Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday 28 March 2008

Latest news from NO2ID

According to a survey conducted by The British Computer Society among over 1,000 people, it was found that two-thirds of those asked had less confidence than previously in the ability of government institutions to correctly manage their data. Those who expressed this concern would now be very wary, if asked, to divulge their personal details to such government departments and would want much more information as to who would be accessing those details.

Staff working on the Home Affairs Committee’s ‘A Surveillance Society?’ inquiry last week scored an own goal when they were individually emailed the announcement of the final evidence session. The sender had forgotten to exclude the other recipients names and email addresses from the email header, with their full contact details available for all to see!

Fingerprinting all of those who enter the new Terminal 5 building at Heathrow has been suspended for the time being following a ruling from the Information Commissioner’s Office that the measure may be illegal. Domestic and international passengers transferring onto domestic flights at Heathrow were to be fingerprinted from the start of business on Thursday. However, since the opening of the new terminal yesterday turned out to be a complete disaster with check-in and luggage systems badly malfunctioning, it’s just as well. Knowing BAA’s incompetence, all of those thumb scans might have ended up posted on You Tube by now!

Nevertheless, BAA is pressing ahead with the photographing, or ‘biometric capture’ of all passengers passing through Terminal 5. Those who refuse will be denied access to their flights. Although BAA cites this as a requirement by the Department for Transport, when one ex-pat asked the DfT about this he was told that, in fact, the issue was the responsibility of the Border & Immigration Agency. After contacting them on the issue of compulsory biometric capture, BIA denied any involvement, re-directing the ex-pat back to the DfT! It seems that there is even more chaos attached to the new terminal apart from that which filled the headlines yesterday. Do you trust having your biometric mugshot being bandied around by these fools?

Since the first interviews have been conducted for new passport applicants last May, no fraudulent applications have been found so far. This goes a good way to admitting that the whole regime is not to detect fraud but to inconvenience ordinary people with wholly uneccessary intrusions into their lives.

Airport workers and members of Unite are protesting the imposition of ID cards upon their members and have met with the Home Office on the subject.

In another chapter of the ‘terrorist threat’ myth, MI5 are now requesting total access to commuters travel records under proposed new counter-terrorism powers.

Meanwhile the Joint Committee on Human Rights has warned that the British government has persistently failed to take data protection seriously.

If you are asked to give, what appears to be unecessarily probing personal information, fingerprinting or biometric capture in this country - right to your MP. Only by creating strong opposition to these intrusions will we re-gain any of our rights as citizens and expose this ‘terrorism’ myth that our government is using as a vehicle to incarcerate our lives for their advantage.

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