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back to article Top airline bosses launch assault on airport ID card plan

The bosses of the UK's major airlines have attacked plans to force airport workers to enrol in the national ID card scheme, claiming that "the UK aviation industry is being used for political purposes on a project which has questionable public support."* If anything the move, they say, could reduce security by adding a "false …

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Nice to see...

... the Airlines and airports finally developing a spine and telling the government where they can stick all their "security". Even if it is probably more motivated by costs than anything else.

I wonder what rancid pile of shite, spin the government will throw out this time. Will the control-freaks and fear-mongers in government ever change a policy? I seriously doubt it. Not unless they can bring in something worse instead.

Me? Cynical? Never!

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And because UK.gov is "listening"...

...we can be certain that Jaqui will throw this letter in the bin and the whole shoddy affair will go blundering on.

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"They who would give up ..

.. an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

- Benjamin Franklin

And this is exactly where the UK and the US are at the moment. Neither country deserves liberty nor security.

We're being governed by eggnogs that believe that technology can solve what, are, essentially, human problems.

Whilst I understand that the airlines are concerned with their bottom line I am very happy to see that one industry is fighting back against the insane techno-juggernaut of the "security industry" as subsidised by our government and hence OUR money (our Taxes). Where common sense fails perhaps some commercial interests will succeed.

/rant !

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Defused by a bag ...

Yes, these are the airport security procedures that deem a bottle with 25ml of water remaining, bought air-side, in a plastic bag "safe", but the same bottle, not in a bag, worthy of confiscation.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Nice to see...

"... the Airlines and airports finally developing a spine"

Up to a point. I couldn't help noticing the absence of a signature from BAA, that notoriously customer-focused (right down to the fingerprints) organisation. Course, being Spanish, they might not care. Had 'em since Franco, can't see the problem, that kind of thing. (-:

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Excellent news

From a point of getting rid of the stupid and expensive card system, 59%. I love numbers like that, spurious and vague. I wasn't asked, neither were my cloest friends and colleagues.

Asking 100 pensioners did you like the ID cards in the war, most will go. "yeah, not too bad" which isn't the same thing as the one the home office are wasting money on now. so %'s can't be superimposed.

Though Herr Smith won't care, won't listen and probably won't read it either.

Still nice to know heavy weights are going into the debacle kicking and screaming.

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What's the problem

At work I have to touch myself in, like an oyster card, enter PIN, open door. In some parts of some buildings, my PIN will not give me access. What is the difference here with access to parts of our airports? All this nonsense about "more rigorous immigration checks" has got nothing to do with the security on the airport.

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Paris Hilton

BAA cowardice

John Lettice says "I couldn't help noticing the absence of a signature from BAA".

This is not suprising. BAA is in danger of being broken up because of its strangleholds on London's and Scotland's airports. So they're not likely to do anything that will piss off the government even more than they are already with BAA.

The Paris angle here is obvious because things go in and out of Paris from BAA's shopping malls all the time.

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G4Z

I have also been lobbying agains ID cards...

http://forums.hexus.net/question-time/141742-so-i-write-letter-my-mp.html

Check it out, it made page 4 of the Times today as well :D

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Re: Nice to see...

I'll count my blessings one by one.

Given the shameless shambles that BAA has made of T5 (and I ain't ranting on that all over again), I don't hold out any hope for BAA - but at least the Airlines are waking up to a reality that the Reg readers have noticed ages ago.

However, their real motivation is with the increased costs of fuel and general crappiness of the economy; the airlines don't want any extra barriers to travel shoved in the way of the punters.

Simply attacking the ID-card scheme is missing the point.

What they should do is a root-and-branch analysis of what "real" security has been gained from the various new procedures that have been added over the last 5-10 years. What is the trade-off? How much of it is theatre? What risk was being addressed and has that risk been mitigated by the action etc...

It could be argued that having all passengers travelling in the nude with nothing but their travel documents under the all-seeing eyes of CCTV and Armed troops, would save us all... We can buy all our clothes in the Duty Free...

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OpenTech2008

Those of you thoroughly against all this might like to spare some of your Saturday and a fiver to visit opentech2008, where groups like No2ID, mySociety and the Open Rights Group all have talks.

http://www.ukuug.org/events/opentech2008/

See you there.

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Coat

won't make any bloody difference

uk.gov will just say they're listening, ignore it and blunder on regardless. I can't wait for the general election so we can give this bunch utter fuckwits the boot.

Mines the one with "ANYONE BUT LABOUR" emblazoned on the back.

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Dead Vulture

@G4Z

You might have given the link to the Times article as well. It's much easier to follow than a forum thread.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4251867.ece

This vulture represents Labour. I for one have decided that any party in power for too long becomes like this (remembering the tories) and have pledged to never vote for the government of the time again. Anyone with me?

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Ash
Black Helicopters

"... questionable public support."

Is that to say that the presence of public support is questionable, or that those of the public who support it are of questionable motive?

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Black Helicopters

The G4Z debacle

Looking at that response from your MP it bring to mind the old adage "with friends like these, who needs enemies?" What a fascist!

Anyone but labour, indeed...

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MGJ
Black Helicopters

Why Do They Need A Card

How many people actually work at a single airport? The need to store credentials on a card in the national scheme is because it is difficult to do the 'who is this person' question quickly when you have millions, so you have instead 'is this the person enrolled on this card?', but in airports with say 5,000 employees, you could have a proper security model just based on simple biometrics, not cards, and it is useful and required for security to control who has access to different parts of the building; cleaners have no need for access to pilots lounges etc Only that wouldn't give you a useful pilot for the national card.

For those that think this might be 'national' they might want to have a quick check of the Scotland Act 1999; the UK gvt cannot impose the use of a card in an area that is devolved, and transport most certainly is.

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@Mycho

I'm with you, always have been. 11 years is too long in power, it makes you lose sight of the people you're supposed to represent. 11 years in the Westminster village and it would seem that you forget that there are people out there who *don't* have 6 figure salaries and massive expense accounts

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Anonymous Coward

Morons

You can't fight a fire with gasoline. Stop and think before you spout out about how your 'rights' and 'freedoms' are being oppressed. A little bit of freedom is being held from you each time you drive and have to stop at a red light; why don't you go gripe about that?

It is about peoples lives, not just security. If you believe you life is worth less than a ID card system, then go ahead and bitch. Then remember how little your life is worth.

There are many occupations where an individual must go through a thorough background check and placed on some registry. Should we get rid of those systems as well? Allow anyone to claim they are a physician, daycare provider, airline pilot, or the IT workers who hold your very life in their dextrous fingers.

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Unhappy

There is nothing wrong with ID...

I carry mine with me everywhere I go.

However, I keep most forms of Identification compartmentalised so that if one is lost, stolen or corrupted I can still live, thrive and survive. The more risky/sensitive the location to be accessed the higher the quality and quantity of identification required of/by me. The airlines and airports CEOs are quite right to object to the imposition of this shabby, inadequate, expensive masquerade on their operation. The governments record on security gives them no superior platform to preach from so they had best stop.

I STILL WANT A coherent and rational explanation as to how ID CARDS will make me more safe and secure, PLEASE! Until then .......

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Black Helicopters

@Morons

The other side to your argument is that your life is in danger every time somebody drives past so if you support people's right to drive cars then you see your life as worth less than a motor vehicle.

The terrorist threat to your life is actually *smaller* than the risk from drivers so it would make more sense to introduce these laws to target drivers than these illusory bad people everyone wants us to be scared of. The only reason they don't is that politicians like their cars, ask Two-Jags.

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@Morons

"Papers please"

I chose not to work in any of the industries where I need a background check or anything like that. At the moment I have that choice, you're trying to take it away from me. I accept that when it comes to driving, I'm in control of a dangerous piece of machinery, and in return, I let the government have my name and address for a licence (given that other bits of government already have it, that's not a great loss). However, I've still got one of the old paper ones, so they haven't yet got my photograph. The only things that will make me swap are if I move house or they threaten to require even more information. Those that would trade liberty for security deserve neither (thanks, Ben)

Oh, and you can fight some types of fire with gasoline.

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Boffin

Lying MPs

@G4Z When I emailed my MP (Labour) on much the same subject, I received an answer that lied about the Liberal Democrat policy on ID cards. He claimed that they supported the idea, when they in fact do not, and didn't at the time. Why lie about something that was so easy to check?

For some reason this piss-poor government wants to spend up to £20 billion on useless ID cards. All the arguments they have put forward have been refuted, so why do they continue?

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Boffin

@ Anonymous Moron

I presume you are a troll

I believe that my rights and life are worth more than an ID card system.

Unfortunately the stasi that run the UK disagree with me.

This is the same government that loses personal data of most the population and doesn't do proper security checks on workers working in 10 Downing Street.

Its pure bloody theatre, and adds not a jot to security or safety.

From someone who grew up where the IRA were bombing city centres, yet the leaders were welcomed on the white house lawn.

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@Morons

> You can't fight a fire with gasoline.

No, but you can't fight a fire by legislating against it either, yet that is what our Great Leaders think they can do!

Your comparison with red lights is facile and irrelevant, I suggest you "stop and think" and then look at a little history because there are people who *have* given their lives to protect us from the sort of people who think that basic liberties and freedoms are inconveniences to be ignored when they interfere with what the State wants.

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@Morons

"Stop and think before you spout out about how your 'rights' and 'freedoms' are being oppressed. A little bit of freedom is being held from you each time you drive and have to stop at a red light; why don't you go gripe about that? It is about peoples lives, not just security. If you believe you life is worth less than a ID card system, then go ahead and bitch. Then remember how little your life is worth. There are many occupations where an individual must go through a thorough background check and placed on some registry. Should we get rid of those systems as well?"

Not a regular on Planet Sanity, are you? With a reductio ad absurdum argument like that, I'm surprised you didn't also resort to a plea to think of the children.

Yes it is about people's lives, you plank. It's about how ID cards cannot be demonstrated to be helpful in saving any lives, while it's arguable that the false sense of security they give to idiots like you make us less safe. Meanwhile, we spend billions on making everyone's life more difficult for absolutely no gain.

Our lives are worth more than an ID card; that's why we don't want them.

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Who is kidding who ?

Scarey thing about this is that despite past performance they really believe that they are capable of delivering an ID system - yeah !

At the moment you can argue the toss about whether you are who you claim to be of if you identity has been stolen.

Once there is a system, "it will always be right"

As the bad guys are always better than the good guys ..with the Gov's IT "specialst" a distant 3rd we would have the worst of all worlds.

Once your ID is hijacked/lost/stolen/given away ... (left in a train ?) you're a gonna

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Flame

You can't fight a fire with gasoline.

Uh, yes. Yes you can.

You burn a large swathe in front of the fire. The fire advancing has nothing to burn and dies out.

It's called "backfiring" or similar.

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Flame

Gonna take a radical (childish) position on this ...

*DEEP BREATH, HERE GOES*

I want these airport security monkeys to have to have ID cards. I want them to have to give DNA samples. I want them to have intrusive background checks carried out monthly (including interrogation of family members). I want them to have a full body cavity search carried out on them before they start each shift (and when they end it too, just in case they have my stolen laptop shoved up their sphincters). I demand that they be made to take off their belts, shoes and hair before being stuffed head first down through an x-ray machine just in case the body cavity search missed something first time around.

Why? Because the little morons make our lives a misery with their stupidity. Share the pain!

*SILLINESS ENDS*

We're always being told what an important job they do. They wield a great deal of arbitrary authority over the rest of us. So why should they not be held to extremely high requirements?

As the fascists might say, what have they got to hide?

The executors of a load of moronic, intrusive policies moaning about their staff being subjected to moronic, intrusive polices. Ah, I love the smell of irony in the morning.

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WTF?

A national ID card scheme seems a lot like ID papers used by the old Soviet Union to get from your house to anywhere else. What is next, you'll need to have a passport to live in your own country?

If there is already a blanket of checks run on individuals, what good would come out of this system? Work smarter not harder.

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Coat

Somebody please remind me

What exactly is the basis for the ID card (i.e., what documentation)?

Here in Ohio to get the goverment approved drivers license, I have to show a birth certificate (easily faked) and an SSN card (easily obtained) and a copy of a current bill (also easily faked), so it's all really a house of cards with my picture on the front. Frankly, the passport is just the same house of cards. Secure? bwaahahahahahaha Only in some idiot's wet dreams in Washington, DC.

Better leave now, I hear footsteps.

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Anonymous Coward

secure information

Until the government can demonstrate that it can safely store and keep this information the idea of an ID system should be shelved.

Would seem to be common sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Basis for ID

The one potential saving grace for ID cards is that you can only have one legitimate UK ID per set of biometrics (if the tech actually works, that is, and isn't fouled up by false positives and poor discrimination failing to match where duplicates are being attempted). This will make it more difficult than it currently is for someone to have multiple "legitimate" identities.

Whether the cost and risks are worth such a marginal improvement in ID security is a debate which has yet to be held rationally and impartially in the circles that really matter.

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Alert

Doing nothing is an option.

@Anonymous Coward asks, "There are many occupations where an individual must go through a thorough background check and placed on some registry. Should we get rid of those systems as well? Allow anyone to claim they are a physician, daycare provider, airline pilot, or the IT workers who hold your very life in their dextrous fingers."

Actually yes. Terrorists are rare, very rare. Doing nothing is an option.

As for pedos, until they are caught for the first time, they still have free access to anybody they choose.

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