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 Defense and other Federal Government agencies.
This might concern you because:
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.
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:
More about taking action on this issue
Lockheed Martin were also involved in the 2006 Census in Canada, and a campaign calling for a boycott was organised by Vive le Canada and supported by progressive MPs in Canada’s parliament.
The campaign did not succeed in getting them removed. But it did achieve its aim of ensuring only civil servants handled the actual data, and a new government task force was set up to monitor privacy during the Census.
More about the Canadian Campaign