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Britain Census Data Open to US?

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TEHRAN, April 2 (ICANA) – The US government can theoretically access the details of the lives of every British man and woman due to negligence by the Downing Street officials.
Saturday, April 02, 2011 1:44:11 PM
Britain Census Data Open to US?

Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, has warned the British government that they are making the data from the national Census accessible to any US agency including the CIA by involving the giant American arms producer Lockheed Martin in the running of the survey.

Under a £150 million contract, Lockheed Martin is providing and managing the computer system used to extract the contents of the filled-in forms and store the results.

Godsiff warned the company has to pass the data to the US government under the US Patriot Act, which allows Washington to examine any data held by a US company.

Godsiff said in his Early Day Motion to the parliament that the case of Lockheed Martin being involved in the Census is especially problematic as the firm is closely linked with the Pentagon and the CIA.

“[The question is] whether a company with the closest of commercial links to the US Department of Defense and involved in surveillance and data processing for a number of US administration agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, should have been allowed to tender for this contract,” Godsiff said.

Lockheed Martin has now in effect the ultimate responsibility for processing personal and sensitive data of every British national who takes part in the mandatory Census.

Godsiff also expressed his fears about the claim by the Office for National Statistics that the data will be safe saying the government's recent record in protecting the personal data of the population has been “abysmal”.

“The Office for National Statistics claims data will be safe even though all US companies are subject to the Patriot Act, which allows the US administration to access any data in a company's possession,” he said in the motion.

Godsiff has challenged the government on the claim saying officials should “make public what safeguards are in place and to make a categorical assertion that this data, when it undergoes analysis, will not be passed through any US administration and non-administration databases now or at any stage in the future”.

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