It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
British citizens will never be forced to carry ID cards, the Government announced today.
In a humiliating U-turn, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said that a trial scheme that was to force some airport staff to carry the controversial cards has been scrapped.
The massive climbdown by the Government means that carrying an ID card will now never be made compulsory for members of the general public.
Previously, ministers said ID cards could become compulsory once 80 per cent of the population was covered.
The cards were being trialled at Manchester Airport and London City Airport prior
ID cards were initially promoted as an anti-terror measure, but Mr Johnson said they should not have been sold as the "panacea for tackling terrorism." The rollout of the ID card scheme will be accelerated on a voluntary basis for UK citizens, starting in Greater Manchester by the end of the year. Residents in other locations in the North West will be able to apply from early 2010, while the government's intention is to roll out the scheme in London in the same year - 12 months early.
Massive accumulation of personal data #
50 categories of registrable fact are set out in the Bill, though they could be added to. Effectively an index to all other official and quasi-official records, through cross-references and an audit trail of all checks on the Register, the NIR would be the key to a total life history of every individual, to be retained even after death.
Lifelong surveillance and the meta-database #
Every registered individual will be under an obligation to notify any change in registrable facts. It is a clear aim of the system to require identity verification for many more civil transactions, the occasions to be stored in the audit trail. Information verified and indexed by numbers from the NIR would be easily cross-referenced in any database or set of databases. The "meta-database" of all the thousands of databases cross-referenced is much more powerful and much less secure than the NIR itself.
Discrimination—no guarantees #
There have been vapid "assurances" made to some minority groups. That underlines the potential for threat. The system offers a ready-made police-state tool for a future government less trustworthy than the current one. A Home Secretary could create classifications of individuals to be registered as he sees fit, introducing onerous duties backed by severe penalties for fractions of the population. Religious or ethnic affiliation, for example, could be added to the Register by regulation—or be inferred by cross-referencing other information using a National Identity Register Number or associated data.
"Papers, please" #
ID cards in practice would provide a pretext for those in authority—public or private—to question individuals who stand out for reasons of personal appearance or demeanour. This is likely to exacerbate divisions in society. The Chairman of the Bar Council has asked, "is there not a great risk that those who feel at the margins of society—the somewhat disaffected—will be driven into the arms of extremists?"
Third party abuse #
The requirement that all those registered notify all changes in details risks creating the means of tracking and persecution through improper use of the database. A variety of persons have good reason to conceal their identity and whereabouts; for example: those fleeing domestic abuse; victims of "honour" crimes; witnesses in criminal cases; those at risk of kidnapping; undercover investigators; refugees from oppressive regimes overseas; those pursued by the press; those who may be terrorist targets. The seizure of ID cards (like benefit-books and passports now) will become a means for extortion by gangsters.
Originally posted by Silcone Synapse
No "papers please" for British nationals in our own land!!
Thats saved alot of rioting I think.
op by secretagentwooman,
if you are that paranoid about being "found out" you obviously have something to hide and shouldn't be posting on a public forum where your ISP can be traced.