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back to article Stop ID cards, says Scottish minister

The Scottish government has reiterated its opposition to Whitehall's plan for national identity cards. Minister for community safety Fergus Ewing has written to the new UK home secretary Alan Johnson asking for the scheme to be cancelled. He has disputed claims by UK immigration minister Phil Woolas that the scheme would bring …

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Big Brother

Lost in translation?

***"In response, a spokesperson for the Identity and Passport Service said:"***

"Laa, Laa, Laa, la, Laaaa. I've got my fingers in my ears and I'm not listening...."

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Big Brother

Does not compute!

"The home secretary has made clear that the government remains fully committed to bringing forward measures to protect people's identity that have widespread public support."

Why are they pushing forward on ID Cards then?

On a seperate note, I though the new Home Sec had promised a "review" of ID Cards? That's a little different from "committed to bringing forward" ID cards surely? Benefit of the doubt, this HO Spokesman is obviously one of Waqui Jaqui's former drones who hasn't got the new message yet

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FAIL

From who?

"We remain on progress to bring in what we believe has widespread support."

From who exactly? The corporates that tender for the contracts? Or from the UK public that you serve and report to?

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Anonymous Coward

So we have to buy pastports instead?

Having just sorted out replacing my old car, the question of financial checks came up, and the only way I could actually pass them was being lucky enough to have a valid passport. We *NEED* some form of photo identification just to live nowadays, so how about eliminating all the unnecessary crap and producing a single card that we can use even if we just want to fly from Newcastle to Bristol.

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FAIL

Double failure

And in one sentence:

>The home secretary has made clear that the government remains fully committed to bringing forward measures to protect people's identity that have widespread public support

Failure 1: The ID card scheme will do little to protect people's identity. In fact, as the scheme is proposed currently, it will actually make things significantly worse.

Failure 2: the ID card scheme does not have widespread public support. Some people don't care. Some people are for it, but I've yet to find one who doesn't go over to the "anti" side once they spend 2 minutes reading the results of typing "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" into google. The majority of people are against it.

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Burning oil wells

The ID card scheme will be scrapped when FuLab get kicked out in the next general election. All we can ask is they stop pissing away our money on it in the mean time.

I am reminded of the Iraqis setting fire to oil wells during their retreat from Kuwait.

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Unhappy

Such arrogance..

on behalf of the government by a civil servant is breath taking!

The are alternatives - and less expensive, at that - to ID Cards & ID Database but the public in general, and a vociferous minority of which I am one, don't want ID cards/databases in any form as currently proposed. Not least because of the massive invasion of privacy that is enabled and demanded by the state.

While the state persists with this pursuit it wastes my hard earned taxes and fails to deliver anything remotely close to its objectives (frivolous assumption..?) of personal data and individual security. The only ones who benefit are those employed in IT security and most of those are not UK taxpayers.

What will it take for the (any/either) government to get the message and act???

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FAIL

@Lester Caine

The ID card project is so much more massive (hence the expense) than 'just' a combined passport. It is about controlling and recording everything you do, from internet purchases, to visiting your doctor or going shopping at the local off licence. In short, it is about making your data less secure.

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Big Brother

@ Lester Caine`

"We *NEED* some form of photo identification just to live nowadays, so how about eliminating all the unnecessary crap and producing a single card that we can use even if we just want to fly from Newcastle to Bristol"

No you don't NEED it, nor does the person asking for it NEED it. The reason it is so widely demanded is Government forcing sellers of large ticket items to demand it under the fatuous excuse of 'money laundering' controls, security and so forth. They NEED you to get used to providing it as circular justification for mass surveilance. That plan seems to be working just fine.

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Linux

Monies

"the card would produce £6bn net economic benefit to the UK"

How?

The cards will be manufactorered in China. The readers in China.

Oh wait. We have to pay for this "compulsary"

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Boffin

Re: So we have to buy pastports instead?

It's simple. In any system capable of fraud, having multiple ID checks makes it /much/ tighter than if you simply have just one ID check - even if that single check is very, very secure. Still sceptical? A quick probability lesson, then.

Let's suppose you have two systems of checking someone's identity:

1) Here you use just one one ID card. Let's say there's a 1/1000,000,000th chance (one in a billion) of a fraudster being able to successfully use it undetected. Sounds pretty secure, doesn't it?

2) Let's suppose you have another system of checking you are, that requires you to have:

- a bank statement with your address on it

- your driver's license

- national insurance card

- passport

Now let's assume that each one of those is much less secure, individually, than the ID card; Just for argument's sake, let's say that there's a 1/1000th chance of each one of those checks being successfully bypassed. Sounds like system 1 is looking pretty good, isn't it?

Well, no. Basic probabilty theory states that the probability of events A, B, C, D all happening together is - ie. a successful fraud -

P(fraud)= P(A) x P(B) x P(C) x P(D)

Which for system 2 works out at 1 in 1000,000,000,000. That's a *thousand* times more secure than system 1. Moreover, because all these ID checks are essentially seperate, you're not likely to get a flood of successful frauds in a 'dam burst' scenario, because ID fraud of system 2 requires you to negotiate all these ID system checks, rather than just one.

Where does this lead me? ID cards would be fine for lower-level services, but I wouldn't trust them as far as I could shove them up the immigration minister's arse (that's with rubber gloves on, too). It would be foolish to let them through the door, as false sense of securities are inevitable.

We've not even got to data protection issues yet - hang the big brother conspiracy theories; what would happen if the proverbial fly fell into the printer, wreaking bureaucratic havoc?

Or am I the only one that's watched Brazil?

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I hate it when

a politician I loathe says something I completely agree with, but Fergus Ewing has it right here.

Gerhardt, lots of people have been saying that for a long time, but it never seems to go across. I think that is partially because this government, so adept at the art of spin and selling, is using the most devious and insidious of its persuasive tools on this project: time. They are literally boring the opposition into defeat. They are taking so long to take the steps along this road that all the arguments against are become stale, and get no coverage.

I don't like it, but I'm mighty impressed by it.

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Joke

Headline Writers lack coffee?

Shouldn't that have been "Scotch ID Cards, says Scottish minister"

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eh?

'We remain on progress to bring in what we believe has widespread support'

Meanwhile, back in pixie land....

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Stop

The electorate...

are clearly just sheep waiting to be sheared. It appears that they'll believe any shit a politician can spin whilst being interviewed by some "journalist". They don't seem to understand that when the 2 minutes of the interview is up, there might actually be more questions that need answering. God forbid that they actually think about some of these questions themselves.

ID cards seem to be touted as super weapons. Not only are they as safe as (something more safe than) houses, but you can also use them as a shield against terrorists.

Notice how the argument is always misdirected. It is not the cards per se that are the problem. It is the database behind them, including who gets access, how secure it is, what is stored, how long it is stored and above all *why* it is stored.

Since when can the government claim that widespread ignorance and apathy equals widespread support?

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FAIL

manifesto commitment

Is that like communist manifesto or stasi manifesto?

@Guy Herbert - They NEED you to get used to providing it

Exactly Correct! Tell 'em to shove off.

@Gerhardt - that's with rubber gloves on, too

Use a red-hot poker and save the gloves now.

"fully committed" around here means that you're headed for the looney bin. And yes, they should be.

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Stop

£6bn over 30 years?

I would have thought the government (who seem *so* keen to push it through at any cost) they would be *screaming* these numbers from the roof tops.

And yet it seems almost unheard of.

No mention of it in the traffic light reviews for example.

Any definition of *how* these benefits would appear?

Of course its a *huge* benefit

If it's real. If there is anything like a solid case to defend it.

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Alert

They'll jizz the data like the DVLA

They'll get the ID card data and the agency in charge will sell the data to anyone with a logo and a fax machine. Just like the DVLA hands out your home address to anyone claiming to need it now.

They'll claim it's a necessary thing, for Mr Logo to check your identity and witter on about safeguards that are completely meaningless because they give away the data that can be check externally.

And as ever, MPs will be exempt from having their data released and their childrens data released. Just like the DVLA, just like Contactpoint, just like their blacked out expenses.

The Jacqui Smiths of this world understand clear as day the problem with what they're doing, yet they do it anyway.

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Alert

RE: £6bn over 30 years?

I agree. I would think that the gov'ment bringing in revenues of £549.450,55 _PER DAY_ would be screaming, indeed. That's simply incredible.

Unless, of course, all that money is being spent on the relatives, club buddies, and companies the gov'ment officials own stock in... But surely this is for the betterment of Blighty, eh?

Warning: because its no longer a conspiracy; truth is sadder than fiction.

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Megaphone

Do you support ID cards?

That questionnaire in full:

1) Do you

a Want to be murdered by terrorists; or

b Support ID cards

2) Do you

a Want paedophiles to run free; or

d Support ID cards

Closed question - wossat?

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Silver badge

Go the Jocks

That is all.

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Grenade

how

can you argue with someone being paid vast sums of money to be morrally and factually wrong, who know they are wrong but will argue they are right.

the single most reason im against any form of id cards. Or a statement to say against anyone who supports them...

'Even if I was to agree that ID cards are needed for <whatever reason, normally safety against terrorist since this is super emotive> , how do I know that at any time in the future, my lifetime, all this information wont be put into the hands of the BNP (and if they support the BNP, say the Communist party, or the party they hate the most/view most dangerous, the green party). Or used for political reasons to cause harm to either supporters of a certain faith or policital leaning. Jewish people in Germany had nothing to hide untill the Nazi party was elected, imagine if they had ID cards already in place when they went into power.'

Or something like that.

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Big Brother

I'm Confused

Good old NuLabour can't commit to budget cuts over the next 2 years because they don't know what the economy is going to do but with ID cards they can see 30 years into the future.

I think the Iranians have the right idea about there unelected leader, viva le revolution.

@Lester its called a passport mines valid for another 10 years and everyone accepts it as valid, why should i spend another £60 for a picec of plastic (which by the way no-one has anyway of validating) that wil be nothing more then "big brother watching you".

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Big Brother

constitutional law question

could the Scottish Parliament pass a law which made police enforcement of British ID card requirements unlawful or make it illegal for businesses or local government to require British ID cards at any time?

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Licensed to kill?

Gerhardt wrote

"2) Let's suppose you have another system of checking you are, that requires you to have:

- a bank statement with your address on it

- your driver's license"

Well, I did pass a driving test in North America some time around 1976 or 1977 so I do have a somewhat out-of-date driver's license somewhere or other. Will that do? At least it has a photo on it (no resemblance to my current appearance, of course) which is more than my UK one does. Of course as a very frequent countersignatory of passport applications etc. etc., I very rarely see a passport photo which looks remotely like the applicant.

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Silver badge

"the card would produce £6bn net economic benefit to the UK"

That's over 30 years - anyone willing to work out how much money could be accrued in interest if the cost of ID cards was invested?

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Go

So...

"We remain on progress to bring in what we believe has widespread support"

Here's something else with widespread support: GENERAL ELECTION NOW!

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Black Helicopters

Astroturf identification

Can Register PLEASE provide a link on each commenters name so that we can see if they have a history or just one off ... or if a history ... what their history is. Then we can assign weight to opinions in a more useful fashion.

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Joke

New one for the Angband lot…

Mithril? Not tough enough.

Shimmering dragon scale? Doesn't deflect enough.

I want my +20 ID Card Plastic Shield of Surveillance (-5 to stealth) now!

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