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back to article UK ID card service mounts birth, marriage, death landgrab

The UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS) has staged an identity landgrab on birth, marriage and death records. From April 2008 the General Register Office, which is responsible for recording these matters and is currently a directorate of the Office of National Statistics, is to become part of IPS, meaning that IPS will be …

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thank god for devolution

I have to say I wasn't a fan of the SNP. However, at least they have the balls to say no to the government and actually have the power to follow through.

The UK parliament is a joke at the moment with an unhealthy majority for the government. We need a system which more or less guarantees a minority government or a power sharing government. This way it might be possible to get some fair voting to take place.

I almost feel sorry for the English and Welsh now...

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Well, of course

This is simply the next logical step in the REAL reason for wanting to introduce ID cards.

It has nothing to do with illegal immigration. Nothing to do with terrorism (but everyone knew that anyway).

It is, and always has been to do with tax and government revenue, and I'm amazed that this has never been pointed out before. This is the most valuable application of the ID card. The government want to keep tabs on everyone to help with the collection of tax, and the enforcement of the ever-increasingly complex and unreasonable tax laws that this country has. By linking-in more and more data and by making use of the ID card compulsory (either explicitly in law or effectively by making it too inconvenient not to use it), the tax man (or rather his bloody big computer) will be able to keep track of who you are, how old you are, who you work for, how much you earn, who you bank with (think about it), when you are in and out of the country, etc etc. It'll make his life much easier!

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Data pollution

All birth certificates have a red warning on them saying "This certificate does not prove identity." If the IPS were to simply import the existing births database, they'd be importing data of unknown quality. Much of it is probably OK, but if they are to position themselves as a gold standard for identity then sucking mud isn't a good start.

Besides which, as those who really care about identity (such as banks) already know, it doesn't matter who the person in front of you is, it only matters that it is the same person as last time.

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All in the name

Surely it should be "Identification" - my "identity" is my own: I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

Oops, got carried away there ...

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Dead Vulture

well.....

That could have been alot less word'y couldn't it !!!!!!!

Your luck is with my patience.

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Why are we letting this happen

Why are the British people sleepwalking into this situation? As the "Register" points out we will finish up in the 1984 Orwellian state of big brother. We are now more regulated than at any time in our recorded history, even my parents during WW2 never faced this much state interference with their privacy. Wake up Britain - before it's too late.

Freethinker

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Who serves who?

I'd like my money back please, and to cancel my payments to the UK Government "fuck the people" fund.

I didn't pay them my subscription fee for them to start compiling a database of everyone's income, TV habits and penis size (well, I pay it because they're extorting it from me, but that's another story). How the hell is this going to help anything?

Ignoring the fact that nowadays you're probably more likely to be locked up for typing a slash in the wrong place in a URL, or shot by the stazi because you're running for a train -- how will this combat "the terrorist threat", or street crime for instance? We already know that a bloke called Ousma Bin Liner wants us all dead, and the brainwashed scum who crashed into the world trade centre had passports -- hell, I'm sure even some of the people who mug old ladies have some form of ID, how come we still have terrorism and crime?

[/rant]

I feel better with that off my chest now, anyone know a country not run by power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, morons that allows immigration?

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Re: Why are we letting this happen

The great British Public is not "letting this happen", they are not being given a chance to do anything about it. Laws about this sort of thing are never opened to public approval, and are never important enough for 'the other side' to repeal when they get into power assuming the great unwashed don't vote for more of the same again.

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Revolution!

It's the only sensible response. But then, of course, any suggestions of such a thing makes you a terrorist. This may be my last post . . .

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Dying isn't a way out

Expect to see them take over the cemetaries too, then they'll be digging you up to get the latest bio-id data from your corpse.

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jon

Rich has hit the nail on the head

and contrary to what he said, the tax/control/track aspect has been raised numerous times by the anti-id fraternity and generally forms the crux of their argument against ID cards and the NIR.

The problem is the populous at large are too blinkered to see the real reasons and happily accuse those who do see the true reason for the NIR/ID system as card carrying members of the tin foil hat brigade, which is unfortunate, and ultimately lazy thinking.

Public apathy will be key to the government introducing this system.

I will leave this country before succumbing to state enforced registration of my biometrics.

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dpg

RE: tax and government revenue

"It is, and always has been to do with tax and government revenue,"

If only it were that benign! If all the intention of the ID database was to have better and fairer taxation (after all, its not us working slobs who are dodging the tax man) I would be all for it. But I fear that is very far from the case.

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@Well, of course

I can't see it being used to keep track for tax purposes. Your NI number is supposed to do that and anyone who, is honest, and has to fill out a self assessment form each year would love it if there was a large computer that could track it all automatically.

I mean, they know how much you earn from any job you apply for, they should know how much interest you've paid through your bank accounts and have access to pension data. Why can't they work out how much tax you've paid and should've paid and automatically send you a refund?

If this card allowed that it would be one positive for it.

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Personal Certificate

Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible why not make it a lot more useful and store a type of public/private certificate on the card. Then you could have a small reader attached to a PC and with the help of a pin or password access all you bank accounts, vote in referendums, etc safe in the knowledge that viruses/keyboard loggers will not be successful.

Surely in the 21st century online identity is the most important, not offline?

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Coat

It's not new data just consolidation of existing data.

At the moment I am on the IPS list of people with a pasport, the DVLA driving licence database, local police register of gun owners, NHS database (twice with two diferent numbers because they issued me a new one when I lived in london, HMR&C list of people paying tax, National insurance contributors, TV licencing (even though I no longer have a TV but because I used to have one).

So in reality if we moved all central govenrment information about me into one system what it would conceiveably meant to me is less different numbers to remember, and only one place to go to to check and correct it under the DPA.

And maybe lower taxes if we made redundent all the civil servants and IT staff currently supprotin all those different processes and systems (have you seen the size of the DVLA building in Swansea!).

What we should really be worried about is what processing is being done on this data both currently and in the future.

Any government body suitably inclined to become "big Brother" probably already has the right under RIPA or other acts of parliament to seize and analyse this data with a simple cross reference table (one table, 6 columns 55 million rows, should to the trick for all UK citizens)

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Dead Vulture

Re: Re:Why are we letting this happen

@Kevin Johnston

Actually the great British Public IS letting this happen.

Far too many of them are of the "if you've nothing to hide" mentality and, frighteningly, actually support the ID of these ID cards.

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Ash
Joke

Title

"The Proletariat will never revolt", and there's nothing we can do about it.

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Anonymous Coward

change

http://www.ratifiersfordemocracy.org/ukrfd.htm

just sharing a fairly reasonable idea i stumbled upon once

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M

Hmmf...

Quoted. "however, Hillier is "Home Office Minister responsible for Identity." Just identity, but all of it."

Every time I read this article, it seem to register to me as "Hitler is..." ...ah well!

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Re: Why are we letting this happen

Because the majority of voters are genuinely stupid/ignorant/misinformed enough to believe that Nothing To Hide == Nothing To Fear, and because they are constantly told that such draconian measures are taken to protect their "freedoms" and will combat three out out of the four things that they think they need to be scared of most, viz immigration, crime and terrorism. (Number four being kiddy fiddlers, naturally).

Because the Conservative opposition are a bunch of old school fascists and secretly covet such measures, which they would have loved to be able to get away with when they were last in power, but couldn't, despite having actual active terrorists who actually did blow shit up and murdered rather a lot of people, oh and a shit load of citizens rioting in the streets, hurling petrol bombs and beating up on the fuzz.

Because the majority of Labour MPs are so pussy whipped that do whatever the fucktards at Downing Street tell them to, and/or are dumb enough to fall into the first category.

Because anyone who raises any objections based on civil liberties is shouted down by screaming hordes of tabloid readers demanding (thanks a fucking bunch John Reid, you baldy penis headed knob jockey) their "civil right to not be murdered by terrorists".

Because the cabinet is stuffed full of sycophants desperate to hold on to their jobs.

Because the police are in favour (obviously) of a police state.

Because enabling legislation never gets a decent airing in parliament (not that it would make any difference, since the six back bench MPs bold enough to risk the wrath of the whips just aren't enough to make a difference).

Because protesting where any MPs might actually hear it is now illegal (yes, our elected representatives voted to ban protests within a kilometre of parliament because the protests disturbed them when they were busy in their offices and they found it hard to get on with their jobs. This is not a joke.)

And basically, because we're already used to being the most surveilled nation on earth now that the Stasi are out of business. Britain doesn't just take it up the Gary Glitter, we actually bring our own Vaseline.

No one even blinked when Blair rolled tanks out on the streets.

Welcome To Britain.

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Jobs Horns

The British people don't have the intelligence or spine to stop it, sadly

People just dont seem to care, the Governemt will tell them it is for terrorism, they accept it, next stage is when we already have epassports etc we may a well hand over some more information on us, and it would make sense to link our medical records to the big database, and if that is on it would also make sense to 'streamline' the state's databases and add everything to it thus reducing costs and helping departments communicate with each other more efficiently so terrorists can be better tracked, and they will say "if you are not a crimial what have you go to hide anyway"

I give it ten years until EVREYTING in our lives in known by the governemnt, by then we might even have a more totalitarian government that the current one, and in twenty years time who knows what crackpot government could be ruling the country with almost complete access to our lives. If you think that couldn't happen you are just plain wrong, it happens all the time around the world, there is nothing about being British that makes us somehow amune to letting the next Hitler in, and the best way to do it is to sleepwalk into it, just like we are doing now.

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@Dafydd Lawrence

"Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible..."

No they are not - if we all vote for Tories.

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@The British people don't have the intelligence or spine to stop it, sadly

Well within the lifetimes of a lot of ppl on this forum, oil production will start to fail.

Hence the need to be tooled up with Trident and have all sorts of controls and monitoring on the British public.

Then we'll see the _real_ purpose of all these anti-terrorist laws. The establishment will need to preserve their lifestyles at all costs.

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Dead Vulture

May I draw your attention to...

V for Vendetta. I dont think the Authors were far wrong and its not a distant future either.

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Gates Horns

So what _is_ the answer?

I see some comments suggesting that "we, the people" can do something about this, yet I've never heard anyone mention what.

We don't have to wait for a totalitarian police-state to arrive -- it's already here, as evidenced by such things as people being searched for "looking at police" and this being in accordance with the law -- amongst other things.

So, I ask again, what are we expected to do about it?

*is still waiting for suggestions of an actual democracy to emigrate to*

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Escape to where?

Jon said <i>"I will leave this country before succumbing to state enforced registration of my biometrics."</i>

From what I can see, though, there won't be too many places to go where the population will not be required to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

I am not a number

I am a free guinea pig

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Coat

Everytime I read..

an article like this, it simply proves my decision to quit this shabby, second rate soviet wannabe of a country, was the correct.

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Coat

Would have liked the chance to vote

... mind you it's 100% Tory where I live anyway.

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@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

...so where is it i sign up for my id card?

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vote for the tories?

with dna in hand i head down to the polling station to leave a mark on my ballot paper. lol

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@ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

> if we all vote for Tories.

Then we'll just get another bunch of Control Freaks who think it's a good idea to lock someone up for three years for looking at "Dangerous Pictures".

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Coat

What everyone seems to be forgetting is

This is a government IT project and as such it will be abandoned after it hits the 800% over budget mark or they'll carry on throwing money at it and it'll never be finished within our lifetime.

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Footprint

"biographical footprint data"

Fingerprints not enough now, then..?

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Coat

End of Goverment

Great news! Once we all have cast-iron IDs we won't need MPs. As everyone will have a verified ID we can all sit at home with our remote controls or mobile phones and vote on each and every issue we want to. That's true democracy

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Title

>>At the moment I am on the IPS list of people with a pasport, the DVLA driving licence database, local police register of gun owners, NHS database (twice with two diferent numbers because they issued me a new one when I lived in london, HMR&C list of people paying tax, National insurance contributors, TV licencing (even though I no longer have a TV but because I used to have one).<<

Yes, but if any one of these systems is subverted there is a limit on the immediate usefulness of the information that can be gained in the majority of cases.

Given the goverments and its employees record of general slackness, if this new model is subverted then some jolly type can become effectively legally you, in every way imaginable (apart from being you that is).

Further, I find the whole pretence an egregious abomination. The whole project will be outsourced opening further opportunities for the biggest database in Britain to be abused and sold on. Anyone willing to bet that the likes of Crapita will end up with the contract ? That they will directly, or dodgy employees will sell the data to anyone willing to pay ?

Get on to www.theyworkforyou.com and give your MP both barrels. Brush aside the crap about "nothing to hide", that the majority of these <sarcasm/> fine examples of democratic accountability </sarcasm> will trot out and give 'em a roasting - before your goverment starts selling your data to the penis pill purveyors/

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@ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

>>"Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible..."

No they are not - if we all vote for Tories.

<<

You have to f*cking joking.....

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Don't forget..

When they bring the pay per mile boxes and install them into your car, they'll know when you left for work when you finished work. Where you go at the weekends. Add that to total control over your finaces, health records and ability to travel. Scary stuff...

How long before you have to apply for a travel permit to travel around the country????

And once the goverment has band all fun before and after work and your monitored on the amount of fun you have ie going down the pub after work the only way to meet people will be through a goverment run social network there evil plan will be complete. YOU WILL MARRY HER/HIM.

Labour the working mans party....the only diffrnce between all the UK politicians and there parties is the colour of there tie....

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RE What everyone seems to be forgetting is

Sadly Lloyd, the fact that it will no doubt be a tremendous clusterfuck in the ways you describe will not stop it from actually being implemented, with all the attendant dysfunction we would reasonably expect.

And once the project has a bit of momentum behind it, it won't matter how messed up or over budget it becomes, because the argument will be made that it would still cost *more* to revert to separate departments and systems, and/or that to do so would represent a colossall waste of the taxpayers money already invested, etc.

Sound familiar ?

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@The Other Steve

That, Sir, is a first class rant, and no mistake.

Will it fit on a t-shirt?

John

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Looking for true democracy

"I feel better with that off my chest now, anyone know a country not run by power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, morons that allows immigration?"

Switzerland. The meaning of the word democracy is ill-defined in common use because our masters like us to think that elections == democracy. Anyone with half a brain is able to figure out that popular sovereignty is the only guarantee of true democracy, regardless whether we elect a parliament, or have a soviet of deputies, or just randomly choose punters off the street by lot. A mechanism for achieving popular sovereignty has been in place in Switzerland for over 100 years, it is the Right of Initiative & Referendum. It means nothing more than that the people are ultimately in charge in a meaningful way (not through elections) and can reject or introduce specific elements of government policy and legislation. This is sometimes referred to as Direct Democracy which confuses the hell out of those with no imagination (no it doesn't mean you have to vote on everything).

Sadly the subject of popular sovereignty is taboo in mainstream news media and this is why the majority of the British public (also in other 'representative democracies') continues to think that democracy is a popularity contest. Somehow they do not notice that in fact it's more often than not about choosing the least unpopular 'leaders', all of whom in any case believe that the people need to be protected from their own stupidity. If you wish to understand the role of the media in our 'democracy' you could do a lot worse than to start with Chomsky & Herman's analysis (no, not a conspiracy theory but a falsifiable theory in a scientific sense).

Будьмо!

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Devolved ?

Michael - you have heard of the National Entitlement Card, no ? Today free bus travel, tomorrow - who knows...

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Coat

Times change

I never expected that people in this country would be expected to show their passport to get a job.

There's a paranoia about illegal immigrants. I wonder if I should change my name to Josef Švejk.

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Dead Vulture

If you can't beat 'em...

I think I'm going to apply for a job with whichever vast sucky solutions provider (EDS or crapita or whoever) gets the contract and help code the bloody database!

I'll be accepting donations of £5000 or more per individual for permanent losing within the database (permanent loosing on the DB will not be allowed - security, you know). As a bonus, I'll incorrectly cross-reference the mp/celeb/chief constable of your choice with the kiddy fiddlers' list, the no-fly list, anything I can find for Mossad and the Readers Digest.

As a side-line, I think I might make the entire database available to russian fraudsters via the Bangalore-based enquiry center.

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Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party

The solution to this disaster is to obtain and publish the data contained on as many ID cards as possible as and when they are introduced, starting with oneself. As long as the police are not instructed to drag grannies from their beds at 4.00am to be enrolled, then a compromised ID per se cannot serve as a basis for refusing a person's normal rights and entitlements.

The consequence is that the UK Govt will be looking for at least 2 Luther Blissetts, the real one, me of course, and my namesake, in order to collect taxes from. (They already know that the self-eomployed understate their receipts by 50%, and an increasing number of ad hoc taxes will be introduced, as "fines"). Not for their own good, of course, as they didn't own the money they spent to start with, and in any case if their self-determined salaries are inadequate there are well-established venal or immoral means to supplement it (e.g. joining the Carlyle Group). No, the UK Govt collects for the banking cabal who printed it, and who decide if they will allow the UK Govt to "borrow" it, just as they decide how much to mortgage you for, and at what rate of "interest". Just as they decided they didn't need a change of government at this particular moment in time, so as to implement the new EU constitution which is not a constitution.

Remember Red Ken trying to raise money on the open market to improve the Tube? Remember PFI (aka PPI under the Tories)?

"Interesting" don't you think?

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Dead Vulture

@John Latham

"That, Sir, is a first class rant, and no mistake."

Cheers.

"Will it fit on a t-shirt?"

It might, if the letters were made quite small, or you are American.

But don't forget that wearing offensive T-Shirts is now an offence in parts of the UK (well, in Peterborough, anyway)

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Anonymous Cowards?

What with ID theft 'an all, 'tis mere prudence, but don't call us mere prudes!

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Coat

The problem is not even the system..

If you look at other nations, they have the same log from cradle to grave. The difference there is that there is (a) audit and control on access, (b) proper enforcement of the rules and (c) nobody above the law.

The challenge for the UK is to stop failing on all those 3 points. Given the cosy relationship with the US I suspect that will never happen, and no sheep will bleat/step out of line - it will happen, supported by the man who has turned a surplus into a deficit and destroyed most pensions, he NEEDS the tax money the IDcard scheme may find to plug the hole. Call it a sort of Nick Leeson-ish attempt to stave off the inevitable admission..

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