Friday, March 14, 2008

Latest from NO2ID

Although the media front is fairly silent on the ID Card issue at present following news reports of its unworkability and extreme cost, the government is, nevertheless, pressing ahead quietly with its implementation.

This is being done by stealth, first concentrating on youngsters applying for student grants or passports. From this coming November non-EEA foreign national students or those on a marriage visa, an ID card will be mandatory. Airside staff at Britain’s airports will also have to carry ID cards as from next year. Then it’s a case of young people being coerced into carrying ID cards, initially under a voluntary scheme, simply presented and with ‘benefits’ for those who comply. But, of course, once you divulge your vital statistics you are on the National Identity Register for life and subject to all of the penalties attached for those who do not continually keep the authorities informed to any change of personal details and circumstance.

It is this subtle coercive stance that the government is taking - hiding the true realities of being an ID card carrier and NIR enrolee - that is most insidious and we must be aware from now on of any intrusions the government will take in prising personal information out of us.

The latest news:
The government has been busy releasing a whole gamut of policy documents on ID cards, most of which are spun to bury the bad news. The spectre of ID cards is as bad as ever and no backward steps have been taken by them to dilute their effect upon our lives.

A report entitled 'Challenges and opportunities in identity assurance', authored by Sir James Crosby, former chief executive of banking group HOBS, has just been released. The report states that any national identity card scheme should be free to users, involve minimum amounts of information and not be promoted as an anti-crime initiative. It criticises the ‘uncoordinated’ way in which the government has rolled out the scheme. The report’s publication just happened to coincide with the government’s release of their ID scheme delivery plan, trumping the report. Although Crosby’s recommendations are less onerous than those of the government, they still represent an unnecessary intrusion into our lives, largely built on the back of the phony terrorism ruse.

The MoD has lost 11,000 ID cards over the last two years. Small by comparison to the 25 million records lost by HM Revenue & Customs, it still represents about 1 in 18 of all the armed forces.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, has gone to the extent of resurrecting a 319-year old law designed to protect freedom of speech to try to stop the publication of Home Office reports on the failing ID card scheme. This appears to be a desperate attempt to hide information that would greatly damage the credibility of the scheme.

Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, which is being officially opened today by the Queen, is to have mandatory fingerprinting for all boarding flights. I was fingerprinted and had my eyes photographed recently at the immigration desk at Minneapolis airport.

A computer repairman discovered confidential government CD hidden inside a notebook computer which had just been bought on eBay.

Don’t worry, one day all of our personal details will be blowing about in the wind for anyone who wants to borrow or steal our identities!

In response to my signing a petition for government to introduce a law to ban the micro-chipping of human beings in the UK, HMG has responded in a not very re-assuring way. “The Government is not aware of any organisation or individual that is planning to micro chip humans, and so although in principle the Government would be against this practice, it seems disproportionate to legislate to ban it”. So we can’t rule out mass micro-chipping of individuals in future!

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