Monday, August 31, 2009


The UK's current administration has a very one sided practice on public identity management, NO2ID reports.

The way Britain undertakes crime scene investigations and the existence of the
DNA database have both come under intense scrutiny following the news scientists in Israel have successfully replicated DNA samples.

The UK has the largest per capita DNA database in the world and the
government often stresses the infallibility of DNA evidence to justify
the expansion of the database. But now researchers at forensic DNA
technology company
Nucleix say that DNA samples can be faked.
They have demonstrated how artificial DNA could be implanted into real blood giving the blood a new profile. A modified blood sample was sent to a US laboratory that works with FBI forensic teams and they failed to catch the forgery. Interestingly though, Nucleix has come up with the solution - an authentication method that distinguishes between real and fake samples. However the mere fact that DNA can be faked may question the reliance on DNA in criminal cases. US defence attorney Michael Cardoza told CNN news: "it opens up an entire avenue of cross examination that was never there before. Can you imagine their expert, the prosecution's expert on the stand - we will now be able to ask them: 'It's possible to fabricate DNA?'", adding "it will give a lot of defence attorneys something to talk about in court, it will make prosecutors work a lot harder".


Conservative MP Damian Green has won his battle to have his DNA removed from the National DNA Database but, as he himself acknowledged, "...this is only a first step. I want every innocent person who has been arrested and whose records are being wrongly held to be treated the same as me."

While a high profile public figure may successfully argue that he is an
"exceptional case", this still leaves hundreds of thousands of people
never charged or convicted of a crime on the database - with thousands more being added every month. Mr Green's case highlights how arbitrary and unfair the system is, and reveals how little the government has done in the nine months since the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the blanket and indiscriminate retention of the DNA profiles and fingerprints of innocent people was unlawful.

It's time to take action. If they won't, we must.

Most people simply don't know in what circumstances they can apply to have their DNA profiles removed, or how. Which is why NO2ID joined forces with Genewatch UK, Open Rights Group, Liberty and others to build - an advice site that can walk you through the process and even help you draft the necessary letter.

Labour MP Diane Abbott and lawyers from Liberty will be holding a 'DNA clinic' in Hackney to provide help and advice to those who want their DNA profiles removed from the national database.

We desperately need to raise public awareness and keep the pressure on -the Parliamentary battle will resume this autumn - so please write a letter to your local paper suggesting that people who are innocent and want to have their DNA removed use - or, if you are in a city, asking whether something similar to Ms Abbott's 'DNA clinic' can be done in your area.

With nearly 5 million people on the DNA database, almost 1 million of them children, you may not be directly affected - but you probably know someone who is.

Chronicle the UK's Identity Minister, Lord Brett, said the ID cards
might not be recognised outside the UK by other EU member states.

According to the Home Office, ID cards will be accepted as travel
documents across Europe when they are launched,[whenever that is.]

On Friday we reported that in an interview with the Oldham Evening
Chronicle the UK's Identity Minister, Lord Brett, said the ID cards
might not be recognised outside the UK by other EU member states.

A NO2ID supporter wrote this week to tell us that Advanced Passenger Information (API) is now a requirement when booking flights with many carriers. "British Airways and Easyjet now make passengers booking a flight online fill in passport information(number, date of issue, expiry, nationality, date of birth) with a threat that failure to do so may mean one cannot fly. This data has to be given before travelling and before the day of departure. When asked,
an Easyjet operative said, 'It is a government/EU requirement'."

OTHER NEWS: ID Convictions & Struggling with Biometrics

Two people have been successfully prosecuted for refusing to provide authorities with their encryption keys, resulting in landmark
convictions that may have carried jail sentences of up to five years.

An entrepreneur whose fledgling business was ruined by a false entry in a court database has had his claim for compensation rejected by a High Court judge. The decision could set a broad and troubling precedent, because Mr Justice Bill Blair QC - brother of the former PM Tony Blair -ruled that the civil service cannot be found liable for the damage caused by its record keeping mistakes.

MUST SEE! ::Does biometrics prevent or promote identity fraud? Dr Edgar Whitley of the London School of Economics "questions whether the government's plan to protect us from identity fraud through its proposed ID card scheme could backfire" in this short video.

In 5,000 schools, children are required to give fingerprints to use the library. And the king of databases will be the national ID card scheme which, the Government hopes, will eventually hold data for identifying every one of us.

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