CAAT has signed a joint statement with CND and Stop the War urging the UK government to withdraw the 2011 census contract for England and Wales from arms giant Lockheed Martin.
How many people are aware that the collection of data for the forthcoming UK census, scheduled for 27 March, has been contracted to American arms giant Lockheed Martin? The contract will cost UK taxpayers £150 million.
Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest arms producers, with over £33 billion worth of arms sales in 2009. Its products include cluster bombs which
can indiscriminately kill and maim innocent civilians, and nuclear weapons, the use of which are illegal under virtually all conceivable circumstances. Lockheed Martin also manufactures Trident missiles for both the US and the UK nuclear weapons systems and is one of three contractors which run the nuclear weapons factory at Aldermaston.
It is wholly inappropriate that Lockheed Martin should be involved in any aspect of the UK census. Lockheed Martin cannot be trusted to handle, store or retain sensitive personal data. It has been on the frontline in the ‘war on terror’, provided private contract interrogators to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and has carried out surveillance and data processing work for the CIA and FBI.
Lockheed Martin’s involvement will defeat the accurate data-gathering objective of the census if individuals are deterred from responding through concerns about the security of the information they provide. Some people have already expressed their intention to boycott the census.
We urge the Office of National Statistics to withdraw the contract to conduct the 2011 UK National Census from Lockheed Martin and to ensure that no future census or other data contract is given to Lockheed Martin or any other arms company.
Want to learn more: Read:
Census 2011 – would you trust an arms company with your data? by Geoff Meaden