Tag Archives: national dna database

Tom Brake MP writes… A landmark achievement in fight for our civil liberties

Today the Protection of Freedoms Bill became an Act: a landmark for the campaign to roll back Labour’s surveillance state. Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for this piece of legislation, proposing a “Freedom Bill” more than five years ago when Nick Clegg was the party’s Home Affairs Spokesman.

The Act will protect millions of people from unwarranted state intrusion in their private lives, building on some of the things we’ve already achieved like the ending of ID cards and the destruction of the National Identity Register.

I just want to highlight a couple of things that will now happen. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 12 Comments

Tom Brake writes: The Freedom Bill is a staging post towards an even freer society

The Freedom Bill is clear evidence of the Liberal Democrats setting the political agenda and making a positive difference to how we live in Britain.

It’s our robust answer to unwelcome and unwarranted intrusions into our everyday lives. It starts the dismantling of an overbearing surveillance state and restores British civil liberties that we used to be able to take for granted.

At the heart of the Bill is a commitment to safeguarding and protecting individuals and national security. What has felt to many like an obsession of the state to monitor our every waking moment is broken down by the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 17 Comments

Londoners: have your say on civil liberties and DNA

The Metropolitan Police Authority Civil Liberties Panel held an open meeting at City Hall on Thursday 1 July to hear what individuals and campaigning organisations think about DNA in policing and the use of National DNA Database (NDNAD).

The meeting enabled participants, as well as those who could not attend but submitted written evidence, to voice their concerns about the current and future use of DNA.

Major themes which emerged during the meeting included:

  • DNA collection seems to have become an end in itself, a process to be completed irrespective of proportionality
  • there should be more transparency specifically about how the DNA database is
  • Posted in London | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Innocent people deserve better treatment from Met over DNA database

    A party news release brings the message:

    Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson and member of the MPA, has today called for the Met to address its poor record of meeting requests by innocent people for the deletion of their DNA records held on a national database.

    At present only 24% of the requests from innocent people to have their DNA removed are granted by the Met.

    After questioning the Met Commissioner at today’s full meeting of the MPA Dee Doocey said:

    “The current situation is totally unsatisfactory. The Met Commissioner has the power to delete the records of innocent …

    Posted in London | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

    Daily View 2×2: 12 February 2010

    Friday already! And only twelve Action Weekends away from the General Election (we’re guessing)…

    2 Must-Read Blog Posts

    What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that caught my eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

    • Electoral marathon
    • Emma Bagley is pacing (and bracing) herself for the next twelve weeks.

    • Another one bites the dust
    • Andy Crick of Wit and Wisdom changes gear (and blog) for the campaign ahead.

    Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

    Daily View 2×2: 5 February 2010

    Happy birthday to Jo Swinson, Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire!

    2 Must-Read Blog Posts

    What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

    • Biometric data
    • How many people have had theirs taken under the Terrorism Act 2000, and how successful have they been at getting the samples destroyed? Lord Eric Avebury has put down a Parliamentary Question.

    • Will libertarian bloggers ever grow up?
    • Jonathan Calder wants libertarian bloggers to widen their repertoire beyond “Get out of my room Mom!”

    Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

    2 Big Stories

    Liberal Democrat MEP celebrates French equality win

    Since August 2007, French couples in a Pacte Civil de Solidarité (PAC) have enjoyed the same rights in relation to tax and inheritance laws which had previously only applied to married couples. However, due to a legal anomaly, British civil partnerships were not recognised under French law, meaning couples living in France were liable for a 60% inheritance tax and were treated like any other unmarried couple.

    Graham Watson pointed out the ridiculous situation that many people faced: “Up until now, the practicality of French law has meant that British civil partners living in France would have to dissolve their partnership and enter into a PAC in order to secure the same rights as French couples. This violated the idea of European citizenship and equality, and something had to be done.”

    Watson asked the European Commission to press the French Government on the issue.
    Ministers have now announced that British civil partnerships are recognised as equal to PACs, and reimbursements will be made to individuals who have made undue tax payments since August 2007.

    Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

    DNA profiles removed at rate of only one a day

    So the Independent reports figures unearthed by Paul Holmes MP:

    Innocent people’s DNA profiles are being removed from the national database at a rate of barely one a day, figures showed today.

    Home Office minister Alan Campbell said just 377 profiles were deleted in 2009 after appeals to police chiefs.

    Liberal Democrat policing spokesman Paul Holmes, who uncovered the figures through a written parliamentary question, described the situation as a “disgrace”.

    Mr Holmes said chief constables were being discouraged from removing the genetic fingerprint of innocent people until new legislation is passed, which he insisted would not happen before the general election.

    The DNA

    Posted in Big mad database and News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

    The DNA Database: Making faking easier

    So, the government has decided that it should keep DNA data for six years on people who have not been convicted of any crime, despite most consultation respondents disagreeing with retention.

    Why is this a problem? Is it just that we have some strange out-moded belief that people should be treated as innocent until proven guilty? It’s certainly true that the government’s argument is precisely that people who have been arrested are more likely to offend in the future (‘re-offend’ was the revealing term used on radio). We are therefore saying to people that although they have not been convicted, we …

    Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

    Damian’s DNA

    As the Guardian reports:

    Damian Green, the Conservative frontbench immigration spokesman whose arrest during a Home Office leaks inquiry sparked a parliamentary storm, has won a four-month battle to have his DNA, fingerprint and police records destroyed.

    The Metropolitan police told Green’s lawyers he is to be treated as “an exceptional case”. His DNA sample and fingerprints, taken when he was arrested, will be deleted within “a number of weeks”.

    Meanwhile, for everyone else in Britain, different rules apply, despite a clear ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.

    To Green’s credit, he does not want to be a special case: …

    Posted in Big mad database | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

    Police told to ignore European Court of Human Rights over DNA database

    Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last December, the Association of Chief Police Officers has written to chief constables in England and Wales advising them to continue adding the DNA profiles of innocent people to the national DNA database. They have been told that new Home Office guidelines will not take effect until 2010.

    From the Guardian:

    Senior police officers have also been “strongly advised” that it is “vitally important” that they resist individual requests based on the Strasbourg ruling to remove DNA profiles from the national database in cases such as wrongful arrest,

    Posted in Big mad database and News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

    Children added to DNA database daily

    Figures uncovered by Jo Shaw, Lib Dem PPC for Holborn and St Pancras, show that DNA samples are being taken from children in Camden at the rate of nearly one a day.

    From the BBC:

    A freedom of information (FOI) request by the Liberal Democrats showed DNA has been taken from an average of 360 young people in Camden every year since 2000.

    The samples, from children as young as 10, have been kept regardless of whether charges were ever brought…

    Ms Shaw, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Holborn & St Pancras, made the FOI request to the government’s DNA database

    Posted in Big mad database and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

    The database state and the true cost of Labour’s free lunches

    During the Unlock Democracy debate at the Convention on Modern Liberty last month, Justice Minister Michael Wills defended the growth of the database state by arguing:

    “We’ve heard a lot of about datasharing today. But that datasharing, that so many here today say is an unacceptable intrusion of privacy by the state, can actually help thousands and thousands of children who are eligible for free school meals but don’t get them at the moment… Look, it’s all very well for you to sit here. You’ve probably all had a hot meal in the last week. One

    Posted in Big mad database and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

    Makes you proud to be British, part 94

    Perhaps it’s a good thing the Daily Mail thinks I’m a foreigner, because if I was British I’d have to be rather ashamed of my country today:

    Baby’s DNA was held on database … Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said it was “ludicrous” to have stored the DNA profile. He said: “It is illegal, immoral and ineffective to keep the DNA of a baby on a national police database as if they had committed some felony.” (BBC)

    and

    Britain has been accused of taking part in US “renditions” of terror suspects in a United Nations report. UN Special Rapporteur

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments
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