Technological solutions to social problems have, historically, been unmitigated disasters; and Laws of Nature have been proposed based on less evidence than there is for "Social problem + tech = bigger problem".
In the UK's quest to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, Fujitsu has reportedly pitched an artificial intelligence-driven process that analyses drivers' journeys and even social media posts. According to The Sun, citing a leaked briefing, the Japanese firm this month issued ministers and MPs with a proposal …
I have been going back and forth across the Calais Dover link since the days of onboard passport checking and have come to believe that pretty up to date tech is already in use for screening and has been for some time. If you have triggered the system they (the UK authorities in the UK and, when they feel like it, the French authorities in France) will ask you to stop, get out and open the car boot. I guess that is for a very low level trigger but I guess also that is sufficient. If the authorities think this is necessary then a real smuggling suspicion must trigger a much bigger response.
Where is any sign of tech which could eliminate the need for live checks of vehicle and driver - it doesn't exist!
If the physical checks are for border control reasons it doesn't matter where they are done - they are physical border control checks.
How do they propose linking social media identities to registration numbers? Will it be a mandatory field next time you register a vehicle?
Even if the technology worked, which it doesn't, such remote coverage only lets you identify that an offence was possibly committed, and not the prevention of such offences. By the time the system has flagged that car reg 'SMUGGL3RS' has made ten trips across the border and turn right round again, there are ten smuggled loads of whatever in circulation. You can stop the 11th, and prosecute for it, but by then there's another hapless mule lined up and the crooks have made their money.
Luckily ANPR is still illegal over here, for the most part. Police forces have been rapped on the knuckles for using the ANPR photos to try and find offenders of crimes. As the purpose of the ANPR cameras is for average speed on a piece of road, it is illegal to use the information for anything else.
German bureaucracy for you.
The same is true in Germany. All number plates must be obfiscated before they can be published, the same for people in the car, their faces and identity in general must be protected.
Dashcams are also quasi illegal. A court did decide that the last 30 seconds before a crash can be used as evidence in court, but that's it. Showing it to the insurance company, the police or posting it online is illegal, as is having a camera that constantly saves footage. If it doesn't just keep the last 30 seconds, you can't use it.
In Germany it is clearly defined. Any person, in public or private who is "featured" in a photo has to give their explicit permission before a photo can be loaded onto the internet or published.
If they are part of a crowd in the background, that is okay, but if they are in the foreground, you need permission.
Despite the attempts of some to claim that leaving the EU Customs Union produces a "hard border", this actually refers to the time during the troubles when vehicular traffic was restricted to 20 checkpointed crossings by dint of blocking all the others.
IIRC there is about 1 road across the border for every mile of it.
IE about 300 of them.
AIUI stopping stuff going across the border during "The Troubles" was a massive PITA and not very successful. I'm guessing the UK could have deployed some of the stuff developed for Viet Nam ("McNamara Fence" AKA Igloo White) as planted sensors to detect foot and vehicle traffic.
A cordon of drones? With high altitude units covering long swaths with more numerous ones ready to get in close for ANPR? They'd be logistics nightmare to maintain of course.
Just another part of the that growing (negative) "Brexit Dividend" the Kwitters banged on about during the referendum campaign.
About two thirds of NI's exports and imports is with the rest of the UK. In the event of a backstop, all the EU bureaucracy will be applied to NI-GB trade, which is 4 times as large as all NI-ROI trade. It's also 2.5 times as large as all NI-EU trade.
In practice, the backstop is far worse for NI than hard Brexit...
Er, you've asked Fujitsu and the Dept. Exiting the EU why they have no plans to use blockchain?
Well, I should hope so. A long chain made of computer generated cryptographic solutions placed along the cyberspace frontier probably wouldn't count as a physical border (although no doubt one side or other would still find a reason to object).
Today, a baker in Armagh can buy flour from a miller in Armagh or a miller in Dundalk and sell the bread he makes in Dublin or Belfast. No duties, no tariffs, no paperwork. By the end of next month, in a no-deal Brexit, or any deal not involving custom-union membership, the same baker will have to go through the same paperwork to import flour from Dundalk as he would to import it from Brazil. And exporting bread to Dublin would require more paper work then exporting it to China (and probably take longer!) because the EU would have to be satisfied that it (and everything in it, and every stage of its handling and processing) met all EU standards and conditions, *and* that it could not be obtained elsewhere within the EU.
I really do not see how a social media app is going to help with that.
Dairy is big.
Milk produced in Ireland, bottled & made to cheese in N.I.
Most of it then sold in Ireland. Even as Irish Cheese (but with UK NI CE tracing on packet).
Same with bacon and sausages.
The Good Friday Agreement basically assumes UK & Ireland in same EU, the Single Market and Customs union. Which means freedom of movement of EU citizens (which May opposes, even though NON-EU immigration, nothing to do with EU, is the big issue and varies from x5 to x8 bigger. Home Office picks low hanging fruit on that, often illegally!).
So Brexit referendum seems to have had no research, no consideration of Scotland (You'll have to leave EU if you vote Independence!), Gibraltar or NI Good Friday Agreement. The Brexiteers STILL have no majority agreement on what Brexit entails or how to do it.
Cameron has a lot to answer for. A Second referendum is no solution, because what on earth questions do you put on it? No Deal is not an answer, yet Parliament voted to make that the default rather than cancelling Article 50 at the original vote.
The Article 50 clause was invoked with no analysis, or plan. The Future Trade is the only negotiable part. The actual Withdrawal Agreement is really box ticking defined by the Article 50 (which UK was main architect of) and limited by the GFA (which DUP NEVER EVER agreed to and want destroyed. Arlene Foster left Official Unionists and joined DUP because the OU accepted GFA and she didn't). T. May's red lines and GFA mean the Insurance Policy called the Backstop had to be added.
If UK was going to leave Customs Union, Single Market, end free EU movement and ECJ for Brexit as the hard liners want, then the Withdrawal Agreement EU agreed with May was inevitable and people BEFORE referendum said that's what it would be. The Withdrawal Agreement was never going to be a negotiation, but box ticking. Only the trade deal, not possible till after withdrawal (and clear in A50) is a real negotiation.
Other Trade deals: NO other trade deals can be FINALISED till after Withdrawl / Transition. Of the about 50 off 3rd Party deals EU has, the UK so far has only outline agreement to continue FIVE.
I used to have to cross the border for work. I needed paperwork (carnet) even for my own tools and test gear. It was a hard border even apart from security checkpoints. They were not fun.
"Why have you a UK driving licence and a Southern registered car?"
-- "I used to live in the UK"
"So what address did you used to live at in the UK?"
-- "I've forgotten"
"Please get out of the car slowly."
driving through the Mourne mountains one day security checkpoints. They were not fun
a bush on the roadside got up and pointed about twenty SA80's at me
Squaddie with very very large lethal weapon " What side of Belfast are you from? "
Me, (hopeless at troubles geography, east or west is best?) " Er.... Leeds "
and I wasn't shot, so it seemed to be the right answer , back in the days.
I did meet the guy (RSRE Malvern) who conceived & developed the first ever ANPR, for use at checkpoints in Norn Irn, and it was specifically for security use, (when designed anyway), and worked really well, a very neat design with the twin decision paths. ('Bob' gamed two competing teams for the recognition technology, both delivered, so both features were added into the first system)
The Swiss border, that I cross regularly nowadays, is stuffed with ~5GHz (or 60GHz?) transponders - typically & solely aimed at trucks, trucks have an LED bar. The actual 'Zoll office booth is quite often empty, most of the day - but occasionally they jump out of a bush at you, many miles from the actual crossing point. They have much smaller weapons than the paras, thankfully.
France have seriously mobile Douanes flying squads, who can be found 100 kilometres from any border, inspecting TV sets in transit for the prise peritel??
By the way no more millers in the Republic . Closed by EU like the sugar factories. + factor look at all the employment a border generates! Like the" just on time"in the motor industry with bits and pieces to and fro across the EU adding to cost but generating useless/ not necessary jobs
EU regulations are not special,take Wicklow Chicken from Brazil sorry corrected now in a hurry to Netherlands.
I still have fond memories of the consternation caused by a group apparently smuggling 2nd-hand VCRs across the border hidden in a load of bricks in a pickup with no chassis number. It turned out that it was the bricks that were stolen. They'd have got away with it if they hadn't been overheard by an off-duty customs officer boasting about the red-diesel scam in a pub which got them stopped and searched next morning. Sometimes life exceeds all your expectations.
Canada is associate of ESA. Moving towards EU.
Maybe Greenland might rejoin EU (they left when they split from Denmark, the only place to leave the EU).
Trump's proposed wall is longer than Donegal to Newfoundland distance.
Donegal is a similar distance from Athens and Newfoundland.
England should leave UK and become a USA colony like Puerto Rico.
Gibraltar, IoM and Channel Is. then should become part of the new UK that stays in EU and lacks England. Despite UK No. 10 protests, Gibraltar, IoM and the Channel Is are NOT part of the UK, they are various kinds of dependencies. The renewed UK (clue in name?) could have the Monarch as Queen Elizabeth I of Scotland (she is currently), or become the Confederation of British States a republic, or be in the Commonwealth. Actually even a Republic can be in the Commonwealth.
England can remain a Kingdom, renamed Kingdom of England, or Albion. With King Charles III in a few years time.
How will this "no border" idea work with all the laws that NI insist they have in defiance of the laws in Ireland and the rest of the UK? We'd probably see more NI citizens arrested for considering an abortion than for smuggling anything. "You can't have any borders but we're going to keep our borders."
I'm surprised that Fujitsu didn't mention blockchain, or indeed AI. Ever since someone told a senior exec that the future was blockchain and AI that's all we've heard about in every in every pronouncement from on high in Fujitsu. It's like Josephson junctions all over again.
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