Friday, November 5, 2010

No2ID: UK Police Continue DNA Collection Practices

STARTING OVER - "Too many people believe we've won."
c/o No2ID

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Coalition is now scrapping ID cards and the National Identity Register, and the Identity Cards Act 2006 will soon be repealed.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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to help our continuing campaign to:

* STOP all unnecessary collection by government of personal information about law-abiding residents of the United Kingdom;
* STOP sharing of personal information between government bodies, orits use for new purposes, without the genuine, informed consent of the persons concerned or a specific warrant from a court;
* BUILD positive protections in law for individual privacy; and
* CREATE a right to compensation for unauthorised use of personal information;

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

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

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

Follow the bill's progress at:

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