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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  1. dervheid
    Alert

    And the consensus is...

    Enough of this shite already.

    Stop.

    No!

    Sack Whacky Jaqui!

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

  2. Arnold Lieberman
    Black Helicopters

    Two words

    Boot sale

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  4. Matt Kimber

    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.

  5. twelvebore
    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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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. :)

  7. James Le Cuirot
    Unhappy

    Mobeaphobe

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

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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... :-(

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  10. Pete 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.

  11. Muscleguy Silver badge
    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.

  12. John Thorn

    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.

  13. thomasthetanker

    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

  14. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  15. Brian
    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.

  16. Steve Browne
    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.

  17. Michael
    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

  18. Julian Bond
    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?

  19. Daniel Rogers
    Thumb Down

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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..."

  22. gareth

    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.

  23. Sceptical Bastard

    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

  24. Anonymous Coward
    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

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  26. Hollerith

    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.

  27. Igor Mozolevsky
    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...

  28. ElFatbob

    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)?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  30. A J Stiles
    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 .....

  31. Dazed and Confused 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?

  32. 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.

  33. Pete 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?

  34. Steen Hive
    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.

  35. N Silver 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!

  36. John H Woods 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!

  37. Chris G Silver badge

    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.

  38. avatastic

    @ 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.

  39. Sceptical Bastard

    @ 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.

  40. Throatwobbler Mangrove
    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!

  41. Skizz

    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.

  42. Sooty

    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.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  44. M Room
    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.

  45. Frank Silver badge
    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.

  46. 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.

  47. Paul
    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

  48. JonP

    @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.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Passport to take a piss?

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

  51. Dan S
    Unhappy

    Panopticon

    We aren't a police state and saying that we are seriously underestimates what real oppression is. HOWEVER, there is something incredibly wrong with a supposedly liberal democracy introducing such sweeping powers of surveillance. Furthermore the government has profoundly misunderstood its relationship with the people - we control them, not the other way around. If there is probable cause to suspect a serious crime then, yes, by all means bring out the wiretaps and MI5 - but leave everyone else the hell alone.

    I used to believe in the New Labour project. There was a point in time where, in contrast with Thatcherism, it seemed possible for a government to give a shit about people (e.g. minimum wage, equality legislation, civil partnerships, more money for NHS...). But it is hard to remember the good stuff compared with the avalanche of execrable bat shit crazy control freak reactionary bollocks. It's like someone read Foucault and decided to have a real panopticon, not just in a prison but actually out there monitoring all of us. Gah... I need a drink!

  52. ben
    Go

    Well...

    It's not the govt., it's the spooks that want this. Most politicians barely know (or care) what a sim card is.

    I can think of 2 reasons why mobile phones are impt. to terrorists - communication and bomb fuses

    Yes, this measure won't defeat the most determined terrorists, but it will make raise the barrier to entry for "muppets", like the one who turned up at a restaurant in wales last year and tried to blow himself up, or the pair who drove into Glasgow airport. Or Richard Reid. Remember - it might not stop them from carrying out an attack, but the registration of the sim will be valuable during the subsequent investigation helping the spooks prevent future attacks.

    I used to think that these seemingly superficial measures were pointless, but having done some research into terrorist incidents over the past 30 years, a surprising number were carried out by what I would call "muppets" - i.e. careless amateurs, so I think simple steps like this may actually be of some use.

    And lets face it, that fits with intuition - are you more likely to have a high or a low IQ if you decide to blow youself and innocent civilians up?

  53. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    @Jim Booth

    > 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?

    Yeah. I thought of that too, weirdo as I am. Except instead of bringing the ingredients home, I wondered "what would happen if I assembled all the components in my shopping basket?" I suspect nobody would even attempt it, but I also suspect my fellow shoppers and/or security guards would pay little to no attention to what I was doing until it was too late. MWUHAHAHAHA.

    Er, excuse me. Back to normal now. Anyway, the ID card (or lack thereof) would make absolutely no difference in this case, as you'd have your bomb made before even approaching the ID checkpoint, er, I mean checkout. Point being ID cards do jack shit to prevent terrorism, no matter how intrusive you make 'em.

  54. Chris G Silver badge

    Thank you JonP

    I have to confess to knowing bugger all about the civil war other than it's date and the fact that one or two of my ancestors in the Shrewsbury area wore big floppy hats with feathers in them and lacy shirts and they kicked a lot of parliamentarian butt.

  55. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    Pay and go?

    Jackie. If we pay you enough, will you just go and fuck off to another country and not come back

  56. ElFatbob

    @Jim Booth

    >>'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!'

    That's exactly what's on the cards - not for the sharp pointy things, but because they intend to compell us to give all this information at various transaction points, so they can sell it to direct marketing companies. It's in the ID act...

    Oh, that and because of the rampant immigration that they can't control (because its inter-EU), they have realised they don't actually know who is in this country and that scares them.

    And to top it off we have the NuSpin Doctors trying to make Gordo some kind of superhero as a result of this financial crisis. That's got to be like Hitler saying to the Germans "It's a terrible war, but i'll get us through it"

    Scum.

  57. Richard Neill

    Good possible PR for a phone company

    If, say, Vodafone were to come out and say that it would seek to maximally frustrate compliance with any such schemes, and provide minimal co-operation with data-retention requests, I, for one, would consider switching back to them.

  58. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Load of old tosh!

    So there's Abdul Ben-Psycho al-NutJob, down at the local Phones4U shop.

    "So Mr Nutjob, got your passport, photo's a little old not really like you, but nevermind, not my place to say anything. Just need a few details for the paperwork. Occupation?"

    "International arms dealer and radical terrorist sympathiser. Fighting a holy cause in the land of infidels."

    "Hmm, can't see a box for that one sir. Tell you what, I'll just put 'between jobs' eh?"

    "Right. Address?"

    "I have no permanent address. I am free spirit, righteous in my cause and with God on my side!"

    "Okay...I'll just put no fixed abode. How will you pay for this?"

    "American Express?"

    "That'll do nicely sir!"

  59. Richard Cartledge
    Stop

    Nu Labour ZOG

    Fascism as represented by Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy and the Vichy France collaborationists most certainly contained right wing elements, but had at least as many leftist factions. Mussolini was a socialist (he was the editor of the Italian Socialist Party's newspaper). Hitler joined the German Labour Party and just as Tony Blair rid Britain in the 1990's of its nationalisation policies so did Hitler in pre war Germany.

    Whereas the much vilified Le Pen joined the Resistance against Fascism, former French President Francois Mitterand, later the leader of the French Socialist Party was a hero of the Fascist Vichy regime. The wartime leader of British Fascism, Oswald Mosley was a Labour minister and became the leader of the British Union of Fascists. His wife Lady Diana Mosley (91) recently declared in a BBC interview her opposition to Le Pen and her support for the European Union!

  60. Charles Smith
    Black Helicopters

    Pinocchio Government

    Buying a second hand mobile on Ebay are you sir? Don't forget to fill in your V5 Phone registration disposal document Sir. It is your job to check the passport of the buyer Sir, and to retain a colour Photocopy for 15 years Sir.

    As usual this UK Government is lying through its teeth. There is no real justification for demanding Id for the purchase of mobile phones, other than they want to control the innocent citizens. Next they will be demanding that the Crims register their machine-pistols.

  61. kain preacher Silver badge

    @ ElFatbob

    I'm sure its the same in the UK, but here in the US you can go just about any were thats sells food, gas electronics and buy pre paid minutes cards. Just give them cash, call the carier up and read of the serial number on the back and you are good to go. Of course they can always tell which store you bought the pre paid card from, but not much else.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    already implemented

    Try buying a phone without giving a name and address of someone on the electoral roll.

  63. Pete Silver badge

    @Richard Neill

    Little to no chance of that I'm afraid. They've already caved in Spain. I've been told I have until sometime next year to go to a Vodafone shop with my passport to get my spanish PAYG (that I bought in the UK) registered. If I don't, the number will just be cancelled.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    wot no mention of tracking?

    The main use of mobile phones for the state is to track everyone's movements. The uberdatabase will create the mother of all networks showing when people meet, who they meet, where they meet and how often - their local network. Phone calls simply show their remote networks.

    The weak link is to ensure everyone's registered so that all unregistered phones get greater scrutiny as is almost certainly the case now - burn down the haystack and search what's left for needles.

    The surprising thing is that the government doesn't give away the phones.

    Technology has outpacing the capability of society to come to terms with it

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Let me peer into my crystal ball By Anonymous Coward

    You're right! I'm off to Iran it's less oppressive.

  66. Beachhutman
    Thumb Down

    silly Billies

    This really does top the Prattery of the year poll for the prattyest suggestion since prat was a word. There are already 3 billion mobes in the world, including my 10 year old Nokia, and it is quite feasible to build your own out of assorted chipsets and sticky back plastic.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Prise my ID card from my cold dead hands....

    Thats just about it. My alter ego Mr Rusty Shackleford is now going to do all my interacting with Joky Spliff and the rest of these b'tards in power.

  68. Andrew Meredith
    Go

    For the Facebookers amongst us

    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/132426

    This is a Facebook "Cause" to promote the number10.gov petition to stop the "Communications Data Bill"

    Join it and push it out to all your Facebook friends.

  69. David
    Go

    Will she also ban international pre-pay roaming?

    So, basically for the average joe soap this is going to be another pain in the ass bit of bureaucracy. It's going to cost UK telcos money to do and generally be annoying.

    But, for the determined terrorist / criminal or whoever wants to actually bypass it. They just go on line / hop over to the nearest country which hasn't been silly enough to elect a dictatorship and buy a prepay sim without ID and use it in the UK while roaming.

    I mean, you can do this in the Republic of Ireland, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Most of Eastern Europe, the USA, etc

    Even if she managed to convince her EU counterparts to implement similar rules, I can't see many Eastern European and other countries all universally following.

    So, she'd have no option but to bar international roaming. Since this is generally reciprocal, it would mean

    a) Loss of revenue (big revenue) to UK operators for roaming calls in the UK

    b) UK prepay customers being barred from using overseas networks as UK companies would lose roaming agreements.

    So, it's clearly a win-win situation for the British public! Back to using payphones while you're in Spain on your holidays then!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jaqui, the suicide bomber.

    So the Home Office will be seeking a "political consensus" in response to a public outcry demanding more intrusive spying? Well, bring it on, sweetheart, it's called a general election.

    I rejoice every time this woman or one of her conveniently anonymous clones (see, it works okay for them) open their gobs. Another nail in Nulabour's coffin. Roll on the funeral so that we can bury them once and for all.

    The stench from this totalitarian cesspit is so bad that I might just hold my nose and vote Tory for the first time in my life.

  71. Mad Dave

    @ Jim Booth

    Actually, when I recently attempted to return a faulty electrical product to Tesco the day after purchase, they refused to replace it unless I gave them my full name and address.

    Small claims court, here we come.........

  72. Throatwobbler Mangrove
    Black Helicopters

    well, but

    "It's not the govt., it's the spooks that want this. Most politicians barely know (or care) what a sim card is."

    Putting my serious hat on for a second, I seriously doubt that UK intelligence agencies have lobbied for this. Not because they are the last defence against New Labour's totalitarian instincts, but simply because they realise this scheme would create a large volume of unhelpful data at huge expense with no corporate benefit to them. If nothing else, they'd be lobbying for something pointless and expensive that benefitted them, not pointless, expensive and benefitting no-one..

    It's only someone that had no clue about data monitoring and the practicalities of registration that would propose this. Someone like an MP, in fact! Let me guess, did this beat the pet ASBO idea in the back of the cab on the way to the press conference?

    PS I bought a SIM card in Russia at a network's own store. I had forgotten my passport (although I wasn't exactly keen to register anyway) so couldn't give my details. Rather than lose a sale, the salesman cheerfully filled in the details of the last person who had bought a phone from him on my registration form...

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