Toy Town Government
So, unable to win the argument about the usefulness of ID cards our wonderful government just spins a little and decides to _create_ uses for ID cards.
"Various forms of coercion" could be used to accelerate the rollout of ID cards, the idea being that ID cards will remain 'voluntary' for as long as possible, while not having an ID card will become more and more uncomfortable. This, precisely what the government has intended to do all along, is stated baldly in an Identity & …
Why not just tone down the ID card to just identity, not biometrics this and that, put in a bunch of privacy protections and tighten up on violations like the DVLA are up to. And fix RIPA to put back privacy protection.
Rather than fight the public, get agreement with them and protect their interests.
Look at RIPA, a secret order SELF authorized by various public bodies (I read it's more than 1000 local and governent agencies now that can demand secret monitoring of all electronic communications). I read there have been 5000+ official orders, and the estimate of 200,000 unreported RIPA orders.
The table of who can ask these seems to be here:
There should be NO agency that can do that without Judicial oversight, yet even the Scottish Ambulance service can do it, the department of trade, any local fire authority, the home office, any local borough councilman, British transport police, the charity commissioner, the office of fair trading, jobcentres, the foods standards agency...
Article 8, the person has the right to privacy. There is no power the remove that privacy right without judicial process. RIPA is not legal, you cannot remove someones privacy without Judicial process.
So you get back to the right of privacy, throw out that Blair stuff. Put in the judicial checks and balances back in, build confidence in the government, then roll out WITH AGREEMENT a card that does just identity without all the privacy attacks.
(just polishing up my woeful knowledge of foreign languages in preparation for emigration.)
Exactly what most of us have been predicting. They'll be no watershed moment when suddenly the Government says 'Take this ID card!' and we get to say 'Fuck off!', they'll be rolled out gradually and will be made not compulsory, but essential. You'll be fuming at your computer posting comments on El Reg and behind you they've already handed one to your 16-year-old daughter who's just got her provisional licence. And then why resist when they're already inside your family? There will be no martyrs because giving up employment doesn't count as martyrdom, it counts as laziness in the eyes of the Great British Public.
Which is more oppressive: a government that beats its citizens with sticks when they protest, or a government that cunningly arranges things so they don't even get the chance to protest in the first place? If I said I envied the monks in Burma everyone would probably assume that I was a typical Western Internet blowhard who wouldn't dream of actually getting up from his computer and taking to the streets if given the opportunity. But fuck it, I envy the monks in Burma.
I agree. Instead of 'just "posting comment"', you could act for real, and really usefully: create a blog, create a group on FaceBook, join a mailing list, maybe even join "no2ID". That's some real action, man!
Appart from that, I think that this biometric thinggie is kinda cool. Every single person with internet acces in the world will be able to easily download the databases containing the physical characteristic of every single Brit on the planet, from any P2P network. At least once one or two CDs and laptops are lost or stolen. Then we'll know that John Smith, who poses on MySpace as a new Rambo, is really 161 cm high and wheights 47 kg.
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