Cameron agrees to repealing the Identity Cards Act

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Fame at last

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NO2ID Video: Take Jane

This video highlights one of the problems that the National Identity Scheme(NIS) is likely to make worse.

Whilst the above scenario could happen (I think it is quite likely to happen), the following have happened and involve similar problems with existing government databases:

Many other examples can be found via this Magna Carta Plus article.

The NIS will make these problems worse by requiring people to register changes of address (on pain of penalties upto £1000), by storing data in one central database accessed by all public bodies and by facilitating the cross-linking and sharing of data by those public bodies.

Glasgow No2ID Music Gig

Glasgow’s No2ID group, campaigning against the government’s national identity scheme, have organised a fundraising music gig for the 26th July at Barfly, 260 Clyde Street, Glasgow, doors open at 8pm. Tickets are £5 in advance, £6 on the door. You can buy them here.

The gig takes place on both floors with downstairs featuring rock/metal and upstairs for acoustic/experimental music.

Bands appearing include: Mama Mayhem, Serpico, Marshan, Stonesthrow, Warped Memories and Traquair.

See also the No2ID music site on myspace.

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NO2ID Comedy Gig in Glasgow

NO2ID, in conjunction with Ha Ha Comedy, are organising a comedy gig as part of the international comedy festival currently in progress in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s organised for the 24th March, 8pm, at the Old Fruitmarket. Tickets £10 or £8 for concessions.

See here for full details.

Update: Confirmed comedians for this event include: You owe me glue, Glen Wool, Patrick Monahan, Toby Hadoke, Des Maclean and Lucy Porter.

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Some news items

Here’s a brief roundup to help catch up on recent developments in various areas:

Anyway that’s all for now.

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Renew for Freedom

renew for freedom - MAY 2006 - renew your passport

With the passing of the Identity Cards Act 2006, the law enabling the creation of the national identity register (NIR) and accompanying ID card in Britain, No2ID has launched its Renew for Freedom campaign.

The idea is to get as many people as possible to renew their passports during the month of May (i.e. this month!). Those that do so will end up with a passport valid for 10 years and will do so before the point at which renewing passports will entail registering on the NIR.

The government has so far indicated that, from 2008 onwards, passport renewals will entail registering on the NIR and getting a card (though the card, but only the card, can be opted out of until 2010). They are keen to get as many people onto the system as possible. Clearly if the scheme is to be scrapped, it will help to ensure that as many people as possible refuse to register. If the numbers are large enough it will make compelling people to get a card unviable.

Renewing your passport now will therefore enable you to hold out against having to register on the NIR for longer than it would otherwise. Also, renewing now minimises the risk of being compelled to register on the NIR should the government move the timetable forward.

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Tory peers cave in and let the Identity Cards Bill become an Act

Tory peers have accepted an amendment to the Identity Cards Bill allowing people renewing passports to opt out of getting an ID card until 2010. However they still have to register on the system, which means this “compromise” is nothing of the sort. So much for the Tory party defending civil liberties.

More details here.

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ID card roadshow in Edinburgh tomorrow

Apparently, the government’s identity cards “roadshow”, a charm offensive the govt is using to try to win over the public on the proposals, will be hitting Edinburgh tomorrow according to the Glasgow No2ID website:

On Sunday 11th September, it was announced that the Home Office would be starting a 7 day “biometric roadshow” to try to sell the concept of ID cards to the British public. The roadshow started today with Andy Burnham MP, minister for ID cards, visiting Manchester Airport on Monday to show off the Home Office’s dreams for biometric technology – BBC story (appeared Sunday afternoon).

The Home Office are trying to keep news of these events secret before they occur. On Monday afternoon they flatly refused to let me know if there were any plans for the roadshow to come to Scotland. The Home Office did not make a press release about the Manchester event public until it had already started.

Despite the Home Office refusing to tell us about future dates and venues, we have learnt that the roadshow will be at the Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh on Wednesday 14th September. Andy Burnham will be there from 11:00 to 12:00.

If you can possibly get to Edinburgh on Wednesday to join in a small protest, hand out a few leaflets and challenge a minister to answer some of the questions that they have been avoiding, then please let me know. Or just turn up, if you prefer.

Sorry about the short notice, but the Home Office are trying to keep this quiet. We need all the help we can get – please get in touch: glasgow@no2id.net

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New No2ID pledge

Following the success of the earlier No2ID pledge, a new pledge has been set up, aimed at those who are opposed to ID cards but feel they cannot incur the fines or possible jail sentences associated with refusing to get one. The new pledge reads:

I will actively support those people who, on behalf of all of us*, refuse to register for an ID card, and I pledge to pay at least £20 into a fighting fund for them but only if 50000 other people will too.

The originator of the pledge is a mother called Franky Ma, and as the website explains this pledge is aimed at those who for whatever reason feel that they can’t join in a campaign of non-compliance directly:

“As the mother of a young child I can’t risk her rights with mine by contesting ID cards directly, but I want to do everything I can to make sure she grows up in a free country.” – Franky

*Many people, including Franky, have told NO2ID that they really want to refuse to register but they feel that their professional or family responsibilities mean they cannot personally contest registration–which could stop them travelling, working, and exercising many other civil rights.

The government’s so-called ‘voluntary’ phase is a lie. Linking your passport to the National Identity Register and ID card WITH NO OPT-OUT is coercion, not choice. It may, in fact, prove to be a violation of human rights conventions.

NO2ID has already found over 10,000 people willing to test this–and the government’s apparent intent to starve out the non-compliant. They will need your support.

The aim is to collect 50,000 signatures for this pledge by 31st March 2006. Given that they got 10,000 signatures for the earlier pledge in a matter of weeks, with a 9th October deadline, I’d suggest they’ve got a good chance of achieving this.

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