back to article Blogging Whitehall mandarin had top secret 'panopticon' plan

In the summer of 2001, Whitehall officials saw the UK's national identity scheme as just the first step in a "five to fifteen year" strategy to create a comprehensive surveillance society, a top secret document obtained by The Register reveals. The document, signed by top Cabinet Office mandarin Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom, was …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to get my ass in gear

    I mean ID cards who would be dumb enough to try and implement that?

  2. Andy

    April fool?

    I'm not even sure whether I *want* to believe this, let alone whether it's true.

    Any chance you could post it again tomorrow?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Nice Try...

    But i'm calling april fool.

    I really hope no one in government would actually use a confidential watermark that tacky.

  4. Alfie

    New Contributor?

    I think El Reg should follow the advice of their latest nom de plume and publish some real news today.

    Or maybe there is no news today? "And finally...."

    Smiley - cos I havent done any work yet, just been laughing at today's stories.

  5. Polisson
    Black Helicopters

    A good day to bury the (old) news

    ... luckily the day is ...

  6. David Harper

    Too close to the truth to be funny

    Congratulations on your April Fool's Day spoof. Unfortunately, it's much too close to the truth to raise anything other than a cynical chuckle.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Please please please

    Let this be an April Fools...

  8. James

    Best one yet

    Funny, even more so because it might be true...

    Mines the one with A1 on the back

  9. Brian
    Thumb Up


    An excellent and very well executed April Fools - the language of the PDF is so close to Whitehall norms that I nearly posted it to Slashdot.

  10. Dave

    Goverment Announcements

    The problem with the UK government is that it often announces things on 1st April that we might all wish were April Fools jokes but turn out to be deadly serious.

    I'll just stick to RFC1149 and its ilk. At least it's possible to avoid crap from pigeons.

  11. Daniel

    Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom??

    Sir Conn Mydic !

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is more plausible than yesterdays story about the guy sticking his cock in a table.

  13. Peter
    Paris Hilton

    Oh come on ..

    Nice try - I loved the report - well written and clearly a sensible project that no 'right-minded' thinking Daily Mail reader would question.

    Happy April

    Paris - 'cos observing her every activity could make a good web movie (- or has that already been done :) )

  14. Alex McPake


    Has anyone else considered the possibility that April 1st would be the perfect day to release a plan of this kind into the public domain?

    Everyone laughs and writes it off as a joke ("couldn't possibly happen here, old boy"): and next thing you know the reality is upon us....

  15. Francis Vaughan
    Thumb Up

    Very nicely done

    Anyone remember the TV series "1990" with its Public Control Department? This could have been the blueprint. One suspects it may have been partly the inspiration as well. The worry is that it all remains just a little too close to believable.

  16. Alexander Hanff
    Black Helicopters

    If it isn't...

    An April Fool...

    reverse psychology...

    just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean they are not watching you...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Embedded PDF info.

    Nice try, but you're busted:

    /CreationDate (D:20080331190655)

    /Producer (Acrobat Distiller 4.05 for Windows)

    /ModDate (D:20080331190735+01'00')

    The giveaway, of course, was the redacted "copy number" on the first page. When I couldn't highlight and copy the revealed text because it had been /properly/ blacked-out, I knew this document couldn't possibly have been prepared by *real* civil servants!

  18. Jimmy
    Paris Hilton

    @ Oh come on

    Paris has just produced and 'starred' in her very own big screen movie, a masterpiece of cinematic art entitled The Hottie & the Nottie. Haven't splashed out on a cinema visit myself but according to the Observer's film critic Philip French " There is nothing to commend this disastrous film and not even a herd of wild horses, each laden with a Gucci saddlebag packed with doubloons, could induce me to see it again."

    So there you have it, our golden girl is fucked again.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    >Has anyone else considered the possibility ...

    Yes, but a PDF file creation stamp of 2008-03-31 19:06:55 and a modified stamp of 2008-03-31 19:07:35 suggests that they slapped it up whilst a bit bored in the pub last night.

    Although 5 pages suggests that the beer was far too cheap.

  20. Alex McPake

    Jumping to conclusions...

    @JonB and @AnonymousCoward (11.42): the time at which a PDF is created may or may not be coincidental with the time at which the document it displays was created.

  21. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up


    "Smiley - cos I havent done any work yet, just been laughing at today's stories."

    You had better get your Arsene Ghia then. ;)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Has this document changed?, I am sure the earlier one, without the redacted number, larger in size, with some interesting info in the pdf info fields may add to the conspiracy theory.

  23. Sceptical Bastard
    Paris Hilton

    @ Oh come on (@ Jimmy)

    Yup, the review is a real stinker! :)

    He describes our heroine as a "vacuous, self-adoring socialite" in a film "... starring herself as the most beautiful, sought-after girl in Los Angeles" and reveals a memorable line of dialogue: "a life without orgasms would be like a world without flowers."

    I think we should all adopt that as our Paris leitmotif, bless her. All together now in chorus: "A life without ... "

    Paris for the obvious reason

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Jumping to conclusions

    While you could of course be correct, in that El Reg theoretically *could* have received the document in, for example, MS word format, and used some print-as-pdf-file feature to convert it for our reading pleasure, I would however, nonetheless, just like to take this opportunity to say



    ....... A P R I L ... F O O L ... ! .......




    ... dude, c'mon. Even if you can't spot an obvious april fool when you see one, the author's name is "arse in gear"? As in, "Get yer"?

    YHBT, big time!

  25. Cogito Ergo Doleo

    Where's Jeremy When You Need 'Im?

    What would Bentham think (aside from roiling in his rave)?

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