Worried? Want to sleep soundly tonight? If so take immediate action!
The next UK Census (in 2011), in which participation is compulsory, might be run by an arms company with close links to the United States government, and which also focuses on intelligence and surveillance work. See below for more info.
(N.B. there are currently just 3,460 signatures on the petition, 3/6/2008)
Deadline to sign up by: 15 June 2008)
The decision is now imminent. Sign the petition today:
Petition on the Downing Street website
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What’s the problem?
The process of running the 2011 Census will be contracted out by the
Office of National Statistics to a private company.
One of the two contractors in the final round of selection is the arms
company Lockheed Martin, 80% of whose business is with the US
Department of Defence and other Federal Government agencies.
This might concern you because:
The Census rules mean that every household will be legally obliged to
provide a wide range of personal information that will be handled by
the chosen contractor.
Lockheed Martin produces missiles and land mines which are being used
in Afghanistan and Iraq and which are illegal in many countries.
They also focus on intelligence and surveillance work and boast of
their ability to provide `integrated threat information´ that combines
information from many different sources.
New questions in the 2011 Census will include information about income
and place of birth, as well as existing questions about languages
spoken in the household and many other personal details.
This information would be very useful to Lockheed Martin´s
intelligence work, and fears that the data might not be safe could
lead to many people not filling in their Census forms.
Census Alert is therefore campaigning to stop Lockheed Martin from
being given the contract.
The campaign is supported by the Green Party, politicians from Plaid
Cymru, Labour and the Scottish National Party, and others opposed to
the arms trade and concerned about personal privacy.
We are not opposed to the Census itself. Aggregated, the information
collected is important in allocating resources to local authorities
and public services.
But personal privacy is important too, and we are concerned that
Lockheed Martin’s involvement could undermine public confidence in the
process and lead to inaccurate data being collected.
What can I do?
There is still time to stop this happening and we are not calling for
a boycott of the Census at this stage.
Before the final decisions on the contract are made, we are asking you
to do the following:
Sign our petition opposing arms company involvement in the
Census.Contact your MP and ask them to raise the issue in Parliament.
Contact your local Councillor and ask them to highlight their concerns
about the allocation of local authority resources.