is a case for introducing a universal identity card, and there are ways of doing this that are reasonably safe and democratic. What makes the government’s scheme so unacceptable is the database element, and the fact that so many people will have a right of access to information about you, at will and with no warrant required. This shifts the balance of power between citizen and state massively in favour of the state. One Guardian reader recently (Letters Monday 2 March 2009) commented:

I have no objection to personal data being collected and stored on government or other databases provided that:
a) I have the absolute and inalienable right to access such information at any time in a free, complete and comprehensive form, including the right to know who else has access to or has accessed any such information.
b) I have the same right to be informed immediately when the data is collected or used.
c) I have the same right to access the same data held on anyone who accesses my information in whatever form.

What the Reverend Geoff Percival is trying to highlight here is that under the “Identity Cards Act”, 2006, you don’t have these rights; you are just expected to accept the massive imbalance of power between you and the government. If they tried to set up this system in America, or any other democratic country, there would be an uproar the likes of which we saw in Australia back in the 1990s (The Aussie public showed itself to be less gullible and more combative than its British counterpart—up to now anyway).

To summarize: By applying for a British Identity card you will effectively be giving permission to the government to keep your personal details and DNA on file for the rest of your life and for the lifetimes of all your descendants. Your details will be stored in one easily accessed place, all together (a massive security risk). You will pay for the ID card to be linked to a file, and pay to renew it every year or as often as required by the government. An official could alter your records without your permission and without telling you. You will not be able to know who made such alterations. You have no legal right or authority to get mistakes on your file corrected. You will be legally responsible for the accuracy of your record, and pay hefty fines if there are inaccuracies. You will effectively be agreeing that every single official in any Council in the land, plus all government employees, plus any members of quangos, charities etc should have full, unrestricted access to your records, both information about your personal life, finances, and health history.

If all this is not a totalitarian nightmare, I don’t know what is. Wake up people. Join NO2ID today.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

NO2ID Spring Offensive

As recent announcements from the Home Secretary testify, the government seem intent on pushing the ID scheme forward, against all advice and in the face of growing resistance. Manchester is the latest target where unwitting citizens are being encouraged to apply for the card, and in one stroke sign away their privacy for life.

Our adivce is simple: DON'T APPLY FOR A BRITISH IDENTITY CARD. If you do, your private information will be on tap, via the associated database, to almost any public official for life.

Meanwhile, NO2ID remains active in East Kent, and a number of upcoming activities may interest concerned--and you should all be concerned--readers:

On Saturday, 16th May Canterbury NO2ID will hold a street stall, 10am - 1pm in Canterbury High St. There will be a meeting afterwards to gather materials for a protest in Dover later in the month.

A Canterbury NO2ID meeting will take place at the Bell and Crown on Thursday, 21st May, 7.30pm. New faces welcome.

On 30th May there will be a joint East Kent NO2ID action protest at the Dover Interrogation Centre. More details to follow.

For more information about the above events please contact the relevant co-ordinators, email contact addresses are listed in the side bar.

Please do get involved with NO2ID. The national ID card scheme is a real scandal, and we will be re-visiting all the reasons why its such a dangerous and unprincipled scheme in our next post.