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The Israeli Knesset has voted in favour of a bill for a compulsory biometric database of all citizens. The Biometrics Database Law passed the Knesset 40 votes in favour to 11 against. A big row over privacy forced the bill back to the drawing board. This led to the idea of a two-year trial rather than a full-blown introduction …

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Not the same as the UK

This can't be directly compared to the UK identity cards, simply because in Israel it's already compulsory for everybody to have an identity card (a teudat zohut), and to carry it with them at all times (foreigners must have their passports with them at all times).

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Don't believe anyone who says...

"impossible to forge"

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Reduce public borrowing

We can flog the Israelis a shiny new biometric panorwellcon since it looks like the next government won't be needing it.

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Anonymous Coward

"as any banking site"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7032779/

http://www.sophos.com/blogs/gc/g/2008/11/05/bank-of-ireland-loses-customer-data-on-memory-stick/

http://searchsecurity.techtarget.co.uk/news/article/0,289142,sid180_gci1308799,00.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bofa_laptop.html

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9959976-7.html

And on, and on, and on...

But don't worry, you've got nothing to hide, have you? A lesson I thought anyone Jewish would well understand.

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Unhappy

Not the first national database of Jews...

Surprised they're willing to give it another shot, given the rather unfortunate outcome last time a country tried to build a database of all it's Jewish inhabitants.

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How very dare you!

They have those stinking, parasitical, good-for-nothing Palestinians to think about -- this is completely different...

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The scheme will be declared an astounding success

... and all dissenters will be ignored because they don't exist, so says the database.

"Ex-interior minister Meir Sheetrit insisted the database would be safe "as any banking site" and the cards impossible to forge."

Both are easily refuted. More importantly, both illustrate exactly what is wrong with all such schemes: People actually believe that crap.

These things deal with people, with the real world. Noise is therefore inevitably part of the system. Things DO go wrong. People made the technology, people therefore CAN forge it. Humans DO make errors. People get put in the wrong slot, under the wrong name, with the wrong fingerprints, with a picture of elvis, etc. etc. etc. Declaring that impossible is declaring every victim an unperson. Doubleplus ungood.

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Anonymous Coward

DNA Forgery

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1108768.html

They already can forge DNA.

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Anonymous Coward

Israeli dog mess DNA bank initiative

And in two years time it will be used to prosecute people who drop chewing gum, or other petty little crimes just as it is compulsory to take dog DNA and that is used to prosecute anyone whose dog poops on the sidewalk.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050366.html

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errrm

maybe IBM would be interested in winning the contract (again?)

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Anonymous Coward

Moving ever closer

They've been behaving a long time now like they learnt how to control people about,oh seventy, eighty years ago. Presumably they'll be measuring noses soon?

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WTF?

If you really think about it.

If you really think about it and they way technology advances and if this Israeli technology is a real boom to IT security/technology then you can consider this the birth where robots learned how to be racist against humans.

The ability to tell one person apart from another be it skeletal structure or skin color will

have future robot that have full fledged AI system in their cpu brain will bring up other discoveries as well.

What jobs can a racist robot perform?

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@Not the first national database of Jews

I assumed that it's previous experience is how IBM got the contract.

Simple software change - shoot the ones NOT wearing the yellow star.

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NO!

How long before their agents within the British establishment force it upon us?

Refuse to give permission.

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@Benjy

"This can't be directly compared to the UK identity cards, simply "

Oh I think it can. I'm guessing your familar with Israel but not the UK.

It's true Reg readers on the whole hate the idea of an ID cards .Partly this is because in the UK it has been common law that the state has no right to demand a person prove who they say they are. Most other European countries require their citiziens to carry a government issued document to confirm who they are.

But mainly Reg readers know about the *massive* National Identity Register virtual database (it's a virtual DB because it's made by linking 3 existing databases. IIRC this was because building a *true* NIR from scratch, which would ensure a true clean build, was too much f@~cking trouble and cost too much money even for that bunch of data fetishist meglomaniacs). The one which will offer cradle-to-grave surveillance of who you are, where you live, who you live with, how and if you are permitted to travel and when *any* of this information changes, including your picture and fingerprints.

The planned Israeli biometric database will be remarkably like the UK one, only smaller. It will be more comparable in size to the one in Estonia, so beloved of Charles Clarke (Fomer UK Home Secretary).

Given that UK biometric passport chips have already been hacked I think both your database and their cards will be hit.

I'm not surprised Israel has an ID card. I am *amazed* that a country built (in part) by the survivors of systematic persecution in pat enabled by such widespread data collection would think this is a good idea.

Even if you believe the database *cannot* be tampered with and altered (Israel is the home country for the company that supplies Sky Digitals 2000 bit + data encryption which no one seems to have cracked yet) *ever* you will also have to believe that no future goervernment would mis-use such information to control its citizens.

Never is very long time.

Mine is the one with a copy of John Brunners "The Shockwave Rider" in the side pocket.

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The UK and Israel

I am very familiar both with the UK (as I live here) and Israel (as a Jew who's spent a large amount of time there, has family there etc).

I made no comment as to whether a database cannot be compromised or anything. The sole point of my comment was that Israel already has a national ID card, so that's already one "hearts and minds" hurdle overcome - the concept of an ID card. What goes on it is then a second step.

On the other hand, in the UK, both steps have yet to be given convincing arguments.

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Happy

@Benjy

You're right in terms of the acceptance of carrying one (as is the case in many countries )

However in terms of concept the two do seem similar.

Not making it mandatory in the trial period (at least Israel *gets* a trial period), although it will be interesting to see how many volunteer to have their cards updated (despite none of their details having changed) *simply* to get their biometrics taken. Obviously takeup won't be the problem. If it goes ahead everyone will take it up.

Some other areas. When will they roll out readers for them? Will you be denied government services if your card (in the trial) is not a biometric ID card. The old "It's not mandatory you have a new biometric ID card," just like breathing.

What's the Israeli governments record on data security and IT project delivery? In house or outsourced (any of the UK's usual government IT suspects perhaps)?

And if you don't think your details are right what can you do about them? AFAIK the UK onbudsman for this has just been hired (now the project has gone live) rather than in the planning stage. Estonia allows its citizens to see who has been monitoring their ID card activity (provided you have your ID card and PIN) . Full audit trail. I doubt the UK system will cough up an individuals details (to that individual) with anything short of an FOI request and £10.

Lastly how will they measure success? Blair pitched it as essential to stop terrorism on the streets of the UK (in 2005 it had been 8 years since a British soldier had been killed by the UK's only truly indigenous terrorist threat).

Now I think they are looking to cut benefit fraud and underage alcohol purchases on the streets of Manchester. Implementing cradle-to-grave surveillance of every man, woman, and child in the UK forever seems (I dunno) a tad excessive way to do this.

OTOH Israel does have a PR electorial system (which IIRC correctly can give small parties substantial leverage) , an automatic weapon in nearly every household and an electorate that could be described as "Argumentative." Once more poeple have experienced the dubious benefits of this idea I could see the formation of an "End the biometric ID trial now" party as a distinct possibility.

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nazi central..

after this they are planning to force all arabs to wear yellow arm bands..

that was a joke, but who would bet on the israeli public voting AGAINST that?

they voted in "bam bam" netenyahu and the thug liberman?

FAIL because the eastern european crusader colony in palestine has failed..

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