The 10 candidates for the Mayor of London election , as well as those representing other groups contesting the Greater London Assembly elections, on May 1st 2008 are now officially listed by London Elects.
Interestingly, the broad political spectrum cross-party NO2ID Campaign has organised a campaign hustings meeting, which will give members of the public and the press and media a chance to see how the candidates stack up against each other, in terms of their policies and promises for London, regarding privacy, security, surveillance, data protection, civil liberties etc. issues
NO2ID is holding hustings among the candidates for Mayor of London to discover their positions on
THE DATABASE STATE
As well as housing Whitehall, London has many information and identity management systems of its own. How do candidates feel about the civil liberties and privacy implications of, among other things, the Oyster Card, congestion charging, telephone parking? Would they support or oppose national ID schemes as mayor? What is their attitude to the database state?
Invitations are being issued to every party with London representation at Westminster, in Strasbourg or in the GLA. Chair TBC
Prospective candidates Gerard Batten (UKIP), Siân Berry (Green), Lindsey German (Respect / The Left List), Boris Johnson (Conservative), and Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat) have indicated interest in participating already.
Time: 7pm Tuesday 8th April 2008
Place: Friends House, 173 Euston Road NW1 2BJ (map)
Press enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other London database state issues which are likely to be raised by the public include:
- The function creep in the extension of use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras / CCTV Cameras from their original purpose e.g. systems which were installed on the promise that they would make the streets safer from street robberies and violence, but which are being used instead, by Local Authorities like the London Boroughs of Camden or Richmond, to collect hundreds of thousands of pounds in fixed penalty notices, even from car drivers who have only stopped for a few seconds to let an emergency services vehicle etc. pass them safely.
- The Home Secretary has crippled the Data Protection Act enforcement powers of the Information Commissioner regarding the handing over of all the Camera data, in bulk, in real time, in secret, from Transport for London to the Metropolitan Police Service, including the Central and the Westward Expansion Congestion Charge zones, and the larger Low Emission Zone and TfL traffic CCTV cameras in general.
What extra safeguards and protections for innocent London travellers, would each of the candidates implement or demand ?
Why should London taxpayers or Congestion Charge or LEZ charge payers pay for this secret data snooping scheme, rather than it being funded from the Central Government "single security budget" ?
- "Kiddy Printing" use of fingerprint scanners in schools, and at Heathrow Airport,
- "see through your clothes or your children's clothes" scanner trials and actual deployment at Canary Wharf, but also being threatened for use in schools or on the Tube.
- All the mad / "snake oil" schemes for mass surveillance which are likely to be touted by vendors and suppliers of equipment and services, ahead of the multi billion pound (in)security budget spend for the London 2012 Olympic Games e.g. "aggressive audio behaviour" snooping linked to (even more) CCTV cameras, or the, extremely hazardous in a heavily built up urban area, "pilotless surveillance camera drones".
- Will the candidates promise to force the removal of any extra mass surveillance and snooping systems, which may be justified temporarily for only the Olympic Games period ? Or is the permanent "legacy" of the Olympic Games going to include even more of the infrastructure of a repressive police state ?
It will be interesting to see how many of these five candidates, or the other five candidates, turn up to this hustings event.
The other five Mayoral candidates are: