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back to article UK.gov plans 'consensus' on PAYG phone registry

The Home Office insisted today it had taken no decision on whether to force Britons to present photo ID when they buy a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) mobile phone. However, it confirmed it does plan to "consult" on the issue in the hope of forcing building a "consensus", despite immediate opposition to the plan from the world's biggest …

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Alert

And the consensus is...

Enough of this shite already.

Stop.

No!

Sack Whacky Jaqui!

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Sack-Ms-Smith/

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Black Helicopters

Two words

Boot sale

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Black Helicopters

Registration is not required in the USA

At least not for SIM cards. We needed a local SIM when we were last in the US, as we knew we'd be making *lots* of local calls (we ended up spending $100 in top-ups in just two weeks!). We popped into a T-Mobile dealer in Cambridge, MA and paid $50 cash for a pre-pay SIM. No ID, no questions other than "is your phone unlocked?".

Mind you I wonder if the dealer wasn't a little dodgy, as not only did we receive a few texts to whoever previously owned the number (not so very unsual) but I also found some *sent* texts in the SIM card's memory! Nothing juicy alas.

Hmm, I hear helicopters...

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Encryption

... it's patently code for, "we're pretty set on doing it, we just don't think the public will react well to us just going ahead and saying 'yes' right at the moment."

Brown's recent pollbounce has obviously given them some hope of scraping it through the next election, so playing it straight and saying, "our ambition if we get another five years is to put each and every one of you on a hideously insecure, badly tendered and overpriced database", they're playing coy and hoping they can sneak it past us simpletons.

Of course, it's got to be about the ID card rollout - as far as the stated aims go, I fully expect it to be as impossible to get hold of a phone without giving up your details as it is for a 15 year old to buy alcohol and cigarettes.

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Happy

Hope

Well we can only hope that when they do find the plans they lose them equally quickly. They seem to be good a losing things (large volumes of personal data, public support, credibility and possibly elections too) so maybe there's some hope yet.

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Anonymous Coward

What i want for christmas is . . .

"and trust that they won't suddenly discover such plans hidden in the back of a cupboard over the Christmas period"

Well they will have to do something to fill the three week holiday, there are only so many mince pies a minster can eat you know. After those are eat its on to a game of pin the tail on mandleson or hunt the new law.

Also on a totally unrelated note, my fonts has got soooooo small recently, common reg lease make it a little bigger. :)

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Unhappy

Mobeaphobe

Please stop using the forbidden word. It makes me cry.

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Simply awful

So what happens to existing PAYG phones that aren't tied to a name and address? Will they ultimately be disconnected if their owners don't submit their details?

What about people who don't have a passport with which to buy a new phone? Oh silly me, that's where a national ID card would come in... :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Vetting

Well, I'm all for vetting people working in mobile phone shops, especially now the ****s have gone into selling people laptops too. Not for security reasons, just get rid of the Apprentice wannabes.

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Silver badge

better get rid of all the public call-boxes, too

If the plan is to know who (or at least, who owns the phone) made calls to known baddies, then there are some big red loopholes to be found in many public places - though not as many as there used to be (and even fewer that haven't been vandalised).

The next obvious step, to ensure that all these terrorists who are apparently everywhere in the UK and planning mis-deeds on a daily basis, is to post a plastic piggie outside each public phone box and to immediately arrest anyone who even looks at it under the terrorism laws. Even more - we'll also need PCSOs posted in the vicinity of every office phone, just in case this army of baddies actually have jobs and dare to use the office lines to plot their dastardly doings.

Only when all the technological achievements of the past 100-odd years have been rolled back, banned, suppressed or criminalised will we be truly safe.

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Pirate

Doesn't work for cars

If enforced registration worked then there would be no unregistered, uninsured or non warranted fit cars on the roads. Since it is much easier to conceal a modern mobile than a car this law will be even less use. Besides to work there would have to be a police power not just to stop you put present them with your mobile so its and its SIm card's reg no can be taken and compare with the ID you must be carrying. Poll tax riots? a walk in the park.

Also it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that phone sales will plummet overnight as people hang onto their unregistered mobiles rather than upgrade. The phone companies will have figured this one out too. Cue strong arming of govt. Be interesting.

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Roaming

So anyone coming into this country with a foreign mobile phone will have to register before they can use it here. And then to tie down the Internet you'll need a passport to enter an Internet caff and it will be illegal to have unsecured wi-fi in case the terrorists find that instead.

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July the 7th?

Would this have prevented the events on July 7th?

No, suicide bombers want you to know who they are otherwise they wouldn't make those death videos.

Would Biometric passports have prevented July 7th?

No, the terrorists were born and bred in the UK

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Anonymous Coward

Let me peer into my crystal ball

1. Your houses are overpriced by a factor of 4 compared to mainland Europe, welcome to negative equity.

2. The city will no longer be able to sell Credit Default Swaps and other derivatives because insurance has no value if people believe the insurer cannot pay out. That money earner has ended.

3. You import more oil than you export and the gap is getting much much bigger. That money earner has ended.

4. Your public transport does not work.

5. Your knowledge based economy is leaving the UK for better places to live.

6. You don't have manufacturing industry.

7. You have no civil liberties and with each new law you have less protections. You have no privacy, speech is regulated, anonymous speech equated to incitement to terrorism.

8. Britain is cold and wet and bleak.

9. There is limited land resource and almost no natural resources.

So IMHO UK future is a brain drain, a failing economy, ghetto communities forming, an angry lot of people trapped by their negative equity who will be unable to move to new jobs or leave the country for a better life. Increasing police to contain that angry crowd, more DNA/fingerprinting/restrictions on movement, curfews etc.

i.e. A downward cycle of a more repressive government, trying to contain an increasingly declined position.

Congrats, you wasted your oil revenue and elected people who think you're crap on their shoe.

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Coat

Kraft Durch Dummheit (redux 3)

Papieren, bitte?

Kein Papieren, kein Handy...

I have no photo ID, no wish to possess photo ID, and no intention of ever getting photo ID.

I've lived in this country since I was born almost half a century ago, and have paid taxes and NI contributions to the state for the last two and a half decades. They don't require ID when they take my money - why should I provide them with ID so that they can poke their noses into my business?

Neues Arbeit are the most ludicrous bunch of idiots we've had in charge in my lifetime - I'm perfectly willing to ignore any laws that these jokers make now or in the future.

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Pirate

More spying

What is it with NuLabour that they continually wish to spy on people. Stalin and the STASI woudl have been proud of laws like this, which have no place in a free society.

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Black Helicopters

@ Dosen't work for cars....

oh no???? What if you combine the two!!

http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/the-data-trust-blog/2008/08/the-spy-in-the-sky-1.html

It's another sneaky way of re-introducing road pricing .

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19325850.400-phone-fee-flaws.html

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Black Helicopters

Certain lack of thought here

They really haven't thought this one through, have they. I look forward to my PAYG SIM being remotely disabled until I register. Along with the 40m other PAYG customers. End result. 20m registered. 10m presumed lost. Leaving 10m false positives.

Next stop. No installing or downloading Skype without registering at your local police station with 2 forms of photo ID. Oh. Wait. That would just be silly, right?

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Whats the point?

How is this going to stop terrorism? All I need to do is buy a laptop or wifi enabled handset find some unsecured networks and I can make all the anonymous phone calls I want. Whats to stop me, GOD FORBID, using a pay phone??

What will they propose next? I need a passport to connect to the internet? Passport to use a pay phone? Passport to take a piss?

These kind of proposals just show how deluded and out of touch the govt. are.

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Anonymous Coward

Just...

>"it is only following the model already adopted in countries as various as Norway, France, Russia, Spain and..."

Buy the phones on eBay, change the IMEI number and drop a SIM card in. That's what we do in Spain. 15 euros gets you a IMEI change and unlocking, if necessary.

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Anonymous Coward

Disingenuous

I can see... the future... roll forward 3 years... Jackie Smith (well ok, but indulge me) is giving a speech in the commons.

'And one of the additional benefits of the ID Card will be that it will simplify the requirement to produce a form of photographic ID when purchasing a mobile phone..."

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or this will be a completly pointless requirment

as the government will require you to prove your id when buying a phone but not if you buy just a sim card over the Internet (take a quick look on ebay there are plenty)

unless they link it to the imei number which is obviously phone specific but then how are they going to regulate the sale of second hand phones. it will get to the point where there is a V5 log book for your phone and you have to sign over ownership of the phone. though i think importing of second hand mobiles from abroad may also get round this requirement (a jiffy bag is a little less conspicous than a shipping crate with a car in it.

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Jihadi (for the spooks) versus democracy

Quote: "The Home Office insisted today it had taken no decision on whether to force Britons to present photo ID when they buy a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) mobile phone."

Fuck me! Is there no end to our mad Home Secretard's overwheening totalitarianism? "Taken no decision on" obviously means "Is not ready to announce its settled intention."

This truly vile government is hell-bent on destroying what was once a free and liberal democracy.

Aux armes, citoyens

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Coat

"The communications revolution has been rapid in this country"

Sorry, what planet is this guy from? I was first aware of GSM phones in around 1991 (Mecury anybody?), the mobile phone mid 80s and the landline has been around for a lot longer than that. I guess the wheel of government turn very slowly

Mines the one with some old phones in the pocket

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Unhappy

@"So what happens to existing PAYG phones"

"So what happens to existing PAYG phones that aren't tied to a name and address? Will they ultimately be disconnected if their owners don't submit their details?"

That's EXACTLY what they would do.

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Bronze badge

database of the poor

Most people I know with a PAYG mobile, including me, have one to control costs. I don't want to pay the eye-watering monthly or annual charges for the very few calls I make. So why am I singled out to be added to a database -- as well as all the other poor people who use PAYG for the same reason?

Terr'ists use landlines, buses, the tube, the pavements, cars, the internet. Just because they use everything we use doesn't mean that everything has to be controlled for the sake of them, or should be. But control for control's sake is the underlying purpose of all government actions these days, so it appears.

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Paris Hilton

This will actually increase crime!

If this actually does go ahead and if anyone were intending to commit any crime where a mobile phone were to play a key role the perpetrators would be motivated to commit (a potentially violent) crime against individuals with the purpose of stealing their phone. Thus increasing the potential pool of those who are likely to be victimized.

Yet another prime example of someone who is utterly clueless charged with making policy.

Even Paris would've been able to see how this is a stupid idea...

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Help me out here.....

What are these cretins on about?

I thought days of anonymous PAYG were long gone. Don't you have to register the phone / payment card in some way for it to accept payment?

In which case, i can provide duff details for the registration in a similar way I could provide duff ID to a phone salesman...

Comeon ElReg readers, help me out here - what am I missing that is obvious (apart from the NuStasi)?

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Unhappy

Takes a deep breath...

I am so sick to death of this governments pointless fascination with ram rodding bloody ID cards down our throats. Its blatantly clear that this PAYG phone ID crap is yet another back door way you will be forced to carry ID cards.

What's next? have to show ID to do your grocery shopping? after all, I am sure you can buy all you need to make a bomb at your local Tesco's? They even <god forbid> sell sharp pointy things too!

This nanny state is becoming a place to wave goodbye too as you board your emigration flight.

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Silver badge
Stop

Payphones?

You'll be lucky to find a payphone, these days. Most of 'em got ripped out, what with everyone having mobiles (or maybe they just didn't replace them after the chavs vandalised them). If you do manage to find one and it hasn't been vandalised, you'll need 40p to get it to work.

Alternatively, you could carry a 12mm socket driver, a pair of wire cutters and a linesman's test handset (or a cheap one piece flea market phone plugged into a master socket, with crocodile clips wired to pins 2 and 5) and tap into the nearest junction box. Some innocent civilian then gets the blame ..... and the bill .....

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Silver badge

After the horse has bolted

OK, so lots of countries require registration when you get a PAYG SIM.

Singapore, Australia and Spain all wanted to see a Passport. India wanted photos too.

The US, well they wanted to fill in a form, but the sales guy just put down the ZIP code of the Mall for the address.

But isn't it a bit late.

There must be millions of SIM cards already in circulation that have no registered keeper.

As someone above said, if they can't even do it for cars what chance do they have for SIM cards?

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D

Saves me a trip to Syria ... .. .

That'll be convenient - the last time I really wanted to show my passport to buy a SIM card, I had to travel all the way to the dictatorship which is present day Syria. Just goes to show how much we can learn by sharing in others' cultures, rather than getting mired in our outdated traditions of civil liberties and democracy that hang around our 21st century necks like a millstone.

Just one question, are birth certificates have their price linked to passports' ? And if so, is it true what people say the penalty for non-payment will be?

Yours, ever grateful to the UK state for protecting me from those horrible, scary terrorists (except for the IRA and the UVF who actually did kill people every other day but don't mention them, eh?),

Citizen, sorry - I mean Subject, C Milard.

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Silver badge

@This will actually increase crime!

.. thereby increasing the crime statistics, which will mean even more draconian reductions in our freedoms just to keep us "safe".

Maybe the simplest way to reduce crime is just to reduce the number of activites that are deemed criminal?

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Flame

Stones

Now if only the the apparently countless legions of terrrrrsts roaming around the UK would grow the stones to off these fuckwits instead of innocent commuters, they might be onto something.

London's burning.

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N
Bronze badge

sucks

AC - Im with you there on leaving the UK

But it looks like another handful of billions down the drain on pointless crap, after weve bailed out the greedy bankers (thats banker with a silent W)

& no doubt the database will be lost & turn up on E-bay!

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Silver badge

Walkie-talkies

What about those little walkie talkies you can buy? What about Radio Hams? Wacky Jacqui will soon be making sure we register for empty cans and string!

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Oh no they're talking behind our backs

Communications of every sort in British history have been a source of paranoid knee jerking for the British government, the Royal mail became possible as roads improved in the UK( note `Royal´as in gov of the day) . Telegraphy and telephony as soon as they became viable came under the wing of the post office and were then followed by radio, by now we had become more tech based so licences were introduced and in the early twenties the first detector vans were spying on the Great British public sitting in their homes illegally listening to the Ovaltinies on Luxy.

Next was TV which, due to it's huge and almost immediate popularity made the licencing authorities unable to believe that any householder in the UK could possibly not have a television receiver so more and better detector vans.

This is not about revenue for the beeb it's about control, I think ever since the Brits in 1638 proved they could get the rats with the government and do something about it by having a civil war, the successive governments have been wary of letting us talk to each other too much without some control.

You can call me paranoid but I don't hold a candle to govuk.

Incidentally I never post anonymously because I WANT them to know I don't like some of the things they do.

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@ Pete

Maybe the simplest way to reduce crime is just to reduce the number of activites that are deemed criminal?

^^

It worked for the unemployment figures.

2 mil unemployed .. 3 mil new deal .. but we don't talk about those.

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@ Pete

Pete said: "Maybe the simplest way to reduce crime is just to reduce the number of activites that are deemed criminal?"

Yeah, that works for me - especially after a decade of government which has passed more criminal law since 1997 than all it predecessor administrations passed between the end of the war and '97. A few Repeal Acts would reduce crime enormously.

That said, I suppose we better stop short of decriminalising the mass murder of civilians - politicians excepted.

As I said earlier, aux armes citoyens - and viva Guy Fawkes.

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Joke

i agree with the government

it's been demonstrated by numerous studies and criminal investigations that in excess of 100% of paedophiles and terrorists have used a mobile phone.

and what's more, given the potential damage that spreading false or unpatriotic information on the internet can cause, i think it's about time that anyone who wants to post information on the net should have their identity verified. just pop along to the Post Office, show your ID card, and choose any "net nickname" you want!

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Public Phones

In the future, to use a public phone you will need to insert your ID card and verify that with a fingerprint scan. The cost of the check against the database will be added to the call charge.

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local markets?

last time i went to mine, there were 5-6 shops with cabinets stuffed full of mobile phones, offering sim cards for a few quid.

I'd be shocked if 90% of the phones in those places weren't stolen nevermind checking people's id before selling a sim card.

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Flame

"Dear Home Office, FOAD. Yours sincerely, the UK public."

Like many other I see this is a thinly veiled attempt to continue to push ID cards on us, what scares me more than the thought of having to carry an ID card wherever I go is the fact that if they manage to force us to have ID cards they'll be sitting around with their thumbs up their arses thinking up the next generation of ID card - mandatory barcode tattoos? RFID implants? unremovable GPS tracking bracelets/necklaces/implants?

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Stop

Wrong end of the Stick

I do wish these morons would get their public announcements right in the first place, they just make themselves look as stupid as their ideas. It is the sim card that they are trying to get registered, the phone is itself not tied to any number.

They can easily stop the use of unregistered sim cards or indeed stolen sim cards.

This stupid move would bring about a market in cloned sim cards, danger of having your sim card stolen etc and probably a marked decrease in income to the telephone service providers.

At what age are they going to insist on ID Cards/passports for children - many have mobile phones.

How are they going to control roving = sim cards from abroad.

The few individuals they wish to control/watch/catch will totally work around this move and only the innocent 9999.9% of the population will be inconvenienced.

Yet another silly idea from watching too much television.

Stop because this is a daft idea which will achieve nothing towards their declared aim.

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Unhappy

Vodaphone PAYG 'Security'

I have a PAYG Vodaphone (as a 'backup' to my contract Vodaphone in case of loss/theft/damage). The SIM card was bought from Vodaphone and is 'registered' to me. I hardly use it except to turn it on now and then to make sure it's still working, which is fine because you no longer pay 'service charges' so your credit stays on the account until you make a phone call.

Early this year, I tried it and it told me I had no credit left, though i was sure it had about £12 on it. I called Vodaphone (on my contract mobile) and they were puzzled as well since their accounts showed I was in credit. Then, the Vodaphone woman said "oh, I've just noticed, you haven't used it for over a month. It'll have been disabled as a security measure." Cue 'what? why? Eh?' from me.

I was then kindly advised that I have to use it every month, just a short call, to myself on my landline for instance, to keep it active.

Is this a 'security' measure to prevent a thief from using my phone? It can't be since any thief who gets my phone will use it as much as they can before i have the chance to report it as stolen. It's obviously a security measure to stop those terrorists from keeping a PAYG mobile ready for the time they do their deeds.

How stupid is that idea? Remember, this was a PAYG phone/SIM that was fully registered to me at my address, paid for by credit card by me, an existing contract customer; I'd even registered it on the Vodaphone website. I do think that the average terrorist, even the apparently common dumbo variety, would have the sense to call a public phone (and pick it up himself) every few weeks to keep the PAYG phone active. Instead of any thought, we seem to have a stupid idea that is implemented for 'security' whose only effect is to inconvenience ordinary people like me.

Then again, I'm a person who is in possession of two mobile phones, so I suppose I fit the profile of a terrorist anyway, so that's alright.

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RW
Flame

She's lying!

I think it's established now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jacqui Smith lies about whatever stupidities the Home Office is currently planning.

You can't use that kind of language in Parliament, but I defy her goons to pry me out of my Canadian hidey-hole for saying the plain truth: the woman is a liar. And her spokesmen are liars too, though they have the excuse that they're paid to lie.

What's worse, she doesn't lie because she doesn't know any better. She lies quite knowingly for political ends.

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

I once knew a dignified retired professor of mathematics, a widow of extreme couth, who remarked about a mutual friend "If my husband Jack were still alive, he'd say she needs a good screwing in the backseat of an old Oldsmobile."

I imagine if Phoebe's husband were still alive and tuned into Jacqui's madness and penchant for lying, he'd say the same thing about her.

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Black Helicopters

Petition to stop communications data bill...

All regtards must do thier duty....

"More details from petition creator:

The Communications Data Bill would give the Government the legal authority to collect a database of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public. Even though the Government insists that this bill would reduce terrorism (which it probably will not), this is an intolerable intrusion into the privacy of free citizens and a step towards a dystopian "Big Brother" state. The Bill must be quashed to protect civil liberties and halt the slippery slope towards an Orwellian 1984-type nightmare."

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/no-to-1984/#detail

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@Oh no they're talking behind our backs

just to be pedantic - the civil war was pretty much the government against the king (Charles I) who was busy taxing the arse out of the country so he could go to war, rather than the british people against the government - they/we just got dragged in as cannon fodder ...

anyway this whole thing sounds like the government trying to justify ID cards, most people realise all the talk of ID being used to combat terrorism is BS. After that they're just very expensive cards with pictures on.

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Jacqui la Bint

Rozzers: You got any idea why we pulled you in here today?

Me: 'cuz you're not too bright and we're headed for a police state?

rozzers: very funny...you're on your way to getting probed 24 hours a day

me: oh, so it'll just be like being back at work.

rozzers: we found a cell phone registered to you 6 months ago used in a crime

me: yeah, probably the one i lost 1 week after i purchased it; but how did you know it was mine?

rozzers: we scanned your passport as you went by the checkout

me: erm, I don't have a passport

rozzers: we scanned your face

me: i look like my triplet brothers, you sure it wasn't one of them?

rozzers: we got your phone and you used it

me: and like i said i lost it, too. tried to file a report but your local idiots wouldn't take a report.

rozzers: sounds like you're asking for trouble

me: nope, just wanted to make a report and they were going to taze me for it so I gave up on it

rozzers; you're lucky we don't live in a police state here

me: you sure had me fooled

rozzers: that's it...gitmo for you

me: and here i thought you were trying out for V

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Anonymous Coward

Passport to take a piss?

Don't forget to turn in your weekly sample for analysis.

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