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This page provides occasional items, linked to the original articles, as we attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing situation on civil liberties.
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The government’s record on protecting personal information and identity documents

Posted by James Hammerton @ 9:57 pm on 19 May, 2006.
Categories privacy and surveillance.
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One of the arguments the government has been using for its Identity Cards scheme is that it will help secure people’s personal information and protect them from identity fraud by providing secure identity document. When considering this claim, it’s worth considering the competence of the people who are putting it forward, i.e. the government and in particular the Home Office. The record is not impressive:

The Identity Cards Act will create a national identity register storing every name you’ve been known by, every address you’ve ever lived at and, each time your identity is checked who checked it and why. It will also feature a unique National Identity Registration Number issued to each individual, which will eventually index to all the other government databases thus making it much easier for people to steal information about you. The government claims this scheme will help to secure your identity, but given it is responsible for the above shambles, would you trust them?

Renew for freedom

Posted by James Hammerton @ 7:54 pm on 7 May, 2006.
Categories privacy and surveillance, political liberties.
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With the passing of the Identity Cards Act 2006, the No2ID campaign has launched its Renew for Freedom drive, urging people to renew their passports during May (i.e. by the end of this month!).

renew for freedom - MAY 2006 - renew your passport

The aim is to get as many people as possible to renew their passports now, before the point at which passport renewal entails registering on the planned National Identity Register (NIR), the centralised database that forms the backbone of the identity cards scheme. If the scheme is to be successfully opposed and scrapped, it will be important to ensure that a large number of people simply refuse to register on the NIR. Renewing your passport now will ensure that you won’t be compelled to register on the NIR in order simply to be able to travel abroad. Of course the government intends to compel everyone to register eventually, but if the numbers who are unregistered are kept high enough it simply will not be viable for them to do so. If nothing else though, renewing now gives those who wish to resist this scheme more room for maneouvre.

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