“ Identiy cards are intented to be a stronger solution in the challenge of protecting people's identities. Background checks will ensure that claimed identities are real and not stolen, and will prevent criminals from using multiple identities. „
This one just won't go away,it dies down and is 'forgotten' about for a while but it rears it's hideous head again often in a slightly different form.I believe the latest idea is some form of online system akin to a google or facebook account with a logon on name and password.
I mean honestly !!!
I know why don't we just sort the situation once and for all and permanantly tattoo my N.I number on my arm along with a barcode aswell.In fact why don't they fit an RF micro chip and house us all in secure camps with guard towers and dogs !!!
Can anyone explain to me why on earth they require me to carry a specific I.D card which will no doubt have allsorts of my personal information including my DNA stored on it when I already live in the most heavily monitored country in the Western world.
I know it's become an urban myth that a citizen in London is caught on cctv some 400 times daily but a myth has some basis in truth.
CCTV now has sophisticated face recognition software,road traffic and police vehicle cameras have number plate recognition capabilites.if you use your credit card,debit card you can be pinpointed to where you last used it.
Sitting on your computer you can be traced and monitored by your I.P address and aslong as your mobile phome has it's sim card in it you can be pinpointed in real time within a matter of several feet even with the battery removed.
Considering this you would think my animosity to an I.D card is pointless but it's the principle and the other forms of monitoring i can choose.If I want to I can decide not to have a mobile,credit card etc.
Besides my grandad fought during WWII for our freedom and what this country stands for but since 11/09/2001 I'm recognising this country less and less,the survaillance capabilites today would have had the Gestapo in a state of continual arousal !!!
There is a line I won't pass have said from the start I won't carry an I.D card so they'll have to arrest me,as often as they want I won't accept either I.D or the start of a police state
Knowing me knowing you
In the midst of deep recessions, comes the will to deploy fear to the masses to take the focus away from the state of a failing economy. These are folk-lore tactics that I would expect from an administration which is too wrapped up with systematic errors across the spectrum. Charles Clarke was the most industrious cabinet minister to fast-track the emergence of ID cards; his buffoon clumsy grasp of what the ID cards consist of, was a cue sign that the so many billion project won't ever reach production while he was at the Home Office. Since then his role has purely been a Labor rebel, his openness is now refreshing and today his stance has completely changed, this is the formality as a politician. One thing that remains the stance in Westminster is that ID cards are designed to eradicate terror on our shores, selling and promoting it under the heading of counteracting fear, has so many flaws embedded within it's ideology, that getting to the route of it would undermine democratic politics. Fear is everywhere, fear is the reason why people go to work because they don't want to lose what they've already have got. Fear is within our human psyche, so to take it away; it will only be replaced in other means. Fear mutates itself to whatever the environment. You can be more fearful of something that never actually happens.
Professor types jump on the band-wagon of hype and always use the 'fear' card to express a reason why research has to be maintained; for the good of mankind and of course himself. Lucrative deals then are endorsed for another 5 years securing jobs for yet more research. All built on fear. The ID cards other main benefactors are benign to what the public would relate to as being useful. The obvious cause is that it will be easier to manage via a superhighway database, which will be used for absolutely every stream of life details, which will breach the Data Protection Act 1998 - 2000; but by the scheduled ID card release date the terms would have been diluted somewhat for Parliamentarians to build huge roads into our liberty status, which is already a 'nanny state'. The huge database will also be a massive corporate feeding frenzy for blue-chip clients to know everything about everything, from where you shop to how often you top-up your mobile, to how often you change your thongs.
I heard a deluded 'Joe' public statement that if you've got nothing to hide, you shouldn't have any reason for complaints going on the database. That is fine if we all were equals, had basic amenities and lifestyles. The ID card would have benefits; but it isn't the case. We have all very different lives whereby fraud is a growing global trend, and loopholes are mandatory being written by lawyers which become law; only available for the prosperous and tax havened millionaire. Look at the Capital Gains Tax levy, the rich benefit by having it both ways, earlier this year MP's were found to have enriched their earning potential by abusing the CGT system at the tax-payers expense. They were caught with their pants down. What about the cash hungry hedge fund fat-cats who swap accounts globally, to avoid detection? - In a democratic land ID cards are purely a huge cash incentive for the government to bridge financial gaps on a failing 'brand UK'. - Forget all the biometric garbage that thwarts our thinking as if it would be useful for us to have our own iris details on a card. How useful is that? - It is completely useless to anyone. I would understand it, if you needed it to enter buildings via a high security iris recognition system, and anyway we carry our own eyes with us. It's like been sold another mobile at 120.00 GBP which isn't as good as your own which you've had all your life. Not even an Arab who is a Manchester City fan would buy that.
The bottom line is... would you trust the UK government with all your personalised data? - I seriously would fear it, 'oh that word again,' that my own data along with 60 million citizens would be copied onto an USB key and left on a train, to Sidcup; ready for any Syd to pick it up and configure as and when. At the moment the details of legal citizens are on more than 800 databases, which is a good thing when it comes to fraudulent activity. The programmer in Nigeria would only have small parts of your identity, in comparison to a hyper database which stores all of your identity; allowing no room to manoeuvre and you would expect no help from the authorities except a huge phone-bill for ringing up help-lines.
Alan Johnson MP, has been busy trying to package the ID card concept as a means to fight illegal immigrants. I can't see that either working as the reason why they're called illegal immigrants is due to that fact they've gone via other channels to get here in the first place. - The gnome has gone fishing without his fishing rod. Over the years, the ID card legislation has not changed, nor has the intention. - I was for the ID card system back in 1988, as in the EU, the EU nationals have an I D card; but the boat left long ago, with the internet and the digital age, it is open to even higher levels of fraud now. - The good news is that only 3,500 people have signed a petition stating it is a good idea; by expressing true facts against the release of the I D card the numbers are very likely to diminish by 2011. The UK passport has now got to be renewed every five years now so this is become inline with the 2011 plan of having to get an I D card as well. - Typically; it will be posted as a 'volunteered' option, which the authorities will strongly advise you to have with fees to pay if you decline the I D card option.
Our very own bobbies will relish the chance of stopping individuals for random chats and I D card inspection; again, if no card is presented, expect on the spot fines as they try in earnest to hit weekly targets set by governmental bodies. The list is endless when it comes to revenue opportunities for the treasury. So, the fact we are in a recession only adds fuel to the fire when it comes to inventive means of extracting cash from the UK public. The I D card is a red herring; it is the super database that is the Mother of all 'Big Brothers'; that will not protect the innocent, but will be another huge profitable black-market' business for hell-bent crooks who are always ahead of the game when it comes to the bureaucrats. The amount of red-tape grid-lock number punching systems won't make a 'dicken's difference' with any progress of catching criminals of this genre neon impossible; you will get the MI5 team working on 20.12 GBP post-office raids next. -Yet more obscene wastage across the board, of time and money all under the name of bureaucracy, which the I D cards will inevitably create.
The initial Home Office power push came from David Blunket; who gave the first contract to Entrust who are major players in I D card biometrics and fingerprinting. It makes me amused to view the blind Blunket before he realized he had a love-child, or maybe not, to experience the technology available, even though he couldn't see it first-hand; listening to him trying to explain the bio-metric side was like watching two hamsters mating in the snow; completely out of his depth. The fact that he had fast-tracked visa schemes before for fees made me wonder about bungs and all this before the government went transparent of course; tongue firmly lodged in cheek.
I've found the I D card also a pointless 200 Million 'black-hole', as yet more taxpayers money is driven into this hair bear bunch no-brainer. The fee is down to even be a lot more as it is configured to the 'Mother of Big Brother' database; which will install every minuscule of data of all legal beings in the UK. - Johnson even played with the actual design plastic a couple of months ago and revealed that leaving the union jack out of the end product was to not to offend people; especially the Irish. - I suppose this is what you get when a politician muddles about with plastic, they come up with their own 'red-tape' and touch on political correctness; which has in truth stopped children from singing 'Ba Ba Blacksheep' at play-group. Or deciding to make Christmas cards with the words 'Winter festival'. It's so outlandishly demented that a flag is not displayed in which states your own national identity, the idea however bad it is, is like watching Gordon Ramsey without the foul language; beyond pointless.
Out of a poll of 1,731 adults across the spectrum; six out of ten were unlikely to want an I D card, and that was without knowing what the implications of them being on 'The database' would actually mean. The tactics of Whitehall is extremely shady when it comes to all our liberties and human rights on such an old tired policy that is totally dormant in practical use for the UK public.
Thank you for reading this write-up
Copyright - 08 -2009 - 1st2thebar
Is this another good idea from the think tank of the governing bodies or is it simply a way to bring in another form of taxation on the already over taxed population of the UK...?
In my personal opinion the UK ID card is another big mistake by the government and will not be welcomed with open arms by the tax payers...( well the majority of them anyway)
The British public already have a number of means to prove their identification, such as a driving licence with a photograph, a passport also with a photograph, birth certificates, national insurance cards, credit cards, bank cards, store cards...the list goes on.
All these means of identification can and are capable to being forged, just as any new means of identification would be.
Whatever new technology comes onto the market it is simply a matter of time before some criminal organisation is able to counterfeit it and flood the market with perfect copies. This is simply the way technology has taken us, the authorities create something new and the criminals will always copy it...
The UK ID cards are going to cost the tax payer vast amounts of money and no doubt the cost will continue to escalate until the idea is implemented or abandoned as an other bad idea.
Also, how the UK ID card will foil terrorism is a complete mystery to me as any determined terrorist will not be worried about not being able to produce to correct identification. If someone would like to explain to me how an overpriced government backdoor taxation to carry another small bit of card to prove who you are is going to stop a terrorist attack then I am all ears..
The people of Britain already have ample ways of identifying who the are, we don't need any more, especially if it is going to cost a small fortune to do so, and as for hiding the true reason behind the guise of anti-terrorism is simply a joke by someone in the so called think tank in certain governing bodies...
And how safe will the information that is collected to be stored on the little card be..? Not very, if the recent losses are anything to go by... the government may as well just put our details on Bebo to save the middle man the trouble of losing his laptop...
As for all those people who will say "if you've got nothing to hide then why worry...?" ... well, I have got nothing to worry about as I am not a wanted man or have never been... but I do worry about the fact that ALL my personal information, and I mean ALL, will be held in one place and will be open to abuse by anyone with a computer and half a brain.
I also object to the fact of being forced to pay for another piece of identification, let alone be forced to carry one... (I do recall a certain little German with a dodgy moustache implementing this sort of dictatorship regime not so long ago...?)...
If for one minute I thought that this white elephant would be of any use at all then I for one would be all for it... but it is, in my opinion, another way for our glorious governing bodies to bleed more cash out of the poor tax payers of the good old UK...
I, like many others, have many ways to prove who I am... such as a full photo driving licence, a passport, bank cards, credit cards, a birth certificate and even a works identification card (at a stretch)...all paid for and all stating who I am... so why on earth should I want another over priced piece of identification to tell me who I am?
Plus, as the government and other political bodies have a tendency to be rather careless with the information they hold on people at the moments, regarding misplaced laptops, memory stick and CDs, how do they intend to convince us that they wont leave all our details on the 12:45 to Kings Cross so little Johnnie can have a read and upload it on facebook..?
* Do I think the UK ID card is good for the country.... NO.. it is only good for the government and is simply another way of controlling the hard working people of Britain.
There are just too many unanswered question about this idea for it to be implemented for many years and I for one hope that it is scrapped before too long as it will simply be another waste of tax payers money... (and with this government it wont be the only white elephant that it has thought of... nor the last..?)
When my daughter come home after being asked to go for a night out and had to refuse as she is just a tiny bit under 18 i told her dont worry about it as she only has around 5 months to go.
So that night annoyed about having to refuse to all her offers she told me about paying 10 pound on the internet to buy a fake id i just laughed and she wondered why as i dont think she relised that they have been around for quite some time and now clubs are constantly checking id's for the fakies and would just laugh at her if she handed over her card.
I think it is wrong people on the internet are still making ten pound a time and even more and they no that clubs pubs any where you have to be the legal age to get in that they no whats real and whats not. people no when they see a fake card and no when its a real id
And that all these young gullible people are still buying them and they are going to fill a complete idiot when they try using one.
Last Wednesday rational people I know where genuinely concerned that the particle accelerator would rip time apart and a small black hole would engulf Switzerland (not a bad thing) and then us and then everyone else (not a good thing). Ok, they were women, but what do you expect. The media absolutely loved this story and played it up big time, even though the big switch on at the Cern labs was merely that, to see if the 2mm beam could navigate the seventeen mile tube without touching the sides. The media knew full well that the actually beams wont be smashing into each other in the middle of the tube for another 30 but still pushed the hype that this experiment had a million to one once chance of going catastrophically wrong on the day. Scientists with beards and glasses mockingly tried to put us at ease by explaining that when the atoms did collide the impact would be equivalent of "two mosquitoes bumping into each other", and far more violent molecule collision go on all around us every day, even in our bodies. But CERN enjoyed the publicity the week before the switch on-like turning on your car on a very frosty morning-and the papers yet again scared the bejeses out of people that are easily jumpy.
The above, although a trivial example, is why governments really enjoy pumping stuff like terror hype and global warming stories of course. It is easy for those governments to then push controversial legislation through like I.D Cards to counter that perceived threat. But what if that fear is minimal and the cards are really about creating future fears to push through even more stringent controls of our liberties?
Two years ago Blair was worrying the nation's holidaymakers rigid by announcing he had uncovered a terrorist airline plot to destroy planes over the Atlantic. 23 people were arrested in the perfunctory Asian areas and stringent security measures were introduced at our airports and stations. B.A.A. were loving the extra congestion at check-in, new retail kiosks placed near increased queues, no drinks or sharp objects allowed in your hand luggage. But hey, guess what, you could go into departures and buy all those things for double the price in duty free! On the plane it was thrice the price. Cacccching!!! The trial was unable to validate the boys had even contemplated liquid bombs. The restrictions are still in place today, old Caucasian ladies continuing to be searched and stripped of things they can buy later in duty free.
This week the trial has come to fruition, but only three of the twenty-three arrested are charged, that for endangering people's lives through threats for terrorism, the evidence those videos. The jury failed to find any airline plot. We also discovered that the gang/cell were being watched six months before and could never have carried out the plot. Yet the government keeps telling us that if guys like this had national identity cards we could have caught them quicker. But we also know the Spanish attacks in Madrid were 'aided' by the terrorists having I.D cards because they were clearly not coming up on the radar as they were legit, so less likely to be checked. Surely if you stop someone in London today of Muslim extraction without identity they are more likely to be a problem?
I agree that some sort of national identity scheme would help cut down on illegal immigration and wean out potential terrorists and criminals through that conduit. Since the Channel Tunnel has opened the country up like can of tuna so have our defenses. If you cross ten borders to sign on in Walthamstow then you're not really what we need right now in Britain as the 'credit crunch' bites. But we also know that in America, a country that has had ID cards for thirty years now, they still have over 10 million illegals, now surreptitiously accepted as cheap black market labor. All the best Californian families have Mexican gardeners and home-helps. I think it's fair to say our record on sending back identified illigals isn't very good here either and so the cards are not really about that either. The types of undesirables who get through are rarely accepted back in their home countries. We had the supreme irony of being unable to deport three Somalian rapists because their country is deemed 'too dangerous' on human rights laws for them to return. It's too bloody dangerous because it's full of people like this!!! If we have the card then make it matter. The reason we don't send these people back is nothing to do with detecting them but the cost of deporting them, be it legal or physical. We brutally removed a lady from Kenya with cancer who later died there, but we fail to kick out the real villains who lounge in jails draped in gold chains and fake papers.
The I.D card system is going to start to be rolled out in the U.K this time next year. Now my big problem with that is that the contract to run it is probably going to be given to someone who's not the best for the job but has-or will-contribute heavily to the government of the day to pay their debts - if it is Labor. Most I.T. government contracts seem to be consistent with that bent ethos, what the cash for honors stuff was all about last year.
Tesco encapsulate that collusion, a huge company that wants to buy influence. Once tobacco companies faced huge law suits in the 80s they lost power and influence as western governments moved away from taking tobacco funding, eventually bringing in the restrictions against them in the new century, the smoking ban an example of. But what if that ban was not asked for by health and medical groups here but the supermarkets, knowing that customers would be forced out of pubs and into Tesco's and Sainsbury, which is exactly what's happening. Through the preposterous Millennium Dome, Tesco contributed £7 million pounds to New Labor as sponsorship. You don't give seven million for nothing. The oil companies were the biggest contributors to George Bushes campaign in 99-2000 and look what they got-three trillion barrels from Iraq!
Examples of the paid relationship between government and big business...
Patricia Hewitt, health secretary and trade secretary, has two ministerial positions but still has time to work as a special consultant to Alliance Boots at 45k a year. She is senior advisor to Cinven for 55k. She also picks up 60k from BT.
David Blunkett, who pushed the I.D card idea, picked up 25k a year from Entrust, who, you guessed it, create I.D card technology.
Ivor Chaplin, defense minister, is an unpaid consultant to MBDA (who sells arms to the MOD) and sure to be paid when he s fired by Brown.
Ian McCartney, trade minister, s advisor to the Flour Corporation at £113 grand a year.
Since some donors got caught up in the police investigation they have been told they wont be getting much for their 'loans', certainly no knighthoods, and so not surprisingly have asked for their money back. In fact Labor has received almost no money outside of the unions for party funding since the threat of prosecution. One sole cheque of over £5000 was handed over in May, but that was from a Labor MP, other donations from the public down to a trickle. Now my point is here, as I said above, the I.T companies that have been awarded big internet technology contracts have messed up, the NHS database a classic example of. I feel the budget for a national I.D card scheme could sky rocket and cost as much as the bloody Olympics if it pans out as expected. There have already been problems with eye scanning at airports and prototype software isn't working well with finger print loggers.
The big problem of late with this identity issue is incompetent companies holding on to our data. Only last week one American contractor lost 5000 British prison officers private home and address data, another company losing 85,000 prisoners details. Both groups of people could sue if they feel their liberties are threatened by this lost data. If that gen fell into other criminals hands then you don't need telling how bad it would be for the already hard-pressed prison service. If our data is going to be downloaded on to a single national card scheme then how safe is it going to be? It is inevitable that these cards will have caveats attached after the national roll-out and new data on us will be added to the card.
We know once government departments have our data they like to flog it for a profit, the DVLA selling our car number plate to home address details to clamping firms across the land for a tenner a pop, encouraging more clamping pirates to set up operations. In fact your basic home and address details are worth on average a minimum 13p a line to any marketing company who wants to buy them in bulk. We also know that local councils and other organizations have been using anti-terror legislation to keep an eye on petty things like non payments of council tax or parents pretending to live near good schools, again legislation and law's bought in off the terror threat being abused, the terror threat that makes you think by having a I.D card these problems may go away. You do ask the questions that were these laws really about snooping on us and not the bad guys?
Where ID cards will help is on crime and general I.D. There's always a furor over stop and search statistics in Britain, especially on the number of Black and Asians stopped. The reason why these guys from just 8% of the population are stopped seven times more than white people is because most stop n search is carried out in high crime areas for certain offences that require stop n search, like carrying drugs or offensive weapons. Of those seven times higher rates you get four times as high arrestable offences. Now the point here is if we all carried cards then some people could be illuminated from enquires very early, and people wouldn't get stopped all the time as the card would identify them straight away, saving the police and pedestrian time and hassle. Anything that helps to cut down searching innocent black kids must be a good idea. If I was black and trying hard to integrate and be a good citizen I too would be very angry at being searched for others willingness not to integrate. If you have acard you will be on your way quicker in all walks of life and processes...
It could also help the police with stuff like prostitution. Middlesboro is 024% of England's population but has 2.5% of all kerb-crawling convictions (dirty northern sods!). Baring in mind the unfortunate Ipswich tragedy, if these guys carried state I.D they could quickly be annulled from the inquiry. We do know the killer in that case was pulled over twice yet allowed to go on killing at later date through identity mix-ups. Identify cards would hurt the bad guys - but they would be the first to fake the cards for nefarious means.
I.D cards are brilliant for elections, of course, speeding up the voting process, and more importantly, chipping back on electoral corruption, another one of the reasons stated by New Labor to bring in the cards. 90% of voting fraud in the U.K in the last five years has unfortunately emanated from Asian boroughs, and predominately Muslim ones. Obviously the fraud going on there is for cultural and religious reasons, rather than for financial gain, keeping the areas in Muslim hands, so to speak, so practices from their part of the world can continue in the U.K.I think you know all bout honor issues etc... Clearly electoral fraud in predominately white communities is not common for those reasons, that distinct lack of the cajoled block vote that sways these things not in play. I feel that some sort of sophisticated personal I.D would stop doorstep fraud where people of a certain religion are persuaded their vote should go with the corresponding councilor of the said religion, but not necessarily of their party politics. Relevant levels or illiteracy in these areas in Britain have been exploited through the current way voters are identified at the count. If voters had to present themselves to the voting booth, and so the flawed postal vote could be scaled back because this system works, then we would get more accurate votes. I'm sure the Asian voters would still vote for the same candidates on average but it would stop situations and attitudes like we saw in Peterborough last year. In 2007 a convicted housing benefit cheat has been elected deputy major there. Tory Councilor Gul Hawaz, 52, has apologized to his constituents for the 'lapse'. The city's former mayor, Mohammed Choudhary, is currently in jail for vote rigging!! We really need to unify British citizens and an I.D card may help that, whatever Browns motives for it.
When did things get so backwards. I have a better idea. ID Cards for all World Leaders, Government Officials, and all Members that belong to major organisations that influence the world in any way. All their actions being monitored and shared with the public. Im sure that they have nothing to hide and so they would never oppose to this. They claim to "represent the public" and be "servants of the people" so it would make sense that the people must monitor those who represent them. Besides, we pay their VERY expensive salaries....so we are their bosses!!! and the decisions they make are too important not to be reviewed and approved by a more competent and compationate group.
Now that makes a lot more sense than them tracking and controlling the people. I think someone got confused along the way, so lets help remined them of how it is SUPPOSED to be.
The Government should fear the people and NOT the other way around. Open your eyes, something is terribly WRONG.
How you are been tracked:
Your IMEI is recorded throughout the day. As long as your phone is on, it is being tracked.
Your IMSI is recorded every time you place a phone call. Your location, time & date, duration of call, number that you called and the actual call is saved in a database for future reference.
U.S passports already have chips placed inside them that sent a signal to a satellite that pin-points your location.
All other passports and EU IDs simply store the information on a database of you leaving and entering a country.
In most countries the cameras in the streets have installed software that recognizes your face's characteristics, matches it with other pictures that are already stored in the database and can be used to locate you every time the command for your tracking is given. New software that is being developed will also be able to register your mood and state of mind, by recognizing the expression on your face. If you then look suspicious it will automatically inform the appropriate personnel to pay attention to your actions.
Every time you use your credit card the amount spent, items purchased, location of store and time & date are recorded for
Every click, every search, everything you type, every download is recorded, if its of any importance to the organization.
And these are the ones I know of.
Freedom.... what freedom?
It was taken from us some time ago. Only we were to busy watching "The Next Top Model" on the TV to realize it.
We have one last chance, fight the New World Order.
Do not take my word for it. Do your own research and decide for yourselves if what I'm saying is true.
Do you ever stop for a minute in your busy lives and look at the sky or the sea. Wonder how life turned out this way. Realize how fast time went by. Remember the dreams you had. How sure you were about what you were going to become. Then pause, think for a minute and laugh about how ignorant you were when you were young, because life never turns out the way you want it. Grow up. Life is what you make of it. As long as you 're alive, you still have time.
The ID Card Scheme and NIR Database
So what makes the new government ID scheme and the National Identity Register (NIR) database so unique? There is no doubt that our actions and behaviour are already being recorded; in our cars, in our streets, in our shopping centres. Every transaction we make is being recorded alongside the date and time. Our phone calls are recorded as are our internet searches. If you open a bank account or change utility companies they not only want to know your address but also your previous address. You might argue that everything about us is recorded somewhere. It has been calculated that 700 databases have records on each of us. What makes the new government ID scheme and the National Identity Register (NIR) database unique however, is that it will link up nearly all of this information in one place where those in power will have access to virtually every area of our lives and every aspect of our identity.
Given the substantial opposition to the governments ID card scheme, it now seems our trusted leaders are trying to slip it through by stealth in the belief that we'll all eventually come round the idea. They will start with new immigrants (their won't be much opposition there), then airport workers and new students. This will be followed by the so called voluntary take-up. But the voluntary aspect is a load of bull because the system will only really be effective if everyone is a part of it, otherwise it is simply a waste of money and time. It might be voluntary at first but the goal is for a compulsory system that will immediately criminalise all those who try to stay out of the system. In the long term you can be sure that non-compliance will induce heavy fines or the threat of imprisonment unless you hand over virtually every piece of information that identifies you as a human being. The NIR will build and continually record a complete picture of your life. There will be virtually no part of your life which the state cannot inspect. Anyone who has recently been unfortunate enough to have to rely on social state benefits will already have had a taste of what it will be like.
The NIR will form the back bone of the ID Card scheme and it is designed to bring all the information about you together in one place so it can be accessed by... well by lots of different people accept you it seems. ID cards and the register will in effect be powerful tools of state control and surveillance. This will often be done without your permission or knowledge. The original plan was for an ID card containing biometric measurements along with 49 separate pieces of information about the individual. Some reports now suggest there will be 56 separate pieces of information. Your iris scan, driving licence, fingerprints, credit cards and bank records and birth date will all be recorded. And the system will constantly be updated every time you change address, buy a car, change your mortgage, make a hire-purchase, are issued with a new phone bill, take out a prescription, apply for a parking permit, buy a plane ticket, pay for your card to be unclamped, withdraw small sums from your bank account, attend court or are unable to pay a fine... and the list goes on. Once collected it is unlikely that this information will be erased for decades. In effect you will be owned by the system and it will be possible for those sneaky government departments such as the DWP and MI5 to draw fairly accurate conclusions about the type of person you are; your spending habits, your ethnicity, your religion, your political leanings, your health and possibly your sexual preferences.
Arguments in Favour
The arguments in favour of ID cards are either irrational or have been shot down one by one.
To counter the threat of terrorism.
The ID card in Spain did not prevent the Madrid train bombers and a similar ID card would not have thwarted the 7/7 London train bombers.
To prevent ID Theft.
There is a strong argument to suggest that the ID scheme will increase the problem of ID theft. A single unified identity will be a prime target for forgers around the world. Only recently have we learnt that the so called impregnable chip and pin technology has already been compromised.
To prevent Benefit Fraud;
This is a media favourite, if there are no major news stories, let's pick on the poor - the people who pay more tax (as a percentage of income) than anyone else. Despite the propaganda, there seems little need for an ID card given the governments own success in combating benefit fraud since 2004. A lot of fraud in the past has been the result of departmental error and incompetence. It is believed that the government has saved more than £400 billion in recent years. Furthermore, ID cards will be useless against most types of benefit fraud such as that committed by individuals who exaggerate sickness benefit claims or those who hide their income earned from black market activities. And what about the millions in benefits that remain unclaimed by those who do not realise their full entitlement? The truth is that benefit fraud and crime have decreased in recent years but this is usually blanked out by the rightwing tabloid press whose aim it is to keep middle England in a state of panic and fear.
To control illegal immigration
There is next to no evidence that ID cards will prevent the trade in human traffic and disparate immigrants Illegal immigration.
One common pathetic argument for ID cards goes along the lines of: "If you obey the law and you've got nothing to hide then you've got nothing to object about ID Cards". The next thing these people will be saying is that we should all be strip searched and have our rectums fingered every time we enter or leave an airport, after all, if we have nothing to hide why should we object? My point is that ID cards are a gross invasion of privacy. Would you allow a complete stranger to enter you home, go through your pockets, search through your drawers, look at you medical records?
The government originally estimated the cost at being around just under £600 million a year. The LSE makes a conservative estimate of £20 billion after 10 years. Whatever the price you'll be paying for it. Essentially the government will charge you to hand over your data so that it can then charge private companies who wish to conform your identity. The card that you have paid for will never belong to you. It will remain the property of the secretary of state and s/he will be able to withdraw it without explanation.
The Argument Against
We are about to give away a very precious part of ourselves to those in power that will allow them access to the intimate details of our lives. You might argue that our governments aren't that bad, they are friendly enough, but we have no idea about the type of governments that will arrive in the future. Remember that it is not just our privacy that will be sacrificed but the privacy of future generations. Can we really trust any government with all this data after the recent data losses? Have we already forgotten the lies about Iraq, the secret corrupt deals involving British Aerospace and Saudi Arabia, the secret rendition flights by the US military using British airspace?
Our trusted governments and their departments continue to manipulate the unemployment figures, waste millions on failed IT projects, lose thousands of individual's data from the child support agency, lose thousands of people's individual data because of immigration records going missing and we can't even access our own credit records unless we pay for it.
The ID card scheme is unethical and immoral. It is an attack on our individual freedom and liberty. Freedoms that past generations have sacrificed their lives for are about to be eroded away through political stealth. In recent years we have already seen restrictions to public protests and freedom of speech, restrictions to assembly, and diminished rights for defendants. Now individual privacy will be invaded to a degree never seen before in human history.
Every human being should have the right to define themselves independently without government officials or big business peering into their personal details. Compulsory ID cards will completely alter the relationship between the individual and the state. People and government will be divided with mutual suspicion. The ID card and the NIR will strip us of our individuality, force us to conform and make it more difficult for people to fight and protest against unjust laws and malevolent government actions. It is essential that we all believe that we should fight to maintain the right to define ourselves independently free from government interference. It should be remembered that politicians are democratically elected servants of the people We should never allow ourselves through laziness, ignorance or political apathy to allow public servants to become our masters and we their slaves.
So, what do you have in your purse/wallet?
I have a photo driving license, credit card, bank card, gym membership and a million high street loyalty cards I never remember to use! In my drawer at home I also have my passport, paper driving license and various utility bills. Now why on earth would I need yet another form of identity?
All of the above combined are more than sufficient as evidence of identity, address and just about everything other than shoe size. However, wouldn't it be nice to only have to take one form of ID with you? No more trawling round to find two forms of ID plus proof of address whenever you want to open a bank account, get a passport, apply for benefits or go the toilet. However, it seems unlike that a National Identity Card will serve this function and we will still have to produce other forms of identity for any major applications.
The government have become very quiet on this issue since Tony Blair left office but the consensus seems to be that any uniformly required card will include everything from name, address and date of birth to passport numbers, signature and fingerprints.
http://news.bbc.co.uk /1/hi/uk_politics/ 4630045.stm
If this proves to be the case and we do become a "one-card-country", then many people may welcome it and as a method of standardizing identity. It is certainly a better idea than the current one in which there are several forms of identity you can apply for. This is particularly a problem for anyone between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one. If you do not have a driving license or cart around your unwieldy passport it can be almost impossible to provide acceptable forms of identity. With at several "proof of age" cards on sale including Validate UK, CitizenCard and PassScheme, there is no universally approved method of identification for those fortunate enough to be under twenty-one. A standardized card would solve this issue.
A standardized ID card may also help combat teenage drinking as teenagers may find it far more difficult to purchase alcohol and adults will be more more wary of buying for them if they have to produce a picture card that can be easily traced to their address. Similarly, off licenses will no longer have any excuse for selling to teens. On the flip side having one card makes it very easy to lose and or be stolen. Although, a picture card is fundamentally more difficult to use for fraud. Such a comprehensive ID may be more easily used to set up credit cards, order catalogues and generally abuse the on-line shopping world.
Perhaps, the main thing I object to in being obligated to have an identity card is the likelihood of being charged for the privilege. Surely anything that is mandatory should be free? If I lose the card I would then expect to pay to replace it but paying for something I have to have? I already pay to have a driving license, a passport and a car but I gain something from the equation so I can live with it. I do have a problem with paying for something I get no direct benefit from. It is easy for the Government to say it is for the greater of society but then the Politicians who are for the scheme are more than able to pay for it and will probably write it off as an expense!
Of course, the main reason why the Government would like to see the scheme in place is for security and immigration control.
Having such a scheme would make it much easier to track illegal workers and immigrants. If you have to have a card to work and claim benefits it should be far more difficult if not impossible to find legal work or claim benefits from the state. This does not necessarily solve the problem though as it may well only push immigrants further "underground" into dangerous or low paying occupations. Many of these workers are working cash in hand cutting and packing vegetables or even resort to prostitution. In these cases they still do not need an ID card to work and it may be their only option. I cannot decide whether driving illegal immigrants further towards this is a bad thing as it may well be better to encourage such people to seek asylum and assess their eligibility from there. An ID card system may create an underclass of workers in society and only increase the racial hatred and threat of terrorism the Home Office claim they are attempting to avoid.
All in all the idea of a National ID card for all is a potentially good idea that is heavily flawed and is set to divide the nation for a long time to come. The fear of Britain becoming a "Big Brother" society, akin to George Orwell's vision in "1984" is perhaps a bit extreme. The reality is, the Government, your bank and pretty much anyone else can get as much information as they like about you from the on-line shops, forums and the social networking sites that you frequent as from your official documentation. Hell, the ad-ware in my computer will be monitoring my visit to this site as we speak! As such, it is not a question of should we fear ID cards but more a question of do we need them?
At the moment I would say a hesitant yes.