Leaked Documents Show Thousands Could Have Their Homes Searched

NO2ID has received a Leaked Home Office document that seeks to take away the fundemental civil liberties of any worker on the government’s intrusive and unwanted ID card scheme.
A secret Home Office document leaked to campaign group NO2ID yesterday shows that the thousands of workers on the ID scheme face the possibility of having their homes entered and searched on the say-so
of the Home Secretary.

The papers were passed to NO2ID’s national co-ordinator, Phil Booth, in the aftermath of the furore over the police raid on Damian Green MP’s office.

The document is the Non-Disclosure Agreement that was signed by those companies bidding for work related to the National Identity Scheme (the ID card programme).

It was drafted in 2007 and has been signed by the five companies [1] on the supplier short-list, one of which (Thales) has since been awarded a multi-million pound contract to start work on the scheme.

Clause 5 of the document provides the grounds upon which the Home Office can secure access to the property, computers and records of the company, its employees and subcontractors.

Such access would be at the ‘sole discretion’ of the Home Secretary. No search warrant or judicial oversight would be required.

This would mean, for example, if an employee of a software company working on the ID scheme took a work laptop home with them, they could face having their home entered and personal [1] property searched without a warrant (or indeed, without any suspicion of a crime having been committed).

Similar searches of commercial premises would, of course, imply the ability to look at every file stored on a computer or in a filing cabinet – not just those marked ‘NIS’ – compromising the commercial confidentiality of any other clients.

Phil Booth, NO2ID’s national co-ordinator, said;

“This is quite extraordinary, especially when you consider how careless and untrustworthy the government is with ordinary people’s personal information.

“Some serious questions must be answered – for example, has every employee of these five companies, and all of their subcontractors, working on the ID scheme been made aware of the fact that their homes
could be entered and searched without warrant at any time in the next 25 years? How do they feel about this? Were they given a choice?

“Under these conditions, doesn’t working on the National Identity Scheme also mean sacrificing any promise of commercial confidentiality these companies have made to their other customers?”