12 October 2007
The process of running the 2011 Census will be contracted out by the Office of National Statistics. 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 Defense and other Federal Government agencies.
Siân Berry, Camden Green Party member and the Green Party’s London mayoral candidate, above, has a leading role in a campaign against Lockheed Martin being given the contract.
She says that 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.
Many people might have not only moral concerns - Lockheed Martin produces missiles and land mines used in Afghanistan and Iraq and which are illegal in many countries - but also would be worried that the company focuses on intelligence and surveillance work and boasts of its ability to provide “integrated threat information” that combines information from many different sources.
Siân said: “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 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 forms.”
Find out more, and sign the Alert petition, here