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More recent content…

Scrambling for Safety 7 — Snoopers’ Charters and Data Retention

9 November 2003

Finally (damn those retailers for wanting xmas websites ;o) we have finished typing up our notes from FIPR and PI's Seventh Scrambling for Safety conference. Our notes (HTML: 50kb) are on the site now. There was a follow-up meeting at the House of Lords last Wednesday, but we couldn't make it to that (see above re real jobs), but we'll link to some notes as soon as we can find some.

ID cards are on their way

7 November 2003

Looks like Blunkett's got his way — in part, at least. The government is going to be introducing a Draft Bill for the introduction of an ID card scheme at the State Opening of Parliament, later this month. We'll put up some more information once we have it. Whilst you wait, you may enjoy some of these opinion articles in the wake of the government's announcement: Philip Hensher in the Indy (sorry, pay site); Alan Travis in the Guardian; Nick Cohen in the Observer.

Whilst the government is trying to spin this as a climbdown — nothing will happen "until the end of the decade" — this seems to us more like everything the Home Office wanted, with a few trials and a voluntary scheme being introduced first, so that the actual, mandatory scheme is delayed until safely after the next election. Cynical, us?

Government stalling on ID Cards

17 October 2003

One of our volunteers, Owen Blacker, faxed his MP, asking about the "Entitlement Cards" consultation — how much longer we're gonna have to wait for a summary of the consultation responses, for example. Well, he got a response, at last, which he's scanned as JPEGs (page one, page two; sorry, no OCR handy). Though it seems to bear a striking resemblence to the Home Office's "Entitlement Cards" page.


23 September 2003

David Aaronovitch wrote a comment piece in today's Guardian that we just couldn't let slide. So we wrote to them about it (the version they published is here).

Another Snoopers’ Charter?

15 September 2003

The Home Office has press-released its summary of the consultation on the withdrawn "Snoopers' Charter". You can read our response (Word doc; 130kb), submitted back in June, but we're still thinking about the new Draft Statutory Instrument (Word doc: 71kb; PDF: 66kb), so we'll get back to you with an analysis shortly…

Update, 2003-09-16: The Home Office has just provided us with the five Statutory Instruments laid before Parliament last Friday. We have created a page linking to all five Orders.

More on ID Cards…

8 July 2003

You may have read in the Times (article, leader) over the weekend that there was a Cabinet memo from everyone's favorite Home Secretary leaked over the weekend, regarding the introduction of an ID card scheme (despite the Home Office finally admitting that the overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation were opposed to the idea, see below).

Several newspapers have been quite sensible and seen through Mr Blunkett's rather optimistic, misleading and unrealistic assessment of the "help" they might provide in some areas (asylum seekers, terrorists, benefits fraudsters, identity thieves etc) and have published articles on the subject. Some others (curiously, all the ones owned by a certain Australian-American) have been rather more swayed by Mr Blunkett's rhetoric. The Guardian, though — who were very good at giving the consultation due exposure and who raised some interesting and valid points on the subject some months ago — have been strangely silent. So we wrote them a letter. They've not yet published it, but we'll put up a link, should they do so.

Snoopers’ Consultation

16 June 2003

We've been a little slow at getting this consultation response online, but the Home Office recently finished consulting on the withdrawn "Snoopers Charter" extension to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act, that we campaigned over last summer.

As you might expect, we had a few words to say on the matter. Whilst we've not managed to make a nice HTML version yet, you can read the Word doc we submitted to the Home Office (130kb) until we do. Or you could go on to look at the mess the Home Office still seems to be getting itself into about ID cards, below…

ID Cards — Home Office starts lying about the figures

31 May 2003

Yes, it appears that — either by having outdated figures, or by counting all the STAND-relayed submissions as one collective statement — the government is claiming much lower (and more positive) figures for their ID card consultation than our statistics indicate. We've written them a letter to find out more, and are currently pursuing a couple of other channels to get an answer. In the mean time, if you wrote a submission via STAND and wouldn't mind it being used publicly by us as an example of the contributions made through the service, mail us at stand@stand.org.uk. We'll get in touch if we need to. Thanks!

A Cynic’s Guide to Entitlement (*cough* ID *cough*) Cards

31 January 2003

The government's consultation on "entitlement" cards has now closed. many thanks to the thousands of people who took the time and effort to write a response to the home office's proposals and/or let their mp know about their feelings regarding id cards.

The proof of the pudding is in the legislating, but it certainly looks like you all had an impact. The Government's rhetoric has moved rapidly since just before Christmas when Lord Falconer's over-hasty self-congratulation woke us up.

Over 5000 of you responded to the ID card consultation via this website, of which several thousand went on to use FaxYourMP.com to inform their MP of their concerns.

Allow yourselves a brief, gentle glow of pride… but keep 'em peeled.

You can download the STAND.org.uk submission to the Government's Entitlement Cards Consulation as a 400k Word doc or there's also a (somewhat bloated) 350k HTML version, if you prefer.

consultation responses were submitted via this site between 10th and 31st January 2003.

If you want to know more, the Privacy International FAQ on the ID Card proposals is well worth a read.

Older content?

You can also view old STAND homepages from 2003-01-10 and 2002-06-10.

Link to index of issues
ID cards
Data Access & Data Retention
Older content
ID Cards
7 November 2003
Blunkett's introducing ID cards…
17 October 2003
Response from the Home Office
23 September 2003
David Aaronovitch pens idiocy, we respond
8 July 2003
Leaked news from Blunkett
31 May 2003
HO lies about the figures
31 January 2003
Consultation closes, responses through our portal
Data Access & Data Retention
9 November 2003
Scrambling for Safety 7
15 September 2003
HO releases consultation responses and draft SIs
16 June 2003
HO consultation on the Snoopers' Charter — our response