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back to article 'Boil a frog' ID card rollout to continue until 2012

The latest stage in the long slow death of the UK ID scheme became official this morning, as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith unveiled a two-pronged revised delivery plan, aimed first at selected groups of workers and teenagers. This effectively confirms the strategy proposed by the leaked ID scheme Options Analysis earlier this year …

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They could at least get the story straight

<...>More desperately, the Identity & Passport Service wants to "work closely with the private sector to develop practical uses for the card to encourage young people to enrol."<...>

Develop practical uses? Tending to indicate that it currently has no practical use as it stands other than getting the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit another inch closer to the Total Surveillance State(Tm) we are all queuing up for.

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Know your rights, you have the right

I heard Jacqui Smith on the radio this morning. Pure lack of detail and waffle. She waffled at the 'how would it stop terrorists?' question. Something about terrorists need multiple IDs so thus endeth terrorism. She waffled at the opening bank accounts question, didn't disclose that all banks would need a reader, and who'd pay? Oh, us, the bank customers. Didn't realise the having to provide lots of ID to open a bank account makes it safer that just one card. Although I'd guess you'd need proof of address too. Sorry, I'm getting cross. Oh, and wouldn't you think that airport workers already have some good kind of ID? Please tell me they do?

It really breaks down when you get to the details. It's all such a bad idea and if you think otherwise then you have nothing to fear because you are a vegetable and the ID scheme does not apply to plants, yet.

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JBR
Paris Hilton

buggeration

surely "embuggeration", otherwise that's definitely going to force me to get an ID card.

Paris because she probably wouldn't...

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Ash
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I now have a timeline!

I intend to have emigrated to a more liberal nation by 2011, then! Cuba, for instance. The former USSR?

At least in PRC they don't pretend that you still have the right to complain.

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Pirate

that Liam Bryne is a nasty piece of work even by politician standards.

He's the driving force behind a policy that's trying to kick a large number of highly skilled foreign workers out of the country after we assured them that if they moved themselves wholesale to the UK then they'd be given rights to stay.

Retrospectively the government changed the policy, for the sake of a few headlines, these working visas have been revoked causing huge financial stresses and heart ache for people who've sold everything to up sticks and move here, after being assured it was well worth their while.

He's currently fighting legal appeals against this retrospective and dishonourable policy through the courts, a policy that has no beneficial effects but actually reduces the tax take for the UK Exchequer, as these people are well paid, and needed by our economy.

It's hardly surprising he's behind another nasty policy that targets foreign workers, the only reason EU nationals are excluded from his policy, is that if it were to be applied to EU members state citizens is that it would be illegal under EU legislation.

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"optional" security?

So only some groups of people will need security cards. How will that work? If Plod stops you in the street and asks to see your I.D. card, all you have to do is say "I'm not a student or foreign national" and they'll send you on your way - EVEN IF YOU ARE

Can someone tell me please, how this protects us from terrorism and makes us all safer?

And then there's airport workers - because they work in such a security conscious area. OK, on that basis the House of Commons is much, much more security conscious (even though it only contains MPs, no-one we'ed really miss, and it wouldn't delay our holidays either). Why doesn't the govt. roll out I.D. cards for MPs as well?

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Pirate

To all the opponents of the ID card scheme

What is wrong with you people? I can't get rid of my cash swiftly enough and frankly, I'm bored of having piles of the stuff sat around the house. I simply can't be bothered to move those piles out of the way of the front door so that I get go out and spend it.

What better way for the Government to get rid of its spare cash by spunking BILLIONS on a scheme that will prove almost entirely ineffective in combatting the growing list of Bad Things (TM) that it's meant to handle.

The worst thing is that those BILLIONS could be better spent in loads and loads (and loads) of different ways - absolutely infuriating!

Do any politicians read El Reg? Do any of their staff (wife / offspring). We are all going to need bigger clue sticks with which to reward their dunderheadedness.

S&C icon to symbolise the death knell: Tories with the poll tax & Labour for.... crap, not enough time / space/ motivation to continue.

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Tom
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Goodbye to small businesses

I know its just waffle but if they want to stop terrorism then EVERY transaction has to be monitored. That means no cash whatsoever. They cant tell who you are if you pay cash and since you can make a massive bomb by pouring petrol into the main drains and chucking a fag in after it they will want to know who bought that.

It also means that all small business will have to have ID card readers - at about 10 grand a pop. And they will loose a cut to the credit card companies. So thats all your small business wiped out.

Might stop binge drinking though.

And as for keeping your personal info safe - this is the same government that pointed out how proud they were that they'd bribed some in Lichtenstein(?) to hand over all the top secret banking details isnt it?

Government of the people, by big business, for big business. By a bunch of ...

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huh!

"..to start to benefit from the high level of identity assurance that the Scheme will provide"

Right up to the point where they lose the CD's, or someone walks into the home office and permanently borrows a PC or two.

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Pirate

It's not an ID card - it's a receipt

ID Cards are worthless, at least they are if you listen to the government.

The card itself cannot be trusted because it could be a forgery. Find the right pub, flash enough cash to the right person and you too can have a shiny new passport in the name of your choice - the same could easily apply to ID Cards.

The key is... biometrics!

Ah, but the biometrics on the card are not proof enough... they could simply be forged as well (not so easy, but with enough money this sort of problem can be solved).

So, the ID database is the key - you have to compare the biometrics of the person presenting the card (not the ones on the card, otherwise you are verifying the card rather than it's holder) with the copies in the database.

In other words, for any check of identity to the level of certainty advertised by the proponents of the ID Card system, the card itself plays no part. It is simply a fancy receipt that shows that your biometrics are held on the central database.

Any checks that rely on the card without comparing the holder's biometrics against the database may as well use a standard passport, driving license or credit card.

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Paris Hilton

@Ferry Boat

Glad to see I wasn't the only one to be bemused by the display on the radio this morning. Uh, really helped in Spain didn't they? Why PH? You'd have to be dumb as, to think ID cards are a good idea.

I shall sit here and fume.

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Stop

Why are they still bothering with this?

So, the cards will not be compulsory and a passport will do instead.

Yeh, so now they want me to carry my passport around 24/7.

Yes airport workers have ID Cards and are meant to be vetted, so what will the new ID cards add to the equation for Airport workers?

The administration should just put their hands up and admit the whole idea is dead in the water and save the taxpayers lots of money and cancel the project.

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@Ferry Boat (plus a pop at La Smith)

Quote: "...you have nothing to fear because you are a vegetable..."

But not as much of one as the brain-dead bastards who are pushing this mad scheme forward.

Jacqui Smith not only flashes too much of her pallid wilted fat cleavage and looks like a smug hamster with its chops stuffed with bran but she couldn't think her way out of a barn if it was on fire. We truly are ruled by intellectual pygmies (and bloody Scotsmen, of course).

Like her po-faced boss, Smith realises people see the ID card scheme for what it is - a preposterously expensive white elephant. Hence her boast today that she will trim £1bn off the cost. Bribe us with our own money, why dontcha?

Hamster-face reckons she can save that billion quid mainly by allowing private companies to fingerprint and photograph applicants. Jeeesus aitch K'rist! THAT really makes me feel confident!

She also claims that British people will voluntarily enrol for the cards because doing so will "make their lives easier." What she means, of course, is the exact reverse - that the government will spitefully and obstructively make our lives more difficult if we don't enrol. Don't these fuckers think life in Brown's Britain is bad enough as it is?

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Paris Hilton

I can see it now...

Ah Mr. Bin Laden, yes your id card is valid being an illegal immigrant awaiting deportment... welcome to your new job at Heathrow....

Paris because not even she could be so stupid

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Develop practical uses?

"work closely with the private sector to develop practical uses for the card to encourage young people to enrol."

Isn't that sort of the definition of a solution looking for a problem?

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Say what?

So Ms Smith is selling this as a more secure way of opening a bank account because you won't need a fistful of utility bills and other documents. Now all you'll need is a solitary piece of evidence in the form of your ID card. The words, single, point and failure spring to mind.

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Now I feel safe

Phew - thank goodness the government have a great plan for keep me safe from those naughty terrorists. At least the government doesn't have a track record of losing all of our personal data that they currently look after.

Can they not see that risks of breaching a system like this would aid any terrorist organisation and be far more threatening to British citizens and their identities?! They can't look after their basic systems let alone something as hardcore as an ID card. A big bag of bureaucratic idiocy, that's all it is. I too will have hopefully left this country if this madness continues.

"Politicians - 1984 is not a political roadmap!"

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Coat

@ Ash's "timeline"

Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, and Tiawan would be credible alternatives too mate. And don't forget that definative epitome of liberal thought, personal safety and freethinking democratic politics, Brazil.

I'd best be off to get my passport renewed now... might be needing it soon.

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Money well spent i think not !!

Unless we make our borders secure and unless the scheme is compulsory then it is worthless .

Never in the History of this Government , will so much money be paid for so little by so many !!!!

well perhaps the Olympics and ermmmmm the Dome and errrrrr.........

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Unhappy

Down with this sort of thing

I'm pretty sure the scheme was sold as self-funding so how can the govt save a billion?

According to Hilllier "less than 100 people" will have access to the biometric database. She was not entirely clear about what that actually meant, but involving signficant numbers of competing private sector companies in enrolment(who will then have access to full datasets) seems to me to be a very weak link as far as ensuring the integrity of the process is concerned.

When I was a student in the early 90s I got a student loan using my university enrolment card and I opened a bank account by walking into a bank and saying, "I'd like a student account please". All that was required was a name and address.

These things are only more difficult because the govt has deliberately made them so. Pushing my head underwater, then giving me the option of buying an overpriced snorkel isn't doing me any favours.

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Hmmm

Now I've got all this drug money I need to launder .... I wonder if I could invest it in setting up one of these private biometrics verification companies.

I'd at least double my money flogging extra IDs.

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Widespread in 2012

Excellent, so they'll be just in time to track the location of all the working classes, civil liberties campaigners, etc and sweep them into a big hole somewhere so they don't disturb the foreign dignitaries and celebrities arriving for the Olympics.

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Flame

Good for the passport office

All in all this will end up being a Godsend for the passport office as they've been cranking up the prices for passports 'in preparation' for the introduction of ID cards.

They've now got these swanky new offices, systems and databases off this and won't need to implement anything new!

Whereas we, the general public, need to pay £72 for something which cost 30-odd quid only a few years ago. The prices go up so often now that they don't even print out the pricelist anymore. Bastards the lot of them!

And, I agree, the government is definitely looking something, *anything*, on which to hang ID cards.

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Bronze badge

Ask a silly question but...

But as a PLC, isn't it BAAs job to make sure that all of their workers are vetted and have the correct level of ID?

i.e. not the governments?

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@ Paul's "down with..."

the "overpriced snorkel"... LMFAO... fantastic analogy.

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Alien

China

We in China have had ID cards for a long time. We've only just got machine readable ones. They are tied into many tiers of life - banks, schools and colleges, employers, all need to see it, but they were until recently a photo stuck on a laminated card. Now they're a piece of plastic.

Are they forgable? Yes. Does it matter? No. In China you can go through your whole life never having to present ID, if you're very poor or very rich. They only burden the middle class.

BTW we can and do complain, also protest, also in some regions elect politicians. Does it matter? No more than in the UK - there's no such thing as representation democracy and you kid yourself if you believe there is.

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Paris Hilton

Why not barcode my bum?

That way it'll be safe from terrorists (even Paris wouldn't get a look-see). And it can't be nicked. And I would be instantly identifiable on the video camera if I were stupid enough to rob a bank in the all together.

I feel I want to buy a machine that wipes out the ID card electronically, so that I can keep returning it for a new one Or even better, reprogram it so that it reads Gordon Brown when I ask for a loan.

Paris because she is so thick even she would have a problem justifying this.

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Unhappy

@Slaine

I should have added "whilst keeping your thumb poised over the airhole"

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@ Paul Fleetwood

Agree with you over Liam Byrne, in a bunch of odious careerist politicians he's one that stands out for being able to make my skin crawl just by appearing on-screen.

Isn't he the minister who's currently planning on sending a gay man back to Iran where there's a very real prospect of execution?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/a-life-or-death-decision-792058.html

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Stop

Britain or Burma?

In Burma, every citizen are finger printed, foot printed at gun point... forced to carry the National ID card everywhere, you can even fart without flashing your ID card... foregin nationals and ethnic minorities get different colour ID cards and they often get singled out at check points and when the army is looking for porter to carry ammunitions to the front line or looking for a group of human land mine sweepers. Police and government officials may enter any home at any time (even at mid night - really no joke) and demand everyone in the house to produce the ID card. Burma is a country run by brutal dictators, who made sure that ID card is very much part of population's dialy lives to ensure their tight grip on the power and to committ attrocities. In such country, this kind of facist ID card serves as a tool to opress its people further... what I dont understand is, Britain, the pillar of Democracy and freedom as so often boasted by your beloved ministers, want to go down the path of Burmese Generals? The only differences here is that the Generals there do it at gun point, here Labour does it with a smile and wink on TV.... like they say in Thailand "same same"!

oh and by the way, the Generals used the same argument about the ID card "It will stop the terrorists, stop illegal immigration and is full of benefit for the people" and they also used the same word "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" - 40 years after the introduction of ID cards, Burma is firmly under dictators boot!

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Anonymous Coward

So, will they (we) get their money back from the feasibility study?

Let me guess, the clowns that declared this feasible will get to keep their money, right?

No surprise there then..

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Pirate

Why is the government still going down this route?

If no-one's quite realised it yet, it's obviously something Blair thought up to please Bush and not only did Blair promise Britain’s sole, he promised our eyes, finger prints, toe prints, DNA, the whole bloody lot to ensure he would have the backing of Bush Dictatorship LLC when he eventually gave up his role as PM.

The government must be aware that if they carry on with this ID farce they're quite unlikely to get in again so there must be something going on behind the scenes for them to continue.

Perhaps they'll announce that only people with valid ID cards can vote; that wouldn't surprise me.

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Coat

So the question becomes

So the question becomes why are all the politicians in so called democratically elected countries so willing to revert to the police state of Tsarist Russia as in the nineteenth century ?

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Stop

Hang on...

Did the silly bint suggest that the issuing of ID cards with biometric data be outsourced to the private sector? WTF?!

So, instead of only having the civil service lose your fucking data, we now have to worry about Corporation X doing the same?

Apple iFingers anyone?

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Boffin

end up in court

Just taking the airport workers... They already have to pass various security checks and are issued with proof of identity. Now the government says they will have to have state ID cards as well and to ensure this, having a state ID card will be a new condition of employment.

But most airports are privately owned and run their own operations. If an existing worker, properly qualified in every other way says no when told to get and pay for a state ID card and so is fired. This is so close to "constructive dismissal" that it will probably end up in court and the unions will probably back that workers case.

What happens if 20% of the airport workers say no? BAA may be able to fire a couple of workers but 20%, I don't think so.

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Anonymous Coward

Shameless puff

Might I suggest to anyone reading this and thinking something along the lines of "oh no, not again" that joining No2ID is a good way to help the fight against the scheme.

They (I should say 'we', as I am a member) are non-party political, and have been doing great work fighting this nonsensical and dangerous white elephant for the last, what... three years or so now. http://www.no2id.org/ . Also, now's your chance to get your souvenir T shirts, mugs & bumper stickers to prove your credibility when the last remnants of the NLA band together to fight the roving bands of flame-throwing killer loo-bots trying to exterminate humanity that this scheme may possibly help bring about.

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Re: Hang On...

"So, instead of only having the civil service lose your fucking data, we now have to worry about Corporation X doing the same?"

Oh, I wouldn't worry about them losing it. Selling it to other companies so's they can target their marketing at you, on the other hand...

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Black Helicopters

Re: Goodbye to small businesses

@ Tom 14:57 GMT

"... That means no cash whatsoever..."

"... So thats all your small business wiped out...."

Some think that there are enough black helicopters about to confirm that the points above are actually the intended outcomes.

"... this is the same government that pointed out how proud they were that they'd bribed some in Lichtenstein(?) to hand over all the top secret banking details ..."

When a government has become this dishonest we surely know we are in for bother, lots of it!

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Lots of space here in Canada

And while our boneheaded leaders tend to copy the US and UK, we're at least a decade behind you folks at 1984ishness.

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@Aram

"Do any politicians read El Reg"

Make you local MP do so by writing them a letter !

Mention no2id.net too, can't hurt.

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Unhappy

Oh Dear

How is this going to work?

Without an ID card terrorists will be caught.

Hmm

<PC Eager>: Hello Mr Average. Can I see your ID card please?

<Mr. Average>: Sorry, I've left it at home.

<PC Eager>: Ok sir. This is a fix penalty fine, and you must now present you ID within 7 working days at your local cop shop.

<Mr. Average>: Oh dear. I am a law abiding, tax paying, easily traced citizen, I must pay this fine immediately and show my ID at the cop shop.

<PC Eager>: well done sir.

<PC Eager>: Hello Mr Terrorist. Can I see your ID card please?

<Mr Terrorist>: Sorry, I've left it at home.

<PC Eager>: Ok sir. This is a fix penalty fine, and you must now present you ID within 7 working days at your local cop shop.

<Mr. Terrorist>: Oh dear. I am a law abiding, tax paying, easily traced citizen, I must pay this fine immediately and show my ID at the cop shop.

<PC Eager>: well done sir.

Don't really see the difference.

The only point of it is - the financial system. Credit Cards/Banking etc will need your ID card, and if you missed you payment - tough, no matter where you hide they will find you!

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Not online?

Did I hear Jacqui Smith correctly on the radio - the national identity database(s) will be immune to hacking because it/they won't be online?

Am I being very stupid, or does that defeat the whole purpose?

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Cheaper than terminals everywhere?

Did anyone also notice on /Today/ that Jacqui Smith said the systems couldn't be attacked by hackers because the (two) systems wouldn't be on line. (One system, she tried to tell us, for the ID and a separate one for the data.)

This "not on line" thing makes me feel a lot safer. All accesses would have to be requested on paper - each accompanied by an inky fingerprint/eyeball of course - by post or motorcycle courier, runner with forked stick, Group 4 etc, then typed into the single teletype, the responses printed the same way and sent back to the requester. Cheaper than having terminals everywhere, no?

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Who makes the laws??

Seemingly, according to Jacqui Smith, this is all because "the al Quada training manual encourages terrorists to obtain multiple identities" (rough quote) and this is designed to stop it.

So... if Osama and his lads fancy a laugh, they can put "terrorists should own a dog" in their manual - and within a few months it'll be "leaked" and there'll be legislation getting pushed through to stop everyone owning pets!

Just you wait...

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@ Grumous

Grumous asked: "Did I hear Jacqui Smith correctly on the radio - the national identity database(s) will be immune to hacking because it/they won't be online?"

Yes, mate, you did. You also ask: "Am I being very stupid..."

No. But Jaqui Smith is. As I've already said she isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer and she has been badly briefed (as well as badly coiffed and tailored).

Firstly, she evidently has no clear idea of what she means by 'online' because she almost certainly cannot distinguish between a departmental ethernet LAN, an inter-departmental WAN, and the internet. Nor, I am sure, has she any idea of the difference between the physical internet (as in a global system of WANs linked together by TCP/IP) on the one hand and the web (as in http-based interlinked documents) on the other.

Secondly, as others have pointed out, if the data is not available via some form of network how the fuck does she imagine remote users of the system (your immigration official at a port for example) will query it? By smoke signal?

Thirdly, she seems to imagine (or, rather, she has been told to say) that 'hacking' - or, cracking as I suppose her to mean - is somehow solely an internet phenomenon.

But UNLESS the ID database is held encrypted on mainframes isolated from ANY network, operated by totally loyal closely-vetted personnel and guarded by the SAS some motivated smartarse will crack into the system. Possibly by means of a clever hack but more likely by exploiting a position of trust.

When it comes to IT and security, the woman's obviously pretty clueless. But probably no more so than most politicians.

Oh, by the way, please actively support No2ID, people.

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Flame

Come 2012...

...perhaps we should all change our names weekly to Osama bin Laden / Kevin Phillips-Bong / Mahmoud Imadinnerjacket and keep applying for new ID cards until the system broke under the strain. Or just hunt down the idiots responsible for this farce and deport them to Uranus in three separate crates.

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mh.
Black Helicopters

What's the point?

Mass surveillance is obviously very attractive to politicians, but is there any proof that it actually works? First you need to define "works", but that would mean exposing any hidden agenda about social control or providing some govt cash for companies such as Entrust or eGovernment Solutions which have pretty close links to ministers. eGS used to be owned by Liam Byrne until the Mail on Sunday found out and he had to get rid of his shares: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=406687&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=&ct=5.

Also, isn't the need to prove your identity a requirement generally set down by the home office? It's a bit like saying "I've infected you and you can only use the cure that I provide". The more important it becomes, the more valuable impersonation fraud (not "identity theft", please) becomes.

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Even if she was making sense

Having the data offline doesn't prevent discs containing said data being left on a train or in a laptop.

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Dont waste your vote!

Come the next election vote for the "Monster Raving Looney" candidate.

They are the only party fit to rule in the fake Democracy that passes for politics in hte UK.

A vote for Broon, Camoron or Cleggie is just a vote for the PR and Business Consultants who are currently running the country (or at least billing for it).

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A title is required

Come on, it's no use telling the politicians it's no use and won't work, because they know that already. They dare not admit how wrong they are. LIke the EU constitution referendum, if they were to concede the argument then they'd lose, and probably have to call an election. So they stagger drunkenly on, trapped by their own folly.

Oh, and in PRC you do have the right to complain, just not too loudly, and not on the internet too obviously. You should hear the guys in my local luncherie on the subject of the powers that be.

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