Tuesday 11 December 2007

Beware of Lockheed

Do you want an arms company collecting senstive details about you?

Trust in the government's ability to safeguard senstitive information is at an all time low, following the disappearance of the child benefit data for 25 million people that was lost in the post by HM Revenue and Customs and the increasing number of computer discs that seem to have gone missing.

The only positive outcome of the HMRC fiasco is that hopefully it will scupper once and for all the government's ID card scheme, but with ever more sensitive information being collected by the state, do we really want data about everyone in the UK being collected in the next Census in 2011 by an international arms company?

Lockheed Martin is one of the shortlisted contractors to provide data capture and storage services for the 2011 Census, but the majority of its business is with the American Department of Defense and other US government agencies. They produce missiles, naval systems and land mines, as well as providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnnaissance services. Most worrying is their claim to deliver 'integrated threat information' to the US military by combining and analysing a widde range of intelligence information from around the world.

With Lockheed Martin involved, people in the UK will not believe that their Census submissions will be safe from being incorporated into these systems, and this is likely to harm the reliability of the 2011 Census.

A new campaign, Census Alert, has started an online petition calling for a halt to the involvement of Lockheed Martin in the 2011 Census.

This is one petition that's defintely worth signing.

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